Category Archives: $3.99

I'm not going to try to put one over on you guys. I wasn't exactly excited when Kemco's latest, Band of Monsters [Free], popped up on the App Store, since it hit right about five minutes after Agarest War [$6.99] and five minutes before Final Fantasy Agito dropped. I'd say I have an appreciation for Kemco's fare that exceeds many people's, but there's such a thing as too many RPGs at one time. Starting the game up, I was at least relieved to see it was from developer Hit-Point, whose system-based focus usually results in something interesting, if not extremely iterative...

One of the App Store's gifts that keep on giving, Frogmind's Badland [$1.99], has received yet another update, this time adding an interesting cooperative multiplayer mode. Fans of Badland already know that its multitude of single-player levels are a blast, but one of the under the radar features of the game has always been its competitive same-device multiplayer. Racing against your "friends" towards the end of a level and "accidentally" slamming them into a giant saw blade is some of the most fun you can have huddled around an iOS device. Today's update puts a twist on that by offering modified versions of all 40 Day I levels so they can be completed cooperatively with up to four players...

Some games are so beautiful that even before you lay your hands on the controls, you want to love them. Last Inua [$3.99], a haunting adventure that takes place in the snowy arctic, is one of those games. The art design is striking. The wintery vistas provide a feeling of quiet isolation, an aspect that is bolstered by the restrained sound design. At the same time, the main characters are animated so well that you can feel their warmth and affection, and again the sound design backs that feeling up. The basic gameplay hook is well-tested and promising without having been overdone. You control two characters, each with their own set of skills and abilities, and must make use of the right skills in the right situations to see both of them safely to the goal. Think Lost Vikings, minus one viking, and you'll have the general idea, or at least what I think was the intended idea...

Just under a year ago, Aspyr Media made the dreams of many come true by bringing the classic Bioware RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$9.99] to the iPad. We thought it was a stellar port, and pretty much a must-own for anyone with an iPad. However, the release did leave iPhone and iPod touch gamers out in the cold, but Aspyr fixed this last December when they updated the game to be Universal. Since its release on iOS, Knights of the Old Republic has seen quite a few sales, but none as drastic as the one currently taking place. In celebration of May the 4th (as in "May the 4th Be With You") the game has been put on sale for just $3.99 down from its regular price of $9.99...

Here's a brand crossover that I'd never imagined: Lima Sky's cult iOS hit Doodle Jump has just launched a new crossover game with Nickelodeon's long-running cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. The new game, cleverly titled Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants [$1.99], features the same tilt-based vertical jumping that made the original Doodle Jump such a sensation. However, as easy as it would have been to just slap SpongeBob into Doodle Jump and call it a day, that's not what they've done here. Instead of the normal endless high-scoring affair, the game is broken down into more than 40 increasingly challenging levels. If you beat all of those levels you can unlock an endless mode, or just unlock it early by using the in-game currency...

In October of last year, Simogo did what they do best and turned everything I thought I knew about literature, video games and my own imagination and turned it on its ear with their digital masterpiece Device 6 [$3.99]. Is it a gamebook? Is it an adventure game? Or a visual novel? All of those things? None of them? Device 6 is definitely many things at once, and the only thing I can say for certain is there's nothing else quite like it on the App Store. It was worthy of every bit of the 5 stars we gave it in our review, and then some...

Frogmind's Badland [$1.99] made flapping cool before Flappy Bird took the world by storm earlier this year, and since its release in April of 2013 it's been updated numerous times adding all sort of great new content. Today Badland received yet another new update adding a pack of ten new levels, but this time Frogmind is trying something a bit different: The new level pack is a 99¢ in-app purchase. Previously, all new levels have been part of free updates, but I actually applaud this new paid approach. Badland felt worth far more than its asking price even upon release, so now more than a year later it feels right to be giving them a little something for new content...

I haven't really met anyone who doesn't like Monument Valley [$3.99], ustwo's stylish architectural puzzler which launched to critical acclaim earlier this month, but just about everybody I've talked to agrees the game was quite short and they'd love to see more of it. Well, more levels are in the works according to ustwo's Neil McFarland in an interview with The Guardian. However, the studio isn't just cranking out more levels for the sake of it. According to McFarland, "We are making some more levels, but the reasons we're doing it are artistic reasons: there are some ideas that we didn't get to work so didn't put in there, but which we'd like to see work. There are some other things we'd like to try."..

'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 EST 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...

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