Category Archives: $1.99

'Tales of the Tiny Planet' Review- A Refreshingly Simple Physics Puzzle Game

The App Store has come a tremendously long way since its humble beginnings in 2008. It was the first time that Apple had officially introduced the distribution of third-party applications on its platform. It was an exciting time and many developers were taking their first steps in exploring the possibilities of gaming on iOS devices. I can recall numerous games from this time that had extremely simple mechanics, yet their simplicity was their greatest strength. Since then, the App Store has continued to acquire an insane amount of games, especially in the physics puzzler genre. Physics puzzle games may have gradually become more complicated overtime, but Tales of the Tiny Planet [$1.99] hearkens back to the aforementioned era of physics puzzle games that were purely simple and fun...

The latest SEGA Forever release is upon us, and like many of the releases so far this one was already released on iOS several years ago before being pulled due to compatibility issues. Space Harrier 2 [Free] is a game of some historical significance as it was one of just two launch titles for the SEGA Genesis's debut in Japan, but it's also a firm reminder that the SEGA Forever celebration of the company's history remains steadily focused on one particular period of it. The emulation is solid enough and it's a decent game that is well-suited to touch controls, so nostalgic SEGA fans could do a lot worse than throwing a couple of bucks at it. Any appeal beyond that group might be a tough sell, however...




Clever Co-Op Puzzler 'Our Ways' Will Be Looking for Love on the App Store on October 11th

While the benefits of a relationship sure are plentiful, their very nature necessitates a huge deal of challenge and commitment, and it doesn't take long to stumble upon some convoluted horror stories around the internet. Thankfully, Our Ways has all the qualities of a relationship but is, well, actually fun. Through controlling two separate lovestruck circles with different sides of the screen, you must use your reactions and delicate controls to unite the protagonists in temporary bliss - at least until the next level. It's an ingenious concept that has repeatedly impressed us on previous glimpses in the past, and today the developers have announced that Our Ways will be launching as a $1.99 premium release on October 11th, as well as sharing an official trailer that gives a nice impression of the adorable concept of the title...

Ever since Rolando redefined the expectations of what mobile gaming could offer, I've been inexplicably attached to cute, anthropomorphic blobs in video games. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for excellent character design within the industry, but despite how hypocritical it may sound, the purity of a smiling red circle just triggers something deep in my heart. This meant that the trailer for self-described physics puzzle venture Tales of the Tiny Planet [$1.99] was particularly appealing from the outset, as bouncing the titular spheres around deviously designed levels (with comical voices and sound effects upon an especially spiky demise) looked both charming and captivating. As puzzle games go, Tales of the Tiny Planet appears to be out of this world (pun fully intended), and is available to download from the App Store for $1.99 today...

I love puzzle games. Lucky for me you can't swing a dead Pokemon in the App Store without hitting several dozen. Not all of them are good, of course, and many are shallow copies of much better games. There are enough good ones, however, to keep me entertained and seeking more. Those moments when I come across something really compelling and get that "oh cool" feeling make the search well worth the effort. Glowish [$1.99], a recently released pattern-recognition puzzler, definitely gave me that feeling...

Super-powered indie developer TinyTouchTales released their awesome solitaire-style card game Miracle Merchant [$1.99] one month ago. Miracle Merchant is an attractive, intuitive, and fun game and one of the best new titles of 2017. One of the things I like about TinyTouchTales is that they are very transparent about the sales of their games. This helps others get a look behind the scenes of mobile-game development which is fun to see and invaluable for new developers considering taking a crack at their first game. Miracle Merchant is no different and we now have a look at how well the game has done...

A few years back, I reviewed an enjoyable puzzle game called Circix [Free]. In that game, you had to connect circuits in the correct fashion to get past each stage. Setting aside the theme, the core puzzle of the game was in thinking about how each node had to relate to its neighbors. Well, the developer behind that game recently released a new puzzle game called Taps [$1.99]. On the surface, it's completely different from the neon electronics theme of Circix, but it follows a similar idea of building its puzzles around logical relationships. Taps feels more polished, more unique, and more carefully thought-out than its predecessor, and it's just as devilishly challenging once it gets going...

SEGA is a company that has made its mark in multiple arenas, but perhaps none so much as the arcades. They took a little longer to get going than some of their fellow members of the arcade royalty, but by the mid-1980s they were starting to hit a stride that wouldn't slow until arcades themselves did. They achieved that through a variety of means. Sometimes it was pure technological spectacle. At other times, it was through clever gameplay innovations. But SEGA also knew how to recognize a good thing and make their own spin on it, a skill shared by all of the very best arcade game makers. The 1989 release of Golden Axe [Free] was a fine example of that, combining a few popular trends into one slick, enjoyable gaming experience...

Video games as a medium have long been seen as a form of escapism. Whether you choose to explore the beautiful, utopian open world of Hyrule, or if you don the jet-pack and hyper-realistic weaponry of the latest Call of Duty title, jumping into the latest release serves as a way of blocking out the hardships and monotonous tedium of everyday life. However, the passage of time can make many titles become a little too real in their sprawling dystopian narratives, and upon its release back in May, Beholder [$4.99] joined the likes of Papers, Please [$7.99 (HD)] in providing a terrifying yet utterly immersive look into a totalitarian future of absolute surveillance amidst some difficult moral dilemmas. We adored Beholder in our review, and today the game has gone on sale for a mere $1.99, which is its lowest price since the title's release...

As we learned back in May, AuraLab and Other Kind Games' surreal adventure game Karma. Incarnation 1. would be heading to mobile following its release on Steam in October of last year. Just a few days later the game arrived on Android via Google Play, with the iOS release set for some nebulous time in the future. Well, earlier this month it was announced that the iOS version was set to release on August 24th, and although it didn't quite make it in time for our weekly Out Now post, Karma. Incarnation 1. [$1.99] has finally arrived as of this morning. If you're familiar with the 2014 Don Hertzfeldt intro to The Simpsons, Karma. Incarnation 1. gives me that same sort of super weird, "I am on hallucinogenics right now" kind of feeling. Check out the trailer...

Pigeon Wings [$1.99] does so many things right, it's hard to pinpoint all of them and why they feel the way they do. First off the game is downright charming, and just the act of playing it puts a huge smile on my face. Second is that it controls impeccably well with a mixture of extremely fine-tuned tilt controls and screen taps. Third is that these qualities coupled with well-designed, bite-sized levels have turned the game into a hotbed of fierce competition, as has been playing out in the game's forum thread since its release a couple of weeks ago. A lot of this I think has to do with slow, iterative development, and as I mentioned when I first posted about Pigeon Wings a little over a month ago the game took over 2 years to complete. ..

Before we get going with this review, let's address the elephant in the corner of the room: SEGA Forever. SEGA's latest attempt to bring its classics to iOS has had a bit of a rocky start thanks to a frankly lackluster Genesis emulator. SEGA got a lot of feedback from those initial releases and, to their credit, have been working hard trying to address the problems. Their latest release is Ristar [Free], and it comes with a new emulator build that shows significant improvement over previous ones. It's not perfect, mind you. While it greatly improves on the framerate and sound issues many have had with earlier releases, this version sometimes has some screen tearing. Nevertheless, it's a solid enough release that we feel it's worth reviewing this game largely on its own merits...

'Swim Out' Review - A Relaxing Poolside Puzzler

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August 11th, 2017 12:45 PM EDT by Nick Vigdahl in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Summer is cruising along at a blistering pace isn't it? It's the speediest of all seasons to be sure and before long many of us will be left with wind chills and blankets of snow to continually clear and drive through, others will face sleet and gloomy skies. It's not over yet, though, and a new puzzle game is out to help conjure happier times once it is. Swim Out [$2.99] is a clever new puzzle game about a blue-capped swimmer looking to navigate their way through a great many high traffic pools...

The 32-bit Appocalype is a cruel and indiscriminate mistress, and while there may be legitimate compatibility concerns with the upcoming iOS 11 update, it's still been disheartening to see some classic iPhone games that I grew up with slowly blast off into the horizon. Thankfully, The Last Rocket [$1.99] has today escaped such an unfortunate fate, as developer Shaun Inman has updated his classic retro platformer with 64-bit compatibility to survive the upcoming App Store purge. For those of you who may not be familiar with the game, The Last Rocket is an incredibly clever puzzle title with a stylish GBA-esque aesthetic, and involves blasting off throughout numerous obstacles and traps to escape a ship before it collides with a star. I'm incredibly glad to see The Last Rocket receive its first update in almost exactly five years, and it's fantastic to have such a classic game secure on the App Store for many more months to come...

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "pigeon"? I don't know about you but I have always been told that they are "the rats of the sky". They can't be that bad, can they? Pigeons used to be pretty useful by delivering written messages back in the day. That fact has to make them a bit better than rats. Honestly, that's the only positive thing about pigeons that I can conjure up from my mind. Anyways, all of these thoughts flew through my brain as soon as I read the title of Pigeon Wings [$1.99] by Ignacio Schiefelbein...

'Miracle Merchant' Review - A Masterful Solo Card Game from the Creator of 'Card Crawl'

Do you love solitaire-style mobile games? If the answer is yes you're in luck because Miracle Merchant [$1.99] released today and is one of the best card games in the App Store. Miracle Merchant is the latest title from TinyTouchTales, indie developer and master of modern solitaire variants. 2015's Card Crawl [$2.99] is on my Mount Olympus of mobile games and has been the source of countless hours (seriously, I couldn't begin to count them) of entertainment. Card Thief [$2.99] was released earlier this year and is also eminently replayable...

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

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$1.99 Buy Now

In years to come, the App Store will be both commemorated and condemned for revolutionising the delivery of digital content, implementing the use of innovative gaming inputs, and instigating an industry-wide transition away from fully priced releases. However, one of the most profound impacts this emergent platform has had on video games has been its ethos of ‘show, don’t tell’. Monument Valley [$3.99], Sword and Sworcery [$3.99], and a number of landmark titles have fought against the limitations of a handheld device to completely immerse the user through pure aesthetic bliss. Despite not originating on the iPhone, Linelight [$1.99] is the next notable independent release that champions these values, through slick puzzles, accessible controls, and stunningly dynamic visuals and audio. The resulting concoction is an extremely memorable mobile experience that, while by no means perfect, is far grander than its subtle minimalistic design suggests...

With the iOS platform approaching a decade of existence, there are quite a few titles you could denote as classics when talking about the history of mobile gaming. Jet Car Stunts [$1.99 / Free] is without a doubt one of those titles. Launching in the fall of 2009 with the App Store still in its infancy, Jet Car Stunts married the unique capabilities of iOS devices with some seriously fun stunt track racing. There really was no greater feeling that launching your little digital rocket car into the air, spinning and twirling, and totally nailing the landing on the other side. Or finding some obscure shortcut that gives you a leg up on the highly competitive online leaderboards. Yes for some Jet Car Stunts was an obsession, and for me personally it brings back great memories of the early days of iOS gaming. However, 2009 was a LONG time ago, and the last significant update to Jet Car Stunts was way back in July of 2012 when the game received long-awiated Universal iPad support and some performance improvements. Well, with iOS 11 and its lack of support for 32-bit apps likely coming in just a couple of months, many fans were holding out hope that this oldie but goodie would get some 64-bit update love from developer True Axis. Today that update love has arrived. ..

When I see the word 'zen' to describe any sort of minimalistic iOS puzzler, my cynicism as a mobile games critic immediately flares up. Normally such a descriptor suggests a lazy and derivative core, in an attempt to be profound for no real reason other than to appeal to those who think videogames have to achieve some sort of higher purpose. Thankfully, Linelight [$1.99] fully embraces its simplicity, and is literally nothing more than a game of moving your fluorescent bar of light through multiple puzzles and paths. With levels that are lit up like a Christmas tree, Linelight is the epitome of accessibility through its basic controls, but really smart level design throughout the 200 unique puzzles results in a deceptively deep experience that shouldn't be missed, and is available to download now for $1.99 on the App Store...

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. ..

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