Category Archives: $2.99

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 [$1.99]; 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 [$0.99] 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...

Back in 2012, Danish developer Press Play was acquired by Microsoft and used to create exclusive games for Microsoft's fledgling Windows Phone platform. One of those games was called Tentacles, and it was about controlling a little blob creature by touching the screen to grab onto objects and pull through the level using its set of 4 wiggly tentacles. It was a really unique game that worked wonderfully on a touchscreen, and when it was apparent that its exclusivity wasn't exactly bringing in the customers to the Windows Phone platform, Microsoft opted to bring the game to iOS in October of 2012 with the title Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin [$2.99]. It was an interesting and entertaining game that we enjoyed in our original review...

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 [$3.99], 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 [$1.99] officially went live in the App Store...

Power Hover [$4.99] 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 [$2.99], 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 [$6.99] 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...

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