Category Archives: $3.99

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

'Monument Valley' Review - In Which An Uncanny Valley Is Reviewed

In my time playing video games, I've noticed that games tend to break down into two different types, broadly speaking. There are games that lean more on giving you interesting play mechanics and challenging you to master them in order to overcome some sort of challenge, and there are games that lean more on the side of giving you an experience. You get rare cases where the line is straddled fairly evenly, but for the most part, games are going to do one of those things very well and give less attention to the other. Both types have their fans, and many gamers love both, but when a game comes along that strongly favors one type and does it well, you often see confusion from the opposite camp. I say this because even though I expect it to get a lot of well-deserved praise, a lot of people aren't going to like Monument Valley [$3.99] very much. Like last month's Tengami [$4.99], it is intensely focused on delivering an experience, and it does so spectacularly well. Its specific game mechanics have been done already, and done better to boot. The mechanics guys and the experience guys are going to have knife fight over this one...

'CLARC' Review - How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Truly, block puzzles are one of the unsung staples of gaming's history. They're an essential part of many great games across a variety of genres, a figurative Kit-Kat break between fighting Ganon's minions or dealing with a sarcastic rampant AI. Even though we cherish them as a tasty spice on some of the biggest games around, games built solely around block puzzles have had to settle for being niche products since almost the beginning of the hobby itself. A lot of that, I think, comes down to their repetitive nature. Once you've nailed down a few key strategies, even large puzzles become a sequence of rote actions. That's fine for something you're going to pick up and play here and there for a few minutes, but it's not well-suited to a big adventure. CLARC [Free / $3.99] is, at its heart, not much more than a block puzzle game. If you absolutely hate doing that type of puzzle, you're probably not going to be convinced otherwise here...

Twinsen is a dreamer, and soon learns that dreams can change the world. He finds himself imprisoned in an asylum, but he can’t let the evil Dr FunFrock just rule the world. Escaping the asylum is the first steps in Little Big Adventure, [$4.99] and you will get to repeat this part a couple of times. Little Big Adventure was released back in 1994 for MS-DOS, and I fell in love with the whimsical world of Twinsun right away. I don’t remember if I ever completed it back then, or if I just enjoyed exploring the quite open game world. DotEmu has recreated the original, as close as I can remember it. ..

I find it kind of interesting that although one of the appealing aspects of flying is the freedom from our earthly bindings, a great deal of games built around the concept opt to set themselves up like a dark ride at Disneyland. You get in your ship, or on your dragon, or into your fighter jet, and are pulled along a rail while all kinds of craziness unfolds around you. Usually you're more the gunner than the pilot, since you can really only move yourself around in the little one-way tunnel the game has set up for you. There are a lot of good reasons for this kind of set-up, including a desire to guide the experience for the player to create more cinematic scenes, technical limitations of one sort or another, or a simple lack of the resources required to create a full, free 3D world. I suspect with Star Horizon [$3.99], the new space-themed rail shooter from Tabasco Interactive, it's that first reason more than anything else...

'Continue?9876543210' Review - In My Time Of Dying

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March 4th, 2014 2:16 PM EDT by David Clarke in $3.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Retro, Reviews, Role-Playing
$3.99 Buy Now

Does anything drive humans as much as our awareness of mortality? No other animal sees a bush, calls it a bush, draws the bush, gives the bush a back story, then cries when the bush dies. It's arguably the saddest, and most beautiful quality humans possess. We have awareness of the world, we can create art, and we know we are going to die...

'Out There' Review - The Lonely Joy of Being Lost in Space

Dying alone in space doesn’t seem so bad now that I’ve played Out There [$3.99] from Mi Clos Studio. I’ve exploded a few times, been stranded without fuel a few dozen and suffocated on at least one occasion. On the way, though… On the way I discovered the mysteries of the universe...

The recent trend in adventure games has been to take on more of an episodic model, which is great when they finally come to fruition, but often results in an introductory chapter that lacks satisfaction. Detective Grimoire [$3.99], from publisher Armor Games and developer SFB Games, fortunately bucks this trend, offering a solid, self-contained story that also has sequel hooks firmly planted. Although it offers just a single case that can be solved in just a few hours without a lot of effort, the level of polish on both the art and the story help elevate the experience. I also appreciate its more abstract and light-hearted take on things. It helps the game stand out a bit in the current landscape of more serious and realistic entries into the adventure genre...

I kind of feel bad for this game. Not only did Journey To Kreisia [$7.99] release at almost the same time as Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VI [$15.99] iOS remake, but it's also having to live in the looming shadow of Alphadia Genesis's impending release. Kemco's RPGs aren't terribly high profile at the best of times, and RPG fans clearly have their attention elsewhere right now. I think that's too bad, because while this game isn't an outstanding RPG by any means, it's got a great sense of self-awareness. This aspect, layered on top of its familiar, competent EXE Create backbone, lends the whole adventure a fun feeling that separates it from the herd...

If a remake of a historically significant game in one region is finally released for the first time in others and naturally finds itself outdated by more modern takes on the genre, how should it be approached? Banshee's Last Cry [Free] is in a bit of a weird place, to be sure. On the one hand, finally getting such an important game in English is certainly a good thing, especially with the quality of the localization work found here. On the other hand, English gamers have no nostalgia for this game, and in the iOS market in particular, the competition in the interactive fiction genre is absolutely savage...

Sure, you love your iOS device. All that inviting metal and glass—who wouldn’t? But do you love your device? Do you want to make it happy? If you do, consider Luxuria Superbia [$3.99], the first iOS release by Tale of Tales...

It's been more than three years since the generally well-received Ys/Zelda mash-up action RPG Across Age [$3.99] was released on the App Store. It was a surprisingly well-done adventure, developed by frequent Kemco collaborators EXE Create, that used a simple time travel mechanic to make it stand out. Well, we finally have a sequel, and in spite of it being rather a long time coming, it's more refinement than revolution, delivering an experience that's a little bit too familiar in many ways. Still, there's a great time to be had here, especially if you enjoy the genre...

What originally started as a meme on the Something Awful forums, the character of Slender Man has grown far beyond what the original creator probably ever intended. An unnaturally skinny and tall man, with no features, always dressed in black, appears randomly before you, and if you see him, you have precious little time to avoid his grasp and an untimely end...

Kemco's latest in their line of monthly mobile RPGs comes by way of developer Magitec, whose name last popped up with Covenant of Solitude [$7.99], released several months ago. They are by far the least prolific of the teams Kemco uses on the English side, with just three of their games seeing release: Grinsia [$7.99], the aforementioned Covenant of Solitude, and this game, Chrome Wolf [$7.99]. Due to the breakneck release schedule of Kemco's games, we're used to seeing minor improvements at best from title to title, though in the last year or so, each of Kemco's development partners have made major engine changes or created new ones altogether. Everyone except Magitec, that is...

Gary Chalk is one of those guys whose name you might not know or remember, but whose work will strike a familiar chord with many. His striking and unique artwork can be found in many fantasy favorites, including the classic Redwall series of books, the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks, and the cult favorite board games Talisman and HeroQuest. His style is recognizable almost immediately, with gaunt-faced humans in highly detailed clothing and heavily-stylized monster designs, to say nothing of his penchant for bizarre architecture. It's his contributions to Lone Wolf that make him well-known among gamebook fans, though, and that fame makes him a solid choice to build a new series around...

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