Category Archives: $2.99

Cipher Prime Studios has amazed us before with hits such as Fractal, Splice and Pulse, each exploring various avenues related to puzzle and music/rhythm gameplay. With Intake: Be Aggressive [$2.99 (HD)], Cypher takes aim squarely at the arcade/shooter genre and hits the mark beautifully. Frenzied visuals, fast-paced gameplay with the right amount of strategy, and an awesome soundtrack make for an excellent iPad experience that’s well worth picking up...

If you've been holding out on picking up Ossian Studios' Western-style RPG The Shadow Sun [$7.99], now is the time to pull the trigger as the game has been discounted down to just $2.99. The Shadow Sun is a project that first piqued our interest all the way back in October of 2010. Development was slow as Ossian tried to make sure they crafted an intriguing story and rich world to explore, and this past December after nearly four years of development The Shadow Sun was finally released. Fortunately, it was worth the wait, as we really enjoyed it in our review...

The other day, one of the fine members of our forums here at TouchArcade pointed out to me that we hadn't reviewed Blek [$2.99] yet and was wondering what was up with that. Yes, what is up with that? So, with all due apologies that this review is a bit late, I decided to give this game a spin and see if words would come out, and wouldn't you know it, they did. Anyway, there are lots of different ways for a puzzle game to succeed, but for me, the most interesting ones are the games that cause me to think in ways I usually don't. I like games like that because you can clearly feel your skills developing. You start off not really knowing what you're doing and just kind of blindly stabbing around in the dark, then you hit that moment where things click, and from there, you're off to the races. It's a euphoric feeling, and it's one that Blek captures quite well...

A sweet new easter egg was recently discovered for the brilliantly remastered version of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99] which allows you to play Hidden Palace Zone in its original, unfinished form. For some quick backstory, Hidden Palace Zone was a level originally intended to be included in the 1992 release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, but was scrapped at the last minute as it wasn't going to be finished by the release deadline. It was so close to being finished that assets for the level were distributed to media and featured in magazines, and a partially complete version of Hidden Palace Zone was included in a prototype version of the game. That prototype, as the story goes, was stolen from a New York toy fair in 1992 and subsequently released online, meaning that the parts of Hidden Palace Zone that existed could be experienced through various hacked roms...

Ah, Kemco, my old nemesis. After the release of the surprisingly high-effort Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], for the first time in quite a while, Kemco did not come out with a new RPG at the beginning of last month. Maybe they wanted to give the game time to breathe. Maybe they were anxious about what to follow it with. Whatever the case, iOS gamers have had to face a dystopian reality where we had no new Kemco RPG for a month and a half. Our long nightmare is over, however, because we've got a new release, and its name is Fortuna Magus [$2.99]. Android gamers got this one several months ago, actually, so we're a bit late to the party on this one, but don't worry too much. It's a pretty lame party...

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...

When Camouflaj launched their long-awaited stealth game Republique [$4.99] this past December, it was sort of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the developers brilliantly crafted a dystopian future where your job was to help main character Hope break free from an oppressive regime using a highly unique method of directing her actions through interconnected surveillance cameras. It was a stealth action game minus the action, and it worked surprisingly well. The big problem with Republique was that–and this is true of most episodic games–the whole experience was over just as it felt like it was getting started, and the abrupt ending made it feel like an incomplete experience (because, technically, it is)...

The iOS platform is one of the best platforms for shoot-em-ups of all time. Yes, I'm going there. In previous reviews of shoot-em-ups I've written here, I may have come off a bit harsh, but that's the reason for it. This is a platform where we have excellent versions of classic shooters like Raiden Legacy [$4.99], Blazing Star [$0.99], the R-Type [$1.99] games, and Cave's finest arcade games. We have ports of modern games like Sine Mora [$5.99] and Dariusburst [$10.99], and even a good selection of original titles like Space Invaders Infinity Gene [$4.99], Phoenix HD [Free], Danmaku Unlimited 2 [$4.99], and Dodonpachi Maximum [$11.99]. That's the cream of the crop, but there are plenty of other excellent shooters available for your mobile device. All of these are available for some of the lowest prices we've ever enjoyed shoot-em-ups at. Simply put, this is a buyer's market of epic proportions, and when you can plunk down a few bucks to get R-Type 2 [$1.99] or drop a ten-spot and change to get a Cave shooter, it becomes a lot harder to justify spending time or money on the mediocre...

Last October, Bean's Quest and Time Surfer developer Kumobius released Duet [$2.99], a twitchy and extremely challenging arcade game. It received critical success far and wide, including our own review, and seemed to do fairly well in the charts too. Nothing earth shattering, but decent. Then in late February through mid-March, Duet saw a huge resurgence, and actually came to hit the top three in the overall paid charts, coinciding with a price drop to 99¢. Duet always felt like it should have done better in the charts than it had, and finally it was getting its due. I actually think it had something to do with the whole Flappy Bird phenomenon and the sudden obsession with super challenging twitch games...

The latest update to One Man Left's arcade avoidance game Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous [$2.99] is now available in the App Store. The update adds a brand new mode called Brimstone Pinball where you'll need to use your arrow character to ricochet a fiery pinball of death around the screen and destroy enemies. The new mode is based on a power-up from the original Tilt to Live, but now it's been fully fleshed-out and feels like a brand new game all on its own. We checked out Brimstone Pinball at GDC last month and the official trailer for the new mode can be seen right here...

Shoot-em-ups are an old, old genre. It's not unreasonable to say that they are the oldest genre in video games, actually. They were huge, everyone made one, and then some time later, they were no longer huge. Not long after that, they were nearly extinct. They've enjoyed a minor renaissance in recent years thanks to the opening of more viable channels for lower budget games, but even now, they're nowhere near their former prominance. It's clear that the final blow was dealt by their progeny, the first-person shooter, but even before that, they had taken a heavy tumble. People simply got tired of the same old gameplay and settings. The biggest successes in the post-boom period of the genre try to mix up the themes and settings a bit, so that instead of always being a spaceship or a fighter plane, sometimes you're a gothic lolita witch or a princess riding on the back of a giant bug. It's a small shot of freshness for a genre that, for many, feels stale...

When Transport Tycoon [$6.99] came out on iOS, I was thrilled. In my review, I stated how happy I would be, and how happy fans of the series might be, if Rollercoaster Tycoon were to come out on iOS...

Earlier this week, Mode 7 Games announced (via Facebook and co-founder Paul Taylor's Twitter account) that Frozen Synapse [$9.99 (HD)] was coming to iPhones. The top-down tactical strategy game was well-received when it was released on PC and Mac a few years ago, and again when it made its iOS debut as an iPad-only game last year. Line of sight and adequate cover are one thing, but Frozen Synapse's real draw is the mental chess match that occurs between opposing players: the game is turn-based, but all of the action happens simultaneously, so you'll be guessing your enemy's strategy while devising your own. It's neat stuff...

Back at GDC last month, we sat down with developer One Man Left and took the new Brimstone Pinball mode in their frantic arcade game Tilt to Live 2 [$2.99] for a spin. In this mode, you'll be tilting to avoid things just like always, but you'll need to bounce around a fiery, evil pinball to destroy enemies. Our GDC video wasn't the greatest in terms of audio quality, but it did give you a good idea of the new mode. However, One Man Left has released an official trailer for Brimstone Pinball today, so you can get an even better look at how it works...

Captain America is one of those Avengers that used to have a support role, but lately he has become a headliner thanks to his original movie getting a recently released sequel. That might not be a perfect spot for this rather stiff character that has to rely on his personal history to become interesting, and relevant. Compared to the Hulk, or Wolverine who are characters with an ongoing internal struggle...

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