Category Archives: $0.99

Following a successful launch on Android, developer Toka Loka Games brought their gooey platformer Goo Saga [$0.99] to iOS in late April, and it absolutely floored me. You played as a ball of goo with a huge personality (as far as balls of goo go) making your way through tricky platforming levels that demanded you used your gooeyness to expand or shrink down in size, as well as your suite of upgradeable special abilities. In addition, it was one of the more visually pleasing games around. For a fiver, Goo Saga was a totally worthwhile endeavor, and we enjoyed it a lot in our review, but right now you can get all that gooey goodness for the sale price of just 99¢...

Rather than the big blockbuster ports such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas [$3.99], it was Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$0.99] that really made many of my avid gamer friends sit up and take notice of iOS as a legitimate gaming platform. Such was the critical reception of the game that Klei Entertainment crafted on its initial PC release; survival games were rarely as deep and thought provoking before Don't Starve came and really shook up the genre. For anyone who wasn't able to pick up the mobile port the first time, the game has gone on sale to $0.99 for the first time. We thought it was brilliant in our review back in 2015, and because of a universal update that was pushed through shortly after its release, anyone can delve into the dark yet deep world of Don't Starve - even if it probably is better to experience on the larger screen of an iPad...




Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...

Ravenous Games have created a large following over the years by releasing excellent pixel platformers and shooters, with League of Evil [$2.99] being one of the first true twitch action games in the mould of Super Meat Boy. Today marks a dramatic change to their well-refined formula, as Paranormal Minis [$0.99] has finally been released after a turbulent development period that stretches back two and a half years of development all the way to 2014. Instead of requiring razor sharp reflexes and pixel perfect jumping skills, Paranormal Minis has numerous similarities to the early App Store breakout hit Zombieville [$0.99], and mainly consists of side-scrolling shooter action. ..

Beat 'em ups started out with a simple enough premise. Punch stuff, get points. It's that easy! In an era where quarters equated to extra lives, and arcade owners could jack up the difficulty with the flip of a switch before the doors opened, it was a lucrative business. But once they hit home consoles things changed. Players could just opt for infinite lives, which, while great for your wallet, takes away some of the inherent nervousness of using up your very last quarter in X-Men while Magneto is flashing with a critical amount of life. It was a rush to be sure, and although Rockabilly Beatdown [$0.99] captures some of that magic, it lacks staying power...

Earlier this month we showed you the trailer for a clever upcoming arcade/tower defending game from developer Ogre Pixel called Warcher Defenders [$0.99], and as of late last night the game is now available in the App Store. It's tough calling Warcher Defenders a "tower defense" game, as even though you're literally defending enemies from attacking your tower it's not the typical tower defense formula at all. More accurately it's a castle defense game as it's played from a sideview with enemies approaching from the right. There are platforms attached to your tower which allow you to attack from various heights. ..

'Never Gone' Review - Living Death Is A Real Grind

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May 19th, 2016 11:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $0.99, 3 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Never Gone [$2.99] could have really been something. That's my biggest takeaway from this game, after spending more time with it than I probably needed to for this review. Fundamentally, it's a belt-scrolling beat-em-up along the lines of games like Double Dragon or Final Fight, but it brings in a lot of elements from stylish action games like Devil May Cry to spice things up. The main character's moveset is ripped right out of Dante's playbook, and the game also incorporates a lot of Devil May Cry's aesthetics. Never Gone also features some light RPG elements that allow you to develop your character and create new gear...

'Amidakuji Knight' Review - Choose a Path

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May 12th, 2016 11:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $0.99, 4 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

Many years ago, I encountered a really cool boss in a game called Mega Man X. As one of the last encounters leading up to the final fight, players were locked in a room with a giant robotic spider, with multiple metal "webs" hanging from the ceiling. Every few seconds the webs would change, and create new pathways for the spider to travel. The rules were simple -- it had to follow the journey of least resistance, and turn down every path it could. It was interesting because players could deduce where the spider would fall with any given pattern, but they had to be fast enough to figure it out before he landed on you. That concept is basically how the entire game of Amidakuji Knight [$0.99] works, to great success. The concept not only translates perfectly to a touchscreen, but the developers also extend it a bit with a full-on level-up and gear system. After a quick setup that involves a heroic knight and his quest to locate a valuable talisman across three chapters, players are off to the overworld, where they're presented with a number of choices, represented with paths. Each board has five in all, which will lead you to an end goal -- whether it's an enemy to fight and gain experience from, gold, or an item...

Raresloth's fantastic puzzle platformer King Rabbit [Free] is getting ready to be injected with a huge amount of new content this Thursday. As they've detailed in our forums, this update is dubbed the Fire Adventures Update and comes with 16 new campaign levels that'll be free for all existing owners, plus an additional 64 new levels in the Fire Adventures DLC pack which will launch at a sale price of 99¢ for the first 72 hours. That's like not even two cents per new level! In addition to new levels, there are now 8 characters to unlock and play as: Peach, Snobby, Albino, Demon, Jackalope, Leprechaun, Zombie, and Lovely. This update will also include 10 new unlockable customizations so you can trick out whichever character you prefer with some sweet flare. Both the new characters and the customizations are unlockable with diamonds, which by the way are now labeled on the level selection screens so you know which levels have them and which don't. Completionists rejoice! Check out this brand new trailer for the Fire Adventures Update...

'Pixel Machines' Review - If 'Micro Machines' Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

I really don't think free-to-play is as bad as its vocal haters claim it is, but I totally get that it changes games' structures. Look at something like the soft-launched Micro Machines; if you just wanted a way to play the classic Micro Machines game on your iPhone or iPad, all the games-as-a-service shenanigans might be distasteful. Still, I think you should keep an open mind, but I get it. Change sucks. Thankfully, indie developers who just want to make cool homages to the classics and only charge you once, and small amounts at that, do still exist. Pixel Machines [$0.99] will really strike a chord with Micro Machines fans by being pretty much the same game, but with mobile-friendly and modern features...

'Zenge' Review - Everything Slides Into Place

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April 22nd, 2016 11:39 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $0.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

At a very young age, I was trained for puzzle games. You know, putting those square pegs into their appropriate holes, Operation to meticulously work on my reaction times, and so on. All of those tabletop experiences trained me for what was to come down the road, when I had to put those same pegs into hundreds of different locations over the years, dreamed up by some of the most prophetic puzzle designers the world has ever seen. That includes Zenge [$0.99], which takes the core premise of shifting around different shapes into one magnificent canvas...

Back in 2012, indie developer Christian Schnellmann released Flight Simulator 0 [$0.99], a flight simulator (duh) where the main goal was not having any goals and instead focusing on the joy of flying around a colorful polygonal environment. The game was received reasonably well at the time, but Schnellmann always felt like the game never reached its full potential. So earlier this year he started tinkering around with the game, improving the tilt controls, refining the game's day/night cycle, adding a dynamic weather effect, and creating an entirely new environment to fly around in. Before he knew it, he'd basically remade everything in the game save for the original paper airplane model, and now he's readying all this work for an update he's planning on releasing on April 28th. Check out a new trailer for the revamped Flight Simulator 0...

'King Rabbit' Review - The King Has Returned

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April 5th, 2016 10:50 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $0.99, 5 stars, Action, Arcade, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

Making video game sequels has always been a tricky business, but in the modern age of updates and add-ons, I can't even imagine how difficult it is to make the best choice for a follow-up. On the App Store in particular, the audience has become accustomed to getting reasonably significant additional content delivered as free updates, with games like Angry Birds [$0.99] and Candy Crush Saga [Free] getting enough free add-ons to construct a dozen sequels under the old rules. Unless you're one of the biggest dogs in the yard, however, it doesn't take long for such efforts to yield weak dividends, since relatively few players ever actually play through all of the content in the base game to begin with. Now, if you're making the kind of game where you can make your sequel look obviously different in some regard, it's less of a problem, but for puzzle games, it can be difficult to sway people over to a new installment...

Some of my favorite mobile games are ones that can be played with one hand in quick sessions. After all, if you have your phone always with you, then why not fill any empty gaps by playing a game? I love deeper experiences as well, but the ones I keep coming back to are the games that I can play for short bursts. It's what makes Clash Royale [Free] so compelling and replayable, and why I've sunk a lot more time in something like Boom Dots [Free] than you'd probably expect from such a simple game. So is the case with Super Arc Light [$0.99]. It's a minimalist high-score shooter that takes definite cues from Super Hexagon [$2.99]. It's a game I raise plenty of issues with, but I can't complain about it too much, since it scratches my one-handed pick-up-and-play itch quite well...

You would definitely be forgiven for looking at the screenshots in this review and assuming this game was some kind of clone or expansion DLC for Monument Valley [$3.99]. But aside from the Escher-esque optical illusions in the levels, the design, mechanics, and even the other aspects of the aesthetics offer something completely different. And while Dream Machine: The Game [$0.99] isn’t quite the masterwork that Monument Valley is, it’s a beautiful, memorable 3D puzzle game, and a premium one with no IAP to boot...

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?..

I think there's a pretty good game buried somewhere in The First Tactics [$0.99]. It's hard to be sure at times because there are so many bad choices with the presentation. If you can cut through the obvious vestiges of the game being designed as free-to-play, and somehow comprehend an extremely poor English localization that only makes things more confusing the more it tries to explain itself, you'll find a small-scale yet pleasingly complex turn-based strategy game. I'm just not sure if the good part of the game is worth dealing with the multiple barriers it's encased in, particularly in a genre that has so many strong examples on the platform that don't require you to jump through such hoops...

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...

'Tennis Champs Returns' Review - A New Definition of Love

Sports video games are in a tough spot, in my opinion. They have benefited greatly from hardware advancement over the decades, and are able to offer much more accurate simulations of their real-life counterparts with things like incredible graphics and advanced physics and AI. But along with that sports games have undoubtedly become more complex, and are often difficult to approach with their many button inputs and moves. I also feel that sometimes sports games fail to capture the essence of the sport they're trying to mimic, as even though the action on screen is faithful the their real-life counterparts it often doesn't "feel" like you're actually playing that sport. More like just inputting your button combinations and watching what unfolds...

'Pull My Tongue' Review - Harm a Harm a Harm a Chameleon

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February 12th, 2016 2:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

For me, one of the marks of a good puzzle game is when the main mechanics are so simple and intuitive that you have a hard time seeing how the game could possibly get challenging--and then it does. Pull My Tongue [$0.99], the latest game published by Noodlecake, is kinda like that. The first level introduces you to the core concept, which basically never changes: There’s a lizard who wants a piece of popcorn, and all you need to do is pull the tongue out of his mouth until it reaches his buttery prize. Sure, the game eventually starts adding more things to get in his way, but at the end of the day you’ll still be simply stretching the tongue to the popcorn...

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