Category Archives: $1.99

You can't help but be won over by some games on pure charm, and Aliens Drive Me Crazy [$1.99] certainly did that for me. I play a lot of games, so it's pretty rare for a game to give me the sort of reaction where I wonder what the heck is going on, the whole time with a smile on my face. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the opening cut-scene, which shows aliens abducting gangsters, turning into clones of them, then going on a rampage as our hero watches from his window. He takes to his car to settle some business, and the game begins...

Developer Radiangames has released a few cool puzzle games recently, but it's been a while since Radiangames last visited the shooting genre on iOS. Since their twin-stick shooters are among the best available on the App Store, it's a more than welcome return. Of course, JoyJoy [$1.99] represents a return in more than one way, since it's actually a revamped version of one of the developer's oldest games. You would think that would put the game in a hard position, launching among its successors and all, but it does enough to differentiate itself to make it worth owning for any fan of the genre...

You might remember the developer of this game, Game Stew, from the cool Tower of Fortune [Free] games. Even if you forgot their name, you would know the minute you laid eyes upon Devil Shard [$0.99] that it's from the same people, since it shares a visual theme. Play into the game a little bit and you'll have it entirely confirmed. That series, most recently represented by Tower of Fortune 2 [$0.99], presented a unique combination of RPG, roguelike, and slot mechanics which, with its unique art style, created something that really stood out among the numerous pocket RPGs available on the App Store. Devil Shard is another RPG twist, but this time it's a considerably more pedestrian one. It doesn't stop it from being fun, but it's a lot harder to make the case for adding this to your library as a result...

I completed Lethal Lance [$1.99], the latest from Bulkypix, a few days ago, but I had to revisit it today prior to writing this review. That's not out of the ordinary in and of itself, since I'm usually replaying the game while I write the review to make sure I get my details straight. What is remarkable about Lethal Lance is that I needed to revisit it not to clarify little details, but because I had almost entirely forgotten the game. Now, I'll grant you that I play an awful lot of games, but it's quite rare for me to blank so thoroughly on something I played all the way through in the same week. For some of you, that might be all you need to know about this game, but I'm going to keep going anyway...

Adventure To Fate [$2.99] bills itself as a JRPG-style game, but if the Internet has taught me anything, it's that no two people can agree on exactly what 'JRPG' means. I'm not going to even try to go into the million different definitions I've come across in my time. That said, if your personal definition of 'JRPG' is turn-based random encounters, then Adventure To Fate upholds its promise. If your personal definition of 'JRPG' involves an off-the-wall story, deep battle systems, interesting characters, party building, exploring a big world, customizable character growth and development, or awkward laughing scenes, you might find this game to be a bit lacking. Adventure To Fate takes the basic ideas of very early console role-playing games and somehow creates something even more simple. On paper, this sounds like a horrible idea, but somehow, I still found Adventure To Fate to be a fairly enjoyable game...

'Kiwanuka' Review - Simply Electrifying

Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$1.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close...

The early 1990s were a crazy time in gaming. Nintendo's near-monopoly in the American market was being broken. Consoles were finally starting to make a dent in the computer-dominated European market. Both of these things were being accomplished by SEGA, and in both cases, a tremendous debt was owed to a blue hedgehog whose career has seen more ups and downs than John Travolta's. As if we weren't flooded in mascot platformers already due to Super Mario Bros., Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] unleashed a positive tidal wave of games featuring animals with attitudes hopping through levels. Even if they didn't have any of SEGA's hardware, people wanted something like Sonic, and a great many developers were all too happy to comply. This is the era that birthed Superfrog, an Amiga platformer from eventual Worms developer Team17. In yet another reflection of the era, Superfrog had a sponsorship deal with energy drink Lucozade, with the drink appearing all throughout the game as a power-up...

It feels like I've played a lot of word games recently, but I never quite seem to get enough of them. So, when the new releases go up each week, if I see the word 'spell' appear in a title, I am on top of it like a game reviewer on a bad metaphor. Generally, regardless of the other mechanics differentiating them, most of these games treat the actual spelling part the way Boggle does. You're presented with a board of letters, and it's up to you to find the best words you can to accomplish whatever goal you're after. Spellpix [$1.99] might look similar at a glance, but it's quite different, and the result is a game that feels like it has far more in common with the developer's prior work, Pathpix [$1.99], than it does with any other word game...

It's been a Star Wars-heavy day in the world of iOS news, with KOTOR being on sale and the release of Star Wars Journeys (not to mention the new Star Wars Pinball tables that released yesterday), so let's keep this train a'rolling, shall we? In celebration of Star Wars Day, May the 4th, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Free] is having a sale on their in-app purchases...

If you had a robot suit, what is the first thing you would do with it? If your answer is "jump around in small, contained rooms packed with things that can kill you with the slightest touch", have I got a game for you right here. Suited Up [$1.99] is one of those games that boils down to one simple mechanic, with levels built to progressively test your mastery of that mechanic. As is often the case with this kind of game, it starts to get a bit old before the levels run out, but Suited Up has an ace up its sleeve that extends the fun, provided you're on-board with the core jumping gameplay...

As we learned just over a month ago, Zen Studios has been hard at work on four new Star Wars themed tables for Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] and Zen Pinball [Free] iOS games. Today, those new tables have gone live in both versions of the game. The four new tables include: a Han Solo table, an Episode IV: A New Hope table, a Droids table featuring C-3PO and R2-D2, and a Masters of the Force table featuring both good and evil characters form the Star Wars universe. Here's a brand new launch trailer showing off a bit of each new table...

'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...

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