Category Archives: $2.99

The Quest [$7.99] is the mobile RPG gift that just keeps on giving, and 2016 has been a particularly great year for its fans. We started off the year with the first new expansion in quite some time, the Celtic-flavored Cursed Stone [$2.99]. All the iPad owners who had been pining for a native version of The Quest got their wish in late July with the release of The Quest HD [$7.99], which developers Redshift kindly made available as a universal app scant weeks later. In mid-September, an HD version of The Quest's first expansion, Islands of Ice and Fire [$4.99], was released. Late October saw the long-awaited release of an Android version of The Quest, and it looks like we're closing out the year with yet another expansion to the original version of The Quest from Zarista Games...

Colorful Platformer 'Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire' Hits the App Store

Back in March during GDC, I was fortunate enough to check out a very promising upcoming platformer called Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire. I had never heard of the game before, nor of developer PlayPretend, and they didn't have an appointment to meet with us or anything like that. They had heard we were at GDC and simply tracked us down and we were able to squeeze in an impromptu demo between meetings, and it ended up being one of my favorite games I saw at the conference. I love conferences like GDC precisely for those unexpected moments when some super awesome game just comes out of the woodwork. Anyway, about a month later PlayPretend released two new videos showing off more of Le Parker, but things had been awfully quiet since then. However, just last week the developers popped back up on our forums to announce that Le Parker was under review with Apple, and just a few moments ago Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire [$2.99] officially went live in the App Store...




Power Hover [$2.99] is reaching its one year anniversary on the App Store, and since its initial release, the developers have gone all-out in continuously updating their hoverboarding opus with more and more major additions that have greatly improved on the already impressive base game that was well received back in December 2015. Considering the game has remained resolutely premium in its monetisation throughout the past twelve months, it's great that Oddrok are continuing to build on Power Hover. On December 8th, the next 1.7.0 update is slated to launch, and could be the biggest yet for the game. With a new chapter, levels, and a wide variety of other additions and improvements, there's a lot to look forward to in this upcoming content update, and the developers have released a teaser gif to demonstrate what's in store for Power Hover next Thursday...

Despite their overabundance in the formative years of the App Store's existence, I'm always incredibly excited to try out new match three games on iOS, as the sheer popularity of the genre forces developers to go the extra mile to stand out amongst the crowd. Swap Sword [$2.99] is one such title - while you are still tasked with matching similar tiles, you must also move the protagonist around through the eponymous sword swipes and a whole range of alternative lethal abilities at your disposal. With some stunning pixel art to boot - one would expect no less from the graphical geniuses behind Sunburn [$2.99] - this match three and roguelike amalgamation looked incredibly exciting when we first took a glimpse at it last week. While a December 1st release date was suggested, those who have been eagerly anticipating Swap Sword will be glad to know the game has launched early, and you can now slay creatures and competitors alike on the App Store...

When I first heard about Eggggg [$3.99], I couldn't help but agree with the developer's own assessment that the title was 'ridiculous' and 'crazy'. After all, Eggggg is a game where you literally propel your protagonist around a variety of colorful environments with their own vomit. However, to describe Eggggg as a 'sick' platformer would be correct in every sense of the word - behind the rather odd concept is a charming adventure which is really unlike similar games on the App Store. While our review back in October was unrelentingly positive, the one issue I had was its relative brevity - once the mechanics have been mastered and the admittedly challenging levels have all been completed, it's impossible not to want more of the game's eccentric charm. Thankfully, developers Hyper Games have announced the first major update for Eggggg set to launch in December, with some cool new Christmas-themed additions as well as Apple TV and MFI controller support...

'RunGunJumpGun' Review - The Name Says it All

It's interesting to see just how much mobile development has influenced the PC market. More and more we're seeing newer experiences that are formed around the same concept as Jetpack Joyride, whether it's of the endless or linear variety. The types of games prone to that control scheme work with touch, traditional remotes, and a mouse and keyboard. It's universal, and something gamers of all skill levels can pick up and play. It's a shame I only noticed RunGunJumpGun [$2.99] when it hit the mobile arena, because it really deserves the attention...

Earlier today, we looked at the release of adventure game Little Briar Rose [$2.99], which was a triumph in visual design with an ambitious attempt at a colorful stained glass graphical approach. With its own understated and minimalistic aesthetic, Islands: Non-Places [$2.99] is the very antithesis of Little Briar Rose, but at the same time equally impressive. Islands started its life as a collection of beautiful gifs from the artist Carl Burton, who has been featured in The New York Times in the past, as well as a whole host of other endeavours. His stunning gifs featured some visceral environments that were just begging to be explored, so it was a relatively logical step to create Islands, an audio-visual experience that gives another perspective to seemingly mundane landscapes...

While the move towards further realism and detail in graphical design has given us some truly stunning games on iOS such as Infinity Blade 3 [$0.99] and Eisenhorn: Xenos [$5.99], sometimes imagination, creativity and innovation can trump pure power. Little Briar Rose [$2.99] is one such game - developers Elf Games Work have taken the extremely interesting approach of coating every element of the title with a stained glass window aesthetic design. This unique and audacious art direction, coupled with an expansive and immersive fairy-tale world to explore, culminates in a truly jaw-droppingly beautiful adventure game that stands out from similar point and click titles on the iPhone, and is available now on the App Store for $2.99...

'Yankai's Triangle' Review - A Game with Kaleidoscope Eyes

Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] is weird. It seems to have a never-ending number of stages. Sometimes it looks at you. The colors are subdued one level, then shockingly bright the next. The scoring system is hard to make sense of. Everything is a little grainy. The eyes are watching. You might run into an absurdly difficult level followed by an astonishingly simple one immediately after. Before each level there are some symbols that mean something, but it's hard to say what unless you really watch carefully. Sometimes there are teeth. The game also introduces each and every level with a title card saying the level number followed with "by Kenny Sun". Perhaps the weirdest thing of all is that you're not doing much more than spinning triangles around, trying to match colors to make bigger triangles, and yet it's nearly impossible to put down...

It is exceedingly unlikely that Square Enix will ever make another Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] game, at least in the traditional sense. I don't say that to be a wet blanket, it's just the way that it is. The series that seemingly introduced so many Western console players to strategy RPGs, a genre which has recently seen a serious boom in popularity worldwide, has apparently rode off into the night with its creator, Yasumi Matsuno. The weak reception to the third game in the series, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, probably didn't help matters, and without Matsuno at Square Enix to champion for it, the publisher looks to have lost interest in the brand. There were a couple of free-to-play browser games that didn't really go anywhere, but I suspect that's not the sort of thing that series fans are looking for anyway. What to do?..

While the vast array of smartphone options gives you a lot of choice on what millimetre-thick piece of plastic and glass you decide will dominate your life, it does lead to a lot of fragmentation for mobile gamers. With so many options which generally boil down to the Amazon family of devices, Android alternatives and Apple's beautiful walled garden, it's sometimes frustrating to find that you can't play with your friends who opted for another operating system. Thankfully, the developers of Riptide GP: Renegade [$2.99] have recently updated their flagship racing title with cross-platform online play on mobile, with the potential to later add console and PC players to the action, as well as a whole host of refinements that further improve the multiplayer elements to Renegade that we loved in our review back in August...

Despite its name, RunGunJumpGun [$2.99] doesn't actually feature much running, or even technically jumping. However, if one thing's for certain, it's that the game has a lot of shooting. RunGunJumpGun, from ThirtyThreeGames and Gambitious Entertainment, the latter of which were responsible for the recent Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator [$1.99], is an eclectic mix of games such as Downwell [$2.99], Jetpack Joyride [Free] and VVVVVV [$2.99], and features your protagonist having to use their 'gravity-defying mega-weapon' to propel themselves off the ground while avoiding an abundance of obstacles and eliminating enemies that stand in their way. After an extremely positive launch on Steam back in August, RunGunJumpGun should be an awesome twitch arcade action that adds to an already stellar week for iOS releases, and is available for $2.99 now on the App Store...

This is actually a bit of news I meant to get to last week and didn't have time, but seeing as how unique a game Calculords [Free] is and how log it's been since its last content update, I felt like it was still worth talking about. First off, Calculords is a card-based strategy game which launched back in February of 2014. It had you building up a deck of units and battling against a colorful cast of AI opponents in its campaign, placing your units among 3 lanes on the playfield to battle head to head against your opponents' units. It sounds a bit standard as far as card-battlers go, but what set Calculords apart was its use of math. Yes, math! It's fun! ..

Okay, we're at a point now where it's highly unlikely many mobile gamers are itching for another roguelite. It's proven to be a popular genre on mobile, which means everyone, their uncle, and their uncle's cat has released some kind of variation on the time-honored theme. 1-Bit Rogue [Free], from Kan Kikuchi and popular Japanese indie developer Skipmore, is the latest to give it the old college try, and while it's a pretty fun game, I'm not sure it has much to say to anyone looking for something to perk up the genre. It does all the things well that Skipmore usually excels at: the retro-style presentation feels authentic, there are fun unlockables, and it's an easy game to come to grips with. If nothing else, that makes it worth checking out for a game or three...

Make no bones about it - Michael Brough's latest game Imbroglio [$3.99] is an essential dungeon-crawling experience that, in our review, we stated stands firm with his previous classic iOS releases such as 868-HACK [$4.99]. However, on the topic of bones, an incoming update to Imbroglio is as suitably obsessed with skeletons as the imminent Halloween celebrations would suggest. This expansion, which is titled Imbroglio: Ossuary (in other words, a container where bones of deceased are placed), sends your heroes into perilous bone-pits, to undoubtedly uncover a whole host of freaky items, enemies and gems to collect throughout the game. Brough has stated in a recent blog post that the expansion will be released tomorrow, so will launch with plenty of time before the spooky spectacle of October 31st. For anyone who hasn't tried Imbroglio yet, the game is also on sale for the first time ever, so this is a great time to pick it up if you have a lot of free time you don't mind being stolen by the undead...

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...

The original Rusty Lake Hotel [$1.99] was a cult hit for its surreal sense of spookiness that was also a lot of fun to play. However, its relative brevity in only having six rooms to play through meant that many fans were asking for more, and another chance to play through the evocative universe that eponymous developers Rusty Lake managed to create back in 2015. Thankfully, today the wait is finally over - despite its name, Rusty Lake: Roots [$2.99] is not a throwback or a return to the series' roots, as it is only the second game with the Rusty Lake prefix. Instead, Roots is a brand new game, that takes the same eerie evocative charm of the original game, but adds almost six times as many levels and an entirely new narrative to make this the definitive Rusty Lake experience on the App Store...

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

'Dan the Man' Review - A Blast While it Lasts

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October 20th, 2016 12:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews
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One of the more reliable means of drawing attention in marketing is to use the biggest numbers you can find for your product or service's features. It's historically been very useful in selling video games, with RPGs claiming dozens of hours of gameplay, open world games boasting about the sizes of their maps, and platformer games talking up the number of levels they have. Thing have become ludicrous in mobile gaming, with Candy Crush offering a couple thousand levels and many platformers eventually expanding out to over a hundred stages. Never mind that the levels might be short, or easily constructed. The players will find that out later, and when they do, they may well not even care...

A few weeks back, we wrote about a game called Zombie King, a platformer with the clever concept of upgrading your King a bit at time to bring him back to his former virility and humanity. That game is now called Return of the Zombie King [$2.99] (any similarity with the Lord of the Rings is probably accidental) and is out on the App Store. In the game you play as the re-animated corpse of a former King who was summarily exiled and drowned. Now, you'll be running and jumping your way to collecting as many coins as you can from each run to gradually upgrade your bony figure into the King you once were...

'Really Bad Chess' Review - Rook No Further

It would be extremely easy to start this review by alluding to the ironic self-deprecation of the title, and affirm how Really Bad Chess [Free] is actually a Really Good Game. However, in truth, the title is not too far off the mark. Compared to the balance, strategic depth, and elegance of the age-old board game, Zach Gage’s most recent release is really bad chess. It is highly likely you will start a game with an abundance of the most powerful pieces versus a far weaker opponent, and it will likely not take as much tactical meticulousness to break down their defence; anyone looking for a chess simulator will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, once preconceptions of similar titles are left behind, Really Bad Chess manages to turn a tiresome, tricky and intimidating game into one perfectly suited for the immediacy of mobile gaming. While it may share similarities in the pieces, and how they can move, to the game it takes its name from, Really Bad Chess is an entirely different beast. Through prioritising unpredictability and offensive play over experience, Zach Gage has crafted an essential puzzle experience for anyone even remotely interested in strategy games on the App Store...

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