Category Archives: iPad Games

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. There are lots of interesting ones this time around, with many of the usual suspects sitting things out for the week. 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!..

RPG Reload File 042 - 'Kingturn RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where a single captured outpost can turn the tide of the battle. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on the classics, or just to take a deeper dive on a game than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but I'm always open to your suggestions if you think I'm missing anything. Simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your recommendations or feedback. There are some changes coming up regarding the reader's choice articles, so if there's something you really want to see, you might want to get it in during the next month or so. You have been warned!..

This year has certainly been a roller-coaster ride for iPad-owning fans of indie RPG developer Spiderweb Software and their Avernum series of games. First, excitement when the release of Avernum 2: Crystal Souls was announced for release in April. The game released, but it was soon discovered that it had some issues with the just-released iOS 8.3 update. After investigating the issue, Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software put up a post on his site stating that due to the severity of the problem, the iPad release of Crystal Souls had been pulled and canceled. He went on to state that he was finished with iOS development for the foreseeable future, and would remove his previous games from the App Store if and when they should stop working. Truly, it was the darkest of timelines...

The sixth and final issue of Gameloft's superhero auto-runner Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] has arrived, and it might just be the biggest and wackiest update yet. The most obvious new addition is the arrival of a new set of missions based around the arrival of the final member of the Sinister Six, Mysterio. Yes, apparently ol' Fishbowl-Head is the leader of the Six in this storyline, and serves as a sort of final (for now) boss for the game. Look, I can suspend my disbelief about a lot of things, but there's no way Doc Ock is taking orders from Mysterio. The guy's super abilities include the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a Hollywood special effects designer, and wearing a stupid glass bowl on his head that Spidey smashes every time. The video games love him, though, so what can we do?..

It took a little while, but English iOS gamers around the world finally caught up to all of the Japanese Dragon Quest releases when Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99] dropped back in late January. Unfortunately, that meant we were suddenly in the same position as Japan, having to wait patiently for the next game to arrive. Well, the first step towards that was carried out today, as Dragon Quest 6: Realms Of Revelation hit the Japanese App Store, selling for the usual price of 1800 yen, or about $15. I'll be bringing you more detailed impressions early next week after I've had a chance to put it through its paces, but here's a little introduction to get things rolling...

When Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition [$9.99] went universal and was finally playable on the iPhone, a lot of people cheered. Sure, it was a bit on the small side, but you could change the font size, zoom in, and still get a really great RPG experience. Those cheers lasted about 20 or so minutes until someone realized that if you minimized either of the sidebars, the icon to retrieve them was almost completely off-screen. The only way to get them back was to mess around with your device's accessibility settings and zoom in on the pixels like you were Horatio Caine investigating security camera footage. Only then could you pull the bars back out of hiding and keep on playing. Until the next time you accidentally minimized them, anyway...

I am extremely conflicted about Hitman: Sniper [$4.99]. It's a great game, a legitimately fantastic mobile title. It's a game that takes a simple premise of sniping and turns it into a complex puzzle game, where you have to learn how your weapons and abilities work to piece together sequences of actions to get the most points possible, through becoming really good at the game. Seriously, Square Enix Montreal has made an absurdly clever game. It may be more 'traditional' than their previous Hitman Go [$4.99] was, but it shows the same sparks of clever creativity that made that game special. I just wish that there was more than one level to play over and over again!..

King's got their formula down pat by now. First, take a puzzle concept that has shown some success in the past, be it Bejeweled, Peggle [$0.99], Puzzle Bobble, or anything else. If it's not already stage-based, change it so that it is. Then dial up the difficulty gradually, spiking it now and then to tempt players towards buying power-ups. Introduce new levels regularly, new gimmicks almost as often, do the whole thing up in a sharp package, and wait for the money to come in. No one can deny the success they've had at it, to be sure. But apart from Candy Crush Saga [Free]'s follow-up Candy Crush Soda Saga [Free], King's had trouble making their games stick of late. Their major successes, the two Candy Crush games, Farm Heroes Saga [Free], and Pet Rescue Saga [Free], continue to hang on the higher positions of the top grossing charts, but other efforts like Diamond Digger Saga [Free] and Paper Pear Saga [Free] have gone nowhere. My gut tells me there's a pattern here, and that same instinct tells me that King's latest, AlphaBetty Saga [Free], might suffer the same fate...

'Edge of Oblivion: Alpha Squadron 2' Review - Red Five, Going In

There isn't an overabundance of flight simulators in the mobile market. They're generally much more arduous tasks to develop -- at least, more intricate than runners and puzzle games. Despite that, Martian Monkey was up to the task a few years back with Alpha Squadron, and now, with Edge Of Oblivion: Alpha Squadron 2 [$4.99]. If you're just jumping into the series for the first time you'll have an easy time acclimating, and returning fans will find that it was worth the wait...

'Nubs' Adventure' Review - A Tale Of Home Ownership In The 21st Century

Poor old Nubs. He had defied the odds of the modern economy and purchased a nice house with a great view and plenty of land to build on. Sure, the land taxes were a bit tough to manage each year when tax season came around, but he had things sorted out nicely for the most part. Then one day, a couple of guys swing around, kick him out of his house and off the nearby cliff, then burn the whole thing down. I mean, are debt collectors getting rough these days or what? Luckily, a fairy offers to help you rebuild a home in a new, even better location. You're just going to have to grease the wheels a bit with some fairy dust, which can be extracted from crystals that are just laying around the world, protected by deadly monsters, cunning traps, and treacherous terrain. All things considered, it's probably still safer than a bank loan...

When I reviewed developer Kidalang's Sage Fusion 2 [$2.99] a couple of years ago, I found a very satisfying story that was regrettably attached to a pretty terrible RPG. The story was strong enough to make it worth suffering through the questionable gameplay for, but wouldn't it be better if we didn't have to suffer at all? I'm not sure if it's from feedback or simply recognizing their strengths, but Kidalang has gone a different way for their latest game, An Octave Higher [$6.99]. Rather than create another odd hybrid, the developer has opted to go with a fairly straight-up visual novel design. I think it was a very good choice, to be honest. While An Octave Higher isn't an extraordinary example of the genre, it feels less like a broken experiment and more like a proper experience...

It's an oft-heard complaint that simulation game developer Kairosoft spins their wheels a little too much. I've made that complaint myself a few times while reviewing their games. They have a few templates they like to work with. Typically, they select one of those templates, apply a new theme to it, and maybe add one or two small refinements. The result is usually pretty fun, don't get me wrong, but does tend to feel like you're playing the same game again, except this time with a fake mustache. That said, they've been slowing down their releases on iOS a bit of late, putting out more unusual or at least less well-worn fare like Kairobotica [$4.99] and Magazine Mogul [$4.99]. I find myself actually looking forward to their releases again, something that hasn't happened for a while. Their latest release, Biz Builder Delux [$4.99], is in many ways their best one yet...

'Vietnam '65' Review - The Rhythm of War Has Never Felt So Rewarding

"The line between disorder and order lies in logistics..." -Sun Tzu. It's hard to find a word that evokes as many connotations of hell, destruction, anger, and failure as the word "Vietnam" does for the collective American psyche. The Vietnam War was a war like no other - and that includes the current conflicts. For Americans, sending over soldiers to fight in Vietnam was like sending them off to fight on Mars, such were the differences in the way each country was imagined and represented. In terms of warfare, Vietnam demanded that the U.S. army depart from its WWII tactics of fighting across wide European fronts against a similarly-organized fighting machine; instead, it forced American troops to fight a counter-insurgency (COIN) war, the kind of war that Every Single Soldier's (ESS) Vietnam '65 [$9.99 (HD)] attempts to creatively depict on your tablets. The turn-based strategy game, published by Slitherine, depicts warfare differently than most other wargames, putting emphasis on logistics and winning "hearts and minds," rather than on large scale tactics, and doing so brilliantly. I was very interested in Vietnam '65 when it came out a couple of months back. However, before I had to chance to get to it, the developer announced that he was working on some important improvements, so I decided to wait until the game was updated, which it was a few days ago...

By now, I've lost count of how many free-to-play Square Enix games I've previewed that haven't made their way out of Japan yet. It's hard to say if Mobius Final Fantasy will be one of the rare ones that Square Enix chooses to publish outside of its domestic market, but if any of them have a chance, you would think it would be this one. With its strong production values and the participation of longtime Final Fantasy series development team members Yoshinori Kitase (Final Fantasy 6 [$15.99], Chrono Trigger [$9.99], Final Fantasy 10) and Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy 7, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 10), Square Enix seems to be making a big statement about the importance of this game...

'You Must Build A Boat' Review - You Must Buy This Game

To tell you the truth, friends, I'm actually pretty busy working on something today. That said, I was asked to come and write something for all of you about the new follow-up to Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99]. It's called You Must Build A Boat [$2.99], and it's every bit as compelling as the first game. Did you like the first game? Do you enjoy puzzle games? Do you like games? You're going to want this one, trust me...

Skiing Yeti Mountain [Free] is the kind of game that's best in a bunch of small doses over time. The gameplay is solid, the controls excellent, and the structure of this skiing game is great for mobile. But in trying ot be this experience that you play over a long time, it doesn't do a great job at being a game that you'd want to play a lot of in one sitting. It's a blessing and a curse for Featherweight's otherwise fun title...

'Dead Eyes' Review - 28 Apps Later

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June 3rd, 2015 2:30 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 3.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

How many zombie games can you take in a lifetime? A thousand? A million? Some people can't even take just a few. These days, you don't really have a choice. Thankfully, Dead Eyes [$2.99] is a decent game by any standard, whether you're fed up with the shambling dead or can't get enough of their lifelessness...

'Sproggiwood' Review - Wood, Could, Did

It's official, everyone: I'm nearly out of clever or interesting introductory paragraphs for roguelikes. So let's just just get down to the business of why you should consider a spot in your likely crowded roguelike folder for Sproggiwood [$9.99]. Hm, it feels like when I typed that name, all of the Aussies in the back of the room started snickering. Oh well. Sproggiwood tells the story of a mischievous little fellow named Sproggi, a guardian spirit who watches over a realm that is apparently doomed to destruction. Wishing to avoid that outcome, Sproggi does a little time manipulation to sucker a group of people called the Clogheads into helping out. The first of these is a humble farmer who Sproggi immediately tasks with taking out a dangerous boss jelly in a nearby forest. Sproggi warns you he's a bit of a silver tongue, so you'll need to mind that...

'Desktop Dungeons' Review - Thats Not a Desk Anymore

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June 3rd, 2015 12:39 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $9.99, 4 stars, iPad Games, Reviews
$9.99 Buy Now

You probably noticed the recent influx of roguelikes recently. Just within the last week Sproggiwood[$9.99] and Desktop Dungeons[$9.99 (HD)] released and off the wall Shooting Stars is drawing near as well. I suppose if you have the big bux and can afford to buy a bunch of em, rats off to ya. If you have to choose though, you might want to consider Desktop Dungeons. I have played unforgiving rogue likes before, but this one is a true challenge...

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 a shorter list than usual this week, but what's here is pretty awesome. Lots of neat updates for paid and free-to-play games alike. 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!..

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