Category Archives: $3.99

It was just about a year ago that Mi-Clos Studio launched their haunting deep-space survival game Out There [$3.99] to critical praise, including our own 5 star review and Game of the Week nod. In July of last year the studio announced that Out There would be getting a huge revamp dubbed the "Omega Edition" and along with that it would be expanding to PC, Mac and Linux. Just last month, Mi-Clos revealed the first images of Omega Edition and detailed some of the changes and new features that it would include. Today the beta version of Out There: Omega Edition has launched and Mi-Clos has released the first trailer showing off some of the new features in the game, including the slick new graphical engine...

It's been just under a year since RPG fans were treated to the first ever official English release of Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei [$3.99], the game that launched the brand Atlus built its company around. It's a great port that mixes various pieces of different remakes to create the ultimate version of the game, though its UI in portrait mode sure does look strange. It was on the RPG Reload list of the best iOS ported RPGs of 2014, owing largely to its unique atmosphere and teeth-gnashing challenge level. There's really nothing else quite like it on iOS, and now you can own it for just $3.99, half the usual price...

The new year is already off to a great start for iOS RPG fans. We've received a port of the wonderful Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99], an excellent puzzle RPG in Hero Emblems [$3.99], and even a couple of indie surprises in the form of Lowlander [$1.99] and Adventure To Fate: Battle Arena [Free]. I'm feeling pretty good about 2015's potential RPG line-up already. While we don't know exactly what's in store for us, there is one thing we can surely count upon: Kemco will be here with about a dozen new RPGs, some of which might even be good. That said, they're not getting off to a great start with Dead Dragons [$3.99], their first release of 2015. While it's not as lousy as some of their efforts, I'm not sure it's actually worth your time and money, either...

Like plenty of folks from my generation, I absolutely adore The Princess Bride. The combination of colorful characters, witty one-liners and an off-beat fairy tale ending have left a lasting effect on many that have enjoyed the film. Unfortunately, fans hoping for some kind of expansion to the universe will be a disappointed with The Princess Bride - The Official Game [$3.99]. However, there’s just enough fan service in the collection of simplistic mini-games that it’s certainly worth buying for any fan of the film...

'Hero Emblems' Review - A Heroic Match-3 Adventure

As we mentioned in our Game of the Week post, there’s a certain amount of oversaturation that has hit the Match-3 genre on the App Store. Thus, the launch of Hero Emblems [$3.99] was met with some skepticism that it would be yet another Match-3 with nothing to differentiate itself. Thankfully that’s not the case with this gorgeous puzzler. Impressive strategic implications, beautiful visuals, and great RPG mechanics make this title worth checking out...

Developer EXE Create seems to have their business all sorted out when it comes to putting together an enjoyable JRPG on a Kemco-sized budget. Even at their worst, we end up with something like Infinite Dunamis [$3.99], a solid effort whose chief offense is in its lack of ambition. More typically, however, an EXE Create release will fall among the best of prolific publisher Kemco's mobile catalog. The developer has a particular strength for characterization, casting their adventures with clashing personalities and a hero that shows actual growth. This work is backed by surprisingly strong localizations, resulting in a story that's fun to play through even if the overall plot isn't all that special. In terms of gameplay, they tend to play it safe most of the time, but unlike their stablemates at Kemco, even if they're not strong at a particular design element, they at least turn in a good enough effort that it doesn't detract from what they do well...

Anh Huy Phan has brought one of my favorite genres to iOS. Star Nomad Elite[$3.99] is a trimmed down, stream lined 2d space adventure game. The game notes have a shout out to Elite, Wing Commander, Privateer, Escape Velocity and Freelancer. I was a bit surprised that my favorite 2d space sim, Star Sonata wasn't also mentioned. In any case, I had a lot of expectations going into Star Nomad. It's a fun game from a very small indie outfit that could really take you by surprise. ..

You know, I've had a lot of people ask me why I cover every single one of Kemco's RPG releases. They're a big time sink to play and few people seem all that interested in them until they're on sale for $0.99, at which point people tend to buy them blindly without even knowing or caring about their merits. Sometimes, I even ask myself if it's worth the bother when I could be working on other things. Then, a release like Shelterra The Skyworld [$3.99] comes along and totally clarifies why I started writing about these games in the first place. ..

The very cool one-touch platformer Badland [$3.99] has gotten yet another update bringing more levels to this great game. The new "Daydream" level update includes ten new singleplayer levels in the "Explore the Unknown" pack. These challenging new levels have you trying to survive and rescue as many clones as possible, and it will test your skills as you try to survive. There's 30 new missions and 5 new achievements to collect as well. The level pack can be played right away, and it is currently free, though it will be $0.99 down the road, so go and get it now if you have the game...

Proun+ [$3.99] is a game that probably should have been on iOS a long time ago. It makes too much sense, the tube racing, with its simple controls that are perfect for taps or tilts, its quick races, they all make for the ideal iOS game. That this is a port from PC to iOS just feels like it's something well overdue. Proun+ is a tube-racing game, which I previewed last month. There's some utterly brilliant aspects to this one, but also some things that make me curious about, to see if there's not a way this game could have been structured any better...

Honestly, I've just about had it with robots. They're either evil or annoying, and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout of either type. I think the last straw for me was finding out that nice Robo fellow from Chrono Trigger [$9.99] was actually rickrolling me for nearly the last twenty years. I mean, you think you know a tin can, only to find out it's been snickering behind your back. That's the trouble with robots, and if you're like me, you're always up for giving their shiny metal keisters a good kicking. Luckily, there's no shortage of games that let us do that, and the latest one is the pretty clever Trouble With Robots [Free]...

Space Age [$3.99] was a game that intrigued me from the moment I heard of it. The Incident [$0.99] is still a great game (though currently broken on iOS 8!), and last year's Blackbar [$3.99] from Big Bucket's Neven Mrgan was a unique story-driven game that I loved. So them making a new game was well overdue, and I was onboard with the idea of a retro-futuristic adventure game. The game is stated as being inspired by point-and-click adventure games from the 1990s, and certainly that comes through. And Space Age is wonderful when it tries to create a world, populated with interesting characters, that I want to explore and see more of. But sometimes Space Age tries to be an action game, and the experience suffers, because it's just not built to be that...

'RPG Asdivine Hearts' Review - Credit Where It's Due, This Is Really Good

Well, friends, it was bound to happen sooner or later. A couple of the developers of Kemco's regular RPG releases have been dancing at the knife edge of quality for a while now, and it was only a matter of time before one of them finally lined up all the pieces and created something truly excellent. I always knew it would be you, EXE Create. Asdivine Hearts [$3.99] isn't just Kemco's best RPG release to date, it's one of the better original JRPGs available on mobiles from anyone. It doesn't transcend the genre in any meaningful ways, but every aspect of it not only shows a desire to change things up a bit, but to make sure all of those ideas actually work well together. If you like JRPGs and want something that isn't a port of a classic, this game should definitely be on your short list...

There are lot of reasons developers might choose to put a game on mobiles, and plenty of them have nothing to do with the unique interface presented by the touch screen. Most of us have learned to deal with virtual buttons and such just fine, but it's always nice when a developer clearly designs their game around the hardware's natural input methods in an intuitive way. Splot [$0.99], a new platformer from the developers behind the Trine games, benefits greatly from its easy-to-understand control setup. Its controls work very well, and that should theoretically open the developer up to more challenging level designs, an element I think most platform fans can agree on. Unfortunately, Splot doesn't quite go as far as I'd like it in that regard, but it still ends up being a fun, content-rich game that will keep you busy for at least a few hours...

I applaud Simogo for continuing to challenge what mobile gaming should be, and for aiming to tell stories in a world where gameplay is such a heavy focus. The Sailor's Dream [$3.99] is Simogo's third-straight story-heavy game after the absolute masterpieces Year Walk [$3.99] and Device 6 [$3.99], which you should go play right now if you haven't yet. Where Device 6 was much more of an interactive novel with the occasional puzzle than Year Walk was, The Sailor's Dream eschews any challenge or practically any 'game' elements in order to just deliver a story-driven experience. I admit that just having a story disappointed me, as I perhaps was frantic to discover the mystery here, but I have to say – Simogo's made another must-play game, even if it wasn't the most satisfying to me...

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