Category Archives: $1.99

Arena battle games have really come into their own in recent years. Mobile platforms in particular have enjoyed a great crop, including Super Crate Box [$1.99], Muffin Knight [$0.99], Spell Sword [$0.99], and many others. It's a great way for a small developer to make a great action game without busting the bank, while providing a nice bite-sized bit of fun that suits mobiles well. Of course, for the gamer looking for something more than just a slice of game now and then, the better examples in this sub-genre have included some sort of progression system that persists beyond individual plays. Typically, this is done by putting in some sort of collectible or experience system that will unlock new weapons or abilities, which not only gives you something to shoot for over the long term, but also refreshes the game experience over time to keep it from getting dull...

The genre our hobby labels as "puzzle games" has got to be one of the broadest categories in entertainment. As such, the variation we see within that genre is massive. Sure, wherever there is success, there will be clones, but outside of naked attempts to imitate something great, it's fairly unlikely for any two random puzzle games to resemble one another, even in broad strokes. I'm not sure if it will prove to be a blessing or a curse for developer Radiangames, but it's certainly a bizarre bit of kismet that their new puzzle game, SideSwype [$1.99], a game about swiping blocks around on a grid, has landed just after the phenomenal Threes! [$1.99], which is also a game about swiping blocks around on a grid. There's absolutely no way this was cobbled together in the brief period of time since the release of Threes!, as it's incredibly polished and well-thought out, so we're left with one of those situations where we have to marvel at how interesting life can be sometimes...

Late last month, Zen Studios announced that four new tables would be heading to Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] in an update dubbed the "Heroes Within" pack. Along with the announcement came a trailer for a table fashioned after Han Solo, then just over a week ago Zen released a trailer for the table themed after Episode IV: A New Hope. Today they've released the latest trailer, this time for the "Droids" table which features R2-D2 and C-3PO. Check it out...

Donut Games has been around the iOS scene for quite a while now, and while they might not be the first name you think of when it comes to big hits on the platform, they've actually been quite successful with a number of their games. One of their first games, Monkey Flight [$1.99], proved to be a pretty big hit with its combination of gassy monkeys and gameplay somewhat reminiscent of Angry Birds [$0.99], and has enjoyed many updates in the half decade it's been out. Beyond the fact that monkeys are generally a pretty big crowdpleaser and that flinging animals at things is something of a national sport for mobile gamers, Monkey Flight also gave buyers a great value for a reasonable price. There are a ton of levels, and updates only added more, along with new modes of play...

Man, 2014 has already been an absolutely crazy year for roguelikes, and we're not even halfway into it. With the intensely strategic Hoplite, the everything-and-a-bag-of-chips Cardinal Quest 2, the unique sci-fi hybrid Out There, and the iPad port of the grand FTL, you might find yourself wondering how many more high-quality roguelikes you need on your mobile device. That's a valid question, and it's one that hits Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] right in the gut. This is a great, high-quality example of a roguelike, hitting all the expected buttons in the right ways. If you find yourself yearning for another good roguelike, particularly a fairly orthodox one, do yourself a favor, open up the App Store, and throw down your two bucks right now. If, however, you're still right in the middle of Cardinal Quest 2, only taking breaks to play Hoplite, it's sadly a bit hard to come up with reasons why you should add Quest of Dungeons to your cycle...

Last week, Zen Studios announced a new table pack for their popular pinball game Star Wars Pinball [$1.99]. The upcoming table pack will include four new tables, a "Masters of the Force" table featuring both good and evil forces, a "Droids" table featuring C-3PO and R2-D2, an "Episode IV: A New Hope" table, and a table themed around Han Solo and his furry sidekick Chewbacca. The original announcement showcased a trailer for the Han Solo table, and today Zen has released a trailer showing off the Episode IV table...

Though I played my fair share of hockey in my youth, it may surprise you to find out that I am not a sportsman. I mean, unless downing an order of spice level 10 at the local curry restaurant counts as a sport now, but I suspect the Olympic Committee is going to give me a negative on that one. In spite of that, I really enjoy a variety of sports video games, even the ones based on sports I was never all that interested in before, like football and skateboarding. Looking at all of the sports out there, the biggest disparity in interest for me personally between watching/playing the real thing and indulging in the game version is with golf. I hope I don't offend any golf fans out there when I say that, for me, it's one of the most boring things around. Yet, for whatever reason, I love golf video games. From Golf on the NES to Links on the PC to Hot Shots Golf on PlayStation, I feel like I need to have at least one golf game on any gaming-capable hardware I own. Realism isn't even that important, as long as I get that satisfying feeling that comes from hearing that ball go into the little cup...

'Mount Olympus' Review - Return The Gods To Their Glory

One of my fondest memories back in elementary school was learning all about Greek mythology and greek gods. I also am a bit of a Percy Jackson fan, but that probably makes me more of a dork than anything else. When I first noticed Mount Olympus [$0.99] I couldn’t resist downloading it and seeing what this intriguing point and click adventure had to offer...

I have reviewed almost a thousand games for iOS since I got into mobile gaming, and there is one thing I truly hate: slow tutorial levels. Most of us understand how a game works, and just need a splash screen or two showing the controls. When Lost Light started with what seemed like an endless stream of slow tutorial levels I almost lost my cool. I get it you darn cute squirrel! I make numbered areas with my finger by connecting blocks, it is not that hard. But still the cute animals keep pestering me with match this, and match that...

Combining some super addictive and challenging physics puzzling with four classes of the cutest zombies, Artifex Mundi’s Deadlings [$1.99] is a joy to play. In a similar fashion to Lemmings, you, as the player, must navigate each of the zombie babies around and across the most death-defying traps in an attempt to "train" your minions...

There are many genres where people will debate the usefulness of touch controls, but one genre that is unequivocally better played on a touch-screen than a traditional controller is the strategy game. No surprise, then, that the App Store has a ton of great games in the genre, covering everyone from beginners to experts. One of the more prolific developers in this genre in the last few years is Hunted Cow Studios, who have mostly dedicated themselves to cranking out turn-based strategy games, starting with Tank Battle: 1944 [$0.99]. Since then, they've covered a variety of wars in several times and places, including Rome and the American Civil War. Their latest release, Tank Battle: East Front, brings things back around to where they started, the European theater of World War 2...

Zen Studios' Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] is an awesome mashup of digital pinball and George Lucas's iconic space saga, and it's set to get even more awesome with the upcoming Heroes Within table pack. Upon its original release in March of last year, Star Wars Pinball came with three tables: Empire Strikes Back, The Clone Wars and Boba Fett. Then in October, the "Balance of the Force" update added tables for Return of the Jedi, Starfighter Assault and Darth Vader, bringing the total number of Star Wars Pinball tables up to six. Following that last update we reviewed Star Wars Pinball, and enjoyed it quite a bit...

You might have noticed lately, especially if you followed our GDC coverage last week, that pixely dungeon crawlers are so hot right now. Back in January, we told you about a new one called Quest of Dungeons, which appeared to be a very straightforward roguelike with a nice sense of humor and a great look. Well, if you've been looking forward to it, Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] officially launched in the App Store yesterday. Here's the trailer...

Dawn of Play’s Roll Back Home [$1.99] doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to tilt-based platformers. While it has a few tricks up its sleeve in regards to the physics puzzles you do eventually take on, I’d say it’s still pretty traditional as far as the genre goes. Combine it with an impressive showing of sketchbook visuals and some pretty catchy music, and that’s really all Roll Back Home needs to be a fun game worth downloading...

Blazing down hills on some super fly skies has never been part of my life, as I live in the flattest area in Sweden. Winter sports were always about snowball fights instead of graciously navigating between gates, or finding fresh snow to freestyle in...

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