Category Archives: $1.99

One of my very favorite recent releases is the Out Run-inspired arcade racer Highway Runners [$1.99] from developer Brownieless Games. It launched amidst the madness of the holiday rush mid-December, and once that craziness had finally cleared and the new year was upon us I was just about to pull the trigger on a "Hey guys check this out!" kind of article about it. As luck would have it, though, our own Chris Carter came through with a full review right at that same time, which is far better than my own silly ramblings would be. At any rate, the word was out! And I was very happy about that. While most who have ventured into Highway Runners have loved it, two major requests have arisen pretty frequently. One was for touch controls, as the game originally launched as tilt-only, and the developers added in a wonderful touch option just prior to us posting our review. So that took care of that. The second major request was for native iPad support, and as of today that's officially a thing with a new Universal update for Highway Runners...

While some people are enjoying Capcom's ports of the original 8-bit Mega Man games well enough, it's safe to say that the consensus is that they're not very good ports. A surprising thing for 20 - 30 year old games that ran on a system with less processing power than your bagel toaster, a disappointing thing given the relatively high quality of the Mega Man Legacy ports that appeared on other platforms in the last couple of years, but not necessarily an unfixable thing. After all, this is mobile gaming in 2017. Games are getting updates all the time! Heck, games are being updated as I write these very words. So when I opened up the App Store today and say that beautiful little red number along with Mega Man Mobile's [$1.99] icon, I got a little excited...




The iOS App Store is a crazy place. In early October, we previewed a then-upcoming game called Level With Me [Free], which had you balancing various types of objects on a teeter-totter-like board by blowing floating bubbles onto its underside in order to raise or lower each side and keep said objects from sliding off. The objects include things like a heavy bowling ball, a bouncy beach ball, humans, zombies, and more, each requiring different strategies to ensure they stay on the board. The game was level-based in a way as you'd have to balance each type of object for a certain amount of time before completing a level and moving on to the next, but it was also endless as your ultimate goal was to complete as many levels in a row as possible. You know, it's a tricky game to try to explain, so why don't you just check out the trailer for Level With Me...

Developer Astrograde Lab had planned on releasing their new puzzle adventure game this past Wednesday night alongside all of the other new releases of the week and didn't quite make it in time, but as of this morning their game Shards of Memories [$1.99] finally worked its way through Apple approval and arrived on the App Store. Shards of Memories has you piecing together pieces of various objects tangram-style, and the solved puzzles themselves are actually pieces of the storyline in the game, which based on this trailer seems like it might get a big heavy at times...

Out Run really was ahead of its time. Released over 30 years ago, Yu Suzuki tapped into the racing market like never before, with a sit-down car-like arcade cabinet and an exploration-based concept. In Out Run the objective wasn't to really "finish first" despite the time limit mechanic. It was all about the journey, providing choices for where to go by way of forked roads, leading to multiple playthroughs, and even other choices that weren't typical at the time, like radio stations. The game broke my preconceived notions of what the medium could do at the time as a young runt, and still stands as one of Sega's crowning achievements. It was a magical experience stepping inside one of those cabinets, and although Highway Runners [$1.99] doesn't really hit all of the same notes, it's a nice little homage to a bygone era...

'Mega Man 1-6' Now Available on iOS and Android

[UPDATE: It only took mere moments of playing one of these ports to see that they are shockingly bad, so even though we'll have an official review coming soon we wanted to give people this extra head's up to avoid these at all costs.] Mega Man is one of the most difficult game series even with a physical controller, and as we've seen a couple of different times over the years the experience doesn't translate super well to the touchscreen. Well, Capcom Mobile is taking another stab at it as they announced last month that the six 8-bit Mega Man games would be hitting mobile, and as of just a few moments ago they've arrived in the iOS App Store as well as on Android's Google Play Store. These ports have been adjusted for mobile play, but I'll have to actually dive into these before we really know what that's supposed to mean. One thing I do know though is that the trailers don't give me a lot of confidence in these ports, as the frame rates look pretty poor. ..

Twin-stick shooting. Roguelite elements. Pandas with heavy ordinance. It was inevitable that someone, at some point in human history, would put these things together into one game. Continuing my mop-up of games that missed getting a review upon their initial release, it's Feral Fury's turn at bat. This game has developed a strong following in the TouchArcade forums, both because of the quality of the game itself and because of its highly-responsive, courteous developer. Feral Fury [$1.99] walks along a similar path to games like Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac, and although it's not quite up to the level of those games, it's still an awful lot of fun...

Pixeljam has revived their Flash game Snowball! [$1.99] for Steam and mobile, and the world is better off with this charming pinball game. The whole game is just one table, but it's an entertaining table, and a game that's absolutely gorgeous for pixel art aficionados, especially on a big enough screen. The table is intended to take place on the side of a mountain, with the pinball being a Snowball!, the flippers being wooden contraptions operated by people, and the area where your ball falls into being a campfire that melts the ball. It's charming...

It's that extremely awkward period between Christmas and New Year where no-one really knows what to do with themselves, and so unfortunately the usual tsunami of iOS game news has slowed down to the size of a more modest ripple in the vast ocean that is the App Store. On the positive side of things, this gives everyone a chance to catch up on their sprawling iPhone backlog, and even try out some of the titles that went on sale over the holiday season, which we extensively listed in our big Christmas discount round-up. However, one particular 2016 gem slipped through the cracks - Rush Rally 2 [$1.99] has today gone on sale for the first time ever, and is now available for the ridiculous price of 2016. Yes, despite only being a 50% reduction, ridiculous is apt in this case - Rush Rally 2 offers such meticulously designed racing action that continues to get better with successive updates that $1.99 is a bargain for anyone looking to get behind the virtual wheel on their iPhone...

Our 2016 Game of the Year 'Crashlands' is on Sale for the First Time Ever

When we posted Crashlands [$4.99] as our Game of the Year pick for 2016 this past Friday, I was really blown away by just how many people seemed to agree. We're sort of used to having dissenting opinions against the games we pick for features like that, which isn't surprising as "favorite" or "best" game picks are such a subjective thing. But it seems like just about everyone loves Crashlands! Well, if you're one of the people who didn't hop on the Crashlands bandwagon in 2016 but all the Game of the Year buzz has you curious to check it out, now is a pretty great time to do so as the game is on sale for the first time ever, down to just $1.99 from its already pretty darn reasonable regular price of $4.99...

Developer Quantum Sheep has earned a strong following over the years in the TouchArcade forums thanks to a combination of making great games, his sensible love of tea, and being a friendly, fluffy sheep. While the developer has been working hard on a few projects for iOS, it's been a little while since its last release on mobile. But that doesn't mean there's nothing Sheep-related for you to put in your own stocking, friends. Quantum Sheep has put together and released a bundle containing all three Air Supply games for the low price of $1.99. Since Air Supply - SOS [$1.99] usually sells for $1.99 on its own, it's like you're getting the other two for free!..

Even though I spend most of my free time writing about a ridiculous variety of iOS games, I always tend to gravitate towards a relatively basic App Store classic on the everyday commute. This game is Desert Golfing [$1.99] - while not much more than an extremely minimalist putting simulator, in practice the game is an incredibly cathartic and relaxing experience. However, with the ever-present aggregate number of strokes, Desert Golfing can become a surprisingly competitive and social App Store essential - this versatility is a major factor in how the game has become a cult hit amongst many fans. The procedurally generated nature of the title, and whether there is actually an end point to the game, is also a big driving factor behind why people keep on playing, and back in March some extremely devoted fans thought they had found the conclusion to the courses on hole number 19,491. Earlier this week such speculation has been well and truly crushed, as Twitter user AldenLudwick has found the end of Desert Golfing in the form of an impassable ocean at the 64,465th hole, which developer Justin Smith has implied is a true terminus for the game...

Steampunk Runner 'Malevolent Machines' Gets a New Teaser Trailer, February 2017 Release Date

Auto-runner games tend to invite particular scrutiny on the App Store, as the sheer abundance of similar titles means the average gamer will only have time to play a few of the most interesting titles within the genre. Malevolent Machines is one such game - while not necessarily attempting to reinvent the wheel, developers Goodnight Games have created a runner which takes significant steps at fleshing out its story and world, through an interesting premise and some really pretty pixel art graphics that bring its dystopian world to life. While Malevolent Machines won't hit the App Store until February 7th of next year, the developers have released a cool new teaser trailer that does a great job of showing the game's awesome assets in action...

South Korean indie developer Somi has already made an impression on mobile gamers when his twisted puzzle platformer RETSNOM [$0.99] made its way from desktop to mobile just last month. Now he's brought another one of his desktop hits to mobile in the form of Replica: A Little Temporary Safety [$1.99] which arrived earlier today. Replica is a point-and-click adventure at heart, and plays out via a fake smartphone interface which you must poke around and inspect in order to unlock the secrets of the phone and its original owner. You're doing all of this at the Government's insistence, which leads me to think that there will be more to this story than meets the eye...

This is actually a bit of news I meant to get to last week and didn't have time, but seeing as how unique a game Calculords [Free] is and how log it's been since its last content update, I felt like it was still worth talking about. First off, Calculords is a card-based strategy game which launched back in February of 2014. It had you building up a deck of units and battling against a colorful cast of AI opponents in its campaign, placing your units among 3 lanes on the playfield to battle head to head against your opponents' units. It sounds a bit standard as far as card-battlers go, but what set Calculords apart was its use of math. Yes, math! It's fun! ..

Even though there is some serious competition from the Battlefield and Titanfall series this year, November will always be the Call of Duty month, and the one-two punch of both Modern and Infinite Warfare (certainly a lot of conflict, by any means) has proved to be a commercial hit, even if critics haven't been as favourable to Activision's flagship first person shooter series this time around. Thankfully, November isn't solely an exciting time for console gamers - as well as the soft launch release of card game spin-off Call of Duty: Siege last month, the publishing behemoth has reduced every Call of Duty title to $1.99 in an App Store wide sale. The titles featured in this promotion are as follows:..

Genre mashups always toe a precarious line between providing players with established systems of play while simultaneously turning them upside down by placing them in new environments. If not done well enough, players are left with a completely foreign experience without any familiar gameplay elements to form a grounding experience. In other words, balance is key. The Lost Shield [$1.99], while a relatively basic example of a genre mashup, nevertheless does a decent job achieving that balance. In fact, if not for some more fundamental issues with the game, I’d have no problem heralding it as a rare unqualified success...

Despite sounding like some obscure search engine, Perchang [$1.99] has received plaudits over months since its release for being an extremely enjoyable and deceptively difficult puzzle game under its ultra-polished guise. In fact, the neologism that is the game's name is particularly fitting - beneath the surface is a wacky puzzle game that doesn't take itself too seriously and is really reminiscent of the early App Store era, in the best possible way. Earlier this month we brought you the news of a new zero-gravity expansion for the game called Perchang Black, and right on time the new DLC has released today with 24 new levels for $1.99, which will be great for fans of the original who wanted even more content to manipulate ball bearings through...

Late last night (in my timezone, anyway) a curious update appeared for Sonic CD [Free] on iOS, the fantastic remastered version that originally released back in December of 2011. The update text was vague, and simply said "Sonic took a trip to the past and decided to change the game's code. That's right, Sonic CD is now FREE!" As someone who has been burned plenty of times in the past by a previously paid game going free, as I'm sure many others have, I was justifiably suspicious of this new update. And after Carter played guinea pig and downloaded the new update it confirmed my fears: Sonic CD was now free to download and ad-supported, with a $1.99 IAP to remove said ads. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except that the ads showed up even for previous owners who had already paid for Sonic CD. There are a few different ways to go about switching a paid app to free, but this was not one of them, and the 1.5 Star average rating of the otherwise phenomenal Sonic CD in the App Store showed that...

Glitch Games have made a name for themselves for eerie point-and-click adventures on the App Store, with their Forever Lost trilogy which we loved back in 2013, and the peculiarly meta A Short Tale [] that was released earlier this year. Owing to their impressive track record, there has been a lot of excitement on our forums about The Forgotten Room [$1.99], which is the developer's next attempt at the paranormal adventure genre, and tells the story of investigator John Buster, who has to try and find a ten year old girl who went missing while playing hide and seek. With some really detailed and surreal graphics, coupled with perfect release timing on the eve of Halloween, The Forgotten Room looks incredibly captivating and blood-curdling at the same time, and is available right now on the App Store for only $1.99...

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