Category Archives: $4.99

One of the cool things about video games is how they let you do things that you might not be very good at in real life. For example, in the real world, I am about as stealthy as a cow on ice skates, but in video games, I can be a master big boss ninja. Stealth games were around as early as 1981's 005 from SEGA and enjoyed a few brief spikes of popularity around certain titles like Castle Wolfenstein on the Apple II and Konami's Metal Gear on the MSX, but for the most part, it was a genre waiting for technology to catch up with its ambitions. Finally, in the late 1990s, the genre broke out in a big way on the backs of titles like Metal Gear Solid, Thief, and Tenchu, and would keep going strong with heavy hitter franchises like Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed. These big franchises are still going at it, though at times with a reduced emphasis on pure stealth, but the genre's recently been seeing a lot more small-scale projects. I think Stealth [$1.99] represents one of the smallest yet, having been created by just one person...

'The Journey Down: Chapter Two' Review - Bwana's Big Adventure Kicks Into High Gear

Nearly two years ago, or longer if you're a PC gamer, we were introduced to the world and characters of The Journey Down [$2.99], a point and click/tap adventure game from developer SkyGoblin. It was a mechanically sound example of the genre with charm to spare, but it definitely suffered from the usual chapter one problem of doing a whole lot of setting up and not much paying off. If you played it, chances are good that you fell in love with its jazzy, dark atmosphere and lovable protagonist, Bwana. Chances are also good that after finishing the game's two and a half hour adventure, you went looking for a magic lamp to wish up the next chapter. It's been a bit of a wait, but The Journey Down: Chapter Two [$4.99] is finally here, and it's an excellent continuation of the story...

Multi-platform Cold War stealth game CounterSpy [$4.99] has snuck into the app store just scant weeks after it was released on it's other platforms. This is not Sony's first foray into the wonderful world of iOS. As a port of a game designed for more than one platform, you can expect production value to be quite high. Once you get past the face of this title, however, there are some serious hurdles to clear if you are looking to draw out some enjoyment...

It must be stealth game day on iOS, as not only has the very literally-titled Stealth launched but now Sony is getting in on the action with an iOS version of their PSN stealth game CounterSpy [$4.99]. CounterSpy is a much different beast than Stealth. It's a 2.5D game, meaning it has fully 3D visuals but the game itself takes place on a 2D side-scrolling plane. The visuals are incredibly stylish, and the whole game has very cool '60s-era spy movie vibe which fits right in with the theme of the game...

A couple of weeks back, I ran across a thread in our upcoming games forum for a new stealth-based game simply called Stealth. The game was the product of about 18 months of work from a single developer who had one goal in mind: recreate the stealth-based gameplay of the Metal Gear Solid series on mobile devices. The early screenshots and videos looked pretty promising, so I figured it'd be something I'd keep my eye on… except that the forum thread was created after the game was already submitted to Apple, and as it so happens, Stealth [$1.99] was approved and is available as of this morning. What a happy surprise!..

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...

'Motorsport Manager' Review - Formula Racing for the Masses

When I sat down to try Motorsport Manager [$4.99], I thought it would be the perfect thing to poke at while listening to a podcast. After all, I wouldn’t be expected to drive the cars; I’d be running the biz and laying out the race strategy. A half-hour in, I realized I hadn’t absorbed a word, because I was so fully engaged in growing my fledgeling racing empire and watching my drivers tear up the track. It’s never overwhelming, nor is it too light to maintain interest. Motorsport Manager finds a nice spot in the complexity spectrum wherein it requires frequent decision-making, without ever inducing paralysis by presenting too many options simultaneously...

It's been about a year since Re-Logic's Terraria [$4.99] made its way to the iOS App Store courtesy of 505 Games, and today 505 has announced on the official Terraria blog that a major update for the game should be arriving this week. The update will add the oft-requested "Hard Mode" which is found in the desktop and console versions of the game. Hard Mode is activated by defeating the Wall of Flesh enemy, which will then "transform" the game adding "new biomes, new bosses, 20+ new enemies, 100+ new items, New NPCs" and will allow you to "Use the Pwnhammer to destroy Demon Altars and create new ores."..

'The Wolf Among Us' Review - Red in Tooth and Claw

The first thing that happens in Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us [$4.99] is that Sheriff Bigby Wolf talks to a toad in a cardigan. The second thing, at least for me, was that he gets beaten to death (twice). Apparent cause of death is an axe handle through the eye socket, but I’m no doctor. That’s a hell of a first impression for the series, adapted from Bill Willingham’s Fables franchise. Fables’ premise—that fairytale characters have come to live in the real-world Bronx—isn’t uncommon: The 10th Kingdom and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods both predate Willingham, and contemporary shows like Once Upon A Time and Sleepy Hollow continue the unevenly handled tradition...

In December of 2012 developer SkyGoblin released the point-and-click adventure game The Journey Down: Chapter One [$2.99]. It was modeled after the classics of the genre, and could have comfortably sat right alongside them back in the day – SkyGoblin did a really great job with The Journey Down. It featured interesting characters and a vibrant setting, but its low point was in the puzzles. They made sense at least, compared to some of the obtuse puzzles in older adventure games, but they felt a bit by-the-numbers and uninspired. The Journey Down's strength was definitely in its story and characters, but this too was a difficult point being that the game is episodic...

'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...

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