Category Archives: $4.99

Ticket to Earth [$4.99] is a well-made tactical RPG with a cool, puzzle-like combat mechanic that is both compelling and rather unique - a rarity in this day and age. The game's first protagonist is fond of saying "see the grid, find the path," the mantra from a futuristic martial art that allows her to blitz through the battlefield and over different colored squares that fuel a variety of attack powers. The story is cool, and is set in New Providence, a dying colony on a distant world. The colony is being evacuated back to earth, but you need a ticket - and they all end up in the hands of the rich and powerful. The people have had enough, and faced with an uncertain future, opt to rise up. ..

Simulating the complex and meticulous nature of a fighting game on a smartphone is a pretty formidable task, and arcade purists will likely lament the lack of physical controls and instant inputs that are so vital when a match is decided on solitary frames. That being said, Street Fighter IV Champion Edition [$4.99], the latest iteration of Capcom's classic fighting series on mobile, comes pretty damn close to an accurate brawling experience, and is a whole lot of fun to boot. Jared's glowing review earlier in July emphasised the title's abundant qualities - despite not being the revolutionary step forward from the older Street Fighter mobile iterations - and Capcom have repeatedly pledged further support for their latest App Store release. As a result, the first major update for Street Fighter IV Champion Edition is set to launch this week, with new characters Guy, Evil Ryu and Gouken being added to the roster as free downloadable content...




Tim Fowers, creator of the tabletop and digital novel-writing game Paperback [$3.99], just released a brand new title to the App Store. Burgle Brothers [$4.99] is yet another tabletop to iOS conversion and plays out like a classic heist movie. You pick your crew ala Ocean's 11, each potential recruit has unique abilities to bring to the party, and figure out a master plan to pull off a daring and high-value heist in a very secure building. Naturally no plan of thievery survives contact with the mark and much of the game is about how you adapt and extract yourself from difficult circumstances...

'Fighting Fantasy Legends' Review - Nomad Successfully Passes their Skill Test

Given their importance both in RPG history and in the memories of many players, it's not surprising that Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have been adapted into many different kinds of video games over the years. Some of them simply did the obvious, turning the books into text adventures. More often than not, however, the developers would get creative, turning out everything from first-person action/adventure games to Tomb Raider knock-offs. As a fan of the books, I ended up trying out most of these games as they released, and I can say that the main thing they had in common was that they weren't very good at all. Then smartphones and tablets came along, and all of a sudden, Fighting Fantasy games found their feet. Fighting Fantasy Legends [$4.99] continues that bout of good fortune, offering an awesome new take on the classic gamebooks...

The original Knights of Pen & Paper [$4.99] was a goofy, grind-heavy RPG with a novel set-up that allowed it to poke fun at the many tropes of the genre. It painted over its repetitive mechanics with a sweet candy coating of enthusiastic charm and only slightly overstayed its welcome. In spite of its flaws, it was a great starting point both for the Pen & Paper concept and its developers Behold Studios. Oddly, the two went their separate ways when Behold opted to work on Chroma Squad [$4.99] instead of putting together a direct sequel to their popular game. The task of crafting Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [Free] fell to Kyy Games, and it's safe to say they didn't quite meet the expectations of many of the fans of the first game. Now, Behold is back to try their own follow-up to Pen & Paper. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with a similar setting, however, they've decided to take things to space with Galaxy of Pen & Paper [$4.99]...

Turn of the Millennium Sci-Fi Adventure 'Galaxy of Pen & Paper' Hits the App Store

It figures that after I posted our weekly Out Now post where I mentioned that Behold Studio's highly anticipated Galaxy of Pen & Paper hadn't released yet that it would find its way to the App Store mere minutes later. That said, I have no problem writing up an extra post to alert all you fine and lovely people that at long last Galaxy of Pen & Paper [$4.99] is available in the App Store! Behold's original Knights of Pen & Paper [$4.99] released in 2012 and was a quirky if imbalanced love letter to old-school pen and paper gaming in a slick mobile game format. It had a ton of personality, and the following year Behold teamed up with the folks from Paradox Interactive to release a huge "+1" version of the game. A sequel was also planned but with Behold busy on other projects like Chroma Squad [$4.99] the sequel was left to KYY Games. Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [Free] did a lot of things right, but didn't quite live up to the original...

Back in early May developer TheLastKind announced a beautiful new turn-based puzzle adventure called Eden: Renaissance and put out a call for beta testers. The game had a very similar vibe to Square Enix Montreal's award-winning Lara Croft GO [$4.99], but had a larger emphasis on story that included more than 30 minutes of cutscenes. The story follows a young archeologist named Ran who teams up with an otherworldly being named Eden who has a number of special abilities which will allow you to solve each of the game's 100+ levels. After announcing early last week that the game would be coming out at some point this month, last night Eden: Renaissance [$3.99] indeed popped up in the App Store...

We've been following the development of Project MALLOW [Free] for a while now, as its intuitive marshmallow-slinging mechanic combined with its abundant charm and deceptively sinister storyline looks like a sickly sweet winning formula. With over one hundred levels of rock-hard puzzle platforming to overcome in this obstacle-strewn candy factory, Project MALLOW aims to join the likes of Super Meat Boy and Downwell [$2.99] in the hardcore, retro and infuriatingly difficult gaming renaissance of late, and has today launched on the App Store as a free download, supported by an interesting lives-based monetisation system...

Despite their intriguing stories and clever use of IPs, Telltale's games have been a mixed bag on iOS primarily because of technical issues. While most of the series were either fine or at least playable, Batman: The Telltale Series left a pretty bad taste on players' mouths because it was pretty close to unplayable on more than one instance. Well, I'm glad to say that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series [$4.99] (from now on Guardians of the Galaxy) plays just fine on my iPad Air 2, despite a couple of very brief—but unobtrusive—stutters. I don't know if this means Telltale has tinkered with the engine enough to make it work well or Guardians of the Galaxy was just less demanding than Batman; what matters is that Episode 1 of Guardians of the Galaxy should play fine on most of your devices. I will be reviewing the whole series, so expect the review score to change as more episodes release...

We learned back in May that Austrian developer Mipumi Games was bringing their hit narrative adventure The Lion's Song to mobile sometime in July, and then about two weeks ago we learned that the specific release date would be July 13th. And then I woke up today and looked at the calendar and it said July 13th, and sure enough those rascals at Mipumi weren't lying, as The Lion's Song [$4.99] is now available in the App Store. This four episode adventure takes place in early 20th century Austria and follows the story of four characters who work in the arts and science fields and the struggles that go along with it. Each episode focuses on one of the characters, with this newly-released fourth episode tying them altogether and wrapping up the whole story. Here's a brand new The Lion's Song launch trailer...

'Street Fighter IV Champion Edition' Review - A Classic Mobile Fighter Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint

For being arguably the most well-known fighting game franchise in the world, Street Fighter has a pretty weird history on mobile. If you're interested in a bit of that history, well, read on my friends. If you're here just to read about the nuts and bolts of the Street Fighter IV Champion Edition [$4.99] which just dropped in the App Store, then skip on down to the sixth paragraph for more on that. Anyhoo, touchscreens have always been a sticking point when it comes to gaming on mobile devices. In the best of cases they have caused developers to think outside the box and invent new and exciting input methods for playing games sans physical buttons. For the most part though, bringing traditional console and arcade style games to mobile meant dealing with virtual buttons overlain on the screen. And fighting games have always been ALL about button inputs. It didn't seem like the best genre to try and bring to touchscreen devices...

'Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition' Hits the App Store

You'd think that with the popularity of Street Fighter and the success their previous mobile entries have seen that Capcom would have released a new game in the last five years, but unfortunately you'd be wrong. And the Street Fighter games that they have released have been withering away on the App Store in desperate need of updating to bring them up to modern standards. Well, it took a really long time but Capcom finally addressed the problem this past May when they announced Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition [$4.99]. Featuring support for larger screens and sporting improved visuals, Champion Edition also brings 3 new fighters into the fray, with 6 more planned for future updates. And finally, it features support for MFi controllers! While Champion Edition was scheduled to release last week, a glitch with the Apple submission prevented it from releasing, delaying it until sometime this week. Well eager Street Fighters, that time is finally here as Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition has just hit the App Store...

'Epic Little War Game' Review - Back to the Trenches

It feels like Rubicon's War Game series has been all over the place. Great Little War Game [$0.99] was an accessible turn-based strategy game packed with content and a cheeky sense of humor. Its follow-up, Great Big War Game [$0.99], went for a bigger scale and added in online multiplayer. The next game in the series was Great Little War Game 2 [$0.99], which went for a more streamlined experience with portrait orientation, smaller levels, and no multiplayer at all. It was a fun game taken on its own merits, but it was somewhat of an underwhelming entry for the series to go out on. Well, here we are three years later, and it looks like the General isn't ready to hang up his pants yet. Epic Little War Game [$0.99] is here, and if you were one of the people who wished the last game was more fully-featured, you're going to be very happy with this one...

'Framed 2' Review - The Second Half of a Really Good Game

When I reviewed the original Framed [$3.99], I said "Given the brevity and lack of progression in the concept, this really does feel like half of a larger whole stretched out to fill one game." Holy crap was I right. Loveshack Entertainment decided to return to the concept with Framed 2 [$4.99] and the difference is night and day. I don't know if I have ever played a game where the second title in the series made the first one look like utter garbage in comparison, but that's exactly what Framed 2 does. It is exactly what the original game needed to feel like the genius title that the concept deserved...

'Monument Valley 2' Review - Mother and Child Reunited

The first Monument Valley [$3.99] was a landmark game on the App Store, a title that brought a fascinatingly gorgeous experience to mobile gaming. Yet, I thought there was something lacking from it: it wasn't a particularly difficult game as far as challenge goes, and while the story had some poignant moments, its abstraction perhaps was too disaffecting from the story the game wanted to tell. But certainly, critics of the game are in a notable minority, as the game has become one of the top-selling mobile games of all-time, spawned many imitators, appeared on House of Cards, and caused many people to fall in love with the characters from the game. So the sequel Monument Valley 2 [$4.99] is in an unenviable position where it has to try and recapture that magic of the original. And to a certain extent, it does: it's still a gorgeous game, and Ustwo are the masters of their craft at putting Escherian impossible geometry into a game experience. As a delivery vehicle for some gorgeous colors and landscapes, Monument Valley 2 is once again a success. As a game, and even at times as a story, Monument Valley 2 falls a bit short...

Monument Valley 2's [$4.99] release timing was pretty impeccable, with the game popping on the App Store during Apple's WWDC 17. And, of course, the game had the huge success of the original Monument Valley as a wind beneath its wings, so it shouldn't be surprising that according to Sensor Tower's numbers, Monument Valley 2 reached the top of the US App Store four times faster than the original game, which is pretty remarkable. It's hard to know how well the game will do in the long-run, especially because the fortunes of paid games on the App Store change according to the times...

Everywhere you look today, you see Monument Valley 2 [$4.99] stories, which goes to show the impact the original Monument Valley made on the gaming community (and beyond) when it was released. To celebrate the release, Ustwo Games posted a behind-the-scenes video—made with the same artistry as the games—that's definitely worth your time. The video talks about the shift in focus in the new game and the way the developers see narrative and gameplay as intertwined. The developers emphasize the importance of telling a mother's story from her perspective rather than that of her children and hope to see parents and children experiencing the game together...

Telltale's Guardian of the Galaxy [$4.99] series is about to get its second episode, and today we got to see the trailer for Under Pressure. Spoilers from here on. The Guardians have in their possession an extremely powerful relic that can bring people back from the dead (and do even more), and they are being hunted by people who are more than willing to do bodily harm. So, Star-Lord and the rest have to go find old friends and call in some favors if they are to make it through alive. At the same time, the team isn't at its best, so it's quite possible the Guardians will start losing members in Under Pressure...

'Beholder' Review - Oppressing People and Taking Names Was Never This Fun

Recently, we've had the "pleasure" of playing quite a few games that turn you into a cog in a totalitarian machine rather than a hero fighting against a ruthless State apparatus. Paper's Please and The Westport Independent played on the delicate balance between being moral and staying alive in an oppressive regime, although with differing levels of success. Still, they both managed to involve the player in what is a game of moral tug of war, where any initial desire to play the game as a moral and just individual slowly gets crushed under the reality that is survival for you and, in many instances, your family...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...

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