Category Archives: $5.99

'Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller' Review - Choose Your Own Kirk-Venture

Do you like Star Trek? Specifically, do you like the original series, with reckless Captain Kirk going on tons of away missions with Spock, Bones, and Redshirt, breaking the Prime Directive whenever he feels like it all in pursuit of adventure and alien love? If so, you're going to want to check out Tin Man Games's latest mobile conversion, Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller [$5.99]. It's an utterly shameless love letter to Star Trek, and it happens to be one of my very favorite books in the Fighting Fantasy series. I've played plenty of Star Trek games over the years, more than the franchise has deserved given the somewhat sorry state of quality they usually offer, but in my opinion, nothing has captured the feeling of the original Trek quite as well as this little gamebook written by Steve Jackson...

Heart surgery, eye transplants, and dentistry. If this sounds like a horror movie, then you’re not far off. Except this time you’re the one in control, and all your patients are called Bob. No, you’re not dreaming, this is Bossa Studio’s Surgeon Simulator [$5.99 (HD)], which has been remodelled and released for the iPad, and if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of a surgeon, well now here’s your chance...

'Shin Megami Tensei' Review - A Genuinely Classic RPG Gets Its English Debut

We've reached a point in gaming where, at least when it comes to major franchises, there are very few great JRPGs that haven't been eventually released in English. There are no lost Final Fantasy mainline games, all the holes in Dragon Quest have been filled, and even less famous series such as Ys and Monster World have had previously skipped over installments finally brought to English gamers. There are still a few significant gaps, though, and for me personally, none more significant than the missing games in the Shin Megami Tensei series. This is a franchise that, largely through the popularity of spin-off series Persona, has never been so relevant in the west as it is now. Sure enough, missing games connected to the franchise have made it over, one-by-one, with the entire Persona series now available in English and even the cursed Soul Hackers finally finding its way overseas, but we're still missing the games that started the whole ball of wax...

One of the problems with adaptations of existing works is that no matter how perfectly the conversion is pulled off, the end result still depends heavily on the quality of the source. If you're familiar with developer Tin Man Games, I probably don't even need to tell you that Fighting Fantasy: Island of the Lizard King [$5.99] is a perfect iOS version of the classic gamebook. The thing is, there are a lot of Fighting Fantasy books, and they're not all winners. Island of the Lizard King isn't a bad one, and oh my, are there some bad ones, but I've never been a big fan of it. The unfortunate result is that while I will once again applaud Tin Man Games's fine work in the gamebook genre, I don't think this one is all that great, through no fault of their own...

'868-HACK' Review - A Cyber-Roguelike that Excels in Design

868-HACK [$5.99] is: a risky pricing-experiment, a rogue-like, a tightly-designed machine, a Michael Brough game, and an onion…..

One of the best recent surprises was when an iOS port of Digital Reality's visually impressive shooter Sine Mora [$5.99] popped up on the App Store earlier this month. Critically acclaimed when it launched early last year on XBLA and later on Steam and PSN, the iOS version retained just about everything that the original did, earning it a high mark in our own review...

'Sine Mora' Review - An Excellent Time Jumping Port

Originally released in 2012 on XBLA, Sine Mora [$5.99] was an excellent, well-received shoot 'em up that combined impressive visuals, enjoyable gameplay, and a narrative that weaved a story far above the standards of the genre. Fast forward to today and the folks at Digital Reality have seen fit to port their masterpiece over to iOS. Despite some possible issues with its controls, Sine Mora is an excellent port and really shouldn't be missed...

When game books first started appearing on the App Store, I wasn't quite sure how well they would be received. For our younger readers, game books were basically the only handheld RPGs we had for the better part of the 1980s. They provided a lengthy adventure, packed full of surprises and action, and sometimes even told a good story along the way...

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright started out life on the Gameboy Advance system in Japan in 2001 and since then has seen multiple sequels, re-releases and even a spin-off. The original game has also seen a straight port to iPhone from the Nintendo DS. So, what makes this version so special, I hear you ask in your Barry White tone (okay, Betty White, in my case)? ..

With its large screen and multi-touch controls, real-time strategy titles have had somewhat of a resurgence on iPads (and its smaller iOS brethren, to a lesser extent). Bitmen Studio's Galactic Conflict RTS [$5.99] is the latest such title, with a focus on tons of spaceships on-screen and the requisite massive scale of dogfights. While Galactic Conflict certainly succeeds in that regard, the rest of the game is relatively benign, leading to an otherwise standard real-time strategy game...

Another year, another entry in Gameloft's Modern Combat series. As was the case with Fallen Nation [$6.99], Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour [$6.99] continues the trend of a decent single player campaign with an established formula made successful with the previous Modern Combat games. While players won't find anything particularly innovative or substantially new to the series, they'll still find a campaign with all the pros (and cons) we've come to know from Modern Combat...

That transitory period between the '80s and the '90s was a special one for me, a time frame defined by early crushes on big-haired celebrities, permanent damage from exposure to the Alien trilogy and MC Hammer, and game books. Lots and lots of game books. Like a lot of bibliophilic kids my age, I was enamored of them, so much so that I never really had much of an allowance because of how many 'choose-your-own-adventure' books I'd buy. Eesh...

We learned back in May that Tin Man Games had acquired the rights to adapt several entries from the Fighting Fantasy series of role-playing gamebooks for the iOS platform. A match made in heaven, if you will, as Tin Man had built up quite an audience with their excellent Gamebook Adventures series on iOS, and fully admit to being hugely inspired by and longtime fans of the Fighting Fantasy series...

I don’t know about you, but all I can think about when I mow someone down or blow someone away in Payback² [$4.99 / $79.99] is Jesse Ventura as Blaine in the movie Predator throwing back the cover of his minigun, spitting out his chewing tobacco (real nasty habit he’s got there) and delivering that immortal one-liner, “Payback time!”..

It makes you wonder sometimes how a developer decides which franchises to remake. Not that 1999’s Re-Volt for the PC and consoles of the day is less deserving of a remake than any other game, but I can’t help asking why this one, and why now?..

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