Category Archives: iPad Games

Let me start this review by apologizing for its tardiness. I've been kicking this down the road for weeks, mostly because I've been kicking the game itself down the road for weeks. I've been doing that because playing Always Sometimes Monsters [$4.99] is not fun, or exciting, or even remotely enjoyable for me. A great deal of that is intentional design. Some of it isn't. The terrible mobile UI is likely not meant to be a commentary on anything, for example. Nor are the technical hiccups that occur during many mini-games. Beyond that, however, the game itself is not looking to give you a good time. It's essentially a series of depressing choices between bad options where anyone and everyone is ready to spew out a fortune cookie at you unsolicited. Being an iffy port of a divisive game, it's both easy and hard to review at the same time. Hence, the feet-dragging...

Have you ever had the sudden urge to be a creepy person wandering around in public making people uncomfortable? If so, you are in luck. Magic Cube's Barcode Knight[$0.99] is out and offers you the perfect excuse to wander around and scan random barcodes with your iOS device. Whether you are sneaking around a Walmart or lurking in a McDonalds, you now have an almost semi-plausible excuse for it. ..




'Avernum 2: Crystal Souls' Review  - The Empire Strikes Back

If you’ve been following along on our RPG Reload Podcasts, you’ll know that we have a soft spot for Spiderweb Software’s excellent old-school RPGs. In addition to dedicating a whole segment to Avernum: Escape from the Pit [$9.99 (HD)]on Episode 2, we’ve also spoke at length to the recent drama regarding Avernum 2: Crystal Souls [$9.99 (HD)]. Released and taken off the market within a day, issues with iOS 8.3 threatened not only its release but also the release of future titles. Thankfully, all that has been resolved and Jeff Vogel’s group has rereleased the second game in the Avernum series on iPad. It’s a big win for RPG fans, as Avernum 2 continues the excellent tradition of old-school RPG goodness with a new adventure deep underground...

Heroki [$7.99] is a game I desperately wanted to love. It hits a lot of my buttons: it's a stunningly gorgeous game. It's a platformer-type game that's centered around premium experience, and charging a fair price. It is a game I desperately want to do well. I want other big publishers to see that charging reasonable prices for well-made premium experiences is a viable business strategy for mobile games. I want there to be an audience for this. Plus, it's just so well-made, and its protagonist is adorable in the way an older Sega character might be. It does a lot right, and I am invested in this game's success. The problem is that the game is just kind of blah. It isn't bad. It just isn't very memorable. ..

While war is a very common theme in gaming these days, few games have dared to do what 11 bit studios' This War of Mine [$14.99 (HD)] has done. Instead of empowering the player by turning him or her into a rifle-wielding superhero, This War of Mine puts the player in the shoes of those who are simply collateral casualties in most war games, the civilians trapped in warzones. Inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo in the early 90s, this survival game has you controlling a group of civilians trying to survive one day at a time while having to negotiate the horrors of modern warfare, be that hunger, snipers, or other survivors...

Major companies with a worldwide presence like Square Enix can't do much of anything without getting notice from almost everyone, so it's perhaps a little surprising that they launched a successful new series a couple of years ago with the English-speaking world paying it little mind. Million Arthur [Free] has slowly grown from a single smartphone app to an entire franchise, with multiple games appearing not only on mobile but also 3DS and Vita, a live action TV show, and more merchandise than you can shake a dakimakura at. It even got an English release in Singapore, but that's about as far as it's gotten for Western gamers until today, when Gamevil and Square Enix launched the game globally on iOS and Android...

I feel like it's pretty hard for a letter game to distinguish itself at this point in the App Store's life. Much like any long-in-the-tooth genre, new entries are starting to feel far more similar to each other than different. AlphaBear [Free], the latest from Triple Town [Free] developer Spry Fox, looks into the developer's past for inspiration. Panda Poet is a web game that has you making words to create bigger and more numerous pandas than your opponent. It's kind of a word game crossed with Othello, and if I may put on my day job hat for a second here, it's been invaluable as an English study tool for some of the kids I teach. Though it works fine in mobile browsers, it's not available as a native mobile app, and you really do need two human players to get the most out of it. In short, there's room to grow the concept, and that's sort of what AlphaBear does...

'Adventures of Pip' Review - I Came In Like A Rectangle

The majority of games I’ve been playing the past few months have been somewhat shallow affairs. Quick reaction games, simple puzzlers, goat simulators. That’s not to say some of them haven’t been excellent and extremely rewarding experiences, but it’s no shock that iOS games, for the most part, tend to not be terribly deep. Now, before you exclaim “But Nate! What about X or Y?”, just know that I’m not saying there aren’t ANY substantial games on the App Store. I’m just saying that if you pull up the list of recently released games on Appshopper any given hour, you’re gonna be flipping through quite a few pages before you find anything more than random clickers, Ketchapp-style microgames, and some gross casino sims. (Also, don’t call me Nate. Only my friends call me that, and I don’t know any of you weirdos.)..

Update Mondays: 'Mortal Kombat X', 'Pet Rescue Saga', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'Pixel Dungeon', 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. It's quite a mixed bunch this week, I have to say. That means there's a little something for just about everyone! 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 released at kind of an oddball time in the week, but we thought board game fans would be excited to know that Days of Wonder has released the digital version of Splendor [$6.99] into the App Store. A couple of weeks back Days of Wonder announced the release date of Splendor on iOS, and our own Tasos Lazarides summarized what the game was all about quite well:..

It's tough to really tell what's interesting these days on the App Store, but something the other day caught my eye with Downhill Riders [Free]'s app icon -- a kid in a shopping cart going downhill, bringing back fond memories of watching Jackass with friends. It's not quite everything I had hoped for, but most runner enthusiasts will want to give it a shot...

Shooting Stars [$0.99] is the kind of game that hits very high heights: it has an enjoyable premise, lots of bullet-dodging shoot 'em up action, roguelike elements, plenty of flashiness, and laser cats. It should be amazing. But as you play, those elements show themselves to have flaws: a game with very shallow humor, a flawed daily run mode, and imbalanced weapons. Shooting Stars is fun, but it's remarkably flawed, too...

'Don't Starve Pocket Edition' Hits the App Store

It's been about a year and a half since Klei Entertainment first talked about bringing their hit action survival game Don't Starve to iOS. At the time they said it wasn't a top priority, but they'd be considering it for sure. Just over a week ago they began teasing it again on Instagram, getting people very excited in the process. Thankfully they didn't make us wait long as Don't Starve Pocket Edition [$4.99 (HD)] is now available in the App Store...

I don't know about everyone else, but for my money, the best part of using a tomb-raiding setting for a story is when the main character has to escape from a collapsing death-trap. I'm not sure why ancient civilizations would rig things to collapse in such a precise and deadly manner, or how annoying it must have been when they were setting it up and Bob accidentally tripped the whole thing just before the last piece was set, but watching someone try to outrace a series of perfectly-timed traps lest they be buried in the very location they sought to loot never gets old. With the rise of Indiana Jones happening almost in step with the booming popularity of early home gaming, it's not surprising we've seen many interactive takes on the concept. When it's done well, it's just as exhilarating to play as it is to watch. Trappy Tomb [Free] is a relatively simple game that focuses exactly on that kind of escape sequence, and while it has some issues, a few clever ideas help smooth things over...

Is a high level of difficulty a necessary part of a roguelike? It's something I've been thinking about a bit as I've played Alchemic Dungeons [$2.99], the latest from Rogue Ninja [$2.99] developer Q-Cumber Factory. Most genres don't factor challenge into their definitions, but I suppose the roguelike genre isn't like most others. For decades, roguelikes acted something like the horror B-movie of the games industry. There was always a very strong cult following, but outside of certain limited successes in Japan, those outside the circle rarely gave the games much attention. In recent years, things have changed, however, and that has forced a somewhat insular community to reassess exactly what it is that they get out of games using the roguelike descriptor. Alchemic Dungeons checks off all the boxes as a Japanese-style roguelike, but its main gameplay hook gives it a certain fairness that isn't typically present in this genre...

Freebie Alert: 'Card Wars - Adventure Time' Goes Free For The First Time

There sure are a ton of Adventure Time games on the App Store these days. I'm not sure which is the best one, but I've certainly noticed which seems to be the most popular one: Card Wars [$3.99]. Its combination of being a paid app while making use of a stamina meter with timers didn't win it a lot of friends around here, to be sure, but it certainly did well for itself in the App Store. It stuck around in the top ten paid app charts for quite a while and received a bunch of good updates, with the most recent one adding an expansion called Doing It The Card Way, featuring Fiona and Cake, for the price of $2.99. Well, if the price tag on the app was your issue, I've got some good news for you today. For the first time ever, Card Wars - Adventure Time has dropped to the affordable price of $0.00...

Last week, I featured inkle's wonderful gamebook adaptation Sorcery! [$4.99] in the RPG Reload weekly column. As I usually do, I summarized the game's update history, and remarked that I was pretty confident inkle would keep these games updated for the foreseeable future. Little did I know that the next update was just around the corner. As a bonus, Sorcery! 2 [$4.99] has received the same treatment. Although it's a little update, I think everyone will be pretty happy with what's been added: the Rewind feature from Sorcery! 3 [$4.99]...

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Australian national treasure and host of the weekly game review show "Zero Punctuation!" over at The Escapist, is a man of many talents. In his free time, when he isn't taking part in the running of video game themed cocktail bars or doing manly combat with the horrifying fauna of Australia, he's an amateur game developer. You can find many of his creations over the years on his site, but now, with the help of Addicting Games and Defy Media, his very first mobile game, Hatfall [$1.99], is available for download. In it, you help the man himself get his hat back. Over and over again. While also dodging refrigerators, anvils, and trying to discern which devilishly handsome plain white avatar is yours...

'The Executive' Review - Like a Boss

Riverman Media's latest game The Executive [$4.99] is a masterpiece. The new game from the creators of Pizza vs. Skeletons [$4.99 / Free] is brilliantly absurd and absurdly brilliant. Riverman has combined a touchscreen-friendly brawler with an idle clicker, all set in an absurd universe full of things like wolves wearing Guy Fieri shirts, and featuring a distinctive art and animation style. It's an amazing game, and you need to play it...

As iOS ports go, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [$4.99] is something of a marvel. The developers did a great job of recreating the game on mobile, and as for the game itself, it's so great it even brought a smile to the villainous Carter Dotson's face in his five-star review of it. One of the few criticisms a person could level at the game was the lack of content from the Evolved update that other versions had received. We all had a feeling it was coming at some point, however, and that point is here and now...

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