Category Archives: $4.99

Squishy Platformer 'Goo Saga' Makes the Jump from Android to iOS

There's no shortage of amazing platforming games on the App Store, but I'm still always on the lookout for more. I guess I just have an insatiable appetite for running and jumping. A few weeks ago, a beautiful little platformer called Goo Saga launched on Android from developer Toka Loka Games. It was about a mad scientist obsessed with creating life in his lab, and after many many failed attempts he finally does it by creating a gooey little blob named Goo. When the scientist mysteriously disappears, Goo becomes lonely and decides to break out of the lab and go in search of him. Thus, the saga begins! After a bit of a snafu with Apple approval that prevented it from coming out last week, today Goo Saga [$4.99] has finally arrived in the iOS App Store...

It was just a couple of days ago that we learned about the release date for episode 3 of Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne [$4.99] mini-series, and today we now have a trailer to go along with that announcement. And boy what a trailer it is. This third episode, which is titled What We Deserve, brings everything that's happened in the first two episodes to a head, and it looks extremely intense. Obviously, if you haven't played the previous two episodes, there are spoilers contained in this trailer. You've been warned!..




LEGO games on iOS are, by this point, nothing if not reliable. Apart from the earliest releases on the platform and the occasional experiment, the LEGO games based on licensed properties all essentially do the same things. They tell (or retell) a humorous story using a selection of stages from the console versions, offer up some mindless action gaming, and have a ton of unlockables. How much you enjoy them usually depends on how much you like the property involved, but all of the games kind of fall in that sticky zone that lay just between boring and interesting, and LEGO Jurassic World [$4.99] isn't any different. Except, you know, that this one has playable dinosaurs...

When Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] launched in October of last year, we were pretty impressed with how quickly Telltale was releasing new episodes compared to their previous episodic games. In just a couple of months 4 episodes were released with the last episode arriving just prior to Christmas, and it's those 4 episodes that are covered in our ever-evolving review of Minecraft: Story Mode. Then last week we learned that a fifth episode was on its way, and shockingly that there were three more episodes planned to arrive after it. It looks like Minecraft: Story Mode might just continue to evolve with new story arcs and episode sets for a long time, rather than having any separate sequels, and to that I say "Cool!" Today Episode 5 titled "Order Up!" is now available for download, and is designed to bridge the gap between Episode 4, which concluded the Wither Storm story arc, and the forthcoming Episodes 6, 7, and 8. Here's Episode 5's trailer...

My favorite Kemco RPG developer, EXE-Create, has found their groove over the last couple of years. Their games typically have enjoyable characters, solid mechanics, and genuinely good localizations. They've also pushed the technical side of things more than Kemco's other teams, introducing a polygonal battle system with Alphadia Genesis [$9.99] just over two years ago that they've used in several subsequent releases. If there's a downside to EXE-Create's work, it's that they rarely attempt anything risky with their game designs. While their Kemco stablemates are often trying interesting new systems, gameplay perspective, or even other genres, EXE-Create seems content to focus on delivering a tasty, predictable plate of meat and potatoes every time. How much you enjoy their games depends heavily on how tired you are of that sort of dish and whether or not you can connect with the latest batch of characters. Revenant Dogma [Free / $4.99] is no different in that regard...

Oh Game Dev Story [$0.99]. I have such a soft spot for you in my heart. Way back in October of 2010, I was still fairly new here at TouchArcade and Game Dev Story had just released, but was on absolutely nobody's radar at the time. It's not really hard to see why. It had an ugly interface and less than stellar graphics, and on the surface looked like someone had just slapped some old PC game onto an iPhone without much thought put into it. In fact, that's basically what Game Dev Story on iOS was! Anyway, as a lover of pixel graphics and wanting to give the game a fair chance, I downloaded it and gave it a spin. ..

Are you a real gamer? Are you a real hardcore gamer? Do you like games that will punish you and leave you begging for mercy? Congratulations, Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers [$0.99] is the game for you. This auto-run-and-gun game boasts fantastic art, well-done gameplay, and tough difficulty. Perhaps too tough for most: its progression gating that is so punishing that you'll beg to pay money to the developers to take shortcuts. And the game will look down at you and whisper "No."..

We really liked Wizards & Wagons [$4.99] when it came out back in November. The game was our game of the week, and we really liked it in our review, too, partly due to its dynamic gameplay and addictive quality. Now, Android users can join in on the fun since Wizards & Wagons has just released on Android as well. In addition to the release, the game has also added some new features like Game Center Achievements and Online Rankings. In addition to these features, side stories now include 8 new weapons/items, 3 new companions, 3 new bosses, a new location today, and a few crazy NPCs. There have also been some combat updates like increasing the base distance in which players can see enemies, tweaking the possibility and number of monster spawns, and improving the behaviors of some monsters. In other words, a very good game has just gotten better...

Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

It begins again! The original Badland [$2.99] was notorious for receiving new levels and features WELL after its original release in April of 2013. So when the sequel Badland 2 [$3.99] came along late last year it had the unenviable task of being compared to its older and more fleshed-out sibling. However, Badland 2 brought its own bag of tricks to the table, including even more impressive visuals and a more multidirectional nature that set it apart from its strictly side-scrolling predecessor. Even without fifty billion levels, we loved Badland 2 in our review, and knowing developer Frogmind we were quite confident that we'd be seeing more levels added in the future. And that's totally the case! Frogmind is tweeting out teasers of some new levels coming in the forthcoming Infinity update, check out the .gifs!..

A couple of weeks back we posted a brand new trailer for Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers [$0.99], a game that was initially announced way back in December of 2013. After progress on the game went silent back then, everyone just kind of assumed the project was dead until that trailer surprised everybody by popping up earlier this month. Anyway, the response to that trailer was incredible, and it was easy to see why. Lost Socks boasted some fantastic animation and character design, and promised a hardcore platforming/runner hybrid that was not for the faint of heart. As an added bonus, the game was completley devoid of any IAP, timers, energy, or any other free to play nonsense. This was a gamer's game, people!..

Asdivine Menace [Free / $4.99] represents something of a benchmark for prolific JRPG publisher Kemco. While it's not the first time they've released a sequel, or even the first time characters have returned from a previous game, this is the first time they've put out an RPG where the story directly follows up on the game that came before, right down to sharing the same main character. While you don't need to have played Asdivine Dios [Free / $7.99] to enjoy this game, if you have, you're going to get a lot more out of it. Furthermore, playing even a short way into Asdivine Menace will completely spoil the story of Dios right down to the ending, so tread carefully if you haven't finished that game yet. It's not just a follow-up in story terms, either. Unlike previous Kemco sequels, this game actually keeps all of the gameplay systems from the last game, adding only a couple of new things of its own. For some, this game might prove to be too much of a rehash from a publisher that already recycles a little too much, but if you enjoyed Asdivine Dios, I think you'll be happy with where this sequel takes the story...

Well, the long, strange trip of the latest Assassin's Creed mobile game finally comes to an end as Assassin's Creed Identity [$4.99] has just launched worldwide. The saga began when Identity soft-launched in select countries way back in September of 2014. The game was built around quick missions that felt conducive to mobile play but it was the first Assassin's Creed game on iOS to be built around the more traiditional open-world mechanics of the long-running console and PC game series. It was also a very free to play game with all the trappings that comes with, which just didn't jive well with the type of game that it was. ..

Earlier this month we caught a glimpse of an awesome-looking upcoming platformer from Emergency Studios called Chel-Z [Free]. With colorful 8-bit style pixel art, similarly 8-bit chiptunes, one big 36 room map that you could explore and slowly gain access to Metroidvania style, and a robot with a human brain who can wield a grappling hook, it had us all pretty excited. Unfortunately, Apple's approval process took longer than expected and Chel-Z didn't make it by its intended February 11th release date. The good news is that it finally did make it through approval and Chel-Z just surprised-launched mere moments ago. ..

Some games we play for the excitement, some we play for scares, and some we play for the challenge. And then there are games like Tsuro [$4.99], the digital port of the 2004 board game, that are all about introspection, the kind of game you play while lying on a couch with a glass of wine (or your spirit of choice) in one hand and the iPad in the other. Thunderbox Entertainment gladly took the challenge of bringing Tsuro to mobile and has done a pretty good job representing the abstract board game on the iPad and iPhone screens. Going with a "zero UI" philosophy, the developers tried to create a sense of immediacy between the player and the board and they have, mostly, succeeded. They tried to give us a faithful representation of how it feels to play the physical game, but at the same time also added 3 new ways to play the game, expanding Tsuro's challenge and replayability...

Shadow Blade: Reload [$4.99] is not a sequel to Shadow Blade [$1.99], but an enhanced re-release of the original. The best way to describe this in relation to the original Shadow Blade is that this is like returning to a piece of work completed a while ago, and doing some further work to it to improve it in some way. For example, one of my favorite bands, Fair to Midland, had a bunch of songs that appeared on earlier albums that they cleaned up and re-recorded along with new material for their major label debut, Fables from a Mayfly...

'Ys Chronicles 2' Review - Adol's Back, And He's All Fired Up

Last May, DotEmu surprised us with an iOS port of Nihon Falcom's Ys Chronicles 1 [$4.99], a PC remake of one of the best action-RPGs of the 1980s, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. Aside from a rough job on the English translation, the port came out surprisingly well. While the lack of an attack button has always caused some misunderstandings on other platforms, body-checking enemies into oblivion makes an awful lot of sense on a touch-screen device with no buttons to speak of. The game itself is just as great as it has ever been, with a blistering fast pace and amazing soundtrack that few other action-RPGs can match. The biggest downer of Ys Chronicles 1 is that it ends on a cliffhanger that leads directly into Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99]. The two games are frequently packed together due to their tight continuity and are best enjoyed as one complete adventure. DotEmu quickly confirmed the second game would be coming to iOS as well, and here we are...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$20.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

Apple has touted its new Apple TV as a gaming machine, but truth is we haven't really seen too many good games on the device yet (with some notable exceptions). Go Rally, a racing game developed by Inputwish and published by Chillingo, hopes to shine on the device by offering players pass-and-play multiplayer and easy controls. The behind-the-car racing game offers time-trial competitions, where you can compare times with other players in the same room as you, a full-on career mode, car upgrades and customization, and over 100 tracks set in a variety of environments and weather conditions...

Many 20th century governments have risen and fallen on the power of the word. While sudden explosions of dissent have marked the often-televised end of regimes like Romania's Ceouseskou in 1989, it was the power of the official or underground press that often initially held these governments in power and fomented the dissent that led to their downfall. And these words in official propaganda or unofficial, subversive propaganda (because any information with an angle is, technically, a form of propaganda) caused suffering and death and ruined millions of lives. That's why when I started playing The Westport Independent [$4.99], a "censorship simulator" according to the App Store description, I was expecting my words to cost many lives, my decisions to matter both in terms of gameplay but also in terms of making me care about the lives lost, even the imaginary ones...

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