Category Archives: iPod touch games

RPG Reload File 011 - 'Solomon's Keep'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we go digging in the boneyard looking for something to keep. Each week, we dust off an RPG from the App Store's past, offer it a nice cup of tea, and ask it how the family's doing. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflecting, and sometimes just an excuse to dive into a great game deeper than our reviews usually allow. We love all kinds of RPGs here, and I'll always do my best to cover a wide variety of games, but I need your help, my friends. That's why once a month I'll be playing and writing about an RPG chosen by your majority vote. Wait, not so fast with that pen and paper! You can cast your vote through the power of modern technology simply by commenting down below or dropping in on the Official RPG Reload Club in the forums. The next reader's choice feature will take place in RPG Reload 013, which means this is your last week to get your vote in. At the moment, Baldur's Gate [$9.99] has a fairly commanding lead, but anything can happen in the world of imagination if you believe in yourself...

Strategy buffs listen up: Slitherine has unleashed their latest WWII-themed strategy game Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front [$19.99 (HD)] for the iPad. For whatever reason it didn't follow the typical weekly release schedule, and wasn't included in our list of new games last night, but it's definitely one you don't want to let slip through the cracks. As the name implies, the sequel to 2012's excellent Battle Academy focuses on the Easter Front and has you playing through 30 missions across 4 different campaigns as both the Axis and Soviet forces...

Remedy Entertainment, known for making games like Alan Wake, the original Max Payne [$2.99] and the original Death Rally [$0.99], have just released their first mobile-exclusive game, Agents of Storm [Free] to the App Store. This is a take on the free-to-play base builder formula, but with a singleplayer focus: players build out a base with defenses and units, going out on missions with their units, as their units automatically attack, with the goal being to destroy the enemy base in each level. There are social hooks to get assistance from friends and compete to have the biggest and best base, but if you're the anti-social type, this may be for you, though this is a free-to-play game and requires online connectivity...

Square Enix's excellent Hitman-themed puzzle strategy game Hitman GO [$1.99] has just been updated with a new classic level pack and iCloud integration, and it's on sale again for just $1.99. The new chapter of levels is called "St. Petersburg Stakeout" and is based off of the same level from the 2002 console game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The new pack contains 8 levels, and if you remember that St. Petersburg Stakeout level from Hitman 2, you'll definitely recognize it here too...

I found myself kind of curious about Wavefront [$0.99] when I saw that it was published by DeNA – and it wasn't a free-to-play game. It started out as Waveform on PC, and now has been brought to iOS under the new name, for unknown reasons. Curious. But it still doesn't answer why this was published by DeNA, as this game is paid without IAP at all, which is even odder given that it's, well, DeNA. Did I wake up in bizarro universe? Perhaps not, but Wavefront is an interesting enough puzzler worth checking out...

Look upon me, peasants and nobles alike. For it is I who have slain the mighty yeti, traversed the caverns of the Snow Witch and put her to her final rest, and helped fend off the orc hordes from the dwarven stronghold of Stonebridge. It is I who, after enduring countless deadly battles and outsmarting fatal traps, began to ascend the mountain where I would at last find my goal. It is I, the mighty hero, felled by the bite of a simple rattlesnake because my luck points ran out. So it goes in Fighting Fantasy: Caverns Of The Snow Witch [$5.99], the latest gamebook conversion from the prolific folks at Tin Man Games. It's a fairly straight conversion using their trusty gamebook engine, so if you have fond memories of the original book and you're wondering whether or not the iOS version does it justice, you can rest easily...

I enjoy this current trend of games that are easy to pick up and play, but also present a challenge. And really, Swap Heroes hits a lot of my buttons. It's built for short sessions, winds up being challenging and highly replayable, and oh, it has pixel art. It's perfect for quick sessions, but delivers a challenge that demands practice to get better at it, though randomness does wind up hurting the experience a bit...

Ahoy hoy retro RPG enthusiasts, here's some very welcoming news: Square Enix has just updated their iOS port of Final Fantasy V [$15.99] with iCloud save syncing and MFi game controller support. As the update descriptions says, "Game data saved with iCloud can now be shared across devices! At home or away, on your iPhone or iPad, pick the play style that's best for you." Neat! The update description also mentions now supporting the Logitech PowerShell Controller specifically, but as was the case with a similar update to Final Fantasy VI, the game does indeed work with a Steel Series Stratus and I'd imagine all the other MFi controllers as well...

As fans of Pixbits' Junk Jack X [$4.99] are well aware, the developers of the 2D crafting adventure game are always on top of holiday-themed and seasonal content updates. With Halloween approaching at the end of this month, Pixbits has pushed out their latest update for Junk Jack X, and it's stuffed like a scarecrow with all sorts of spooky new goodies. There's a new Halloween biome, new mobs like a Zombie Witch and Black Cat, spiders that will drop from trees (yuck), new Halloween cooking recipes, and lots more...

Game 1 of the MLB World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants kicks off today, and to celebrate the MLB-developed R.B.I. Baseball 14 [$1.99] is on sale for the first time since its release back in April, down to just $1.99. The original R.B.I. Baseball series was a mainstay of the sports genre on 8- and 16-bit game systems, but had laid dormant since its last entry in 1995. This year, MLB's in-house development studio Major League Baseball Advanced Media looked to resurrect the series with a modern coat of paint, while keeping the gameplay simple and arcadey as a throwback to the series' origins...

When I'm reviewing games, the hardest to evaluate tend to be the ones that hit their core gameplay well but provide a small amount of content. Usually, they promise more to come in updates, and Tail Drift [$1.99] is no different in that regard, but most people who have been gaming on mobiles for a while know that promise isn't always one a developer can keep, so you can't count on that. At the moment, Tail Drift is a sweet piece of cotton candy. You pop it in your mouth, get a momentary hit of pleasure, and before you know it, it has dissolved. I think at the price it goes for, that's not really a raw deal, but there are so many games on the App Store that will offer you bigger bang for your buck, especially in the highly-competitive racing genre...

Noodlecake's Flappy Golf [Free] is both a fun flappy take on their Super Stickman Golf series as well as a strange social experiment in how schoolyard word of mouth can drive the popularity of an iOS game. As we talked about a few weeks ago, Flappy Golf had seen some incredible organic growth following its initial release back in March, with no real advertising or marketing push behind it...

Did you ever play Super Hexagon [$2.99] and think, "this was too easy?" Well, congratulations, Superhyper [$1.99] is just the game you've been looking for, you masochist. It's got the gameplay of a lane-based endless runner, mixed with pretty much everything Super Hexagon was about, and drenched in hot sauce. This is a game so challenging, it may be weeks before anyone unlocks its ultimate difficulty level. It's fair but downright cruel, the kind of game that's worth playing again and again just to prove it wrong...

Reckless Racing 3 [$4.99] delivers a style of racing that honestly is reckless, with the loose-controlling cars making perilous turns and drifting around, rubbing paint and just generally making a mess of the proceedings. This has been the series' modus operandi, and it does its job very well, at being a chaotic racing game that's easy to pick up but always hard to control, by design...

To a great degree, I applaud Electronic Super Joy: Groove City [$4.99] for managing to bring a challenging trial platformer from PC to iOS without much compromise. It's a game that will test players, but thanks to its simple control scheme, it winds up being a great fit on iOS. It's perhaps more built for replayability than completion, as the dozen-or-so levels are far more rewarding to those trying to complete them quickly and with as much collectibles as possible, but there's still a lot to like for those who like to be tested...

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