Category Archives: $7.99

In January of 2012, Taito released their classic 1994 arcade shoot 'em up RayForce [$4.99] to the App Store, and about 6 months later they released its 1997 sequel RayStorm [$7.99] as well. Shooters like these always translated well to the touchscreen and it seemed pretty likely that Taito would be bringing the third game in the trilogy RayCrisis to mobile too. I mean, why wouldn't they bring the whole trilogy over, and if the previous Ray game release schedule was to be trusted, I would have bet they'd release RayCrisis at the end of 2012. Well, that release schedule was not to be trusted. RayCrisis never came, and while both RayForce and RayStorm were excellent additions to the App Store's shooter catalogue, they sat around virtually untouched after their release and were never updated with any of the modern trappings that came with newer and better iOS hardware and software...

The silence you hear after successfully unloading an entire volley of cannon fire into a now sinking enemy ship in HeroCraft's latest release, Tempest [$6.99] , is euphoric. The only problem is that a stop in the action is guaranteed to be short lived. The pace and pay off of being a pirate captain may feel highly romanticized in this sea-worthy offering, but I approve. Any time a developer cooks up an ARPG that even seems half-baked, my ears perk up and this time I am really glad they did. This game taps directly into a whole lot of what makes the genre great and does it in a way that is original enough for you to sit up and take notice too...




Back in early March, we told you that HeroCraft was looking for beta testers for the mobile port of their hit Steam game Tempest: Pirate Action RPG, which as you might guess is a pirate-themed action RPG. About a month later, we learned that the game was just about finished and was scheduled to launch on April 18th. Today I woke up and looked at the calendar, and noticed that the date is April 18th. You see where this is going? Yes, as of this morning Tempest: Pirate Action RPG [$6.99] is now available on the App Store and if you've missed our previous coverage you can see it in action in the following trailer...

'Death Road to Canada' Review - A Dog, Anime Magical Girl, and A Farting Man Enter a Bar...

I think you could make a strong argument that Rocketcat Games is the greatest developer in the history of mobile games. No studio has quite the collection of masterpieces that they do. Go on and look it up, their worst title is Five Card Quest [$2.99] and even that isn't so bad. Madgarden, meanwhile, has the strongest collection of unreleased titles perhaps out there, but when he releases something, it tends to be great. See their previous collaboration Punch Quest [Free], which is still brilliant and so unlike everything else on the App Store. In fact, that's the problem: these folks make games that are such pinnacles of what they do that nobody else can even come close. So, perhaps you might think Death Road to Canada [$9.99] off the bat seems a bit weird for them to do. After all, it's a zombie survival game. There's a ton of them. But that would be short-sighted: Death Road to Canada is another masterpiece from a partnership that keeps cranking out the hits...

If you're fan of board game digital conversions or of the Great War (also known as WW I), you should check out HexWar Games' Command & Colours: The Great War [$9.99 (HD)], which just released on the App Store. This port takes the pretty popular Command & Colours system and brings to your tablet a pretty entertaining take on the massacre that was the Great War. The battle system allows for the game to scale nicely, so you might be playing a small squad encounter or a huge battle; personally, I'm usually more interested in the more "intimate" encounters in strategy games. And the use of the Combat cards makes the battles unpredictable and, therefore, more entertaining...

It's been an unprecedented week for iOS releases, with some heavy hitters such as Typeshift, Oxenfree [$4.99], and Card Thief [$1.99] making their long awaited App Store debuts amidst universal praise and much celebration amongst iPhone gamers. However, one game in particular has stood out - Death Road to Canada [$9.99], the long awaited App Store iteration of cult developer Rocketcat Games's latest release, has garnered acclaim not only amongst critics, but also amidst the iOS community at large, with our dedicated TouchArcade Forums topic exploding to almost 300 posts (by the time you read this, it could have exceeded this tremendous milestone) in a matter of days. While all of us at TouchArcade Towers have been having a blast with this unique survival title, it's been fascinating to see how the community on our forums have reacted and embraced Death Road to Canada. Amidst expected discussion over the gameplay, controls, and - of course - the game's (still exceedingly cheap) $7.99 price tag, there has been some fantastic discussion in numerous guises over the quirks that make Death Road to Canada so special, and an early candidate for Game of the Year 2017...

For English console gamers, ASCII's RPG Maker for the original PlayStation was likely their first chance to make their own game without actually learning how to program. It was a very limited version of the software, but you could make a basic JRPG with it if you were dedicated enough. I imagine most players bounced off of it, though, since it took a lot of time to make anything really worthwhile. Those who stuck with it likely found their way to the more robust PC versions of RPG Maker, which started getting official English releases from 2005 onward. Since 2010, the English versions of the PC RPG Maker have been handled by Degica. That same publisher has now released an iOS RPG creation tool called RPG Creator [Free]. It's not from the same people as RPG Maker, but it certainly does a good job of approximating its earlier incarnations...

While the console and PC versions of 2k Sports’ NBA 2k series typically enjoy some significant improvements year to year, the mobile versions are typically left to iterative improvements. Maybe it’s the lack of multiplayer or the slimmed down MyCareer mode, but each year has typically brought small, but welcome changes. Such is the case again with NBA 2k17 [$7.99], which brings to the mobile series a fresh paint job, new controls, and a streamlined MyCareer mode. For the most part, there’s no doubt the changes are for the better. The real question becomes whether it’s worth the upgrade...

'Antiquia Lost' Review - Goo Girl Gone

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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...

There were a few late arrivals this week, and one of the biggest (both literally and figuratively) is NBA 2K17 [$7.99], which dropped earlier this morning. 2K's basketball offerings seem to be the fan favorites each year over EA's free to play NBA Live Mobile [Free] series, and this year's offering appears to be the most robust basketball offering yet. It features a revamped control scheme and support for physical controllers, and expanded MyCareer mode with an "Off-Day Simulator, more MyPLAYER equipment and attribute options, upgraded badge system, and more", new Historic players, and an expanded EuroLeague with new teams, among other new features...

Three weeks ago, The Quest HD [$3.99] hit the App Store after receiving a very warm reception on Steam earlier in the year, but there was only one major problem: The game was iPad-only. That's all well and good if you have an iPad, but if you don't or even if you simply prefer gaming on your iPhone then you weren't able to experience this remaster of one of mobile gaming's all-time classic RPGs. Well, as it turns out, developer Redshift didn't make The Quest HD iPhone-compatible because the numerous previous releases and expansions of the original The Quest are all iPhone-only, and they were worried people might be confused which games were the old ones and which one was the new one when looking at them in the App Store. Well, it wouldn't be any more confusing than it already is with like 20+ existing versions of The Quest! Thankfully Redshift agreed, and so after seeing the demand from players wishing for an iPhone version, they quickly went to work on a Universal update which has just become available...

'The Quest HD' Review - That Old Magic is Still Alive

Redshift's The Quest [$4.99] was originally released for Pocket PCs and Palm devices, but it found new life when the game was ported to iPhones in March of 2009. Its massive size and depth, combined with a seemingly endless parade of new content through regular expansion pack releases, made it one of the best RPGs on the platform, and for many people, the only one they ever needed. Surprisingly, the years have been generally kind to it in most regards, so it still plays as well as it ever did. Only a few respects betrayed the game's age. One of the most obvious points is that it offered no iPad-native version, forcing tablet owners to play it with a less-than-flattering zoom applied to the visuals. As detailed as the graphics in the original port are, they're clearly coming from the pre-retina days of mobile gaming, and while that's not something I mind terribly, it made the game look too old-fashioned for some...

Perhaps Playdek took the Cold War theme of its game a bit too seriously when it decided to stealthily unleash Twilight Struggle Mobile [$9.99 (HD)], its port of the classic board game, onto the App Store. Twilight Struggle, the award-winning, card-driven board game that simulates the Cold War, has been very eagerly awaited by board game fans, so I was expecting the iOS release of the game (it's been out for PC for a few months) to come with a bit more fanfare. Still, I'm not complaining one bit because this one might be a great game to play during my upcoming (very long) flight...

'9th Dawn 2' Review - Jumpin' Hack Slash

'9th Dawn 2' Review - Jumpin' Hack Slash

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March 22nd, 2016 10:30 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $7.99, 4.5 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$1.99 Buy Now

The original 9th Dawn [$2.99] was released almost three years ago. It didn't look like much, but as long as you could get past the humble presentation, you would have found an open world action-RPG with a scale few other iOS games can match. It had a clunky user interface and for those who prefer a more guided experience with their RPGs, its old-school nature could be off-putting. Personally, I loved the game, as it brought back fond memories of fumbling around in games like Ultima, and the lack of explicit story-telling was often made up for by the provocative world design. The sequel, 9th Dawn 2 [$1.99], has a few useful changes to address issues with the the original game, but for all intents and purposes, this is another heaping plate of the same taste. If you couldn't get enough of the first, you can throw down your money without fear. 9th Dawn 2 won't let you down...

Once upon a time, in the long-ago days before mankind knew how to wield fire, you could count the number of Kemco RPGs on the App Store on one hand. Among those early releases, one of the best games was Fantasy Chronicle [$4.99], among the first iOS releases from developer Hit-Point. Unlike their Kemco stablemate EXE-Create, Hit-Point isn't too big on making sequels to their games, preferring to come up with something a little different each time. It's a little surprising, then, to see Fantasy Chronicle get a sequel after several years. If Justice Chronicles [$4.99] is any indication, I think I'd like to see Hit-Point make sequels more often...

Based on a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033 has quickly become the video gaming world's third-favorite post-nuclear-apocalypse setting, give or take a rank or two. Set in a world where a nuclear war forced Moscow's survivors to live in the underground subway stations that sprawl out under the city, it's a setting ripe with possibilities for games. Ukrainian developer 4A games apparently felt it would make a good first-person shooter, and they proved themselves right in 2010 with the release of Metro 2033 on Xbox 360 and Windows PCs. That game was followed by a sequel called Metro: Last Light, and I'm quite sure we'll be seeing more games coming in that particular series. Russian developer DaSuppa and publisher TapStar Interactive seem to have come away from the book with a different kind of game idea, perhaps figuring that the struggle for resources and sprawling map filled with nodes would make a good strategy game. They weren't wrong. Metro 2033: Wars [$5.99] is awfully rough around the edges, but it's at least worth checking out for patient strategy fans who are looking for a lighter bite...

Let's be honest: when it comes to mainline Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy 2 [$7.99] is the Rodney Dangerfield of the bunch. While it has its flaws, it's not nearly as bad as its reputation would have you believe, and it actually lays down some important foundations for things the series would become famous for. Yet, because of its poor standing, it tends to sit near the bottom of most people's lists, and that seems to include Square Enix itself. The iOS port of Final Fantasy 2, which arrived way back in the pre-iPad days on the coat-tails of its more popular predecessor, has suffered from issues for years at this point. The first game, which suffered from similar problems, received an update earlier this year, but as the weeks went by, it seemed like Final Fantasy 2 was getting left out in the cold yet again...

Kemco appears to be on a bit of a strategy game kick of late on iOS, with Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99] releasing a few months ago, and now, Legna Tactica [$3.99]. Well, I can appreciate them wanting to change things up a bit here and there. Although I know many of their fans appreciate the regular trickle of traditional JRPGs, there has to be some kind of saturation point. Forty titles in, Kemco might just be finding it. Of course, it's also possible that their stalwart developers simply feel like making something different. Whatever the reason, we've got another strategy RPG in front of us, and I'm sure no one will fall out of their chair when I say that it's very derivative of the classic Tactics Ogre. This genre seems to have trouble shaking off Yasumi Matsuno's influence, and Kemco certainly weren't going to be the ones to do it...

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 [$7.99], is the best game in Kemco's iOS line-up, and I was rather excited to hear the series would be continuing...

It's been a couple of months since Kemco's last release on iOS, the mediocre strategy-RPG Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99]. That game was developed by WorldWideSoftware and was if nothing else different from Kemco's usual fare. Interestingly enough, their latest game, Tears Revolude [$3.99], is once again developed by WorldWideSoftware and also a bit different from their norm. Fortunately, it pulls off what it's going for a bit better than Ixtona did, but unfortunately, only a little bit. Still, I'm a little impressed at what the developer has set up here from a technical perspective, and I hope it bodes well for the future...

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