Category Archives: $1.99

Exploding Kittens [$1.99] has been quite the phenomenon after blowing up (pun intended) Kickstarter and becoming the most-backed game in Kickstarter history when it came out as well as the campaign with the most number of backers. When it finally made the jump to mobile in January, the game looked really good but only had local multiplayer, to the disappointment of many. Fear not, though, because from today you can blow up innocent kitties across the world since the game finally has online multiplayer. The way they implemented the multiplayer side of the game is quite simple but quite smart too; you can, of course, play online with random players, but you can also organize private games...

Dungeon Raid [$0.99] was one of those games where, if it got its hooks into you, you probably weren't going to play anything else for a good long while. There wasn't a lot of mystery behind that, to be honest. The mechanics were familiar and simple to learn, but offered a lot of depth to the player looking for more. The RPG elements gave you a feeling of progression that isn't typically found in many other puzzle games. You could pick the game up whenever you had a few minutes and have a good time, or settle in for a longer session. I Keep Having This Dream [$1.99], the latest from Dungeon Raid developers Fireflame Games, is not the same kind of game. It's a little more opaque, a little more complex, and it comes off like it's aimed at a narrower target in general...




The husband and wife team that makes up Swedish indie developer Killmonday Games successfully crowdfunded their vision for "a very creepy point-and-click adventure" called Fran Bow back in the summer of 2013. The game officially launched on PC in August of last year to a positive reception, and following its release on Android just a couple of weeks ago Fran Bow is now available on iOS as well. In the game you play as Fran, a ten year-old girl who witnesses the grisly murder of her own parents. She is discovered traumatized and alone in the woods, and taken to an asylum where she's separated from her only friend in the world, her cat Mr. Midnight. Due to the medications administered to her at the asylum, Fran hallucinates an alternate reality filled with gruesome monsters and death. Desperate to escape the asylum and horrible treatments, Fran utilizes the ability to jump between the two realities in order to solve puzzles, find Mr. Midnight, and hopefully discover who was behind the murder of her parents...

Desert Golfing [$0.99] is a minimalist 2D golfing game from developer Justin Smith, who has been well-known for years now for creating quirky gaming experiences on a variety of platforms but is probably best-known on mobile for his wacky Bear Driving Simulator Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99]. Anyway, Desert Golfing took on a life of its own following its release in August of 2014. Something about its extreme minimalism drew people in hole after hole, but subtle things like the terrain very slowly changing color over the course of many thousands of holes prompted people to find deeper meaning in all this endless golfing. I have no doubt that it's only a matter of time before Desert Golfing is required teaching in every philosophy class across the globe...

'Rogue Agent' Review - Sneak and Spy

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February 23rd, 2016 11:47 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
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I think we'll be playing stealth games forever. While combat is what most people crave, there's a definite appeal to sneaking around and avoiding conflict that so many people resonate with. That's where Rogue Agent [Free] comes in, providing tons of subversion in the shadows while maintaining a quasi-interesting clandestine storyline...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

'Tennis Champs Returns' Review - A New Definition of Love

Sports video games are in a tough spot, in my opinion. They have benefited greatly from hardware advancement over the decades, and are able to offer much more accurate simulations of their real-life counterparts with things like incredible graphics and advanced physics and AI. But along with that sports games have undoubtedly become more complex, and are often difficult to approach with their many button inputs and moves. I also feel that sometimes sports games fail to capture the essence of the sport they're trying to mimic, as even though the action on screen is faithful the their real-life counterparts it often doesn't "feel" like you're actually playing that sport. More like just inputting your button combinations and watching what unfolds...

It seems crazy that the release of Jack B. Nimble [$1.99] was well over a year ago, back in September of 2014. This plucky little runner combined the simplistic running and jumping of a typical runner but added in an extra dimension with the ability to crack a whip mid-jump, making it feel like the lovechild of Canabalt [$2.99] and Castlevania. We really enjoyed it in our review, and two post-release updates sweetened the pot by adding in two extra environments, two new color palettes, Game Center integration, and an extra playable character. Since its last update in December of 2014, Jack B. Nimble hasn't seen a whole lot of love, mostly due to it being the passion project of sole developer Sean Noonan. There have been big plans in the works for the game, they just haven't had a chance to come to fruition. ..

Last week we got our first taste of Ninja Boy Adventures, a game created by The Clash Soft as an answer for there not being any classic Bomberman experiences available on iOS. The very next day we got a lengthy look at Ninja Boy Adventures being played with an MFi controller, a final taste of the game ahead of its planned February 3rd release date. Well, it's not quite February 3rd yet here in California, but with the wackiness of time zones and an entirely digital App Store it turns out Ninja Boy Adventures [$1.99] is already available as of just a couple hours ago...

The East New World [$2.99] is pretty comfortable wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. The enemy designs map pretty closely to those found in Goblin Sword [$1.99]. The button layout is very similar to the one used on Sword Of Xolan [$0.99]. The basic gameplay of all of these games isn't that far removed from Devious Dungeon [$2.99]. That's not to say that The East New World doesn't have a few ideas of its own, but it's similar enough to Goblin Sword in particular that it feels like a reskin at times. You'll need to make your way through preset levels, searching out three crystals and two chests per stage, defeating whatever gets in your way using your sword. Pick up all the coins and gems you find on the way so that you can buy new gear in town between levels. Use your trusty double jump to avoid spikes and other hazards, and make your way to the exit somewhere on the far right-hand side of the stage. Very much a clone, to be sure, but it's at least a good one...

2016 has already been a great year for iOS games and January isn't even over yet, and although it isn't quite the normal time of the week for new games to hit we have an early arriver called Super Phantom Cat [$1.99] that platforming fans should be sure to check out. It was just last week I was getting all excited about cats and platformers coming together as one, and I was thrilled to wake up today and find Super Phantom Cat rising up our Hot Games list. I immediately grabbed it and have been having a fun time with it since. ..

Good news for fans of Hanger World [Free], as developer A Small Game is currently testing a level editor tool that they plan to release as an update for the game. As you may know, Hanger Worlds is a rope-swinging game with wacky ragdoll physics and character dismemberment, which sounds like a horror movie except that it's hard to take very seriously with the construction paper doll-like characters in the game. Your goal is to swing through each level avoiding hazards as much as possible, since when you run into something chances are pretty good that a leg or arm might just pop off. It's actually possible to complete levels with nothing but an arm and a head, though I doubt your character's quality of life after that victory will be that great missing most of their body. Anyway, Hanger Worlds is challenging, silly, and a lot of fun, and the type of game that's perfect for a level editor. Check out how simple the editor is to use in this early preview video...

Of the vast multitude of game types that just work really well on iOS, first person sniper games are definitely high on that list. Coming from AAA franchise names and high budgets along with one person indie developed stick man games, in freemium, premium, and everything in between. This is the story of one of those tiny developers. In fact, you may have played his last game at some point, Tactical Assassin [Free]. Well the ante has been upped, and what he’s put out next is, in my estimation, one of the first must have mobile game of the new year. I give you Lonewolf [Free]...

If a buffalo dances in space, does it make a sound?..

I seriously adore cats, so it's funny that I'm actually even remotely interested in a game with the title Exploding Kittens [$1.99]. Yet, Exploding Kittens, which has just popped up on the App Store, isn't just any game; it's the digital version of (and I'm sure you've heard this line before) the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever. Not an insignificant praise given the competition and considering that Exploding Kittens is a card game all about trying not to draw an Exploding Kitten card. If you do, you die, and you're out of the game, unless you have a defuse card that allows you to defuse that poor Exploding Kitten using laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches (my cat would love the latter one). All other cards in the deck simply help you move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kitten...

Mr Jump [Free], the brutally difficult precision platformer from 1Button that took the App Store by storm last spring, is getting ready to unleash a brand new update on its masochistic players. This update will introduce "World C" which contains 12 brand new levels and a couple of new features to look out for. First up are teleporters, which as you'll see in the trailer below are used in mind-bending ways to beam you back and forth around a level's many hazards. Then you have what 1Button is calling "reversible spikes" which are these jerkwad spikes that keep flashing on and off like jerks. Basically, World C looks like the next level of Hell...

I was more of a console gamer growing up, so I unfortunately missed out on all the great old-school gaming computers, like the Amiga. It wasn't until the world of iOS gaming that I came to know Pinball Dreaming [$1.99] and Pinball Fantasies [$2.99], two classic pinball games from Digital Illusions that were originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s and ported to iOS by Cowboy Rodeo way back in 2009. Let me tell you, I may have been late to the party, but boy was I glad to be invited. Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are fantastic digital pinball games. Sadly, Cowboy Rodeo was a tiny outfit and despite doing reasonably well back in the day it didn't appear that the Dreams and Fantasies ports lit the world on fire. Like so many other great games from that first year of the App Store, updates eventually dried up, though to Cowboy Rodeo's credit they did make an effort every year or two to ensure the games at least ran on latest iOS software and hardware, but new features weren't really in the cards...

We learned last week that Zen Studios was readying two brand new pinball tables focused on the smash hit film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The announcement was accompanied by a short teaser trailer that briefly showed one of the new tables in action, but as is usually the case with teasers, there just wasn't much detail shown. With the new tables set to launch across all platforms this week, Zen has released two brand new trailers that give a much deeper look into each of the new Star Wars tables...

Last month RobTop Games teased something called Geometry Dash Meltdown on Twitter. Was it a new game? An update to the original Geometry Dash? Something else entirely? We didn't know! Well just today RobTop posted a brand new trailer for Geometry Dash Meltdown on their Youtube channel, and after watching it, guess what? I still don't know what it is! But it looks awesome...

Fruit Ninja [$1.99] is one of those platform-defining games and it put long-time Australian developer Halfbrick on the map in a big way. It was just about as perfect a mobile game as you can get. Short gaming sessions, intuitive touchscreen slicing controls, and colorful visuals made Fruit Ninja an immediate and long-lasting success. However, after years atop the iTunes charts Fruit Ninja was struggling to keep people interested in the face of a constant deluge of new games. ..

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