Category Archives: $2.99

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?..

Few games have the notoriety of the Grand Theft Auto franchise; if you were around when they started coming out, you'll remember the uproar, all the newspaper articles (those were still a thing back then), and the news "experts" who decried all the violence and bad language. Fast forward a few years, and no one really blinks an eye anymore about these games, a sign of the times I suppose. GTA III [$4.99], GTA: Vice City [$4.99] , GTA: San Andreas [$6.99] have made the trip from consoles to the iOS streets these last few years, and Rockstar Games even made a GTA game specifically for playing on the go, GTA: Chinatown Wars [$4.99] which originally released on the Nintendo DS but was faithfully ported to mobile...




Just under a year ago, an enjoyable take-off of the classic board game HeroQuest was released. Called Arcane Quest 2 [Free], it offered up a single-player take on the concept, putting you in control of four different characters as they made their way through dungeons. It introduced a few new elements to make it more than just a copy, while retaining most of the core that made the original board game so much fun to play. The production values weren't the best, and without multiplayer it was missing a key part of the HeroQuest experience, but it nevertheless proved to be a pretty enjoyable turn-based RPG. This year sees a return to the series, not with a follow-up, but rather with a spin-off. Arcane Quest Adventures [Free] uses similar core mechanics to the previous game, but focuses on providing a solo hero adventure. In some ways, it's better than the last game, but in others, it falls well short...

'Oraia Rift' Review - The Good, The Bad, And The Dull

There's a surprisingly competent action-adventure game contained within Oraia Rift [$1.99]. There are lots of abilities to collect, most of which will be used to solve puzzles here and there throughout the game. The puzzles themselves are engaging enough, though fans of games like Legend Of Zelda will find very few new ideas among them. Lots of block-pushing, torch-lighting, switch-pulling, and that sort of thing. There are plenty of enemies to fight, including some bosses, though the combat isn't terribly satisfying on the whole. The world itself is a big, semi-connected maze that will have you backtracking to use keys or new-found abilities to open the way forward. It's a reasonably attractive game, too, particularly considering it's an indie effort. There are a few hours of solid enjoyment to be found here...

When you start playing ECA-Games' Rock(s) Rider HD [$2.99], a few things pop out immediately, first of those being how great this mobile game looks. You know how many developers brag about their game's "console-quality" visuals? Well, Rock(s) Rider HD's visuals can definitely be called console-quality. Of course, we have to start rethinking these console comparisons since mobile hardware is improving rapidly, but that's a discussion for another day. So, if you enjoy your games visually spectacular, you can't really go wrong with Rock(s) Rider HD as this is the kind of game you can use to show off your phone or tablet to those who aren't into mobile gaming...

Back in May we got a very early glimpse and some details on an upcoming title called Oraia Rift when developer Compass Games looked to our community for beta testers. That early glimpse of the game showed a very Zelda-influenced action RPG with a colorful look and real-time combat. Well, a lot changed over the course of a few months and last month our own Tasos went hands-on with an in-progress version of Oraia Rift. Some of the changes included switching the tap-to-move system to a virtual stick and changing the combat to a more typical hack 'n slash variety with a magic spell system layered on top. It all sounded quite good, and as of today you can find out for yourself as Oraia Rift [$1.99] has officially launched in the App Store...

The original Knights of Pen & Paper is a humorously self-referrential look at the world of pen and paper RPG players, and despite some of its flaws, it's gained quite a following of fans over the years. So when Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [$4.99] arrived back in May, it had a lot to live up to as well as a lot of areas to offer improvement. In Shaun's review of the game, he noted several downsides to the sequel, one of those being a lack of content and overall short play experience. Today, the second big expansion for Knights of Pen & Paper 2 has arrived, rectifying some of those negative issues...

It's sadly a normal way of life for the App Store that games sometimes disappear, particularly in the case of older indie titles. Sometimes they come back, usually they don't. So when Fall Of Angels, one of the older 3D JRPG-style games on the App Store, went missing earlier this year, I thought we might have seen the last of it. Fortunately, the developer was pretty swift in swinging by the TouchArcade forums to explain the situation, and while that version of the game is indeed gone, it's been replaced with a shiny, new version called Fall Of Angels HD [$2.99], complete with lots of new content...

'Gathering Sky' - They’re Flocking This Way

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September 2nd, 2015 7:40 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews
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I don’t want to waste your time here, so I’m just going to come right out with it: Gathering Sky [$2.99 (HD)] by A Stranger Gravity is a game that’s probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, it’s barely even a “game” at all. There were long stretches during my playthrough that I didn’t even touch the screen or have any input whatsoever. It’s one of those games that’s more of an experience, maaaan. But stick with me here, ‘cause it’s actually a really good experience...

'Tiny Empire' Review - Waging War With Cannons

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September 2nd, 2015 6:00 PM EDT by Eric Ford in $2.99, 3.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

At first glance, Tiny Empire [$2.99] by Mother Gaia Studios acts suspiciously like another giant game franchise that resides within the physics-based launching genre. There’s projectile aiming, enemies you want to destroy, and a few twists on the ammunition being tossed. However, beyond the gameplay similarities is decent example of a title taking a genre that has been dominated by a huge developer and creating just enough change that it can stand on its own...

Not every game needs to have tight design. Those might be blasphemous words coming from a game reviewer, but there's truth in them. I have great respect for games where every little aspect has been placed to work in perfect harmony with every other part, but games can also be unbalanced, messy things and still be a heck of a lot of fun to play. That's the case with Demon's Rise [$2.99], a turn-based strategy RPG from newcomer Wave Light Games. It draws its principle mechanics from popular SRPGs like Warhammer Quest [$2.99] and X-COM [$9.99], lets you form your party from a whopping 25 different characters each with their own skills, then throws a pile of content at you to merrily hack, zap, and smash your way through. It's horrifically unbalanced, but it's hard to care much about that as you guide your wacky group of characters through the monster-filled dungeons...

It's pretty difficult to pull off the first part of an intended series of stories. You have make sure you end it with a lot of possbilities in the air, but at the same time, you have to give people a satisying enough standalone plot that they'll want to stick around. It's especially important in games, where the player should feel some sense of accomplishment at the end of each part, particularly when the continuation might be a ways off. Versus - The Lost Ones [$3.99] is the latest release from prolific gamebook publisher Choice Of Games, and it's meant to kick off an on-going series. It's a successful opening in as much as I'm rather interested to see where the story goes from here, but taken as a standalone work, it's a little mixed...

'Horizon Chase' Review - What's Old is New Again

Aquiris Game Studio was on a mission with Horizon Chase [Free]. They wanted to recreate classic racing games like Outrun, Top Gear, Jaguar XJ220, and others from the late-1980s and early-1990s, even getting the Top Gear composer, Barry Leitch, to create the soundtrack for the game. And oh, did they knock it out of the park. They've created a game that spectacularly recreates the feel of the racing games of 25 years ago, while abandoning the annoying aspects of those games, creating this wonderful hybrid that shows that they managed to create their dream game...

Looking past Mobius Of Magic [$2.99] 's lifting of Final Fantasy's mage designs, there's a somewhat creative idea at its core. Battles play out as duels between magic users, and in this game the best offense is a good defense. You can block most incoming attacks by swiping in the direction it's coming from, and in doing so, not only does it nullify most of the damage, but it also charges up your mana so that you can deliver stronger counter-attacks. Thus, battles are enjoyably fast-paced affairs where you need to pay careful attention to your foe and react quickly and precisely. It makes a valiant go of building a game around that interesting mechanic, but it ultimately doesn't quite manage to take things much farther than what you'll see in the earliest combats...

'.Decluster Zero - Bullet Nocturne' Review - Oh, Bullet Hell Yes

It's been almost three years since famed bullet-hell shooter developer Cave released their last in-house iOS game in the genre they became well-known for. At the time of the company's restructuring, I was worried about the future of shoot-em-ups on mobile, and I doubt I was the only one. Luckily for mobile gamers, it turned out to be a non-issue, as we've seen several excellent releases in the genre, some of which have arguably been better than even Cave's offerings. One such game is .Decluster - Into The Bullet Hell [$2.99], an out-of-nowhere release from Japanese indie developer Masayuki Ito. It combined a simple but eye-catching visual style with enjoyable scoring mechanics and exciting enemy patterns to create a thrilling take on a well-worn concept...

'Doom & Destiny Advanced' Review - An Immature RPG In Every Sense Of The Word

The first monster you fight in Doom & Destiny Advanced [$2.99] is a giant poop. Not long after, your characters complain that something has attacked "(GameString not set)", before they run into expies of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage en route to rescuing Princess MacGuffin from alternate universe versions of themselves. One of the characters remarks that he's very likely to crap his pants. And then everyone dies. Or something. I don't know. I do know that you soon run into an angry skeleton who laments the loss of his wiener, and a nobleman who disintegrates at the sound of your barbarian's mighty belch. I think you've got the idea by now, friends. Doom & Destiny [$2.99] was a ridiculously over-the-top RPG with surprisingly solid mechanics and an absurd script rendered even more wacky by its... interesting translation. Somehow, its follow-up feels even more extreme in every regard, and I'm not sure if I find it charming or completely idiotic. If the first game was the Bill & Ted of RPGs, this one is the Pauly Shore...

Noodlecake has been porting games over to Android for a while now, among them the superb Wayward Souls [$6.99] and the more recent Shooting Stars [$2.99]. As Noodlecake noted in a recent blog, finding an audience for premium games on iOS is getting trickier by the day, but it still has faith that there's an audience out there for the company's games, which is why it went with a $2.99 price for Shooting Stars. However, the situation over on the Android side of the universe is even more desperate; of all the Android installs of Wayward Souls, Rocketcat Games' roguelike hit, only 11% were paid and the rest were pirated. These numbers prove once more that when developers claim there's no money to be made on Android for premium games, they are pretty much spot on. It's hard to motivate a developer to go through the wringer of porting to the many different Android devices only to see the game pirated...

Back when I reviewed the third Five Nights At Freddy's game, I foolishly predicted it might be the last. I'm not falling for it this time, Scott Cawthorn, you wily developer. I've already seen you change the wording in the description ever so slightly to call Five Nights At Freddy's 4 the last game in the original story. Freddy will be back, and regrettably, I probably will be, too. Everyone else at TouchArcade Towers seems to think it's hi-lar-i-ous to see me spew out a stream of curses at semi-regular intervals, so the Freddy reviews tend to fall to me. Well, having played the games all quite a bit, I have to admit that my appreciation for the series has grown. It's actually grown to the point that I'm pretty disappointed with some of the decisions made for the iOS port of the latest game...

A couple of weeks ago, we learned via animated .gifs that the wonderful, adorable, and twisted puzzle platformer Furdemption [$2.99] was set to get a huge expansion called The Widow's Den. Since that time, developer RareSloth has created a proper trailer to showcase the new content and features in The Widow's Den, and announced that the update will be available next week on August 13th...

Recently, we've seen sim-factory Kairosoft make efforts to mix things up a bit in their releases. In some cases, they've broken away from their established templates, while in others, they've revisited a familiar framework but gone considerably deeper with the simulation elements. Fish Pond Park [$2.99] is yet another release that feels like it's outside of the norm for this little developer, though it's not quite as successful with its approach as other recent efforts. You're building and maintaining a business yet again, in this case a nature preserve of sorts, but the sim elements are lighter than they've been in quite some time. Instead of the usual case where the theme serves the simulation, in Fish Pond Park, all of your building and resource management is for the sake of some good old fishing...

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