Category Archives: iPod touch games

'Riptide GP: Renegade' Review - Screaming for Vengeance

Vector Unit makes their aquatic racing series bigger and better in Riptide GP: Renegade [$2.99]. The aquatic racing genre is a small one with few new contenders to the Riptide GP [$0.99] throne. Which is easy to see why – there's water physics to contend with, not to mention the challenge of creating engaging courses. Yet, Vector Unit has excelled in this genre, from Hydro Thunder Hurricane to the Riptide GP games. Now with Renegade, they take the series from mobile to console and then back to mobile. And the game is well worth the wait – the formula here is still incredibly strong, with some interesting new iterations to the franchise, and some clear improvements from the console scope of this one...

'Space Marshals 2' Review - It's 'Space Marshals', Too

Pixelbite got a lot right with the first Space Marshals [$4.99]. They eschewed much of what is common in dual-stick shooters on mobile, going with a slower, more thoughtful, stealth-based game. With an array of interesting weaponry and tactics at your disposal, such as using noisemakers to distract enemies to take them out away from the prying eyes of other enemies, it was a cool concept and a fun game. The controls were great for mobile, with MFi controller support, and iCloud to boot. It was not a perfect game, but a great example of how to make an original, stylish title for mobile. Plus, they updated the game with 2 new episodes months after launch. Space Marshals 2 [$5.99] returns and basically is the same game, streamlined with a couple new features, and skipping on the whole episodic aspect to give you 20 beefy levels of tactical stealth action in a space wild-west setting. And like any sequel where iteration is the key difference, it's not bad – this is the superior game – but the lack of surprise can be a bit disappointing...




So, you thought you were getting a technical marvel of an action game in Eisenhorn: Xenos [$9.99]? Wrong! This adaptation of the 2001 novel set in the ever-expansive and convoluted Warhammer universe, starring inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, has disappointing combat, and the game largely tries to hide it and convince you that it's unnecessary. Instead, this is about telling the story from the novel, featuring Mark Strong as Eisenhorn, while presenting some gorgeous backdrops, with you at the controls driving the narrative. And if Warhammer lore is your bag, this is a game for you. As an action game? Eh...

'Leap of Fate' Review - Jump In

Leap of Fate [$3.99] didn't make a great first impression on me. The opening cut-scene dialogue is ponderous. The aiming feels a little off. The tutorial has a lot of clumsy navigation elements, suggesting there will be some shoveled-in platforming to break up the action. The first time I loaded the game, I played through the tutorial, wondered why Jared was raving about it so much, then switched over to something else. Of course, since I was assigned to the review, I had to come back to Leap of Fate soon. Reviewing games is generally a great job, but one of the few downsides is that you can't always walk away from games you're not enjoying. Sometimes, however, that turns out to be a good thing, and Leap of Fate is one such case...

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...

'Jurassic GO - Dinosaur Snap Adventures' Review - Prehistoric Pokemon Snap

There aren't enough games like Pokemon Snap in the world -- there just aren't, even though it was released nearly 20 years ago. I'd like to think that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company are sitting on the concept, ready with a tiny hammer to smash a glass container somewhere with the code for a mobile edition, but we aren't there yet. Instead, we'll have to deal with the various "tourist" and survival sandbox games we have now, which get us ever closer to that fully realized open world Snap many of us long for. Thankfully, Jurassic Go - Dinosaur Snap Adventures [$3.99] is helping us get one step closer...

'Legend of the Skyfish' Review - Get Hooked on This

The hookshot, a close relative to the grappling hook, is one of my favorite tools in video games. Being able to pull things towards you, or reach faraway points, is just an aspect that is so compelling to me. Now, the number of grappling hook games being so small in number should not be a surprise – Kepa of Rocketcat Games says level design for grappling hook mechanics is really difficult. And considering Super QuickHook [$2.99] is so brilliant, and few games have tried to copy it, that makes sense. But there's such potential in a Zelda-style hookshot with a game being centered around it. Legend of the Skyfish [$3.99] is that game, and it uses the core fun of grappling and pulling from a distance inherent in the tool to make for a solid action-puzzle game in the Zelda vein...

Back in early March, developer Nanoo Company released their latest game Dark Sword [Free], a side-scrolling hack 'n slash game with a very stylish silhouette art style and great animations. Dark Sword featured bite-sized levels and simplified combat mechanics that still allowed for very satisfying button mashing gameplay. The biggest drawback, depending on your point of view I guess, was that the game is very free to play, meaning there's all the typical trappings from timers to in-game currencies and various IAP packs to be bought. However, if you're into your typical free to play grinding game this one was a lot of fun, and it featured tons of different types of loot to acquire and outfit your character with. Dark Sword has seen many updates in the months since its release which added things like new equipment, new difficulty levels, a Daily Raid mode, a pet system, and more, but its biggest update is yet to come as Nanoo has revealed that PvP is heading to the game in the next update...

Three weeks ago, The Quest HD [$7.99] hit the App Store after receiving a very warm reception on Steam earlier in the year, but there was only one major problem: The game was iPad-only. That's all well and good if you have an iPad, but if you don't or even if you simply prefer gaming on your iPhone then you weren't able to experience this remaster of one of mobile gaming's all-time classic RPGs. Well, as it turns out, developer Redshift didn't make The Quest HD iPhone-compatible because the numerous previous releases and expansions of the original The Quest are all iPhone-only, and they were worried people might be confused which games were the old ones and which one was the new one when looking at them in the App Store. Well, it wouldn't be any more confusing than it already is with like 20+ existing versions of The Quest! Thankfully Redshift agreed, and so after seeing the demand from players wishing for an iPhone version, they quickly went to work on a Universal update which has just become available...

The thing that has made the Square Enix Montreal "GO" series so appealing is that the games have been so subversive, as well as being fun puzzlers. Hitman GO [$4.99] was a particularly absurdist take on Hitman, what with all the stealth kills and assassinations taking place as figures on a game board knocking each other over. Something about distilling the game down to that feels particularly amusing. Lara Croft GO [$4.99] was a bit more in line with the brand, but still felt like a unique take on the series with a Monument Valley [$3.99] esque aesthetic and the lower-polygon-count look, along with the fantasy environments in play. It was still rather fun to play, though. The concern with Deus Ex GO [$4.99] was whether Square Enix Montreal could deliver more fun turn-based puzzling, but what I think we were missing was whether they could cleverly subvert the themes of the Deus Ex series, and that's really missing here...

Last month, a Twitter account popped up for something called E Corp Messaging, which hinted that it was an upcoming mobile game based around the hit hacking show Mr. Robot. Today that game, Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa [$2.99] (yes that is what it's called) has dropped in the App Store. Developed by Night School Studio and published by Telltale Games, Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa is a text-driven adventure that takes place during the first season of the show. You find yourself picking up a phone someone dropped on the sidewalk, and after a few prompts and a hilariously legalese-filled Terms of Service agreement, you find yourself a proud new user of the E Corp Messaging platform. ..

We were on the hype train for Gambrinous and Versus Evil's Guild of Dungeoneering [$3.99] ever since we saw it at PAX South way back in January of last year. However, as is common with multiplatform releases, Guild of Dungeoneering was released on desktop the following July, and us poor mobile gamers had to wait an entire year before the game finally launched in the App Store last month. It was worth the wait, though, as we thought the game was pretty darn good. There's another side benefit to this staggered release too, as since the game has been on desktop for a year already that means it's already had a major expansion released, and now less than a month after arriving on iOS, that expansion is hitting the mobile version of Guild of Dungeoneering. According to the developers, the Pirates Cove expansion includes "30% more game with a brand new pirate themed region complete with 3 new dungeoneer classes to quest with, 23 new monsters to defeat and 27 new items to equip." Here's the trailer from when the expansion launched on desktop...

Artillery games have long been a popular genre on mobile. iShoot was one of the earliest examples of an indie developer striking it rich with an iPhone game, and of course Angry Birds is a derivative of the artillery genre. A bit later in the iPhone's life a game called Bowman caught fire and ushered in an influx of games where you shot arrows into stick figure people. There's just something so satisfying about guessing the angle and power of a shot and watching you hit your target right on the mark. And when you take that winning formula and throw in Mortal Kombat-style gore? It's absolute gold. That's the story of Bowmasters [$1.99 / Free], which launched under the radar last week. The game sees you battling it out against an AI opponent, each taking turns lobbing various projectiles at each other until one of you runs out of life. ..

TinyBuild is one of my favorite publishers on the App Store, as I've pretty much loved everything they've put out so far, and right now is a great time to experience their games as they're currently throwing a huge 99¢ sale on their entire mobile library. I mean, you could buy all of them for a grand total of about six bucks, and I can't even begin to imagine the hours and hours of gameplay you'd get for that fistful of dollars. However, if you had to pick just ONE of these games, I'd personally recommend Punch Club. It's not exactly a boxing game, more of a life simulator with a heavy boxing theme and tons of crazy humor and pop culture references. The game was a bit rough in terms of balance right after launch, but things have been smoothed over nicely with updates since then. And, for your convenience, here's links to the forum threads for each game as well as links to the ones that we've reviewed if you need some more information. The sale runs through August 21st so start checking the couch cushions for some spare change and grab these games while they're cheap!..

In our review of Brownmonster's Rush Rally 2 [$3.99], we called it "the best rally racer on iOS." But what happens when the best gets even better? Is it best…er? Even more best? The most bestest? Ah who cares, all that really matters is that on August 18th Rush Rally 2 is getting a brand new update that adds an oft-requested cockpit camera into the game. Brownmonster has recut the game's App Store preview video with some new footage of this new feature, check it out...

'Reigns' Review - Reign in Blood

The core concept of Reigns [$2.99] on paper seems intriguing enough. It's basically dating service Tinder, with swiping left or right to make decisions, combined with ruling a kingdom. Seems interesting enough, but Nerial and company have managed to imbue Reigns' concept in such a way that each decision feels weighty. As well, there's an intriguing long-term game here, with secrets to discover and an overall goal to reach that gives each session a unique purpose beyond its amusing concept, and elevates the whole experience above an amusing concept...

It's pretty crazy to think that Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99 / Free] from Tree Men Games has been around for nearly two years, and even crazier to think about the amount of content that's been added via updates in the time since its launch. It's evolved from a pretty simplistic vehicular arena survival game to one that features tons of different levels to play, multiple vehicles, additional game modes, and even a slick 3rd-person camera option. Today the latest Pako update has launched and once again it transforms the game significantly. The "Pakocalypse" update adds a new level called Aftermath along with 3 brand new vehicles all of which look like they came straight out of Mad Max. Of course, it's not just an aesthetic apocalyptic theme, as while you're playing Aftermath there are zombies roaming the land, tanks threatening you from all around, and even death and destruction raining down from the sky...

We've had our eye on Eisenhorn: XENOS from developer Pixel Hero Games, makers of the ultra-underrated action RPG Spiral Episode 1 [$3.99 / Free], ever since we got a quick demo of the game at GDC 2015. An impressive-looking trailer followed about six months later, and before we knew it we were back at GDC 2016 this past March getting another great demo of the game. People who had been following along had been very excited for Eisenhorn: XENOS to arrive, and just yesterday we learned that the game was set to launch this Wednesday, August 10th. Pixel Hero even posted a brand new developer diary video in celebration of the much-anticipated launch. Well, the weirdness of digital app stores and world time zones strikes again and as it turns out Eisenhorn: XENOS [$9.99] is now available as of just a few moments ago...

When a mobile port of Vlambeer's hit arena platformer Super Crate Box [$1.99] was first announced nearly five years ago, it felt like huge things were on the horizon for the small indie developer in the mobile realm. Despite being a twitchy game built for physical controls, Super Crate Box actually translated extremely well to the touchscreen and we absolutely loved it in our original review. Vlambeer had a novel idea for their update roadmap too, as there was a running total of all crates collected in the game worldwide and once that number hit certain milestones a new content update would be released. ..

It's tough to get a beat on exactly what Kairosoft's release strategy is, if they even have one. Sometimes it feels like months in between them releasing games, and other times it feels like there's a new one hitting every week. Not even two weeks after the release of the not-very-good Legends of Heropolis [Free], Kairosoft has just released another new game called The Manga Works [$4.99]. This is a simulation game (gasp!) that has you running your own manga studio, starting out as a solo artist and hopefully building up into a publishing empire...

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