Category Archives: $4.99

Mi Clos Studios' survival roguelike Out There [$4.99] launched on iOS back in February of last year, and we thought it was simply wonderful. It was also extremely difficult and unforgiving, which turned a lot of people off. Later that year, a major update was announced dubbed "Omega Edition" which landed on iOS this past June and added lots of new content and revamped visuals. It was a glorious treat for current fans, but many still found the game too brutal to enjoy. Welp, in early September, Mi Clos announced a series of updates they had planned for Out There which they called Multiverse Updates. The first of these updates, subtitled Cemetery Gates, adds a massive new feature that people had been requesting but the developers had been resisting since the beginning: an Easy mode. After arriving on Steam a few weeks back, Multiverse Update 1: Cemetery Gates has just landed on iOS...

And just like that, The Room Three [$4.99], Fireproof Games' fantastic puzzle game series, is out on the App Store. I knew the game would be coming out soon, but I wasn't expecting it to hit this early. If you haven't played any of the previous game, first of all, shame on you because the first two are easily some of the best puzzle games on the App Store. The games are gorgeous, perfectly designed for touchscreen gaming, and carry with them an atmosphere of mystery and dread that is surpassed by few games on mobile. The Room Three takes place in a variety of new environments, each spanning multiple areas, and has even better visuals than the previous two games, which I wasn't sure it was possible to be honest. There are better lighting effects and definitely more detail to the various rooms...




Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons [$4.99] is a tragic story about personal loss and the things we do to deal with those situations. For example, when Sony's The Last Guardian appeared to have been canceled and designer Fumito Ueda left the company, I coped by replaying Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus. Starbreeze Studios, on the other hand, appear to have coped by creating this game, a gushing love letter to one of gaming's most unique developers. It would have been easy for this to feel cynical or uninspired, but to its credit, Brothers generally feels like its own gorgeous thing, albeit with a few tips of the hat here and there. While I didn't feel it quite hit the target it was aiming for, it's still a trip worth taking...

It perhaps shows how ephemeral our hobby is that none of the major companies responsible for pushing the first decade or so of commercial computer RPGs exist anymore. Sir-Tech, who created Wizardry and got the ball rolling on the market, collapsed in the early 2000s. Origin Systems, the developer of the mega-hit series Ultima, was devoured by EA and formally disbanded in 2004, though they functionally ceased to exist well before that point. SSI, who made the wonderful Gold Box series of Dungeons & Dragons games, was absorbed into Ubisoft in 2001. Interplay, the original developer of Bard's Tale, Wasteland, and Fallout, technically still exists but only as a loose collection of tenuously-held IP rights. New World Computing, the creators of the Might & Magic series and its spin-offs, was bought out by 3DO and closed in 2002...

Depending on your persuasion, the first thing you'll do when you fire up Please, Don't Touch Anything [$0.99] and get the one bit of narrative over how you shouldn't touch anything is one of two things. One, you'll do nothing and the game will end when the person who told you not to touch anything returns. Two, you hit the big red button, flip the switch that pops up, and then hit the button again. This causes the city on the screen in front of you to blow up. Whoops!..

Wow Telltale, that was fast! Just a couple of weeks after Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] first episode came out to very positive reactions, Mojang has just announced that we'll be getting the second episode of the series today! Never before has Telltale spit out two episodes of the same series so close to each other, and it caught many by surprise. This surprising publishing pattern might mean a few things: perhaps the developers feel that this series will be its most popular and want to make sure they strike while the iron is hot, or when Telltale said that Minecraft: Story Mode is easier to make because animating the characters is easier, it was speaking truth. Of course, it could be a bit of both...

Like many popular figures, PewDiePie tends to get a mixed reaction. A whole lot of people love him. At least 39,743,403 people, at the time of writing this. A lot of people hate him. I'm sure some will stop by the comments down below. Then, there are people who have no strong feelings either way. Perhaps they've lived in Japan for a long time or something, I don't know. Group A, you already bought PewDiePie: Legend Of The Brofist [$4.99]. I'd bet you like it quite a bit, because there are a lot of jokes and references in the game that I haven't got a hot clue about. That almost certainly means the fanservice is probably off the charts...

It seems like I'm running out of clever introductions to stories like this that convey just how much support and extra content gets added to Junk Jack X [$4.99] on an ongoing basis. So I'm just going to be boring with it: Junk Jack X continues to get a staggering amount of support and new content on an ongoing basis! The latest example of this is update 2.4.4 which just dropped today and adds an extensive gardening system into the game. It makes sense, I mean gardening is basically just crafting but for plants. Add a bit of this seed, a bit of that seed, and voila, you've got yourself a fancy new plant. The gardening system allows for more than 15,000 different types of plants, so you better get started now if you want to grow them all...

Mobile platforms are in a tricky position when it comes to gaming. We rock some incredibly powerful little devices in our pockets, and as gamers we naturally want "console-like" games for them. The problem is that the actual experience of gaming is drastically different between consoles/PCs and smartphones/tablets, which is why smaller arcade-style games typically do better than deeper, more complex "console-like" games. One game which comes to mind as a great example of striking the perfect balance between a big, impressive gaming experience but fitting into the mobile gaming style is Rayark's Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99]...

If there's a Youtuber that everyone knows (including many non-gamer friends of mine) is PewDiePie, also known by few as Felix Kjellberg. Well, his legend continues to grow since PewDiePie's first mobile game, PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist [$4.99], has hit the App Store, and I have a hunch it will see plenty of downloads. This 2D platformer takes place in a very weird universe filled with Youtube stars like Marzia, CinammonToastKen, JackSepticEye, Cryaotic, Markiplier, and, of course, PewDiePie himself. Unsurprisingly, all the Youtubers have lent their voices to the game, so that's a bonus. The game has plenty of collectibles (including brocoins, of course), bosses, and generally plenty to do. You'll also have the chance to prove that you are a 'hardcore gamer.'..

I feel like I've written about this before, but Kemco and their developers have an odd approach to sequels. They're not too big on them, for starters, with only EXE-Create among Kemco's stable of developers doing them with any sort of regularity. Then, when they actually do sequels, there are virtually no links at all to the previous games, save perhaps a single character or location that reoccurs. They'll even completely change the gameplay systems to the point that no one would be able to guess it was a sequel if it weren't labeled as such. It's not something that bothers me much in general, but Asdivine Dios [Free / $4.99] is one case where I would have appreciated a safe sequel. I've made no secret of my opinion that the first game, Asdivine Hearts [$3.99], is the best game in Kemco's iOS line-up, and I was rather excited to hear the series would be continuing...

Few games have the notoriety of the Grand Theft Auto franchise; if you were around when they started coming out, you'll remember the uproar, all the newspaper articles (those were still a thing back then), and the news "experts" who decried all the violence and bad language. Fast forward a few years, and no one really blinks an eye anymore about these games, a sign of the times I suppose. GTA III [$2.99], GTA: Vice City [$2.99] , GTA: San Andreas [$3.99] have made the trip from consoles to the iOS streets these last few years, and Rockstar Games even made a GTA game specifically for playing on the go, GTA: Chinatown Wars [$2.99] which originally released on the Nintendo DS but was faithfully ported to mobile...

'Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville' Review - Can I Kill One More Zombie Mom, Please?

Although the tide has subsided a bit, it's still pretty hard not to bump into a few zombies when playing video games or watching TV shows. We are definitely past the zombie wave crest, but those lovely creatures are still dragging their destroyed bodies towards us every opportunity they get. The zombie theme's popularity makes any new game about zombies a "been there-done that" kind of affair. Still, we do occasionally see games that use the zombie theme well, and Sarah Northway's Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville [$4.99], a strategy sim game about restoring (or remaking) civilization after the zombie apocalypse, is definitely one of the good ones. Rebuild 3, much like The Walking Dead, cleverly uses zombies as the backdrop to the challenges of rebuilding society after it collapses...

'Worms 4' Review - Scorched Earthworm

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September 17th, 2015 12:22 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Some of my favorite gaming memories while growing up were playing Worms with my older brother on PC. He was always quite a bit better than me, as older brothers are (and he still is), but it was still incredibly fun slinging Super Sheep, Concrete Donkeys, and Holy Hand Grenades at each other until he whittled me down to nothing. Imagine my delight, then, when several years ago I learned Worms would be coming to iPhone! I bought every iteration on day one, and even though they weren't perfect, Team 17 managed to get it just a little bit more right every time. And now, finally, we have Worms 4 [$4.99], a sequel tailor made for mobile...

It's been almost five years since Aralon: Sword And Shadow released [$4.99]. In that five years, there have been regrettably few 3D RPGs released on iOS that can sit comfortably beside it. Angel Sword [$4.99] is the latest to tackle the genre, and although it has a strong enough start, it quickly burns off much of its goodwill. The end result is something that looks decent enough, but plays like something from the early days of the App Store. It's nowhere near Aralon in terms of complexity and enjoyment, instead feeling very much like a prettied-up Ravensword: The Fallen King [$2.99]. I'm not saying there isn't any fun to be had here, but it comes in fits and spurts between long sessions of incredibly tedious grinding...

'Oraia Rift' Review - The Good, The Bad, And The Dull

There's a surprisingly competent action-adventure game contained within Oraia Rift [$1.99]. There are lots of abilities to collect, most of which will be used to solve puzzles here and there throughout the game. The puzzles themselves are engaging enough, though fans of games like Legend Of Zelda will find very few new ideas among them. Lots of block-pushing, torch-lighting, switch-pulling, and that sort of thing. There are plenty of enemies to fight, including some bosses, though the combat isn't terribly satisfying on the whole. The world itself is a big, semi-connected maze that will have you backtracking to use keys or new-found abilities to open the way forward. It's a reasonably attractive game, too, particularly considering it's an indie effort. There are a few hours of solid enjoyment to be found here...

'Power Ping Pong' Review - Tablet Tennis

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September 14th, 2015 12:27 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $4.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Sports, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Have you ever played one of those games that everyone raves about, but it doesn’t click with you? It looks really fun and should be right up your alley, but for some reason you can’t crack it. “What’s wrong with me?” you might wonder. “Am I doing something dumb?” Well, if you couldn’t guess, that was my first experience with Chillingo’s Power Ping Pong [$4.99]. After playing for about a week now, I think I’m finally figuring out what was wrong. We’ll get to all that soon enough, but first: what is it?..

Dungeon Of the Endless [$1.99 (HD)] is an odd hybrid. On each level, you'll take your chosen heroes through a room-by-room search, looking for the exit. The layouts are random, so you'll never know what's behind each door until you open it. Sometimes you'll find a merchant who will sell you new gear, other times you'll find a room full of alien creatures ready to feast on your bones. For this part of the level, you're essentially going through the roguelike motions, trying to power up your characters and gather resources without pushing yourself too far and getting killed. Once you find the exit, there's a little twist. You'll need to go back to the starting room, pick up the heavy crystal contained within, and slowly carry it to the exit while constant attacks are rained down on you. You'll need to prepare ahead of time by spending resources on turrets and other such defenses, essentially setting up as though you're playing a tower defense game. Mixing genres is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but Dungeon Of The Endless manages itself quite well...

When I first launched Ace Maverick [$4.99] by Futureworks Studios I was immediately hit in the face with a sharp blast of electric guitar. It was like a Marshall stack violently sneezing into my ears. And while I’d love to take this opening further and use that riff as some kind of metaphor for the game itself, I’m not going to do that. The riff happened, and I just thought you should know about it. Case closed...

'Lara Croft Go' Review - Spear Beats Gun

I'm so glad that Square Enix has let its Montreal branch go crazy with great ideas for mobile versions of their licenses. Like, Lara Croft Relic Run [Free] isn't the worst idea since Temple Run [Free] exists, but did the world really need it? Instead, Square Enix Montreal has gotten to go wild with clever and whimsical concepts such as Hitman Go [$4.99] and Hitman Sniper [$1.99]. Now, they expand out into the Tomb Raider franchise with Lara Croft Go [$1.99], which takes the Hitman Go formula of being a turn-based board-style game and makes it about solving puzzles and staying alive in the tomb raiding setting. It abandons the board game style of Hitman Go, while keeping similar gameplay. And much like Hitman Go, it winds up doing some really clever things that make it another must-play game...

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