Category Archives: $1.99

Late last night (in my timezone, anyway) a curious update appeared for Sonic CD [Free] on iOS, the fantastic remastered version that originally released back in December of 2011. The update text was vague, and simply said "Sonic took a trip to the past and decided to change the game's code. That's right, Sonic CD is now FREE!" As someone who has been burned plenty of times in the past by a previously paid game going free, as I'm sure many others have, I was justifiably suspicious of this new update. And after Carter played guinea pig and downloaded the new update it confirmed my fears: Sonic CD was now free to download and ad-supported, with a $1.99 IAP to remove said ads. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except that the ads showed up even for previous owners who had already paid for Sonic CD. There are a few different ways to go about switching a paid app to free, but this was not one of them, and the 1.5 Star average rating of the otherwise phenomenal Sonic CD in the App Store showed that...

Glitch Games have made a name for themselves for eerie point-and-click adventures on the App Store, with their Forever Lost trilogy which we loved back in 2013, and the peculiarly meta A Short Tale [] that was released earlier this year. Owing to their impressive track record, there has been a lot of excitement on our forums about The Forgotten Room [$1.99], which is the developer's next attempt at the paranormal adventure genre, and tells the story of investigator John Buster, who has to try and find a ten year old girl who went missing while playing hide and seek. With some really detailed and surreal graphics, coupled with perfect release timing on the eve of Halloween, The Forgotten Room looks incredibly captivating and blood-curdling at the same time, and is available right now on the App Store for only $1.99...




'Eggggg – The Platform Puker' Review – Engrossingly Gross

I’m not going to lie. When you first start this game, it might seem a little grody. You might feel a tiny bit nauseated. But that goes away quickly, and what you’re left with is one of my favorite games of this year. It is a solid platformer first and foremost, drawing on several great inspirations, but it’s also outrageously silly and funny entirely through its world, art style, and sound effects. This is a triumphant tale of allergies, cyborg chickens, your mean Aunt Doris, and eggs. This is Eggggg – The Platform Puker [$2.99]...

Back in August we learned that Vile Monarch and Gambitious Entertainment would be releasing an enhanced version of their clever insult battling gamejam game Oh…Sir! [Free] which they originally released back in December of last year. That game, titled Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator [$1.99] has just arrived on the App Store. The original game was a same-device multiplayer game where you and a "friend" would take turns piecing together words and phrases in order to create the ultimate insult. This new version is basically the same idea but expanded greatly. There are more characters to play as, more environments to lob your insults in, and of course many more options for piecing together insults. Also, in addition to the original game's local multiplayer, you can also face off against opponents online or against the CPU...

There's very little that's more satisfying than an easy to grasp game. If it has shooting elements, great, it probably appeals to the little destroyer in us all. That's precisely why so many have flocked to Downwell [$2.99], as it has that "one more run" type of feel combined with a loveable art style and simple control scheme. It's something that you can just pick up and play, preferably on a convenient device like a smartphone, and just go to town with, for minutes or hours at a time. Spingun [Free] might not be as epic as some of those types of games, but it definitely has that feel...

Despite my lack of knowledge and interest in the card game that it takes its name from, Solitairica [$3.99] managed to take over my life for a few weeks in August, mainly thanks to its smooth difficulty curve, abundance of charm, and the ever-enticing goal of trying to get to the end of the road and defeat the omnipotent Emperor Stuck. With an extremely positive review last month, Solitairica was a bargain as its initial $3.99 price point - however, for anyone on the fence, developers Righteous Hammer Games have today put the game on sale for $1.99, which is an absolute bargain for the amount of hours you are likely to lose to the game...

Everyone has a genre they couldn't live without. For some youngsters, it's survival games, which can extend to Minecraft. For others, it's sports games, and the thrill of drafting out a new fantasy team with incoming college players thrown into the fray. For me, my choice ebbs and flows depending on the year, but the most consistent one I'm always falling back on is platformers. Whether it's those of the mascot variety with strict adherence to 3D standards and wonky cameras, or the tried and true 2D approach, you can put pretty much any one of them in front of me and I'll at least give it a go. Tons of Bullets [$1.99] caught my eye in name alone, but it ended up being about more than just blasting things...

As a student in what must be the most expensive city in the galaxy, Crap! I'm Broke: Out of Pocket [$1.99] resonates with me on a deeply personal level, as it seems I'm yelling the very same expletive-laden sentence on a regular basis. Despite my precarious financial situation, Crap! I'm Broke isn't purely for those low on cash. With an eccentric graphical design and a neat mini-game focused concept, all infused with the predictably witty humor that such a title suggests, Arcane Circus' iOS debut looks worth the (thankfully) cheap $1.99 price of entry, and has today launched on the App Store...

Back in July, I wrote a rather lengthy tribute to Perchang [$1.99] - specifically how the ultra polished physics puzzler managed to soar to the top of the iTunes charts purely owing to its immense quality, and as a premium title no less. With some excellent level design that complemented a wide variety of ways to manipulate the stream of ball bearings into the goal, Perchang was an exemplary example of how iOS is a serious gaming platform, and these reasons were responsible for so many people giving the game a chance earlier this summer. This month, anyone who completed Perchang will be delighted to know that a brand new expansion titled Perchang Black is set to launch on October 27th, with a drastic aesthetic change and some interesting new mechanics...

Just over a month ago, we told you about Zip Zap [$1.99], an upcoming puzzler from Phillip Stollenmayer and his studio Kamibox, maker of the brilliant existential crisis platformer Sometimes You Die [$1.99] as well as clever puzzlers like Okay? [Free] and Squaredance [Free]. Oh, and I can't forget about my favorite silly time wasters like Pancake - The Game [Free] and 1 Meter [Free]. Zip Zap looked to fall into that "clever puzzler" category, as it has you manipulating various Erector Set-like pieces that are joined with hinges in an effort to scoot, hop, or swing them over to an end goal. The whole thing makes a lot more sense if you watch the trailer for Zip Zap...

Developers Semidome have made a name for themselves on the App Store, through bringing some truly beautiful and immersive visual and audio experiences to a platform that is normally synonymous with short and succinct gaming sessions. Last Voyage [$1.99] caught the eye - and subsequently the imagination - of the masses who played it when the title launched in 2015, even if our review suggested the game elements were somewhat shallow. Semidome's next major release, Nightgate [$1.99], managed to improve on Last Voyage in nearly every way, and while it was a bargain at its original $3.99 price point, the game has today gone on a 48 hour sale to $1.99 for the first time, so if anyone missed it back in August, now is a fantastic chance to play one of the best iOS games of the summer...

Deus Ex GO [$1.99] was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the Summer, and for good reason. The precedent set by Square Enix's other GO series games - with Lara Croft GO [$4.99] especially being one of the best games of 2015 - suggested it would be an essential download, and the Deus Ex series has its own pedigree, even if the recent console entry in the franchise didn't hit the same heights as previous titles. While we may have been somewhat disappointed with the lack of innovation in our review for Deus Ex GO last month, it was still an extremely entertaining experience, that took the elements of what makes the GO titles so perfect for mobile gameplay, and placed them perfectly into the Deus Ex universe. If anyone was on the fence regarding Deus Ex GO, it has today gone on sale for $1.99, which is a perfect opportunity for cynics, fans, or anyone short on funds to see what he game has to offer...

Artillery games have long been a popular genre on mobile. iShoot was one of the earliest examples of an indie developer striking it rich with an iPhone game, and of course Angry Birds is a derivative of the artillery genre. A bit later in the iPhone's life a game called Bowman caught fire and ushered in an influx of games where you shot arrows into stick figure people. There's just something so satisfying about guessing the angle and power of a shot and watching you hit your target right on the mark. And when you take that winning formula and throw in Mortal Kombat-style gore? It's absolute gold. That's the story of Bowmasters [$3.99 / Free], which launched under the radar last week. The game sees you battling it out against an AI opponent, each taking turns lobbing various projectiles at each other until one of you runs out of life. ..

'Lanota' Review - You Spin Me Round

Ironically, the very success of the rhythm genre back at Guitar Hero’s launch on home consoles in 2005 was ultimately its undoing. A complete over saturation of the genre in under five years - spanning many different formats, even more spin-offs and unbeknownst amount of instrument-shaped controllers - meant the genre vanished almost as quickly as it had arrived. Rhythm game fans should not be disheartened, however - many developers took this as an opportunity to create well-crafted and unique music titles that were not iterative, and used the best features of the platform to their advantage, instead of relying on plastic peripherals as a crutch. The App Store was one of the delighted recipients of this new wave of rhythm games, and developers like Rayark have led the way with stunning efforts such as VOEZ [Free] that have impressed us in the past for putting a spin on the tired formula without becoming too derivative from the core elements of the genre that attracted so many fans in the first place. Lanota [$1.99] follows this trend - while some of the more radical attempts at distinguishing itself from the crowd can occasionally become a distration, developers Noxy Games have crafted an immersive and beautiful world that makes merely tapping in time to a song become a fully fledged adventure...

'Spectrum 6' Is a Cool Color-Mixing Puzzle Title, Launching August 25th

Considering virtually all my free time is spent commuting on the tube, the iOS games I tend to gravitate towards on these train rides are colorful and unique puzzle games such as twofold inc. [$3.99] and Threes! [$2.99]. Being able to immerse myself in a puzzle or two between stops is, in my opinion, the epitome of mobile gaming, and while enjoying a more expansive experience such as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99] is great at home, nothing beats pick up and play puzzle games on the move. As a result, my interested has definitely been piqued by the upcoming Spectrum 6 from developers Dusky Drones, as merging block placing puzzles with a cool color mixing element seems to be a very interesting and intuitive blend (pun fully intended)...

Philadelphia's LOVE Park, nicknamed so for Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sculpture with the tilted O, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the US. But it holds an extra special place in the hearts of skateboarders. LOVE Park is a legendary skate spot, from its many planter ledges, to ramps made from propped up grates, to the massive four set leading down into its central fountain, this park has had a presence in skateboarding for decades. Now, the top skateboarding game for iOS is getting a little LOVE when Love Park arrives as a downloadable course for True Skate [$1.99] this Thursday. Here's Philadelphia skateboarding icon Josh Kalis taking the digital version of LOVE Park for a test drive, followed by a couple of screens of the new course...

Beautiful Puzzle Title 'Blyss' Launches on the App Store Tomorrow

While the pop-culture phenomenon may show no signs of slowing down, it's extremely refreshing to be able to put down Pokemon GO [Free] for a while and enjoy some new and exciting iOS games that are releasing this week. Blyss, by developers Dropout Games, is finally launching on the App Store tomorrow after over seven months of hype on our forums, and merges an interesting puzzle mechanic with beautiful and calming aesthetics to stand out from the crowd amongst the cacophony of games within the genre...

Tests can be stressful. I mean, that makes sense when you're not confident about the material on the test, but sometimes tests that cover things you know very well can be even more nerve-wracking. You shouldn't fail something if you know what you're doing, right? Now imagine the test you have to pass is checking your humanity. You can pass that test, surely. Most of our readers have been human for a while, after all. That's the premise behind Able Black [$1.99], an interactive fiction game where you play a freshly-booted android who has to pass his citizenship test before he can join society...

Turns out there are other games being released onto the App Store this week that don't involve throwing capsules at critters. Lanota [$1.99], which really impressed us when we looked at it for the first time last week, has circumvented the usual Thursday midnight rush of releases and is out now on iOS. Evoking many great concepts that we loved in our review of VOEZ [Free] last month, Lanota merges rhythm action with a beautiful artistic narrative describing a world that is slowly turning monochromatic through the loss of music and color, and how you must correct this by 'tuning' to a song at each level to slowly restore society...

One of the unique phenomenons of the App Store ecosystem is the sudden and inexplicable rise of certain games. While the holy grail of creating an app that skyrockets to the top of the charts was merely a pipe dream for the vast majority of developers, it was also a reason why the iOS gaming scene became so popular - especially in the early days. Perchang [$1.99] - with its current position at #3 for paid apps in both the UK and US at time of writing, and #1 of all paid games in the former - joins the extremely exclusive club of chart toppers that don't feature a bird motif, and appears to have achieved overnight success purely through creating a beautiful premium experience that has caught the eye of everyone from App Store veterans to those who rarely use their mobile devices for gaming...

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