Category Archives: $3.99

Out of all the amazing iOS games I've played over the past nine years, there is an extra special place in my heart for Solomon's Keep [Free]. Developer Raptisoft launched the game on April 2nd, 2010 which was the day after I officially began working for TouchArcade as a freelance writer. Its mixture of dual-stick shooting, RPG-like ability upgrading, and randomly-generated dungeons tickled all of my fancies, and I was bursting at the seams to write about it in an official capacity for my very favorite website. It was sort of like the culmination of my dreams coming true right before my own eyes. So write about it I did, and it ended up that my Solomon's Keep review was officially the third full review I wrote for this site and my fifth story overall during my first week working here. I've added more than 4,300 more stories for TA since those humble beginnings 7+ years ago...

Tabletop card game Friday (Freitag) [$3.99] made its way to the digital world back in July and provided mobile gamers with an opportunity to play as Friday from Robinson Crusoe. Your job is to direct the efforts of Robinson, famous literary shipwreck victim and all around bonehead, as he learns his way around the island and gets better at, you know, not getting himself killed. The game is a lot of fun and just got a major content update: King of the Island. King of the Island is an online tournament for 1024 players who will compete to become the best of the bunch and true ruler of the tropical island...




Endless arcade games are abundant in the beloved realm of the App Store, but I'll be damned if Neon Drive [$3.99] isn't up there with the most stylish and well executed releases in its calamitously crowded genre. The stunning 80's inspired environments, including luminous cityscapes and luscious aquatic settings, really brought the title to life, and its frenetic dodging action created a funky rhythm game element that resonated greatly with the retina-burning colors and cybergrid courses. Despite debuting all the way back in November 2015, developer Fraoula Apps has continued to support Neon Drive as it has slowly spread to multiple other gaming platforms, and today has received its first major update in over a year with new levels, features, modes and much more...

Brain Good Games is making a name for themselves by developing interesting and engaging digital board games. Axes and Acres and Militia [$3.99] have both done well on Steam, with the latter making the leap to mobile back in March. Now their latest title, Minos Strategos [$3.99], has also launched on iOS and Android. In Minos Strategos you are the commander of the defense of the ancient city of Minos. Unfortunately, a horde of Minotaur invaders are looking to make that job pretty tough of late. You move and attack with your units using battle-formation cards which dictate exactly where you can do each. Tabletop fans will see some resemblance to classic two-player strategy game Onitama, though you have more cards from which to act than in that game...

Whether it's a major triple-A release from a traditional gaming powerhouse, or a smaller gem from an up-and-coming indie developer, it's always a joy to write about iOS games for TouchArcade and contribute to the greater recognition of the platform within the gaming industry. However, there has been one unfortunate exception to this, with the impending 32-bit Appocalypse meaning many classic titles I quite literally grew up with are soon to disappear from the App Store. Super Glyph Quest [$3.99] was one such game, and featured as a particular standout in our recent guide of the best mobile titles that will die with iOS 11. However, thankfully it appears that our list has prompted the developer to ensure one of 2014's best puzzle games will soon survive the cull, as Super Glyph Quest has just had an update submitted for 64-bit compatibility...

'STANDBY' Review- A Brutally Difficult Precision Platformer That's Tremendously Rewarding

As a child, my first forays into gaming involved me experiencing many platformers on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. I loved the difficulty and the learning-curve of certain platformers, such as Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, Earthworm Jim, and the Super Star Wars series. Sometimes I blow the dust out of my old cartridges and fire up my trusty Super Nintendo in order to take the games of my childhood for a nostalgic spin. I have no idea how I beat some of those games so quickly back when I was a child. They were pretty dang hard back then, and they still are now. Anyways, there have been many additions to the platforming genre on the App Store which continue to fuel my life-long love for them, and that includes the recently released STANDBY [$3.99] by HypeTrain Digital...

Frost [$3.99] is a deck-building card game that is all about surviving against impossible odds in a treacherous environment where any misstep can be your last. It is cold. It is bleak. It is fantastic. You play as the leader of a small band of survivors looking to outrun the Frost — a killer blizzard — and make it to the Refuge, the one place where one can find a modicum of safety from the storm. The entire game is designed to support Frost's narrative and theme, from the chilling music and spot-on sound effects to the whitewashed artwork full of chilly blues, grays, and whites...

The entertaining deck-building card game Paperback: The Game [$3.99] just got much better after its latest update because it now has asynchronous multiplayer mode, which I know many in our forums have been waiting for. The new mode has a fun twist: if your opponent drops out because of your amazing skills, an AI player steps in so you can continue playing. If you haven't read our review of the game, Paperback is a deck-building game in the vein of something like Ascencion, and you'll be picking various cards (some of them with special powers) to form words. The game is all about pulp novels and a fight between writers, and it's a theme that really makes the game stand out and will definitely please book lovers...

Something about the writing style in Avatar of the Wolf [$3.99] almost immediately put me off. Most of the well-written gamebooks from Choice of Games have an almost velvety tone to their prose, gently massaging your brain and doing their best to make it comfortable. Avatar of the Wolf, by comparison, is thorny. The words feel shorter, less comfortable to read, and above all, aggressive. It's even disorienting at times. The way this story is written does as much to set the tone as the meaning of the words the writer chooses. It was jarring to try to slide into the main character. Yet it turns out to be precisely the atmosphere this story needs. Avatar of the Wolf isn't a fluffy tale of adventure that will appeal broadly, but give it time to spin its yarn and you might find yourself unable to put it down...

'Motorsport Manager Mobile 2' Review - Racing at a Whole New Level

The original Motorsport Manager was a very entertaining racing game that I played quite a lot, initially at least. While the racing part was fun—even though I sometimes felt that my choices didn't have much of an impact—the lack of long-term driver development made each season feel insulated from the rest, which blunted my desire to play through multiple seasons. Still, the game was accessible to those who weren't that much into motorsports and good-looking enough to draw the attention of people just randomly looking at my phone screen. As one of the first motorsport management games on the App Store, Motorsport Manager definitely entertained, and I'm happy to say that Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 [$3.99] (MMM 2) has improved the original formula (pun intended) and turned it into a much more substantial game with a lot more fuel in the tank, despite some relatively small issues...

Ultimate General: Gettysburg [$3.99] is one of the prettiest real-time strategy games on any platform, and two years after landing on iPads, it has finally marched onto your iPhones after the latest update. The game was originally released on PCs, and even though the iOS version lost some great features—multiplayer and dynamic campaign—it is still a great game. Ultimate General has a 10-mission campaign that you can play either as the North or the South, great touch controls that let you move your armies around easily, and pretty strong AI that will give you plenty of challenge...

Huijaus Games and publisher Appsolute Games have been promising us Mr. Future Ninja [$2.99], a stylish stealth-action game, and finally it is here. And there it goes. The premise seemed incredibly promising, but the problem is that the game is just too short. Characters and puzzle types get introduced, and then by the time you think they're done introducing things and ready to start really, really testing you, well, the game is over. It's a fun experience up until that point, but I just wish there was more of it...

If you still haven't had enough of Warhammer and Games Workshop on your mobile devices, then check out Mordheim: Warband Skirmish [$3.99], which released today. The game is based on the classic tabletop game from the late 90s and brings the miniature game to your tablet and mobile phones. You'll have to lead your Warbands through different encounters, collecting along the way valuable shards from the comet that destroyed the city of Mordheim. You will, of course, get to customize your Warbands as you see fit, and try to show the world that you're the coolest of them all...

'Steredenn' Review - Horns Out For This Roguelike Shoot 'Em Up

Sometimes good ideas don't come together into being good final products. What sounds good on paper can be lackluster in execution. Not so much with Steredenn [$3.99], which sounded amazing on paper! A roguelike combined with a shoot 'em up, with a heavy metal soundtrack? It's like Pixelnest said "How can we make a game that Carter Dotson would enjoy?" Then, they made it. Of course, they didn't do exactly that since it didn't release on mobile for about a year and a half after its original release, and I am kicking myself for having not played it until now. Well, better late than never: Steredenn is fantastic fun for fans of roguelikes, shoot 'em ups, and/or heavy metal...

If you've been looking for a fun adventure game to play, look no further than Her Majesty's Spiffing [$3.99], out today on iOS and Android. The game, which originally came out on PC, looks to sci-fi classics like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so expect plenty of British humor and general Britishness (which is totally a thing by the way). The game is the tale of Britain venturing into the stars with whatever crappy spaceship available. You play as Captain Frank Lee English as he takes to the stars aboard the subtly named HMSS Imperialise to boldly go where no British person has dared venture without tea before...

To tell the truth, I've put off playing Versus: The Elite Trials [$3.99] for a while. I didn't particularly enjoy The Hero Project: Redemption Season [$4.99], the last gamebook from author Zachary Sergi, and I was worried that I had completely forgotten where the story left off at the end of Versus: The Lost Ones [$3.99]. That gamebook, which you should definitely play before getting into this one, was something of an information dump. There were too many characters to keep track of, lots of world-building, and a plot that threatened to branch off in some truly confusing directions. With more than a year passing since playing the first chapter of Versus and now, I wasn't confident that I remembered anything from it anymore and wasn't looking forward to having to refresh myself. I kept shuffling The Elite Trials to the back of my to-do list, and now that I've finished it, I feel pretty silly about doing that...

For all of the interesting themes that can be found in the published works of Choice of Games, one of the more common ones is that of war. I suppose that's no different from a lot of forms of entertainment, but it does start to feel like I'm re-living Disney's Mulan over and over again. Somehow a plucky (and usually lowly) hero manages to upset the certainly-evil invading bad guys almost entirely on their own, and usually gets a smooch or two along the way before being declared the best person that ever was. Yes, I'm over-simplifying, but it's only because this premise is starting to get a little weary. I had hoped Runt of the Litter [$3.99] would put a new spin on the theme, with its central conceit being that you need to raise and train a war gryphon. Indeed, it does play out differently than I would have guessed, but it's hard to say if that's for the better or the worse...

There's something about a first-person dungeon crawler that just pulls me in and tugs at my brain. They're a nice contrast from the more talkative RPGs, which often involve intricate stories with large casts of characters. A dungeon crawling RPG will generally have a handful of NPCs, if that. Most of the time, it's just you and a big dungeon that you have to conquer one small piece at a time. Filling out a map, watching the floor count go up, raising your party to the point that earlier challenges are trivial, and finding hidden secrets are about as straightforward as markers of progress get, but somehow it still works for me every time. Whether or not you get into Crescent Moon's latest publishing effort, The Deep Paths [$3.99], is going to depend on whether you share that particular quirk with me or not. It's not the sort of game that is going to convince anyone who isn't already predisposed, but those who like to live their gaming life one uniform-length step at a time should be satisfied...

While the last open-world puzzle adventure I reviewed had the torches and pitchforks out for me, I do love the concept of like, a Metroidvania style puzzle-adventure. Take Pan-Pan [$3.99], a weird little game that has you crash-landing on a strange planet. The parts of your ship that can be used by your crew to repair your jalopy and get back into flying are scattered all about. So, you have to set out and discover just what's going on, solving weird puzzles along the way in an open world. It's a game that is rather charming, and can be a bit frustrating due to some design decisions, but it's a fun experience to check out...

Puzzle Strategy Hybrid 'Ticket to Earth' Riding to the App Store on March 15th

Almost exactly a year ago to this day, we first experienced Robot Circus's interesting puzzle and turn-based strategy mash up Ticket to Earth at GDC 2016, and while the game was still in a relatively early stage, the promise of this unique amalgamation of mechanics was clear to see. While its tentative release date of late 2016 came and went, a later showing at PAX Australia in November got us particularly excited after a substantial year of development under its belt. After much fervent anticipation, Ticket to Earth is finally launching this Wednesday, and has a brand new release trailer that showcases the inventive gameplay elements and futuristic sci-fi setting in action...

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