Category Archives: $1.99

'Sometimes You Die' Review - Not What It Seems

Once in a blue moon, an inconspicuous game will come around and turn an entire genre or platform on its head. Sometimes You Die [$1.99] is one of those games. On the surface, Sometimes You Die is a very standard, but sleek platformer that asks you to get a cube through a series of hard-hitting arenas, with razor sharp spikes and enemies that usually employ the same said sharp tactics. You'll be able to traverse these areas by way of moving left, right, and jumping -- that's all you'll really need...

Just a quick note to let you know that the new level for True Skate [$1.99] is now available as a 99¢ in-app purchase. We first heard about the new level, called Double Infinity, just yesterday, with a planned release of "this Thursday." The way the App Store works, Thursday can sometimes mean late Wednesday night, when it officially turns midnight in the realm of the US App Store. However, the update is out even earlier than that, arriving earlier this morning. Double Infinity gets its name from its two interconnected infinity-shaped bowls, and is modeled as an outdoor concrete park. Here's a glimpse of what it looks like...

The topic of cloning can be broadly broken into two periods: before Michael Keaton's banner work of art, Multiplicity, and after. Oh, sure, in those heady days before 1996, we had some ideas. Waves were made by a sheep named Dolly, Spider-Man discovered that he looks good in a hoodie, Thomas Riker had shown us that a Riker's power is directly proportional to the size of his beard, and George Lucas had certainly written something about clones on a coffee-stained napkin. However, it wasn't until The Keats showed us all how it was done that cloning became truly appreciated as a fictional device, and we are all better for it. Video games have never been shy about dragging clones into the works, mostly because it was a good excuse to reuse art assets while creating a memorable boss fight. One of the best examples from the early days of gaming was in Prince of Persia [$1.99], where an encounter with a mirror created a doppleganger who would go on to help you with a few puzzles before you had to face off with him...

Savant - Ascent [$1.99], D-Pad Studio's slick little arena shooter themed after the electronic artist Savant, has just received a brand new update. The update includes two new soundtracks so you can blast away at bad guys while bumping to some more Savant tunes, as well as Game Center leaderboard integration which is crucial in a high-score-focused game like this. In addition, there's now support for Japanese language, but this comes with a problem: the updated version of the game defaults to Japanese, which means after you update and fire up the game you might find yourself a little lost. Never fear, I'll tell you the simple fix for this...

True Skate [$1.99] developer True Axis continues to make good on the promise they made back in December of four new skateparks coming to their awesome skateboard simulation game. The first new park, the Schoolyard, hit back in February, and offered a more street-style environment to skate around in. Then just last month the second new park called The Warehouse was released, and it offered a more skatepark-style level with plenty of space and different objects to hit. This week, the third park will be arriving. It's an outdoor concrete park called Double Infinity, named after the shapes of its two intertwining bowls. Here's a couple of screens...

'Dark Guardians' Review - Style Over Substance

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April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, but often times, flashy is one of the many coats of colors it may wear. Dark Guardians [$1.99] is a beautiful game that looks very similar to the aesthetic design of the Kickstarter success Banner Saga, but sadly it doesn't have the mechanical chops to prop it up beyond its pretty veneer...

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

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 [$1.99] I couldn’t resist downloading it and seeing what this intriguing point and click adventure had to offer...

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