Category Archives: Free

Although many indies have tried to replicate the tiny racing feeling of classic early '90s release Micro Machines on mobile, the actual licensed IP has been strangely absent from the App Store. Way back in October of last year, Chillingo and original Micro Machines developer Codemasters announced a partnership to revive the series for mobile, and after a fairly lengthy soft-launch period their new Micro Machines [Free] has hit the App Store just ahead of its previously announced July 14th global release date...

In an interesting and quite peculiar twist in the popularity of Pokemon GO [Free], the game has become a 'weapon' of choice for political statements. This story is so crazy, though, that you might want to take it with a pinch of salt because it borders on the unbelievable. The infamous Westboro Baptist Church - known for its protests of military funerals and other even less savory incidents - apparently got involved in a Pokemon war when its location happened to be the location of a Pokemon GO gym. So, an LBGT ally used a Clefairy nicknamed "LoveIsLove" to take control of the gym, making quite the political statement. The Westboro Baptist Church then decided that it could use Pokemon to make its own political statements and, in the process, fight against Clefairy...




Pokemon GO [Free] has only been out for a few days, but we've already seen numerous highly creative attempts at cheating the system and becoming a Pokemon master, through the traditional technique of living a sedentary lifestyle from the comfort of your sofa. We've seen record players and ceiling fans being utilised to hatch eggs, and even drones equipped with smartphones to be able to catch Pokemon regardless of where the critters are contained. While some may call it lazy, and others will attest to the ingenuity of such methods, one thing that is certain is that cheating is a time-honored tradition in all Pokemon games and definitely not unique to Pokemon GO. Thanks to the detective work/legendary laziness of Reddit user Neo-Ninja, here is a short yet inspired timeline of cheating in Pokemon games (not including glitches or hacking devices such as GameShark or Action Replay because I've faced enough shiny level 100 Arceuses online and it's all your fault)...

In early June, we scoped out a wacky trailer for an upcoming third-person shooter from Flange Studio called Gun Glory: Anarchy [Free], and today the game has just gone live in the App Store. So what made the trailer so wacky? Two words: Bunny hats. Gun Glory goes beyond the tired modern military motif and features some more fantastical elements in terms of weaponry and, yes, even character outfits. It's this over-the-top element of Gun Glory that is really appealing to someone like me who has had his fill of the same old same old in shooters...

Hearthstone's [Free] latest update is a big one, and while it doesn't change much about the game, it does add some interesting new features. We are getting a new Shaman hero, Morgl the Oracle, which can be earned by referring a friend and having them reach a total of 20 levels across all classes. They cannot be recruited if they've already reached level 20. According to the patchnotes, your next four recruits will earn you a free Classic Pack. Said friends will get a free pack for accepting your generous and completely not self-serving invitation, and you'll get a new hero to play with...

Pokemon GO [Free] has been pushing people to get out and walk, a lot. However, not everyone likes being forced to participate in any kind of physical exercise, so we've seen hacks such as people finding ways to get their phone moving so the game thinks you are actually walking instead of lying on your couch feet up. Record players have been used and so have ceiling fans, but the guys in the video below took it one step further; instead of trying to find a way to cheat the system, they've found a way to have the phone travel while they sit comfortably. How? Well, by using a drone, of course...

We've seen a lot of licensed LEGO games in the 11 years since the series of action games from Traveler's Tales first kicked off. Batman, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Avengers, Indiana Jones, Jurassic World, and Pirates of the Caribbean have all had at least one game made chronicling their stories and characters. I'm not even going to touch what's going on in LEGO Dimensions, but I'm pretty sure we're only a few announcements away from a Taxi playset complete with Judd Hirsch and Andy Kaufman mini-figures. While it's undeniable that these games pay loving homage to their respective licenses (I can't doubt the purity of any developer who includes Howard the Duck in their Marvel game), it's equally undeniable that despite the wide differences between those licenses, the games are very similar in terms of gameplay. It makes sense. They found a winning formula, so why not just kludge whatever's popular into that framework? Players seem happy enough, bills are paid, it's smiles all around...

Although the game is starting to face some competition at the top spot, there's no denying that Clash of Clans [Free] has been a force to be reckoned with on the mobile charts. One region where it hasn't been quite so dominant, however, is Japan, where social RPGs like Puzzle & Dragons [Free] rule the roost. Because life is funny that way, those games seem to have had difficulties repeating their successes outside of the Asian markets. Is there no way to reconcile these differences? Well, BlazeGames, a relative newcomer to the mobile scene, has an idea. It's called Battle Champs [Free], and it just launched across the globe in most major markets...

We don't hear much about Fallout Shelter [Free] anymore, but that doesn't mean the game isn't a popular time-waster among those who enjoy the Fallout franchise and even those who just like fun management games. As announced during E3, Bethesda is preparing to launch a huge update that should give players plenty to do once more. Update 1.6 will bring a new combat system to the game, the ability to send your Vault Dwellers on quests, explore new locations - such as Red Rocket and Super Duper Mart - fight new enemies, meet new characters, and more. Check out the trailer for the update below (go to 2:10)...

I think it's fair now to say that Pokemon GO [Free] is a huge hit, probably beyond any expectations, and is rapidly becoming a cultural phenomenon. Despite its popularity, though, there are those voices who question whether the game can retain its player base and complain about the game's lack of depth and many issues - most of those related to server strain. I'm guessing that those are concerns shared by the developers as well. According to this interview by Niantic CEO, John Hanke, the development roadmap for the game includes getting deeper gameplay mechanics to ensure the game retains its huge player base. While he didn't really go into specifics, he did say that currently Pokestops and Gyms exist in their most basic versions. In the future, there will be more ways to play with Pokestops and Gyms, including the ability to "customize their functions in other ways."..

I almost let this particular game slip completely under my radar, but when I saw some screenshots of it, I knew I absolutely had to play it. I just hoped that the game would live up to the aesthetic. Mahluk: Dark Demon [$0.99] is a hack and slash platformer in the vein of Goblin Sword [$1.99] and Sword of Xolan [$0.99] with a super dark art style in which the foreground is completely silhouetted. It’s not dark in the artsy Limbo [$4.99] kind of way, but more the heavy metal crap-sack demon infested Dark Souls style world way, which I am all about. And while the aesthetic is far and away the best thing this game has going for it, it plays pretty decently as well...

I think it's pretty fair to say that Pokemon GO [Free] has become incredibly popular in the few days it's been available. Trying to avoid seeing something about the game is like trying to avoid air. The game's popularity is, of course, already translating into more money for Nintendo and everyone else involved with the game; as a Guardian story points out, the day after the launch, Nintendo's shares saw a 10% jump, which is quite the jump. What makes this jump even more impressive is how Nintendo is only indirectly involved with the game since the Pokemon franchise is owned by the Pokemon Company and the game is actually developed by Niantic. However, Nintendo owns 33% of the Pokemon Company and also owns a stake in Niantic, which explains why Pokemon GO's success is reflecting on Nintendo's value...

I’ll just be upfront about it and say that I adore the Uncharted series. There are plenty of design decisions that I can and do criticize, from overuse of long climbing/platforming sessions that don’t provide much challenge to certain narrative criticisms. But the games are always gorgeous, with amazing set pieces, charming characters, solid gunplay, and memorable moments. I’ve even always enjoyed the multiplayer, often criticized as tacked on. It is among my top franchises. So it should come as no surprise that I wanted to review the mobile tie in puzzle game, Uncharted: Fortune Hunter [Free]...

Pokemon GO [Free] has been released in virtually everywhere in the world that isn't Canada or the UK, and everyone from policemen to grandparents have been getting involved in catching critters in your back yard, churches or wherever the App leads you (but hopefully not into oncoming traffic). While it's awesome to be able to see the creatures from your childhood in 3D and take pictures of them with your friends - at least when you learn how to use the tricky screenshot feature - with only the first generation of 151 available, many ardent Pokemon masters like myself are left yearning for the whole cast from Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos. To try and tide the wait before Nintendo add monsters from the later games as they have alluded to in the past, here are the ten Pokemon that I personally think would be great additions to Pokemon GO, partially for how they would fit into real life locations, but also based my own personal desires to see the favourites from my childhood be added to the game. If you disagree with some of my controversial choices, that's okay, just be sure to leave your suggestions for Pokemon and why in the comments - especially if it's Bidoof...

Thumb Drift [Free] is a game that I initially downloaded on a whim, yet has become a mainstay on my iPhone despite my distaste for any racing game that doesn't involve blue shells and broken hearts. Through excellent controls and numerous incentives to keep trying to get further and further on each track, developers SMG managed to create a driving experience that is perfectly suited for mobile, and despite some of the patience pushing winding turns the game is even more difficult to put down. Support for Thumb Drift in previous months has been very welcome, and that pattern continues today with a new update bringing tracks, cars and much more to this iOS drifting extravaganza...

'Super Stickman Golf 3' Review - Another Great Day at the Sticky Links

It's been a few years since Super Stickman Golf 2 [Free] first released, and there's been plenty of time for that game to kind of fade into memories to a certain degree, what with the constant deluge of releases that mobile gamers are beset by. So even huge fans of that game might have forgotten just why it was so much fun. And really, that's what Super Stickman Golf 3 [Free] does best: it advances the franchise with its new spin mechanic, but also shows just how solid the core established by earlier games was. It's just better than ever...

Owing to the popularity of the series, one of the main questions many potential iOS gamers ask is "Where is a Pokemon game on iPhone?". While we were told back at E3 that a late July release date is likely, the wait appears to be finally over as Pokemon GO has launched in New Zealand on the App Store - whether for a soft launch or a precursor for a full worldwide release, we don't know as of yet. While it is a variation from the traditional turn based RPG that many know and love, the augmented reality aspects of finding Pokemon that live around your local area based on certain terrains is sure to excite many ardent trainers. For anyone looking to catch 'em all on the move, Pokemon GO appears to be a great stopgap until the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon, and whatever further future plans Nintendo may have in mind for mobile devices...

The practice of cloning is troublesome for many reasons. There are the obvious problems, but beyond those, the fear of a game being perceived as a clone stifles the natural process of building on a great idea. We've seen some pretty shameful clones in the App Store's history, but perhaps none of them have been as harmful to the original game as 2048 was to Threes! [$2.99]. A marketplace battle took place, and I think it's safe to say a lot of people felt the wrong game won there. I'm not sure if the cloud hanging over that has kept more developers from taking a crack at ideas inspired by Threes!, but if it has, more's the shame. Still, we see the odd swing at doing something interesting with the compelling swiping and combining mechanism that Threes! introduced so well. The latest is Dungeon Tiles [Free], from developer Takashi Iyoda...

Sometimes I forget how many Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawls we've had so far, and then I get one like today's Clockwork Card Dealer, which was first seen back in October, and I realize that Blizzard has been pumping out these brawls for quite some time now. In case you either don't remember this brawl or weren't playing the game back in October, let me explain how it works. In this brawl, Tinkertown gnomes have gone for a protorype card-bot that will draw you a card with a mana cost equal to the mana you have that turn. So, in turn 4 you'll draw a 4-mana card, if you have one in your deck that is. As you can guess, these rules ensure that you draw cards on curve as long as you have cards of that cost in your deck...

By now, the social RPG genre has found a pretty comfortable groove. Take some kind of battle mechanic, staple the now-standard collect, fuse, evolve leveling system onto it, and make sure you have an ever-expanding line-up of desirable goodies for players to chase after. The recipe is simple enough, though finding success with it is another matter. There's a lot of competition, and players have got to be getting a little tired of the same old. That's likely as good an explanation as any for why the social RPG genre has started to stretch its legs out a little. If there's one company that has been trying seemingly every permutation of features to try to score a hit, it's Square Enix. Very few of their efforts have ever left the shores of Japan, but that might be starting to change. Not long ago, we saw a wide release for Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi [Free], and now we've got one for Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free], Square's collaboration with Brave Frontier [Free] developers Alim...

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