Category Archives: $0.99

If you were an iOS-only gamer following Capcom's Ace Attorney series, things probably got a little confusing with Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies [$0.99]. Why did it seem like Phoenix Wright was coming back to his job from a long time off? Who is this Apollo guy that takes up a third of the game? Wait, Phoenix has a daughter? What's up with that? I'm not sure why Capcom decided to give mobile players the fifth game in a series before the fourth one, but they've finally decided to fill that gap. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney [$0.99] is a beautiful remaster of the original game which, up until now, was exclusively found on the Nintendo DS. While the graphics aren't polygonal like Dual Destinies, they were originally rendered at a much higher resolution than the Game Boy Advance sprites that were redrawn for the Phoenix Wright Trilogy. It's also, for various reasons, generally not as well-liked as most of the other installments in the series. Nevertheless, it's safe to say that if you enjoyed your time in the courtroom in previous Ace Attorney games, you'll want to show up to the stand here, too...

One game that has been very popular in our community but has flown mostly under the radar since its release in June is The Counter of Death [Free] from developer Curlking. This twitch reaction game has you facing off against an onslaught of foes by countering their attacks which leads to you automatically launching an offense of your own. It's done very simply by either touching the giant upper counter button or lower counter button, and paying close attention to your enemy's motions prior to their strike is key to being successful. For such simple mechanics, The Counter of Death is a surprisingly strategic game, and made even better by its fantastic presentation that mimicked old-school kung-fu movies to a T. ..




'Apollo Justice Ace Attorney' Hits the App Store

We're just mere moments away from our usual "Out Now" post, but I figured the arrival of Apollo Justice Ace Attorney [$0.99] was worth it's own little heads up. For those keeping score at home, Apollo Justice is the fourth game in the beloved Ace Attorney main series, though it doesn't actually star everyone's favorite ace attorney Phoenix Wright. No matter though, as our own Shaun Musgrave notes in the original announcement of this iOS port, "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is both important to the overall story of the series and still a pretty awesome game in its own right." Just over a week ago the release date for Apollo Justice was announced, with iOS hitting right now and the Android version coming just one week later...

There are a wide variety of genres and types of games on the App Store, many of which would only work on the pure touchscreen-centric input that the iPhone offers. While this results in a lot of imaginative and innovative experiences, I still end up gravitating towards platformers when I'm looking for a new game to play. I don't know whether it's their intrinsic familiarity or maybe just a personal predisposition towards the genre, but games such as Mos Speedrun 2 [$1.99] and Kero Blaster [$5.99] provided incredibly compulsive platforming action that was impossible to put down. Tons of Bullets [$1.99] follows in a similar vein - with both graphics and gameplay that evoke a bygone era of chaotic 2D platformers, the developers created a predictable but fun premium game that was a bargain for its two dollar price of entry. While the developers have supported the game with successive updates since its launch, Tons of Bullets has today gone on sale for the first time ever for only $0.99, which is a fantastic price for anyone looking for even more enemies to run, shoot and jump at...

Ellen's Heads Up [$0.99] has been a huge success, and I don't think I've stood in a line recently and haven't seen one family or another play this word game. It's still in the top 5 games on the App Store and has been there since forever. Add to that all the celebrities that Ellen has playing this game on TV, and it's no wonder it's so huge. The game's latest holiday update lets players try decks for free. More specifically, during Ellen's 12 Days of Giveways, players can try out one of the most popular decks in the game for free. You can't pick which deck you'll try out, but this might be a chance to have fun with words you'll have no idea how to offer any clues...

'RETSNOM' Review - Yako S'ti

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I think the first platformer I ever played where you could manipulate gravity was Irem's Metal Storm for the 8-bit NES. It's a side-scrolling action game, a genre that at the time was so flooded that you virtually had to have some kind of gimmick to stand out. You were mostly jumping and shooting, but you also had a handy button that let you flip to the ceiling. That mechanic showed up here and there over the years before the popular VVVVVV [$2.99] used it better than any game had before, at least in my opinion. It makes for clever puzzles, but more importantly, it rewrites the rules of one of gaming's most well-worn genres. So it's not surprising that a lot of games that followed VVVVVV drew that mechanic into their tool sets. Unfortunately, in becoming a trend, flipping gravity has lost a lot of what it can offer a game...

The game of chess may well have been one of the earliest examples of a game being easy to learn but hard to master. Learning how all of the pieces move and putting together a basic strategy towards getting a checkmate isn't that difficult, but the unpredictable nature of human behavior makes chess a game that always has something new to offer. There's almost always a move to make that could be considered the best, but it's only the best if your opponent reacts in the textbook way themselves. A strong chess player needs to study their opponent almost as intently as the board. That said, there's a lot to be said for learning some fundamental strategies, just in case your opponent plays things by the book. As an added bonus, that knowledge will help you if you decide to play Moveless Chess [Free]...

There simply is no stopping Plague Inc. [$0.99]. Since its debut nearly four and a half years ago, Plague Inc. has received a constant stream of updates which have mutated the game into new forms and spread it to a constantly expanding base of players. It's like a plague! Its latest update has just hit the App Store and it's very fitting for the forthcoming Halloween holiday. The new Shadow Plague is a "sentient, mutagenic pathogen" that "triggers a powerful thirst for blood in its chosen host", basically turning you into a vampire who must feed on humanity to grow into a giant bat capable of setting up lairs and shadow portals. Here is an exclusive look at the giant, vampiric bat in action...

There's very little that's more satisfying than an easy to grasp game. If it has shooting elements, great, it probably appeals to the little destroyer in us all. That's precisely why so many have flocked to Downwell [$2.99], as it has that "one more run" type of feel combined with a loveable art style and simple control scheme. It's something that you can just pick up and play, preferably on a convenient device like a smartphone, and just go to town with, for minutes or hours at a time. Spingun [Free] might not be as epic as some of those types of games, but it definitely has that feel...

It's always great to see inventive Steam releases finally make their way to the iPhone, especially when many of their unique mechanics are a perfect fit to touch controls, and normally at a far more palatable price of entry. RETSNOM [$0.99] - taking a leaf from the Alucard book of naming - is the next game to follow in the illustrious path of PC ports, and with an incredibly cool concept of being able to alter the construction of levels to progress, is sure to distinguish itself from the abundance of other platforming titles on the App Store...

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...

In the time after Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99] launched all the way back in October 2014, the game has grown and developed far beyond the entertaining but flawed card game which warranted a relatively average three star review at release. Since this initial launch, we've seen a universal update, multiplayer implementation, numerous expansions, and most recently a whole new season that released last month, which has seen the game create a significant community amongst like-minded mobile gaming enthusiasts. However, the pre-eminent complaint in our review was that, for its original $9.99 price tag, Sentinels of the Multiverse was a bit expensive whilst it still had a few major issues. Having gone some way to fixing the latter issue, developers Handelabra Studio have gone one step further and reduced the base game to a record low price of $0.99, which is certainly a lot more palatable for anyone looking to try out this character-packed card game...

It's always interesting to see what kind of games follow when a novel idea hits big. The first wave is usually composed of shameless clones, but after everyone gets those out of their systems, you start to see some interesting, enjoyable twists. Earlier this year, we took a look at Dungeon Tiles [Free], a game that fused some light RPG mechanics into the core mechanics of Threes! [$2.99], adding an extra layer of tension to the swipe 'n' merge gameplay. Stencilsmith [$0.99] takes a broadly similar approach to that game, but also introduces crafting aspects to give you even more to do. The game has been out for a few months already, but it just recently got a great update that made me take a closer look at it. While it's not much to look at and comes off a little rough in places, the added ideas it brings to the table makes for an entertaining twist on a favorite...

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. ..

Marvel Pinball [$0.99] is about to get some of the most iconic female super heroes and super villains in a very fun new pack. I like the way Marvel Pinball has been expanding, and what an easy way for the developer to increase the game's revenue. Marvel's Women of Power pack is bringing two new tables and characters like Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, and more. The A-Force table brings an alternate Soviet-dominated reality and features an interesting storyline involving the destruction of a Cosmic Cube. The table's Wizard Mode lets you control Black Widow and Madame Masque directly as you try and keep the Cosmic Cube balls alive...

Back in May, developer Rumblecade released a side-scrolling beat 'em up called Rockabilly Beatdown [$0.99] that featured simple button-mashing gameplay and some of the nicest pixel art and animation I'd seen. Despite being a simple game with just a single attack button, there was some hidden depth to Rockabilly Beatdown that slowly unveiled itself the more you played. With the charm and personality of the characters in the game, this was definitely an "endless high-scoring" take on the beat 'em up genre that I could get behind. The biggest problem was that it felt like a one-trick pony and, besides shooting for high scores, there wasn't a ton of meat on the bones in terms of progression and unlocks, things we had issues with in our review. That's something that Rumblecade has attempted to rectify with the first big update for Rockabilly Beatdown...

Tiger Style are essentially the Radiohead of the App Store - while they may not release titles with the same frequency as other mobile game companies, every single one of their games has been outstanding and revolutionary, and when all is said and done, they will likely go down as one of the most important iOS developers of all time. The original Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [$1.99] was pivotal in establishing iPhone gaming as a serious platform for unique experiences that could not be found on other consoles. Their next release, the atmospheric exploration game Waking Mars [$4.99], followed Spider's 2009 Game of the Year accolade by winning the same award in 2012, and the 2015 arachnid sequel Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon [$4.99] built and expanded on the concepts laid down by its predecessor to great effect, receiving a glowing five star review for its efforts. Today, all three Tiger Style titles (and Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor HD [$1.99 (HD)]) have gone on sale for $0.99 each, so anyone without one of these excellent titles on their iPhone should definitely use this opportunity to see what all the fuss is about...

While receiving mobile ports of critically acclaimed games from other consoles is generally a good thing, there is always a risk that certain aspects won't make the transition smoothly to a smaller and more portable device. On the other hand, sometimes titles flourish on iOS, and Human Resource Machine [$4.99] is one such game. In my review back in June, I was taken aback by how well the relatively complex commands needed to manipulate your anonymous worker drone were adapted to the touchscreen device, and the portability of the iPhone perfectly suited the progression of the puzzles involved. These features, coupled with a significant amount of content, excellent audio and visual design, and a subtle satirical take on modern day corporations, resulted in a must have iOS title that was worth far more than its generous $4.99 price tag. Despite this, Human Resource Machine has today gone on sale for the ridiculously low price of $0.99, so anyone who missed the game first time around has no reason not to experience Tomorrow Corporation's latest App Store gem...

The development of Dust: An Elysian Tail [$5.99] is almost as great a fable as the actual game. Having been developed entirely by one man in over three and a half years, the title became a cult hit on every platform it released on, and since its launch on Xbox 360 back in 2012 has sold over a million copies. When Dust finally made its way to the App Store in October of last year, it received the same glowing reception as its console iterations amongst both gamers and critics, and our review acclaimed it as one of the best games of the year on iOS. It really was one not to miss, but if you did avoid picking it up at its full launch price of $5.99, Dust is now on sale for the borderline criminal price of only $0.99...

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