Category Archives: $1.99

If a buffalo dances in space, does it make a sound?..

I seriously adore cats, so it's funny that I'm actually even remotely interested in a game with the title Exploding Kittens [$1.99]. Yet, Exploding Kittens, which has just popped up on the App Store, isn't just any game; it's the digital version of (and I'm sure you've heard this line before) the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever. Not an insignificant praise given the competition and considering that Exploding Kittens is a card game all about trying not to draw an Exploding Kitten card. If you do, you die, and you're out of the game, unless you have a defuse card that allows you to defuse that poor Exploding Kitten using laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches (my cat would love the latter one). All other cards in the deck simply help you move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kitten...




Mr Jump [Free], the brutally difficult precision platformer from 1Button that took the App Store by storm last spring, is getting ready to unleash a brand new update on its masochistic players. This update will introduce "World C" which contains 12 brand new levels and a couple of new features to look out for. First up are teleporters, which as you'll see in the trailer below are used in mind-bending ways to beam you back and forth around a level's many hazards. Then you have what 1Button is calling "reversible spikes" which are these jerkwad spikes that keep flashing on and off like jerks. Basically, World C looks like the next level of Hell...

I was more of a console gamer growing up, so I unfortunately missed out on all the great old-school gaming computers, like the Amiga. It wasn't until the world of iOS gaming that I came to know Pinball Dreaming [$1.99] and Pinball Fantasies [$2.99], two classic pinball games from Digital Illusions that were originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s and ported to iOS by Cowboy Rodeo way back in 2009. Let me tell you, I may have been late to the party, but boy was I glad to be invited. Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are fantastic digital pinball games. Sadly, Cowboy Rodeo was a tiny outfit and despite doing reasonably well back in the day it didn't appear that the Dreams and Fantasies ports lit the world on fire. Like so many other great games from that first year of the App Store, updates eventually dried up, though to Cowboy Rodeo's credit they did make an effort every year or two to ensure the games at least ran on latest iOS software and hardware, but new features weren't really in the cards...

We learned last week that Zen Studios was readying two brand new pinball tables focused on the smash hit film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The announcement was accompanied by a short teaser trailer that briefly showed one of the new tables in action, but as is usually the case with teasers, there just wasn't much detail shown. With the new tables set to launch across all platforms this week, Zen has released two brand new trailers that give a much deeper look into each of the new Star Wars tables...

Last month RobTop Games teased something called Geometry Dash Meltdown on Twitter. Was it a new game? An update to the original Geometry Dash? Something else entirely? We didn't know! Well just today RobTop posted a brand new trailer for Geometry Dash Meltdown on their Youtube channel, and after watching it, guess what? I still don't know what it is! But it looks awesome...

Fruit Ninja [$1.99] is one of those platform-defining games and it put long-time Australian developer Halfbrick on the map in a big way. It was just about as perfect a mobile game as you can get. Short gaming sessions, intuitive touchscreen slicing controls, and colorful visuals made Fruit Ninja an immediate and long-lasting success. However, after years atop the iTunes charts Fruit Ninja was struggling to keep people interested in the face of a constant deluge of new games. ..

'Snowboard Party 2' - Downhill Jam

1080 Snowboarding, guys. I spent more time playing that on the Nintendo 64 than any other snowboarding game to date. It came out around the time Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater debuted, and I was basically obsessed with “extreme sports” in video games. Not only was it one of the best-looking and smoothest N64 games of its day, it was also ridiculous amounts of fun. Unfortunately, I missed out on the sequel (never had a Game Cube) and somehow missed the SSX craze as well. In fact, the only other snowboarding game I can recall being super into since then is the recent Alto’s Adventure [$3.99], which belongs to a completely different genre altogether. It’s something I hadn’t really considered, but when I first started playing Ratrod’s Snowboard Party 2 [$1.99], I finally realized how much I missed carving down the slopes in 3D while pulling off crazy tricks...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'AirAttack 2'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

'BLOCnog' Review - Slip Sliding Away

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December 11th, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Chris Carter in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
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If I ever see a grid-based puzzle game, I jump at the opportunity to play it. Ever since I experienced Chip's Challenge so many years back I became addicted, and there's something so orderly at the concept of solving puzzles in a uniform format. BLOCnog [Free] is one such game, but it's conceal beneath a devlishly cute premise, and some very interesting concepts...

As regular readers know, I play a lot of interactive fiction games. Visual novels, gamebooks, text adventures, I enjoy them all just the same. While I'm often pleasantly surprised by the writing or structure of these games, it's quite rare for me to come across something that is different from a gameplay perspective. Veteran gamebook developer Tin Man Games has been full of surprises recently, however, so I suppose I should start expecting things like Choices: And The Sun Went Out [Free]. It's a choice-based adventure with a couple of clever twists, with chief among them being that it's not finished. Okay, that's normally a bad thing to say about a game, but in the case of Choices, it's actually its main hook. Rather than presenting a complete story that players can purchase up-front, Choices instead offers a subscription-based model where new content arrives every week, building on the story bit by bit...

Last week was one of those weird release weeks where a couple things popped up early prior to the regular weekly scheduled time, then the actual release night Out Now post was much lighter than usual, then so many things trickled out after that that we even threw together a second Out Now post on Friday. Then those dastardly developers Art In Games went and really threw a wrench in things by releasing their newest game AirAttack 2 [$0.99] on a Saturday of all days. A Saturday! Insert BillLumbergh.gif here. Hey I won't complain, a constant stream of awesome new games is never a bad thing no matter when they release. ..

One of my daily go-to games, True Skate [$1.99] from developer True Axis, continues to add new content and features more than 3 years after its original release. First up on the new content side of things is the "Mondo Ramp" which is a massive ramp structure not totally dissimilar to the MegaRamp used by Danny Way to launch over the Great Wall of China a decade ago and has made its way into regular contests and skateparks in the years since. If you aren't familiar, it's a massive roll-in ramp that leads to two separate launch ramps–one further out than the other for two different length gaps. From those gaps you'll land in another massive roll-in ramp that leads up to an even more massive quarter-pipe. Oh and there's a rail in between the two launch ramps because why not!? Here's a bunch of screens and a quick clip of the new Mondo Ramp...

Geometry Dash [$1.99 / Free] is a crazy phenomenon. This super difficult speedrunning platformer has taken the world by storm, topping the iTunes charts and being so popular it was the first game we opened a dedicated forum for back in September (and incredibly, that hasn't stopped the regular old forum thread from continuing to blow up). The last big update for Geometry Dash was the version 2.0 update in August, but now developer RobTop Games is teasing on Twitter a "secret Geometry Dash project" with this image...

One game that's always been a personal favorite of mine is A Small Game's Hanger [Free], a physics-based rope-swinging game that was a smash hit Flash game back in the day and made its way to iOS in mid-2012. Hanger is a grappling hook game that tasks you with swinging through a level towards a finish line while avoiding various hazards that have a tendency to dismember you. It was a lot of silly, bloody fun. Fast forward a few years to this past July and A Small Game released a Hanger follow-up titled Hanger World [Free], which was bigger and better that the original in every way. Now Hanger World is set to get its first update which will contain 27 new levels that are even more complex than the original batch. Here's a look at just one of the new levels...

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

'Evel Knievel' Review - Too Legit To Quit

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November 10th, 2015 3:30 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Apple TV, Arcade, Games, Platform, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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Evel Knievel is undoubtedly one of the more ridiculous pieces of American pop culture. I don’t mean ridiculous in a bad way; just that it seems equal parts silly and awesome that someone could make a career out of jumping a motorcycle over increasingly large numbers of crazy things like buses and sharks. That weirdly fascinating balance of absurdity and danger are on full display in Barnstorm Games’ Evel Knievel [Free], to the point where I’m not sure how seriously I should be taking any of it...

'Moto RKD Dash' Review - Motorcycle Gaming Comes Full Circle

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November 5th, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Racing, Retro, Reviews, Universal
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Between Horizon Chase [Free] and Kalin Krastev’s Moto RKD Dash [Free], it seems there’s been a bit of a resurgence in retro racers lately on iOS. Which is totally fine by me, as one of my earliest gaming memories ever was playing Pole Position on my parents’ Atari. Dash apparently takes its inspiration from a series of old motorcycle games that spanned a number of mechanical, arcade, and LCD handheld systems involving a motorcycle sliding back and forth avoiding other motorcycles. I’d never actually heard of any of those old games, but watching youtube videos of Sega Moto Champ in particular was certainly illuminating. Anyway, Horizon Chase ended up being a great throwback that worked surprisingly well on iOS, so what about Moto RKD Dash?..

'Furdemption' Level Creation Contest Winners Revealed and Sequel Announced

A couple of weeks back, we told you about the level creation contest developer Raresloth was holding for their wonderful puzzle platformer Furdemption [$2.99], and this past Friday the winners of that contest were announced. Receiving the grand prize of a $25 iTunes gift card is the level "Just Dodge" created by Makoto. In 2nd place is "A fast shove" created by Snowblzr, who will receive $15 in iTunes credit. Finally in 3rd place and taking home $10 in iTunes credit is "Destroy" by Compakeo. Here's a video showcasing the top three winning levels, check 'em out!..

It feels like the design document of Zombie Match Defense [$0.99] involved putting a bunch of popular App Store things in a bag and shaking liberally. I can't lie, it's not a very appealing prospect, mostly because I've seen so many games go very wrong with this kind of approach. Happily, this game fares better than most that make the effort, mostly due to not trying to combine too many disparate elements. Essentially, it's got the whole zombie-themed lane-based defense gameplay as seen in Plants Vs. Zombies [$0.99], mixed in with a turn-based match-3 puzzle game as seen in roughly 23,000 other games on the App Store.  It blends together quite nicely, and the result certainly feels distinct from its inspirations, so it avoids two of the bigger pitfalls of genre mash-ups. Ultimately, what keeps Zombie Match Defense from being as good as it ought to be is also quite common: it has a good concept, but doesn't do enough with it...

This is going to be a slightly unorthodox review. Since Zojoi decided to release all four of the ICOM Simulations MacVenture games for iPad on the same day, we figured it would be best to review them all in one shot. While the games aren't precisely equal to one another, they're using the same engine, and have been ported similarly, so there's a great deal of overlap in terms of what they offer. So what I'll be doing is first covering the shared elements before devoting a little section to each game. For all intents and purposes, you can read the score on this review as applicable to all four of the games, however...

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