Category Archives: iPhone games

Way back in 2011, developer Almost Human were hard at work on their old-school inspired first-person dungeon crawler Legend of Grimrock [$4.99]. They planned on bringing it to PC first, but an iPad version was also in consideration. Well, the PC version launched in 2012 to critical acclaim, and a sequel was even released in the fall of last year. Yet, there was still no iPad version in sight. In May of this year, the iPad finally did receive the original Legend of Grimrock, and it was totally worth the wait. Now only one problem remained: iPhone owners were left in the cold! Well no more, as Legend of Grimrock has been updated with Universal iPhone support...

'Prune' Review - Let it Grow on You

I must admit, Prune [$3.99] snuck up on me though it probably shouldn't have. Made by ex-AAA developers out of Madison, apparently the game had been floating around the midwestern games scene, and I somehow missed it until I got an email about it a couple days ahead of launch. And holy heck, do I wish I had seen this sooner, because Prune is a gorgeous and unique experience...




Thanks to the massive success of Rovio's Angry Birds [$0.99] during the formative years of the App Store, physics-based puzzle games are probably one of the more, shall we say, over-represented genres on the App Store. At this point, I'd imagine most people have plenty of them in their purchase histories, and as a result, it takes something really special to make any actual waves in the genre. An initial glance at Earth Vs. Balloons [Free], which in screenshots looks very much like something that's been done again and again on iOS, isn't likely to turn anyone's head. But after seeing the name of the developer, I had to check the game out. This game comes to us from Mangobile, the developer behind the equally plain-on-the-surface Kingturn [Free] strategy games. They're probably never going to win any awards for presentation pizazz, and while the Kingturn games certainly have their twists, they don't get by on innovation as much as they do from immensely solid construction and clever scenario design...

'Champion Of The Gods' Review - Destiny's Child

The gamebooks released by publisher Choice Of Games are a bit of a tough sell to the uninitiated. I mean, gamebooks in general are a tough sell, but many of the other gamebook publishers on the App Store put a lot of work into the stuff around the text. Whether it's a plethora of illustrations, a unique visual presentation, added music or sound effects, or even just playing around with the appearance of the virtual pages, considerable effort seems to be spent to try to get people to give the actual meat of the experience, the text, a proper chance. Choice Of Games offers little more than a splash image, generic radio buttons for choices, a couple of splashes of color in the status screen, and black text on white pages. There is no sleight of hand here. It all falls on the plot, the quality of the writing, and the success of the choices presented in creating a compelling personal experience for the player...

It’s hard to turn any corner in the app store without bumping into a match three game clad in plate mail, wielding a sword, slinging some spells and grinding experience these days. Block Legend [$1.99], 1000000 [$2.99], Hero Emblems [$3.99], Dungeon Raid [$1.99], and even Puzzle Quest 2 [$2.99] back in the day. It’s hard to stand out in this genre, but shockingly, each of the games I listed is very different from the next, and there is a crazy amount of flexibility and variety in what you’d call a match three RPG. Guardian Sword [$0.99] from Picsoft doesn’t look like much at a glance, but under the surface lies a deep and strategic experience worth checking out...

Classic Reload - 'Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the first edition of the Classic Reload, a semi-random feature where we take a look at classic games from the App Store's past. Yes, it's a spin-off of the RPG Reload, but let's hope this is more Laverne & Shirley than Joanie Loves Chachi. Anyway, the idea here is the same. There are lots of great games in the iOS library that don't get talked about much anymore, even though they're still worth playing. When the App Store was fairly young it wasn't a huge problem, but with several years and countless hundreds of thousands of new apps behind us, some really great games have become invisible to many players. The aim of this column is to pick out some of those games and give them a thorough going-through to see how they hold up in the modern day and take a deeper dive than we may have initially. This will not be a weekly feature, but I do plan to put one out every once in a while. Think of it as a hopefully-pleasant surprise you can expect now and then...

The parade of licensed Warhammer games continues unabated with the release of Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$9.99] from Turbo Tape Games, which arrived earlier today ahead of the normal weekly new game release schedule. Hey, gotta get out ahead of that whole Angry Birds 2 thing, eh? ..

Sebastian Gosztyla's DUAL [Free] is a fun multi-device local multiplayer game where two people square off with their devices facing each other and either blast away at each other in competitive play or work together to destroy AI eneies in a cooperative mode. Now, the game is getting its first big update this week with a new mode, called Deflect. The mode has you trying to hit a ball past your opponent, with each ship having different shot effects. Gosztyla describes it as "a mix of soccer, tennis, and air hockey." The new trailer for the game shows off some of what the new mode and the game as a whole are about:..

'To-Fu Fury' Review - Soy Milk Ninja

There's been a resurgence of games featuring tofu in the past year or so, but not all of them are necessarily worth checking out. Naturally, I gravitated towards a recent release called To-Fu Fury [$1.99], featuring piece of ninja tofu. I mean, when have ninjas ever let me down, right? While you won't be running on rooftops and taking down rival daimyos in epic combat, you will be flinging yourself across the screen and collecting pieces of Chi. It's more of a zen-like ninja experience, and that's completely fine with me, given how great the control scheme is...

It's really tough to describe a game like Agar.io [Free]. It hearkens back to the old age of computing, back when Prodigy and CompuServe allowed users access to games at the cost of an hourly rate. There's something soothing about the experience, and since it's free and gets right into the action in seconds, you may as well try it out...

'Pac-Man Championship Edition DX' Review - If It Ain't Broke, Make it Faster and Add Bombs

Screwing up Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99] on mobile seemed like it would be difficult. All Namco would have to do is to basically port the game over, maybe make some tweaks to help it work better on mobile with touch controls, as the ludicrous speed of the console and PC version might not work so well with most people using swipes to move. Maybe throw in iCloud and support for both iCade and MFi controllers, and you've got yourself a five-star package. Namco almost did screw this up with a wacky free-to-play version of the game based around levels and energy timers, but thankfully they came to their senses and decided to just drop the game with minimal mobile tweaks on the App Store as a premium game. The world is better for it...

This puzzle/adventure game from Bandai Namco is far from innovative but attaching average game play to a beloved franchise is a sure way to climb the charts. In Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle [Free], you play as an unnamed fighter working to avert the disaster of an "expanding dimensional distortion." Trunks and King Kai direct you on your quest, forwarding the plot and offering battle advice. The story gets a bit convoluted from there, especially when trying to explain why the Z-Fighters are battling each other...

Update Mondays: 'The Simpsons: Tapped Out', 'Ambition Of The Slimes', 'Farm Heroes Saga', 'The Ensign', 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. This week it's nearly all about free-to-play and little indies, but I suppose that makes sense, doesn't it? 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!..

And the spoilers keep on coming. Blizzard is revealing more and more new Hearthstone [Free] Grand Tournament cards, and I'm quite excited that we still have a long way to go until we see all 132 new cards. Now, on to some of the new spoilers. The card that has my, and many others', attention (not for its raw power, though) is the Legendary Justicar Trueheart whose Battlecry, replace your starting Hero Power with a better one, is bound to create all kinds of trouble. At 6 mana, though, and with 6/3 stats, this is quite a weak card, and its Battlecry doesn't raise its value enough to make it worth a spot in most decks. However, a lot depends on what other cards we'll see in this set because we still don't know most of the synergies and combos from the new set...

Earlier in the week I stumbled across a very cool looking trailer for a game called Tap Quest. The goal in the game was to defend a tower in the center of the screen from enemies approaching from either side, and you'd do that by simply tapping either side of the screen to perform a dash attack in that direction. It's simple premise, lovely art style and chaotic action really caught my attention. Well, in a nice surprise, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper [Free] moved swiftly through Apple's approval process and is already available on the App Store...

'Million Arthur' Review - A Rusty Blade

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July 24th, 2015 12:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 2 stars, Card, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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Although it's a new arrival in most of the world, Million Arthur [Free] is a relatively old game in a very young sub-genre. In Japan, it arrived mere months after the release of Puzzle & Dragons [Free], and while its story and production values made it a cross-media hit in its home country, the gameplay feels it's from another era. The best analogy I can make is to go back to the early days of first-person shooters. Developer id Software had released their breakout hit Wolfenstein 3D [$1.99] through publisher Apogee, but were going it alone for their next title. Apogee created a new game called Blake Stone that was built on Wolf 3D's skeleton, offering greater interactivity and a more open structure. It was a fine evolution of the gameplay established in Wolf 3D. The only problem was, the week after Blake Stone released, id Software released Doom [$4.99], and suddenly the whole tea table was up-ended. Million Arthur is Blake Stone, but for social RPGs, and outside of Japan, it's not releasing in the same window as its assassin, but years later...

'Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion' Review - Glorious Space Hunters

Rodeo Games has a niche, and they're getting better and better at satisfying it with each new release. Their last game was a fairly well-received conversion of the classic Warhammer Quest [$4.99] board game, and their newest release is another Warhammer-themed turn-based strategy game. Of course, before all of that, Rodeo Games made their name with their excellent Hunters series of turn-based strategy games, and its from those roots that Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch [$4.99] draws most strongly from. This is basically Hunters 3, albeit with a Warhammer 40K skin. Some might frame that as a negative, but it's been a few years since the last Hunters game. I'm more than willing to entertain a sequel at this point, especially one as high-quality as Deathwatch...

It's an exciting time for Dragon Quest fans. In the last few weeks, we've had the Minecraft [$6.99] take-off Dragon Quest Builders announced for Sony's platforms, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3 announced for the Nintendo 3DS, and a live stream scheduled for July 28th where it's expected the long-awaited Dragon Quest 11 will be announced. Mobile isn't being left out of the party, either. Amid all of these other announcements, Square Enix also said that they would be bringing a new free-to-play Dragon Quest game to mobile platforms later this year...

TinyBuild's Divide by Sheep [$2.99] is a game that I first saw back at PAX South, and it left an indelible mark on me. This was thanks not just to its cute-yet-macabre theme, but also because its puzzles were clever, and did a lot to add joy to what is otherwise a casual-friendly math puzzler. Not that there's anything wrong with being a casual-friendly game, but it's tough for those games to stand out. I do wonder just how much Divide by Sheep suffers for trying to be a game for gamers, though: it feels like it sits in this odd middle ground between being a game that's a casual-friendly math puzzler, but with a deceptive theme. And I worry too many people will see the sheep and bright colors and maybe pass this fun game over. Though, if you're reading this, you should not, it's fun...

'Down the Mountain' Review - Crossy*bert?

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Just make Crossy Road [Free]. It’s easy! All you need to do is take a classic video game from the 80’s, give it a cheerful, vaguely Minecraft-ian art style, load it with cute characters to collect, and park your car in the garage so the driveway is clear for all the dump trucks full of money. Of course, in reality things aren’t quite that easy. I mean, I don’t think anyone is entirely sure why Crossy Road was such a huge success considering the sheer volume of other fun little time wasters there are on the App Store. Why Flappy Bird, for that matter? Why Temple Run [Free]? Why Doodle Jump [$0.99]?..

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