Category Archives: $2.99

'Traps N' Gemstones' Review - An Excellent Metroid-Style Indy Game

I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99] isn't exactly the kind of game I've come to expect from prolific mobile developers Donut Games. Don't get me wrong, their games have a very consistent quality to them, and like their namesake, there isn't really a bad one in the bunch. Still, in the past, they've tended to put together highly-focused gameplay experiences, often building a game around mastery of a single concept, whether it be cutting grass, flinging monkeys, or batting a ball between cats. Short little score-attack affairs, for the most part, have been the bread and butter of Donut Games, and they've found a lot of success with that type of game...

It's been just over a month since Double Stallion's Big Action Mega Fight! [$2.99], or BAMF! for short, switched from being a free to play game and rejiggered itself to be a pay-once game with no in-app purchases. According to a recent interview with Pocketgamer, it looks like that decision is working out for the best. BAMF!'s designer Nicolas Barrière-Kucharski tells Pocketgamer "On a business level, during our $1.99 launch week June 25th to July 1st, revenue from the premium version of game across all versions surpassed lifetime revenue up to that point." That means in that in just that first week after switching to a paid game, BAMF! made more money than it had in the six months it existed as a free to play title. That's quite a turnaround...

We loved Paint it Back [Free] when it came out last year. After all, who doesn't love Picross? Only a complete monster. So, I have good news for you quality members of society: Paint it Back has new levels. The new levels come in a bonus room called The Archives. These levels are meant for advanced players who have torn through most of the game's rooms already, requiring 100 medals to unlock. Complete all of The Archives, and you'll unlock the Basement Dweller achievement...

I was sort of blown away last month when Semi Secret's seminal endless runner Canabalt [$2.99] received a substantial update for the first time in nearly three years, but apparently that was just a warmup. Today Canabalt version 2.0 has hit the App Store and it adds in all the additional modes and local multiplayer functionality that Android and Ouya players have been enjoying for the past couple of years, and which were hinted at for iOS players way back in 2012. The additional modes consist of eight variations of the original mode, which is now dubbed Origin, and they all focus on a single element of the Canabalt gameplay...

Panic Art Studios' Hero Siege [$2.99] is a frantic dual-stick shooter that released late last year. That initial version was fun, but certainly rough around the edges. Panic Art worked diligently to iron out its issues with many updates over the course of the last six months or so, and what we ended up with was a dual-stick shooter that we enjoyed very much, but felt that there was "tons of potential for Hero Siege to be more than what it is." Well, according to a post from Panic Art in our forums, some of that potential will be realized with a beefy update heading to the game adding tons of new stuff, chief among them cross-platform multiplayer. Here's a recent trailer dishing out all the details of the new update...

'Hellraid: The Escape' Review - First Person Puzzling at its Finest

Folks paying attention to the PC scene may have heard of a soon-to-be-released game called Hellraid. From the makers of Techland, it’s a dark fantasy co-op action title placing players in the role of repelling a demonic invasion. However, in its iOS debut, Hellraid: The Escape [$0.99] doesn’t share the action-oriented approach as its PC and console cousin. In fact, the action is eschewed pretty much in its entirety for a first person puzzler. While this change in genre may disappoint some hoping for something with a bad more action, Hellraid: The Escape offers a pretty impressive experience on iOS...

This past May, SMG Studio managed to do something with the release of OTTTD [$4.99] that few have managed before: they made me enjoy a tower defense game. For a genre that has been a staple of the iOS platform for years, there's surprisingly few tower defense games that have resonated with me, but OTTTD was definitely among them. With its cheeky humor, sci-fi theme and high level of polish, OTTTD wasn't just a great mobile tower defense game, it could easily shine on any platform you put it on...

Long time indie aficionados may remember Oscura, a somewhat obscure platformer with a beautiful art style reminiscent of Limbo. While the original is no longer on the App Store, Surprise Attack Games recently released a sequel in Oscura Second Shadow [$2.99]. Keeping to the themes of its predecessor, Second Shadow retains its visual flair and with a new set of levels, traps and baddies to avoid...

Just imagine how great the world would be if everything lived up to its potential. We'd have flying cars, safe clean-burning energy for all, a Stanley Cup-winning team in Vancouver, and Elthinia [$2.99] wouldn't be a terrible mess of a game. Unfortunately, here in the real world, potential sometimes amounts to very little except disappointment. If you play Elthinia, and I strongly assert that you should not, you can see the potential all over the place. The battle artwork is really good, the story is extremely detailed, character progression and customization are surprisingly deep, and the world seems like a place I'd like to explore. The first problem is that this is very clearly not a finished product. To be very fair, I waited until the game had its first patch since it was supposed to be coming quickly and fixing some very important things. Well, the game is still full of bugs, both major and minor, but the game is out there on the store for anyone to buy, so it's fair game for criticism...

Card battles and rogue-likes probably aren’t a combination you necessarily think about, but that’s exactly what you get in Dream Quest [$2.99]. It may sound weird, but it actually works very well, with some potentially deep gameplay that keeps you coming back for more. Unfortunately, outside of the battle system there’s a lot to be desired, but Dream Quest still has enough going for it to be worth exploring...

DUNGEONy [Free] is a curious game because while it's a turn-based roguelike, and certainly those are not rare, but it's more of a puzzle game set around roguelike mechanics than an actual roguelike...

I can cross one more game off my "Please please please I would do anything to have you updated for widescreen" list as the grandfather of iOS runners, Semi Secret's Canabalt [$2.99], has finally been updated with support for 4-inch screens. Canabalt is widely considered the game that sparked off the auto-runner genre on iOS following its successful launch way back in October 2009. It's also fondly remembered around TouchArcade as the basis for countless arguments on whether or not a free Flash game should cost $2.99 for an iPhone version. Good times...

Many of the games in the puzzle genre of video games are evolutions of classic board games, with various alterations made to the rules to simply, complicate, or simply diversify. Of course, this is really just carrying on the work that was happening in physical board games themselves before video games came along and blew a huge chunk out of that market. For example, Reversi, or Othello as it's popularly known, is a simplified version of the ancient Chinese game, Go. The latest game from Synesthetic [$2.99] creator Alex Dantis, Polygon Evolution [Free], is also a variation on Go, simplified in some ways, complicated in others, and like its ancestor, a lot more fun to play against a human than a computer...

'Darkin' Review - Dungeon Raid: Breaking Dawn

Often imitated and never truly duplicated, Dungeon Raid [$1.99] is a near-perfect distillation of the puzzle-RPG concept and one of the better puzzle games around. To its credit, even three years after its last update, the game still functions properly on new hardware and updated versions of iOS, which sadly isn't the case for all too many older games. With that said, while it's still perfectly playable, the game is showing a lot of wear and tear from its abandonment. It doesn't fill out the screen on new hardware, the graphics don't take advantage of retina displays, and Open Feint still lingers in its icon and main menu in spite of that service having shuffled off the digital coil. We have to face facts, my friends. Someday, Dungeon Raid is not going to work anymore, and we need to find a replacement...

'VVVVVV' Review - A VVVery Good Port

'VVVVVV' Review - A VVVery Good Port

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June 18th, 2014 11:44 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, Platform, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Terry Cavanaugh's VVVVVV was first released, but here we are in 2014 with an iOS port. While a lot of people would be quick to note that due to its precision nature, the mobile platform wouldn't be conducive to pixel-perfect jumping , I'm pleased to say that after playing it -- they're wrong. VVVVVV [$2.99] on iOS is a wonderful port-job, and newcomers and veterans alike will be able to enjoy it...

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