Category Archives: $1.99

Perhaps because of how many of them are made, platformers have often turned to heavy usage of gimmicks to try to breathe some fresh air into things. Whether it's the closet full of special suits from Mario's adventures or the gravity-defying antics of VVVVVV, it's strangely more difficult sometimes to find a platformer that isn't packed full of novelties. There's nothing wrong with gimmicks, of course. When used well, they can make running and jumping from point A to point B feel like something you've never done before. Still, it's nice once in a while to play a game that gives you a straightforward run and jump through cleverly designed stages. Ava's Quest [Free] is just such a game. There are a few little gimmicks as you play through the game's 30 levels, but for the most part, the game simply focuses on using familiar elements to present you with a pleasant challenge. Oh, and to let you know up-front, you only get four stages for free. The rest are unlocked via an IAP for $1.99...

Nostalgia is a heck of a thing. Like many of you, I like to indulge in revisiting my childhood on occasion. To tell the truth, though, when it comes to games, I feel like I never fully left my childhood favorites behind. Not only am I big on retro collections and classic re-releases, I actually have an NES and SNES connected to my main TV, plugged in and ready to go at all times. I keep my old brick Game Boy in an empty drawer in the kitchen in case I want to play some Tetris while I wait for the water to boil. There's one important part of my gaming past that I fell out of touch with over the years, however, and that's computer gaming. My first gaming hardware that I actually owned and had in my house, apart from a Coleco Mini Arcade version of Galaxian, was a Commodore 64. It was only a couple of years later at most that I got an NES, but those Commodore years remain as formative to my gaming memories as hanging off of arcade machines at the restaurant where my mother worked...

BeaverTap Games have updated their two main "Mikey" games, Mikey Hooks [$1.99] and Mikey Shorts [$0.99], with official support for MFi iOS 7 controllers. Owners of Mikey Shorts may have noticed that the game already received a controller support update early last week… and then again over this past weekend. Well, there was some wonky issues with the controller support in those first two updates, but today's update seems to be right on target. As such, the sequel Mikey Hooks has received the same controller support update...

The soccer-themed new table for Zen Studios' Zen Pinball [Free], which was announced late last month, is now available to download from within the Zen Pinball app. The way the Super League Football table works is a bit different from the other DLC tables in the game. There are actually eight different versions for the table, seven that cover popular football clubs and an eighth that is for the fictional Zen Studios Football Club. These are all actually separate IAP tables, even though they are the same table layout for each. The difference between each is just the theme. So you'll need to choose your allegiance before picking one up, and then there's sort of a big online battle between all the various football club tables within the game...

What do you suppose ran through the mind of your nameless, faceless, Indiana Jones-wannabe adventurer when he desecrated an ancient Egyptian temple and awoke hundreds of bloodthirsty mummies from their eternal slumber? "I should have parked closer to the temple" would be my guess. His predicament is our gain, as Escape from Doom [$0.99] is a rollicking good time...

Where would you go if you were a green mule out in the Wild Wild West? Well that’s what Mr. Rooney has to figure out, in a game full of the most offbeat puns and unconventional puzzles. Glitch Games, the very same developers of the dark and macabre Forever Lost, have done a complete 180 with intriguing iOS point-and-click style adventure Ferris Mueller’s Day Off [$1.99]. Based very loosely on the renowned film of similar namesake, this curious game, which is clearly about a mule and not a young teenager on the brink of adulthood, invites you into a bright, colorful world where mules have humanity and the fellow town residents are largely unaccommodating...

Sometimes, old school gamers just want to kick back and relax with a retro platformer. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it's tough to find a really great control scheme barring a controller option, as precision is often synonymous with the platforming genre. While it may not employ the perfect solution, Foxtrot! [$1.99] does a great job of keeping the old school spirit alive...

Old school games are often filled with technical limitations that made them harder than they otherwise would have been. The modern term for this is "fake difficulty," and although it's a bit of an overused catch-all to describe challenging games, it often applies to many works, even today. Trambo [$1.99] is one such game that often feels unfair as a result of its design, but masochists will still find a lot to like despite its flaws...

'R-Type II' Review - Don't Bydo More Than You Can Chew

Seeing the Irem logo come up when starting a game still makes me a little sad. We've seen a lot of important game companies go softly into the night, but somehow, seeing Irem give up game development to focus on pachinko machines hurts a little bit more than the usual. At the time they made the decision, it stung all the more because it resulted in virtually all of their games being pulled from digital services, including the original R-Type, one of the true classics of its genre. As a bit of a silver lining, though, Irem seems to be agreeable about licensing their older games out, and R-Type has slowly been making a return. Last summer saw DotEmu's enhanced re-release of R-Type [$1.99] for iOS, which offered the original game with a few new options. It's a great version of a game that's been ported to just about every piece of hardware imaginable, as long as you can't imagine an NES...

Hot on the heels of a new park being added to Touchgrind Skate 2, True Axis has just updated their fantastic skateboarding sim True Skate [$1.99] with its own new park and lots of other new features. The new park is the Schoolyard, available as an 99¢ in-app purchase, and it's one of the four new parks planned for the game. Unlike the game's previous two parks which feature a lot of transition, the Schoolyard is more street-focused and is filled with plenty of stairs, ledges, handrails and benches to skate on. And it's a ton of fun...

'Threes!' Review - Checking the Boxes of a Perfect Mobile Game

I feel like as a developer you can go broke attending conferences, buying books, and listening to seminars on how to make the "perfect" game, when, in my eyes, it has always come down to simplicity. The best, most universally loved games on the App Store with rare exception check these three boxes:..

I have a folder of games on my iPhone which I refer to as the "Please please please I would do anything to have you updated for widescreen" folder. Front and center in that folder is Justin Smith's Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99], and today my prayers have been answered. The game was updated with proper widescreen support for 4-inch devices as well as support for iOS 7. And, if previous updates are anything to go by, there might even be some weird hidden stuff tucked in there as well...

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

One of the most unexpectedly wonderful genre mash-ups has proven to be the puzzle-RPG. On the surface, they seem like peanut butter and cheese, with puzzle games of the past emphasizing a play experience where a full game can be completed in one session, and RPGs pretty much being the reason the ability to save your game progress was invented. These genres existed beside each other for decades before the idea of smashing them together became popular thanks to Puzzle Quest. After that, the floodgates opened, especially on iOS, to the point where many of the most popular titles around are of this particular hybrid. The good ones find a way to bring a twist to the table, and such is the case with Glyph Quest [Free]...

Just a quick heads up that one of my current obsessions, Curve Digital's Stealth Inc. [$4.99], has dropped its price for the first time and can be yours for just $1.99, down from its usual cost of $4.99. You may know Stealth Inc. by the name it originally released under on PC back in 2011, Stealth Bastard. At its core, Stealth Inc. is a punishing puzzle-platformer that's built around stealth mechanics. You'll need to utilize hiding in shadows to reach the end of each level, as well as figuring out whatever blocks need to be pushed or switches need to be flipped to even reveal where the exit is...

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