Category Archives: $1.99

You all are probably familiar with developer Paul Pridham, aka Madgarden, through his collaboration work with Rocketcat Games on titles such as Punch Quest [Free] and Death Road to Canada [$11.99], but did you know this one man wonder has also been making and releasing solo projects for many years now? It's true! One such project is the extremely laid back space shooter Chillaxian [$1.99], which he originally launched back in July of 2013. As you might have guessed from the game's title, this is an homage to the classic arcade shooter Galaxian, but like… more chill, maannnn. Move back and forth across the bottom of the screen as you fire at waves of enemies at the top of the screen. However, in Chillaxian these groups of enemies are much more lively and expand and contract in a mesmerizing–and yes, chill–kind of way. Blast through as many levels as you can, with checkpoints every ten levels and boss fights every 5 waves. It's simple, relaxed alien blasting that we really enjoyed in our original review from 2013...

Following its very well-received release on Steam back in March of 2016, developer Clever Plays brought their awesome roguelike top-down shooter Leap of Fate [$3.99] to the iOS platform in August of the same year. Leap of Fate offered up infinite replay value with its randomly-generated design and roguelike elements, and it was all wrapped up in this ultra-cool cyberpunk dystopian theme. We gushed over Leap of Fate in our Game of the Week award and our subsequent 4.5 star review, but perhaps one of the most standout features of the iOS version of the game was its ingenious control system. Top-down dual-stick shooters have always worked quite well on the touchscreen, but Leap of Fate featured some pretty interesting special abilities which wouldn't seem like they'd work so well with virtual controls. Clever Plays figured it out though, and even went in-depth into the challenges of nailing such a good control scheme on mobile. Well, be that as it may, Leap of Fate players had still been requesting MFi controller support for the game since its release, especially since the Steam version was already built for controllers. It took a year and a half, but they've finally obliged on that request with a brand new update that hit Leap of Fate this week...




Developer Kenny Sun is best known for his unique puzzle games involving geometric shapes. Each of those games picks a shape and builds a puzzle experience around it that tends to differ entirely from the developer's previous games. There are some common points, of course. The games usually have a ton of levels, each one introduced with a card stating that it was made by Kenny Sun. They're also typically audiovisual treats, albeit abstract ones. A Hollow Doorway [Free] follows in the footsteps of games like Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] and Yankai's Peak [$2.99] in some ways, but it's different in that this is more of a game of reflexes than considered thought. It has this developer's usual flourishes, but in terms of mechanics, it's closer to something like Super Hexagon [$2.99] than the positional puzzles seen in the last couple of Sun games...

While Ironhide Games made a big splash last year with their tower defense/real-time strategy hybrid Iron Marines [$4.99], but we can't go forgetting that they're also responsible for three of the very best action tower defense games around: The Kingdom Rush trilogy. All three of these games have been well-maintained by Ironhide over the years, and just in this past week they've set out to support the iPhone versions of each with full screen support for the iPhone X. Of course, it took Ironhide like 6 years to finally release a Universal build of a game with Iron Marines, so chances are if you're an iPad Kingdom Rush player you don't know and don't care than an iPhone X update is available for these games. And that's fine! Avert your eyes iPad people!..

One of the better puzzle games released last year was Swim Out [$2.99] from developer Lozange Lab, and now for the first time since its launch sale back in August it's currently available for a discounted price on both iOS and on the Google Play Store for Android, down from $2.99 to just $1.99 for a limited time. Swim Out is a turn-based puzzler that has you trying to swim across a body of water while not crossing paths or otherwise interfering with your fellow aquatics enthusiasts. With more than 100 levels, a dozen different types of swimmers, and a dozen different objects to swim your way around, Swim Out is a genuinely challenging and really satisfying puzzler that will keep you busy for quite some time...

'Cytus II' Review - Finger Dance Revolution

Some developers just demonstrate a knack for certain genres and decide to stick with them. It's not a bad way to go, and since Rayark has already given us several quality rhythm games like Cytus and VOEZ, it's only natural that the studio might want to revisit that particular music-saturated well again. Happily, what it's come up with in Cytus II [$1.99] is the best kind of sequel, one that should please fans of the first game while also assuring you don't require any knowledge of it...

Back in August of last year, Daylight Studios brought their quirky simulation game Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! [$4.99]from desktop to mobile, tasking players with creating a successful weapon shop from the ground up and expanding it across a wacky land of potato people while providing adventurers with the weaponry they need for their various quests. While the game had a dedicated fan base on desktop that loved having a version to play on the go, many wondered whether any of the additional content released for the desktop version would ever make its way to the mobile game. Well, today Daylight has announced that the DLC pack titled Spud Tales: Journey to Olympus will be arriving on both iOS and Android this Friday, January 19th at a price of $1.99. ..

It was 2015 when I first saw the developer of the game Let Them Come [$1.99] describe what his game would be about in our Upcoming Games forum, and I've been keeping an eye on the game's development ever since because the idea at its core was pretty smart and its visuals retro in a good way. After a long journey that took a detour to the lands of Steam, Let Them Come has finally hit the App Store, and I'm glad to say that it lives up to my expectations in terms of gameplay. At least so far; I haven't been able to get too deep into the game because I keep getting this weird crash that ruins my runs and has me start all over again. That crashing issue aside, Let Them Come appears to flesh out its simple concept very well...

SEGA Forever, the SEGA initiative to bring some of their classic library to mobile devices, has had quite the year. It launched in the early summer in a rather dismal state, faced a swift backlash, and has been trying to crawl its way back up ever since. While largely limited to games from SEGA's 16-bit console thus far, the selection has been eclectic to say the least. I'm not surprised the team wants to close out the calendar year on something of a safe note with the release of Gunstar Heroes [Free], a game that has quietly become one of the most popular classics in SEGA's back catalog. It's one of the more frequent re-releases from that era, and even iOS has played host to a version before...

When it comes to games that are never leaving my device, the Mos Speedrun games are most definitely on that list, and today I'm very pleased to see that both games are now updated for the iPhone X screen. The original Mos Speedrun [$0.99] launched in early 2011 and as its name implied it was a platformer centered around completing levels as quickly as possible. It was one of the earlier games to totally nail virtual controls in a highly-demanding precision platformer like this, and I have fond memories of battling for first place on the levels that featured online leaderboard support. Yes, Mos Speedrun is a true classic and one that I often revisit just for fun. Being an iPhone X owner, I naturally prefer that games take advantage of that whole gorgeous screen, and Mos Speedrun looks quite beautiful running on it now...

After digging a little deeper into obscurities for the last couple of releases, SEGA has gone back to one of their tried and true 16-bit franchises for the latest addition to the SEGA Forever line-up. The Streets of Rage series has lain dormant for a very long time now, but in its heyday, it was one of SEGA's most successful action brands. To this day, I still consider Streets of Rage 2 to be one of the very best side-scrolling beat-em-ups ever made. But we're not here to talk about the sequel. Well, not yet anyway. No, today we're looking at the original Streets of Rage [Free], a game that may be lesser than its follow-up but still packs a pretty solid punch. Happily, SEGA has given the game the finest treatment we've seen for a new SEGA Forever release yet...

Back in early August developers Ignacio Schiefelbein and Kris Hattori released their years-in-development side-scrolling, racing-focused cave flyer Pigeon Wings [$1.99] to a very positive reception. Not only did we pick it as our Game of the Week when it came out, but we awarded it 5 stars in our review, saying it was the "epitome of what makes games on the mobile platform so unique and one-of-a-kind" and commending its "tight controls, smooth gameplay, attractive art style, and great music." Basically, Pigeon Wings is real good, ya'll! And unlike most similar games, Pigeon Wings was a level-based racer, not an endless high scorer, which caused quite a heated competition to break out in our forums as players battled back and forth trading best times on each level. However, that doesn't mean people didn't WANT an endless mode for added replay value and competition, and today the developers have answered that request with a brand new endless mode for Pigeon Wings...

One game I've been having a ton of fun with since its release in early October is the stunt driving game REKT! [$1.99] from the Little Chicken Game Company. It gives you a handful of different stunts you can perform with your car, and then sets you loose in a big arena to go seek out the highest-scoring tricks and lines in the limited time of your run. It's kind of like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater meets an over-the-top stunt driving game. It's great! We loved REKT! in our review. One of the biggest requests I've seen since it came out though was for more levels to play in. The initial release came with just one level, and although it's pretty huge and filled with tons of ramps and obstacles, variety is the spice of life. So the developers listened to those requests and have just released a new update which adds a new level called The Bowl for players to explore. ..

I have to give SEGA some credit. One of the many points where I felt that the initial line-up of SEGA Forever titles was lacking was in the selection; they were all games drawn from SEGA's 16-bit platform, and only two of the games were new to iOS gamers. Subsequent releases have mostly stuck to Genesis games, plus a few updated versions of prior SEGA iOS releases. But the Genesis games in particular that have been selected are certainly eclectic choices that demonstrate an affection for the deeper cuts from SEGA's 16-bit library, and that's pretty cool. It reassures me that in spite of the numerous issues that have plagued SEGA Forever, the project is a work of passion. Because honestly, who else but a SEGA super-fan would choose to release something like ESWAT: City Under Siege [Free] ahead of better-known titles like Streets of Rage 2 or Gunstar Heroes?..

Catan (and all its numerous expansions) is one of the most popular board games out there, even though most people I know don't actually like to play it. Today, Asmodee Digital has decided to give us a different take on the board game with Catan Stories [$1.99], a text adventure game inspired by the board game. This is the first time Asmodee Digital has interpreted a board game into a different genre rather than just turn the physical into digital. Catan Stories: The Legend of the Sea Robbers is based on the (you guessed it) Legend of the Sea Robbers Catan expansion and has you following the journey of three new characters in what looks like a very pretty game...

Sometimes I wonder if Justin Smith from Captain Games realizes his own genius when creating games, or if he just makes games that happen to be stunningly brilliant. One of my all-time favorite games is Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99], which is a silly game about a bear driving a car with absurdly difficult driving physics. Beyond its wacky surface, though, there is a ton of depth, and it's remained on my phone since its original release nearly a decade ago. Then there's Desert Golfing [$1.99]. This totally stripped-down 2D golfing game has you whacking a ball into a hole in as few strokes as possible, moving from hole to hole in stark, barely changing environments until… well, until the world falls into the sun, or something. I guess it technically has an end, but most people will never see it and most don't seem to care. It's a perfect mobile game to pop out and play a few holes here and there, but if you squint your eyes just right, you can also pull some deep philosophical meanings out of Desert Golfing. No joke...

It's hard to believe that 10tons launched their fantastic dual-stick shooter Neon Chrome [$6.99] on iOS almost an entire year go, as the game still feels as fresh and fun as it did last November. Following its great reception on mobile, questions quickly turned to when 10tons would be releasing the Arena mode DLC that had been added to the desktop version of Neon Chrome this past January. Well, it took longer than I think we all thought it would, but today that Arena mode DLC has finally arrived in the mobile version of Neon Chrome...

The early 1990s were a strange time for video game characters. Side-scrolling platformers were without question the most popular games, to the point that just about every company had to come up with a mascot or three to put in their own spin on the genre. An awful lot of those characters were simple variations on Sonic the Hedgehog, throwing a pair of big googly eyes on some kind of anthropomorphic animal with an attitude in a vain effort to create some sort of familiar look. Licensed characters from other media and even real celebrities were also popular choices for similar reasons. Then there was Chuck D. Head. He's a mummy with his face on his chest, which he stretches out to attack enemies. Sometimes he finds a head with another face on it, and he throws that head like a hefty boomerang as another means of attacking. Chuck is the star of DeCap Attack [Free], a surprisingly high-effort platformer from SEGA and developer Vic Tokai...

Today is a momentous day in the world of video games at large as perhaps the most iconic video game character in history has launched his newest adventure on Nintendo's Switch console. Super Mario Odyssey launched at midnight Eastern today, which meant that I was already staying up playing that when it came time to pre-order the new iPhone X when that went live at midnight Pacific. Yes, I'm tired today! Also, Super Mario Odyssey is bloody fantastic, and based on the reviews coming out over the past day or so (it is now the most well-reviewed video game of all time) I'm not the only one having fun. Anyway, while the Switch crowd is the only ones who get to enjoy Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo has released a fun new treat for iOS device-owning Mario lovers. It's an 8-Bit Super Mario Stickers Pack [$1.99] which, as you can probably guess from its title, features 8-bit sticker versions of our favorite plumber...

Originally announced in July of last year, we first reported about the ambitious upcoming post-apocalyptic first-person adventure The Sun in July of THIS year when its first official trailer dropped, and we thought it was shaping up quite nicely. In truth, The Sun has been in development for more than 3 years by a tiny team with a core of just 3 people, and in early August we got word that the game was nearing completion and should be released by the end of the month. Well, as is often the case, the game wasn't quite ready for release by then and after wondering when a new release date might be announced for the past month or so The Sun: Origin [$0.99] finally did officially launch in the App Store early Saturday morning. ..

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