Category Archives: iPad Games

In last year's version of this article, I talked about how the various companies at the Tokyo Game Show were clearly tightening their belts year-over-year. That seems to have continued this year, with some of the smallest booths I've seen from certain publishers. Again, the big mobile companies chose to largely sit things out, settling for business desks in an adjoining building over lavish, prop-filled money sinks. While there were many great games on display, one can't help but feel like this year's show was missing the spark of previous years. With Nintendo taking their usual pass on the show, VR being on the market for a while, and other hardware platforms hitting maturity, there was no new puppy to fawn over at Tokyo Game Show 2017...

As usual, the mobile gaming part of the Tokyo Game Show was scattered all over the massive Makuhari Messe exhibition center. The big companies of course had their own booths, where they were showing off some of their mobile offerings alongside their titles for other platforms. Smaller mobile developers were everywhere, however. Some were grouped and set up near the busier areas of the floor thanks to local publishers, while the bulk were once again found in the Indie Corner in Hall 9. In addition to the returning Merchandise Corner and Virtual Reality Corner, Hall 9 was also host to a new face at the Tokyo Game Show: eSports. This helped attract even more traffic to the Indie Corner. I've already covered some of the games found there, but I want to mention a few others that I saw that are worth a mention...




Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Minecraft', 'Solomon's Keep', 'Goat Simulator', 'Asphalt Xtreme', 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. I feel like I'm beating the same drum recently, but most of this week's big updates were bringing 64-bit compatibility to older apps like XCOM: Enemy Within and Ryan North's To Be or Not To Be. I've found a few interesting updates that fall outside of that set-up, though, and I'm confident that with iOS 11 out in the wild that we should be back to normal business around here soon. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'IOTA's Journey' Is a Clever Turn-Based Puzzle Title, Releasing October 26th on the App Store

If you go into IOTA's Journey expecting some profound, epic adventure, you may be slightly disappointed. Yes, the game tells the story of the titular character and his first few steps into an uncomfortable new world, but IOTA is not a boy, an animal, or some sort of superhero. Instead, IOTA is a number of minimalistic, circular white blobs, and his journey is actually a pretty novel set of one-handed swipe puzzles. I'm not sure whether the pretence of a story through the game's four chapters is satire or simply a way to make IOTA's Journey a little more sentimental, but either way its classy presentation and interesting enemy-dodging mechanics look perfectly suited to on-the-go gaming. IOTA's Journey should be another solid puzzle addition to the App Store, and is set to release next month on October 26th...

'Gloomy Z' Is a Striking Zombie Tower Defense/Shooter Hybrid, Releasing Winter 2017

Whenever I even contemplate writing about a new zombie video game, I can feel the indifference from gamers around the globe reverberating around me. It might not be the most overused gaming cliche of all time, but it certainly feels like the most tired one, and I think we're all in agreement in hoping that the mainstream appeal of the undead will not rise from the grave anytime soon. That said, after such a negative introduction, I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming Gloomy Z from Agaporni Games, for a variety of reasons. Details like dragons and clever varied shooting gameplay are certainly important, but it's the striking visual style of Gloomy Z that got me past the zombie game stumbling block this time around. With the enemies and barricades featuring as nefarious black silhouettes in front of beautiful crimson-red skies, Gloomy Z creates a really neat aesthetic style, and is definitely one to watch in the lead up to its Winter 2017 release...

Apple is using the revamped App Store in iOS 11 with its added emphasis on curation and editorial to bring us news of a substantial update for Super Mario Run [Free] that's set to hit next week. First up is a new mode called Remix 10 which takes 10 bite-sized chunks from the existing levels in the game and has you play through them in quick succession. There are also rainbow medals spread throughout for you to collect, and it sounds like it'll be a different experience each time you play the new mode. There's no failing this mode, if you don't make it through a level you'll just move onto the next one, but playing well and collecting the medals will allow you an opportunity to earn new items for your Mushroom Kingdom, culminating the the grand prize of a brand new character: Daisy. Once you've unlocked Daisy through Remix 10 mode, she'll be playable in the rest of the game, and comes with a new double jump move that should give players a whole new way to play through the game...

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...

Vainglory [Free], easily the most recognizable mobile MOBA, is kicking off its North American and European Vainglory8 Autumn Season tomorrow, so it you enjoy some good MOBA action, you should tune in. Over the new few weeks, teams like Cloud9, Hollywood Hammers, Gankstars, NOVA eSports, Rogue, Fnatic, and G2 Esports will compete for a spot in the World Championship in Singapore, which will take place December 14-17. It's a pretty tough contest given that only one team per region will qualify for the World Championship, so the stakes are definitely high. European matches will begin at 9AM PST and the North American ones 2PM PST. And, of course, you can watch the matches on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Battlesky Brigade'

It feels like cute characters plus strategy game is a go-to approach for a lot of mobile developers these days, perhaps in the hopes of catching some of the run-off from Clash of Clans and its brethren. Battlesky Brigade is another such attempt, but apart from its frankly adorable character designs, it doesn't seem to have a lot of the necessary hooks to stand out. I had a chance to play a little of the game at the Tokyo Game Show, and while it's fun enough, I wonder if it can compete in a very difficult genre...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Ganbarion's Gorgeous 'Shurado'

It seems like every year, I find one hidden gem that really jumps out from the rest. This year, that game was Shurado, a new action game from Ganbarion. If that name is ringing a bell for you, it's possible you saw it on any number licensed games based on properties like Dragon Ball or One Piece. Their most famous games in the West are probably the Nintendo DS Jump Stars fighting games that mash up a variety of manga characters. Shurado is something different for the traditionally console-based developer, but if what I played is indicative of the final game, they may have something big on their hands here...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Glaciwaker Entertainment's 'Smith Story' and 'Slime Legend'

One of the things about making your way through the indie game section of the Tokyo Game Show is that some of the games you play come from developers who haven't yet found a publishing partner and are unable to take their game worldwide as a result. One such developer at this year's show was Glaciwaker Entertainment, a Taiwan-based developer who had two interesting games at their station. Both of these games have already soft-launched in a few regions but haven't yet made the jump to a wider launch...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Rhythm Doctor', a 'Rhythm Heaven'-Inspired Music Game

To be frank, I'm surprised that there aren't more clones of Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven out there. Especially on mobile devices, where the touch-friendly controls would be right at home. But when you really think about it, as simple as those games appear to be in some ways, they're probably really tough to pull off. Every once in a while, we do see games that try to channel its spirit, even if they're not exactly the same thing. Such is Rhythm Doctor, an upcoming release from 7th Beat Games. I got to give the game a try at the Tokyo Game Show and was even able to grab a video of one of the hardest stages...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Pocket Quest', an RPG from Firi Games

Developer Firi Games is best known for their Phoenix series of hardcore bullet-hell shoot-em-ups. While their presence at the Tokyo Game Show was mainly to show off the latest in that series, Phoenix 2, to Japanese audiences, I managed to convince them to show me something from their next game, which is a slightly unexpected change from their usual fare. Pocket Quest is an RPG that Firi games has been planning for a very long time, and with Phoenix 2 settling a bit following its anniversary update, they've finally had the chance to dedicate their full attention to this charming little game. They even allowed me to capture some footage of an early version of the game...

It's hard to believe that only a couple of years ago, Square Enix was dedicating a significant portion of its booth space to mobile games. This year, it was hard to see anything but Final Fantasy 15 spin-offs and add-ons in Square's space. They had a dedicated area for the upcoming PlayStation anniversary edition of Itadaki Street, a small space for Secret of Mana's remake, and an area for the popular MMO Final Fantasy 14. The only speck of mobile gaming to be found was in a video showing off the upcoming Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition...

Konami has certainly scaled back on their gaming projects in the last few years, and their booth size and location reflects that to an extent. Still, they had some of their heavy-hitting brands on display at Tokyo Game Show, including Metal Gear Survive, Zone of the Enders VR, and others. The most popular game by far, however, was their upcoming mobile release LovePlus Every. The line-up to try the game out in its "Mobile VR Experience" form was quite lengthy for almost the entire day...

TGS 2017: SEGA's Mobile Offerings Include 'Yakuza Online' and 'Dx2 Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation'

It's often said that SEGA of Japan and the Western branches of SEGA operate in very different ways, and that's always apparent at their Tokyo Game Show showings. Mainstay mobile products of the Western side like Sonic Dash and SEGA Forever are rarely seen, while the games they do tend to show almost never make it to the West. Still, it's always interesting to see just what kinds of games the company is putting out there, especially for a market as competitive as Japanese mobile gaming. This year, they didn't really have anything playable, but they did make a show of at least two mobile games in their booth...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Stay', an Atmospheric Adventure Game

With mobile phones and tablets practically becoming everyday tools for many, they present a unique narrative opportunity for certain types of games. We use our mobile devices for all kinds of things: making calls, sending texts, checking the web, watching videos, listening to music, and more. They're a window into the larger world, and with that being their established role in our lives, there's no reason they can't also be a plausible window into a fictional world. We've seen some games play with this concept already, from games like Republique to Lifeline. The upcoming release Stay, from Appnormals, looks to build on this idea with an even greater level of immersion. I was able to give it a spin at the Tokyo Game Show and record it for you...

Check the thermostat in Hades, friends. When 2K put up a notice that they were pulling down their terrific strategy XCOM: Enemy Within [$9.99] from the App Store pending a compatibility update, I was pretty sure we had seen the last of it. After all, that was sort of the same thing the publisher had said about Bioshock, at least for the first couple of years it was broken. Unlike that sad tale, this story has a happy ending. XCOM: Enemy Within is now back on the App Store, with a spiffy new 64-bit update to make it compatible with the latest version of iOS. I'm eating a plate full of crow, friends, and it has never been so tasty...

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

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September 21st, 2017 5:00 PM EDT by Rob Funnell in $9.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$9.99 Buy Now

From the outset, The Witness [$9.99] is a video game that defies convention. After a loading screen that suggests ‘for the best experience, use headphones’, you immediately awaken in a dimly lit underground tunnel, amidst deafening silence. No title screen, no contextual introduction, no long-winded tutorial - in The Witness, you’re simply left to your own devices, and the curiosity that such a brazen start instills in the player serves as the primary catalyst to explore its luscious, vibrant and expansive environments. This core ethos permeates into every inch of The Witness, whether it’s solving puzzles, navigating complex terrain or attempting to work out how to access a seemingly out of bounds point of interest, and its respect for the user is one reason why the game received such universal critical acclaim upon its console release in 2016. However, the hands-off approach that is fundamental to The Witness’s identity is also its biggest source of frustration and, because of Thekla, Inc.’s impressive efforts in emulating the experience on mobile devices, a flaw that is as prominent as ever in the iOS iteration of the game...

Last month Zen Studios announced that three major Universal motion pictures franchises would be getting the pinball table treatment in their lovely Zen Pinball [Free] game, and alongside that announcement they released the first trailer for one of those tables which is based on the classic kid-finds-an-alien-and-adventure-ensues tale… Mac and Me! No just kidding, it's based on Spielberg's classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Then at the end of the month, Zen revealed the trailer for the second table in the upcoming pack based on The Undisputed Greatest Film of All Time Jaws. Now Zen has just released the trailer for the third and final table in the upcoming pack, which is based on the '80s version of Rick and Morty, also known as the Back to the Future trilogy. Check it out, Doc!..

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