Category Archives: $2.99

'Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure' Review - It's Auro Good

The first half of 2014 was pretty packed with roguelikes, with games like Wayward Souls [$6.99], Cardinal Quest 2 [Free], and Hoplite [$2.99] all taking their respective stab at the venerable sub-genre. This year has been a little more quiet on that front, with only a few offerings of any note at all. The best of this year's bunch until now has been Lamp And Vamp [$1.99] which, while very fun, was riffing pretty closely on Hoplite. Well, mark it on your calendars, friends, because I think we've got our first fresh hit of 2015 in the genre with Auro [$4.99], the latest game from the developers behind 100 Rogues [$2.99]. This one's been cooking at Dinofarm Games for quite a long time now, but I think it's certainly worth the wait...

Much as I love it, I have to admit that video pinball is a very, very strange thing. They're sort of like those homemade recipes for Ecto Cooler that you can find around the internet: a shadow of the real thing, an attempt to replicate an incredibly tactile but now nearly-extinct experience. For most people, there haven't been any pinball tables around their locale since Clinton was in office. I wouldn't be shocked if many of our readers have never laid eyes on one in their lifetime. But for those of us who love them, if we can't wrap our fingers around a real machine and build the callouses on the palms of our hands by slamming them into the side of a wooden box to nudge a steel ball a half-centimeter off its course, we'll take what we can get. We'll take the video pinball. Because even though there's an unquestionable component of the game intrinsically tied to physical sensations, the games themselves have strong merit on their gameplay. The lights and sounds pulled us in, but the gameplay is what kept us coming back...




'Radiation Island' Review - Get Chased by Katana-Wielding Zombies and Have Fun!

Take the most irrational and demanding mobile gaming fan – you know the kind, the person that only wants paid games and hates in-app purchases and ads in any form – and ask them for a dream wishlist of everything they'd want from a mobile game. What they will describe to you is basically what Radiation Island [$2.99] from Atypical Games delivers on. It's a game that pushes iOS devices to their absolute limits, provides PC-style gameplay on the go with gamepad support, doesn't do much hand-holding, delivers dozens of hours of gameplay, offers online multiplayer, and oh yeah, it's only $2.99 for the entire package. And there's not in-app purchases to be found anywhere in the vicinity of the game, because those are for suckers, right?. Atypical Games decided to make a game for this most vocal and demanding of irrational consumer...

In the early months of each year, I like to comb around for anything we might have missed in the rush leading up to the holidays. This extremely intensive effort typically involves heading to the TouchArcade forums and looking for big threads on games we haven't reviewed. Every time I've visited recently, one game keeps surfacing to slap me with its fins: Shark Eaters: Rise Of The Dolphins [$2.99]. While I had originally passed over the game due to its frankly aggravating controls, I saw it received an update that was supposed to address the problem, so I've given it another solid try. While I have to admit it's better than it was, it's still not doing much for me...

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

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February 5th, 2015 1:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Stealth is one genre that still isn't oversaturated, at least in my own mind. While there have been plenty of stealth games as far back as the NES era, pretty much every title adds in their own signature spin to the formula. Sneaky Sneaky [$2.99] is no different, featuring a tiny little rogue with an adorable pet rat...

DeNA continues their strange new pattern of releasing iOS versions of PC indie games under new names with Yet It Moves [$2.99], probably the most famous of the batch so far. Originally titled And Yet It Moves, it was first released on PC back in 2009 before making its way to WiiWare, of all places, in 2010. It received a fair bit of praise back then for its clever take on platforming and unique presentation. Here in 2015, it's not quite as unusual as it once was, but its strong level designs and good pacing make it a game still well-worth checking out...

Working in the world of mobile games, it's easy to become jaded. There are so many games released every day, and the stuff that rises to the top of the iTunes charts tends to be targeted at the non-traditional gaming masses, aka the "casual audience." Not that I don't enjoy plenty of casual games, but when I see one rise up the ranks of the iTunes charts I tend not to pay it much mind as that sort of thing happens all the time. Such was the case with Trivia Crack [$2.99 / Free]. You've probably noticed it yourself. Its colorful, smiling icon has been atop both the free and paid charts for the past couple of months. However, at the urging of my not-typically-a-gamer fiancée, I've fallen into the black hole of Trivia Crack and have come to realize that it's actually one of the best trivia games I've ever played...

'Particle Mace' Review - Come and Swing with Me

As a rule, I try not to buy early access games unless I absolutely feel the need to. Particle Mace [$2.99] on desktop was one of those games I stayed away from, but always had in my mind: the concept seemed intriguing, plus it was iOS bound sometime down the road. As such, when I found out that the game was leaving early access and releasing for iOS, I was extremely excited. One, I like seeing games actually leaving early access and becoming finished products, because early access trades on respecting your customer, and delivering on the promise that you're finishing what you started as a developer. Early access can be a really great thing for developers and for players, but when developers use it as an excuse to just make money off of unfinished games, it's saddening. Two, I was excited to actually play the game without compromising my principles. I'm willing to bend them when I feel like it, so I'm perhaps not the person to listen to, but I stick to it more often than not. Well, Particle Mace was well worth the wait. And the developer, Andy Makes Games, was smart in tweaking the game to fit iOS...

Describing itself as an 'Alarm Playing Game', dreeps [$2.99] caught my eye with its attractive pixel graphics and promise of a low-maintenance adventure. Well, what I found probably can't be called a game in the traditional sense, but it might still be of interest to some of you. Since I saw some people in the TouchArcade forums wondering exactly what dreeps is, I figured that even if it's not something I can review, it's at least worth talking a little about it...

When the absurd PC hit Goat Simulator [$2.99] launched on iOS last September, it was a joyous event. I'd seen all the crazy videos and read all the reviews, and I knew that Goat Simulator was something I needed in my life, but for whatever reason I never got around to playing it until it hit iOS. Once I had though, it was basically everything I'd ever hoped for, and we gave it high marks in our review. However, the iOS version wasn't quite up to snuff with its PC counterpart in terms of content, but developer Coffee Stain Studios let us know on their blog that big things were in the works for the mobile Goat Simulator. Today, one of those big things was released in the form of a new update for the game...

Hexxy Snake [$2.99] is pretty much the Super Hexagon [$2.99] version of Snake, the granddaddy of all mobile games, the game that convinced folks that playing games on a phone was a good idea. This is the Super Hexagon take not just because the game takes place on a hexagonal grid, no: it throws in a number of glowy visual effects to try and spruce things up, while featuring 100 fixed levels to play. It's an interesting game, but one that's just solid at best...

If you were a Monument Valley [$3.99] fan who fell in love with Ida and especially the Totem (though a couple million of you drowned your poor Totem friend), then I have good news: Super Glyph Quest [$3.99] is getting an update this Thursday that adds the Monument Valley stars to the puzzle game. They're appearing as cameo characters in the match-3 puzzler, appearing in some of the quests that show up in the game. The characters show up in this new trailer, and you can catch a a glimpse of them in the Glyph Quest art style:..

Gunslugs 2 [$1.99] is a really sloppy game that revels in that fact. It's fast, you might not be able to tell what's going on all the time, and it just feels unrefined. But the game caters to the fact that it's chaotic, and makes for another great run 'n gun from Orangepixel, the veteran iOS solo developer who keeps putting out solid stuff...

In the first half of 2014, the hottest trend in war strategy games was the Eastern front of World War 2. We had entries from Hunted Cow, Shenandoah Studio, and Slitherine, all within a fairly short span of time. Slitherine's title, Frontline: Road To Moscow [$2.99], was a slightly more accessible strategy game than their usual fare, and although it lacked the depth that fans of the genre tend to crave, I enjoyed it well enough. The game had a huge variety of units to play with, took terrain conditions into account, and had just enough below the surface to keep me engaged without crushing me. On top of that, the visual designs of the pieces were excellent, the base game included a generous amount of missions, and while it did release in a bit of an Eastern front boom period, the overall scenario was still quite novel for me. In theory, I should be the perfect target for a follow-up...

Some developers take a long time between game releases, making each one an often-painful wait between titles. If you're a Nitrome fan, you have no idea what I'm talking about. The pixel art aficionados and creators of Icebreaker [$0.99 / $2.99] have been on an utter tear on mobile in the last few months, with five games since August 2014, and three since December 2014, with the third being Gunbrick [$2.99]. Where Roller Polar [Free] and Platform Panic [Free] were both meant to be smaller arcade-style games, Gunbrick is a more fleshed-out, level-based puzzle-platformer. It's a game that's here and gone, though, being all too brief...

In May of 2013, developer Mode 7 released Frozen Synapse [$9.99 (HD)] for the iPad, a tactical strategy game that had received critical praise when it released on PC and Mac the year before. Unsurprisingly, the game translated incredibly well to the iPad. However, ever since its iPad release fans had been clamoring for Frozen Synapse on the iPhone. Being that the interface of the game was already quite busy even on the larger iPad screen, an iPhone version would be a challenge, but in April of last year Mode 7 promised just that. It took quite a while, but Frozen Synapse iPhone [$0.99] is finally now available...

One of the great things about the mobile platform is it's a perfect place to experiment with new ideas. Simogo is the first name that comes to mind when I think about who is pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling using the strength of mobile devices. Today, a new game is making waves for its similarly unique way of telling a story, and that game is Mayday! Deep Space [$2.99] by Daniel Wilson, renowned author of tons of robot-themed literature including the New York Times bestseller Robopocalypse...

I must admit that I am a sucker for games with good craftsmanship. For me, good visuals, refined controls, little details, things that can seem often shiny and superficial reveal something to me, especially when they come from a smaller developer: they reveal that there is perhaps a deeper quality to pay attention to here. Crossy Road [Free] was so excellent to me not just because it is so much fun to play, but little details and tweaks made to game feel abound in that game, and they push it from "entertaining diversion" to "supremely excellent game." What we have here in Bit Dungeon 2 [appprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-dungeon-ii/id823658485?mt=8" is the flip side of that coin: what happens when a game has a compelling structure, but lacks that last stretch of quality that makes the great games what they are? You're left with an experience of what could have been...

The end of November saw the return of one of iOS's first platforming game mascots with the release of Bounce On Back [$2.99 / Free], the third entry in the Bounce On series. This week Bounce On Back received its first content update. The update includes Game Center leaderboard integration, so you can compete with the world on level completion times. The game also received its first batch of Challenge levels with more planned for future updates...

Do you love Galaxy Trucker [$4.99 (HD)] on iPad but are sick of having to squeeze your iPad into your JNCO jeans? Well good news then, as a pocket-friendly iPhone version appropriately called Galaxy Trucker Pocket [$4.99] snuck its way into the App Store over the weekend just beating out the dreaded iTunes freeze...

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