Category Archives: $2.99

'The Quest: Cursed Stone' Review - On The Quest Again

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February 23rd, 2016 2:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 3.5 stars, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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In a lot of ways, Redshift's The Quest [$4.99] is one of the best mobile RPGs. Its huge open world is a great place to lose hours in, but its quest-based structure makes it equally suitable for shorter play sessions. You can enjoy it as a straightforward hack 'n' zap, skipping around from dungeon to dungeon smashing the monsters that get in your way, or you can dig in deeper, building crafting and alchemy skills, collecting flowers for recipes, reading books, and so on. Still, most games like this have an end, and when you run out of things to do, that's usually that. In the case of The Quest, however, a massive amount of content has been added through expansion packs, most of which have been handled by third-party developer Zarista Games. Their latest effort is Cursed Stone [$2.99], an adventure that sees you trying to save a small fishing town by restoring the magical stone that brings them luck...

Ellipsis [$2.99] feels at first like it should be a tilt game, taking place in a small arena and with all sorts of abstract shapes. Thankfully, it doesn't – it would be awkward if it and Abzorb [$2.99] came out the same week – but instead is a touch-based game. And the touch part of the experience plays a major role. You move your blue circle around, trying to hit the blue targets, while dodging anything that's red. Blue = good, red = deadly. But the game is all about dodging hazards while collecting the things you need to unlock the exit, while trying to perform as well as possible. It's a game whose quality is pretty solid, but it reveals some clever things and does small things well. Ellipsis is a tough game to evaluate, because it might not reach the dizzying heights of the absolute best games, but its design is subtly brilliant, with few demerits...




Redshift's The Quest is one of the oldest RPG series on the App Store, and to this day it's still among many gamers' very favorites. The easiest way to describe The Quest is that it's like a massive open-world RPG along the lines of The Elder Scrolls series, but with an old-school first-person game engine. It may not look like much in screenshots or video, but The Quest is an absolutely massive world teeming with interesting characters and stories. With its beefy original campaign and well over a dozen expansions released since 2009, The Quest is the type of game that just keeps on giving and most of us will never finish all the content on offer. At least I won't, I mean who has that kind of free time? Well, as we learned back in November, Redshift and developer Zarista Games weren't quite done adding to The Quest just yet, and announced yet another new expansion scheduled for release in early 2016. That expansion, called The Quest - Cursed Stone [$2.99], has just hit the App Store...

Last month we checked out some sweet animated .gifs form the forthcoming update to Oddrok's stylish hoverboarding game Power Hover [$3.99], and since that time a few new teaser .gifs and a brand new Android version have become available. First off is a look at a new missile hazard that Oddrok is testing for the update, and it looks really cool and dangerous. Then the two .gifs that follow are from an upcoming new level which has a very dark tone, and some incredibly wicked looking laser enemies...

Knotmania [$2.99] is the kind of game that's best enjoyed by people who get satisfaction from untangling complicated wire tangles. I don't know how headphone cords get so magically knotted up with no difficulty like that, but at least in Knotmania, you're dealing with living worm-like creatures that tangle themselves up of their own volition. Your goal: untangle those suckers. Frankly, it's the only hypothesis I've seen that makes sense. Wires are alive, and Knotmania is training for the great wire war that lies ahead of us...

We're all looking forward to Tinytouchtales' new upcoming game Card Thief, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the original game Card Crawl [$2.99], one of my own personal favorites from last year. After the hefty update back in December which added the fantastic Deck Merchant and a bunch of new ability cards, the next big Card Crawl update will rebalance a bunch of the game's ability cards and replace the current Streak Mode with a new tweaked version called Delve Mode, Tinytouchtales has detailed on their blog yesterday. ..

'Circa Infinity' Review - Like a Record, Baby

'Circa Infinity' Review - Like a Record, Baby

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February 5th, 2016 10:14 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Arcade, Games, Platform, Retro, Reviews, Universal
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In our recent review of Super Phantom Cat [$0.99] I remarked that I “wished the developers had been as creative with the platforming genre as they’d been with the art”. I loved the game in large part because of its wonderful presentation, and the solid gameplay was definitely fun despite feeling a bit too safe at the end of the day. And now, immediately after, I have Kenny Sun's Circa Infinity [$2.99] in my hands. It’s striking in that I like the game just as much as Phantom Cat, but my reasons for it are exactly the opposite. The gameplay in Infinity is unlike anything I’ve played before, to the point where I’m not even sure you could call it a “platformer” at all. The game’s presentation, however, is pretty solid but nowhere near as eye-catchingly beautiful as Phantom Cat. None of that should be taken as complaining, though, because I’m sure there are plenty of people who are completely over the moon for the traditional gameplay of the former and absolutely in love the sparse pixel stylings are of the latter...

'Captain Cowboy' Review - Digging Up Nostalgia

Growing up, some of my favorite games were adventure titles. Ones you could just get lost in, exploring an uncharted and dangerous world. There was something so unique about those experiences -- where you had no concept of what to expect, and no knowledge of where to go. It helped prepare me for games like King's Field and the Souls series, and I'm always grateful that developers were making games like that, testing the boundaries of the unknown. That's partially why Captain Cowboy [$1.99] is so great, as it captures the essence of so many of those bygone classics while sticking to a tried and true adventure formula...

'Super Phantom Cat' Review - A Purretty Clawsome Catformer Fur iOS

First off, sorry about that headline. I tried to fight the urge and I failed. Second, if you’re bummed that there’s no Super Mario game on the App Store (yet?), then you should drop what you’re doing and grab Veewo’s Super Phantom Cat [$0.99] right meow. It’s a fairly traditional platformer under the surface, borrowing heavily from Nintendo’s resident plumber, but I have to say--that surface is flippin’ gorgeous...

Tower Of Fortune 2 [$1.99] was just about everything you could want in a sequel. It kept the core elements that people enjoyed in Tower Of Fortune [$0.99], but expanded out on them greatly. It felt like the first game, but more. It's a good approach for a first follow-up, but as many developers can attest to, there's only so long you can play it safe before things start to sour. Game Stew seems to be quite aware of that, having taken an extended break away from the main Tower Of Fortune series to work on various other game ideas. Now returning to the Tower Of Fortune series, the developers appear to be eager to apply some of the things they've learned to make a decidedly different sort of sequel...

Interactive fiction, or choose-your-own adventure as we often call it, has been divisive in gamer circles. Some consider it a legitimate form of interactive entertainment while others see it more like a book than a game. When it comes to interactive fiction, I fall firmly on the side of those who see anything that involves player interaction as a game, so this is as far as I'm willing to entertain the game vs not game debate. Still, interactive fiction games come with various levels of interactivity that can often make those games feel either closer to a book or closer to a video game. What Bromoco Games, the developers of Buried [$2.99], set out to do when developing its game was to bring interactive fiction closer to a more "traditional" video game by including numerous photos and also choice indicators reminiscent of Telltale games (for instance, "X will remember that)...

I was more of a console gamer growing up, so I unfortunately missed out on all the great old-school gaming computers, like the Amiga. It wasn't until the world of iOS gaming that I came to know Pinball Dreaming [$1.99] and Pinball Fantasies [$2.99], two classic pinball games from Digital Illusions that were originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s and ported to iOS by Cowboy Rodeo way back in 2009. Let me tell you, I may have been late to the party, but boy was I glad to be invited. Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are fantastic digital pinball games. Sadly, Cowboy Rodeo was a tiny outfit and despite doing reasonably well back in the day it didn't appear that the Dreams and Fantasies ports lit the world on fire. Like so many other great games from that first year of the App Store, updates eventually dried up, though to Cowboy Rodeo's credit they did make an effort every year or two to ensure the games at least ran on latest iOS software and hardware, but new features weren't really in the cards...

The App Store is such a massive place that it's pretty common for games to fly under the radar, even when they're the type of games that seem like they shouldn't have. Swedish developer Wadonk's Captain Cowboy [$1.99] is one of those games that I'd have figured our forum members would have been all over when it released back in December. It's a very old-school inspired puzzle adventure with a heavy Boulderdash influence, as you're exploring and digging your way through a huge world collecting diamonds but you'll have to be strategic about how you dig around so you don't end up in a situation where a boulder will crash down and squish you. There's also plenty of puzzle elements where you'll have to use the boulders to pass various traps and weapons. Overall it's a quirky little game with not a lot of hand-holding and plenty of little details to discover on your own, just like the old days. It even has faux scanlines. Like I said, this is the type of stuff our community is usually all over! Such is the nature of the App Store. ..

Out of all the high-profile iOS games that have been broken by iOS updates and removed from the App Store in the past year or so, poor little Sonic 4: Episode 2 [$2.99] has flown under the radar more than any other. Perhaps it's because Sonic's fanbase is extremely impassioned and didn't take too well to Sonic 4, but as someone who both loves Sonic and who quite enjoyed the Sonic 4 games (though they'd never hold a candle to the original trilogy and Sonic CD), I was pretty darn bummed when iOS 7 broke Sonic 4: Episode 2 back in 2013. ..

It's been a while since we've heard anything from our 2014 Game of the Year pick Wayward Souls [$6.99], but Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games has been in touch to let us know that an update for it and their more recent tactical card battling game Five Card Quest [$2.99] have already been sent off to Apple and are awaiting approval. The Wayward Souls update will add a new pet system where a whopping 29 different pets can be found during play and will stick with you until you die or exit a dungeon. Some pets will offer various stat buffs, like increasing your chances for a critical hit or doubling the coins you find, and others will help you directly in combat by attacking the enemies you encounter...

'Grayout' Review - How Do I Word?

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Neven Mrgan and James Moore's Grayout [$2.99] is a word game, but in a unique sense that it plays with words in ways you might not necessarily expect. You are Alaine, who is suffering from aphasia, a condition that affects communication, which manifests itself in this game as where you have a whole pile of words to respond to messages from the doctors allegedly treating you. You need to form sentences, and it starts out just from having a bunch of different words that are designed to fool you from their slight differences as to how they play out in the sentence, eventually getting to the point where the words become warped, and you have to piece together sentences going through several layers of aphasia-induced difficulty...

Remember that wacky, over-the-top short film riff on kung-fu movies called 'Kung Fury' which took the internet by storm back in May? You may also recall that a mobile tie-in game was released alongside it called Kung Fury: Street Rage [Free], and at that time it was little more than an endless, high-score-chasing beat 'em up with left/right combat mechanics similar to something like One Finger Death Punch [Free] or Fatal Fight [Free]. Now, that wasn't exactly a bad thing, as Kung Fury was a lot of fun for a high-scoring game and the production values were totally on-point, nailing the look and feel of an '80s-era arcade game. It's just that it felt like it could have been so much more; a full-fledged brawler like Final Fight or Streets of Rage...

I make a terrible Arthur. It's not something I've had to put much thought into in my life, so I wasn't actually aware of that particular gap in my skillset until I played Pendragon Rising [$3.99], the latest release from prolific interactive fiction publishers Choice Of Games. This adventure sees you guiding a young Arthur (or Arta, if you'd prefer to play a woman) as he returns to Briton from a seven-year stay in Rome. Your parent, the ruler of Gwynedd, is seriously injured in a battle with the leader of the invading Saxons, and the matter of their succession will determine the fate of Gwynedd and Briton itself. There's a rightful heir to the throne, and you technically aren't it, but as is often the case with stories based on the Arthurian legend, things get complicated fairly quickly...

The fundamental conflict surrounding how I feel about roguelike I Wanna Be a Hero [$2.99] is that the game owes a huge debt to Crypt of the Necrodancer, and if you've played that game, then a lot of what this is trying to do makes sense. Of course, Necrodancer isn't on mobile quite yet, so if you're just a mobile gamer, then perhaps you're only used to this. Still, I Wanna Be a Hero does a lot that is interesting and it's not a bad game, but it's definitely lacking...

Way back in 2008, not long after the App Store first opened and I was devouring mobile games left and right, I downloaded a game called Sneezies from developer Retro Dreamer. Probably because I read about it on TouchArcade. Sneezies was an ultra-simple game where bubbles containing little critters were spread across the screen and you'd choose one spot to tap and pop a bubble, with the little critter inside's sneeze dust expanding out from the blast. Any other bubbles that came in contact with the dust would pop as well, and the goal was really to cause a chain reaction and pop the proper quota of bubbles in order to move on to the next level. ..

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