Category Archives: iPhone games

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...

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...

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!..

Friends, it's been a cavalcade of bummers for iOS SEGA fans lately. After tapping Christian Whitehead to do an amazing job of remastering Sonic CD [$2.99], Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99], and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99], the company for whatever reason decided they weren't interested in doing the same for Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The fantastic port of Jet Set Radio stopped working as of iOS 8 and was pulled from the App Store, presumably never to return. The much-hyped Sonic Team iOS debut turned out to be a rather lackluster runner that may or may not exit soft launch, and just a few weeks ago, SEGA cleaned house on their App Store library, removing most of the Genesis games and several other titles for "quality" reasons. And in fact, as I checked the App Store for background on this story, I see the remaining Genesis games have been removed, along with ChuChu Rocket! and a couple of others...

'Chaos Rings 3' Review - Put A Ring On It, This One's A Keeper

Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is hauling a lot of baggage with it. It carries the hopes of a series that seems to be hanging on by a thread, the expectations of a fanbase who were heavily engaged by the storytelling chops of the series to date, and potentially the future of original, premium mobile RPGs from Square Enix. Like the protagonists of the previous games, it's a creation pulled out of its context, struggling to find relevance in a changed world that offers little mercy. The entire game feels like it was heading down a particular path only to get yanked in an entirely different direction just before it was finished. This whole situation likely explains why this game has a lot of cruft and loose ends hanging from it. It feels like they threw in everything, the kitchen sink, and the whole housewares department while they were at it. As a result, I think this game has a little something for everyone, but few people are going to indulge in everything. It's just the sort of messy RPG that Square Enix used to fill our bellies with on a regular basis when they weren't quite so risk-averse, and I personally love it for that...

'Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions' Review - Finally on Mobile, and I Couldn't be Happier

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's what Activision's Sierra imprint and Lucid Games have done with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [$4.99]. They iterated and tweaked upon a winning formula without rocking the boat too much. The game is this: it's the base modes of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, which formed the base of the long-gone Geometry Wars: Touch. It then adds in the adventure mode, centered around what Geometry Wars: Galaxies introduced. These are levels where you have to hit certain score thresholds to get stars and to advance. Mix those in with the new modes introduced by the Retro Evolved 2 game, and throw in some original creations, like Sniper, where there's limited bullets to use. Visually, it sticks the glowy geometric style of Geometry Wars, but throws in some new touches, like spherical 3D boards similar to Super Stardust. Yet it has a particular color scheme that makes it something that's familiar in many ways, but ultimately is its own creation. And with all that, you get Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Lucid Games absolutely knocked it out of the park when it first came out on console and desktop, and now it's on iOS. It is a wonderful game...

This game almost completely slipped under my radar. It released last week to virtually no hype or buzz at all. I downloaded it along with a bunch of other weekly releases and nearly forgot about it entirely. Man am I glad that I decided to boot it up while cleaning my phone's storage instead of deleting it outright. Dynamix[Free] from C4Cat is one of the most interesting and unique, if ultimately flawed, music games in recent memory...

Though there was little risk of this ending up as a "weak week" for releases as it was, Square Enix has decided to give us a little victory lap in the form of an out-of-nowhere English release of Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99]. Announced in August of 2014, the game was released in Japan just a few months after in October. While there was no formal announcement of an English release, it was assumed it would make the hop overseas due to the success of the previous games worldwide. Well, it's been a bit longer than we might have hoped, but early this morning, the Japanese version of the game received an update adding English support and the switch was flicked to release it outside of the Japanese App Store. At $19.99, it's a bit cheaper than the Japanese price of 2,800 yen, but still on the higher end of Square Enix's line-up...

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