Category Archives: $1.99

Ah, the arena platformer. Truly, it has been one of the best genres to take prominence in mobile gaming. A big reason is because the combination of a small enough arena to fit on one screen, with simple controls, and endlessly-repetitive high score chasing, is a package that's almost the platonic ideal for a mobile game. We've seen it through countless fun games, with one of the more prominent examples being Super Crate Box [$1.99] from Vlambeer. However, with Vlambeer seemingly not updating the app for 64-bit appocalypse, that means that not only can a great arena platformer shine, but it could possibly take the crown. Penarium [$1.99], much like Super Crate Box, started on PC before moving to iOS. In this case, Team 17 published the game, developed by Self Made Miracle, and helped to bring the late 2015 release to iOS a while later. And it's quite a welcome title on iOS, while perhaps not as tight as some of the finest entries in the arena platformer genre...

'Ms. Spell' Review - Ms. Fire

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There are a ton of roguelikes, roguelites, and roguelike variants on iOS. Collectively, the genre is nearly as prolific on mobile as puzzle games and Kemco RPGs are. While there's always going to be an audience of some size craving more coal for the fire, going beyond that audience takes some clever, out-of-the-box thinking. To an extent, MicRogue [$1.99] had that. Developed by Jason Pickering and published by Crescent Moon, MicRogue offered up a heavily streamlined roguelite experience blended with an interesting chess-inspired twist. Its strong focus on positioning and predicting enemy moves helped it stand out a little bit. Pickering's latest roguelike-inspired game is Ms. Spell [$1.99], and it's unfortunately not quite as interesting...




Beautiful Samurai-Inspired Runner 'SumiKen' Slashes Onto the App Store May 11th

When SumiKen was first announced back in February, it managed to stand out despite its status as yet another runner on the App Store. Rather than some superfluous gimmick or feature that had been shoehorned in, SumiKen was noteworthy because of its stunning art style that was reminiscent of sumi-e Japanese ink wash paintings, and this aesthetic permeated into the game's design and mechanics. With seven characters, all with their own unique 'Ink Mode' ability that allows them to cut through enemies with ease, SumiKen quite literally caught the eye, and is finally being released on May 11th for $1.99 on the App Store...

Team17 is on a roll with bringing their desktop and console published titles over to mobile, with Mouldy Toof's The Escapists [$3.99] arriving early last month and Self Made Miracle's awesome arena platformer Penarium [$1.99] surprise launching this morning. Penarium is actually the name of the twisted circus where the game takes place, and you'll play as Willy hopping from platform to platform trying to avoid an increasingly deadly barrage of hazards and traps as you try to collect as many barrels and coins as possible. Every fifth barrel you collect a new set of hazards will appear, and you'll continue on until you've completed a certain objective to finish a level or for as long as possible in the endless modes. Coins collected go towards picking up special cards which give you different abilities during the campaign levels...

If you're up for some space shooting action, Broadside [$1.99] might be for you. This just-released game drops you in the middle of a three-faction war, and you have to survive frantic battles while constantly upgrading your ship and weapons an in effort to stay ahead of the (literally) cut-throat competition. Because of the three-faction thing going on, you'll have one faction working alongside you and two other ones trying to blow up to smithereens. How the whole three-faction thing plays out remains to be seen, but I like that you won't be playing the lone wolf like in most other games of the genre...

One of my all-time favorite platformers on iOS is Bloo Kid 2 [Free] from Winterworks, and I've even gone as far as saying I think it could be the "Mario" of mobile games. Shaun enjoyed it a lot in his review and I even picked it as one of my personal best games of 2014. It's that good! But that 2 behind its name means that it's a sequel, and indeed that fantastic traditional side-scrolling platformer spawned from the more modest single-screen platformer Bloo Kid [$1.99 / Free] which launched back in 2011. I'm more of a traditional platformer guy but do enjoy the occasional single-screen platformer, and the original Bloo Kid is a good one and contains a whopping 84 levels to enjoy. With the 32-bit apocalypse coming, Winterworks has decided to update the original Bloo Kid to be 64-bit compatible, and while they're at it they'll be adding in another 12 new levels just for fun, bringing the total to 96...

'Ellie & Max' Review - Some Doggone Perspective

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April 5th, 2017 10:23 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
$3.99 Buy Now

I don't know what it is about a companion gimmick that makes me so invested. I mean most of the time you're usually controlling both as a single entity, so it's not like you have much attachment to either side of the equation directly, but the concept of going into something with a partner is inherently less stressful. Take something like Banjo Kazooie (or the more recent Yooka-Laylee), as you're generally controlling the former, and the latter merely acts as a power-up -- just the notion that you're not alone is enough to bring a smile to my face. Ellie & Max [$3.99] isn't quite as iconic of a pairing as the aforementioned mascots, but I got somewhat attached by the time I reached the final curtain call...

I'll give this to Capcom, they sure picked an unusual bunch for their latest mobile initiative. Given the original game's importance in Capcom's history, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] made a certain amount of sense. It was their first big hit, and shooters tend to play well with the mobile audience. Ghosts 'n Goblins [$1.99] is certainly a significant game but it wouldn't be my first choice to adapt to touch controls. Capcom disagreed enough that the next game in the series is Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile. The meat in that Arthur sandwich, however, might be the oddest choice of the lot. Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] is a technically-sound port of the game once known outside of Japan simply as Commando. It was a decent hit in its time, and it's certainly an influential game, but it manages to suffer from the negative points of both prior Capcom Mobile ports...

'Card Thief' Review - It Eventually Stole My Heart

Tinytouchtales and artist Mexer reunite to make Card Thief [$1.99], a solitaire card game that is a follow-up to Card Crawl [$2.99]. Instead of being a dungeon crawler, this is about stealth, with a card system. You move your thief card around the board in any direction, dealing with traps, enemies, torches, and items that pop up. Your objective is to clear out cards to get through the deck, eventually picking up the treasure chest that gets on the board, and escaping when you've gotten through the deck. While there's actually an unlimited number of cards, the deck has certain milestones that pop up throughout your session. The thing is that where Card Crawl definitely added in some new elements after launch that added some depth and complexities to the experience, it's a much simpler game than what Card Thief is conceptually. For example, I went back to Card Crawl after a long time not playing (I have too many games on my phone...and iPad), and after a little bit of reacquainting myself, the game made sense. On the other hand, Card Thief off the bat is a more esoteric experience. It has its own rules, and a number of systems and card types that all interact with each other in ways that you probably won't understand right away. In fact, it plays fast and loose with the whole 'cards' concept to begin with. It could have just been a stealth action game without the card concept, I imagine. But the thing I found is that after a few sessions of not knowing what I was doing, the more I played, the more Card Thief clicked with me. And when it clicks, it's an amazing game...

'The Big Journey' Review - This Platformer is Near Purrfect

Folks, we’re in the middle of something of a feline renaissance of late, what with the recent release of an amazing kitten rhythm title and the future release of an RPG that lets you play as a cat (among other games). Meanwhile, The Big Journey  [$1.99] from Catfishbox and Armor Games is the latest platformer starring a cast of cuddly fat cats.Thankfully, The Big Journey does justice to our cat overlords with an excellent soundtrack, gorgeous visuals and gameplay that offers something for every type of gamer...

I must have played billiards a hundred times as a kid before I truly understood what it was about. The mathematical calculations that go into each shot, the finesse and nuance involved, it blew past me while I was hitting a fun looking ball with a stick. Like a lot of sports the finer points were actually taught to me by way of video games, which highlighted the trajectory of the cue and where it would bank. It was an enlightening experience for sure, and one that I would apply to countless amounts of real life and digital games over the course of my lifetime.Incidence [$1.99] might look artsy, but at its heart it's basically a fancy version of pool or mini golf...

My big beef with Capcom, as a mobile fan, is that I never really know what level of effort to expect from them. I consider them responsible for some of the finest ports to iOS (Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies) and some of the worst (Mega Man Mobile, Mega Man X). Since the games they choose to port are selected from their excellent library of classics, it's hard not to get excited when they announce something new is coming. But somewhere in the back of my brain, I worry that we're going to end up with another unreasonably poor effort. Such was the case when Capcom recently announced that they would be bringing four of their arcade classics to the platform. Well, the first one is here, and I'm happy to say that we got the good Capcom this time. While it's not perfect, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a very good re-creation of Capcom's classic vertical shoot-em-up, with all that implies...

This is my 4,000th post on this site, and seeing as I've typically been the Cat Game Guy for the majority of my nearly 8 years with TouchArcade (that crown has since been bestowed on Eric), it seems only fitting that number 4,000 is about a cat game. The cat game in question is called Kitty Lander [Free] from developer Perch Drunk Thugz, and what's funny about it is it's not a new game at all. In fact it's almost a year old. For some reason nobody in our community came across it in the past year, and for whatever reason the developers only just emailed us about it today. (Side note: Email us about your games, developers! We want to know about them when they're new!) With that out of the way, though, let's focus on Kitty Lander, a fantastic blending of Lunar Lander gameplay and cats...

'Jelly Juggle' Review - Jelly Fish Pong

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March 10th, 2017 11:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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I've been down the road a couple of times before with games from developer Ian MacLarty, and I feel like I know at least a few things to expect from his work. First, my poor pride is going to take a serious beating. Second, I'm going to keep on playing anyway. That was true for Boson X [$2.99] and Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], and it's true again for Jelly Juggle [Free]. This one has a cuter, softer, kid-friendlier look to it than MacLarty's last couple of iOS games, but don't be fooled. That smiling, goggle-eyed fish wants only one thing in this world, and that's to make you cry. You might not feel like you need another ultra-tough, one-touch game on your device, but if you've ever enjoyed that sort of thing, I certainly encourage you to give this quirky Pong take-off a try...

'Causality' Review - Destroying Your Brain and The Space-Time Continuum

Is your brain working properly? Are things in the world making too much sense? If you answered yes to these questions, and you desire that your brain be thrown into the washing machine, and then crushed with a hammer, then Causality [$1.99] is the game for you. It's a puzzle game for people who like their games to make sense...kinda, sorta. It's a fun game, but one that will threaten your sense of perception and time...

Have you ever had a great idea for a game, and could see no reason why it wouldn't work? Ask anyone who has to turn ideas into reality, it doesn't always work out that way. Ideas that work on paper aren't as viable in real-life. Songs that sound good when you hum them don't have the same feeling when you play them on an instrument. Even for a writer, I've had ideas for articles that didn't work out because the ideas I had in my head didn't quite work out on paper. Now, sometimes these ideas still get pursued to completion. I'm not going to put words in Cobra Mobile's mouth as to Red's Kingdom [$2.99], but it certainly feels like an idea that someone had that was really cool, and I liked it too! Combine sliding puzzles with a Zelda-style adventure with upgrades to collect? Sounds like it has potential! But at least for myself, and in this particular format, it does not work...

Last week a very interesting-looking puzzle game coming to Steam caught our eye, and through a little bit of digging we were very happy to learn it was destined for mobile as well. Best of all is that the wait was incredibly short as just this morning that game, Causality [$1.99] from developer Loju, landed on the App Store. Causality is about guiding a group of stranded astronauts to safety using directional cues, portals, and time manipulation. Messing around with time is tricky though, and you'll actually need to utilize your past selves in order to solve all the puzzles in Causality. Check out the trailer...

TouchArcade Forums' Game of the Month January 2017: 'Red's Kingdom'

While the TouchArcade staff attempt to draw attention to what we perceive as the most noteworthy titles in our Game of the Week feature, the sheer quantity of releases mean that often our views contrast greatly against those of the awesome mobile gaming community that resides on our forums. Although there is occasionally a common ground reached - such as Crashlands being both the forums' Game of the Year, as well as the official TouchArcade award winner - this isn't always the case, and the excellent Game of the Week and Game of the Month voting polls, which are organised entirely by members of our community, allow readers to have their own say on what releases really resonated with them. Thanks to the hard work of long-time community legend Andy C83, and his efforts in relaunching the awards series for 2017, we have our first official TouchArcade Forums' Game of the Month for January - congratulations Red's Kingdom [$2.99]!..

Big Bucket Software is back after their solid 2014 adventure game Space Age [$1.99], returning to their breakout hit The Incident [$0.99] in a sense with Stagehand [$1.99]. Featuring Frank, the protagonist of The Incident, and a retro, pixel-art style, your goal is to keep Frank running along by controlling the platforms underneath him. You drag to keep him running, or to jump from one to another, trying not to obstruct him, as if he gets slowed down, he will get scrolled off the screen and that's the end of Frank. Sorry, buddy. But you do have conveyor belts that will speed Frank along so he can recover some of the gap between him and oblivion. Helpful! It's all a clever concept, and it has the production values you'd expect from Big Bucket. But, this game feels like it's in a place out of time, because it's a $1.99 endless game with little to unlock, where the replay value is in getting high scores. It's a quality game, but it might not have the depth in the modern context of the App Store to make everyone happy...

Malevolent Machines [$1.99] has been on my radar ever since we first caught a glimpse of the game back in September 2016. From its mysteriously ominous and beautifully alliterative title, to the game's interesting merger of auto-runner and shoot-em-up mechanics under a layer of luscious pixel art graphics, it appeared that Goodnight Games had really gone the extra mile to stand out amidst its many contemporaries on the App Store. While the developers have successfully satiated fans with a number of preview trailers over the past few months, Malevolent Machines has finally launched today on iOS for a modest $1.99, and if the game can live up to its impressive scope, it is surely an essential download for anyone wanting an accomplished attempt at an Altered Beast-meets steampunk-esque mobile game in this suitably malevolent modern era...

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