Category Archives: $0.99

When all else fails, novelty can do a lot for a game. On The Line [$0.99] isn't a very deep or complex game, but it does present an interesting spin on the endless running genre that's bound to appeal to some despite its simple nature. We've seen almost every kind of hero in this genre, from a man in a suit to Garfield, but I think this is the first time we've had an endless game where your finger is the main character. It's not as fully-realized as one might hope, but its unique concept is worth checking out if you're looking for something a little bit off the beaten path...

'SuperPro Snowboarding' Review - If You Like Tony Hawk, This Is A Snow-Brainer

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, back on the original PlayStation, was something of a revelation for me as a gamer. See, up until that point, I generally avoided games whose themes I had little interest in. If I didn't like watching or playing football, why would I like Madden? If I didn't like 7up, surely Cool Spot would not appeal to me. So, having little interest in skateboarding, I paid little attention to THPS until a friend pretty much forced me to try it. It quickly became one of my favorite games, and I became an avid fan of the series until it tragically asphyxiated itself with a giant skateboard accessory. All that, without knowing anything about skateboarding other than that I was really lousy at it. After that, I started to be considerably more open-minded about what I played, and that's never a bad thing...

I've got a bone to pick with Rare. As far as I know, the studio's most popular NES game, Battletoads, consisted of only three levels. The first was a straight beat-em-up. You walked to the right and beat the snot out of giant bipedal pigs and walker robots. In the second level, you rappelled down a pit. The third level, Turbo Tunnel, was the end of the line. You jumped on a motorbike, and you sped to the right down this two-lane road, swerving up and down to avoid colored walls. Only you couldn't avoid them for long because one instant they were materializing and the next you had pancaked against them...

In May of last year, Rodeo Games released Warhammer Quest [$4.99], a turn-based dungeon crawler set in the Warhammer universe. And, they totally nailed it–we loved Warhammer Quest in our review. The game launched at a price of $4.99, and as is almost unheard of in the world of the App Store, it has remained at that price ever since. Most everyone playing Warhammer Quest agreed it was worth the asking price and then some, but it's never fun to buy something full price and then have it immediately go on sale, so it was nice to see Rodeo stick to their pricing scheme. However, that was nearly nine months ago, and so for the first time ever Rodeo Games have decided to put Warhammer Quest on sale for just a buck through the weekend...

One of 2012's absolute best iOS releases, Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99] has just been given a much needed update adding widescreen support (yay!), Game Center achievements and new Ace Levels. If you missed it previously, 10000000 is a matching game with built-in combat and RPG mechanics, not totally unlike Puzzle Quest or Dungeon Raid. The hook here is that you're constantly under a time constraint, so you need to be making the right kind of matches for whatever your current obstacle is (fighting an enemy, unlocking a door, etc.) with the clock ticking down in your face. It puts a certain sense of panic into the gameplay, but not in a bad way. In fact, it's exhilarating when you know time is just about to run out and you happen to make the most perfect match ever, propelling you forward and continuing your run when you were sure you were toast...

The worst thing about Platforms Unlimited is that it denies you vengeance. My fellow run-and-jumpers know what I'm talking about. You die at a certain point in a platformer, so you retry, and you die again, and again--until at long last, something clicks, and you bound over the pit, or enemy, or whatever-it-was that had sapped so many lives from your once-ripe supply of continues. But that's, like, all part of the Platforms Unlimited [$0.99] experience, man. ..

Making a traditional shoot-em-up out of the Star Wars license is such a great idea that you just know something had to go wrong. A curious spin-off of a spin-off series, LEGO Star Wars: Microfighters [$0.99] seems to naturally have its sights set on the younger Star Wars fans. It's about as basic a vertical shooter as you could imagine, with little of the imagination one would associate with the LEGO franchise. In and of itself, there's nothing wrong with that, especially considering the heavy debt the shooter genre owes to the original films, but the end result is a fairly unremarkable game that isn't even packed with much fanservice, leaving it without the usual last resort many Star Wars games have had to retreat to...

Developer FarSight Studios have done a marvelous job of recreating dozens of classic real-world pinball tables in their Pinball Arcade [$0.99 / Free] game since early 2012. Now, according to an interview with the BBC (via Polygon), the studio is looking to create their own original pinball tables...

Last week, we introduced you to a game inspired by the notoriously difficult Turbo Tunnel level from the NES classic Battletoads. Well that game, called Toad Rider [Free], has jumped the gun on the typical Wednesday night releases and is now available in the App Store. Just like that famed Turbo Tunnel level, you'll control a toad riding a hover-bike of sorts as you avoid walls, traps and other hazards, across a variety of landscapes, until you inevitably screw up and end your run. I've only spent a brief time with it so far, but I have to say, I'm really digging Toad Rider...

Never has a video-game title more aptly summed up its experience than Marvel Run Jump Smash [$0.99], and it's as fun as it you would assume. Marvel RJS puts you in the spandex-clad bodies of iconic heroes that came blasting out of the mind of Stan Lee like webbing from Petey Parker's web-shooters--but with a twist. You start out as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.--either Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury or, uh, some other person who is not Samuel L. Jackson--and run, jump, and shoot your way through bad guys and obstacles like gouts of flame and electric gates. Along the way, you'll come across hero tokens that bear the likenesses of one of the four superheroes you set to your active team before starting the game...

The tactic of flipping the gravity on the player, whether by giving the player the power to do so voluntarily or forcing it on them as a stage hazard, has been around for a pretty long time in video games. I'm not sure if it was the first, but as near as I can tell, Irem's Metal Storm for the NES was one of the earliest games to use this mechanic, allowing you to reverse gravity at your will. After that, it was seen here and there, but it seems to have really made a comeback thanks to VVVVVV. Fans of mobile games are no stranger to it, of course, thanks to games such as Gravity Guy [$0.99] and Gravity Duck [$0.99]. TripTrap [$0.99 / Free], an interesting little stage-based action game, uses a variation on this tried and tested technique as its primary mechanic...

Marvel announced back at Comic Con this past October that they'd be bringing a Marvel Superheroes auto-runner to the iOS platform, and early this morning, Marvel Run Jump Smash! [$0.99] went live in the App Store. Now, the idea behind Marvel Run Jump Smash! is pretty awesome on paper: you'll pick a base S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to start with, then pick a team of superheroes from Marvel's extensive stable. As you play using your S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, you'll come across icons for the various superheroes on your team which allow you to then play as them for a brief period. Each of the superheroes have their own unique abilities too, like Hulk with his downward bash move and Iron Man with his ability to fly...

It's always a bit of a gamble to take direct control of the main character of a game out of the player's hands. When it works, it can force the player to pay attention to things going on outside of the area they're currently focused on, which adds some welcome complexity. When it goes off the rails, it can leave the player feeling incredibly frustrated at losing due to circumstances quite literally out of their control. One genre where it seems to work well, even with somewhat simplistic implementation, is the puzzle genre. Games like Lemmings or the later entries in the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong series show how rewarding it can be to set up a plan and guide it through to its conclusion, even if you aren't directly playing through it. Lost Yeti [$1.99] takes a similar approach, with its titular character having a mind of his own, wraps it all up in retro stylings, with the end result being a pretty good action-puzzler...

We only just told you about Touch Force [Free] in the middle of last week, but already the game has shot through the Apple approval process and popped up in the App Store this past Friday. Nothing better than learning about a cool upcoming game and not having to wait a long time for it, eh? To recap, Touch Force is a scrolling shooter with all the things you'd expect from the genre, like huge bosses and bullets flying everywhere. However, one key difference is the implementation of multitouch, where each finger you place on the screen creates a ship at your control. It's an interesting idea and one I haven't seen used in a shoot 'em up before, and in practice, it actually works pretty darn well...

There was something I was more excited for yesterday than any of the newly released games, and that was the impending arrival of the version 2.0 update to Slayin [$0.99]. I even stayed up until midnight hoping it would come out, but sadly it didn't. However, when I got up today, it was there waiting for me in the App Store, like a tiny Christmas morning present under the tree...

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