Category Archives: $1.99

'Pixel Boat Rush' Review - Everybody Do The Wave

I've often felt that the genre that perhaps benefited the most from the jump from 2D to 3D was racing. Really thinking about it, racing is one of the genres that begged the most for polygons, having already spent years working in pseudo-3D with scaling sprites and optical tricks. Hardware that couldn't manage said tricks tended to have racers that skewed the perspective to at least offer some sort of visual depth. Racers that opted for a strict, flat side-view to the action were historically pretty rare outside of obstacle course time-attacks like Motocross Maniacs. There are lots of reasons as to why that was likely the case, but it mostly comes down to the simple idea that it's hard to express the excitement of racing from that point of view. If there is no depth, there's no passing, no hairpin turns, no drafting, and collisions become hard to sort out. You have to find other ways to bring the beautiful tension that makes racing so compelling, and that's just what Pixel Boat Rush [$1.99] sets out to do...

Square Enix's excellent Hitman-themed puzzle strategy game Hitman GO [$1.99] has just been updated with a new classic level pack and iCloud integration, and it's on sale again for just $1.99. The new chapter of levels is called "St. Petersburg Stakeout" and is based off of the same level from the 2002 console game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The new pack contains 8 levels, and if you remember that St. Petersburg Stakeout level from Hitman 2, you'll definitely recognize it here too...

Game 1 of the MLB World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants kicks off today, and to celebrate the MLB-developed R.B.I. Baseball 14 [$1.99] is on sale for the first time since its release back in April, down to just $1.99. The original R.B.I. Baseball series was a mainstay of the sports genre on 8- and 16-bit game systems, but had laid dormant since its last entry in 1995. This year, MLB's in-house development studio Major League Baseball Advanced Media looked to resurrect the series with a modern coat of paint, while keeping the gameplay simple and arcadey as a throwback to the series' origins...

When I'm reviewing games, the hardest to evaluate tend to be the ones that hit their core gameplay well but provide a small amount of content. Usually, they promise more to come in updates, and Tail Drift [$1.99] is no different in that regard, but most people who have been gaming on mobiles for a while know that promise isn't always one a developer can keep, so you can't count on that. At the moment, Tail Drift is a sweet piece of cotton candy. You pop it in your mouth, get a momentary hit of pleasure, and before you know it, it has dissolved. I think at the price it goes for, that's not really a raw deal, but there are so many games on the App Store that will offer you bigger bang for your buck, especially in the highly-competitive racing genre...

Did you ever play Super Hexagon [$2.99] and think, "this was too easy?" Well, congratulations, Superhyper [$1.99] is just the game you've been looking for, you masochist. It's got the gameplay of a lane-based endless runner, mixed with pretty much everything Super Hexagon was about, and drenched in hot sauce. This is a game so challenging, it may be weeks before anyone unlocks its ultimate difficulty level. It's fair but downright cruel, the kind of game that's worth playing again and again just to prove it wrong...

Over the years, I feel like I've developed a pretty good nose for my own tastes. Usually just from reading a brief outline and seeing a few screens, I can at least figure out in ballpark terms how well I'll like a game, and it's rare for a game to fall outside of those admittedly broad estimates. Surprises come in two flavors, then. Sometimes a game I don't expect to like much turns out to be totally up my alley, like SEGA's Yakuza, and other times, a game that I think looks great just doesn't click for me at all. Unfortunately, Card Dungeon [$3.99], a game that initially appears to have a great deal in common with the PC game Card Hunter, is an example of the latter. It's a roguelike with an interesting hook and a great visual style reminiscent of a board game, and while I could list off a lot of things I think it does very well, it never manages to come together into something I can truly enjoy...

As a developer, if you're going to wade neck-deep into a crowded genre, especially one in a very crowded marketplace in general, you have to have some kind of means of standing out from the crowd. When it comes to side-scrolling running games, it's getting harder and harder to find something that can actually accomplish that job. Jack B. Nimble [$1.99], from developer Sean Noonan, opts to take the approach of a double-barreled appeal to nostalgia, with graphics that look like they came off a torqued-up Game Boy and a theme that will be instantly recognizable to Castlevania fans. It's got an interestingly familiar cadence to it that I don't see very often in this kind of game, and it will certainly have strong appeal for those who appreciate streamlined runners like Canabalt [$2.99] or Boson X [$2.99]...

'Words for Evil' for iPad Review - Blobs Teach Typing

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October 14th, 2014 9:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, Reviews, Word
$1.99 Buy Now

Playing Mario Teaches Typing and Typing of the Dead for the first time were magical experiences for me growing up. I had no real interest in word games outside of the occasional Word Munchers binge, but those two titles took my love for the genre to a whole new level. It wasn't because of typing classes or outside practice that I worked my way up to over 80 words-per-minute in High School, it was due to videogames, and I owe them a great deal. Words for Evil [$1.99 (HD)] is a very similar game that attempts to marry typing gameplay with RPG-like elements, with mixed results...

Cosmophony [$1.99] is a rhythm-based tunnel shooter that is built to be challenging, with formations of obstacles to avoid throughout five levels, all set to an EDM soundtrack. The rhythm part is loose at best, but changes in the game do go along with changing sound cues. The problem is that the game is built around its challenge being through perfectionism. That, the only way to advance is by completing a very hard level in one life leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and limits what this game can do...

'Air Supply - SOS' Review - Baa-ttle Of The Planets

I'd like you to imagine an alternate universe where Rare/Ultimate Play The Game's Spectrum classic Jetpac wasn't just a huge hit, but was so influential that developers were still doing their own spins and refinements on it for generations to come. I'd also like you to imagine that people in that world are obsessed with cute, fluffy sheep. In that dimension, something like the newest game in the Air Supply series from developer Quantum Sheep might seem somewhat pedestrian. In our reality, however, Air Supply - SOS [$1.99]'s action-packed twist on the Rare classic is pretty special. It occurs to me that I should clarify that this game has nothing to do with the band, since someone always asks...

Starbase Orion [$7.99] developer Chimera Software has released it's turn based card and strategy game, Starbase Annex [$1.99]. Annex is set within the larger Orion universe. Starbase Annex is one of those games that feels like it should be a multiplayer game. 1v1 turn based strategy games tend to carry that expectation as part of the genre. Annex has a bit of originality that helps it overcome this deficiency. There are many turn based hex grid games available for iOS and Annex reminds me of one of my favorites, Outwitters [Free]. If you combined gameplay elements of Outwitters and some mechanics from the popular card game Hearthstone [Free], you would get something close to what Starbase Annex is. ..

Sometimes games have the hallmarks of greatness, but fail to stick the landing, and that's how I perceive Joinz [$1.99] to be. It mixes Tetris with Threes [$1.99], having players form tetrominos and other block shapes by sliding different-colored blocks around the board, with same color blocks sticking to each other. As more matches are made, powerup blocks come into play, and more colors get involved, making the game steadily more challenging. But it's the way that the game starts and then increases its difficulty, along with a qualm with randomness and the logic of blocks sticking together that keep it from really reaching its potential...

Before I write anything else, I want to commend the developer of Lith [Free] on their courage. Making an entire game around a gameplay concept that is likely most famously remembered as "the puzzley bits that everyone hates in middling JRPGs" takes some guts. Lith is a puzzle game made up entirely of those puzzles where you have to slide across icy surfaces to reach an exit. Once you've stepped onto the ice, you can't stop or change direction until you reach a tile with some sort of traction or bump into a wall...

Duke Dashington [$0.99] released a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed the game, but thought that there were some additions that could be made to the game to improve its longevity, without necessarily adding new content. The developer, Adventure Island, has promised that they were coming in an update, and they have delivered: Duke Dashington 1.1 is out right now, bringing a new time trial mode and Game Center to the game...

Halfbrick's announced that a big update is coming to Fruit Ninja [$0.99 / Free / $1.99 (HD) / Free (HD)] in October. The game's being rebuilt from scratch, according to Halfbrick, and will boast a new menu system in this updated version, that will launch in "early October." One of the key details of the updated version of the game is that it will take the dojos and blades, which were at one point only cosmetic items, and give them gameplay effects. For example, the Great Wave dojo will spawn up to ten fruit at once, and the Autumn Blade creates a tornado when it slices pineapples. ..

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