Category Archives: $3.99

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...

We loved Love You To Bits [$3.99], well, to bits when it released just over a year ago. This charming spiritual successor to Tiny Thief hit all the right buttons in terms of point and click puzzle solving, beautiful environments to explore, and adorable characters to invest in emotionally. In fact, if there was one problem with Love You To Bits, it was that we wanted more of it. Developer Alike Studio set out to rectify that problem by releasing an expansion which hit last July. It's been a while since then, so if you're a fan of the game you should be happy to hear that even more new content is coming as announced in our forums. Check out the first screens from this expansion...

Video games are the best form of artwork there is, because the unique aspects of the form create for interesting works. Like, Milkmaid of the Milky Way [$3.99]. It's a point-and-click puzzle adventure by solo developer Mattis Folkstead that pays homages to the initial heyday of the genre in the 1990s. And he does so in a game about a milkmaid in 1920s Norway that has to save her cows from aliens. While all the dialogue is written in rhyme. Oh, and the story has a certain melancholy to the whole affair, about time passing and losing loved ones. Also, you ride a hoverbike. Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a unique affair...

I'm still not fully sure what to make of Strange Telephone [$3.99], a surreal adventure game from Japanese indie developer Yuta Yamamoto. I had a chance to speak to the developer several months ago, and he told me that he was inspired by the now-classic Japanese indie game Yume Nikki. Even if he hadn't directly said so, though, the connections are obvious. This is an odd adventure game about a young girl exploring what appears to be a bizarre dimension where nothing really makes much sense. Boiled down to its essence, this is a point and click adventure that throws in both a random component and a limited amount of moves to solve everything. The presentation makes it more than that, but only just...

'Hidden Folks' Review - Seek This Game Out

While Game Oven Studios, the collection of maniacs behind Fingle [$1.99 (HD) / Free (HD)], Bam Fu [$0.99 / Free], Bounden [$2.99], and Jelly Reef [$0.99], is no more, developer Adriaan de Jongh is still out there making games. And he's back with another fantastic and unique experience that you have to try. Hidden Folks [$3.99] is a collaboration between him and illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg that takes a very simple concept of being a "Where's Waldo" game. Then it makes everything happen in a monochromatic world, with huge canvases to explore as folks wander around, and you have to find a certain bunch of these folks. It's a simple idea, but the work that the team behind the game has done with the art, sound, and playability, makes this a fantastic experience. ..

Felis: Save all the Cats [$3.99] has been on our radar for a very long time. Even with the lengthy delay, I was certainly looking forward to its eventual release because, hey, it’s a platformer about saving cats. If you look simply at the story, thematics and gameplay, I’d almost say it was worth the wait, as well. Unfortunately, significant issues with the controls detract from what could have been a decent entry into the genre...

We first talked about Voyageur [$3.99] in June of last year, as its description as a "literary space exploration game" and "procedurally-generated science fiction novel" really caught our attention. We also found it interesting that Voyageur was part of the Fundbetter initiative put together by Fallen London [Free] developer Failbetter Games. If the masters of narrative and literary games at Failbetter were also backing an indie literary space adventure, well, it seemed like nothing but good could come from that. And as of just a few moments ago, we can finally find out for ourselves as Voyageur has officially released in the App Store...

It’s no secret around these parts that I have a great fondness for deck building card games. It also may come as a shock to you, me being a writer on a website and all, but I am rather fond of the fine art of word-smithery. Never did I think the two would be joined in such a perfect and holy union as they have been in Tim Fowers’/Fowers Games Inc.’s Paperback: The Game [$3.99]. It’s like the love child of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer [Free] and Scrabble [$7.99], and while it could use some more meat on its bones, it’s a beautiful little baby...

'Z-Exemplar' Review - My R-Type of Game

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January 31st, 2017 10:59 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $3.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
$3.99 Buy Now

I've been gaming for a very long time, but I can say without hesitation that I was late to the ZX Spectrum train. Given that it was an 8-bit computer released in the UK in 1983 that's understandable, but strangely enough, various other bits of tech history that allowed me to experience it. My first ZX Spectrum game was Manic Miner on the now defunct Microsoft Zune, which drew me into a whole new world that I didn't know know existed. Soon enough I was learning about the MSX and diving into a rabbit hole of gaming that I could never escape from. If you've ever wikipedia-ed something for hours on end until you end up wasting the entire day away, you know what I mean...

In late October of last year we posted about the then-upcoming sequel to the 2013 platformer Snailboy: An Epic Adventure called Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron [Free]. The game featured some really fantastic visuals and some really interesting snail-based mechanics like slinging yourself around like a rubber band, sticking to walls, and shooting fireballs. Ok, maybe that last one isn't exclusive to snail behavior. Anyway, the game was looking great and about a month and a half after that initial announcement Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron soft-launched in select territories. Well, the wait is finally over as this morning Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron has officially launched worldwide...

Pleasant is the operative word to describe Dan Fitzgerald and Lisa Bromiel's Dog Sled Saga [$3.99], a charming game about dog sled racing that is more of a simulator than a racer. It came out last fall, but I couldn’t let us get through the winter without giving it a proper look over. Especially since the current build is so much more polished and stable than launch. It’s definitely the strongest game the developers have released thus far and it only makes me look forward to what they comes out with next. So strap your boots on and clean out the kennel. It’s time to crack the whip!..

Way back in June of 2015, Suminell Studios announced their throwback horizontal shoot 'em up Z-Exemplar. They used the classic 8-bit gaming computer ZX Spectrum as their inspiration for how the game should look and play, and appeared to be nailing the authenticity to an incredible degree. Updates on the game's progress were fairly frequent through the rest of 2015, but then things went oddly silent until this past August when the developers posted an update saying they had been quietly toiling away on the game and that it was finally feature complete. The game finally launched on Steam in November, and then on Android about a week ago, and at long last Z-Exemplar [$3.99] has also arrived on iOS as of this morning. Here's a look at the launch trailer from the Steam release...

Cannonfire Concerto [$3.99] is another gamebook release from Choice of Games that offers an unusual premise and excellent world-building. You play as a touring musical virtuoso in a setting that has something of an 18th century European feel. It's a time of momentary peace for the region, but things are starting to fire up again. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to get involved and which side you'll pull for, but whatever you choose, the show must go on. Written by Caleb Wilson, Cannonfire Concerto is a lighter and faster-paced read than some of the last few ChoiceScript games released, but that doesn't stop it from creating an interesting setting and having a good bit of fun with it...

'Colt Express' Makes Robbing Trains Fun and a Treat for the Eyes

Board game ports are a popular genre on the App Store, and while some are fun, not all of them strike a good balance between retaining the feel of a board game and taking advantage of all the digital realm can offer. I'm glad to say Colt Express [$2.99], the port of the award-winning board game, manages to bring the board game to life on digital by adding enough animation and sounds to make it pleasing to the eye while keeping the spirit of the board game intact. In fact, the developers have done something unusual in this port; they've transformed the 3D trains of the board game into 2D ones that look made of cardboard...

Last year Nitrome released a very silly and clever puzzler called Silly Sausage in Meat Land [Free] where your goal was to stretch a freakishly flexible dog from point to point all while strategically avoiding various types of hazards on your way to each checkpoint. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed Silly Sausage in Meat Land in our review. Well, the stretchy dog shenanigans were far from over as in September Nitrome announced a sequel, and as of this morning Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert [Free] is now available. Expect more crazy puzzling as in the first game, but with a truckload more sugary sweets. That's desserts, not deserts, for those keeping score at home...

In March of last year, Kalypso Media released a refreshing take on the roguelike genre with Crowntakers [$3.99]. By taking elements from turn-based strategy RPGs and blending in some of the most popular elements of roguelikes, they created an experience that was more than the sum of its parts. Also, by including two difficult levels, one where you could take your characters and experience levels with you game to game and one that was truly permadeath and caused you to start completely over upon death, Crowntakers appealed to a wide audience of gamers. We loved it in our review and really the only problem was that Crowntakers was an iPad-only game, limiting the amount of people who could play it. Well, that's no longer going to be the case as Kalypso has announced that Crowntakers will be receiving iPhone support this coming January. Here's how the game will look on the iPhone...

'Exiled Kingdoms RPG' Review - Chop 'til You Drop

I usually try to stay on top of the various RPGs that come out from week to week, but every once in a while, something good slips past. Fortunately, the TouchArcade forums are pretty reliable about finding the things we happen to miss, and that's just how I came across Exiled Kingdoms [Free], a surprisingly excellent action-RPG in the vein of Diablo. While it's not the prettiest game around, it offers dozens of hours of killing monsters, looting dungeons, and gathering awesome gear. Just in case you need some convincing, the game even offers a substantial portion to play for free, with the rest unlocking for a one-time IAP...

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