Category Archives: $1.99

'Lanota' Review - You Spin Me Round

Ironically, the very success of the rhythm genre back at Guitar Hero’s launch on home consoles in 2005 was ultimately its undoing. A complete over saturation of the genre in under five years - spanning many different formats, even more spin-offs and unbeknownst amount of instrument-shaped controllers - meant the genre vanished almost as quickly as it had arrived. Rhythm game fans should not be disheartened, however - many developers took this as an opportunity to create well-crafted and unique music titles that were not iterative, and used the best features of the platform to their advantage, instead of relying on plastic peripherals as a crutch. The App Store was one of the delighted recipients of this new wave of rhythm games, and developers like Rayark have led the way with stunning efforts such as VOEZ [Free] that have impressed us in the past for putting a spin on the tired formula without becoming too derivative from the core elements of the genre that attracted so many fans in the first place. Lanota [$1.99] follows this trend - while some of the more radical attempts at distinguishing itself from the crowd can occasionally become a distration, developers Noxy Games have crafted an immersive and beautiful world that makes merely tapping in time to a song become a fully fledged adventure...

'Spectrum 6' Is a Cool Color-Mixing Puzzle Title, Launching August 25th

Considering virtually all my free time is spent commuting on the tube, the iOS games I tend to gravitate towards on these train rides are colorful and unique puzzle games such as twofold inc. [$3.99] and Threes! [$2.99]. Being able to immerse myself in a puzzle or two between stops is, in my opinion, the epitome of mobile gaming, and while enjoying a more expansive experience such as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99] is great at home, nothing beats pick up and play puzzle games on the move. As a result, my interested has definitely been piqued by the upcoming Spectrum 6 from developers Dusky Drones, as merging block placing puzzles with a cool color mixing element seems to be a very interesting and intuitive blend (pun fully intended)...




Philadelphia's LOVE Park, nicknamed so for Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sculpture with the tilted O, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the US. But it holds an extra special place in the hearts of skateboarders. LOVE Park is a legendary skate spot, from its many planter ledges, to ramps made from propped up grates, to the massive four set leading down into its central fountain, this park has had a presence in skateboarding for decades. Now, the top skateboarding game for iOS is getting a little LOVE when Love Park arrives as a downloadable course for True Skate [$1.99] this Thursday. Here's Philadelphia skateboarding icon Josh Kalis taking the digital version of LOVE Park for a test drive, followed by a couple of screens of the new course...

Beautiful Puzzle Title 'Blyss' Launches on the App Store Tomorrow

While the pop-culture phenomenon may show no signs of slowing down, it's extremely refreshing to be able to put down Pokemon GO [Free] for a while and enjoy some new and exciting iOS games that are releasing this week. Blyss, by developers Dropout Games, is finally launching on the App Store tomorrow after over seven months of hype on our forums, and merges an interesting puzzle mechanic with beautiful and calming aesthetics to stand out from the crowd amongst the cacophony of games within the genre...

Tests can be stressful. I mean, that makes sense when you're not confident about the material on the test, but sometimes tests that cover things you know very well can be even more nerve-wracking. You shouldn't fail something if you know what you're doing, right? Now imagine the test you have to pass is checking your humanity. You can pass that test, surely. Most of our readers have been human for a while, after all. That's the premise behind Able Black [$1.99], an interactive fiction game where you play a freshly-booted android who has to pass his citizenship test before he can join society...

Turns out there are other games being released onto the App Store this week that don't involve throwing capsules at critters. Lanota [$1.99], which really impressed us when we looked at it for the first time last week, has circumvented the usual Thursday midnight rush of releases and is out now on iOS. Evoking many great concepts that we loved in our review of VOEZ [Free] last month, Lanota merges rhythm action with a beautiful artistic narrative describing a world that is slowly turning monochromatic through the loss of music and color, and how you must correct this by 'tuning' to a song at each level to slowly restore society...

One of the unique phenomenons of the App Store ecosystem is the sudden and inexplicable rise of certain games. While the holy grail of creating an app that skyrockets to the top of the charts was merely a pipe dream for the vast majority of developers, it was also a reason why the iOS gaming scene became so popular - especially in the early days. Perchang [$1.99] - with its current position at #3 for paid apps in both the UK and US at time of writing, and #1 of all paid games in the former - joins the extremely exclusive club of chart toppers that don't feature a bird motif, and appears to have achieved overnight success purely through creating a beautiful premium experience that has caught the eye of everyone from App Store veterans to those who rarely use their mobile devices for gaming...

It's no secret that I'm a True Skate [$1.99] addict. It's my daily habit, and thankfully, I've been told it's a lot healthier than smoking. This little skateboarding simulator has come a long, long way since its original release in the fall of 2012, and a constant flow of updates has added in lots of new courses and new features, making it easily the most robust skate simulator on the App Store. This Friday another new True Skate update is coming which introduces a couple of pretty big changes. ..

The relative dearth of traditional first person perspective racing games beyond Real Racing 3 [Free] and what’s left of the Asphalt series has been a blessing in disguise for fans of the top down driving genre. From classics such as Reckless Racing 3 [Free] to recent offerings like Pixel Machines [$0.99], there certainly is a lot of choice - and even an official Micro Machines title from Codemasters which has unfortunately not escaped its initial soft launch period yet. For any fervent fans, Battle Cars [$1.99] by developers Dracoders has launched today, and will seemingly satiate any one looking to fill the void until the Micro Machines official iTunes release with some classic arcade action...

As video games increase in complexity, and as there is a unilateral push from both software and hardware developers for graphical prowess, there is a certain charm from games that choose to reminisce on days gone by. Whether it’s titles such as Downwell [$2.99] which have the difficult yet extremely rewarding arcade style action that has been lost over the years, or classics such as 1-Bit Ninja [$2.99] that throwback directly to the 2D side scrolling platformer days of the Mario series, the most successful retro titles on any device are the ones that utilise their source material perfectly while either refining it to perfection or adding unique, modern twists on the formula. However, the schematics for ‘retro’ games in the current gaming environment run a fine line that is more than just surface deep - if it’s too complex, you simply have a modern title under a wrapper of pixel art graphics. On the other hand, if the game is too simple it may just serve as a reminder to why we no longer spend our time squinting at monochrome screens without a backlight. 2-bit Cowboy Rides Again [$1.99] unfortunately is a prime example of the latter - some good level design and interesting ideas are let down by forced artificial difficulty, and ultimately the retro nucleus of the title ends up holding the game back rather than letting it run free...

'Mazes Of Karradash 2' Review - Go Big Or Go Home

I'm frequently impressed at how quickly some small developers can create a game. It hasn't even been a year since the original Mazes Of Karradash [$0.99] released, and here I am looking at an impressively large-scale sequel. The fundamentals of the game haven't changed much in Mazes Of Karradash 2 [$1.99], but everything is bigger, brighter, and more advanced. Whereas I tended to think of the first game as a lightweight RPG best fit for filling in short gaps of time, the sequel has become something you'll want to settle into a comfy chair to play...

After its well-received global launch back in February, we learned a couple of weeks ago that Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] would be receiving a huge paid expansion adding in a new chapter to the single-player campaign, new items and weapons, and more. Today that update is now available to players on iOS, and for the first time Assassin's Creed Identity is also now available on Android. The new campaign is titled Forlì - A Crimson Sunset and contains 4 new story missions, the new Forlì location with both At Dusk and Under Siege variations, a new "Crow Hunt" contract type, and 2 new Legendary Weapons added to the in-game shop. ..

Action Platformer Favorite 'Goblin Sword' Gets New Chapter, New Items, and iCloud Support in Latest Update

Originally launched way back in September of 2014, Goblin Sword [$1.99] is one of the best action platforming games available on iOS. We loved it to pieces in our original review, and developer Gelato Games came through with meaty and frequent content updates for the game. An update in February of last year added a new chapter called The Lost City with 16 new levels, and an update last August added the Shadow Temple chapter, also with 16 new levels. Both content updates also added additional items, weapons, costumes, and features like MFi controller support. Basically, I always felt like I got way more than my money's worth even with the initial release of Goblin Sword, and each new update was just a huge cherry on top of an already delicious sundae. Well, get ready to chow down on even more dessert as Gelato Games have just posted another brand new update to Goblin Sword, this one adding 9 new levels in a new chapter called Sacred Ruins...

Having played hundreds of action adventure games over the years, the thirst is still very much intact. To many people out there there's only so many times you can adventure with Samus in space, or take an anthropomorphic rabbit on a quest to remember his past before you started to get winded of the concept. But every time I encounter a brand new 2D world, I feel like it's a brand new challenge to undertake -- a new excuse to get to know another universe. While the mechanics most definitely hold up, Soul of Sword [Free]'s world isn't necessarily worth uncovering...

Exploding Kittens [$1.99] continues to be great fun, and it's a game I'll often pick up, play a couple of rounds, explode more than a few times, and put it down with a smile on my face because the game is still hilarious. In the latest update, Exploding Kittens continues to provide more reasons for people to laugh by adding a new avatar pack that's all about Science vs Religion. While other developers might have tried to go about this theme in a subtle way, Exploding Kittens goes head first by letting you play as Jesus or the Devil. So yes, not subtle but definitely funny, at least for me. The Avatar pack also adds Darwin, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (because why not), Tesla, Edison, Marie Curie, and Jibbers. And, of course, they all come with hilarious sound effects. The pack costs $1.99, which is a small price to pay to play as Jesus or the Devil...

'INKS.' Review - Paintball Wizard

'INKS.' Review - Paintball Wizard

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$1.99 Buy Now

There are a few ways you can look at INKS. [$1.99], the latest release from Lumino City [$4.99] developer State Of Play. On the one hand, it's a beautiful piece of interactive art, allowing each player to uniquely paint a design based on how they play. On the other hand, it's probably State Of Play's most conventional game yet, since it's really just pinball at its core. That's a genre which has no shortage of excellent entries on the iOS platform, and when compared on a strictly mechanical basis against them, INKS. is far from the front of the pack. You have to take it as a fusion of both of those things to see it on its best merits, I think. If nothing else, it will teach you more than a few things about how to play pinball, and it does it in quite the artistic fashion...

It's not uncommon for Rockstar Games to put their Grand Theft Auto iOS ports on sale, but it's not as common to see the entire library of them all on sale at the same time. That's what we're experiencing right now, in what I'm dubbing "The Great Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto (and Max Payne) Cinco de Mayo Sale of 2016". Pretty catchy name, no? Right now all of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto iOS ports are available for just a few bucks, down from their already pretty darn cheap regular prices. If you were to do some sort of cost to hours played equation for something like GTA: San Andreas, we'd be talking fractions of a cent per hour of senseless violence and crime. It's an amazing deal and really there are no bad GTA games in the bunch. They've even knocked a buck off of the solid mobile version of GTA's bullet time cousin Max Payne. Now is a great time to pick up any of these that you don't own to fill out your collections. ¡Viva Rockstar Games!..

'Chameleon Run' Review - A Change of Color

I've played so many runners in the past 10 years or so I've lost count. Much like my teenage years after I realized that I had played hundreds of platformers in my lifetime, over time, I started to notice that you can't really browse the App Store without seeing a runner front and center. While many groan at the prospect, I relish a new opportunity to check out a new entry, and a brand new way to spend entire days wasting away behind the comfort of a touchscreen...

You may be familiar with developer Seth Robinson from his super popular mobile MMO/platforming/crafting mashup Growtopia [Free], but way back in August of 2009 he first released a novel little word game/dungeon crawler mashup called Dungeon Scroll [$1.99]. The idea was pretty simple: Form words out of the letters that appear on the board, with the size of each word you make determining the power of your attack on the enemies in the game. It sounds like a pretty normal mobile game nowadays, but nearly 7 years ago this was a really unique idea for an iPhone game. However, besides an update in mid-2012 to fix an iOS-related crash issue, Dungeon Scroll has remained as it was when it released all those years ago. Then this past week a surprise update arrived adding 64-bit and widescreen support to Dungeon Scroll, prompting the resurrection of the game's forum thread and introducing it to an entirely new audience...

After charming the App Store with its quirky theme and great art, Exploding Kittens is now available on Android, too, and I suggest you go pick it up. If you don't know anything about the game, Exploding Kittens is the digital version of the Kickstarter-darling card game that broke many records and landed on many tables. In the game, you try to avoid finding yourself holding an Exploding Kitten card while lacking a Defuse card. If that happens, well, the poor kitty gets it. Wrong as the theme may sound (especially for a cat lover like myself), the game is really fun to play...

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