Category Archives: $4.99

If you enjoy reading about game development, then you should read this article about the lovely Burly Men at Sea [$4.99]. The blog's written by Brooke Condolora, the artist, writer, and designer behind the game. She talks about the way they constructed this story-building game and how the branching scenes combine to form one overarching theme. They designed the game around the idea of folklore, which influenced the design in terms of length, tone, and moral. The way they went about designing for a cohesive moral was keeping the beginning and end consistent and letting players influence the events between those two narrative points. The game began as a more traditional branching narrative with dialogue choices, but they decided to abandon that for the discovery play style they finally went with...

If you play CCGs, you probably know the name Richard Garfield. If you don't, all you need to know is that he is the game designer who designed Magic the Gathering and also had a hand in games like Netrunner, Battle Tech, and many, many more. Now we just got a drafting card game called Treasure Hunter [$3.99] designed by the man himself. Per the description on BoardGameGeek, Treasure Hunter is all about trying to grab as much treasure and coins as you can in the game's five rounds. There's treasure that isn't treasure, though, so you have to be careful about what you're collecting. You draw a number of cards, and then you pick one and hand the rest to the next player. You continue doing so until everyone has 9 cards...




Back in early August, we caught our first glimpse of an upcoming courtroom drama game from developer Atreyu Games called Twelve Absent Men, and just over a month later we saw it in action with a humorous trailer. Apparently, the game quietly snuck out last week and as of today you can download Twelve Absent Men [$4.99] on the iOS App Store as well as on Google Play. Twelve Absent Men pokes fun at the tropes in your typical courtroom dramas on television and in movies, which always have a way of doing magical things like instantly going to trial after arresting a suspect and of course angering a judge into holding someone in contempt of court. ..

One of the finest crafting/survival/world-building games on the planet is Pixbits' fantastic Junk Jack X [$4.99]. The very first Junk Jack released around this time way back in 2011, but as iOS hardware and software improved and expanded, it led Pixbits to release a greatly enhanced version in August of 2013 which we know as Junk Jack X. As with the first game, the team kept updating and improving Junk Jack X at an almost absurd rate for years, and if you were looking for the most bang for your buck in terms of hours of play then it really fit the bill. Things slowed down a bit though as Pixbits worked on bringing the game to desktop, and the last significant update for the game was in December of last year. Well, Junk Jack X is back with a massive version 3.0 update that pretty much blows anything they've done in the past right out of the water...

Hunters: Episode One was the first real taste mobile gamers had of a complex and console-quality strategy game in the mould of XCOM, and its sequel Hunters 2 [$1.99] was beloved amongst the iOS community for improving on the original whilst retaining the compelling gameplay and stunning graphics (at the time, at least) of the series. When Rodeo Games quietly removed both titles from the App Store earlier this year, many thought the were gone for good - neither had been updated for many years, and with the onset of iOS 10, it appeared this was the death knell for the Hunters series. However, against all odds, today Hunters 2 has returned to the App Store with iOS 10 and widescreen support, as well as other minor bug fixes, which is fantastic news for any veteran gamers who longed to try Rodeo's strategy series again on their newer devices...

Let's be honest: Kemco's RPG release schedule on mobile has always been pretty absurd. They've only been at this for around five years on smartphones and they're nearing 50 RPGs on iOS in English, and even more than that on Android. That works out to an average of just under one RPG per month for five years running. Now, there's a fair bit of repetition from game to game, particularly if you're just looking at the broad outlines, but I feel they've historically been able to mitigate that issue by keeping a handful of developers on tap. This has helped differentiate the Kemco catalogue, to at least a small extent, and has also ensured that each developer has a bit of a buffer between releases...

Batman - The Telltale Series [$4.99] has had a peculiar existence on iOS. The first episode came way after it hit PC and consoles, the second episode came briefly after the first one - but still well behind other platforms - and now episode 3 has hit iOS only a couple of days after PC and consoles. Maybe this means we'll get episode 4 pretty much at the same time as everyone else. You can now g and grab New World Order for $4.99 and continue playing as Batman and Bruce Wayne, if your device can actually play it since most iOS devices have been having quite a few technical issues with the series so far. Hopefully, Episode 3 will play better...

'Primordia' Review – B'sodding Brilliant

Of all the adventure games I’ve reviewed for this site, this is probably my favorite. The writing is stellar, the voice acting is ace, the style is top notch, and the soundtrack perfectly sets the tone. What is this game upon which I lavish such high praise? It’s an adventure game called Primordia [$4.99]. A very modern adventure game with a very old school feel, where the puzzles are challenging but not because they’re goofy and absurd. Puzzles and interactions serve the story and characters first, in a bleak post-apocalyptic world that is very well built. And the kicker? Nary a human being in site. This is a robot’s world now, though humans still play a pivotal role...

Every now and again I like to look through old weekly new game posts to find worthwhile games that may have been overlooked. Especially with the light speed pace of the mobile market. If you like RPG survival games that capture a real sense of struggle with an atmosphere of otherworldly dread, then you’ll probably adore Dead in Bermuda [$4.99] from CCCP and Plug in Digital. The stuff that it does right, it really does right. It’s hilariously (probably realistically) difficult, but it was definitely worth the price of admission, which is way cheaper than an airline ticket to Bermuda and the psychological cost of crashing and having to survive with your wits alone...

Batman - The Telltale Series [$4.99] is unfortunately plagued by pretty serious technical issues that have drowned out the intriguing work Telltale is doing in reimagining the Batman mythos. As I wrote in my review of the first episode, Telltale included a big twist to Batman's story (which I won't repeat here for spoilers' sake) that has made the series much more intriguing than expected. This new behind-the-scenes video focuses on how Telltale created the Bruce Wayne character while allowing players to mold him to their taste through their choices. I like how the developers let you play Bruce as a variety of different people, from a suave, easy-going charmer to a brooding loner...

It's a testament to the work of Dinosaur Polo Club that they've been able to make something as mundane and infuriating as public transport into a clever and captivating puzzle game. Mini Metro [$4.99] has kept us waiting at the platform since September 2014, where we first caught a glimpse of the PC version, with a suggestion of an iOS release a few months down the line. Over two years later, Mini Metro has finally launched on the App Store, however the severe delays appear to have been worth it. With critical acclaim on its original Steam launch, and an extremely positive showing in our GDC 2015 preview, Mini Metro looks like an essential purchase for any fans of meticulous city design, or even just puzzle game aficionados in general...

'Banner Saga 2' Review - Dredging up the Past

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October 7th, 2016 2:39 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4 stars, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$9.99 Buy Now

I hope you packed extra consonants and umlauts, because Stoic is back with Banner Saga 2[$9.99]. The epic journey has returned to iOS and with it new gameplay mechanics, new environments and new friends to see die in new and horrible ways. You've probably had enough time to get over the overwhelming depression the first episode was so good at instilling in you, I bet you're ready for round 2! Come and join me by the fire while we still have some rations to share while we look deeper into this enjoyably sad sequel...

'Antiquia Lost' Review - Goo Girl Gone

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Free Buy Now

You don't even have to squint for Antiquia Lost [Free / $4.99] to resemble the recent Asdivine games released by Kemco. In terms of its visuals, mechanics, and systems, it's barely changed from EXE-Create's last few games for the prolific RPG publisher. There are a few small twists, most notably that one of the main characters has an unusual method of leveling up, but for the most part, if you've played any of the EXE-Create RPGs that use weapon customization as a core mechanic, you'll know what to expect here. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose, but it's also not a very exciting thing. The most noteworthy part of Antiquia Lost is in how it advances Kemco's IAP monetization techniques, and that's not really the kind of dinner bell most of us want to hear...

When I first heard about Burly Men at Sea [$4.99], the newest 'folktale adventure' from developers Brain&Brain, I envisioned a rugged and realistic tale with some ultra-realistic beard physics. While graphically I may have been off the mark a little - Burly Men at Sea has a similar minimalistic style similar to Doggins [$2.99], the developer's last release - the game is otherwise true to its name. Burly Men at Sea entails three bulky fisherman, all of which are named and defined by their impressive facial hair, who have decided to leave their monotonous lives behind to seek an adventure in twentieth century Scandinavian waters. We've been following Burly Men at Sea ever since we first caught wind of it back in August 2015, and after a year that has involved volunteering on farms for resources to continue making the game, and funding from the Indie Fund, the game has today finally launched on the App Store, and its beautiful presentation means it is certainly one that fans of narrative-driven adventure titles should keep their eye on...

In January of 2014 Stoic Studios launched their tactical RPG Banner Saga [$9.99] on PC to much critical acclaim. In October of that year, just shy of two years ago, they launched Banner Saga on the App Store, and it turned out to be a fantastic fit for the mobile platform. The following December, Stoic officially announced what many people had already assumed was coming, a full sequel, and also mentioned their plans to eventually bring that sequel to mobile platforms as they did with the first game. Well, after another well-received launch on desktop this past April and on consoles in July, Banner Saga 2 [$9.99] has finally popped up for purchase in the App Store...

Marriage is a tricky, tricky act, isn't it? Quite often those joined in holy matrimony don't really fit well together, and even when they do, compromises must abound if there is to be any kind of happiness in their new union. And when the marriage is of two very different people, the challenges are even greater. If you've played Minecraft (either the mobile or the PC version) and any of the Telltale games, then you already know why I started my review of Minecraft: Story Mode [Free] with these metaphors. When Telltale told the world that it would apply its narrative-based formula on Minecraft, the game that's now synonymous with sandbox, many gamers wondered whether Telltale could pull it off and whether Minecraft players would bother with a developer that put their beloved open-world game in a narrative straight-jacket, possibly chopping off any parts that refused to obey the narrative techniques that Telltale has used in its other series...

'Sorcery! 4' Review - The End of an Incredible Journey

It's been over three years since inkle released their adaptation of the first book in the Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series. In a lot of ways, that app redefined what players expected from a mobile version of a gamebook. It would have been a far simpler matter for inkle to do the expected thing and do a straight conversion of the original books. They had the engine for it, and the series is well-regarded enough that it probably would have done fairly well. Instead, the developers decided to make something that a physical book would have a hard time approximating, while at the same time appealing to the fairly large overlap between gamebook readers and tabletop gaming fans. The first game mostly relied on a unique presentation and reworked battle mechanics, but the following two games brought more and more complexity to the table. Sorcery! 3 [$4.99] was so near to a full-on RPG that its roots were hard to spot at times...

When I first played Exploding Kittens on mobile, I was quite happy with the way the physical had turned digital; the subtle additions of animation and sounds here and there really helped bring the game to life, making it even more fun to play than the original. Sushi Go! [$4.99] has followed a similar path in its journey from card to digital with the developer keeping the game's original card art but adding subtle animations that help make the game quite charming and make it feel more like a digital game than a straight port of a card game. Sushi Go! isn't perfect - there's limited interaction with other players (no emotes or anything like that), which detracts from the social aspect of a card game, and the iPad UI doesn't take advantage of the screen as well as it could. Despite these issues, Sushi Go! is a fun, quick card game that might also put a smile on your face every time you play it...

Last week we were told by the good folks at Mojang that the final installment in Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode [Free] would be hitting sometime this week, and now we finally know specifically when this week they were talking about: Right now! Or, right now-ish, I guess. The eighth and final episode of Minecraft: Story Mode, titled "A Journey's End?", arrives today on console and PC, and should be arriving on mobile platforms as well. In fact, it may even be there by the time you read this! In celebration of this momentous conclusion of Telltale's thus far longest episodic release ever, they've put together a brand new trailer for Episode 8 which shows the Minecraft: Story Mode crew going all Hunger Games to get out of their current predicament...

'Siralim 2' Review - Have Another Scoop of the Good Stuff

No matter how you slice it, making a sequel to Siralim [Free] was always going to be a tough job. The original game is essentially an overstuffed endless pit of RPG joy, densely packed with enough systems, side content, and additional challenges to keep any genre fan busy for dozens of hours or more. In hindsight, it was almost an impossible achievement. It was developer Thylacine's first stab at the genre, and it was extremely unconventional. Mixing elements of monster-catching, base-building, and roguelikes, it was like someone made a delicious Shin Megami Tensei - Romancing SaGa - Rogue sandwich and somehow pulled that blend off with only a few minor hitches. Excellent post-release support ironed out just about all of the game's issues, leaving one to wonder what exactly a sequel could accomplish...

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