Category Archives: iPad Games

'Anomaly Defenders' Review - Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

I admit that I'm coming into this Anomaly Defenders [$4.99] with a bit of bias because I've played each of the Anomaly games. I liked the games, but I'm hardly a raving fanatic for the series. But still, it's hard not to play this and think that this is kind of fan service for people have played the previous games in the series and wonder what it would be like to play as the aliens defending from the humans. Well, let me just say – it turns out 11 bit is as good at tower defense as they are at tower offense...

RPG Reload File 007 - 'Secret Of Mana'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome back to RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we spend a lot of time with magical swords and sprites of all varieties. Each week, I reload an RPG from the App Store's past for a little reflection, revisiting, or even just to do a deeper dig than what the scope of our usual reviews cover. I like all kinds of RPGs, and I hope you do, too, so I try to grab a varied selection to avoid leaning too hard on any particular style or subgenre. Just in case I miss something, however, once per month I'll be playing and writing about a reader-selected RPG. The next reader's choice is... hey, it's next week in RPG Reload File 008, where I'll be playing Lunar Silver Star Story Touch [$6.99]. How about that? Democracy in action! With that selection locked in, that means you can start voting for the next reader's choice, which will be RPG Reload File 013. Just leave your vote in the comments below or in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in our forum...

Frequent readers of TouchArcade know that I enjoy gamebooks quite a bit. What can I say? I grew up during the rise of Choose Your Own Adventures, when a pocket RPG meant a bunch of words written by Steve Jackson that you had to steal the dice from the family Monopoly set to play. It's more than just simple nostalgia, though. Call me an old curmudgeon, or maybe just a guy looking out for his livelihood, but I feel like there's a particular imaginative power to the written word that can't quite be matched by any other form of expression. That fight with the giant lizard king never turns out quite as awesome in illustrated or animated form as it does in your mind as you read the words off of a page. I'm thrilled that gamebooks have come back with a vengeance on mobiles. It's a perfect home for them, and allows developers and authors to push their ideas beyond the constraints of a physical media, while still using good old-fashioned words to beam the finest of adventures into your head...

Flappy Golf [Free] fan that wants some new content? Well, do I have good news: there's a creative new asynchronous multiplayer mode called King of the Hole coming, and we only have the children to thank for that. Noodlecake crunched the numbers on the data, and saw that Flappy Golf's numbers were steadily increasing...and then immediately started falling around Memorial Day, i.e. when schools start letting out for summer. The game plummeted off the charts. That is, until late August and early September, when the game's download ranks suddenly started climbing again...

I love tower defense games. I can totally understand the sentiment that as a genre, its a little played out though. Right Pedal Studios' newest title, Ninja Raft [$2.99], has an eye out to avoid some of the most common pitfalls many TD games make. With a focus on active gameplay and an adventurous setting, you aren't going to be left feeling like you are digging in waiting for things to happen. Your ninjas will need to be agile to keep their floating fortress safe from their ultimate nemesis...

'Dragon Quest 3' Releases On The Japanese App Store

English mobile gamers may just be wrapping up their nostalgic romps through the recently-released Dragon Quest 1 [$2.99], but as one might expect from its popularity in its home region, the Dragon Quest series is a little further along in Japan. RPG fans in Japan received their latest treat today with the release of Dragon Quest 3, available through the Dragon Quest Portal app for a cool 1200 yen, or $11 in fancy American dollars. Like Dragon Quest 1 and 2, this version is based on a previous feature phone remake, so it's a bit more colorful than you might remember from its NES or Game Boy releases in North America...

Okay, so I know that Gameloft's new runner Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] didn't go over well with some of our readers, mostly due to its use of a energy meter in what is perhaps the worst possible genre to put a stamina meter into, but I still think the game is a heck of a lot of fun, and it's been eating into my productivity since it came out. It's quite content-rich for a running game, and there are a lot of angles you could come at the game from and come away very satisfied, all without spending a cent. The energy meter is the biggest elephant in the room, and you can only mitigate it at best, but apart from that, this game is surprisingly generous to the frugal gamer. Rather than do my usual guide with a collection of tips in a list, I'm going to first present some general advice, then different sections based on what your personal goals are for the game. The way to progress in this game is pretty different depending on whether you're more interesting in chasing scores, completing the story portions, or just collecting characters...

Sometimes games have the hallmarks of greatness, but fail to stick the landing, and that's how I perceive Joinz [$1.99] to be. It mixes Tetris with Threes [$1.99], having players form tetrominos and other block shapes by sliding different-colored blocks around the board, with same color blocks sticking to each other. As more matches are made, powerup blocks come into play, and more colors get involved, making the game steadily more challenging. But it's the way that the game starts and then increases its difficulty, along with a qualm with randomness and the logic of blocks sticking together that keep it from really reaching its potential...

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team [Free] from EA is out today on the App Store. This latest version of the hit soccer simulation is focused around the popular Ultimate Team mode, which involves building a team based on real-world players and buying packs of player cards to help improve the team. Note that the game is pretty much exclusively just about building the Ultimate Team, as the only way to play as teams besides your own are in the Games of the Week mode, which are based around the club you choose, including their real-world schedule. Last year's version offered IAP to unlock the ability to play quick matches with anybody. For the team you're building up, you can choose to play out the matches they play in the various quick matches, seasons, and tournaments, or take part in quick simulations...

The short turnaround time between the iPhone 6 Plus' announcement and release has left developers scrambling to support the larger iPhone, which has some new technical wrinkles because of its higher resolution. It presents a conundrum because where the iPhone 6 renders @2X, the same pixel density as previous Retina Displays, the iPhone 6 Plus internally renders @3X, an entirely new pixel density. To help explain what is happening in action, David Frampton of Majic Jungle sent over some screenshots showing off The Blockheads [Free], and the differences between an unoptimized iPhone 6 Plus game, and what it would look like:..

Cubus Games is a relative newcomer to the surprisingly burgeoning gamebook market on the App Store, with Heavy Metal Thunder [$2.99] being just their second release. Mobile gamers have been getting spoiled lately by the heavy competition between the existing gamebook publishers, with each new release finding new ways to push beyond what was possible with an actual paper book. Heavy Metal Thunder won't be joining that particular arms race, but it does deliver a reasonably exciting adventure with some occasionally shaky but always enthusiastic writing. In most ways it's a very orthodox entry into the genre, though I do give it credit for its strong use of audio, and while it may lack in ambition, it's a very well-put together, enjoyable bit of pulp sci-fi action...

Before I write anything else, I want to commend the developer of Lith [Free] on their courage. Making an entire game around a gameplay concept that is likely most famously remembered as "the puzzley bits that everyone hates in middling JRPGs" takes some guts. Lith is a puzzle game made up entirely of those puzzles where you have to slide across icy surfaces to reach an exit. Once you've stepped onto the ice, you can't stop or change direction until you reach a tile with some sort of traction or bump into a wall...

Duke Dashington [$1.99] released a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed the game, but thought that there were some additions that could be made to the game to improve its longevity, without necessarily adding new content. The developer, Adventure Island, has promised that they were coming in an update, and they have delivered: Duke Dashington 1.1 is out right now, bringing a new time trial mode and Game Center to the game...

Alpha Dog Games' Wraithborne [Free] has gotten its first update in over a year. Typically such an update, especially timed around an iOS release, would be about just updating the game for the new iOS version and new devices, which this one does, yes – there's iOS 8 support and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compatbility. But the game has also gotten some new contents, and has been made into a free-to-play title...

Mojang Is Slashing the Price of 'Scrolls' Before Its Upcoming iPad Release

Scrolls — the hex-tiled collectible card battler and the subject of a hilariously asinine lawsuit — cost $20.95 when it was put into open beta last year. However, the development team at Mojang are gearing up for an iPad release later this fall and have announced that they'll be slashing the game's price to a cool $5...

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