Category Archives: $4.99

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 / $4.99] 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...

Ever wondered what it takes to make a game like Fireproof Games' The Room Three [$4.99]? Is it a lot of work drawing and designing every single item in spectacular detail, or does it involve late-night sacrifices at the altar of the Game Design Gods? Fortunately (?) for all those involved, it's the former as we can see in this huge collection of art and sketches that went on to become the intriguing and quite beautiful The Room Three. The Flickr Album has more than 30 photos and really highlights the crazy amount of work that went into the making of the game. There are, for instance, detailed sketches and early 3D drawings of some of the boxes and items and the reasoning behind the inclusion of the various objects and locations, like explaining the inspiration behind the Paper Theater that players find in the mezzanine theater of the Library...

As pretty much anyone who even just casually follows iOS gaming knows by now, last week brought the release of Crashlands [$4.99], an ambitious open-world action-crafting-adventure from the three brothers at Butterscotch Shenanigans. Not only was Crashlands born out of an inspirational story of facing and defeating cancer, but the game itself fully lived up to the hype and I don't think I've ever seen a mobile game (or any video game, really) that's been as universally loved as this one. Anyway, with the launch date finally coming and going, and Crashlands officially out there in the wild, the Butterscotch Bros. penned a quick blog post over the weekend with a few thoughts on where they're heading with the game's forthcoming updates...

The App Store is pretty much overflowing with games that are trying to capitalize on your nostalgia. It seems like many developers hope that aping familiar art styles and systems will elevate their otherwise amateurish endeavors. There is nothing wrong with making a love letter to a series you enjoyed growing up, don’t get me wrong, but it’s becoming a tired gimmick. Then, a few cool cats from Russia follow the same principle of nostalgia, except like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, it’s veins are coursing with steroids instead of blood, and you get a game so jam packed with references and tropes that you can’t help but smile. Until the grind kicks in that is. This is Punch Club [$1.99]...

'Crashlands' Review - Holy Wompit, This Is Outstanding

This might sound odd, but I hadn't been paying much attention to Crashlands [$4.99]. I had read the inspiring story behind its genesis, and I knew it was some sort of crafting game. I knew the developer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, has always turned out quality games. But because I had initially pegged it as being something outside of my usual interests, my eye was off the ball. I'm glad for that, because it allowed me to approach this game without too many preconceptions or any sort of hype build-up. If anything, I wasn't sure if I'd like it as much as another reviewer might, since I rarely get deeply into games built around crafting mechanics. Crashlands had to win me over, in other words, and my biggest surprise is how fully it did so...

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