Category Archives: $2.99

'Dark Fear' Review - Old School Horror

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November 20th, 2015 10:00 AM EST by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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I have a love-hate relationship with horror films and games. As a rule, I'm in love with older films, which use practical effects to great success, and deliver interesting and suspenseful stories. But as time progressed, CG is often used as a crutch, and horror has become increasingly more about shock or jump scares rather than a normalized sense of fear. It's the same way for games, but Dark Fear [$2.99] manages to bring us back into the 80s in more ways than one...

Lost Echo [$2.99] is a sci-fi mystery point-and-click adventure game that was originally released on iOS way back in September of 2013. It's possible you don't remember it because, frankly, it didn't make a huge splash when it arrived and received mixed reviews from the media. However, it had a pretty devoted following of fans, especially in our forums, and the game has been praised for its excellent story and stylish look. Lost Echo is one of those games that probably didn't get the full recognition it deserved when it released, but that hasn't deterred developer KickBack Studios from continuing to work on it. ..




In Western culture, both Friday and the number 13 are considered unlucky. So when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday, it's like a double whammy of unlucky. Whether you're superstitious or not, Friday the 13th (which is today in case you didn't notice!) is a fun excuse to indulge in something frightful, and since we're a mobile gaming site let me offer up the just-released Dark Fear [$2.99]. Dark Fear is a classic-style point-and-click adventure with a heavy horror vibe. We talked about it a few weeks ago but here's the trailer again in case you missed it...

Ravenous Games is a developer I've always wanted to like more than I perhaps do; League of Evil [$2.99] still holds a place of greatness as one of the original trial platformers on mobile and a damn fine example of pixel art. Later games have always felt like they've had that missing spark that has prevented the great art and ideas behind the games to be something great. But Tiny Rogue [$2.99] appealed to me for two particular reasons: one, I dig the pixel art and the pocket-sized, turn-based roguelike concept. But the other reason was that Ravenous was now doing something completely different from what they had before, and I think moving into a different genre is a good thing for them...

'Ghost of Memories' Review - Dazzling and Vague

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November 10th, 2015 1:00 PM EST by Chris Carter in $2.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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The isometric take on puzzles games isn't new, but Monument Valley did it with such panache, that it started a revolution in the mobile arena. It's such a good premise for a limited amount of screen real estate, as the view allows you to take in gigantic landscapes without getting lost, or wanting for more. Ghost of Memories [$2.99] follows that same principle, but it's  not quite as exciting as its competition...

Thank you Terry Cavanagh! One of my all-time favorite games ever, on any platform, is Terry Cavanagh's Super Hexagon [$2.99]. It practically started the twitch gaming trend on mobile way back in 2012, and will always be a mainstay on my devices for as long as it's feasible. Anyway, Super Hexagon hasn't seen a whole lot of love since its release, besides the odd iOS compatibility update. It never supported "true" Retina resolution on iOS, but a few jaggy edges didn't really diminish the retro-style game. A bigger problem was that at some point, I believe after iOS 7's release, the game's performance suffered and occasionally the game would stutter briefly while playing. Unlike the jaggies, this was not ideal for a fast-paced twitch game like Super Hexagon. Though it was never crippling, it was a frequent annoyance. ..

I never like it when a game's ending manages to affect the opinion of the rest of the experience. Agent A [$2.99], up until its ending, is an uber-stylish, gorgeous, and fun point-and-click adventure game that does a lot to avoid the clunkiness and frustration that many games in the genre have. But when it turns out that this is an incomplete story, it takes a legitimately great game and makes it a frustrating experience that leaves you wanting more, like a tasty meal that wasn't filling...

'Five Card Quest' Review - Kitchen Sink not Included

I dont usually prejudge games before playing them, but I would be lying if I said I didnt get excited by the sheer mention of a new Rocketcat game. Five Card Quest[$2.99] is that game and it is cool + awesome. Even though it could be described as a Card Battler/Tactical RPG/Roguelike, it doesn't play like a hybrid game. It is a sleek and challenging dungeon delver that really stresses making the right decision and playing the right card each turn. ..

Beat 'em ups were the perfect way to pass the time back in the day. They were simple in nature, often two players, and despite their mindless core, were often some of the most fun games on any individual platform. There's hardly any nuances to the gameplay for most of them -- you basically just need to dodge slightly and attack when there's an opening -- but the linear nature is a nice break if you're looking to relax. That's sort of the same feeling that Leave Me Alone [$2.99] left me with, but it has its own signature personality as well...

How difficult do you like your games? Do you like them punishingly difficult, to where you will have to play a level dozens of times in order to beat it? Congratulations, Astra [$2.99], a level-based orbital platformer, is for you. It's fun to play and features some of my favorte mechanics in orbital platformers. Here, you run around a planet and jump to other planets to make it through the levels, bopping enemies and nabbing collectibles on the way. I tend to not be the biggest fan of orbital games at times, because I find it difficult to be accurate with launching off to where you want to go. I get that's kind of the point, but sometimes I struggle to have fun with these games. But I enjoyed the way Astra's orbital platforming works. ..

'Super Happy Fun Block' Review - It's Super Fun, And That Makes Me Happy

Even though I should know better by now, I still frequently make judgements from the names of games. An evocative title will catch my attention and get me curious enough to at least give a game a try, while a generic one might leave a game lost in the shuffle. It's especially a problem on a platform with as many on-going releases as iOS. Super Happy Fun Block [$1.99] has a pretty plain name. It's so plain that even after it was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I really respect, I downloaded the game and left it unplayed for a while. When I finally did get around to it, I found a pretty amazing puzzle-platformer with a nice sense of style that few people seem to have noticed. Well, hopefully the old adage about late being better than never has some truth to it, because while the name might be bland, the game is fantastic and more people ought to be playing it...

The Men Who Wear Many Hats, developers of zombie-filled Oregon Trail parody game Organ Trail: Director's Cut [$2.99], have just released a massive new expansion pack for their game just in time for Halloween. The new "Final Cut" expansion pack will run you $2.99 and essentially doubles the content in the game. It features brand new cities and the ability to choose your route as you go, as well as double the number of story encounters and road events. There are now 10 playable characters (6 unlockable) and 5 new unlockable cars in addition to the stock station wagon. ..

With all the recent drama surrounding iOS 9 breaking a bunch of games, you might be apt to think this sort of thing is a new problem. It isn't, iOS updates have been breaking games for years! Around this time last year, iOS 8 broke one of our all-time favorite games, Helsing's Fire [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)]. From developer Lucas Pope, who also created Papers, Please [$7.99 (HD)], Helsing's Fire originally launched way back in July of 2010 and quickly won our hearts with its unique "illuminating" puzzle gameplay and its oodles of personality. ..

If there's one thing, above all else, that you should take away from The Doom Beneath [$2.99], it's that you shouldn't run away from bears. Stand your ground, play dead, or fight back even, but if you run away from a bear, there's a strong chance it will give chase and you'll end up falling into a subterranean cavern filled with cultists and Lovecraftian horrors. If the worst happens and you do fall into such a cavern, you should then play dead. It's good rehearsal for what's ahead, I promise...

The biggest strength of interactive fiction is in how it lets the player shape the story of the game. While other genres are improving in that regard, they're limited largely due to the costs associated with visual and audio assets. It simply doesn't make sense to spend millions of dollars on content that only a small percentage of players will experience. Text isn't quite free, but it's certainly a lot cheaper. That said, with all of that freedom, there are still an awful lot of games in the genre that have you playing a similar character in the broad sense. Violence may not be a useful answer in our modern society, but it will sure get you far in plenty of games. Ratings War [$2.99] does something different, and in doing so, feels a lot more real in spite of its far-flung futuristic setting. You play as a journalist, and although you get to decide what kind of journalist you are, there's very little room for action-heroics in this story...

If you've been watching entertainment news or you enjoy sci-fi books, you'll know that Andy Weir's The Martian, which has just hit the movie theaters, is set to conquer the box office the same way the book has captured the public's imagination. I mean, the movie and book couldn't have hoped for a better marketing boost than NASA announcing that there's running water on Mars. You do have to wonder whether it's all a marketing ploy, don't you? If you don't know anything about the movie or book (very slight spoilers follow), it's about an astronaut stranded on Mars in the near future and the world's attempt to bring him back to Earth. Now we have an official mobile game, The Martian: Bring Him Home [Free], that puts you in the shoes of NASA's ground control crew and scientists as they attempt to help bring Matt Damon (I mean Mark Watney) back to Earth in one piece and preferably still breathing...

'AZZL' Review - Razzl Dazzl

'AZZL' Review - Razzl Dazzl

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October 1st, 2015 10:41 AM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
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I’ll admit I was a bit dismissive when I first saw the trailer for Jutiful's AZZL [$2.99]. I mean, sure, it looks really well made and has a neat idea at its core, but… it just seems like a children’s game. Ultimately, though, I couldn’t resist the the promise of a colorful, relaxing puzzler and dove in. But should I review it? Would the intelligent and discerning (and quite good looking) readers of this esteemed mobile review site even be interested in something like this? I think they might be, and I hope you’ll (they’ll?) allow me to spend the next seven paragraphs explaining why...

'SPL-T' Review - Simogo's Super Simple Secret Stuffed Puzzler

No developer out there is so quick to buck trends and make risky, imaginative, original titles like Simogo. Heck, they don't even have an internally consistent style or handful of genre's they stay with. They've covered puzzle, rhythm, adventure, endless, all with different atmospheres. They're basically allergic to sequels and sameness. The single thread connecting their games is their talent for great, memorable game design. So when you look at SPL-T [$2.99], and I tell you it's the latest amazing game from Simogo, I fully expect you to look confused or laugh in my face...

What do you get when you cross the idea of sentient objects from Toy Story with eastern philosophies of reincarnation, but instead of toys, the objects are tools of all kinds, from phones to frying pans to bullets to weapons of mass destruction? You get one of the stranger games available on the App Store. Throw in a great minimalist silhouette art style and puzzles of death and blood shed, and you’ve got Redden [$2.99], a nifty title from earlier this summer that I nearly overlooked entirely...

The guys over at Simogo have earned a special place in most iOS gamers' hearts because they have delivered some amazing games such as Year Walk and the fantastic Device 6. Recently, though, they've shifted to games that straddle the divide between game and narrative and have even gone full-narrative recently with the release of a collection of stories called Year Walk Bedtime Stories for Awful Children. As a literature fanatic, I can't complain about this latest release (and I love the title too), but most gamers have been waiting to see when Simogo would shift back to producing games. Well, the wait is over becase Simogo has just released a new puzzle game called SPL-T [$2.99]. However, it wouldn't be Simogo if the game was just a straightforward game, would it?..

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