Category Archives: $4.99

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...

Siralim [Free], the rookie effort from Thylacine Studios, is hard to fit into a box. Well, it's easy to fit it into a big box. It's definitely an RPG of sorts, but from there, it doesn't fit neatly into any of the sub-genres that we perhaps too gleefully like to use to organize these things. It's an odd fusion of elements, a stew made of up various pieces of different types of RPGs. Games that try this kind of thing run a high risk of ending up with something almost entirely inedible, but on very rare occasions, everything comes together nicely, creating a dish that is both familiar and fresh. You know, I'm kind of hungry. I'm going to get a sandwich and then come back and tell you why Siralim is an awesome game without using food metaphors...

Last week we learned that the fifth and final episode of Telltale's gritty adventure series The Wolf Among Us [$4.99] was scheduled for release this Thursday July 10th. And, given the weirdness of international time zones and digital distribution, that means it's actually available right this moment, despite the fact that my calendar is still flipped to July 9th. It's like, crazy, man. This fifth episode is entitled Cry Wolf and here's the trailer...

When Square Enix Montreal announced Hitman GO [$4.99] back in February, I was skeptical to say the least. Mobile hardware is pretty beefy nowadays and I had no doubt that a full-blown, "console-like" Hitman game would work just fine on iOS. So why was Hitman GO set to be a turn-based board game of all things? Luckily for me and everyone else, I was way off base questioning Squeenix Montreal's decision, as they totally nailed it with Hitman GO. While certainly not a traditional Hitman game, Hitman GO still captures the essence of the series and provides a smart and challenging puzzle-type experience...

Telltale Games has done a pretty good job of bringing out new episodes of The Wolf Among Us [$4.99] at a decent pace. I mean, if I've learned anything from their other adventure game series The Walking Dead, it can be agonizing having an episode end on a major cliffhanger and then be stuck waiting months for the story to progress. Episode 4 of The Wolf Among Us dropped just over a month ago, and today Telltale has announced that the fifth and final episode, called "Cry Wolf", will be available on iOS next Thursday July 10th...

Hunted Cow's been a bit nostalgic this year. After making a big return to World War 2 with the recent Tank Battle: East Front [$1.99] series and revisiting ancient warfare with Ancient Battle: Alexander [$3.99], it's making another return to the American Civil War, last visited in Civil War: 1862 [$1.99] late last year. For some, it's probably a bit too soon to go back to a very familiar period, but I'm just happy to get a break from tanks in my mobile war games. As you might expect given the frequency of Hunted Cow's releases, Civil War: 1864 [$4.99] feels very iterative, but there are a couple of differences beyond the expected slate of new missions...

The last three major LEGO releases on iOS certainly represent quite the platter. LEGO The Lord of the Rings [$4.99], as a shared release with the other major handheld game systems, was cut down from the console versions in many respects, offering a few decent-sized hubs but taking out the interesting RPG elements. Still, while some parts were lost, the levels at least stayed fairly faithful to the console title. Then, we got a port of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga [Free], which seemed to be a fairly direct port of the console games and, perhaps significantly, did not release on the 3DS and PlayStation Vita. I've mentioned this in earlier LEGO reviews, but it's worth repeating for context's sake. The entire handheld LEGO line's design is held back by the weakest hardware in the group, and that still, to this very day, includes the original Nintendo DS...

I was a bit surprised by this latest release from Kairosoft, makers of the hit simulation Game Dev Story [$4.99]. Not by the game itself, mind you, since this is right off the assembly line in every way, shape, and form. No, I was surprised by Pocket Harvest [$4.99] because I really thought Kairosoft had done a farming game before. I guess it's because farming and rustic settings have been regular elements of many of their games. This is their first pure farming game, but it has been shoehorned into Kairosoft's most familiar template, creating a game that is one of their least appealing to date. The most common criticism of this developer's games is how much they tend to recycle, but at least with titles like World Cruise Story [$4.99] or Sushi Spinnery [$3.99], the settings are unique even if the mechanics are very familiar. Pocket Harvest doesn't even have that going for it, unfortunately...

There are many things you could accuse the Trese Brothers, developers of Star Traders 4X: Empires in Exile [Free / $2.99] of with regards to how they handle their games. You can't ever say that they lack ambition or industriousness, however, and that has never been more apparent than with this latest release. Although most of their past mobile work has been for Android mobile devices, the Trese Brothers have released two games before this on iOS. Their first release, a couple of years ago, was Star Traders RPG [Free / $2.99], a sci-fi themed trading game with an impressive amount of universe lore. Then, several months ago, they released Heroes of Steel RPG [Free / $3.99], an interesting turn-based strategy RPG that again featured an impressive amount of world-building. Both games were in many ways too deep for their own good at times, and both were pretty rough around the edges at release. On the positive side, both have received a mind-boggling amount of updates in response to player feedback...

'Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake' Review – A Scrumptious Treat

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake [$4.99] is one of my favorite games of the year. It's a puzzle game that's bright & colorful, but decidedly not just for kids. It's a game that has complexity without frustration, and takes place in a wonderful world that helps make it so much fun to just play again and again...

Back in December, Ubisoft brought some Assassin's Creed flair to iOS with the spinoff title Assassin's Creed Pirates [$4.99]. It was a pirate-themed nautical combat game, similar to the ship combat portions of Assassin's Creed 3 and 4 on consoles. This put it in a sort of weird position, as it was a pretty decent nautical adventure but failed at delivering a full Assassin's Creed experience to gamers on mobile. We enjoyed it well enough in our review upon release, but Ubisoft has been good about updating Assassin's Creed Pirates every couple of months with new features. The latest update hit yesterday and is dubbed the Freedom Update, and adds a new area to explore called La Isla de la Juventud along with a new ship customization feature...

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