Category Archives: $9.99

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

Carcassonne [$9.99] has been one of the best looking and best digital board games for many years now (and also has the best music ever), and it's a gift that has kept on giving. Today, we got three mini expansions that will give you more ways to enjoy the game. The first one is Abbot, which brings a new piece you can place on Cloisters or Gardens (a new tile that just comes out of nowhere and lands on some of the existing tiles). You can recall that tiny little Abbot at any point during the game while still scoring points even without finishing the Cloister or Garden. The second expansion is The Old River, an expansion that was actually the first expansion ever published for the physical version of the game back in 2001...




So, you thought you were getting a technical marvel of an action game in Eisenhorn: Xenos [$9.99]? Wrong! This adaptation of the 2001 novel set in the ever-expansive and convoluted Warhammer universe, starring inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, has disappointing combat, and the game largely tries to hide it and convince you that it's unnecessary. Instead, this is about telling the story from the novel, featuring Mark Strong as Eisenhorn, while presenting some gorgeous backdrops, with you at the controls driving the narrative. And if Warhammer lore is your bag, this is a game for you. As an action game? Eh...

We've had our eye on Eisenhorn: XENOS from developer Pixel Hero Games, makers of the ultra-underrated action RPG Spiral Episode 1 [$3.99 / Free], ever since we got a quick demo of the game at GDC 2015. An impressive-looking trailer followed about six months later, and before we knew it we were back at GDC 2016 this past March getting another great demo of the game. People who had been following along had been very excited for Eisenhorn: XENOS to arrive, and just yesterday we learned that the game was set to launch this Wednesday, August 10th. Pixel Hero even posted a brand new developer diary video in celebration of the much-anticipated launch. Well, the weirdness of digital app stores and world time zones strikes again and as it turns out Eisenhorn: XENOS [$9.99] is now available as of just a few moments ago...

If you're an owner of a PlayStation 3 or 4 as well the owner of a Sony handheld device, you're no doubt familiar with the Remote Play feature that allows you to stream your console games on a Vita or PSP. A couple of years back the service was even expanded to the PlayStation TV, Macs and PCs, and certain Android devices. But what if you're a PlayStation owner and an iOS device owner, and you want to stream games to your iOS devices? Well, now there's a solution for you, too, as developer BitWise Solutions has just released the PlayCast [$9.99] app to the App Store...

Every time I write about Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99], the digital version of the hit co-op card game, I get at least one person wishing the game shrinks down to phone size because ever since release, the game has only been playable on the iPad. Well, Handelabra Studio has decided to make most Sentinels players' wish come true as seen in this recently-released trailer showcasing the iPhone UI. The UI is subject to change, of course, but the trailer gives you a good idea of how the game will look on your phone. According to the announcement, which came out of the company's current Kickstarter, smartphone support had been on the list before they even launched the game, but they knew it would take time to get it right...

For as far back as last June when Apple released the private beta of iOS 9 during WWDC, Game Center has been plagued with issues. For some reason the service just simply stops working out of the blue. I didn't personally become affected with the Game Center bug until sometime last fall, after the official release of iOS 9. Since then, various versions of rebooting, signing out of the App Store, turning on Airplane mode, or voodoo dancing have gotten Game Center to work intermittently, but even those crazy methods eventually stopped working and ever since about December Game Center has been as dead as a doornail to me. ..

It would be an understatement to say that we really like Rayark's Implosion - Never Lose Hope [$9.99]; we gave it 5 stars in our review and haven't stopped looking for more content to play through. A couple of months ago, we wrote that the game was getting a new character somewhere in January, and the 1.2 update has finally hit the App Store just now. The game just got a 6-mission chapter, Last Man Standing (which you need to finish mission 1-8 to unlock), as well as a new Warmech called Jonathan Carloway (that you can see in the trailer below), new ferocious bosses, and a new skill system. The most impressive part of this update is of course, the new playable character. He uses a gun in each hand and should feel pretty different playing the game again with this guy (as if you really need an excuse to play through this fantastic game again). The update is out, so go check it out...

Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99], one of the most entertaining card games on the App Store, is getting its 3rd full expansion this Friday, and it's a big one, too. Shattered Timelines is all about, you guessed it, alternate worlds clashing with all kinds of crazy results. Heroes turn to villains and the other way around, and environments blend and crumble. So, as you can imagine, this is a fun expansion that was quite well received when it came out for the physical version of the game. The update includes 8 new decks, just like Rook City and Infernal Relics, with 2 heroes, 4 villains, and 2 new environments. The heroes are Chrono-Trigger and Omnitron-X, the villains are The Dreamer, Kismet, Le Capitan, and Iron Legacy, and the environments Time Cataclysm and The Block...

To be frank, I always expected the semi-frequent requests I'd heard for a Harvest Moon iOS game to turn out to be a monkey's paw wish. I figured we would see the series on iOS sooner or later, especially after the Harvest Moon name was disassociated from the actual series, but I was expecting it to be a free-to-play game laden with IAPs. Harvest Moon: Seeds Of Memories [$9.99] is likely not what fans of the series would ideally want, but it is a fully premium title without a stitch of IAP to be found in it, and it retains enough of the appeal of the series that it will likely satisfy would-be farmers, if not excite them...

So here’s the deal. For one reason or another, I never seem to get around to playing titles from the Daedalic Entertainment. I own several of them because of Steam sales and Humble Bundles, but I just keep putting them off. Games like Edna & Harvey [$2.99 (HD)] or Deponia [$4.99 (HD)], also available on iOS, which seem great. When I saw the 2009 classic The Whispered World [$4.99 (HD)] come out exclusively for iPads, I downloaded it with the intention of finally playing one of this studio’s fascinating looking titles. This was nearly two months ago, around Thanksgiving of last year, and sure enough, I did it again! Caught up in the holiday hubbabaloo, I completely neglected this story of a sad clown who’s set to bring about the apocalypse. So dang it if this review was going to come way past the game’s release, I wanted to analyze and discuss this experience with you all...

During E3 in June of last year, Natsume Inc. announced Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories [$9.99], a new entry in the long-running farming/RPG series and the first "true" Harvest Moon game to land on iOS, as the previous mobile game bearing the Harvest Moon name was a puzzle game. Great news, right? Well, maybe. As many know, the Harvest Moon franchise is a convoluted one, and later entries in the series haven't quite captured the magic that the original SNES Harvest Moon did back in the mid-90s. So fans of the series were understandably cautiously optimistic when it came to Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories, but as of today they can find out for themselves as the game has officially launched on the App Store. Also, even though it would make TOTAL sense for this type of game to be free to play'd out the wazoo, Seeds of Memories is actually a fully paid game with zero IAP. Check out the official trailer...

It feels like there's a lot of news about Rayark's excellent stylish action game Implosion [$9.99] lately, but not much of it has been about the game itself. There's been an animated movie announced, and its Kickstarter campaign appears to be going well. Rayark has also started a serial comic based on the game, which you can read here. It's another cool way to build on the world of the game, but hey, what about that game? Is it being left behind for the sake of more passive forms of media? Worry not, friends. Rayark hasn't forgotten what brought Implosion to the dance, and they're proving it by putting together a big update for January 2016...

The first Dragon Fantasy [$7.99] game had a few things going for it when it released on iOS back in the summer of 2011. It was similar enough to classic JRPGs to feel like comfort food while simultaneously presenting a solidly-constructed, original adventure. It had a great sense of humor, and since the game was originally written in English, there was none of the awkwardness that could be found in many similar games. It received pretty substantial support after its release, getting a few new chapters at no additional cost. The game itself had a pretty heartwarming story behind its development, with the hero patterned after the designer's late father. It's also worth pointing out that at that time on the App Store, there were no Dragon Quest games and about 40 fewer Kemco JRPG releases. Thus, even though Dragon Fantasy was a pretty humble game in many ways, it still found an audience among mobile RPG fans...

'Beat Sports' Review - Weee! Sports on the Apple TV!

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November 9th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $9.99, 4 stars, Apple TV, Games, Music / Rhythm, Reviews, Sports
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I wasn’t planning on buying the fourth generation Apple TV right away. But then Guitar Hero Live [Free] happened, and I just couldn’t wait. I mean, the game is great on the iPad and iPhone, but obviously it was always meant for the living room. Imagine my disappointment, then, when I finally got Apple’s new streaming box and Guitar Hero Live wasn’t even in the App Store yet. Luckily, though, developer Harmonix (who kicked off the whole plastic instrument trend back in 2005) did have a rhythm game on the store right on launch day. It’s called Beat Sports, and while it’s no Guitar Hero or Rock Band, it’s still a pretty fun little slice of music gaming...

Correction: The premise of this entire article is incorrect. Telltale's warning about previously purchased episodes not transferring to the new Universal app was actually from when the game first went Universal back in 2013, and from what I understand they actually DID have a mechanism in place to honor previous purchases of the separate app episodes. With recent removal drama I took a reader's tip at face value without properly looking into the situation. I regret the error and would like to apologzie to our readers and to Telltale Games for giving the wrong impression...

'Templar Battleforce' Review - A Battleforce To Be Reckoned With

I think we can safely say at this point that if Space Marines are your jam, iOS has been good to you. We've got what feels like at least a half dozen decent-to-excellent officially licensed Warhammer 40K games spanning a variety of genres, to say nothing of the fine selection of games that homage Games Workshop's popular franchise. Well, I think we can add one more to that list, and it's a very fine effort indeed. Templar Battleforce [$9.99] is the latest release from the Trese Brothers, a small development team most well-known for Star Traders [Free], a trading simulation in the vein of Trade Wars and Master Of Orion. Battleforce takes place in the same universe as that game, but it has its sights set on a different genre. Instead of dealing with groups of ships traveling through the galaxy, Battleforce focuses on the Templar Knights, a group of elite warriors whose job is to protect their charges from anything that threatens them. It's a turn-based strategy RPG, a genre with no shortage of quality entries on iOS, but it manages to make quite a mark anyway...

As we reported about a week ago, Handelabra Studio's Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99], a digital adaptation of the popular physical board game of the same name, had its multiplayer update rejected by Apple due to the game's use of "cheat codes." In this case, cheat codes referred to special codes that could be entered into the game to unlock special card variants without forcing players to earn them through progressions or buy them via IAP. It was a nice compromise that allowed players who perhaps weren't skilled enough or didn't have the devotion to unlock them through play to get access to the variants, while those who did like that challenge could preserve their sense of accomplishment. Well, Apple didn't like that whole thing, so they rejected the latest update with the multiplayer functionality based on the whole cheat code thing, which had actually been in the game for some time already and made it through multiple Apple approval processes prior. That's our Apple! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯..

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99] was getting a huge update last weekend that would add a multiplayer mode to the popular card game. Well, unfortunately Sentinels is still a single-player game, so, what's the deal? According to the developers, the update lost its way somewhere in the corridors of Apple's underground layer, a not-unheard of scenario. The game had previous issues with Apple's review process, and from the looks of it none of those issues were the fault of the developers. When Handelabra submitted the Sentinel's multiplayer update, it got a message that the review team had a question about it. As you know, that's never a good message to receive when it comes to Apple's review process...

'Subterfuge' Review: An Unsinkable Strategy Game

Oh hello there. I didn't see you come in. I've been mildly obsessed with a new game I think you might like. It's called Subterfuge [Free]. Never heard of it? That's weird, they had this really awesome youtube trailer with a cameo with the Sess' himself starring as overbearingly condescending guy. It was a really cute premise but I bet you want to know what kind of game warrants a promotion from the Rajah of Reviews, the Sultan of Stars and the King of Critics Adam Sessler. Well, a good one. A really good one. In fact, I am going to spoil this right here and now for those of you who hate reading an entire review, go get this game because it is awesome...

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