Category Archives: $1.99

The biggest strength of interactive fiction is in how it lets the player shape the story of the game. While other genres are improving in that regard, they're limited largely due to the costs associated with visual and audio assets. It simply doesn't make sense to spend millions of dollars on content that only a small percentage of players will experience. Text isn't quite free, but it's certainly a lot cheaper. That said, with all of that freedom, there are still an awful lot of games in the genre that have you playing a similar character in the broad sense. Violence may not be a useful answer in our modern society, but it will sure get you far in plenty of games. Ratings War [$2.99] does something different, and in doing so, feels a lot more real in spite of its far-flung futuristic setting. You play as a journalist, and although you get to decide what kind of journalist you are, there's very little room for action-heroics in this story...

'Mos Speedrun 2' Review - But Wait, There's More

When it comes to game developers, you should not expect reasonable practicality from them. Their dreams far exceed their ability to deliver. I mean, if you've ever backed a Kickstarter project, you know, because they were at least late on delivering it. And Star Citizen has somehow turned into "The creator of Wing Commander wants to make a new space game" into a multinational crowdfunded AAA nightmare. The point being that when a game developer promises you the moon, you should expect a large rock at best. Except in the case of Mos Speedrun 2 [$1.99], a game made by some real crazy people. It's so crazy, that it's got secret items that only appear on certain days. Secret areas that house difficult-to-collect golden skulls are often more difficult than the actual levels themselves. One of the developers watching me stream the game said that I missed several secrets in one level alone. They somehow managed to jam-pack everything they ever could possibly stick into a speedrun game, and it is absurd...




This Sunday is the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship, basically the Super Bowl of Street League, and as the official video game of SLS True Skate [$1.99] has added a brand new downloadable park and is going free for the weekend to celebrate. The new course is the SLS Los Angeles 2015, the course from the first stop in this year's SLS. The course was designed by Street League competitor and all-around amazing skateboarder Luan Oliveira, and is modeled after the architecture found in his home country of Brazil. Here's a couple shots of the 2015 SLS Los Angeles park...

'Magic Flute by Mozart' Review - One Time At Bandcamp

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September 29th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Music / Rhythm, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$3.99 Buy Now

I first heard about Mozart's opera The Magic Flute when I was a music major in college. I remember thinking the title was sort of ridiculous, and the plot seemed equally silly. Something about a guy and his bird buddy meeting some witches or something and then rescuing a princess somewhere. And, of course, there's a magical flute. It was hard to take seriously since opera was never my thing, but reading about it on wikipedia all these years later it actually sounds kind of interesting. The main plot is supposed to be kind of light and silly, but underneath there's a subtext about religion, reason, and enlightment. Oh! And there's an iPhone game based on it now. Did I mention that part?..

'Starseed: Origin' Review: Old School Cool

Starseed: Origin [Free] is not a game you play for an original concept or to casually tap with half your attention elsewhere. Starseed is a game you play until it gets too hard and too fast and you blow up and die. ..

'Trick Shot' Review - Putter Finger

When a game has been revealed to be developed by one of the artists behind Monument Valley [$3.99], it has quite a lot to live up to. That game is an outstanding puzzler, but I’d wager about half of its appeal is the unique, wonderful visuals. It won a ton of awards and recognition--deservedly so--and I don’t envy artist Jonathan Topf for developing what could be seen as a followup of sorts. Sure, Monument Valley and his first solo outing Trick Shot [$1.99] don’t have much in common, but they are both puzzle games in their own way. And, of course, they’re pretty good lookin'...

I suppose they can't all be winners. Radiangames has been the king of dual-stick shooters on iOS, at least in terms of quantity. The solo developer has delivered a ton of knockout titles, with JoyJoy [$1.99] and Inferno 2 [$2.99] being the most recent, and most stellar examples of his work in the genre. This is all setup to say that Devastator [$1.99] had me really excited, but unfortunately left me quite disappointed...

Shane McCafferty's dreadnought-destroying shoot 'em up Starseed: Origin [Free], published by Crescent Moon Games is now available on the App Store, out a little ahead of the normal Thursday release day. Possibly due to iOS 9's release on Wednesday? Who knows. All we know is that Starseed is out now. I don't know why it has the "Origin" unless there were issues with Starseed Pilgrim, maybe? Why not Starseed B.C, then, as many metal bands tend to do, like the bands Bison and Ghost have done? I mention this because metal influences are all over Starseed, including a ship named Dimebag (rest in peace), and a ship named the Sabbath. It's not completely metal, as there's a ship called Prodigy, but Prodigy's still awesome, so it works...

Desert Golfing [$1.99] is one of those games that practically transcends what we expect from video games. On its surface it's an extremely simplified game of golf, where each hole is a single screen and by using the tried and true "pull back and slingshot" method your job is simply to get the ball in the hole in as few moves as possible. There is no menu, there is no level select screen, there is no storyline or additional goals. You hit the ball in the hole, move on to the next hole, rinse and repeat for the rest of eternity. ..

Logic puzzle games are the bane of my brain. Note that I refrained from using "bane of my existence" because I actually like puzzles titles quite a bit, but more often than not, they'll stump me far more often than a hardcore action experience or number-heavy RPG. It's the simpler concepts that usually throw me for a loop, as I tend to overthink them and completely miss the trees for the forest. That's kind of how I approached Sputnik Eyes [$1.99], a charming little puzzler that will stump you for days on end...

'Ski Safari 2' Review - Also Adventure

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September 4th, 2015 11:30 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Sports, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

I enjoyed the original Ski Safari [$0.99], but I didn’t love it. I played it for a few days, but it seemed like one of those runners that takes forever to get challenging. I grew tired of doing the same thing for ten-plus minutes only to die and find that I hadn’t beat my previous score yet. Sure, the game had a good amount of variety in the different animals you could ride and stuff, but it still didn’t keep my attention for long. Flash forward a few years, and I have to admit this sequel looked pretty sweet. Maybe the gorgeous Alto’s Adventure [$3.99] had softened me up first, but either way, I had to try Sleepy Z's Ski Safari 2 [$1.99]...

Fancy Force's gory physics-based trials game Happy Wheels [Free] took the iOS world by storm last week when it arrived on the App Store and quickly shot up to the top position in the free games chart. Happy Wheels was originally released as a Flash game way back in 2010, and has grown by leaps and bounds in the years since. With a cast of ridiculous playable characters and vehicles, as well as a community-driven level-creator which has over 6 million user-created levels, Happy Wheels has been a huge success in the world of browser games. Which makes me feel sort of silly that I'd never even heard of it before it popped up on iOS last week. Hey I'm old, I don't know what these crazy kids are into nowadays. ..

Usually I know what games will be topping the App Store's charts at any given moment: on the paid side, we have Minecraft: Pocket Edition, on the Top Grossing side, we have either Game of War or Clash of Clans. What I didn't expect to see today, to be honest, was Jim Bonacci's Happy Wheels [Free], a port of the apparently huge PC hit with the same name, lording over the Free Games category, higher than the much-praised Pac-Man 256. If you haven't played the game, Happy Wheels is all about being unhappy on your various wheels - a Segway, a wheelchair, and so on - as you crash over and over again with bone-crunching sound effects and gory visuals accompanying your every failure...

'Manowar' Review - Ship For Brains

The term “manowar” can refer to a lot of very different things. It’s a metal band from New York that at various times held the Spinal Tap-esque title of "World’s Loudest Band". It’s the name of a famous horse in the '20s that is considered by several prestigious organizations as the greatest racehorse that ever lived. And my personal favorite: the Portugeuse Man o’ War, a truly bizarre jellyfish-like sea creature made up of a whole colony of smaller animals with one hell of a painful sting. The original meaning of the phrase comes from British warships from centuries past that had tons of cannons and other murder-y things like that, and it’s this definition that the game Manowar [$1.99] by Lachlan Nuttall uses as a jumping off point for a series of maddeningly clever puzzles...

If you're a fan of platforming games like I am, then you're no doubt familiar with the excellent action platformer Goblin Sword [$1.99] from Gelato Games. Launching just about a year ago, Goblin Sword captured plenty of gamers' hearts with its fantastic pixel visuals and superb virtual controls. There was even some light RPG elements involved, and the entire production earned an easy 5 stars in our review. Several month down the road, in February of this year, a huge version 1.5 content update arrived for Goblin Sword adding in 16 new levels in a new chapter titled The Lost City, which also featured new enemies, new boss fights, new weapons and more. Now, as announced in our forums, Gelato is back with another huge Goblin Sword update. Here's a couple of screens from it!..

My first ever interaction with golf was on the NES. I remember being fascinated by the concept of hitting a ball across a screen, and although the idea of woods and irons completely eluded me, I was content with whacking away Happy Gilmore style. Over time golf became far less foreign, and though the sport's popularity has waxed and waned over the years, I still have a certain degree of interest in it, at least at a base level. Battle Golf [Free] doesn't really do a whole lot for me though...

The Long Siege [$1.99] clicked with me when I first saw it, despite my vocal distaste of match-3 games in general. I feel like the genre is just overplayed. But sometimes, a little bit of familiarity isn't a bad thing, and I actually do enjoy the unique aspects of this one, though it is definitely an imperfect game. This is a match-3 RPG of sorts, though to call it an RPG feels inaccurate. It's a match-3 game with an upgrade system. You fight an enemy army, trying to destroy their base, by summoning 3 types of units, repairing your base with utility tiles when the enemies destroy your unit generation, getting currency by matching specific tile types, and using cannon tiles to attack the enemy. ..

'Hanger World' Review - Not A Used Clothing Store

I was a fan of TouchArcade long before I was a writer here, and one of my favorite of the more recent regular features is Shaun’s Update Mondays posts. The weird thing is, the updates themselves aren’t even why I look forward to it every week. Rather, it’s because I think Shaun’s a funny dude and I just enjoy reading his descriptions of each update. More specifically, I need to know what game he decides to give the coveted Update Mondays Most Spider-Mans Of The Week Award to. Is it going to be Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] again? (I mean, it does get a lot of Spider-Mans.) Or will it be something completely random? Well, I think I may have found a good future candidate. I’m talking about A Small Game’s Hanger World [Free], and it’s packed full of all kinds of Spider-Mans slinging themselves this way and that. As it turns out, it’s also a really, really fun game...

'Agent Awesome' Review - More like Agent Meh

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August 10th, 2015 11:30 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Action, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

As a general rule, I really dig espionage games. Although stealth is old hat for some, it's a nice change of pace from the action-heavy games I usually play, and as a fan of James Bond and other classic spy franchises, nice little gags and references usually bring a smile to my face. But with Agent Awesome [$1.99], things get a little awkward, with some tacky writing and weird delivery...

It's often said that there's a fine line between inspiration and imitation. We see both in varying degrees in the hobby of gaming. The former is without question a good thing, but even the latter can be okay depending on how closely it hews to the source. There's one more category that expression doesn't cover, however, and it's something a bit closer to plagiarism. It's a practice that is unfortunately all too familiar to mobile gaming fans in particular, and it's almost universally frowned upon. In these situations, games are basically copied one-to-one, adding nothing to the medium and depriving the original creator of their rightful reward. It's legal, as far as I can tell, particularly if you're wise enough to swap out art assets, but at least as far as I'm concerned, it's not ethically okay nor is it contributing anything positive to gaming on the whole...

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