Category Archives: $1.99

'Tales of the Adventure Company' Review - A Fine Tale, Indeed

Seeing a remarkable resurgence on the App Store lately, developers seem to have flocked to the rogue-like to try and create the next cool simplified adventure. Tales of the Adventure Company [$1.99] tackles this trend in a different manner, by combining some of those rogue elements with a traditional, tile-based puzzler’s look and feel. It also succeeds at melding these genres to a degree far higher than most games, making it an excellent combination of puzzle and strategic depth...

Last week Zen Studios announced that a new pinball table starring Marvel's "Merc with a Mouth" Deadpool would be heading to the Zen Pinball [Free] and Marvel Pinball [$0.99] apps, and the update with that table is now officially live in the App Store. The Deadpool table clocks in at $1.99 and is a sufficiently fun pinball table in its own right, but the presence of Deadpool pushes it over the top. A tiny Deadpool runs amok around the table getting into all sorts of mischief, even playing on a tiny pinball table of his own at times (insert Inception joke here). Best of all are the constant quips by Deadpool that are fully voiced by Nolan North...

Free to play is one of the hottest topics in gaming, and especially in mobile gaming. At its best, the free to play system can offer a way for a game to reach a wide audience and allow those who enjoy the game to pay money into it only if they enjoy it, while avoiding the risk of buying a game up front that they end up not liking. At its worst, free to play can cause developers to design the mechanics of the game itself around the pay system in a way that pushes players to make purchases in the game in order to remove obtrusive paywalls or boring grinds. While I think most everyone will agree that there's a "right" way and a "wrong" way to do free to play, something that's equally important to consider is if the type of game being developed even fits the free to play style...

With as many puzzle-platformers as there are on iOS, a title really need to do something to earn some limelight. Crescent Moon Games' Twisty Planets [$1.99] earns its attention in a couple of ways. Its world-turning element is well done and certainly adds a different perspective to the genre. Meanwhile its variety in levels and emphasis on gradual difficulty give players motivation to continue playing. It all leads to a fun platformer worth enjoying...

'Doug Dug.' Review - Grab Your Shovel And Dig In!

For the life of me, I really don't understand why I find digging so much fun. Whether it's digging at the beach, at the park, in the shoe section of Walmart, or in a video game, I really seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of displacing soil. If you think I'm weird, think of all the awesome video games about digging: Dig Dug, Mr. Driller [$4.99], Super Mario Bros. 2, Minecraft [$6.99], and Steamworld Dig, just to name a few highlights. Now, I'll grant you that in some of those games, digging is just a portion of the game, but there are quite a few games that center around the idea. Doug Dug [$1.99], the new game from pixa [$2.99] developers The Electric Toy Company, is all about digging for treasure and the risk versus reward that presents itself from the concept...

Some puzzle games have such simple mechanics that just about anyone can pick them up and do fairly well without too much effort. Games like these usually rely on something external to the mechanics to add a greater challenge, such as a timer or giving you a penalty for making mistakes. Perfect Paths [$2.99], from Lums [$2.99] developer Hyperbolic Magnetism, is not one of those games. In the broad sense, the rules aren't that hard to understand. You've got a certain number of different colored blocks that each need to be moved to a matching-colored goal. You do this by drawing the paths each block should move, then press the button to execute your plan. If all goes well, you can enjoy watching each block make its way to its final location, all according to your brilliant strategy...

Fluid SE [$1.99] from Radiangames is perhaps the most hardcore of all of their releases on iOS. Granted, many of the dual-stick shooters like JoyJoy [$1.99] are very much games for core gamers, the ones who like intense action and watching things go boom, versus, say, SideSwype [$1.99] and its puzzle-y-ness. But no, Fluid SE is for the person who wants to repeat a challenge again and again, trying to shave fractions of a second off of their best times...

Rolling Zimro [$0.99] is an endless runner with a gimmick. Actually, it's an endless runner with two gimmicks, but one of them is just set dressing. First, and most obviously, this game has a big old coat of recreational drug culture paint covering it from head to toe. The main character is a thinly-veiled pot-farmer, some of the enemies look kind of like bongs, the name of the currency you're collecting is 'munchies', and most of the power-ups are drug references. That's going to be a selling point for some people and a turn-off for others, but personally, I'm kind of indifferent...

Pixel Cup Soccer [$0.99 / Free] is, for better or for worse, an arcade sports game using just two buttons, and one that revels in its inaccuracy to the real sport. Those expecting a version of FIFA 14 [Free] but with pixel art will be sorely disappointed. But as an arcade soccer game, it's charming and worth coming back to again and again...

A few days ago, True Axis spilled the beans on its latest update for their skateboarding simulation True Skate [$1.99], which included a brand new skatepark called The Factory, a new Realistic mode, a simple replay viewer and a mysterious new feature called a Crash Cam. Like the past several True Skate updates, this one was set for a Thursday launch but actually went live much earlier than that, which in my case was early Wednesday morning. Since Wednesday was a hectic day, and I was off yesterday (you missed me terribly, right?), I'm just now getting around to posting about the update's availability. But I've also been able to spend the last couple of days playing around with the new stuff, so allow me to let you know what I think about it...

It is the future. The world is governed by a singular authority; a tough motorcylcle-riding all-female police squad named the SXPD. Dark and violent in nature, SXPD [Free] is reminiscent of comic series such as Tank Girl or Heavy Metal, perhaps, and is ideal for anyone who wishes to dive into the world of intense high speed chases, rapid gunfire and earth-shattering explosions...

If you spend any significant time reading TouchArcade, then you're likely very aware at just how in love I am with True Skate [$1.99]. I'd be embarrassed to know just how many hours I've spent cruising around the game, finding new lines to hit and new tricks to try. True Axis released True Skate back in October of 2012 with just a single skatepark, but its excellent physics and skating engine made for a game that was truly only limited by your imagination. I loved that original version, but since that time True Skate has been updated numerous times adding even more content and features. To quickly summarize that, there was the update with the Inbound skatepark and board customization, an update which improved transition skating, and three updates just this year that each added a new skatepark: The Schoolyard, The Warehouse and Double Infinity. Whew! That's a lot of updates...

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 [$0.99] games. Even if you forgot their name, you would know the minute you laid eyes upon Devil Shard [$1.99] 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 [$1.99], 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...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.