Category Archives: iPad Games

RPG Reload File 069 - 'Coldfire Keep'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where our fish are abnormally crunchy at all times. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a bit of revisiting, a dash of reflecting, and a giant splash of taking a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I don't know, it felt like a thing to write at the time. Anyway, I try to choose a good variety of games from week to week, but if you feel like I've missed something, feel free to give me suggestions by posting in the comments below, stopping by the RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is currently planned through August, you might not see your suggestion for a while, but I will add it to the master list...

How's that for a player base? So, according to Activision-Blizzard's Q4 2015 financial results (which you can read in detail here), Hearthstone [Free] surpassed the 40-million registered players milestone on November 6, 2015, and I'm sure everyone over at the company is still in a state of disbelief at how a side-project has turned into this juggernaut of a game. This is a pretty big number (which, of course, is both mobile and PC players), and shows how the game continues to grow at a pretty rapid pace, and that's without the upcoming format changes that should make the game more welcoming for new players. With the huge push Blizzard will likely do to advertise the new Standard format, I expect the pace of player growth to increase, which will be a good thing since there'll be a split in the player base between Wild and Standard...




Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] continues its march to PC parity, with each update bringing the mobile version closer to its PC ancestor. The last update brought the first redstone elements to the game, and the 0.14 update aims to continue fleshing out the redstone side of the game. Fortunately for all the redstoners among you, the update seems to be almost upon us, judging from the tweet by MCPE developer, Tommasso Checchi. The last few updates went live a few days after announcements like the one we got today, so I expect that to be the case with 0.14. I'm quite glad to see how quickly the developers are churning out updates since Microsoft acquired Mojang; I know many were (rightfully) skeptical about the acquisition, but so far it looks like it's all been good news...

We've had our eye on the iPad port of Forbidden Desert since it was first announced back in November, and somehow the scheduled release of the game just barely slipped past our weekly Out Now post. However, we aren't ones to get all bent out of shape over a little tardiness, so we wanted to let you know that Forbidden Desert [$6.99 (HD)] for the iPad is now officially available. In this game you'll be working on an expedition team in the desert discovering and uncovering different parts of an ancient flying machine. Being the desert, you'll have to content with a lack of water and things like sand storms that can really interrupt your flow of discoveries. It's a cooperative game, so you'll actually be working with your teammates in an effort to recover the flying machine...

Knotmania [$2.99] is the kind of game that's best enjoyed by people who get satisfaction from untangling complicated wire tangles. I don't know how headphone cords get so magically knotted up with no difficulty like that, but at least in Knotmania, you're dealing with living worm-like creatures that tangle themselves up of their own volition. Your goal: untangle those suckers. Frankly, it's the only hypothesis I've seen that makes sense. Wires are alive, and Knotmania is training for the great wire war that lies ahead of us...

'Ys Chronicles 2' Review - Adol's Back, And He's All Fired Up

Last May, DotEmu surprised us with an iOS port of Nihon Falcom's Ys Chronicles 1 [$2.99], a PC remake of one of the best action-RPGs of the 1980s, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. Aside from a rough job on the English translation, the port came out surprisingly well. While the lack of an attack button has always caused some misunderstandings on other platforms, body-checking enemies into oblivion makes an awful lot of sense on a touch-screen device with no buttons to speak of. The game itself is just as great as it has ever been, with a blistering fast pace and amazing soundtrack that few other action-RPGs can match. The biggest downer of Ys Chronicles 1 is that it ends on a cliffhanger that leads directly into Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99]. The two games are frequently packed together due to their tight continuity and are best enjoyed as one complete adventure. DotEmu quickly confirmed the second game would be coming to iOS as well, and here we are...

I am a major fan of Orangepixel's games. The solo developer should be remembered by history as a unique, standout artist, despite his games not being the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff you'd typically expect to be called artsy. But it's because his games always have this unique touch to them in the art and gameplay that makes them feel unique compared to other games, even ones from consistent studios. The games having this consistent vision behind them is part of what makes them special. An Orangepixel game looks and feels like something only he could have made...

As I've said before, there's nothing wrong with chilling out with a mindless arcade game. I grew up playing flashy shooters and beat 'em ups just as often as deep RPGs and point and click adventure games, and both philosophies scratch certain itches on any given day. The former mindset is most evident in Call of Commander [$0.99], which has some RPG elements, but mostly caters towards the part of your brain that likes to shut itself off...

Friends, when it RPG rains, it RPG pours, and we're all soaking wet after the last few weeks. With the release of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] last week and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] this week, you'd think we might be able to catch a breather somewhere in between, but no, Square Enix went and dropped an 800-lb gorilla, on a Tuesday of all days, right in the middle of things. While we knew Final Fantasy 9 [$16.99] was close to release, I'm not sure anyone expected it so soon after a major release like Adventures Of Mana, but there you have it. Now, since this was as much a surprise for us here at TouchArcade as it was for all of you, it's going to take a few days to put a proper review together, so we've got some early impressions to tide you over until then...

Hearthstone's [Free] developers have decided to torture players again by giving us the Decks Assembled Tavern Brawl, easily the more confusing of the Brawls so far. When this Brawl first came out in December, many got confused because of the way this brawl lets you build your deck. Here's how it goes: first you pick the class you'd like to play, and at the start of the turn, you choose a card through a process that looks a lot like the Discover mechanic. When you play a card from your hand, you shuffle a copy of it into your deck, and when your turn ends, your hand is destroyed and 4 cards are drawn from your deck. Not the easiest Brawl to figure out the first time around as seen by the number of hints you'll get throughout the first few turns...

One of my major irritations with WOT Blitz [Free] gameplay so far has been the amazing strength of twigs and tiny pieces of debris. What do I mean? Imagine getting into the perfect shooting, tapping the button, and then seeing your shell explode because it hit a tiny twig on the way to devastating the opponent. Fortunately, Wargaming.net is finally changing the game's shooting mechanics to address those issues and, in general, improve how your shells behave. We can now fire through obstacles with the shell continuing its trajectory and hitting anyone hiding behind. However, depending on the obstacle's durability, the shell will lose an amount of its energy and might be unable to penetrate the target. Full-featured ricochets are now in the game too, with deflected shells damaging nearby enemies if they hit them...

It's a pretty nice week for early releases with both Final Fantasy IX [$16.99] and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] out in the wild and likely sucking up a large portion of everybody's time. However, if you're feeling overwhelmed with these big ol' RPGs and looking to cleanse your palate with something a bit more breezy, another really awesome new game just dropped ahead of the normal weekly releases. It's Happymagenta's Tomb of the Mask [Free], and the best way I could possibly describe it is it's as if Pac-Man [$4.99 / Free], Downwell [$2.99], and The Last Rocket [$1.99] all had a three-way lovechild (which is totally possible, haven't you seen The Brothers Solomon?)...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$16.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

It seems crazy that the release of Jack B. Nimble [$1.99] was well over a year ago, back in September of 2014. This plucky little runner combined the simplistic running and jumping of a typical runner but added in an extra dimension with the ability to crack a whip mid-jump, making it feel like the lovechild of Canabalt [$2.99] and Castlevania. We really enjoyed it in our review, and two post-release updates sweetened the pot by adding in two extra environments, two new color palettes, Game Center integration, and an extra playable character. Since its last update in December of 2014, Jack B. Nimble hasn't seen a whole lot of love, mostly due to it being the passion project of sole developer Sean Noonan. There have been big plans in the works for the game, they just haven't had a chance to come to fruition. ..

'Adventures Of Mana' Review - The Secret Is Simplicity

Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] is a remake of a classic Square Enix game, something that could be said for more than half of the company's iOS releases. Yet it's quite different from the usual Square Enix remake in that it's positively restrained in how much it chooses to change from the original game. It's especially interesting in light of the fact that said original game, Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest (henceforth Final Fantasy Adventure), was a 1991 release for the original Game Boy. On top of that, there was already one high-profile remake of the game, 2003's Sword Of Mana for the Game Boy Advance, which changed and added in a lot of things. Seeing Adventures Of Mana essentially present an early handheld action-RPG without doing much more than re-rendering everything in 3D and cleaning up the translation is certainly unexpected, but it's also most welcome...

We're all looking forward to Tinytouchtales' new upcoming game Card Thief, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the original game Card Crawl [$2.99], one of my own personal favorites from last year. After the hefty update back in December which added the fantastic Deck Merchant and a bunch of new ability cards, the next big Card Crawl update will rebalance a bunch of the game's ability cards and replace the current Streak Mode with a new tweaked version called Delve Mode, Tinytouchtales has detailed on their blog yesterday. ..

Hello, friends! We're almost back to the normal schedule for the RPG Reload Podcast, and that means we've only got one featured game this time around. Our usual roster of Eric Ford, Andy Fretz, and I take a look at Nameless: The Hackers RPG [$2.99] in this episode, and as usual, there's a lot of chat about other things beforehand. Each of us shares our thoughts on Crashlands [$4.99] and its many wonders. We also spend some time discussing some of the difficulties in factoring price points into reviews. We also got around to answering a reader question sent to us way back in the distant year of 2015. Admittedly, we go off topic for a while in the middle of the show, but it's all for the sake of droning on about games, so I'm sure we're fine, right?..

Foursaken Media is undoubtedly one of the most beloved developers on our forums. They are well known for making games that take several different genres and throw them into a blender, and the resulting smoothie is usually quite tasty. My favorites are probably Block Fortress [$1.99] and Bug Heroes 2 [$1.99], but even the games that don’t quite stick are usually pretty interesting if nothing else. It was with some surprise, then, that I learned their newest game All Is Lost [Free] was essentially just a runner. A runner with... puzzle elements? Extensive RPG-like upgrade trees? Monster collecting? Base building? Nope, literally just a runner. You go from the left side of a level to the right and basically just swipe to avoid stuff. What’s truly surprising, though, is that even though they apparently dropped their modus operandi of idea-mashing, they were still able to create a compelling and fun game rooted firmly in a single genre...

Update Mondays: 'Minecraft Pocket Edition', 'Doug dug.', 'Candy Crush Soda Saga', 'Pocket Mortys', 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. Lots of updates this week, especially due to the Chinese/Lunar New Year. A few Valentine's Day updates trickled into the mix, and some other nice surprises besides. 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!..

With Aralon: Forge And Flame [$4.99], the sequel to Aralon: Sword And Shadow [$4.99], a few months behind us, we naturally had to wonder what was next for Crescent Moon in the world of 3D RPGs. The market has changed quite a bit since Ravensword: The Fallen King [$2.99] released, and what once was a surefire hit is now a much more risky endeavor. Well, it looks like Crescent Moon isn't ready to call it quits on the genre just yet, as they today announced in the TouchArcade Forums that they had started work on a prequel to the original Ravensword. It's called Ravensword: Legacy, and while it's incredibly early in development, it's immediately clear that Crescent Moon is coming at things from a different angle this time around...

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