Category Archives: $4.99

Let's start this review by going over exactly what the iOS version of LEGO The Lord of the Rings [$4.99] is. This is not a port of the console version, though its levels are drawn almost entirely from it. Instead, it's based on the handheld version, which is unfortunately largely built around the limitations of the Nintendo DS. Yes, the DS, not the 3DS. Of course, this is the norm for LEGO iOS games going all the way back to LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 [$4.99], but what makes it significant this time is that the console version had a lot of new elements that are nowhere to be found here. If you've only been following along with the iOS versions, then you know more or less what to expect from this one, and I think you'll be more than happy with this abridged retelling of the films based on Tolkien's novels. If you're here looking for the console game on the go, though, that's not what you'll get here...

Whenever I play a games with a post-apocalyptic ocean setting, I’m always reminded of that horrible Waterworld movie. Sure, most games will undoubtedly do the bare minimum to create an experience marginally better than that flick, but it’s never a good starting position. Oil Rush: 3D Naval Strategy [$4.99] certainly does what it can to offer a decent superficial experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do nearly enough in other facets and ends up being simply satisfactory...

Well, here we are again. I'm going to preface this review with the statement that I don't envy publishers in today's smartphone market. Thanks to what is certainly the most ridiculously high level of competition in any gaming market ever, it must be enormously difficult to balance getting your game into enough people's hands with making enough money to keep the lights on. As with any difficult task, there are many figurative bodies on the floor resulting from missteps. There are free games that give away too much, leading to little income. There are free games that give too little, leading to being buried in obscurity. With so many free and low-priced games, publishers that choose to put a larger price on their games frequently face backlash or, worse, have their product entirely ignored. It's a minefield, and I feel for you guys...

This past June, Square Enix released the latest entry in the critically-acclaimed Deus Ex series with the mobile-only title Deus Ex: The Fall [$6.99 / Free]. Set right after the events that took place in the novel 'Deus Ex: Icarus Effect', and leading right into the timeline of events in 2011's console release Deus Ex: Human Revolution, The Fall did an outstanding job capturing the atmosphere and intrigue of the recent Deus Ex games and fitting it into a mobile, touchscreen-friendly package. ..

If you've been paying close attention you may have noticed that both Doom Classic [$4.99] and Rage HD [$1.99] were recently taken off of the App Store's digital shelves. Both games had incompatibility problems with Apple's iOS 7, and thus were taken down from sale, with gamers like me hopeful that they would be updated and return in the near future. Well good news as both titles have returned to the App Store this week with full iOS 7 compatibility as well as 4-inch widescreen support...

At last, with the release of Kingturn Underworld RPG [Free], the Andaria Trilogy of strategy RPGs from developer Mangobile is complete. For the second time this year, no less! So, let's explain what happened here. A few years back, Mangobile released Swords & Earrings - Tales of Andaria, a great turn-based strategy game that suffered from some bizarre controls and fairly hideous graphics. Then, about a half year after that, they released Knighturn, a prequel that offered tons of new maps, some new units, bizarre controls, and fairly hideous graphics. Finally, earlier this year, they closed out the trilogy with Kingturn RPG [Free], a story that bridged the prequel and the original, which offered tons of new maps, some new units, significantly better controls, and slightly less hideous graphics...

I intentionally kept away from The Cave [$4.99], when it released earlier this year on everything else, because I wanted to play it on my iPad – I prefer the platform for adventure games. Sacrificing visual fidelity for comfort, I lay my feet out as I enjoyed the witty writing of Ron Gilbert & Chris Remo, laughing and scratching my head as I solved my way through The Cave’s nooks and crannies...

Rodeo Games' excellent tabletop-style strategic dungeon crawler Warhammer Quest [Free] has just received a massive new update, which they first teased us about back in August. It's called The Brutal Tribe update and it features a brand new region called Averland where you'll face off against new enemies such as Savage Orcs, Black Orcs and Stone Trolls. Averland contains 9 new settlements, 14 new Story Quests and new dungeon tile sets. This new premium content comes at a price though, so unlocking The Brutal Tribe will set you back $4.99. A pittance, I'm sure, for fans of the game...

I like most of Hexage’s iOS offerings, Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman [Free] included. They have worked consistently to cement a signature art direction with each of their IP - colorful, simpler art that is easy on the eyes – and have backed up each new game with engaging mechanics to solidify its gameplay...

While hard hits and dazzling end zone plays seem to garner most of the attention when it comes to American Football, there's a deeper strategy element that sometimes gets overlooked. Pro Strategy Football 2013 [$4.99] looks to celebrate that facet of football with gameplay that focuses exclusively on the play-calling and scouting elements of the game. It succeeds well in this regard too, making it a must-play for any technical fan of the game...

Late last month Pixbits launched Junk Jack X [$4.99], the sequel to their popular 2011 side-scrolling crafting game. As fans of the original Junk Jack are very aware of, Pixbits are no slouches when it comes to updating their games, and today the first of what I'm sure will be many updates to Junk Jack X has landed in the App Store. There is tons of various fixes, tweaks, and new features in this update, but it seems like the biggest benefit of this update is to address some of the griefing that's been taking place during the online multiplayer portion of the game...

'Terraria' Review - A 2D 'Minecraft'-like With a Sense of Adventure

I don’t particularly love the sandbox-survival genre - made famous by Minecraft - or care to dabble in every one of its corners. I often play these kinds of games in a 3-4 hour chunk, vigorously exploring, crafting, and building until the well of joy runs dry and I rarely come back to them. Turns out, though, Terraria [$4.99] has one hell of a deep well, and has had me coming back for more on more occasions than I can count...

'Junk Jack X' Review - Beauty in Simplicity

Take a quick gander at the App Store's top apps, and you'll see an astonishingly large amount of Minecraft-like games. Whether its emulating its visuals or open-world sandbox gameplay, it's obvious that the genre is hot on iOS. Take Junk Jack for example, an excellent 2D sandbox game that did a good job recreating that spirit of exploration and self-discovery. Now, nearly two years after its release the folks at PixBits saw fit to release Junk Jack X [$4.99]. With a greater emphasis on accessibility and an all-important multiplayer mode, Junk Jack X does a great job of expanding on the original without changing what made the original successful...

It's a Craft-a-palooza: 'Junk Jack X' Hits the App Store Right Alongside 'Terraria'

Wow, I hope that aspiring crafters have blocked off some vacation days, because not only has Terraria arrived on the App Store but PixBits' highly-anticipated redux of their phenomenal 2D crafting game Junk Jack, called Junk Jack X [$4.99], has just surprise landed on the App Store as well. We just posted yesterday that Junk Jack X was "very close" and PixBits was just getting ready to ship the game off to Apple for approval, with launch likely coming in the next few weeks...

2D "Minecraft-alike" 'Terraria' Hits the App Store

The road that Terraria [$4.99] has taken to get to the App Store has been an interesting one, but at long last the game is finally available on mobile devices worldwide. A touchscreen port of the popular 2D Minecraft-like building game Terraria seemed like a perfect fit, and had been oft-requested even since the original PC launch of the game back in 2011. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network just got the game themselves earlier this year, with a Vita port on the horizon as well. It wasn't until this past May that developer Re-Logic confirmed that Terraria was heading to mobile devices in the summer, and just this week there were whispers that the game was slated for launch this Thursday...

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