Category Archives: $4.99

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 [$1.99] 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...

'Guns Of Infinity' Review - The Ravages Of War

My quest to stay more or less on top of major gamebook releases has been pretty tricky of late thanks to the speed at which new ChoiceScript-based games have released both through Choice Of Games and Hosted Games. It's hardly the worst problem to have, but readers who have stayed on top of my recent gamebook reviews know that none of them have really grabbed me recently. Coming off of the massive, disappointing Magikiras [Free], I was a little wary of Guns Of Infinity [$4.99]. It's by a completely different author, mind you, so there wasn't much of a logical basis for that fear, but the relatively large word count certainly had me cautious. An unpleasant read can result in very different levels of agony depending on its length, and if Guns Of Infinity missed the mark, it was going to be a very long haul...

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 [$1.99] 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 [Free] 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 [$0.99] 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...

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