Category Archives: $3.99

It's barely been a week since the surprise release of Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] on the App Store, and despite receiving rave reviews - including featuring as our Game of the Week - developers OrangePixel haven't rested on their laurels. In the next few days, an update for the excellent arcade dungeon crawler will be released and features a whole host of new content coupled with a variety of fixes and changes that will help improve and refine what was already one of the best iOS games of the year thus far...

When we looked at Power Hover [$3.99] back in December of last year in our review, we were generally impressed by the fun arcade style hover-board action and beautiful cel-shaded visuals, even if there wasn't that much derivation from the enjoyable core gameplay at its heart. However, the developer Oddrok has been extremely busy both answering fan questions on our forums as well as updating Power Hover with lots of substantial content updates that have made it a mainstay on many a gamer's iDevice. Today that pattern continues, as a brand new summer update has released for the game adding numerous new modes and characters...




It's been an odd year for ChoiceScript interactive fiction games. In the first half of this year, I've reviewed two games related to mermaids, and one game related to pirates. Well, we must be at the end of this particular phase, because Choice Of The Pirate [$3.99] has both mermaids and pirates. Truly, we've nowhere left to go. Similar to previous pirate gamebook Scarlet Sails [Free], you play as a plucky member of a pirate crew who finally gets their chance to achieve glory. The tone is a little different here, however, with more of a fantasy Pirates of the Caribbean feel to the adventure. It's also a good bit longer than Scarlet Sails, making for a better pace and overall more enjoyable game. To be sure, it's popcorn, but there's nothing wrong with that now and then...

Back in December of 2014, a heavily old-school-inspired CRPG named Dungeons of Chaos was released for the iPad. A passion project from solo developer Volker Elzner, Dungeons of Chaos was meant to replicate the experience of classic computer RPGs from the '80s like Ultima and Wizardry, and for the most part he succeeded with that. However, one big negative with the original Dungeons of Chaos was that it was built in its own engine so wasn't quite as platform-flexible, and being an iPad-only game it left a lot of iPhone players out in the cold. Well, since that original release, Elzner has taken to completely rewriting the game for the much more flexible Unity Engine, and the results of that effort Dungeons and Chaos Unity Edition [$3.99], which launched over the weekend. ..

When it initially launched in early 2015, Alto's Adventure [$3.99] proved to be the antithesis to the adrenaline-pumping auto runner games such as Canabalt [$2.99] that were so prominent in the early years of the App Store. With an atmospheric backdrop and soothing piano music you were free to descend the mountain on your skis at your pleasure, until the occasional pesky rock or gaping abyss brought your run to a sudden halt...

As far back as August 2015 we caught our first look at auto runner/platformer hybrid The Amazing Bernard [$3.99], which caught our eye with its interesting take on the genre with innovative mechanics such as being able to create platforms and springs using the touch screen to keep your adventurer progressing over numerous different worlds, environments and even to fight off giant enemy crabs. Unfortunately, its initial release of late 2015 was pushed back to February 2016, and when this later due date was missed, the future of this creative platformer was up in the air. Thankfully this protracted release saga has come to an end as tonight The Amazing Bernard has launched on the App Store, coupled with a launch trailer with a rather inspired music choice which sums up the quirky feel of the game:..

'Imbroglio' Review - It's Quite The Hoopla

There are two things I know when I fire up a new game from Michael Brough. One, its presentation is probably not going to win any awards. Two, I'm going to have a good time. Brough's got a talent for designing games whose gracefully skate the line between accessibility and depth. 868-HACK [$4.99] is the kind of game that should probably be on everyone's mobile device. I'm sure it isn't, but it ought to be. His latest game is Imbroglio [$3.99], and while it's clearly another spin on the single-screen strategy trappings that comprise many of Brough's offerings, it is a clever one. It has a similar appeal to 868-HACK, but throws in a few interesting twists for your brain to chew on...

The cult classic New Star Soccer [Free] has amassed many fans since its initial launch in 2012 - and even won a BAFTA to show for it - although the lack of any substantial updates for over a year has led to many wondering what the future held for this excellent arcade soccer simulator. These questions were answered when this morning out of nowhere New Star Games, in association with French book publisher Hachette, released a spinoff in the series called New Star Soccer G-Story [$0.99], which merges the gameplay of its predecessor with an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure style ebook. The developers released a reveal trailer showing the slick new engine and an array of options you can take to influence your player’s career over the duration of the game:..

I have to admit that ever since the latest generation Apple TV launched last fall with a true App Store and a bazillion games, I haven't really played many games on it since that initial week or so of checking things out. It's not that I don't enjoy playing games on the big TV in my living room, it's more a problem of already having more awesome games than I can handle on my iPhone and not really having any additional time in the day to plunk down on the couch and get my Apple TV on. This is probably why I didn't notice that late last week one of my all-time favorite iOS games The Incident launched on the Apple TV with an awesome new local multiplayer mode...

'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream' Review – A Master Class in Psychological Horror

Some of you may remember from previous reviews of mine that I love horror and dark fantasy. Everything from Lovecraftian anti-existentialism to tastefully done psychological horror to torture porn to “2Edgy4U” bull-crap. I find something to enjoy in all of it. I also love simple stories of heroes and hope and overcoming hardships, don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy the darkest depths and the brightest heights of the human imagination. Well… if any one living author, and any particular story, represents those darkest depths, it’s Harlan Ellison and his story and point and click adventure game, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream [$3.99]...

The Long-Awaited 'Warhammer 40000: Regicide' is Now Available on iOS

There's hardly a week that goes by where there isn't at least one straggler new release, and this week that prize goes to none other than Warhammer 40000: Regicide [$3.99] which just hit the App Store a few moments ago. Originally announced just over two years ago, Warhammer 40000: Regicide takes the core idea of Chess but expands its boundaries and sets it in the Warhammer universe for a totally over-the-top version of the classic game. However, if you prefer a more traditional take, you'll be happy to know that Regicide also includes a Classic mode that follows the original rules of Chess more closely...

The Heroes Rise trilogy of gamebooks are, as near as I can tell, among the most popular releases from Choice Of Games. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, including the popularity of both superheroes and reality show send-ups, the interesting, convoluted plot, and the overall quality of the writing. Most of those things are still just as popular now as they were before, so even though the author of Heroes Rise has already started a new series set in another universe, it's perhaps not that surprising that the Hero Project is coming back for a second season. That trilogy wrapped things up so well, however, that it's hard to say what the best way forward would be for a follow-up. The Hero Project: Redemption Season [$3.99] finds a new direction, and while it's a pretty good one, it's tackling some complex issues that it can't quite seem to get a proper handle on...

Quirky media can often be a breath of fresh air. Whereas dramas and grimdark settings usually go over well with just about anyone, weird comedies like Arrested Development can break the mold and have us enjoy something we never even knew we wanted. But quirk alone isn't enough to carry every project. Sometimes, studios or developers can go overboard, and made a game so loud, so desperate for your attention that it falls on deaf ears. Despite some solid gameplay mechanics, Egz The Origin of the Universe [$3.99] suffers from some of these issues...

It's not uncommon for Rockstar Games to put their Grand Theft Auto iOS ports on sale, but it's not as common to see the entire library of them all on sale at the same time. That's what we're experiencing right now, in what I'm dubbing "The Great Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto (and Max Payne) Cinco de Mayo Sale of 2016". Pretty catchy name, no? Right now all of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto iOS ports are available for just a few bucks, down from their already pretty darn cheap regular prices. If you were to do some sort of cost to hours played equation for something like GTA: San Andreas, we'd be talking fractions of a cent per hour of senseless violence and crime. It's an amazing deal and really there are no bad GTA games in the bunch. They've even knocked a buck off of the solid mobile version of GTA's bullet time cousin Max Payne. Now is a great time to pick up any of these that you don't own to fill out your collections. ¡Viva Rockstar Games!..

Well, here it is, everyone. Magikiras [Free] is easily one of the worst gamebooks I've played in my years of reviewing, and hands-down the most painful. It's absurdly long given its meager premise, poorly-written, and just plain boring. There are tons of spelling and grammar mistakes, and many other instances of incorrect English. It's linear to a fault, with almost every choice in the book save a few very important ones coming down to the same set of approaches listed in the same order. Even those chances come entirely too sporadically, however. You'll mostly just be tapping through page after page of banal text, praying for a release that is perpetually too far away...

Retro City Rampage DX [$4.99] finally hits iOS. Took it long enough, eh? Brian Provinciano's "what if Grand Theft Auto was an 8-bit game that paid homage to every classic game and notable 1980s cultural phenomenon" title had landed everywhere but mobile. It was on desktop (PC, Mac, and Linux!), the Vita (on cartridge too!), 3DS, Wii U (not the Wii), Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, even a demo for NES! But the new platform releases started to dry up over time, even after the DX update to the original game that brought some new features and tweaks was released. And yet, no mobile version. Yet, one night it unexpectedly showed up! And while I have some issues with the game, I'm quite glad it showed up...

I am a major fan of Orangepixel's games. The solo developer should be remembered by history as a unique, standout artist, despite his games not being the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff you'd typically expect to be called artsy. But it's because his games always have this unique touch to them in the art and gameplay that makes them feel unique compared to other games, even ones from consistent studios. The games having this consistent vision behind them is part of what makes them special. An Orangepixel game looks and feels like something only he could have made...

'Puzzle Strike' Review - A Great Game With a Few Missed Opportunities

The iOS version of Sirlin Games' Puzzle Strike [$3.99] is a tricky game to review. This is a fantastic game, if you're into deckbuilding games with a high degree of interactivity, and while it plays pretty well on mobile, there are some glaring omissions that detract from what would've been a mobile gem (pun intended). Still, even with issues like a lack of proper notifications and questionable UI decisions, Puzzle Strike is a great addition to the App Store and should more than satisfy those looking for a game that's easy to grasp but can take forever to master. While it definitely shines as a multiplayer game, Sirlin has packed the game with plenty of single-player content too like a pretty strong AI to play against as well as 10 Challenges that will test your skills and help you discover the game's strategic nuances. So, a great deckbuilding game, and a good mobile game, too...

Prolific mobile developer Nitrome announced back in September that they were going to be dipping their toes in the game publishing game. I say dip their toes because technically the first game they were set to publish, Ultimate Briefcase [Free], was created by outside developer Quite Fresh, but whose founder was also previously an artist for Nitrome. So Nitrome was branching out, but still somewhat keeping it in the family, so to speak. Anyhoo, Ultimate Briefcase somehow dodged our weekly Out Now post like it was some sort of bomb falling from the sky, but I'm here to let you know that it's officially available right this very moment...

Do you ever have a game that just does not click with you? Twofold Inc. [$3.99] is the equivalent of a restaurant where you can admire the work and craftsmanship that went into the product at hand. What you're given is made with care and skill. But understanding and respecting why something is the way it is doesn't mean that you have to like it. You can even understand why others may like it. I respect Twofold Inc. but I didn't have much fun with it...

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