Category Archives: iPhone games

While the quality of the results have been somewhat arguable, no one can deny that 2K has been throwing their weight behind premium, paid games on the App Store. While everyone and their uncle has been shifting towards free to play, 2K's schedule over the last couple of years has included ports of games like XCOM and Bioshock, premium-priced strategy games from Sid Meier, and "new" versions of their sports franchises, among others. Yes, there have been missteps along the way, but if you want to reward a company for avoiding the F2P candy, you could do a lot worse than throwing a few bucks 2K's way. Heck, depending on what you want, it might only take a few bucks, because many of 2K's recent offerings are on sale starting today. The complete list is as follows, with links to our reviews where applicable:..

RPG Reload File 044 - 'Chaos Rings Omega'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we make the very most out of the assets we have. 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 old favorites, reflect on their ultimate place in iOS's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our review typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate from this admittedly wide genre from week to week, but I'm always open for suggestions. If you have a game in mind that you'd like to see featured, simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. After next week, there's only one regular reader's choice Reload left, so if there's something you're dying to see, now's the time! Next week, we'll be talking about Sorcery! [$4.99], a request that came in via our Twitter account. Good times ahead!..

Pixelbite's Space Marshals [$4.99] brought some fresh ideas to the tired dual-stick genre when it launched back in January. Rather than a run-n-gun, blast everything in sight approach, Space Marshals demanded strategy, patience and stealth in order to be the most successful. We loved the game in our initial review, but in March, Pixelbite sweetened the pot with a huge Chapter 2 expansion for the game which added new enemies, new weapons and more. Now Pixelbite has taken the wraps off of a forthcoming Chapter 3 update for Space Marshals in our forums, and it's looking really sweet. ..

Oh, times are good for fans of computer RPGs these days. But they weren't always so good, friends. During the late 1990s, when PC gaming died the way console gaming is dying today, things were pretty dire. There was one consistent sparkle of hope during those dark times, however, and that was the Dungeons & Dragons Infinity Engine series of games from Bioware and Black Isle. Those five games helped keep the fires burning for many a PC RPG fan, and I think it's pretty fantastic that we can play three of them on our mobile devices today. Beamdog and Overhaul have done a great job adapting them to mobile user interfaces, and it's hard to argue with the value for your dollar on each of them...

There are plenty of things I appreciate about Cartoon Survivor [Free], a new isometric platformer from Australia-based Spunge Games. Most immediately, it has a strong and cohesive visual design, full of bright colors and cute animations. The level designs are clever and packed with secrets to find, some of which may require you to come back with gear you'll earn later in order to get the best time. There are unlockables both of the cosmetic and practical type, giving you something tangible to shoot for as you play through. It also gives you enough levels for free to get a feel for the game before it asks you to pay to unlock the rest, and in an unusual turn, allows you grind up in-game currency and pay that way. You're probably waiting for the other shoe to drop right about now, and it will. But don't worry, it's only a little shoe. A booty, at best...

Of all the stories I expected to experience this week, a cross between a dating simulation and 21 Jump Street was not especially high on the list, but here we are. Sword Of Asumi [$3.99] is a visual novel with mild dating sim elements that casts you as an undercover assassin trying to root out the source of a terrorist threat at a school. You'll have to pose as a schoolgirl for however long it takes to find the culprit, with your superior keeping an eye on you as one of the teaching staff. I'll be honest: I think that's an absolutely brilliant premise for a game like this. It's a good central plot to build a story around, providing reasons to mingle with as many people as possible in a variety of locations. There are potentially great conflicts if you happen to get close to someone who is involved in the nefarious plot. There's a reason this all worked so well for Fox in the late 1980s...

Just over a month ago, prolific gamebook publisher Tin Man Games released the latest in their in-house Gamebook Adventures series, Gamebook Adventures 10: Lords Of Nurroth. It had been a long time coming, with Tin Man releasing all kinds of great stuff in the interim. I enjoyed the game quite a bit in my review. But even I have to admit, although each book is designed to stand on their own, there's a certain appeal to diving into a world's lore hard, and doing that with a gamebook series ten installments deep can be intimidating to the pocketbook, bundle or no...

I reviewed the fascinating Last Voyage [$0.99] by Semidome back in April, and the developer has just decided to double the number of chapters in this abstract game. It's still something that defies any sort of genre classification, as it goes through multiple genres, and this update introduces a number of new game mechanics, like tilt-based puzzles to try and solve, or even to just sit back and experience. The whole thing still doesn't make much sense, but it's still really pretty. And hey, there's new music, checkpoints, and achievements to get...

Earthcore: Shattered Elements [Free], the innovative CCG by Tequila Games, continues to pleasantly surprise me. If you haven't had a chance to play the game yet, this is a CCG that innovates by using a Risk and Element system that makes even the weakest card actually useful. By using this Risk system, the game forces players to rethink many of the strategies often used in most CCGs. The game has just received its first major update today that adds a new feature, Events, new unique cards (with new skills), and also an upgraded matchmaking system (the old system irked some in our forums). ..

There simply aren't enough heist games out there. I would have played at least three licensed Oceans 11 games, but the deals involved in a potential project like that would be an impossible task. Alas, there are a few indies here and there that fill that gap, including Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, one of my recent favorites. Robbery Bob 2: Double Trouble [$2.99] is no Monaco, but it's a pretty fun little sneak-fest...

Since I’m sure you’re all dying to know, my favorite iOS game of all time is Jet Car Stunts [$1.99] by True Axis. The physics are spot-on, the controls are perfect, and the courses are all insanely fun and challenging. So when I heard about Hondune’s Truck Trials 2 [$1.99] in our forums, I pounced. It seemed like the same sort of thing: behind-the-back driving along three dimensional tracks with a focus on precision and speed. After downloading and playing for a while, I can safely say… it’s not the same. I mean, it’s obvious from the screenshots alone that there aren’t many Stunts or Jets (or Cars, for that matter). But it does have the same basic premise of navigating treacherous terrain as quickly as possible, and it’s pretty fun to boot...

One of the great things about modern gaming is how quickly and relatively easily a developer can respond to criticisms from players by updating games. There are negative sides to that, of course, but there are so many iOS games that have gone from promising to great with an update or three that it's hard for mobile gamers to knock it too hard. One such game that has made impressive strides is the Silent Hill-inspired horror game, Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities [$5.99]. Its initial release was strong in so many ways, but certain parts of it didn't resonate well with the often on-the-go mobile crowd. Of course, many other players were quite happy with the tension present in the game's original set-up. A few updates later, and just about everyone is taken care of. Perhaps it's something of a symbolic rebirth, as Forgotten Memories is now on sale for the first time ever...

The beauty of mobile and this era of digital distribution is that with small games, we can see how games can become wildly different affairs from the same idea. Sure, this is the same system that leads to rampant cloning, but sometimes you see developers legitimately iterate on the same idea. Take Hue Ball [Free], for instance. It credits Wouter Visser's Gimme Friction Baby as its inspiration. This is the same game that inspired Orbital [$2.99 / Free], a classic App Store puzzle game, that both start from the same idea: you launch balls from a bottom cannon into a playing field, trying to break balls in the playing field to earn points, and to keep balls from landing and expanding below the border line where your cannon sits. What Hue Ball does is to tweak the concept just enough to feel like a very different experience, going from a slow, tactical puzzle game where one mistake can doom you, to a fast-paced high-score chaser that's somewhat forgiving...

'Her Story' Review - Turns Out FMV Games Just Needed Good Acting and Writing

Her Story [$4.99] is one of the more unique games I have played in recent memory, by far. At its core, you're just browsing a search engine, trying to find the right queries for what you're looking for, but that's pretty much irrelevant. Her Story is a mystery, where you have a mystery involving dozens of segments of police interviews with a woman, where you're trying to piece together the mystery at hand. The game is about putting together the disparate pieces, paying attention to clues to discover the truth of what happened with the woman and her missing husband...

'Radical Rappelling' Review - Rock & Roll

'Radical Rappelling' Review - Rock & Roll

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After a few years of reviewing iOS games at Touch Arcade and elsewhere, I've begun to notice something. You can usually tell how "good" or "bad" a game is by the specificity of your gripes with it. If I'm writing generally about how the controls don't work or the graphics are ugly, the game as a whole probably isn't that great. However, if I'm spending an entire paragraph about how disappointed I am that one level is too hard or too easy, or that there aren't enough pants to buy in the shop, there's a good chance the rest of the game is pretty enjoyable. Why waste time pointing out every little flaw if there are bigger problems to discuss? And conversely, if a game seems to nail everything, what else is there to discuss but the tiny annoyances that don't really amount to much?..

Scrolling through the App Store screenshots, I can see how one might be led to believe the latest Angry Birds game is just another free-to-play match 3 battler. It appears to have all the trimmings and trappings of the popular (if a bit tired) genre: a grid of colorful tiles, characters to collect, loot to be gained, and--of course--multiple timers and currencies, all dressed up in that familiar Angry Birds style. I see how it looks. But you're wrong. Angry Birds Fight! [Free] is actually a bold exploration of the concept of free will in a deterministic universe...

The more I think about it, the more I see similarities between the Apple Watch and 4x4 Jam HD [$0.99] by Invictus Games. Hear me out: They’re both extremely beautiful, if a little clunky. They’re both undeniably fun to play around with, though a bit frustrating at times. But most importantly, in both cases the developers of these two very different products clearly have some cool ideas, and it’s easy to see them transforming them into something truly special with a little more love and a few more updates. Yes, I just compared a state-of-the-art piece of wearable consumer tech to a mobile game that costs a dollar. Deal with it bro...

Hello everyone, and welcome to the... second day of the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven (eight?) days. It's a bit quiet this time around, probably because of the big E3 show running last week. That said, there are still some interesting updates to check out. 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!..

I rag on Kemco quite a bit sometimes, but I really have to commend them for sticking to their guns even as the whole market has changed around them. Just about every month, we can look forward to getting at least one traditional JRPG, albeit with wildly varying levels of quality between titles. To the best of my knowledge, they are pretty much the last publisher on Earth regularly serving that niche, as even companies like Square Enix are shifting further towards the popular social RPG model that has captured the affections of Japanese gamers. I may not like every game they release, but I greatly appreciate what they're doing. Their latest iOS release in English, Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99], has the publisher taking on a slightly different, but no less traditional, model of RPG. It's an isometric turn-based strategy RPG in the style of Yasumi Matsuno's Tactics series of games, and although it's a bit rough, it's surprisingly decent for a first effort...

About two weeks ago, Jared and I were discussing when we might see Dragon Quest 6 on iOS. Let's face it, we kind of got a flurry of Dragon Quests to the face last year, but since Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99] released in January, things have been awfully quiet. Much to our surprise and delight, Dragon Quest 6 dropped on the Japanese App Store out of the blue late last week. It's likely to be at least a couple of months before it makes its English debut, but like Dragon Quest 4 [$14.99] and 5, this version of the game has seen an English release before, so its chances are pretty good. If and when it does, you can probably expect it to cost $14.99 the same as the other two games in the Zenithian Trilogy. I've put the Japanese version through the paces the last few days, so I figured I'd give you some impressions to mull over while you wait...

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