Category Archives: iPad Games

Perhaps Playdek took the Cold War theme of its game a bit too seriously when it decided to stealthily unleash Twilight Struggle Mobile [$7.99 (HD)], its port of the classic board game, onto the App Store. Twilight Struggle, the award-winning, card-driven board game that simulates the Cold War, has been very eagerly awaited by board game fans, so I was expecting the iOS release of the game (it's been out for PC for a few months) to come with a bit more fanfare. Still, I'm not complaining one bit because this one might be a great game to play during my upcoming (very long) flight...

RPG Reload File 084 - 'Shadowrun Returns'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we'll deck the world for a few credsticks. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the present day. It's a chance for reflecting on important releases, revisiting old favorites, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the present King of Canada, I try to choose a balanced plate of games from week to week to reflect the wide diversity in the genre. If you feel like I'm missing something important, though, make sure to let me know. You can do that by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see your suggestion right away, but it will be added to the master list...




Orangepixel's previous game, Space Grunts [$3.99] was basically a fast-paced, roguelike-inspired, action game that just so happened to be turn-based. Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] instead is that fast-action game that Space Grunts coult have been in an alternate universe. This Gauntlet-esque dungeon shooter eschews the item system for some new tricks, such as a two-character swapping system. And there is the expected intense challenge to be had, with dozens of dungeon floors to try and traverse before beating the game. Good luck getting anywhere near that without a lot of skillful play. Yet, despite everything on paper that seems enjoyable, there's something about the loose feel of Heroes of Loot 2, with some questionable design decisions along the way, that leave me not entirely enamored with this game...

I'm really glad that fighting games are still alive and well. They're a classic old school genre that has withstood the test of time, and many franchises that were started so long ago in arcades are still with us. Although it's not nearly as old as Street Fighter, Arc System Works' BlazBlue has definitely earned the right to be in the same conversation, following up their storied Guilty Gear series with the same amount of flash and style. That partially translates to the mobile arena with a game that's more beat 'em up than fighter in BlazBlue RR - [Free], but it's muddled by one of the worst IAP schemes I've seen in a while...

Version 1.19 of Super Evil Megacorp’s mobile MOBA Vainglory [Free] is now out for the masses and with it comes significant changes beyond a seasonal facelift. With a new hero, new skins and some hefty changes to hero roles, there’s a lot of interesting things to take a look at in this update...

Well, there was a load of new iOS games released tonight but not among them was one that we've been highly anticipating since we played it at E3 last week. However, moments ago Teeny Titans [$3.99] from Grumpyface Studios and Cartoon Network finally popped up on the App Store. Better late than never, I always say! If you missed what Teeny Titans is all about, it's more or less a Pokemon-style character collecting and battling game utilizing a huge roster of DC Superheroes in their Teen Titans form. Here is our look at the game from E3 last week...

Word games and mobile go together like peanut butter and jam, and like that classic combo, you don't have to look very far to find an example. You get to a point where you have to wonder what more can be done with the genre beyond dressing it up in different themes. AlphaPit [Free], the latest game from Word Forward [Free] developer Shane McCafferty, has a few new ideas. For the most part, it builds on the frame work laid down in Word Forward, but there are some unusual design choices that make AlphaPit feel different, if not necessarily better. While I think the developer succeeded in making something that sets itself apart from the very large crowd, the game never truly finds an enjoyable structure to call its own...

'Rule with an Iron Fish' Review - Good ol' Fishin' Without IAP Bait

In a sea of ad-based gaming, currencies upon currencies, and premium purchases, it's fun to find a game every so often that abandons that entirely. Sometimes, a game itself is a premium purchase, bestowing everything, from content to opportunities, with reckless abandon. It's a model that isn't exactly popular with each passing year, but one that still exists -- and the developers of Rule with an Iron Fish [$2.99] have executed it wonderfully...

Well, I can't blame Kemco for trying. While the publisher has used IAP in its games for a few years now, even releasing free versions of some of them, it has largely stuck to what it's become known for on mobile: traditional single-player JRPGs. The quality of the games varies according to which developer it sub-contracts out to, and those games are rarely ambitious in any meaningful way, but for hungry JRPG fans, they at least fill the belly. Given the way the App Store market has shifted, particularly in Japan, and the sheer number of releases Kemco has published, these games can't be turning in particularly large numbers anymore. With social RPGs proving far more lucrative these days, it was only a matter of time before Kemco took a swing at something resembling one...

When Adult Swim Games launched Pocket Mortys [Free] at the beginning of the year, I figured it would be a cute Pokemon-alike dripping with Rick and Mortys fan service that would be a fun way to pass the time for a few weeks, and then it would fade away like dust in the wind. This was not the case. Pocket Mortys has been getting all sorts of updates since its launch, and after two rapid fire spring updates Adult Swim is ringing in the summertime with yet another big content update. Fans had been clamoring for new single-player content, and this update delivers that in the form of the new Morty Games, a series of 5 tournaments that will give you an opportunity to win exclusive Mortys not available anywhere else in the game...

In a typically unpredictable App Store manner, the highly anticipated Rodeo Stampede - Sky Zoo Safari [Free] has dropped a day early and has finally been released on iOS for free. Being the collaboration of developer Featherweight and artist Dan Graf (who were responsible for Skiing Yeti Mountain [Free] and Fruit Ninja [$1.99] respectively, amongst others), the game has an extremely strong pedigree, and an interesting amalgamation of game mechanics to boot. The unique gameplay of running and jumping between animals on a stampede shakes up what is a rather tired genre, and you are also able to look after your own sky zoo through doing missions, upgrading exhibits, catching rare animal variants and successively opening your doors to the public to reap in the admission fees. This merger of auto-runner beast taming action with a management aspect on the side is a really novel idea that we thought was awesome when we looked at Rodeo Stampede for the first time back at GDC...

Rather than the big blockbuster ports such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas [$3.99], it was Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$0.99] that really made many of my avid gamer friends sit up and take notice of iOS as a legitimate gaming platform. Such was the critical reception of the game that Klei Entertainment crafted on its initial PC release; survival games were rarely as deep and thought provoking before Don't Starve came and really shook up the genre. For anyone who wasn't able to pick up the mobile port the first time, the game has gone on sale to $0.99 for the first time. We thought it was brilliant in our review back in 2015, and because of a universal update that was pushed through shortly after its release, anyone can delve into the dark yet deep world of Don't Starve - even if it probably is better to experience on the larger screen of an iPad...

Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is the creator of Sometimes You Die [$1.99], a minimalist platformer that turned out to be much more than it appeared on the surface and through clever platforming mechanics it also delivers commentary on the genre itself, video games as a whole, and even life as we know it. It's a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. He also made Pancake - The Game [Free], a game about flipping pancakes. It should say a lot that both of those titles, while spanning a wide gap of what people expect a game to be, are among my favorites on iOS, and Kamibox has consistently put out highly playable and interesting games for years now. The latest is called Squaredance [Free], which arrived yesterday and is a minimalist puzzler that uses a swipe-the-whole-board-at-once mechanic similar to Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. This isn't a high score chaser though, as each level has a different board shape which makes your goal of combining all like-colored squares in order to remove them that much more difficult...

While the array of traditional RPGs on iOS certainly are welcome (as long as they remain on the App Store, at least), it's cool to see an increasing number of role playing games that take a more portable and mobile edge on the genre while still remaining true to their roots. One such game is Questland, which has just soft launched on the New Zealand App Store for free, and features a decent amount of customization options with a interesting first person battling perspective under a layer of incredibly beautiful cel-shaded graphics. With a strong character creation system and a wide selection of armor and weapon choices which all have their own unique style, Questland should definitely satiate both hardcore and casual RPG fans looking for a new game to play on the go...

If you like CCGs like Hearthstone, you should definitely check out Shadowverse [Free], a new CCG that's now available in a number of countries (including the US and the UK) with more countries coming in August. Developed by Cygames, the Japanese developer responsible for Rage of Bahamut, Shadowverse will definitely remind you of Hearthstone, but it has enough to offer both in terms of gameplay and world-building to make it stand on its own. And yes, I know I'm constantly referencing Hearthstone, but Blizzard's game has become the golden standard for mobile CCGs. Add to that how Shadowverse's gameplay has plenty in common with Hearthstone's, and you'll understand the reason I keep bringing it up...

Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...

Developer XperimentalZ Games has a vibe to its games that I can really appreciate. These games feel like they fell out of some parallel timeline where arcades stayed healthy and full of a variety of game types. A place, time, and dimension where games made about as much sense as a 1980s action movie, and took deep pride in that fact. I'm a big fan of XperimentalZ's previous release, Pixel Boat Rush [Free], a wild side-scrolling action boat racer, and when I heard the developer was tackling a pinball hybrid next, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, as the release date of Pinball Breaker Forever [Free] approached, so too did a ton of RPGs, which meant I couldn't get to the game I had been looking forward to. Worse, everyone else at TouchArcade got busy at around the same time, leaving Pinball Breaker Forever to slide by without a review. No, we can't have that...

Marriage is a tricky, tricky act, isn't it? Quite often those joined in holy matrimony don't really fit well together, and even when they do, compromises must abound if there is to be any kind of happiness in their new union. And when the marriage is of two very different people, the challenges are even greater. If you've played Minecraft (either the mobile or the PC version) and any of the Telltale games, then you already know why I started my review of Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] with these metaphors. When Telltale told the world that it would apply its narrative-based formula on Minecraft, the game that's now synonymous with sandbox, many gamers wondered whether Telltale could pull it off and whether Minecraft players would bother with a developer that put their beloved open-world game in a narrative straight-jacket, possibly chopping off any parts that refused to obey the narrative techniques that Telltale has used in its other series...

'Rush Rally 2' Review - The Best Rally Racer on iOS

The first rally racing game I played was SEGA's SEGA Rally Championship on the SEGA Saturn. To tell the truth, before that game, I wasn't a huge racing game fan. I'd play the odd game at the arcades, and I'd certainly join in on a race or two with my friends on their games, but it wasn't a genre I was terribly interested in. In fact, SEGA Rally wasn't even my first choice for a game the day I bought it. I had wanted Virtua Fighter 2, but the shop was sold out, so instead I brought home a racing game. I fell in love with that game, and it served as a gateway to the whole sub-genre of rally racing for me. Games like V-Rally, Colin McRae, Rallisport Challenge, and WRC became regular purchases for me, even as I continued to almost entirely ignore every other kind of racer. There's just something about this type of racing that speaks to me...

Update Mondays: 'Minecraft: Pocket Edition', 'Marvel Contest of Champions', 'The Greedy Cave', 'Leap Day', And More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. With both of the big events last week, you might expect that there wouldn't be quite as many updates as usual. You would be correct in that assumption, oh wise seer. That doesn't mean there aren't some cool updates to look at, though. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

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