Category Archives: iPod touch games

Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] from Tree Men Games is marching towards its 2nd birthday this coming summer, and what a "ride" it's been thus far (pun totally intended). When it originally launched in August of 2014 Pako was a stylish but simplistic high-scoring game all about trying to drive around with no brakes for as long as possible while avoiding obstacles and police cars. It's still about that at its core, but Pako has seen a ton of updates since its release, like new environments to drive in along with new vehicles to drive. This has given Tree Men the opportunity to expand the boundaries of Pako with unique levels like the Arena which allows you to choose what vehicle you use, the Moon with its crazy gravity, the Desert which is an actual race against other cars, or the Airport which has you starting out as a human on foot and lets you hop into any vehicle you come across, including luggage carts, tiny aircraft, and stair cars (You're going to get some hop-ons). Oh! How could I forget my favorite level the Hockey arena which lets you cruise around on the ice in a Zamboni and even run into a giant puck which you can launch into the net to score a goal?..

The husband and wife team that makes up Swedish indie developer Killmonday Games successfully crowdfunded their vision for "a very creepy point-and-click adventure" called Fran Bow back in the summer of 2013. The game officially launched on PC in August of last year to a positive reception, and following its release on Android just a couple of weeks ago Fran Bow is now available on iOS as well. In the game you play as Fran, a ten year-old girl who witnesses the grisly murder of her own parents. She is discovered traumatized and alone in the woods, and taken to an asylum where she's separated from her only friend in the world, her cat Mr. Midnight. Due to the medications administered to her at the asylum, Fran hallucinates an alternate reality filled with gruesome monsters and death. Desperate to escape the asylum and horrible treatments, Fran utilizes the ability to jump between the two realities in order to solve puzzles, find Mr. Midnight, and hopefully discover who was behind the murder of her parents...




Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

As the winter season in Super Evil Megacorp’s mobile MOBA begins to wind down, Vainglory’s [Free] latest content update seems to have something for everyone. Not only does 1.15 have three cool new skins (including the long awaited Star Queen Celeste Tier II), but the latest limited-time skin can also be obtained via in-game cards (as opposed to the previous ICE-only iterations). There are also a wide variety of balance changes that seem to touch nearly every hero...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is a minimalist 2D golfing game from developer Justin Smith, who has been well-known for years now for creating quirky gaming experiences on a variety of platforms but is probably best-known on mobile for his wacky Bear Driving Simulator Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99]. Anyway, Desert Golfing took on a life of its own following its release in August of 2014. Something about its extreme minimalism drew people in hole after hole, but subtle things like the terrain very slowly changing color over the course of many thousands of holes prompted people to find deeper meaning in all this endless golfing. I have no doubt that it's only a matter of time before Desert Golfing is required teaching in every philosophy class across the globe...

It begins again! The original Badland [$1.99] was notorious for receiving new levels and features WELL after its original release in April of 2013. So when the sequel Badland 2 [$1.99] came along late last year it had the unenviable task of being compared to its older and more fleshed-out sibling. However, Badland 2 brought its own bag of tricks to the table, including even more impressive visuals and a more multidirectional nature that set it apart from its strictly side-scrolling predecessor. Even without fifty billion levels, we loved Badland 2 in our review, and knowing developer Frogmind we were quite confident that we'd be seeing more levels added in the future. And that's totally the case! Frogmind is tweeting out teasers of some new levels coming in the forthcoming Infinity update, check out the .gifs!..

It's been taking the soft-launch world by storm, and although Supercell has been relatively quiet about its worldwide launch it appears that today is the day that Clash Royale [Free] is finally seeing a wide release. Just moments ago the game popped up in the US App Store, and although it's a bit impossible to check every region you should probably hop over and check if it's in your local App Store as well. ..

A couple of weeks back we posted a brand new trailer for Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers [$0.99], a game that was initially announced way back in December of 2013. After progress on the game went silent back then, everyone just kind of assumed the project was dead until that trailer surprised everybody by popping up earlier this month. Anyway, the response to that trailer was incredible, and it was easy to see why. Lost Socks boasted some fantastic animation and character design, and promised a hardcore platforming/runner hybrid that was not for the faint of heart. As an added bonus, the game was completley devoid of any IAP, timers, energy, or any other free to play nonsense. This was a gamer's game, people!..

'Patchwork' Review - Greater than the Sum of it's Parts

Patchwork[$2.99] is a very cute game. It has a charming facade of quilty-buttony comfort that is really quite inviting and calming. It's almost a shame that the game is very much a game of cut-throat cold logic devoid of much wiggle room around the fact that the person who can plan ahead best will usually win. The master mind behind such board game greats as Agricola[$6.99] and Le Havre[$4.99], Uwe Rosenberg, followed the pattern with a really great strategic/economic design on this one...

‘_PRISM’ Review - Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Code Together

Several times in my life I’ve fantasized about packing up my guitar and some recording equipment and moving to a remote cabin for a month or so to write and record music. Far removed from the stress, distraction, and responsibility of normal life, I’d be free to put all my energy into crafting the next Sgt. Pepper’s or Pet Sounds. (It’s a fantasy, after all.) Unfortunately, doing such a thing is a luxury most people can’t afford for a number of reasons, which means I’ll have to settle for squeezing my recording sessions into spare hours in the garage like normal...

Earlier this month Craneballs released their latest iOS game Splash Cars [Free], a wonderful little game about painting color onto a black and white world by driving around and blasting paint out of the back of your vehicle. It was fun just to drive around and paint the world, but what really made Splash Cars compelling was the balancing of your limited fuel supply along with avoiding contact with cops and other objects as well as smart use of your movement so as not to waste any time overlapping on any areas you've already painted. It was a really fun game that we enjoyed a lot in our review...

In November of last year, Pixeljam released a wonderful little game called Last Horizon [$2.99]. In it you played an astronaut who needed to flee your dying world in a hurry, so you set out on a solo journey through space attempting to harvest resources and not get killed on your way to a new inhabitable planet to call home. The excellent controls and fun inertia-based flying made Last Horizon a winner in our eyes, but there were a couple of drawbacks. One was that Last Horizon was a pretty difficult game, and the way it was set up you had to actually beat one world to unlock the next, harder world, and eventually unlock an endless mode. ..

Well, the long, strange trip of the latest Assassin's Creed mobile game finally comes to an end as Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] has just launched worldwide. The saga began when Identity soft-launched in select countries way back in September of 2014. The game was built around quick missions that felt conducive to mobile play but it was the first Assassin's Creed game on iOS to be built around the more traiditional open-world mechanics of the long-running console and PC game series. It was also a very free to play game with all the trappings that comes with, which just didn't jive well with the type of game that it was. ..

Just about a month ago developer Lucky Kat launched Sky Chasers [Free], a game with the heart and soul of a 16-bit platformer but the mechanics of a cave flyer. To be honest, as much as I loved the pixel art and overall charm of Sky Chasers, I can't say I loved it right off the bat. It had kind of a weird checkpoint system that was also built in to the free to play model, and for some reason it just didn't grab me like I thought it might. Thankfully I kept at it and finally something clicked just right and I fell in love with Sky Chasers. That's why it makes me so happy that Lucky Kat has begun teasing a new 4th world set to come in an update. The kicker? This new world takes place predomenently in a cave and underwater! Check out some teaser .gifs...

Earlier this month we caught a glimpse of an awesome-looking upcoming platformer from Emergency Studios called Chel-Z [Free]. With colorful 8-bit style pixel art, similarly 8-bit chiptunes, one big 36 room map that you could explore and slowly gain access to Metroidvania style, and a robot with a human brain who can wield a grappling hook, it had us all pretty excited. Unfortunately, Apple's approval process took longer than expected and Chel-Z didn't make it by its intended February 11th release date. The good news is that it finally did make it through approval and Chel-Z just surprised-launched mere moments ago. ..

We've known Magic Cube for years as makers of simple but fun mobile games like the Infect Them All series, Call of Snakes [$0.99] and its various spinoffs, and plenty more. This week however they've launched their first game as a publisher, called Karma Ball Z [$0.99]. The game is developed by MinjeongKim (36) Studio who previously released 4Legs [Free], a completely absurd "art jump performance game" where you play as a centaur trying to jump high into space while collecting carrots and radishes and avoiding getting killed by an enemy wearing a horse head and a sombrero. Um, yeah. Karma Ball Z is the follow-up to that game, and it's basically just as crazy. You play as the same centaur character, named Super Karma Centa, who must defend the planet against the evil horse aliens who are invading Earth. You do this by thinking dumb thoughts which allow you to gather energy in your hands and shoot powerful Super Karma Bombs at those pesky horse aliens. Also you have a combat wig. Here's the nonsensical trailer...

Some games we play for the excitement, some we play for scares, and some we play for the challenge. And then there are games like Tsuro [$4.99], the digital port of the 2004 board game, that are all about introspection, the kind of game you play while lying on a couch with a glass of wine (or your spirit of choice) in one hand and the iPad in the other. Thunderbox Entertainment gladly took the challenge of bringing Tsuro to mobile and has done a pretty good job representing the abstract board game on the iPad and iPhone screens. Going with a "zero UI" philosophy, the developers tried to create a sense of immediacy between the player and the board and they have, mostly, succeeded. They tried to give us a faithful representation of how it feels to play the physical game, but at the same time also added 3 new ways to play the game, expanding Tsuro's challenge and replayability...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

Ellipsis [$2.99] feels at first like it should be a tilt game, taking place in a small arena and with all sorts of abstract shapes. Thankfully, it doesn't – it would be awkward if it and Abzorb [$2.99] came out the same week – but instead is a touch-based game. And the touch part of the experience plays a major role. You move your blue circle around, trying to hit the blue targets, while dodging anything that's red. Blue = good, red = deadly. But the game is all about dodging hazards while collecting the things you need to unlock the exit, while trying to perform as well as possible. It's a game whose quality is pretty solid, but it reveals some clever things and does small things well. Ellipsis is a tough game to evaluate, because it might not reach the dizzying heights of the absolute best games, but its design is subtly brilliant, with few demerits...

Late last month we learned about a new level editor that was heading to Hanger World [Free], the absurd physics-based swinging and disembodying game released in July of last year. Today that level editor update is now available, and it's everything I hoped it would be. Creating levels is stupidly easy as you just choose from a selection of items and drag them around the screen where you want them. The standard shapes you can even resize and reshape by pulling on the corners, so with a little creativity you can create just about any kind of landscape you desire...

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