Category Archives: $9.99

With the monstrous success of Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, it's no surprise that Nintendo would be crossing over their latest console hit with their mobile Mario offering Super Mario Run [Free]. I mean, that's pretty much their entire reason for wanting to make mobile games, right? To get you interested in their console stuff? The latest example of this cross-platform synergy is a set of new Super Mario Odyssey statues which will be available for free in Super Mario Run over a staggered bi-weekly release calendar which is already under way with this week's Wedding Mario statue. Basically, all you have to do is log into Super Mario Run before 11pm PST on November 14th and you'll receive the Mario Wedding statue in your Gift Box...

One of the more surprising iOS ports of recent times is undoubtedly Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)], and when it was announced late last year I was truly blindsided by seeing such a legendary PC strategy classic on a tablet device. As with many similar titles, the touchscreen of the iPad proved to be a perfect fit for the game, and the successive release of the Barbarian Invasion [$4.99 (HD)] expansion pack as a standalone release emphasised the suitability of the series to the App Store. However, as with any tablet-exclusive title, many mobile gamers were wondering if Rome: Total War would ever be available for the iPhone. I personally thought such a feat was impossible, as less meticulous releases like RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic [$5.99] were too clumsy on the smaller smartphone screen. The folks at Feral Interactive do love a challenge, however, and so have today announced that Rome: Total War will be available for iPhone devices this Winter for $9.99...




Apple is using the revamped App Store in iOS 11 with its added emphasis on curation and editorial to bring us news of a substantial update for Super Mario Run [Free] that's set to hit next week. First up is a new mode called Remix 10 which takes 10 bite-sized chunks from the existing levels in the game and has you play through them in quick succession. There are also rainbow medals spread throughout for you to collect, and it sounds like it'll be a different experience each time you play the new mode. There's no failing this mode, if you don't make it through a level you'll just move onto the next one, but playing well and collecting the medals will allow you an opportunity to earn new items for your Mushroom Kingdom, culminating the the grand prize of a brand new character: Daisy. Once you've unlocked Daisy through Remix 10 mode, she'll be playable in the rest of the game, and comes with a new double jump move that should give players a whole new way to play through the game...

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

'The Witness' Review - Lost in a Maze

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September 21st, 2017 5:00 PM EST by Rob Funnell in $9.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$9.99 Buy Now

From the outset, The Witness [$9.99] is a video game that defies convention. After a loading screen that suggests ‘for the best experience, use headphones’, you immediately awaken in a dimly lit underground tunnel, amidst deafening silence. No title screen, no contextual introduction, no long-winded tutorial - in The Witness, you’re simply left to your own devices, and the curiosity that such a brazen start instills in the player serves as the primary catalyst to explore its luscious, vibrant and expansive environments. This core ethos permeates into every inch of The Witness, whether it’s solving puzzles, navigating complex terrain or attempting to work out how to access a seemingly out of bounds point of interest, and its respect for the user is one reason why the game received such universal critical acclaim upon its console release in 2016. However, the hands-off approach that is fundamental to The Witness’s identity is also its biggest source of frustration and, because of Thekla, Inc.’s impressive efforts in emulating the experience on mobile devices, a flaw that is as prominent as ever in the iOS iteration of the game...

It's no exaggeration to say that Neon Chrome [$2.99] was one of the best mobile games to hit the App Store in 2016. The beautiful cyberpunk aesthetic combined with an engrossing sense of progression elevated Neon Chrome to the very apex of the iPhone's dual stick shooter genre, and received a highly coveted five-star review from the notorious Carter Dotson himself back in November. Understandably, everyone wanted even more Neon Chrome to play, and so the promise of the Arena DLC hitting mobile back in January was extremely exciting. However, months went by with little information on when this expansion would make its way to the mobile iteration of the title, and even with a substantial amount of content in the base game, Neon Chrome fans were beginning to wonder if the Arena DLC would ever make the transition from PC at all. Thankfully, 10tons have today confirmed that a first version of Arena for the iOS port of Neon Chrome is finally playable, and they are looking for testers on our forums to help balance and optimise the expansion before its upcoming launch...

Egglia: Legend of the Redcap [$9.99] is an example of a game that betrays expectations to its own detriment. Because the development team consists of some key people who worked on Square's Mana series, the game's look and marketing might give you the impression it's a similar game. It's not. The game carries a relatively high price tag and no IAP, factors which usually point to a more traditional gaming experience, but Egglia also requires you to maintain an online connection and deal with a lot of timers and social RPG elements. On a fundamental level, you might look at the game's previews and screenshots and think you're getting something along the lines of a standard JRPG. But it's not that, either. Sadly, I think if you come into the game holding too strongly to any of these reasonable expectations, you're a lot less likely to enjoy the game for what it is. I suppose that's at least one major thing Egglia has in common with the average Mana game...

Taito is one of the most historically significant companies in gaming history, and that is almost entirely due to Space Invaders. The 1978 pioneer of shoot-em-ups kicked off a genuine worldwide craze, and Taito watched their coffers fill with cash hand over fist. Plenty of great games followed, but none would have the impact or financial success of Space Invaders. Taito helped create the arcade scene with that game's focus on achieving high scores. Sadly, the company never quite got the swing of making home games, and their relevance diminished right alongside the arcades they helped to build in the first place. They weren't even able to hold onto their crown in the shoot-em-up genre for very long, but to their credit, they kept right on swinging anyway...

During the mid and late '90s Taito released a trilogy of awesome scrolling shooters starting with 1994's RayForce, then 1997's RayStorm, and finally 1998's RayCrisis which was the third game in the series but actually a prequel to RayForce. Many moons ago, in January of 2012 to be exact, Taito released a port of RayForce [$6.99] onto the App Store. Shooters worked well on the touchscreen and RayForce was a welcome addition to the iPhone's library of shooters. Fans of the series figured that the rest of the trilogy would make a good fit for mobile too, and indeed in June of 2012 the iOS version of RayStorm [$9.99] was released. That just left RayCrisis and later in 2012… it never came. Nor did it come in 2013, or 2014, or 2105. Not even in 2016! What the heck, Taito? Well, it took 5 years, but 2017 turned out to be the year as RayCrisis [$11.99] finally hit the App Store earlier today...

Death Road to Canada [$10.99] by Rocketcat LLC is one of the better games of 2017, and certainly one of the more humorous games about the zombie apocalypse. In Death Road you hit the road and hope to make it through the walking dead and other trials to the relative safety of Canada all the way from the decidedly unsafe environs of Florida. It's a really deep game with a lot to do and it just keeps getting better...

After launching in Japan back in April and topping the charts, us Westerners finally have a chance to experience Egglia: Legend of the Redcap [$9.99], which missed our weekly out now post from last night but did eventually hit the App Store earlier today. With a development team comprised of folks who have had their hands in many famous RPG series over the years, Egglia: Legend of the Redcap has you playing as an elf named Chabo who mysteriously falls from the sky into the land of Egglia. The land has been broken into pieces by evil forces and those pieces have been sealed into special eggs, which only Chabo can open. You'll join up with a merry band of friends to travel the lands exploring, fighting, and rebuilding the land of Egglia one egg at a time. ..

What is there left to say about Death Road to Canada [$10.99]? Ever since its launch on the App Store in March, it seems the iOS community has been entirely enamoured by Rocketcat Games' latest and biggest mobile venture, and for good reason. As our review and subsequent Game of the Week award firmly underlines, Death Road to Canada's eccentric unpredictability and compulsively fun gameplay has made it a shoe-in for the end of year awards season, and the developer's commitment to expanding the experience with updates is both commendable and extremely exciting. After what has felt like a long wait, the first major content update for Death Road to Canada has today launched on the App Store, and comes with a veritable slew of content, most notably an awesome unlock system that includes perks, traits, upgrades, one-off bonuses and much more with a brand new currency called Zombo Points. The launch trailer for what has been dubbed the COCCYX update does a good job of demonstrating some of the recent additions, and this huge content patch serves as a great excuse to revisit Death Road to Canada for both hardcore fans and anyone currently sitting on the fence...

'Planescape: Torment' Review - What Can Change the Nature of an App?

Oh. Really? Another one of those old isometric dinosaurs got released on iOS? No. I am sorry, but that's wrong. THE old isometric dinosaur that devours and spits out other isometric dinosaurs is finally out for iOS. Fresh off solid remasters of Baldur's Gate [$4.99], Baldur's Gate II [$4.99], and Icewind Dale [$4.99], Overhaul Games is back with the magnum opus of the CRPG world Planescape: Torment [$6.99], and yes this terrible thunder lizard still has teeth. Much commentary of this recently revamped game is devoted to how the upgrade was handled. As many of you, dear readers, may not be very familiar, I will also be unwrapping my personal experience with the actual content of Torment. Even though I have been an avid gamer through the decades, this was one I did not get the chance to play back in the day (I blame Diablo II, personally). Now given the chance to remedy this grave personal flaw, I present to you my humble take on a giant of the industry. ..

Every since we first heard that a game based in the Lords of the Fallen universe would eventually hit iOS, we were curious as to how the Dark Souls-style gameplay would translate onto the mobile platform. When we finally learned that it would be, in essence, an Infinity Blade clone, we were met with even more questions. Would it offer anything to the genre? Can it successfully be a successor to the aging Infinity Blade series? Unfortunately, the answer to both those questions is a definitive ‘No.’ Lords of the Fallen [$9.99] is simply a sub-par clone in a genre that requires perfect execution to be worth playing...

'Xenoraid' Review - The 'Marvel vs. Capcom' of Shmups

I like playing games that may exist in a particular genre, but are willing to defy the conventions of that genre to create something different. That's exactly what 10tons has done with Xenoraid [Free], their entry into the shoot 'em up genre. It does things differently from other games, and maybe you won't like it! Western shmups are already so different from Eastern ones, due to cultural differences. Xenoraid manages to even transcend that difference, and feels like its own unique shoot 'em up. But you might just enjoy what this heterodox title has to bring to the table...

While the big N has stated that their first mobile game release Super Mario Run [Free] wouldn't be getting major content updates during the course of its life, they've still been pretty active about updating the game in general and running new events and sometimes even adding new features, like the "Friendly Run" mode back in December and the "Loads of Coins" event a couple of weeks ago. Today they've gone and done it again by updating Super Mario Run not with actual new content but with a major tweaking to how the game works in an effort to appeal to those who find it too challenging. It's called "Easy Mode" and you'll get the option to replay a level in this new way once you've failed it at least once. Easy Mode removes the time limit and also gives you unlimited bubble redos, meaning you can die as often as you want and can take as much time doing so as you wish!..

In virtually every respect, Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99] is a completely average SRPG. The latest in the line of a twenty-year-old series from well-known Taiwanese publisher Softstar, it doesn't stray far from what you've likely seen in a lot of other games in this genre. You'll go from point to point on a map, advance the story, fight some turn-based battles using an ever-increasing group of units, level up your team, and move on to the next challenge. Units can come in a variety of job classes, which define what moves they have at their disposal. Battles are broken up by cut-scenes that move the story along, but the meat of the game is left to the combat...

'Super Mario Run' Review - Mario and Luigi Are Doing What They Can

I feel pretty confident saying that Super Mario Run [Free] is the most hyped game release in the history of iOS. It has had the full marketing weight of two of the biggest giants in the industry behind it since its announcement, with Apple even going so far as to introduce a new notification system to allow players to pre-order it. That hype is there for good reason, of course. This is a historical moment for the video game industry. It's the first time a Mario game developed by Nintendo has released on non-Nintendo hardware since, I think, the original Mario Bros. back in the early 1980s. The legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto took a direct hand in the development of Super Mario Run, something he hasn't done for a Mario game since Super Mario Galaxy back in 2007. While the concept of Miitomo [Free] felt a bit underwhelming, Super Mario Run is Nintendo committing to mobile with unexpectedly fierce intensity...

One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of Super Mario Run [Free] is the five hidden coins that can be located throughout each level. While the initial pink versions are relatively easy to locate, the final black coins can be extremely difficult to attain, even if you know where they are within the colorful environments Mario has to traverse to save Princess Peach. While I'd highly recommend trying to discover where each black coin is located by yourself, there may come a point where it is just too frustrating without successive retries to find them all. If you are truly stumped by the black coins in Super Mario Run, here is a guide to where each of the elusive item can be found in the game's levels...

Nintendo's 'Super Mario Run' is Now Available!

It's been a long wait since Nintendo officially announced Mario coming to the iPhone in early September, and even longer if you consider that people have been clamoring for Nintendo to bring games to mobile even since the arrival of the iPhone a decade ago, but the time is finally here that Super Mario Run [Free] has arrived in the App Store. Well, arrived in "GET" form rather than the "NOTIFY" form it's been in since September, at least. As most everyone knows by now, Super Mario Run isn't exactly the Mario you know and love from the past three decades. This Mario runs, vaults over enemies, and does every other action besides jumping on his own, leaving you to focus all your attention on the jumping by simply tapping on the screen. It'll be interesting to see if Miyamoto and Co. have still provided a rewarding, skill-based Mario game despite the extreme distillation of its hallmark mechanics. ..

'Neon Chrome' Review - The Roguelike That's Just Right

I can't get enough of dual-stick shooter roguelikes, but often the time and effort requirement is too much. I'm more of a gaming tourist – I want to enjoy a lot of different experiences in gaming rather than having to decdicate tons of hours to get the joy out of a single game. Thankfully, Neon Chrome [$2.99] from 10tons, adapted for mobile from PC and console, scratches that itch. It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination, and it can be punishing, but it tones down some of the harsher parts of the roguelike-inspired genre to be more accessible up front for players who just want to enjoy a game of this type. This is a game where you can extract genuine rewards from it in the early hours, while still getting long-term challenge and satisfaction. ..

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