Category Archives: iPod touch games

In the first half of 2014, the hottest trend in war strategy games was the Eastern front of World War 2. We had entries from Hunted Cow, Shenandoah Studio, and Slitherine, all within a fairly short span of time. Slitherine's title, Frontline: Road To Moscow [$2.99], was a slightly more accessible strategy game than their usual fare, and although it lacked the depth that fans of the genre tend to crave, I enjoyed it well enough. The game had a huge variety of units to play with, took terrain conditions into account, and had just enough below the surface to keep me engaged without crushing me. On top of that, the visual designs of the pieces were excellent, the base game included a generous amount of missions, and while it did release in a bit of an Eastern front boom period, the overall scenario was still quite novel for me. In theory, I should be the perfect target for a follow-up...

It's still early in the year, and while there were a few gems that hit the App Store last week, we're always liable for a slow period around this time of year. As such, when an indie RPG sneaks out mid-week, and for free, we might as well check it out, eh? Mounting Force: The Awakening [Free] is a free, ad-supported real-time RPG, the debut title from Deprecated Software. I'm not going to mince words: this game is ugly. I don't want to be mean, but it is. The production values are definitely lacking here, there's visual judder all over the place (the bad kind of screenshake), and the script is riddled with typos...

Foursaken Media tackled the deficiency in games inspired by Mega Man Battle Network last year with their action-RPG Phantom Rift [$0.99]. Haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet? Well, now's as good a time as any, as the game is on sale for $0.99. The game combines deck-building with real-time combat, as you create decks of attacks, and draw them out in battles, which you use against enemies, but with an energy cost to equip. You also get to explore a world that is built before your eyes, Bastion-style [$4.99], and can get all manner of equipment to deck out your wizard...

One of the cooler games in the history of the App Store era of mobile gaming was 1-bit Ninja [$2.99], it being a platformer with a couple of neat twists: you could only move in one direction, generally forward; you could also shift the perspective of the screen to see ahead and to find where obstructions were actually background objects. It was a remarkably clever game, and one that is still fantastic today thanks to its recent update making it work on modern devices. 1-bit Ninja Remix Rush [$1.99] uses many of the same principles as that game, but with a new endless structure, that manages to be a great way to check this out for the first time, or as a way for people familiar with the original to get a fresh experience...

Some developers take a long time between game releases, making each one an often-painful wait between titles. If you're a Nitrome fan, you have no idea what I'm talking about. The pixel art aficionados and creators of Icebreaker [$0.99 / $2.99] have been on an utter tear on mobile in the last few months, with five games since August 2014, and three since December 2014, with the third being Gunbrick [$2.99]. Where Roller Polar [Free] and Platform Panic [Free] were both meant to be smaller arcade-style games, Gunbrick is a more fleshed-out, level-based puzzle-platformer. It's a game that's here and gone, though, being all too brief...

10tons' Crimsonland HD [Free] has just gotten an update with a feature that not a lot of folks may be able to use, but should be pretty fun to play with for those who have it: local co-op with multiple MFi gamepads. The co-op mode was available in other versions of the game, but wasn't on iOS – until now. While MFi gamepads are still a bit pricey, if you and a friend have the game and an iPad or at least the ability to hook up to a TV, you can go through the entire game in co-op mode, with support for up to four players, all using their own gamepads...

It's possible that I'll never get tired of good "endless" games. Although there's no real goal in sight, earning all of those incremental upgrades to do slightly better after each run is the definition of deviously addicting. Go!Go!Go! Racer [Free] has the addicting part down, but it suffers from the same fate as any heavily monetized game in that the devs have made it difficult to enjoy it without paying up...

Developer EXE Create seems to have their business all sorted out when it comes to putting together an enjoyable JRPG on a Kemco-sized budget. Even at their worst, we end up with something like Infinite Dunamis [$3.99], a solid effort whose chief offense is in its lack of ambition. More typically, however, an EXE Create release will fall among the best of prolific publisher Kemco's mobile catalog. The developer has a particular strength for characterization, casting their adventures with clashing personalities and a hero that shows actual growth. This work is backed by surprisingly strong localizations, resulting in a story that's fun to play through even if the overall plot isn't all that special. In terms of gameplay, they tend to play it safe most of the time, but unlike their stablemates at Kemco, even if they're not strong at a particular design element, they at least turn in a good enough effort that it doesn't detract from what they do well...

I love platformers, and there are tons of great ones on iOS in all shapes and sizes. One of my very favorite "Mario-like" platformers is Wonderworks' Bloo Kid 2 [Free], which I picked as one of my personal favorite games of 2014. It's colorful, well-designed, and the running and jumping physics feel fantastic. Today a new update has made the game even better by adding in a new fifth world with 9 new levels, a new "Nightmare" difficulty and two new game modes. The new modes are Time Attack and Boss Rush, and they'll unlock along with the new difficulty option once you've beaten the normal Story Mode once. Here's the game's launch trailer...

Atomic Pinball Collection [Free] was announced last month, and it quickly became a game to keep an eye on. Developer Color Monkey created the beloved Revenge of the Rob-O-Bot [$2.99], an original pinball table for iOS that proved to be quite popular. Now, that table has returned in a new version along with a new table, called Masks of Glory in the new Atomic Pinball Collection. The main app is free to download, and lets you play each table up to a certain score for free before having to pay. ..

There are lots of different reasons that a person might enjoy an RPG, from the story to the battle system to exploration, but I think the one aspect that speaks to just about everyone is seeing numbers go up. It's such an appealing element of RPGs that it's been wholesale lifted by other genres over the last several years to massive success. Some games have even gone as far as to ditch everything else, allowing you to mindlessly tap away to see your numbers go up. Templar Infinite Crusade [$1.99] doesn't go quite that far, but it's certainly in the neighborhood. It looks like the dog's breakfast, it's so random that you'll need as much luck as strategy to survive, and yet, there's a certain basic appeal to the game that might get its hooks into you if you give it a shot...

RPG Reload File 020 - 'Akalabeth: World Of Doom!'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we often take marching orders from a guy named British. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the modern day. It's a chance to revisit some classics, take a deeper dive than reviews allow for, or even just to reflect on the ever-expanding history of mobile RPGs and how certain games fit into it. For the most part, I set the schedule, and while I try to present a diverse line-up, just to make things interesting, I throw the choice over to you, the reader, once in a while. The next reader's choice article will be next week and will be covering Knights Of Pen & Paper [$4.99], a suggestion offered by reader Andre Garcia. If you want to put your choice in as a potential candidate for the next reader's choice article in February, simply post a comment below, drop by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet to @RPGReload. A roll of the dice determines the winner, so everyone has a chance, no matter how obscure their selection!..

One of my favorite little gems released in 2014 was Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] from Tree Men Games. The premise is pretty simple: The cops are after you and you're trying to escape in your vehicle. The only problem is you're confined to a small space, like a parking lot, and the gas pedal is stuck to the metal. Your only option is to try and evade the police for as long as you can while avoiding running into obstacles like parked cars and buildings. It really is a very clever survival game with a killer art style. Today Pako has received its first major expansion, adding in all sorts of new goodies. ..

In May of 2013, developer Mode 7 released Frozen Synapse [$9.99 (HD)] for the iPad, a tactical strategy game that had received critical praise when it released on PC and Mac the year before. Unsurprisingly, the game translated incredibly well to the iPad. However, ever since its iPad release fans had been clamoring for Frozen Synapse on the iPhone. Being that the interface of the game was already quite busy even on the larger iPad screen, an iPhone version would be a challenge, but in April of last year Mode 7 promised just that. It took quite a while, but Frozen Synapse iPhone [$2.99] is finally now available...

'Drop Wizard' Review - Here Comes the Drop

I absolutely love Neutronized's pixel art stylings. They added a lot of flair to their previous games Roar Rampage [$0.99] and Lost Yeti [$1.99], though both were darn good games in their own rights. Now they've returned with another pixelly game, and one that pays homage to single-screen arcade classics like Bubble Bobble with Drop Wizard [$1.99]. It's definitely a game that's paying homage to the classics, and feels like it'd be a great fit in an arcade cabinet from 25 years ago or so. But Neutronized don't just rest on their laurels with the retro homage, they actually make a game that's remarkably clever in and of itself...

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