Category Archives: $1.99

Adventure To Fate [$2.99] bills itself as a JRPG-style game, but if the Internet has taught me anything, it's that no two people can agree on exactly what 'JRPG' means. I'm not going to even try to go into the million different definitions I've come across in my time. That said, if your personal definition of 'JRPG' is turn-based random encounters, then Adventure To Fate upholds its promise. If your personal definition of 'JRPG' involves an off-the-wall story, deep battle systems, interesting characters, party building, exploring a big world, customizable character growth and development, or awkward laughing scenes, you might find this game to be a bit lacking. Adventure To Fate takes the basic ideas of very early console role-playing games and somehow creates something even more simple. On paper, this sounds like a horrible idea, but somehow, I still found Adventure To Fate to be a fairly enjoyable game...

'Kiwanuka' Review - Simply Electrifying

Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$1.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close...

The early 1990s were a crazy time in gaming. Nintendo's near-monopoly in the American market was being broken. Consoles were finally starting to make a dent in the computer-dominated European market. Both of these things were being accomplished by SEGA, and in both cases, a tremendous debt was owed to a blue hedgehog whose career has seen more ups and downs than John Travolta's. As if we weren't flooded in mascot platformers already due to Super Mario Bros., Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] unleashed a positive tidal wave of games featuring animals with attitudes hopping through levels. Even if they didn't have any of SEGA's hardware, people wanted something like Sonic, and a great many developers were all too happy to comply. This is the era that birthed Superfrog, an Amiga platformer from eventual Worms developer Team17. In yet another reflection of the era, Superfrog had a sponsorship deal with energy drink Lucozade, with the drink appearing all throughout the game as a power-up...

It feels like I've played a lot of word games recently, but I never quite seem to get enough of them. So, when the new releases go up each week, if I see the word 'spell' appear in a title, I am on top of it like a game reviewer on a bad metaphor. Generally, regardless of the other mechanics differentiating them, most of these games treat the actual spelling part the way Boggle does. You're presented with a board of letters, and it's up to you to find the best words you can to accomplish whatever goal you're after. Spellpix [$1.99] might look similar at a glance, but it's quite different, and the result is a game that feels like it has far more in common with the developer's prior work, Pathpix [$1.99], than it does with any other word game...

It's been a Star Wars-heavy day in the world of iOS news, with KOTOR being on sale and the release of Star Wars Journeys (not to mention the new Star Wars Pinball tables that released yesterday), so let's keep this train a'rolling, shall we? In celebration of Star Wars Day, May the 4th, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Free] is having a sale on their in-app purchases...

If you had a robot suit, what is the first thing you would do with it? If your answer is "jump around in small, contained rooms packed with things that can kill you with the slightest touch", have I got a game for you right here. Suited Up [$1.99] is one of those games that boils down to one simple mechanic, with levels built to progressively test your mastery of that mechanic. As is often the case with this kind of game, it starts to get a bit old before the levels run out, but Suited Up has an ace up its sleeve that extends the fun, provided you're on-board with the core jumping gameplay...

As we learned just over a month ago, Zen Studios has been hard at work on four new Star Wars themed tables for Star Wars Pinball [$1.99] and Zen Pinball [Free] iOS games. Today, those new tables have gone live in both versions of the game. The four new tables include: a Han Solo table, an Episode IV: A New Hope table, a Droids table featuring C-3PO and R2-D2, and a Masters of the Force table featuring both good and evil characters form the Star Wars universe. Here's a brand new launch trailer showing off a bit of each new table...

'Sometimes You Die' Review - Not What It Seems

Once in a blue moon, an inconspicuous game will come around and turn an entire genre or platform on its head. Sometimes You Die [$1.99] is one of those games. On the surface, Sometimes You Die is a very standard, but sleek platformer that asks you to get a cube through a series of hard-hitting arenas, with razor sharp spikes and enemies that usually employ the same said sharp tactics. You'll be able to traverse these areas by way of moving left, right, and jumping -- that's all you'll really need...

Just a quick note to let you know that the new level for True Skate [$1.99] is now available as a 99¢ in-app purchase. We first heard about the new level, called Double Infinity, just yesterday, with a planned release of "this Thursday." The way the App Store works, Thursday can sometimes mean late Wednesday night, when it officially turns midnight in the realm of the US App Store. However, the update is out even earlier than that, arriving earlier this morning. Double Infinity gets its name from its two interconnected infinity-shaped bowls, and is modeled as an outdoor concrete park. Here's a glimpse of what it looks like...

The topic of cloning can be broadly broken into two periods: before Michael Keaton's banner work of art, Multiplicity, and after. Oh, sure, in those heady days before 1996, we had some ideas. Waves were made by a sheep named Dolly, Spider-Man discovered that he looks good in a hoodie, Thomas Riker had shown us that a Riker's power is directly proportional to the size of his beard, and George Lucas had certainly written something about clones on a coffee-stained napkin. However, it wasn't until The Keats showed us all how it was done that cloning became truly appreciated as a fictional device, and we are all better for it. Video games have never been shy about dragging clones into the works, mostly because it was a good excuse to reuse art assets while creating a memorable boss fight. One of the best examples from the early days of gaming was in Prince of Persia [$1.99], where an encounter with a mirror created a doppleganger who would go on to help you with a few puzzles before you had to face off with him...

Savant - Ascent [$1.99], D-Pad Studio's slick little arena shooter themed after the electronic artist Savant, has just received a brand new update. The update includes two new soundtracks so you can blast away at bad guys while bumping to some more Savant tunes, as well as Game Center leaderboard integration which is crucial in a high-score-focused game like this. In addition, there's now support for Japanese language, but this comes with a problem: the updated version of the game defaults to Japanese, which means after you update and fire up the game you might find yourself a little lost. Never fear, I'll tell you the simple fix for this...

True Skate [$1.99] developer True Axis continues to make good on the promise they made back in December of four new skateparks coming to their awesome skateboard simulation game. The first new park, the Schoolyard, hit back in February, and offered a more street-style environment to skate around in. Then just last month the second new park called The Warehouse was released, and it offered a more skatepark-style level with plenty of space and different objects to hit. This week, the third park will be arriving. It's an outdoor concrete park called Double Infinity, named after the shapes of its two intertwining bowls. Here's a couple of screens...

'Dark Guardians' Review - Style Over Substance

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April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, but often times, flashy is one of the many coats of colors it may wear. Dark Guardians [$1.99] is a beautiful game that looks very similar to the aesthetic design of the Kickstarter success Banner Saga, but sadly it doesn't have the mechanical chops to prop it up beyond its pretty veneer...

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

Arena battle games have really come into their own in recent years. Mobile platforms in particular have enjoyed a great crop, including Super Crate Box [$1.99], Muffin Knight [$0.99], Spell Sword [$0.99], and many others. It's a great way for a small developer to make a great action game without busting the bank, while providing a nice bite-sized bit of fun that suits mobiles well. Of course, for the gamer looking for something more than just a slice of game now and then, the better examples in this sub-genre have included some sort of progression system that persists beyond individual plays. Typically, this is done by putting in some sort of collectible or experience system that will unlock new weapons or abilities, which not only gives you something to shoot for over the long term, but also refreshes the game experience over time to keep it from getting dull...

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