Category Archives: $2.99

In the world of writing about video games, differing opinions are bound to ruffle some feathers. Such is the case with Red's Kingdom [$2.99]. This charming puzzle adventure is polished to the gills in terms of presentation, which is I think something everyone can agree on. But some of its design decisions left our own Carter Dotson feeling more lukewarm towards the game in his review. However, it did garner our Game of the Week nod upon release, and has found a ton of fans in our community, who voted it as Game of the Month for January. A major update last month added a bunch of new levels and several new features which looked to smooth out the game's rough edges, and according to this teaser posted today it looks like more new content is in the works for Red's Kingdom...

For years, Kemco has been nothing if not consistent in their slate of published games. They've been a mobile gamer's one-stop shop for budget JRPGs, largely filtered through the lenses of four separate developers, each one doing as much as they can with as little time and as few fresh assets as possible. To be fair to the company, there's a demand for those kinds of games and not many are rushing to fill it on iOS anymore, with the way things have shifted in the market towards free-to-play social games. But even the most ravenous of niches can hit a saturation point if you push hard enough, and it almost feels like Kemco was intentionally looking for that line. Perhaps they finally found it, as 2017 has seen the publisher branching out in more new directions than they had in the previous four years combined. Yodanji [$2.99] is the latest fruit of those labors, and like its similarly-minded stablemate Djinn Caster [$4.99], it's quite good...




'Quantum Revenge' Review - Form like Voltron

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April 14th, 2017 4:30 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 3.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
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The idea of a team that needs to not only work together on a human level, but literally form a construct that's bigger than themselves is fascinating. The most obvious example is probably Voltron, but even something mechanical like Transformers'  Constructicons had to form Devastator. It's a seemingly timeless concept too as nearly all of these tropes have returned, from the new Voltron Netflix series to the Power Rangers film reboot. Quantum Revenge [$0.99] tries to tap into that wizardry in the form of a twin-stick shooter, but doesn't really hit all of the same notes...

Saturday to Monday is normally the quietest period for App Store releases - the ridiculous March Indie Week aside, the majority of developers tend to save their releases for later in the week when more potential players, and most importantly Apple, are most alert to new game launches. That being said, it's always great to wake up at the beginning of the week to a big new release; Quantum Revenge [$0.99], which launched on Sunday, has certainly kicked off April to a solid start for iOS gaming. The manga-inspired twin stick shooter that we first wrote about back in January features intense, chaotic and explosive mech battles with some stunning futuristic graphics, and is finally available now on the App Store for a launch price of only $2.99...

It's no secret that the App Store currently lacks any good soccer games, especially after FIFA Mobile Soccer ended up being more of a card game and less of a sports game. One of the most entertaining soccer games out there is Active Soccer 2, which - shockingly - focuses on actually playing soccer, and now we just got Active Soccer 2 DX [$2.99], an improved version of Active Soccer 2 that comes with some new features and plenty of little improvements. There are some gameplay improvements like a dedicated dash button, many more teams, updates to team data and competitions to bring them up to date, classic teams addition (with the likes of Maladona and Cruiff), and more...

'Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze' Ep. 1 Review - A Fun Experience With Great Fan Service

Let me first start by stating the obvious; if you've watched even a few Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' episodes (currently on Netflix), you will enjoy Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze [$2.99] Episode 1 much more than if you know nothing about the Australian lady detective. Before getting into the review, let's talk a bit about the TV show because its spirit is carried intact into the visual novel adventure. The show takes place in 1920s Australia and is a procedural of sorts with an overarching narrative loosely tying it all together. Miss Phryne Fisher is a private lady detective who doesn't take no for an answer and manages to solve all kinds of crimes using her wits, persistence, and feminine wiles. The show is quite funny and definitely entertaining...

Earlier this month, OK Golf [$2.99] from suitably named developers Okidokico Entertainment launched on the App Store to much aplomb, being featured heavily by Apple and impressing both those with a casual experience of the sport and golfing veterans with its stunning aesthetic design and simplistic touch-centric controls. Despite the game's ingenuity, Carter stated in our review that occasionally OK Golf deviated too much from the tried and true golfing formula, and quite a few minor annoyances somewhat sullied what was an otherwise ambitious effort from the developers in standing out amongst the genre-defining efforts of Super Stickman Golf 3 [Free] and others. Thankfully, the developers have taken aboard much of the criticism from the game's launch, and have submitted an update for OK Golf that should attempt to fix many of the smaller issues that some have had with the game, in the lead up to a more substantial content update next month...

One of the best games of 2015 was Downwell [$2.99], the roguelike action game of descending down a well with rocket boots. Missileman [$2.99] turns that formula upside down, literally. Here, you play as a fellow riding a rocket upward, trying to blast all the enemies in their way, while countless other missiles become available? Oh, and the game is colorful as opposed to monochrome, so it's trying to flip just about everything. Missileman is a game with some clever ideas, but some issues with playing it keep it from being a masterpiece. Still, it's worth checking out...

'Slayaway Camp' Review - A Killer Puzzler

The first thing that drew my attention to Slayaway Camp [$2.99] was the horror theme. Designed as a pastiche of 1980s horror in all its cheesy glory, combined with a voxel look that allowed for some gory slasher action with a comical feel. And then the game released on Steam first. After some work to make the game acceptable for Apple, we finally have Slayaway Camp on mobile, and what I found wasn't just a game that was over-the-top in gore and humor. I also found a great sliding puzzle game, that also managed to integrate its theme in a masterful way. This is a game that's fun to play and experience the little world it has created...

Goodnight Games has made an interesting action game in Malevolent Machines [$1.99]. It's a game with some clever ideas, and a unique art style that looks both a little ugly and yet detailed and stylish in its own way. It's a game with some bugs and issues, but a lot of good ideas at the heart that shine through the experience. It's an experience that may be off-putting to some folks, but its unique charms and quirks wormed its way into my heart as an entertaining and unique action game...

Casual, mobile-friendly golf with a striking visual style is what OK Golf [$2.99] promises. It also offers up a structure and holes that are familiar to golf, but do some things that feel just a bit off from normal golf. And the controls have some issues, too. It adds up to an experience that seems really interesting at first, but over time becomes a bit sour, before a few of its quirks start to grow. Regardless, it's a decidedly imperfect game...

The App Store has an abundance of clever puzzle and word games that are perfect for the immediacy and portability that mobile gaming presents. However, very few are executed as well as SpellTower [$2.99] - in a similar vein to his reinvention of chess and card games in Really Bad Chess [Free] and Sage Solitaire [Free] respectively, Zach Gage's take on the word game was deceptively complex, and hooked us enough to warrant both a five star review and a honourable mention for our 2011 Game of the Year award. While five years may have come and gone without any major additions to the title, SpellTower has today received its landmark 4.0 update with number of major additions, including Merriam-Webster dictionary support, a brand new 'Zen Mode', and fully-functioning online multiplayer...

Let's start with the most important aspect of the just-released adventure game Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet [$2.99]; it includes a parrot voiced by Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor Who. It also has a pretty silly trailer, which is always a plus. In addition to those two, though, Nelly Cootalot has plenty more to offer to those who enjoy adventure games. As you try to figure out and stop the plans of Baron Widebeard (probably a hipster baron), you'll get to visit some really fun locations and meet a pretty silly cast of characters, all the while enjoying the colorful art of the game...

'Splitter Critters' Review - Splitting the Difference

'Splitter Critters' Review - Splitting the Difference

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February 7th, 2017 10:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Splitter Critters [$2.99] is a cute Lemmings-style puzzle game with a clever gimmick and a gentle difficulty curve. From the developers behind the intriguing Dark Echo [$1.99], this game sees you trying to help adorable little aliens reach their UFO and escape each stage. They'll move around on their own, with each type exhibiting slightly different behaviors, so you'll have to herd them to where they need to go. Your only means of doing that particular task is by tearing the screen in half with a swipe and moving the pieces to create a path to the goal. As you progress into the later stages, you'll often need to slice the world into pieces a few times to get things where you want them. Since you're limited to three cuts at any given time, the stages aren't meant to get too complicated, making this a pretty enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels...

I’m a simple man. I see vikings, I click download. This has been true for years, and it was true a couple months ago, when Vikings: an Archer’s Journey [$2.99] was in the recommended new games section of the App Store home page. I didn’t opt for a review right away because this game definitely needed some more time in the forge, but a few thousand whacks with the hammer of improvement later and we have a solid bow-and-arrow-centric runner on our hands worth giving a look...

One of the most popular RPGs in the world might just be a game that you've never heard of. Flash RPG series Sonny has gotten millions of players over the past decade between two different installments. Now, web portal and game publisher Armor Games has teamed up with developer Krin to bring a new Sonny [$2.99] game to mobile. It's not a sequel to Sonny 2, necessarily, which ended on a cliffhanger. Instead, this is a massive reboot with a new storyline, some familiar and returning characters, and an actual ending to the story. You play as the eponymous Sonny, a dude who has died on a boat, but thanks to a special serum from Louis, you're a powerful, conscious zombie. Louis gets killed by Zombie Pest Control Incorporated troops, who are out to get you because you're a zombie, and to exact vengeance on your initial ZPCI troop kills. After your escape, you travel through the world, meeting new allies, learning more abilities, and discovering that some of this world's zombie population are able to communicate much like you are...

The gravity gun from Half-Life 2 is a dramatically underutilized tool in games. What felt so cool and revolutionary in 2004 has since been stuck to just one game. Kind of like how there were rumblings that the portal gun would show up in a future Half-Life 2 episode, and other games with portals like Portal have popped up. Thanks to Island Delta [$2.99], it has reminded me of how clever an idea the gravity gun. But also, it serves as a reminder of how a tool that requires good physics also requires good design to be used effectively...

'PinOut!' Review - A Pretty, Good Spin on Pinball

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December 30th, 2016 1:30 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Pinball, Reviews
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With the end of the year upon us, I'm doing my usual job of going back and picking out some games for review that for whatever reason didn't get one upon release. This year, most of the choices are coming from suggestions from the community, and one of the first games mentioned was PinOut! [Free]. Given that pinball is usually like catnip for me, I'm not sure why I missed this one to begin with. I imagine I was knee-deep in RPGs or something like that. At any rate, it's better late than never, so let's take a look at this stylish spin on one of the oldest electronic gaming genres...

Just last week those sneaky folks at Noodlecake decided to squeeze one final release in before 2016 closes out when they announced that they'd be publishing a clever new puzzle platformer from Mantisbite Games and releasing it this week just before the iTunes freeze. Well, it slipped past the normal weekly roundup but that game Island Delta [$2.99] is finally now available. Island Delta sees you using a gravity gun not unlike the famous version from Half-Life 2 as you pick up objects, toss them about, and generally use your unique ability to solve various puzzles and work your way through an evil villain's vast facilities...

'Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire' Review - Delicious

One of the great things about classics is that they're readily available. While you'd be hard pressed to find a copy of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu for the NES, a game almost no one has even heard of (myself included, until my wife showed me hers), you can get Mario 3 on your refrigerator and play Doom 2 inside of a keyboard. Sega is particularly giving with their legacy titles in the mobile arena, as is Square Enix, even if the latter charges an arm and a leg for the privilege. But while those games are timeless to some, new blood needs to come in every so often and keep them in check, even if they aren't particularly unique mechanically. Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire [$1.99] is comprised of a lot of mechanics found in the aforementioned classics, but its presentation of those concepts is effortless...

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