Category Archives: $4.99

With wonderful titles like Triple Town [Free] and Alphabear [Free], Spry Fox is one of the preeminent developers of mobile games. But they make games for desktop and console, too! One of those games is a roguelike puzzler called Road Not Taken [$4.99], and although it took a couple of years, it has finally arrived on iOS. We first talked about Road Not Taken way back in May of 2013, when it was slated for release on desktop and "eventually" planned to release on mobile. Taking inspiration from Robert Frost's poem of the same name, Road Not Taken is about "surviving life's surprises" as you adventure around through randomly generated levels rescuing children who have lost their way...

If you've been playing Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99], you'll be glad to know that the seventh episode of this long-running series, Access Denied, is available for download - or will be available today at some point. As we talked about recently, this episode moves away from the murder-mystery tone of Episode 6 and goes instead into a different narrative direction. Gone is the haunted house; instead, what we have in Access Denied is a battle between Jesse's crew and PAMA, a sinister AI seeking to command everything and everyone around it in a "pursuit of optimal usefulness and efficiency."..




Ever since Paradox Interactive declared its intention of bringing some of its big strategy games, such as Crusader Kings and Stellaris, over to mobile, I've been wishing for one thing; a Crusader Kings mobile game where I can play out all those complicated and often hilarious storylines that have made the game so famous. Well, although I won't take any credit, Paradox decided to give us a game close to what I was wishing for. Crusader Kings: Chronicles [$4.99], which just now hit the App Store, is an interactive novel that has you playing as the second son of an indebted baron in the middle of war-torn borderlands...

Do you want a lesson on how far the point-and-click adventure game has come, while still seeing the appeal in the classics? Day of the Tentacle Remastered [$4.99] is a perfect example of that. This is a genre classic made by some of the masters of the medium. Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert are two of the names behind this game that you likely recognize, straight from the LucasArts days. Fans of the original game will be glad to know that this is the exact same as the original, just with an optional enhanced interface and redone graphics that convey the spirit of the original game, adding some detail and animation, without altering the heart of them. For people coming to this for the first time, like myself – strap in for a frustrating experience, but one that's rewarding if you give it a shot and are patient...

'Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition' Review - Let it Steal Your Heart

One of my favorite games of the past few years on PC is Crypt of the NecroDancer [$4.99], a rhythmic roguelike that I tried out with a friend, and I fell in love with the whole concept of the game. It's a roguelike where movement is set to the beat of a fantastic soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky, with the idea being that the entire game can be controlled by the four directional inputs on a Dance Dance Revolution dance pad. After enjoying my first time with the game, I rushed out and bought the game with its soundtrack on Steam. ..

Marriage is a tricky, tricky act, isn't it? Quite often those joined in holy matrimony don't really fit well together, and even when they do, compromises must abound if there is to be any kind of happiness in their new union. And when the marriage is of two very different people, the challenges are even greater. If you've played Minecraft (either the mobile or the PC version) and any of the Telltale games, then you already know why I started my review of Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] with these metaphors. When Telltale told the world that it would apply its narrative-based formula on Minecraft, the game that's now synonymous with sandbox, many gamers wondered whether Telltale could pull it off and whether Minecraft players would bother with a developer that put their beloved open-world game in a narrative straight-jacket, possibly chopping off any parts that refused to obey the narrative techniques that Telltale has used in its other series...

We brought news last week that 1979 Revolution [$4.99] by developer iNK Stories was to be released on the App Store soon, and thankfully the wait was not too arduous as this morning the game was finally released. However, it really is a 'game' in the loosest sense, but definitely not in a bad way. While you have the ability to make certain choices as the protagonist Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist living in the very heart of the Iranian Revolution, the main focus is on the 'cinematic experience' which really delves into the reality of one of the most momentous events of the 20th century...

Never Alone: Ki Edition [$4.99] is a game that seems to set out to do at least two things. First and foremost, it's trying to deliver an atmospheric puzzle-platformer game. It mostly succeeds at that, though it certainly makes a few mistakes that we see fairly often in this sub-genre. Never Alone also seeks to educate the player, at least a little bit, on the folklore and culture of the Inupiat people, and in this aim, it's a considerable success. The game doesn't force any of this on you, but rather focuses on the core gameplay and stunning visuals. It's an enjoyable game on those terms, but if you choose to delve into the extra content, you'll be able to appreciate Never Alone in a new light...

'Tormentum – Dark Sorrow' Review – Enthralled by Darkness

The App Store gods have been kind to my weird self this year, first with the gloriously twisted adventure tale of I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, and now with another point and click adventure that is just wrapped in brutal art within a bleak world and some moral quandaries that leave you thinking.Tormentum – Dark Sorrow [$4.99] is an absolutely gorgeous powerhouse of an adventure game, and it is objectively incredible in many ways, even if it doesn’t appeal to your subjective tastes as hard as it does to mine...

'Human Resource Machine' Review - Sine of Greatness

Any video game which attempts to include educational elements has to run a very fine line or risk alienating a significant proportion of their potential userbase. Make it too simple and people who already understand the concepts will likely not find any enjoyment - however if it’s too difficult, it may be too overbearing and tedious for the average gamer to pick up. Most of all, however, it has to be an enjoyable experience, and Human Resource Machine [$4.99] manages to provide something for everyone while being a deceptively difficult yet rewarding initiation into coding...

Paradox Interactive is mostly known for its complex strategy games covering wars and situations both real and imagined. Its most famous series in that vein is probably Europa Universalis, but Paradox shepherds several successful strategy brands, including both internally developed titles and games where they act only as a publisher. Their latest iOS release brings one of their more popular strategy brands to the platform, but in a very different form. Hearts of Iron: War Stories [Free] is a spin-off of the World War 2 strategy series Hearts of Iron, which originated on Windows PCs in 2002 and just saw its most recent release a few days ago. Instead of the familiar tactical gameplay fans know and love, War Stories is a gamebook. You're no grand commander, but rather a young recruit to the British RAF. If nothing else, it's a change of pace for Paradox, and it shows...

It's always fantastic to see critically acclaimed masterpieces on other consoles be reimagined for iOS, and today we have received one of 2014's best games in the form of Never Alone: Ki Edition [$4.99] from publisher E-Line Media. On the surface, it appears to be your standard puzzle-platformer title with the task of traversing through the tundra with your fox companion while jumping over crevices in the ice, but in reality it is so much more than that. Being a collaboration with the Iñupiat group of indigenous tribespeople from northern Alaska, Never Alone: Ki Edition provides an insight into this hidden and distant culture. Even more heartbreaking is how the game acts as a fable of how their way of life is being actively destroyed over time by the changing environment and global warming...

Seemingly out of nowhere this morning, a port of the PC game Human Resource Machine [$4.99] was released on the App Store. From the developers who brought us indie classics such as World of Goo [$4.99] and Little Inferno [$4.99], anyone who did not play the original game on Steam can be assured it's both an excellent puzzle title and a very solid port to boot. While appearing to be a simple puzzle game, Experimental Gameplay Group have added an interesting educational aspect to the title as it demonstrates how the inside of a computer works, but with their signature art style instead of an endless list of binary, which certainly would not be as fun to play. Here's a launch trailer from the original PC release to help get your head around the gameplay:..

'Hatoful Boyfriend' Review - Love, Pudding, And More Drama Than You Can Shake A Feather At

Hatoful Boyfriend [$4.99] is one of those games that grabs attention just with a description of its premise. It's a Japanese dating simulator where you play a human girl who attends a school for birds. Naturally, every last one of your potential suitors is some type of bird or another. Doves, pigeons, finches, and more can be wooed over the course of your character's sophomore year at the school. Unlike many games with a goofy premise, however, Hatoful Boyfriend manages to deliver a really enjoyable game. It knows when to play things straight, when to wink at the audience, when to bow to the absurd, and when to let things go off in surprising directions. In general, it's a parody of the visual novel genre, but its plot is so meticulously crafted, it stands perfectly well on its own even if you have no experience with the genre...

Goo Saga [$0.99] is a fun platformer for those who would be intrigued by a bit of physics fluidity in their games. It's perhaps a bit loose-playing, but fun. You control a sentient ball of goo that has to find the scientist that created them, and you do so by using your gooey abilities to their full potential. You can jump and slam on enemies to defeat them. As well, you can inflate and deflate, with inflation giving you a more solid body and faster speed, at the expense of some control. Additionally, you can deflate, which is slower, but allows you to squeeze through tight corners. Platforming and enemy-bopping is a huge part of the experience, but boss fights and vehicle-based levels will throw the occasional wrench in the proceedings...

After its well-received global launch back in February, we learned a couple of weeks ago that Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] would be receiving a huge paid expansion adding in a new chapter to the single-player campaign, new items and weapons, and more. Today that update is now available to players on iOS, and for the first time Assassin's Creed Identity is also now available on Android. The new campaign is titled Forlì - A Crimson Sunset and contains 4 new story missions, the new Forlì location with both At Dusk and Under Siege variations, a new "Crow Hunt" contract type, and 2 new Legendary Weapons added to the in-game shop. ..

'The Walking Dead: Michonne' Episode 3 Review -  In the End, Does Her Violence and Killing Leave Space for Her Humanity?

If you've watched The Walking Dead TV show, then you probably know Michonne as the almost-immortal bad-ass with the samurai sword who chops off zombie heads as if her sole purpose is helping the poor creatures depart this world. The Michonne of the TV show has consistently been the most independent and strongest of the survivors, despite a few moments when her traumatic past rises to the surface. Those few moments aside, Michonne's character stands as the glue that often holds the group together, and her sheer will, determination, and head-chopping skills have turned her into possibly the greatest symbol of strength in the face of adversity. Having this Michonne in mind, I was immediately surprised by the way she's portrayed in the first episode of Telltale's three-part miniseries, The Walking Dead: Michonne [$4.99] (sorry, spoilers from here onwards)...

After a loooonnng soft-launch, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] finally launched world wide just over two months ago. Having not played an Assassin's Creed game since the second game in the series back in 2009, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this mobile edition. As it turned out I was pleasantly surprised to find an experience that was heavily streamlined for mobile touchscreen play but still retained the essence of what makes Assassin's Creed so fun: whacking dudes while being a stealthy bad ass. ..

I can't decide if I'm happy or sad that we've gotten enough EXE-Create RPGs from Kemco this year that I'm getting a bit weary of them. The developer behind the Alphadia, Across Age, and Asdivine series, as well as numerous other one-off RPGs, EXE-Create generally creates the best games of any of the teams working for Kemco. They're particularly good at writing interesting characters and entertaining dialogue, and I can't honestly think of a single release from them that has let me down in that regard. The most common weak point of their RPGs is in how safe they tend to play things with gameplay mechanics. They seem to have really fallen into a rut of late, and it's made all the more apparent when you play their releases nearly back-to-back. For good or for ill, Glorious Savior [Free / $4.99] is another EXE-Create RPG through and through...

The simulation game factory that is Kairosoft continues to crank out new games to the iOS platform in the West, with the latest being Pocket League Story 2 [Free] which has just arrived this morning. It's a sequel to their 2012 fan-favorite release that had you putting together your own soccer team and then training them and making them into the top team in the world. Being a Kairosoft game it wasn't just about the team either, as you had to build a stadium to play in, a training facility for your team to practice at, sell merchandise to fans, and all those other little responsibilities that go along with managing a major sports team...

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