Category Archives: $1.99

In January of last year FDG Games and SHD Games released an unassuming little sniper game called Lonewolf [Free] to the App Store. While the sniper genre had been absolutely oversaturated on mobile, Lonewolf managed to stand out from the pack with its unique noir-inspired visuals and an emphasis on telling an interesting story, which was rare for that type of game. We liked Lonewolf a lot in our review and awarded it our Game of the Week back then, and it was pretty universally loved by all who played it. The only problem was that the game ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and players were anxious to find out what happens next in a promised upcoming new chapter… except that chapter never came. ..

The word 'classic' gets bandied around a lot when talking about games, and as a result has somewhat diluted its meaning. However, if one game on the App Store was worthy of such an adjective, it would definitely be Day of the Tentacle [$1.99]. Widely regarded as one of the greatest point-and-click games of all time, LucasArts' opus captured the hearts of a generation when it launched on the PC in 1993, and its remastered mobile release last year was a glorious representation that was a fitting tribute to its stunning source material. However, its release on the cusp of Pokemon GO [Free] hysteria meant that many may have missed out on Day of the Tentacle Remastered, and if you haven't experienced the eccentric time-travelling world of Bernard Bernoulli and friends, the game has today gone on sale for its lowest price ever, along side a handful of other Double Fine releases...




The Last Warlock [$3.99] is a prime example of the old adage 'don't judge a book by its cover'. A quick glance at the blocky, voxel graphics reminiscent of Minecraft [$6.99], Crossy Road [Free] and the million imitations of both games that have spawned on the App Store since suggests a more iterative and casual experience. However, under the surface lies one of the more creative and in-depth turn-based strategy titles on the iPhone, as you trawl through dense maps with a number of magical summons and spells that take advantage of the flexibility that the basic graphical style permits. A significant single-player campaign combined with an awesome asynchronous multiplayer mode meant the game was extremely well received in our review back at its 2015 launch, and today The Last Warlock has gone on sale for the first time in two years at a bargain price of $1.99, this week only...

We've been excited for the release of Touchdowners [Free] ever since its first unveiling early last month. I mean, this is from the people who have made wacky physics-based sports games like Wrassling [Free], Dunkers [Free], and Golf Zero [Free]. How could I NOT be excited for their wacky physics-based interpretation of American Football? And as we learned a week ago, Touchdowners was all set for a June 22nd release. Except… it didn't show up in time for our normal weekly new games roundup, which I though was kind of weird, and we hadn't heard anything from the developers about when specifically it was releasing, which was also pretty weird as they usually send emails about everything. ..

Using the iPhone to transform typical text adventures into something so much more immersive has been done to great effect on the App Store as of late, with the Lifeline [$1.99] series providing some of the more memorable narrative experiences on the platform. However, A Normal Lost Phone [$2.99] took this concept and dialled (pun not intended) it up to 11. As opposed to its relatively innocuous title, Accidental Queens' debut iOS release takes the player into unknown territory, having to uncomfortably dive into the private matters of a stranger to discover what happened to the previous owner who mysteriously disappeared at the age of 18. Without wanting to spoil any of the incredibly powerful storytelling within the game, A Normal Lost Phone touches on some pertinent issues involving intimacy, adolescence and sexuality, and has today gone on sale for the first time for $1.99...

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

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June 14th, 2017 9:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Developer Kenny Sun sure does like geometric shapes. His latest game is about pyramids, and just like his previous efforts, it's both bizarre and brilliant. Yankai's Peak [$2.99] might be titled like a sequel to last year's Yankai's Triangle [Free], but it's something totally new mechanically. While that game saw you spinning triangles around, disassembling them, and reassembling them to try to make them fit together, Yankai's Peak is more like a traditional Sokoban-style box-pusher. Instead of cooperative little squares, however, you're pushing around pyramids that aren't really good about moving in a straight line. The core mechanic is clever and rewarding, and the game sprinkles in new gimmicks regularly to keep you interested...

Over the past few years, an interesting dichotomy has emerged on the ever-changing landscape that is the App Store. Most releases can be divided into either smaller, innovative titles from independent developers, or big-budget graphical powerhouses that push the platform to its limit, even if they are ports of PC or console games. While the two coexist and provide their own respective experiences, I'm all for it, and 2016's Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City [$4.99] fits firmly within the latter category. With a heavy emphasis on atmosphere and puzzle-solving within a decrepit Uncharted-esque ancient environment, Uppercut Games' latest release demonstrated the potential of Unreal Engine 4 and iOS's Metal feature when it released in September last year, and today has gone on sale for the very first time to the bargain price of $1.99...

The big budget, melancholic triple-A blockbusters may be dominating the gaming world at E3 this week, but the App Store serves as its own detached utopia where anything can happen - including owls firing rockets out of their butts. We first caught a glimpse of Fowlst [$1.99] at the start of this month, and while CatCup Games' latest release was full of eclectic power-ups and an eccentric sense of humor, there looked to be a solid arcade game beneath the comical retro exterior. Right on time, Fowlst has released on the App Store today for $1.99, and even though it's difficult to pin down exactly what the gameplay consists of, it's definitely one of the more unique titles I've played on the iPhone in recent weeks...

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...

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