Category Archives: iPhone games

In a typically unpredictable App Store manner, the highly anticipated Rodeo Stampede - Sky Zoo Safari [Free] has dropped a day early and has finally been released on iOS for free. Being the collaboration of developer Featherweight and artist Dan Graf (who were responsible for Skiing Yeti Mountain [Free] and Fruit Ninja [$1.99] respectively, amongst others), the game has an extremely strong pedigree, and an interesting amalgamation of game mechanics to boot. The unique gameplay of running and jumping between animals on a stampede shakes up what is a rather tired genre, and you are also able to look after your own sky zoo through doing missions, upgrading exhibits, catching rare animal variants and successively opening your doors to the public to reap in the admission fees. This merger of auto-runner beast taming action with a management aspect on the side is a really novel idea that we thought was awesome when we looked at Rodeo Stampede for the first time back at GDC...

Rather than the big blockbuster ports such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas [$3.99], it was Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$0.99] that really made many of my avid gamer friends sit up and take notice of iOS as a legitimate gaming platform. Such was the critical reception of the game that Klei Entertainment crafted on its initial PC release; survival games were rarely as deep and thought provoking before Don't Starve came and really shook up the genre. For anyone who wasn't able to pick up the mobile port the first time, the game has gone on sale to $0.99 for the first time. We thought it was brilliant in our review back in 2015, and because of a universal update that was pushed through shortly after its release, anyone can delve into the dark yet deep world of Don't Starve - even if it probably is better to experience on the larger screen of an iPad...




Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is the creator of Sometimes You Die [$1.99], a minimalist platformer that turned out to be much more than it appeared on the surface and through clever platforming mechanics it also delivers commentary on the genre itself, video games as a whole, and even life as we know it. It's a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. He also made Pancake - The Game [Free], a game about flipping pancakes. It should say a lot that both of those titles, while spanning a wide gap of what people expect a game to be, are among my favorites on iOS, and Kamibox has consistently put out highly playable and interesting games for years now. The latest is called Squaredance [Free], which arrived yesterday and is a minimalist puzzler that uses a swipe-the-whole-board-at-once mechanic similar to Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. This isn't a high score chaser though, as each level has a different board shape which makes your goal of combining all like-colored squares in order to remove them that much more difficult...

While the array of traditional RPGs on iOS certainly are welcome (as long as they remain on the App Store, at least), it's cool to see an increasing number of role playing games that take a more portable and mobile edge on the genre while still remaining true to their roots. One such game is Questland, which has just soft launched on the New Zealand App Store for free, and features a decent amount of customization options with a interesting first person battling perspective under a layer of incredibly beautiful cel-shaded graphics. With a strong character creation system and a wide selection of armor and weapon choices which all have their own unique style, Questland should definitely satiate both hardcore and casual RPG fans looking for a new game to play on the go...

If you like CCGs like Hearthstone, you should definitely check out Shadowverse [Free], a new CCG that's now available in a number of countries (including the US and the UK) with more countries coming in August. Developed by Cygames, the Japanese developer responsible for Rage of Bahamut, Shadowverse will definitely remind you of Hearthstone, but it has enough to offer both in terms of gameplay and world-building to make it stand on its own. And yes, I know I'm constantly referencing Hearthstone, but Blizzard's game has become the golden standard for mobile CCGs. Add to that how Shadowverse's gameplay has plenty in common with Hearthstone's, and you'll understand the reason I keep bringing it up...

Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...

Developer XperimentalZ Games has a vibe to its games that I can really appreciate. These games feel like they fell out of some parallel timeline where arcades stayed healthy and full of a variety of game types. A place, time, and dimension where games made about as much sense as a 1980s action movie, and took deep pride in that fact. I'm a big fan of XperimentalZ's previous release, Pixel Boat Rush [Free], a wild side-scrolling action boat racer, and when I heard the developer was tackling a pinball hybrid next, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, as the release date of Pinball Breaker Forever [Free] approached, so too did a ton of RPGs, which meant I couldn't get to the game I had been looking forward to. Worse, everyone else at TouchArcade got busy at around the same time, leaving Pinball Breaker Forever to slide by without a review. No, we can't have that...

Marriage is a tricky, tricky act, isn't it? Quite often those joined in holy matrimony don't really fit well together, and even when they do, compromises must abound if there is to be any kind of happiness in their new union. And when the marriage is of two very different people, the challenges are even greater. If you've played Minecraft (either the mobile or the PC version) and any of the Telltale games, then you already know why I started my review of Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] with these metaphors. When Telltale told the world that it would apply its narrative-based formula on Minecraft, the game that's now synonymous with sandbox, many gamers wondered whether Telltale could pull it off and whether Minecraft players would bother with a developer that put their beloved open-world game in a narrative straight-jacket, possibly chopping off any parts that refused to obey the narrative techniques that Telltale has used in its other series...

'Rush Rally 2' Review - The Best Rally Racer on iOS

The first rally racing game I played was SEGA's SEGA Rally Championship on the SEGA Saturn. To tell the truth, before that game, I wasn't a huge racing game fan. I'd play the odd game at the arcades, and I'd certainly join in on a race or two with my friends on their games, but it wasn't a genre I was terribly interested in. In fact, SEGA Rally wasn't even my first choice for a game the day I bought it. I had wanted Virtua Fighter 2, but the shop was sold out, so instead I brought home a racing game. I fell in love with that game, and it served as a gateway to the whole sub-genre of rally racing for me. Games like V-Rally, Colin McRae, Rallisport Challenge, and WRC became regular purchases for me, even as I continued to almost entirely ignore every other kind of racer. There's just something about this type of racing that speaks to me...

Update Mondays: 'Minecraft: Pocket Edition', 'Marvel Contest of Champions', 'The Greedy Cave', 'Leap Day', 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. With both of the big events last week, you might expect that there wouldn't be quite as many updates as usual. You would be correct in that assumption, oh wise seer. That doesn't mean there aren't some cool updates to look at, though. 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!..

For some, there's nothing more gratifying than posting something on social media that truly takes off. As vain as it almost certainly is, there is a certain joy in seeing something posted on twitter receiving some significant traction and lots of likes or retweets. Thankfully, there is now some justification for this narcissism, as Tweechi - from developers Fuzzy Face Studios - has just soft launched in New Zealand, and the game implements Twitter integration so for every retweet received in real life, you can receive coins to spend within this eccentric looking virtual pet simulator...

Hello, friends. I hope you all had a great weekend, possibly honoring your father, being honored by your kids, or none of the above. My son and I celebrated the occasion by scouring used game shops for SEGA Saturn games, and let me tell you, we hit a jackpot. Everyone has their own way of marking occasions like these, however, and prolific publisher Crescent Moon Games has chosen to do so with a sale on a number of their games. Some of these games rarely go on sale, so now is your chance to scoop up anything you might have your eye on...

'POLYFORGE' Brings the Zen Back to the App Store This July

The App Store and mobile gaming in general can have a legitimate claim to pioneer many aspects of the medium that are, in 2016, taken for granted. The obvious ones may be popularising touch screens, gyroscopic controls or the freemium/IAP focused monetisation system, however personally following the iOS scene for so long has shown to me how video games can be more of a transcendental experience. Zen Bound [$2.99] and its sequel by Secret Exit were the key examples of this - a soothing musical score coupled with calming yet stimulating gameplay and visuals created something that was more than the sum of its parts. POLYFORGE - A Symphony of Shapes, Sound and Color by Impact Blue Studios appears to be aiming for a similar experience, and the developers have released a trailer showing off its unique style and mechanics:..

Sky Force Reloaded [Free] is one of those games that is impressive in a variety of ways. In our review, we were blown away by what we called our 'favorite shoot 'em up in recent memory', and not without reason. It looks beautiful in motion, absolutely nails the core mechanics of a shooter and today it seems that active and receptive developers is another positive trait to add to the list. Infinite Dreams have announced that a new content update in response to forum feedback is due to land onto the App Store next Thursday, and appears to add a nice packet of features that is sure to help mix up the variety of an already essential game...

It's barely been a week since the surprise release of Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] on the App Store, and despite receiving rave reviews - including featuring as our Game of the Week - developers OrangePixel haven't rested on their laurels. In the next few days, an update for the excellent arcade dungeon crawler will be released and features a whole host of new content coupled with a variety of fixes and changes that will help improve and refine what was already one of the best iOS games of the year thus far...

As awesome as the App Store can be for gamers, it can be a very cruel place for those making the games. There are so many new releases every week and such a massive stockpile of evergreen titles that a lot of truly excellent titles get lost in the shuffle. Yet, in many of those cases, the developer keeps on updating and adding to those games, improving the experience even if it's just for a small group of users. I have to respect that kind of passion and care, and it's one of my favorite things about this little hobby we all share. Combat Monsters [Free], from Great Little War Game [$4.99] developer Rubicon, is one of those cases. It's a great game that for whatever reason didn't quite catch on the way it deserved to, but the developer keeps improving it anyway...

For how much sway it has in overall global mobile market, the Japanese App Store remains a relatively inscrutable sector for Western publishers. Just as games like Monster Strike [Free], Colopl Rune Story [Free], and Million Arthur have failed to make much of an impact outside of Asia, so too have many of the usual Western suspects struggled in Japan. There are lots of reasons for that, but the market is so valuable that in spite of numerous misses, no one seems ready to give up trying just yet...

RPG Reload File 083 - 'Rimelands: Hammer Of Thor'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we regularly engage in medieval dumpster diving. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the murky mists of the App Store's past to see how it stands in the judgmental light of the modern day. It's equal parts reflection, reminiscing, and diving deeper than our reviews usually allow for. As the wielder of the sacred nail clippers, I try to choose a balanced plate of games from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing something essential, please let me know. You can comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweet me at @RPGReload. You might not see it soon, but I'll add your suggestion to the master list, a prestigious prize if there ever was one...

'Mighty Match' Merges Match 3 and Dungeon Crawling on iOS, Coming Soon

Amidst the ever increasing influx of free to play games that are riddled with timers and in game currency, there has been a backwards reaction from fans and developers alike rejecting this culture and desiring an experience that is immediate and complete from the moment you download it. Even though there are some excellent freemium games such as Clash Royale [Free], and such a pricing model normally has its merits, publisher Playmium have decided to make their own stand. They have pledged to only produce games with zero IAPs that are completely sponsored, meaning you will never have to pay for their releases. Mighty Match is the newest game from the developers, and despite its interesting monetisation, it seems like a very interesting app in its own right...

When we looked at Power Hover [$3.99] back in December of last year in our review, we were generally impressed by the fun arcade style hover-board action and beautiful cel-shaded visuals, even if there wasn't that much derivation from the enjoyable core gameplay at its heart. However, the developer Oddrok has been extremely busy both answering fan questions on our forums as well as updating Power Hover with lots of substantial content updates that have made it a mainstay on many a gamer's iDevice. Today that pattern continues, as a brand new summer update has released for the game adding numerous new modes and characters...

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