Category Archives: $4.99

'Star Realms' Review - Fledgling Developer Delivers a Stellar Experience

The card and board game iOS port market is a land of titans these days. Blizzard and Playdek are monolithic beasts responsible for a huge resurgence of games that traditionally involve holding physical game pieces in your hand. A new star is rising that is edging it's way into this epic struggle. White Wizard Games has brought their Star Realms [Free] to the App Store to challenge deck building games like Ascension [Free]. With a co-creator of Ascension on their staff, White Wizard is on a very familiar playing field. While this single game may not completely dominate the entire landscape, it's absolutely enough to cause a stir with fantastic gameplay that boasts a number of upgrades over it's competition...

Yes, it's true. Another tower defense game has been released. But it's not just another TD. The Sentinel series is about as iconic and steeped in ios tradition as the tower defense genre itself. Origin8 is back with Sentinel 4: Dark Star [$4.99]. Years have passed since Sentinel 3 [$2.99] and I am happy to see a number of improvements and an increase in depth in the latest iteration. Equipped with a new coat of paint and a fresh wax job, the series has set out to bridge the four year long gap...

Along with all the other new games that released tonight, Capcom has quietly snuck the iOS port of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies [Free] onto the App Store. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, or Ace Attorney 5 for short, was previously a Nintendo 3DS exclusive that was released last year. Earlier this month an iOS port popped up on the Japanese App Store without warning, leaving us all wondering if it would eventually make it to the US. The very next day Capcom confirmed that Ace Attorney 5 was heading to the US, but their only response for the release date was "quite soon." I guess they weren't kidding!..

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [$4.99], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

It was just yesterday that we told you the third Act for Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99] would be hitting this Thursday, but due to how time zones work and other wackiness, it's actually available as I type this. In addition to that, if you haven't already bought Lone Wolf previously, the first Act which is included with the initial download of the game is now temporarily free to celebrate the arrival of Act 3. In case you missed it, Act 3 is entitled "The Shianti Halls" and you can scope out the trailer for it below...

One of the finest action platformers on the App Store is Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99] from Donut Games. In fact, it's somewhat surprising it turned out to be so great, considering Donut has largely focused on simplistic puzzle and arcade games during their time creating for iOS. ..

Forge Reply's impressive gamebook-inspired adventure Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99] will be getting its third act this Thursday August 7th, the developer has announced in our forums. The new Act is called "The Shianti Halls" and will have you exploring "a not-so-abandoned place full of dangerous enemies, included the fearsome Vordak!" About that Vordak… yeah, I'm not looking forward to running into that guy, nor any of the other enemies you'll square off against which are shown in the following Act 3 trailer...

I don't think I'm alone in feeling a bit disappointed by the way Kairosoft's been spinning their wheels with most of their releases. It's not that the games aren't fun individually, it's just that they provide such similar experiences that it's hard to get all that interested in another one if you've already played more than a few. So it was with a slightly weary sigh that I downloaded their latest game, Kairobotica [$4.99], expecting another Pocket Harvest [$4.99] -level rehash and little more. Much to my surprise, this is Kairosoft's most innovative new game in quite some time. That might sound like faint praise, but with the change-up in mechanics, the developer's strengths shine through brighter than they have in a while. The result is a game that may not please everyone, but should at least be a welcome sight to exhausted fans of any of the developer's prior games...

A hyper-violent game of football mashed up with Warhammer winds up being kind of boring? Say it ain't so. Blood Bowl [$4.99 (HD)] is really only for really patient people who can really tolerate their sports as turn-based dice-rolling affairs...

'80 Days' Review - This Adventure Is More Than Just Hot Air

If it's not enough that developers inkle turned gamebooks on their heads with their wonderfully creative adaptation of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! [$4.99], they're now trying to out-adventure Jules Verne in his own story. 80 Days [$4.99], based on the classic Verne novel Around The World In 80 Days, takes the nearly-perfect premise of the book and uses it as a launching point for one of the most interesting tales I've come across in the interactive fiction genre. This isn't the kind of game that is going to get people to cross lines if they don't like this genre, but if you do, 80 Days is pretty much a must-have thanks to its sharp writing and incredible replay value...

Adventure games are currently enjoying a renaissance after a long period of dormancy. Telltale's dialogue-heavy episodic games are enjoying excellent sales and general critical acclaim, Kickstarter's main legacy in gaming may well end up being dragging many veteran adventure game designers back out for another game, the PC market just might be the strongest it's ever been, and touch interfaces have proven to be a natural second home for point and click-style games. It's an interesting situation for this latest version of Secret Files: Tunguska [$4.99] to release into, a game which has a history of arriving in slightly drier climates. Originally released in 2006 for PC with ports a couple of years later on Nintendo's DS and Wii systems, Secret Files has been fairly successful at taking advantage of a lack of competition, something that obviously isn't the case on iOS...

You might recall that with The Walking Dead: Season One [Free], we did something of an unorthodox review due to the episodic nature of the game. There was a basic overview that was appended to with a review of each episode as they released, with the score adjusting appropriately. As it worked pretty well last time, we'll be doing the same thing here. I'll do my best to avoid any serious spoilers for the current season, but I'm going to talk frankly about the first season, so if you haven't finished it yet, consider yourself warned about possible spoilers...

Pixbits' Junk Jack X [$4.99] is one of those iOS gifts that keeps on giving, and today its newest update has arrived adding all sorts of summer-themed items, an entire new planet, and even the ability to go fishing. The summer items are summer-y things like popsicles and water balloons, as well as some jazzy new outfits like you can see in the screen below. The new planet is Mayan-themed and named Yuca, and it contains 15 new mob types, lots of new blocks and items, and some special Yuca equipment and weapons. ..

In my review of the game based on Thor: The Dark World [Free], I remarked about how, as a child, I never would have expected Thor of all characters to become a major media star for Marvel. There are always bigger miracles, however. I remember flipping through the pages of a Marvel Handbook when I was in elementary school and coming across Rocket Raccoon. It was my first time seeing him, and to my eyes, he looked stupid. Not just The Shocker-stupid, but genuine, unadulterated Razorback-level stupid. He was the kind of character who you would only see in a Marvel Handbook, with a handful of appearances to his name, doomed to disappear entirely for 15 years of publications. Several years ago, he and many other somewhat forgotten members of Cosmic Marvel returned as a new Guardians of the Galaxy team, in an effort to revamp that part of the Marvel Universe. It was so successful, they've got a live action movie coming out next week, and with it, their very own game. Now, that's improbable...

Last week, Disney and Marvel soft-launched a spinoff mobile game for the upcoming movie Guardians of the Galaxy, and as of today that game, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon [appprice url=""https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guardians-galaxy-universal/id834485417?mt=8"] is now available worldwide. Following an original story inspired by the film and comic series, The Universal Weapon features gameplay similar to the original Battleheart which sees you controlling a party of characters and line-drawing to combat enemies in real-time. In addition to the five main characters from the film, there are 20 more Guardians of the Galaxy characters to unlock and play with through both single-player Story campaign and an Arena mode...

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