Category Archives: $1.99

This is my 4,000th post on this site, and seeing as I've typically been the Cat Game Guy for the majority of my nearly 8 years with TouchArcade (that crown has since been bestowed on Eric), it seems only fitting that number 4,000 is about a cat game. The cat game in question is called Kitty Lander [Free] from developer Perch Drunk Thugz, and what's funny about it is it's not a new game at all. In fact it's almost a year old. For some reason nobody in our community came across it in the past year, and for whatever reason the developers only just emailed us about it today. (Side note: Email us about your games, developers! We want to know about them when they're new!) With that out of the way, though, let's focus on Kitty Lander, a fantastic blending of Lunar Lander gameplay and cats...

'Jelly Juggle' Review - Jelly Fish Pong

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March 10th, 2017 11:00 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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I've been down the road a couple of times before with games from developer Ian MacLarty, and I feel like I know at least a few things to expect from his work. First, my poor pride is going to take a serious beating. Second, I'm going to keep on playing anyway. That was true for Boson X [$2.99] and Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], and it's true again for Jelly Juggle [Free]. This one has a cuter, softer, kid-friendlier look to it than MacLarty's last couple of iOS games, but don't be fooled. That smiling, goggle-eyed fish wants only one thing in this world, and that's to make you cry. You might not feel like you need another ultra-tough, one-touch game on your device, but if you've ever enjoyed that sort of thing, I certainly encourage you to give this quirky Pong take-off a try...




'Causality' Review - Destroying Your Brain and The Space-Time Continuum

Is your brain working properly? Are things in the world making too much sense? If you answered yes to these questions, and you desire that your brain be thrown into the washing machine, and then crushed with a hammer, then Causality [$1.99] is the game for you. It's a puzzle game for people who like their games to make sense...kinda, sorta. It's a fun game, but one that will threaten your sense of perception and time...

Have you ever had a great idea for a game, and could see no reason why it wouldn't work? Ask anyone who has to turn ideas into reality, it doesn't always work out that way. Ideas that work on paper aren't as viable in real-life. Songs that sound good when you hum them don't have the same feeling when you play them on an instrument. Even for a writer, I've had ideas for articles that didn't work out because the ideas I had in my head didn't quite work out on paper. Now, sometimes these ideas still get pursued to completion. I'm not going to put words in Cobra Mobile's mouth as to Red's Kingdom [$2.99], but it certainly feels like an idea that someone had that was really cool, and I liked it too! Combine sliding puzzles with a Zelda-style adventure with upgrades to collect? Sounds like it has potential! But at least for myself, and in this particular format, it does not work...

Last week a very interesting-looking puzzle game coming to Steam caught our eye, and through a little bit of digging we were very happy to learn it was destined for mobile as well. Best of all is that the wait was incredibly short as just this morning that game, Causality [$1.99] from developer Loju, landed on the App Store. Causality is about guiding a group of stranded astronauts to safety using directional cues, portals, and time manipulation. Messing around with time is tricky though, and you'll actually need to utilize your past selves in order to solve all the puzzles in Causality. Check out the trailer...

TouchArcade Forums' Game of the Month January 2017: 'Red's Kingdom'

While the TouchArcade staff attempt to draw attention to what we perceive as the most noteworthy titles in our Game of the Week feature, the sheer quantity of releases mean that often our views contrast greatly against those of the awesome mobile gaming community that resides on our forums. Although there is occasionally a common ground reached - such as Crashlands being both the forums' Game of the Year, as well as the official TouchArcade award winner - this isn't always the case, and the excellent Game of the Week and Game of the Month voting polls, which are organised entirely by members of our community, allow readers to have their own say on what releases really resonated with them. Thanks to the hard work of long-time community legend Andy C83, and his efforts in relaunching the awards series for 2017, we have our first official TouchArcade Forums' Game of the Month for January - congratulations Red's Kingdom [$2.99]!..

Big Bucket Software is back after their solid 2014 adventure game Space Age [$3.99], returning to their breakout hit The Incident [$0.99] in a sense with Stagehand [$1.99]. Featuring Frank, the protagonist of The Incident, and a retro, pixel-art style, your goal is to keep Frank running along by controlling the platforms underneath him. You drag to keep him running, or to jump from one to another, trying not to obstruct him, as if he gets slowed down, he will get scrolled off the screen and that's the end of Frank. Sorry, buddy. But you do have conveyor belts that will speed Frank along so he can recover some of the gap between him and oblivion. Helpful! It's all a clever concept, and it has the production values you'd expect from Big Bucket. But, this game feels like it's in a place out of time, because it's a $1.99 endless game with little to unlock, where the replay value is in getting high scores. It's a quality game, but it might not have the depth in the modern context of the App Store to make everyone happy...

Malevolent Machines [$1.99] has been on my radar ever since we first caught a glimpse of the game back in September 2016. From its mysteriously ominous and beautifully alliterative title, to the game's interesting merger of auto-runner and shoot-em-up mechanics under a layer of luscious pixel art graphics, it appeared that Goodnight Games had really gone the extra mile to stand out amidst its many contemporaries on the App Store. While the developers have successfully satiated fans with a number of preview trailers over the past few months, Malevolent Machines has finally launched today on iOS for a modest $1.99, and if the game can live up to its impressive scope, it is surely an essential download for anyone wanting an accomplished attempt at an Altered Beast-meets steampunk-esque mobile game in this suitably malevolent modern era...

Over the past few years, developer Shelly Alon has released two quirky and enjoyable puzzle games for iOS in 2014's Partyrs [$1.99] and 2015's Sputnik Eyes [$1.99]. So when we learned earlier this week that his next game would be a vertical shoot 'em up, a genre that's notorious for the type of frantic action not seen in Alon's previous puzzle games, I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. This new game is called Glitchskier [$1.99] and now that it's finally available I can answer my own sense of curiosity: It turned out brilliantly!..

Despite its mysterious dystopian backdrop, Collect or Die [$1.99] ironically made me reminisce of the ‘golden days’ of the App Store. Specifically, a time when the perceived novelty of the iPhone’s gyroscopic controls means an abundance of tilt controlled titled, when rag-dolls and stickmen were being constantly flung to their inevitable bloody demise, and also one where an emphasis on genuinely fun gameplay trumped the need for timers and draconian monetisation mechanics. Collect or Die even has a Lite version- it truly doesn't get more retro than that. On the other hand, a lot has changed since 2008 - Collect or Die is a game that, in testament to its title, lives and dies as a result of its reverence to older iOS experiences, and while some may be turned off by its tilt-only rock-hard emphasis on platforming, Collect or Die features enough variety and irreverent humor to make it a highly enjoyable experience, even in 2017...

'Super Gridland' Review - A Set of Matching Swords

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January 25th, 2017 11:33 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Arcade, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Gridland is a really nifty browser-based puzzle game from Michael Townsend, the original creator of A Dark Room [$1.99]. It merges aspects of survival games, clickers, and match-3 puzzlers into one neat package that will likely absorb at least a couple of hours of your time before it feels like its hand is fully played. It's free, saves your progress, and it even works in mobile browsers. Super Gridland [$1.99] is the same game, albeit considerably gussied up in terms of presentation. It's just as fun as it ever was, even if it doesn't really make a strong case for itself as a separate app from the browser version...

Big Bucket's Reverse Platformer 'Stagehand' Is Set to Launch February 8th on the App Store

One of my favourite recent App Store trends is how developers have started to place an emphasis on environment interaction, and using the level to manipulate your character rather than traditional control inputs. The compelling and curious Stretch Dungeon [Free] by Nitrome was one such title, and the upcoming Splitter Critters looks like an incredibly promising example of how puzzle games can feel fresh and fun through this environment-centric focus. Today, Big Bucket (of The Incident [$0.99] and Space Age [$3.99] fame) have announced that their latest title Stagehand - which we first brought you news of in November of last year - will finally release for iPhone on February 8th. While on the surface its pixel art graphics and platforming action may make it seem like little more than an retro auto-runner, rather than controlling the character, you have to move pieces of the stage to progress through the game's levels. It's great to see yet another excellent example of what the developers have described as a 'reverse platformer', and is definitely one to watch when it launches on the App Store on February 8th...

It's been over two years since we were initially enamoured by the iOS port of A Dark Room [$1.99]. Having started off as an open-source release on PC from Canadian developer Michael Townsend, A Dark Room's eventual transition to the App Store by Amir Rajan managed to capture a cult following with its incredibly basic and minimalist take on the RPG genre, culminating in a stint as #1 paid game on the UK store. However, A Dark Room was not the only product of Townsend's abundant talent - Gridland also released on PC in 2014, and was a quirky match-three title that entrusted you with the task of lining up resources to grow your town during the day, while fighting off beastly creatures at night. While Gridland was initially playable within Safari, it never made the same transition to the App Store as A Dark Room. Thankfully, over two years later, we got something even better - Super Gridland [$1.99] has today showed up on the App Store, and retains the compulsive charm of its predecessor, whilst revamping the graphical style and presentation to result in one of the first essential puzzle titles for the iPhone in 2017...

One of my very favorite recent releases is the Out Run-inspired arcade racer Highway Runners [$0.99] from developer Brownieless Games. It launched amidst the madness of the holiday rush mid-December, and once that craziness had finally cleared and the new year was upon us I was just about to pull the trigger on a "Hey guys check this out!" kind of article about it. As luck would have it, though, our own Chris Carter came through with a full review right at that same time, which is far better than my own silly ramblings would be. At any rate, the word was out! And I was very happy about that. While most who have ventured into Highway Runners have loved it, two major requests have arisen pretty frequently. One was for touch controls, as the game originally launched as tilt-only, and the developers added in a wonderful touch option just prior to us posting our review. So that took care of that. The second major request was for native iPad support, and as of today that's officially a thing with a new Universal update for Highway Runners...

While some people are enjoying Capcom's ports of the original 8-bit Mega Man games well enough, it's safe to say that the consensus is that they're not very good ports. A surprising thing for 20 - 30 year old games that ran on a system with less processing power than your bagel toaster, a disappointing thing given the relatively high quality of the Mega Man Legacy ports that appeared on other platforms in the last couple of years, but not necessarily an unfixable thing. After all, this is mobile gaming in 2017. Games are getting updates all the time! Heck, games are being updated as I write these very words. So when I opened up the App Store today and say that beautiful little red number along with Mega Man Mobile's [$0.99] icon, I got a little excited...

The iOS App Store is a crazy place. In early October, we previewed a then-upcoming game called Level With Me [Free], which had you balancing various types of objects on a teeter-totter-like board by blowing floating bubbles onto its underside in order to raise or lower each side and keep said objects from sliding off. The objects include things like a heavy bowling ball, a bouncy beach ball, humans, zombies, and more, each requiring different strategies to ensure they stay on the board. The game was level-based in a way as you'd have to balance each type of object for a certain amount of time before completing a level and moving on to the next, but it was also endless as your ultimate goal was to complete as many levels in a row as possible. You know, it's a tricky game to try to explain, so why don't you just check out the trailer for Level With Me...

Developer Astrograde Lab had planned on releasing their new puzzle adventure game this past Wednesday night alongside all of the other new releases of the week and didn't quite make it in time, but as of this morning their game Shards of Memories [$1.99] finally worked its way through Apple approval and arrived on the App Store. Shards of Memories has you piecing together pieces of various objects tangram-style, and the solved puzzles themselves are actually pieces of the storyline in the game, which based on this trailer seems like it might get a big heavy at times...

Out Run really was ahead of its time. Released over 30 years ago, Yu Suzuki tapped into the racing market like never before, with a sit-down car-like arcade cabinet and an exploration-based concept. In Out Run the objective wasn't to really "finish first" despite the time limit mechanic. It was all about the journey, providing choices for where to go by way of forked roads, leading to multiple playthroughs, and even other choices that weren't typical at the time, like radio stations. The game broke my preconceived notions of what the medium could do at the time as a young runt, and still stands as one of Sega's crowning achievements. It was a magical experience stepping inside one of those cabinets, and although Highway Runners [$0.99] doesn't really hit all of the same notes, it's a nice little homage to a bygone era...

'Mega Man 1-6' Now Available on iOS and Android

[UPDATE: It only took mere moments of playing one of these ports to see that they are shockingly bad, so even though we'll have an official review coming soon we wanted to give people this extra head's up to avoid these at all costs.] Mega Man is one of the most difficult game series even with a physical controller, and as we've seen a couple of different times over the years the experience doesn't translate super well to the touchscreen. Well, Capcom Mobile is taking another stab at it as they announced last month that the six 8-bit Mega Man games would be hitting mobile, and as of just a few moments ago they've arrived in the iOS App Store as well as on Android's Google Play Store. These ports have been adjusted for mobile play, but I'll have to actually dive into these before we really know what that's supposed to mean. One thing I do know though is that the trailers don't give me a lot of confidence in these ports, as the frame rates look pretty poor. ..

Twin-stick shooting. Roguelite elements. Pandas with heavy ordinance. It was inevitable that someone, at some point in human history, would put these things together into one game. Continuing my mop-up of games that missed getting a review upon their initial release, it's Feral Fury's turn at bat. This game has developed a strong following in the TouchArcade forums, both because of the quality of the game itself and because of its highly-responsive, courteous developer. Feral Fury [$1.99] walks along a similar path to games like Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac, and although it's not quite up to the level of those games, it's still an awful lot of fun...

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