Category Archives: Free

Well I guess this shouldn't really come as a surprise, but Angry Birds 2 [Free], the official proper for-realsies-this-time sequel to the blockbuster mobile hit Angry Birds has already been downloaded over a million times just 12 hours after becoming available. Now, that's impressive and all, but there are a couple of caveats to this particular statistic. ..

It's kind of crazy to think that more than two years later and Gameloft's open-world crime game Gangstar Vegas [Free] is still getting huge content updates on the regular. I guess that's one of the side benefits of having a free to play game with no cap on revenue generation. As long as it keeps being popular and keeps making money, developers can continue to add new content to it. Anyway, the latest Gangstar Vegas update is dubbed "Devil's Due" and includes an entirely new storyline branch where you've got to get your soul back from the Devil...

Thanks to the massive success of Rovio's Angry Birds [$0.99] during the formative years of the App Store, physics-based puzzle games are probably one of the more, shall we say, over-represented genres on the App Store. At this point, I'd imagine most people have plenty of them in their purchase histories, and as a result, it takes something really special to make any actual waves in the genre. An initial glance at Earth Vs. Balloons [Free], which in screenshots looks very much like something that's been done again and again on iOS, isn't likely to turn anyone's head. But after seeing the name of the developer, I had to check the game out. This game comes to us from Mangobile, the developer behind the equally plain-on-the-surface Kingturn [Free] strategy games. They're probably never going to win any awards for presentation pizazz, and while the Kingturn games certainly have their twists, they don't get by on innovation as much as they do from immensely solid construction and clever scenario design...

Sebastian Gosztyla's DUAL [Free] is a fun multi-device local multiplayer game where two people square off with their devices facing each other and either blast away at each other in competitive play or work together to destroy AI eneies in a cooperative mode. Now, the game is getting its first big update this week with a new mode, called Deflect. The mode has you trying to hit a ball past your opponent, with each ship having different shot effects. Gosztyla describes it as "a mix of soccer, tennis, and air hockey." The new trailer for the game shows off some of what the new mode and the game as a whole are about:..

It's really tough to describe a game like Agar.io [Free]. It hearkens back to the old age of computing, back when Prodigy and CompuServe allowed users access to games at the cost of an hourly rate. There's something soothing about the experience, and since it's free and gets right into the action in seconds, you may as well try it out...

This puzzle/adventure game from Bandai Namco is far from innovative but attaching average game play to a beloved franchise is a sure way to climb the charts. In Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle [Free], you play as an unnamed fighter working to avert the disaster of an "expanding dimensional distortion." Trunks and King Kai direct you on your quest, forwarding the plot and offering battle advice. The story gets a bit convoluted from there, especially when trying to explain why the Z-Fighters are battling each other...

And the spoilers keep on coming. Blizzard is revealing more and more new Hearthstone [Free] Grand Tournament cards, and I'm quite excited that we still have a long way to go until we see all 132 new cards. Now, on to some of the new spoilers. The card that has my, and many others', attention (not for its raw power, though) is the Legendary Justicar Trueheart whose Battlecry, replace your starting Hero Power with a better one, is bound to create all kinds of trouble. At 6 mana, though, and with 6/3 stats, this is quite a weak card, and its Battlecry doesn't raise its value enough to make it worth a spot in most decks. However, a lot depends on what other cards we'll see in this set because we still don't know most of the synergies and combos from the new set...

Earlier in the week I stumbled across a very cool looking trailer for a game called Tap Quest. The goal in the game was to defend a tower in the center of the screen from enemies approaching from either side, and you'd do that by simply tapping either side of the screen to perform a dash attack in that direction. It's simple premise, lovely art style and chaotic action really caught my attention. Well, in a nice surprise, Tap Quest: Gate Keeper [Free] moved swiftly through Apple's approval process and is already available on the App Store...

'Million Arthur' Review - A Rusty Blade

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July 24th, 2015 12:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 2 stars, Card, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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Although it's a new arrival in most of the world, Million Arthur [Free] is a relatively old game in a very young sub-genre. In Japan, it arrived mere months after the release of Puzzle & Dragons [Free], and while its story and production values made it a cross-media hit in its home country, the gameplay feels it's from another era. The best analogy I can make is to go back to the early days of first-person shooters. Developer id Software had released their breakout hit Wolfenstein 3D [$1.99] through publisher Apogee, but were going it alone for their next title. Apogee created a new game called Blake Stone that was built on Wolf 3D's skeleton, offering greater interactivity and a more open structure. It was a fine evolution of the gameplay established in Wolf 3D. The only problem was, the week after Blake Stone released, id Software released Doom [$4.99], and suddenly the whole tea table was up-ended. Million Arthur is Blake Stone, but for social RPGs, and outside of Japan, it's not releasing in the same window as its assassin, but years later...

'Down the Mountain' Review - Crossy*bert?

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Just make Crossy Road [Free]. It’s easy! All you need to do is take a classic video game from the 80’s, give it a cheerful, vaguely Minecraft-ian art style, load it with cute characters to collect, and park your car in the garage so the driveway is clear for all the dump trucks full of money. Of course, in reality things aren’t quite that easy. I mean, I don’t think anyone is entirely sure why Crossy Road was such a huge success considering the sheer volume of other fun little time wasters there are on the App Store. Why Flappy Bird, for that matter? Why Temple Run [Free]? Why Doodle Jump [$0.99]?..

Announced back in May and arriving a wee bit later than the rest of this week's new releases, Adventure Time Puzzle Quest [Free] is now available for download in the App Store. It's very much what it says it is on the tin: Puzzle Quest with an Adventure Time theme. Well, I guess that's not totally accurate. The matching-and-battling gameplay essence of Puzzle Quest is here, but this latest entry hews much closer to D3's other licensed matching RPG Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free], as it's free to play and loaded up with lots of social stuff...

There really aren't enough expansive RPGs or dungeon crawlers on the mobile platform. It's a pretty hard pair of genres to translate, but the ones that do shine on mobile are perfect for quick "pick up and play" sessions. That's basically where Exsilium [Free] stands, and although it doesn't do a whole lot more than your average top-down action game, it's a free affair that is easy to get into...

Ever since it released worldwide last week, CROOZ’s Card King: Dragon Wars [Free] has been gaining a lot of traction in our forums, so a few days ago I decided to dive in and see what all the hullabaloo was. At first glance it looks like a Hearthstone [Free] clone, with a similar fantasy theme and great production values. It’s actually quite a bit different, though, but not always for the better (depending on how you feel about free-to-play junk)...

I know, few of you care much about Hearthstone's [Free] Tavern Brawl today since the big announcement is coming in a few hours; however, the announcement will come and go, but this week's Tavern Brawl will be around until Sunday. So, this week's Tavern Brawl is Heart of the Sunwell: you start each game with ten mana and then you go from there. In this Brawl you build your own deck and then go to battle with ten mana already there for you to use. As you can imagine, the ten mana rule means no need to build up towards an end-of-game strategy or wait till the later turns to play your combos. Now you just need enough cards in your hand (so make sure you run cards that enable card draw). Ever wanted the ability to play those 9-cost minions immediately or run your combos non-stop? Here's your chance...

Illusion Labs is easily one of my very favorite developers, with their trademark colorfully cute 3D visuals and long tradition of taking familiar genres and mixing them up with clever controls and unique gameplay mechanics. Sway [$4.99] was among the first games I ever bought on my iPhone, and I’d argue that Touchgrind Skate 2 [$4.99] is one of the best skateboarding games on any platform. Even their dinky little kart racer Rocket Cars [Free] stole my heart recently, and it’s one of the few free-to-play games that I actually 100%’d...

'Cally's Caves 3' Review - Cally Powers Up Yet Again

Going back and playing the first Cally's Caves game, it's stunning how far this series has come in such a short span of time. While the core action gameplay is solid, just about everything else in the game looks and feels, well, like the small indie game that it is. Cally's Caves 2 [Free] upped the ante significantly, not just in terms of presentation but also in gameplay mechanics, adding a compelling Ratchet & Clank-style weapon upgrade system and smoothing out the overall difficulty. A quick glance at Cally's Caves 3 [Free] would make you think you're getting more of the same from the second game, but although the game may not appear all that different at first, I'm going to go as far as to say that this third game represents almost as significant a leap over Cally's Caves 2 as that game had made over the original...

Old genres rarely die, they just often end up evolving into something a bit different. That's certainly the case with beat-em-ups, a genre which reached its height in the 16-bit era only to almost completely vanish in the following generation. That happened for many reasons, including market saturation, the popularity of one-on-one fighters eating the genre's lunch, an overall lack of innovation, and the 3D nature of the gameplay meaning it got precious little boost from the shift into polygons the way other genres did. A few attempts were made to keep the genre going on PlayStation and its contemporaries, but they met with limited success at best. It wouldn't be until the release of the PlayStation 2 that the beat-em-up would find its new footing, thanks to Koei's Dynasty Warriors series. That series spawned many sequels, spin-offs, and imitators, and even today serves as a general template for the genre...

I don't think I'll ever get tired of samurai-based media. There's a certain elegance to it, especially when it's coupled with images of Japan's serene countryside. In that regard, Samurai Blitz [Free] is basically everything I could ever want out of an endless action experience...

UpUp: Frozen Adventure [Free] by developer Sioux is a fresh take on iOS puzzle platformers. The crux of the game is to guide an unnamed hiker safely up the mountain before he freezes to death. There is a health bar in the upper lefthand corner that slowly empties as you get colder and colder. The goal is to balance speed and collection strategies, as there are small yellow gems scattered throughout each level...

I feel like it's pretty hard for a letter game to distinguish itself at this point in the App Store's life. Much like any long-in-the-tooth genre, new entries are starting to feel far more similar to each other than different. AlphaBear [Free], the latest from Triple Town [Free] developer Spry Fox, looks into the developer's past for inspiration. Panda Poet is a web game that has you making words to create bigger and more numerous pandas than your opponent. It's kind of a word game crossed with Othello, and if I may put on my day job hat for a second here, it's been invaluable as an English study tool for some of the kids I teach. Though it works fine in mobile browsers, it's not available as a native mobile app, and you really do need two human players to get the most out of it. In short, there's room to grow the concept, and that's sort of what AlphaBear does...

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