Category Archives: Sports

'Beat Sports' Review - Weee! Sports on the Apple TV!

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November 9th, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $9.99, 4 stars, Apple TV, Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews, Sports
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I wasn’t planning on buying the fourth generation Apple TV right away. But then Guitar Hero Live [Free] happened, and I just couldn’t wait. I mean, the game is great on the iPad and iPhone, but obviously it was always meant for the living room. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I finally got Apple’s new streaming box and Guitar Hero Live wasn’t even in the App Store yet. Luckily, though, developer Harmonix (who kicked off the whole plastic instrument trend back in 2005) did have a rhythm game on the store right on launch day. It’s called Beat Sports, and while it’s no Guitar Hero or Rock Band, it’s still a pretty fun little slice of music gaming...

It seems like no matter how the app store changes, we will always have those comfort games that have such a sturdy under girding we will never see their type go away. NBA Escape from Urthworx is one of those games. With gameplay that heavily relies on the popular physics of Angry Birds, Escape puts a basketball flavored theme on top that adds just enough variety to make it work. ..




As we learned this past June, the developers of stunning table tennis simulator Table Tennis Touch [$2.99] have been hard at work on a multiplayer update for the game, and today that update has gone live in the App Store. And let me say that this update is quite a whopper, adding in a ton of new stuff besides the expected multiplayer mode. ..

So, I love football manager games, and I've loved playing football games (or soccer for some of you) like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer since the days of International Superstar Soccer on the Nintendo 64. Add to this my love for CCGs, and you can understand why I had high hopes for FIFA 16 Ultimate Team [Free] since it looked like it combined all three genres in one shiny package. The last FIFA I played on mobile before FIFA 16 UT was FIFA 14, which was the last one to have various other modes (like Quick Match and Season) in addition to the Ultimate Team mode. While I had dabbled a bit in the Ultimate Team mode in FIFA 14, I didn't really bother much because I simply wanted to play football without messing with menus too much. Still, I actually loaded FIFA 16 UT hoping I would find an interesting CCG (which is what the Ultimate Team really is) on top of what has easily been the best football game on iOS...

This Sunday is the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship, basically the Super Bowl of Street League, and as the official video game of SLS True Skate [$1.99] has added a brand new downloadable park and is going free for the weekend to celebrate. The new course is the SLS Los Angeles 2015, the course from the first stop in this year's SLS. The course was designed by Street League competitor and all-around amazing skateboarder Luan Oliveira, and is modeled after the architecture found in his home country of Brazil. Here's a couple shots of the 2015 SLS Los Angeles park...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is one of those games that practically transcends what we expect from video games. On its surface it's an extremely simplified game of golf, where each hole is a single screen and by using the tried and true "pull back and slingshot" method your job is simply to get the ball in the hole in as few moves as possible. There is no menu, there is no level select screen, there is no storyline or additional goals. You hit the ball in the hole, move on to the next hole, rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity. ..

'Power Ping Pong' Review - Tablet Tennis

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September 14th, 2015 12:27 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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Have you ever played one of those games that everyone raves about, but it doesn’t click with you? It looks really fun and should be right up your alley, but for some reason you can’t crack it. “What’s wrong with me?” you might wonder. “Am I doing something dumb?” Well, if you couldn’t guess, that was my first experience with Chillingo’s Power Ping Pong [$4.99]. After playing for about a week now, I think I’m finally figuring out what was wrong. We’ll get to all that soon enough, but first: what is it?..

A couple of months back, I reviewed a unique little game called Trappy Tomb [Free], a game that had you running and jumping through a deadly tomb, grabbing treasure and trying to stay alive. Its most interesting feature was what it referred to as 'mingleplayer', where you would see the ghosts of tons of other players running along with you. It not only made score-chasing feel more exciting, it could also clue you into any cleverly hidden secrets someone had uncovered. Of course, there were also lessons to learn about the dangers of herd mentality. The developer of that game is back with his next title, MiniGolf Endless MMO [Free], and though it's in a completely different genre, it retains a similar gimmick...

Two New 'Football Manager' Games Coming to iOS Before Christmas

Sports Interactive unveiled the 2016 version of its football (soccer for our American friends) managing games yesterday, and there were some very good news for iOS gamers who enjoy coaching their favorite teams on the go. After announcing Football Manager 2016, the flagship PC game that follows in the long tradition of very complex and involved football managing games, SI went on to announce two new products, Football Manager Touch 2016 (FMT 2016) and Football Manager Mobile 2016 (FMM 2016). FMT 2016 is the renamed Football Manager Classic mode from last year's Football Manager and offers a more streamlined experience for those who want to be very involved in the running of their club but don't want to spend every waking moment agonizing over every single managerial detail. FMT 2016 will be very similar to Football Manager Classic 2015 from last year, which I reviewed and really liked...

'Ski Safari 2' Review - Also Adventure

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September 4th, 2015 11:30 AM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Sports, Universal
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I enjoyed the original Ski Safari [$0.99], but I didn’t love it. I played it for a few days, but it seemed like one of those runners that takes forever to get challenging. I grew tired of doing the same thing for ten-plus minutes only to die and find that I hadn’t beat my previous score yet. Sure, the game had a good amount of variety in the different animals you could ride and stuff, but it still didn’t keep my attention for long. Flash forward a few years, and I have to admit this sequel looked pretty sweet. Maybe the gorgeous Alto’s Adventure [$3.99] had softened me up first, but either way, I had to try Sleepy Z's Ski Safari 2 [$0.99]...

My first ever interaction with golf was on the NES. I remember being fascinated by the concept of hitting a ball across a screen, and although the idea of woods and irons completely eluded me, I was content with whacking away Happy Gilmore style. Over time golf became far less foreign, and though the sport's popularity has waxed and waned over the years, I still have a certain degree of interest in it, at least at a base level. Battle Golf [Free] doesn't really do a whole lot for me though...

When Konami "mispoke" about its future plans and claimed that the company would be shifting its attention to mobile and the App Store, many were disappointed from what they saw as Konami shifting from "real" games to "casual" mobile games. PES Club Manager (PES CM) [Free], a soccer manager game just released, is the first Konami iOS game since the recent debacle, and I'm glad to say that it's a pretty good F2P sports game that shows that Konami can have a fruitful future on iOS, which is nothing but good news for mobile gamers. The game has plenty of content, a real-time 3D match engine that utilizes the console-version game engine, and a more robust team management system than I expected to find in a F2P game. And the monetization system never got in the way of my enjoyment, so all was well on that front too. Overall, PES CM is an enjoyable sports game that will entertain any lover of the sport for many hours...

Physics has always been a staple of the App Store. Slingshot Physics, Ragdoll Physics, Skateboard and BMX physics, and so on. Playing a game with finely tuned, consistent physics just feels so right. I don't know why these games are always so popular, but man, are they satisfying. That's how I'd describe Ball King[Free] from developer Qwiboo. Eminently satisfying to play...

Developer Nordeus has just announced today that its football (the one you actually play with your foot) manager game, Top Eleven [Free], is celebrating its 5th birthday and a great milestone; the game has now over 100 million registered players, making it the most popular mobile sports game. For those who aren't familiar with the game, Top Eleven let's you be the manager of a football (again, feet, ok?) team, and you get to control the formation, tactics (though not at a great depth), and the transfers (which is where this F2P game helps you part ways with your real life cash). As seen from the numbers released by Nordeus today, apparently there are many people around the world who enjoy competing with other players in the best sport in the world (yes, I said it). To celebrate the game's 5th birthday, Nordeus is offering players special club logos and outfits, so if you are one of the 100 million users, go get your free stuff...

Apparently, Madden NFL is not the only game franchise that has a curse associated with its cover, as the EA Sports UFC [Free] mobile game has just one-upped it big time. For those who don't play Madden NFL, there's a so-called "Madden Curse" that states that the player who appears on the cover of a Madden NFL game either has a very bad season or gets injured. Well, EA Sports UFC, a pretty good MMA game that's just been released, put Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones as its App Icon, and lo and behold, Jones has not only been suspended indefinitely by the UFC, but has also had his belt stripped...

I am definitely a formalist when it comes to video games. I don't think that games without structure or failure conditions are any less valuable as interactive works or as artistic achievements. I just enjoy my time with clickers more than I do, say, The Sailor's Dream [$3.99]. I like structure and progression, having a goal to attain. It motivates me to play, and when I no longer care about the goal, that will get me to stop playing. Simple as that. ..

EA's free-to-play soccer game FIFA 15 Ultimate Team [Free] has been updated with Apple Watch support in anticipation of the wearable's release later this week. Watch-specific features include tracking the transfer statuses of your five most coveted players, including instant notifications. In other words: in less than a week, you'll be able to strap a small computer to your wrist and use it to buy and sell virtual athletes like chattel. The future is here, and the future is weird if you think about it too long...

'Football Manager Classic 2015' Review - Creating Amazing Stories in a Sports Management Game

Necessary Disclaimer: Although this review is about the sport US readers call "soccer," I'll be using the term football to be consistent with the game's title...

Baseball is finally back after a long winter. It's looking like another rough season for my Texas Rangers, with more season-ending injuries and prospects they traded playing for other teams. Thankfully, baseball simulator iOOTP is back for another season on iOS. Boasting a fresh MLB license and a new name, MLB Manager 2015 [$4.99], the time has come for me to try and change my favorite team's fate, and develop them into perennial contenders. Previous iOOTP games came with what amounted to incremental improvements from year-to-year. MLB Manager, despite the fresh new license, follows the same tack: a few new tweaks and features rule the day...

Man, what is the deal with Sensible Soccer? That game is popular for its top-down soccer play and two-button controls, a formula that I see a lot of other soccer games try to replicate. The latest is Active Soccer 2 [$3.99], a soccer game that I wish would try to break free of the two-button limitations, though I do find the soccer action to be quite entertaining here...

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