Category Archives: iPad Games

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to the producers behind DeNA and Square Enix's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free]. We had a fairly lengthy discussion about the game itself and Final Fantasy in general. So lengthy, in fact, that we decided to run the interview in two parts. Yesterday, we covered introductions, the genesis of the game, region differences, and a few other gameplay aspects. Today's portion gets more into hardcore Final Fantasy discussion, which was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...

Square Enix and DeNA's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free], just came out in English, but it's been available in Japan for several months. I like the game quite a bit and have been playing it almost every day, which means I'm hopefully well-equipped to give any starting players some pointers on getting the hang of the game. You can consider this guide something of a starter manual for the game, covering some of the important strategies you'll need to get yourself established in the world of Record Keeper, but it will also help you over the long term as new features are added to the international version of the game. Let's mosey!..

‘Final Fantasy: Record Keeper’ Hits the US App Store

Well folks, after an acclaimed review, a behind-the-scenes interview with its producers, and a thorough exploration on the longevity of the game, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is finally (pun intended) available on the US App Store...

'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper' Long Play Impressions - Five Months Later

One of the difficult things with evaluating games on the App Store is how much they tend to evolve over time. It's especially tricky with free-to-play games that are often set up to be gentle in the early stages and more punishing over time. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop a lot of the time, and I think that contributes to why some people are hesitant to get into those kinds of games to begin with. Even though I've played Square Enix and DeNA's new social RPG Final Fantasy: Record Keeper more than anyone at TouchArcade, I won't be doing the main review. We agreed it would be interesting for readers to get another point of view on the game, so my co-host on the RPG Reload Podcast Eric Ford will be handling that...

We've been waiting for a while, but the time that we can start talking about the English version of DeNA and Square Enix's new social RPG, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Square Enix's offices in Shinjuku to have a chat with the producers of the game. Of course, I'm coming from the angle of having played the Japanese version quite a bit, so I was particularly interested in any changes they might have made, but we covered a pretty wide range of topics. It was immediately clear to me that all three of the people I talked to are huge fans of Final Fantasy and had a lot of passion that they put into Record Keeper. I think in reading their responses, you'll be able to see that yourself. Since this ended up being a pretty long talk, we're going to run half of the interview today and the other half tomorrow. Today's part focuses on introductions, the genesis of the game, localization changes, and some elements of the gameplay...

'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper' Review - My Freemium Fantasy Love Letter

I have to admit, since the travesty that was Final Fantasy: All The Bravest [Free], I lost all hope of seeing a good mobile Final Fantasy game that would not only embrace some of the unique intricacies of the platform but do so in a way that didn’t make the whole experience feel sleazy. Yet, here we are with Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, a collaboration between DeNA and the folks at Square Enix and a title has single handedly restored my faith as to the potential of this franchise and genre on mobile...

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon [$9.99 (HD)], developed by Polar Motion and published by Slitherine, was first released on PC and is now out on iOS. The iPad version had an eventful launch because of a bug that made the tutorial unplayable on iPad Air devices (in a demonstration of its efficiency, Slitherine quickly identified and fixed the issue). The game puts you in the role of the Director of NASA, the Soviet Space Agency (SSA), or the fictitious Global Space Agency (GSA) as you try to launch rockets, satellites, and humans into space — and, in the case of the US and Soviet campaigns, do so before the other side does...

It's an exciting time for Martin Magni, developer of Odd Bot Out [$1.99]. Just two months after his game's release on iOS and Android, the cutsey sci-fi puzzler has sold enough copies to cover its development costs, and has made Martin a darling of the indie scene...

Magenta Arcade [$1.99] is a game in the shoot 'em up genre, which isn't really crowded, but is neither lacking for titles. But what this game does to stand out is extremely clever: it's a shmup that exploits the way that fingers exist on and around mobile touchscreens, and makes it part of the game itself. It doesn't make the game any easier, and I have some issues with the structure of the game, but this core concept makes for a ridiculously clever game...

Heavenstrike Rivals [Free] is out and is one of the newest forays Square Enix has made into making mobile focused titles. Relying on a number of market-proven mechanics, Rivals doesn't break a lot of new ground. It does, however, manages to impress with it's mastery of the familiar. This is Squeenix we are talking about after all. ..

Last year's Flappy Bird phenomenon was certainly a sight to behold. People became obsessed with it, playing again and again, just trying to push a little bit farther than their friends. Clones and homages arrived to the App Store by the bucket load, even well after Hodappy Bird [Free] rocked us all with its take. For several months, there was a heavy influence on the entire iOS market from the players to the media to the developers and publishers themselves. Then, partly snuffed out by its own creator, the whole fire just sort of went out and things went back to normal. There were some lasting lessons for those interested in picking them up, however. For one thing, simplicity isn't a four-letter word. For another, large groups of people actually like games that figuratively smash your thumb with a hammer. You don't need a slick presentation with this kind of game, since what you're really targeting is the competitive instinct and tenacity in the face of certain failure that resides in almost everyone...

Stormblades [Free] is Diet Infinity Blade [$5.99]. I say this not to demean the game or to put it down, it's just that its motivations are patently obvious. This takes Infinity Blade's combat, complete with its directional attacks and dodging in one-on-one battles against bigger enemies, but stripping down a lot of the extra features from the combat and the meta-game. The combat is simpler but familiar, the game is level-based, and there's no 'exploration', it's just about advancing from one challenge to the next, buying better weapons and more potions along the way to keep up with the advancing difficulty. It's not as deep a game and can be a bit repetitive, but it also takes away some of the annoyances that Infinity Blade could sometimes get bogged down in, especially once Infinity Blade 3 [$6.99] rolled around. And as a free-to-play game, it's surprisingly fair. Stormblades is an interesting little package for those who want a familiar experience, but streamlined...

'SwapQuest' Review - An Excellent Genre Mashup

When done correctly, I feel like there’s no better mix of genres than the puzzle/RPG combination. Adding character progression and some exploration elements to a good puzzle mechanic has the potential to really turn a neat game into a full-on adventure. SwapQuest [$2.99] has managed to do just that by combining classic Pipe Mania gameplay with some great RPG mechanics. Add in some cool retro visuals and awesome music and SwapQuest is an experience that shouldn’t be missed...

Even today, it's rare to see a developer's name affixed to a video game title. There are a lot of reasons for that, depending on which period we look at, but one of the bigger exceptions to that is the name of Sid Meier. I'm not sure how or why his name ended up in the title of Sid Meier's Pirates! [$2.99], but it might have simply been to help make the somewhat generic title more unique. The game was a massive hit, and while publishers generally don't like to canonize developers, they'll make an exception for just about any rule if the money looks right. So it is that after just a few more games, nearly every game Sid Meier had a hand in, and a few that he didn't, carried his name. It's an odd outcome for someone who seems to be a relatively low-key guy. The problem with his name becoming a brand, however, is that you can't be too sure with any given release just how much of the game is Sid Meier the designer versus Sid Meier the marketing tag...

Update Mondays: 'Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff', 'Candy Crush Saga', 'Cardinal Quest 2', 'Auro', 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. Some really huge updates last week, with many big titles and plenty of unexpected ones. 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!..

It's late on a Friday afternoon/evening, and we're getting ready to wrap things up until Monday. But before we give you the Best Reviews of the week, the Game of the Week, and The TouchArcade Show podcast, I just had to sneak in a quick recommendation for a game I've been enjoying since yesterday called Rush Rally [Free]. As I'm sure you could guess, Rush Rally is a rally racing game. Now, there's no shortage of racing games on the App Store, but rally racing games are a bit more rare, and ones that actually nail the driving physics are even scarcer. Rush Rally is one of those that totally nails it. ..

We have just a few weeks left until the April 15th release of the iPad version of Spiderweb Software's latest RPG, Avernum 2: Crystal Souls. iPad-owning RPG fans everywhere are likely getting pretty excited, but there might be some of you out there who are curious about these Spiderweb RPGs and aren't sure if you want to take the plunge at full price yet. Well, I could direct you to the demo versions that you can try out on your computer, but we're an iOS site, so instead I'm going to point you at Avadon: The Black Fortress HD [$9.99 (HD)]. Like the rest of Spiderweb Software's games, it usually sells for $9.99, but likely in celebration of the upcoming game, it's currently on sale for half-price, or $4.99. That's a great deal for a huge game filled to the brim with content...

RPG Reload File 030 - 'QuestLord'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we heal ourselves by eating Lizard On A Stick. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the increasingly lengthy history of the App Store to see how it holds up in the present day. It's more than that, though. It's also a chance to revisit some good times, and go for a deeper dive than a review typically allows us. Although I'm the captain of this particular ship, once a month I give the helm to one of you, allowing you to select the featured RPG. Simply tell me your choice by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Through a process of random selection, one of the suggestions will be chosen to be featured in the next reader's choice article. The next one will be RPG Reload File 032, which means I'll be rolling the dice next week. Vote now if you're interested...

Not long ago, we brought word that the amazingly deep RPG Siralim [Free] would be receiving a very substantial update quite soon. If you've been waiting with anticipation, the day has finally arrived. Siralim 2.0 features heavily overhauled graphics and adds a ton of content to an already large game. There are now more than 100 new creatures in the game, a new skill point system, hundreds of new items, and lots more. You can check a full list of the changes by visiting the forums at  developer Thylacine Studios's homepage. This update is of course free, as all of the many other updates made to the game have been...

Japanese mobile game developer DeNA has always had a fairly high profile, but whatever we knew before, it's peanuts compared to its visibility after the announcement that they would be partnering with Nintendo to bring the Japanese gaming giant's properties to smartphones. There are suddenly more eyes on DeNA than ever before, and many of them are skeptical. While that's not an unearned reputation, many people are imagining the DeNA of a few years ago rather than the DeNA of today. While they're still putting out free-to-play games that fall along their traditional lines such as Blood Brothers 2, they've also been trying to serve a different audience, one that prefers more traditional experiences...

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