Category Archives: iPod touch games

'Nightgate' Review - Enter The Matrix

Semidome made a splash with their artsy debut Last Voyage [$1.99]. It was an artsy yet eclectic experience, as its ten chapters ran the gamut of gameplay styles to convey its abstract story. Semidome isn't done conveying this abstract digital atmosphere in their second title Nightgate [$2.99]. It positions itself as a more singular experience, but one that succeeds in creating a fascinating landscape for players to experience for just a little while...

Way back in the spring of 2014 an unassuming little roguelike called Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] released in the App Store. Amongst heavy hitters of the time like Hoplite [$2.99] and Cardinal Quest 2 [Free], Quest of Dungeon's only knock was that it perhaps played things a little to safely in terms of the roguelike genre. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing though if you wanted a solidly built little dungeon crawler, and Quest of Dungeons has won over many fans over the years. This week, developer David Amador has released the biggest update to the game yet, adding in an entire new chapter via IAP titled Revenge of the Jelly King which adds a new NecroDancer class in a nod to the fabulous rhythm roguelike Crypt of the NecroDancer [$4.99], a new dungeon called Rackan, and a new Custom game mode. Not to mention the novel's worth of much-appreciated tweaks, fixes, and new features...




Let's address it immediately: Treasure Buster [$0.99] is obviously inspired by Mixi's Monster Strike [Free]. Much like this developer's previous game, Slayin [$0.99], this game initially comes off uncomfortably similar to the object of its homage. Luckily, also like Slayin, Treasure Buster ultimately differentiates itself well enough to transcend the copycat label and settle in as an interesting variation on a tried and tested mechanic. In fact, I would say that this game ditches a lot of what makes Monster Strike so much fun, choosing to create its own brand of enjoyment by adding a number of gameplay elements that Monster Strike doesn't have. As usual for a game published by FDG, Treasure Buster also looks and sounds great, fusing a bang-on retro presentation to a very modern gameplay structure...

Everyone has a genre they couldn't live without. For some youngsters, it's survival games, which can extend to Minecraft. For others, it's sports games, and the thrill of drafting out a new fantasy team with incoming college players thrown into the fray. For me, my choice ebbs and flows depending on the year, but the most consistent one I'm always falling back on is platformers. Whether it's those of the mascot variety with strict adherence to 3D standards and wonky cameras, or the tried and true 2D approach, you can put pretty much any one of them in front of me and I'll at least give it a go. Tons of Bullets [$1.99] caught my eye in name alone, but it ended up being about more than just blasting things...

'Really Bad Chess' Review - Rook No Further

It would be extremely easy to start this review by alluding to the ironic self-deprecation of the title, and affirm how Really Bad Chess [Free] is actually a Really Good Game. However, in truth, the title is not too far off the mark. Compared to the balance, strategic depth, and elegance of the age-old board game, Zach Gage’s most recent release is really bad chess. It is highly likely you will start a game with an abundance of the most powerful pieces versus a far weaker opponent, and it will likely not take as much tactical meticulousness to break down their defence; anyone looking for a chess simulator will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, once preconceptions of similar titles are left behind, Really Bad Chess manages to turn a tiresome, tricky and intimidating game into one perfectly suited for the immediacy of mobile gaming. While it may share similarities in the pieces, and how they can move, to the game it takes its name from, Really Bad Chess is an entirely different beast. Through prioritising unpredictability and offensive play over experience, Zach Gage has crafted an essential puzzle experience for anyone even remotely interested in strategy games on the App Store...

A very interesting looking game released under the radar this week, and although it doesn't look like my type of game personally, the trailer was cool enough I thought it was worth sharing. In fact, it looks totally like a Shaun Musgrave kind of game, but since it's about 3am in Japan right now and Shaun is fast asleep (at least you better be, young man!) we'll have to wait a while to see what Mr. Weird Game Expert thinks of this one. Anyway, the game is called iRIUM [Free] and it's a rhythm game blended with RPG elements and a really fetching art style. Check out the trailer...

Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free] has been one of the best Puzzle Quest games to hit the App Store, and at three years old, it's still going strong. The developers have decided to celebrate the game's third anniversary by offering all kinds of perks, presents, and events. First of all, there will be an anniversary sale, and there will also be a vault with many 4-star characters, Legendary Tokens, Devil Dino covers, Hero Points, and much more. Every player will get a free token for this vault, and there are plenty of tokens in the Anniversary Versus Season and also in event rewards. And this Thursday, a new character will be joining the game, Gwenpool...

Fox's animation shows have been dominating TV for quite some time now. Family Guy, Futurama, Bob's Burgers, American Dad, and King of the Hill all offer their own specific kind of craziness and humor. It's not surprising, then, that Kongregate decided to develop a card game based on all five shows, and the result is hilarious, as to be expected. Yet not all is rosy in Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards [Free]; while you'll laugh at the silly card combos and be entertained for quite a bit with the gameplay, eventually you hit so many timers that you'll quickly regret your investment in the game...

It's so easy to get discouraged looking through the App Store each and every day. A billion keyword-laden slot machine games, blatant clones, and other riffraff make up 99% of what I see. That other 1% though? That's where I found Butts in Space [$0.99]. What is Butts in Space? It's about a team of butts (in space) who have to stop the Evil Butt overlord who has stolen all the galaxy's toilet paper. Yeah, this is not exactly highbrow stuff, here. However, unlike the riffraff I spoke of earlier that's obviously thrown together with little care in hopes of turning a buck, Butts in Space has some obvious love put into it, and it shows. ..

In January of 2014 Stoic Studios launched their tactical RPG Banner Saga [$4.99] on PC to much critical acclaim. In October of that year, just shy of two years ago, they launched Banner Saga on the App Store, and it turned out to be a fantastic fit for the mobile platform. The following December, Stoic officially announced what many people had already assumed was coming, a full sequel, and also mentioned their plans to eventually bring that sequel to mobile platforms as they did with the first game. Well, after another well-received launch on desktop this past April and on consoles in July, Banner Saga 2 [$4.99] has finally popped up for purchase in the App Store...

Zombie titles really need to innovate more-so than a lot of other types of games these days. The market is just so saturated that the mere notion of "survival" itself just isn't enough, and there at least needs to be an interesting hook involved beyond the solitary concept of continuing to exist. Skyhill [$2.99] does that, even if the magic doesn't last as long as the developers intended it to...

Just over a month ago, we told you about Zip Zap [$1.99], an upcoming puzzler from Phillip Stollenmayer and his studio Kamibox, maker of the brilliant existential crisis platformer Sometimes You Die [$1.99] as well as clever puzzlers like Okay? [Free] and Squaredance [Free]. Oh, and I can't forget about my favorite silly time wasters like Pancake - The Game [Free] and 1 Meter [Free]. Zip Zap looked to fall into that "clever puzzler" category, as it has you manipulating various Erector Set-like pieces that are joined with hinges in an effort to scoot, hop, or swing them over to an end goal. The whole thing makes a lot more sense if you watch the trailer for Zip Zap...

The sheer number of mobile devices out in the wild coupled with the ease of downloading apps and their tendency to be free means that download milestones can get pretty crazy compared to other platforms. A million or, heck, even half a million units sold on another platform would be a huge success for most studios, but on mobile it's not even a drop in the bucket anymore. Which brings me to the news that FDG's ape-themed auto-runner Banana Kong [Free] has just reached the 100 million downloads mark across all platforms, and to celebrate FDG will be bringing a huge Beach-themed update to the game on iOS this Thursday. Here's a video showcasing the new Beach content...

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 [Free] 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...

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

Did you play Day of the Tentacle [$4.99] and think "I like how this game makes me feel stupid, but would like it better if it was a platformer?" Well, that's Donut Games' Vulture Island [$4.99] in a nutshell. It sends you on the quests of a LucasArts point-and-click adventure game, but with 2D platforming. You will use items in weird ways on other items, trying to solve puzzles that will make you curse yourself and slap your forehead over how obvious the solution seems after the fact. It's all that fun, but as a platforming game, a clever combination that's made for another winner from Donut Games...

'Solitairica' Review - The Solitaire Roguelike Your Grandma Could Enjoy

Solitaire is quite possibly the most popular video game of all time, thanks to the game's inclusion in Windows in particular. Many a bored office worker, student, and grandparent has sunk hours into this classic card game. Now, with games like Card Crawl [$2.99] bringing modern roguelike influence into card games, it seems only fitting that Solitairica [$3.99] should come into existence, bringing something more closely resembling actual solitaire to the solitaire roguelike subgenre. And it promises to steal countless hours of your time, even if you're not necessarily a card game player...

There were a few late arrivals this week, and one of the biggest (both literally and figuratively) is NBA 2K17 [$7.99], which dropped earlier this morning. 2K's basketball offerings seem to be the fan favorites each year over EA's free to play NBA Live Mobile [Free] series, and this year's offering appears to be the most robust basketball offering yet. It features a revamped control scheme and support for physical controllers, and expanded MyCareer mode with an "Off-Day Simulator, more MyPLAYER equipment and attribute options, upgraded badge system, and more", new Historic players, and an expanded EuroLeague with new teams, among other new features...

The sirens are blaring, the news reports are shouting, and one thing is very apparent to you: The nuclear apocalypse is coming, and coming quick. In one minute to be exact. In 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure [$3.99], which just launched on iOS after arriving on desktop in May of last year, you have one minute to scavenge your house for supplies and to grab members of your family (the ones who you want to survive, anyway) and then drop down into your bomb shelter to tough out this nuclear apocalypse for as long as possible. ..

'Sorcery! 4' Review - The End of an Incredible Journey

It's been over three years since inkle released their adaptation of the first book in the Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series. In a lot of ways, that app redefined what players expected from a mobile version of a gamebook. It would have been a far simpler matter for inkle to do the expected thing and do a straight conversion of the original books. They had the engine for it, and the series is well-regarded enough that it probably would have done fairly well. Instead, the developers decided to make something that a physical book would have a hard time approximating, while at the same time appealing to the fairly large overlap between gamebook readers and tabletop gaming fans. The first game mostly relied on a unique presentation and reworked battle mechanics, but the following two games brought more and more complexity to the table. Sorcery! 3 [$4.99] was so near to a full-on RPG that its roots were hard to spot at times...

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