Category Archives: $0.99

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 [Free]. 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...

When it comes to interactive fiction, certain elements have to carry a disproportionate amount of weight on their shoulders. A good premise helps. Interesting choices are a must. While the story doesn't necessarily have to be spectacular, it should at least be well-written. There's more to it than that, especially if said game starts dipping its wick into the RPG genre, but at a minimum, quality interactive fiction should present the player with a good story in which they have some agency, or at least the illusion of it. Deadman Diaries [$0.99] is the latest release from Cubus Games, best known for their hardcore space action gamebook Heavy Metal Thunder [$3.99]. It carries a lower price tag than the rest of Cubus's line-up, and while I don't think you can always judge a game by its price, it's a useful indicator in this case...

TinyBuild is one of my favorite publishers on the App Store, as I've pretty much loved everything they've put out so far, and right now is a great time to experience their games as they're currently throwing a huge 99¢ sale on their entire mobile library. I mean, you could buy all of them for a grand total of about six bucks, and I can't even begin to imagine the hours and hours of gameplay you'd get for that fistful of dollars. However, if you had to pick just ONE of these games, I'd personally recommend Punch Club. It's not exactly a boxing game, more of a life simulator with a heavy boxing theme and tons of crazy humor and pop culture references. The game was a bit rough in terms of balance right after launch, but things have been smoothed over nicely with updates since then. And, for your convenience, here's links to the forum threads for each game as well as links to the ones that we've reviewed if you need some more information. The sale runs through August 21st so start checking the couch cushions for some spare change and grab these games while they're cheap!..

It's pretty crazy to think that Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$1.99 / Free] from Tree Men Games has been around for nearly two years, and even crazier to think about the amount of content that's been added via updates in the time since its launch. It's evolved from a pretty simplistic vehicular arena survival game to one that features tons of different levels to play, multiple vehicles, additional game modes, and even a slick 3rd-person camera option. Today the latest Pako update has launched and once again it transforms the game significantly. The "Pakocalypse" update adds a new level called Aftermath along with 3 brand new vehicles all of which look like they came straight out of Mad Max. Of course, it's not just an aesthetic apocalyptic theme, as while you're playing Aftermath there are zombies roaming the land, tanks threatening you from all around, and even death and destruction raining down from the sky...

Despite a recent surge in popularity, it was actually Square Enix that coined the 'GO' suffix on the App Store. Both Hitman GO [$4.99] and Lara Croft GO [$4.99] are indisputable mobile classics, as with a turn-based approach that is extremely reminiscent of that of board games (you know, those cardboard, touchscreen-less things you get out for the holidays), they manage to convert sprawling console experiences into fantastic iPhone alternatives. If you managed to miss picking up either one these games around release, now you have a great opportunity to do so - both Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO are on sale for a dollar for an indefinite amount of time. However, if you're relatively new to the wonderful world of iOS gaming - or don't own either of the games - you can pick both up for only $0.99 through The GO Collection, which is the cheapest the series has ever been...

We don't really make a habit of posting about sales or freebies anymore, because frankly, most games nowadays are already free and most paid games go on sale so frequently that it kind of loses its impact after awhile. Both of these games fall in that latter category, both Bastion and Transistor have seen plenty of sales in the past, but gosh darn it these games are so incredibly good it just didn't feel right to not let everyone know that they're both currently on sale at the same time. ..

I almost let this particular game slip completely under my radar, but when I saw some screenshots of it, I knew I absolutely had to play it. I just hoped that the game would live up to the aesthetic. Mahluk: Dark Demon [$0.99] is a hack and slash platformer in the vein of Goblin Sword [$1.99] and Sword of Xolan [$0.99] with a super dark art style in which the foreground is completely silhouetted. It’s not dark in the artsy Limbo [$3.99] kind of way, but more the heavy metal crap-sack demon infested Dark Souls style world way, which I am all about. And while the aesthetic is far and away the best thing this game has going for it, it plays pretty decently as well...

This week saw the release of Out There Chronicles [$2.99], a gamebook-style narrative prequel to the excellent space exploration roguelike Out There: Omega Edition [$3.99]. Well, if you missed the original Out There during any of its previous sales, it's once again on sale for a dollar, which is a criminally low price for such a masterpiece. The original Out There was incredible when it launched back in early 2014, and it's only gotten better since then with the release of the Omega Edition update which revamped most of the artwork and added in a ton of cool new features. It was like Out There: The Definitive Edition. Developer Mi-Clos Studio wasn't finished though, with the announcement of the Multiverse Update Series last fall, which has continued to add to and improve the game...

Following a successful launch on Android, developer Toka Loka Games brought their gooey platformer Goo Saga [$1.99] 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 [$6.99], it was Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$2.99] 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 [Free] 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. ..

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