Category Archives: iPod touch games

I rag on Kemco quite a bit sometimes, but I really have to commend them for sticking to their guns even as the whole market has changed around them. Just about every month, we can look forward to getting at least one traditional JRPG, albeit with wildly varying levels of quality between titles. To the best of my knowledge, they are pretty much the last publisher on Earth regularly serving that niche, as even companies like Square Enix are shifting further towards the popular social RPG model that has captured the affections of Japanese gamers. I may not like every game they release, but I greatly appreciate what they're doing. Their latest iOS release in English, Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99], has the publisher taking on a slightly different, but no less traditional, model of RPG. It's an isometric turn-based strategy RPG in the style of Yasumi Matsuno's Tactics series of games, and although it's a bit rough, it's surprisingly decent for a first effort...

About two weeks ago, Jared and I were discussing when we might see Dragon Quest 6 on iOS. Let's face it, we kind of got a flurry of Dragon Quests to the face last year, but since Dragon Quest 5 [$9.99] released in January, things have been awfully quiet. Much to our surprise and delight, Dragon Quest 6 dropped on the Japanese App Store out of the blue late last week. It's likely to be at least a couple of months before it makes its English debut, but like Dragon Quest 4 [$14.99] and 5, this version of the game has seen an English release before, so its chances are pretty good. If and when it does, you can probably expect it to cost $14.99 the same as the other two games in the Zenithian Trilogy. I've put the Japanese version through the paces the last few days, so I figured I'd give you some impressions to mull over while you wait...




Hands-On Preview And Trailer For 'Alchemic Dungeons'

My trusty spear has been serving me well up until now. It can reach two spaces away, so I've been using it to take an extra poke at monsters before they can close the distance to attack. It's even better when I can line the bad guys up just so and skewer two of them at once. There's just one problem, though. The deeper I go into the dungeon, the more frequently enemies have been able to surround me. I need something with a bit of a wider arc to it. I open up my crafting menu and get to work. Two pieces of iron ore will make an iron bar. Now, if I take that iron bar and combine it with another piece of iron ore, I've got an iron blade. Attach that to a stick I found, and suddenly I've got a sweet iron broadsword that can sweep the three spaces in front of me. Just what the doctor ordered! Seeing that my hunger gauge is starting to get low, I combine some oil with a mushroom to make a tasty roasted mushroom snack. Living off the land isn't so bad, friends...

When Konami "mispoke" about its future plans and claimed that the company would be shifting its attention to mobile and the App Store, many were disappointed from what they saw as Konami shifting from "real" games to "casual" mobile games. PES Club Manager (PES CM) [Free], a soccer manager game just released, is the first Konami iOS game since the recent debacle, and I'm glad to say that it's a pretty good F2P sports game that shows that Konami can have a fruitful future on iOS, which is nothing but good news for mobile gamers. The game has plenty of content, a real-time 3D match engine that utilizes the console-version game engine, and a more robust team management system than I expected to find in a F2P game. And the monetization system never got in the way of my enjoyment, so all was well on that front too. Overall, PES CM is an enjoyable sports game that will entertain any lover of the sport for many hours...

'Xenowerk' Review - They Call Me a Werking Man, I Guess That's What I Am

I know Pixelbite's focus has been making racing games all this time, but man, was the world of dual-stick shooters missing out. Xenowerk [$1.99] is a more traditional dual-stick shooter affair than Space Marshals [$4.99], a more tactical shooter with stealth elements. Regardless, this is a ton of over-the-top fun. If you want a game that lets you blast a bunch of bugs into gooey puddles, rewards you for playing well, supports MFi controllers, and will push your device to a degree that will make it an effective hand-warmer in the wintertime, you'll love Xenowerk...

When I got my very first iOS device, there were a few genres in particular I had hoped and imagined would be well-represented on the App Store. I've talked before about my early search for a good Picross-style game, but the other kind of game I was looking for was a first-person, turn-based dungeon crawler, along the lines of Wizardry, The Bard's Tale [$2.99], or Etrian Odyssey. I felt that would be a pretty good kind of game to play on a smartphone, and surmised that there ought to have been plenty by the time I made my late entry. The problem is, even with the recent renewed interest in the sub-genre, it's actually pretty niche, and even the genre descriptor causes confusion thanks to the conflation with Diablo-style dungeon crawlers. I asked many people at the time, but nobody seemed to be able to point me towards anything that satisfied what I was looking for...

Brickies [Free] is not a bad game. It is an excellent game in many regards, and a top entry in the brick-breaker genre. The problem is that it's still a brick-breaker. No matter how it mixes things up, I just can't shake the fact that it's a brick-breaker, and it's quite the familiar game. And while it's not bad at all, and is really quite good, it's also not an essential must-have in a venerable, oft-imitated genre...

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. There are lots of interesting ones this time around, with many of the usual suspects sitting things out for the week. 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!..

RPG Reload File 042 - 'Kingturn RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where a single captured outpost can turn the tide of the battle. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on the classics, or just to take a deeper dive on a game than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but I'm always open to your suggestions if you think I'm missing anything. Simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your recommendations or feedback. There are some changes coming up regarding the reader's choice articles, so if there's something you really want to see, you might want to get it in during the next month or so. You have been warned!..

The sixth and final issue of Gameloft's superhero auto-runner Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] has arrived, and it might just be the biggest and wackiest update yet. The most obvious new addition is the arrival of a new set of missions based around the arrival of the final member of the Sinister Six, Mysterio. Yes, apparently ol' Fishbowl-Head is the leader of the Six in this storyline, and serves as a sort of final (for now) boss for the game. Look, I can suspend my disbelief about a lot of things, but there's no way Doc Ock is taking orders from Mysterio. The guy's super abilities include the proportionate strength, speed, and agility of a Hollywood special effects designer, and wearing a stupid glass bowl on his head that Spidey smashes every time. The video games love him, though, so what can we do?..

It took a little while, but English iOS gamers around the world finally caught up to all of the Japanese Dragon Quest releases when Dragon Quest 5 [$9.99] dropped back in late January. Unfortunately, that meant we were suddenly in the same position as Japan, having to wait patiently for the next game to arrive. Well, the first step towards that was carried out today, as Dragon Quest 6: Realms Of Revelation hit the Japanese App Store, selling for the usual price of 1800 yen, or about $15. I'll be bringing you more detailed impressions early next week after I've had a chance to put it through its paces, but here's a little introduction to get things rolling...

I am extremely conflicted about Hitman: Sniper [$4.99]. It's a great game, a legitimately fantastic mobile title. It's a game that takes a simple premise of sniping and turns it into a complex puzzle game, where you have to learn how your weapons and abilities work to piece together sequences of actions to get the most points possible, through becoming really good at the game. Seriously, Square Enix Montreal has made an absurdly clever game. It may be more 'traditional' than their previous Hitman Go [$4.99] was, but it shows the same sparks of clever creativity that made that game special. I just wish that there was more than one level to play over and over again!..

King's got their formula down pat by now. First, take a puzzle concept that has shown some success in the past, be it Bejeweled, Peggle [$0.99], Puzzle Bobble, or anything else. If it's not already stage-based, change it so that it is. Then dial up the difficulty gradually, spiking it now and then to tempt players towards buying power-ups. Introduce new levels regularly, new gimmicks almost as often, do the whole thing up in a sharp package, and wait for the money to come in. No one can deny the success they've had at it, to be sure. But apart from Candy Crush Saga [Free]'s follow-up Candy Crush Soda Saga [Free], King's had trouble making their games stick of late. Their major successes, the two Candy Crush games, Farm Heroes Saga [Free], and Pet Rescue Saga [Free], continue to hang on the higher positions of the top grossing charts, but other efforts like Diamond Digger Saga [Free] and Paper Pear Saga [Free] have gone nowhere. My gut tells me there's a pattern here, and that same instinct tells me that King's latest, AlphaBetty Saga [Free], might suffer the same fate...

'Nubs' Adventure' Review - A Tale Of Home Ownership In The 21st Century

Poor old Nubs. He had defied the odds of the modern economy and purchased a nice house with a great view and plenty of land to build on. Sure, the land taxes were a bit tough to manage each year when tax season came around, but he had things sorted out nicely for the most part. Then one day, a couple of guys swing around, kick him out of his house and off the nearby cliff, then burn the whole thing down. I mean, are debt collectors getting rough these days or what? Luckily, a fairy offers to help you rebuild a home in a new, even better location. You're just going to have to grease the wheels a bit with some fairy dust, which can be extracted from crystals that are just laying around the world, protected by deadly monsters, cunning traps, and treacherous terrain. All things considered, it's probably still safer than a bank loan...

When I reviewed developer Kidalang's Sage Fusion 2 [$2.99] a couple of years ago, I found a very satisfying story that was regrettably attached to a pretty terrible RPG. The story was strong enough to make it worth suffering through the questionable gameplay for, but wouldn't it be better if we didn't have to suffer at all? I'm not sure if it's from feedback or simply recognizing their strengths, but Kidalang has gone a different way for their latest game, An Octave Higher [$6.99]. Rather than create another odd hybrid, the developer has opted to go with a fairly straight-up visual novel design. I think it was a very good choice, to be honest. While An Octave Higher isn't an extraordinary example of the genre, it feels less like a broken experiment and more like a proper experience...

It's an oft-heard complaint that simulation game developer Kairosoft spins their wheels a little too much. I've made that complaint myself a few times while reviewing their games. They have a few templates they like to work with. Typically, they select one of those templates, apply a new theme to it, and maybe add one or two small refinements. The result is usually pretty fun, don't get me wrong, but does tend to feel like you're playing the same game again, except this time with a fake mustache. That said, they've been slowing down their releases on iOS a bit of late, putting out more unusual or at least less well-worn fare like Kairobotica [$4.99] and Magazine Mogul [$4.99]. I find myself actually looking forward to their releases again, something that hasn't happened for a while. Their latest release, Biz Builder Delux [$4.99], is in many ways their best one yet...

'You Must Build A Boat' Review - You Must Buy This Game

To tell you the truth, friends, I'm actually pretty busy working on something today. That said, I was asked to come and write something for all of you about the new follow-up to Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99]. It's called You Must Build A Boat [$2.99], and it's every bit as compelling as the first game. Did you like the first game? Do you enjoy puzzle games? Do you like games? You're going to want this one, trust me...

Skiing Yeti Mountain [Free] is the kind of game that's best in a bunch of small doses over time. The gameplay is solid, the controls excellent, and the structure of this skiing game is great for mobile. But in trying ot be this experience that you play over a long time, it doesn't do a great job at being a game that you'd want to play a lot of in one sitting. It's a blessing and a curse for Featherweight's otherwise fun title...

Friends, it's been a cavalcade of bummers for iOS SEGA fans lately. After tapping Christian Whitehead to do an amazing job of remastering Sonic CD [$2.99], Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99], and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99], the company for whatever reason decided they weren't interested in doing the same for Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The fantastic port of Jet Set Radio stopped working as of iOS 8 and was pulled from the App Store, presumably never to return. The much-hyped Sonic Team iOS debut turned out to be a rather lackluster runner that may or may not exit soft launch, and just a few weeks ago, SEGA cleaned house on their App Store library, removing most of the Genesis games and several other titles for "quality" reasons. And in fact, as I checked the App Store for background on this story, I see the remaining Genesis games have been removed, along with ChuChu Rocket! and a couple of others...

'Chaos Rings 3' Review - Put A Ring On It, This One's A Keeper

Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is hauling a lot of baggage with it. It carries the hopes of a series that seems to be hanging on by a thread, the expectations of a fanbase who were heavily engaged by the storytelling chops of the series to date, and potentially the future of original, premium mobile RPGs from Square Enix. Like the protagonists of the previous games, it's a creation pulled out of its context, struggling to find relevance in a changed world that offers little mercy. The entire game feels like it was heading down a particular path only to get yanked in an entirely different direction just before it was finished. This whole situation likely explains why this game has a lot of cruft and loose ends hanging from it. It feels like they threw in everything, the kitchen sink, and the whole housewares department while they were at it. As a result, I think this game has a little something for everyone, but few people are going to indulge in everything. It's just the sort of messy RPG that Square Enix used to fill our bellies with on a regular basis when they weren't quite so risk-averse, and I personally love it for that...

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