Category Archives: Free

If you're tired of matching colored blocks, vegetables, candies, bubbles, and so on, King's Pyramid Solitaire Saga [Free] can make for a nice change of pace, while still offering you many of the things you would expect from a game developed by the Candy Crush Saga [Free] giant. The most familiar thing it offers up is an often maddening level of difficulty. As I noted in my review, sometimes you can make all the right moves and still come up short thanks to the heavy luck element inherent to most solitaire games, but that doesn't mean there isn't any merit to playing with strategy. While it's hard to make much of an absolutely terrible draw of cards, there are plenty of cases where the difference between winning and losing rests on making effective moves. Having poured a fair bit of time into this game, I've once again put together a bunch of tips to help you along the way...

No, gentle reader, you are not seeing double. Though it shares a surname and a great deal of assets with early summer's Bill Killem [Free] from Everplay and Chillingo, Buzz Killem [$0.99] is a completely different game that takes place in the same universe. Rather than the timed running action of Bill, this game puts you in control of Bill's father, Buzz, in a stage-based arena battling action game that will feel instantly familiar for fans of Super Crate Box [$1.99]. This isn't the first time Everplay's name has been attached to an arena battler, of course. They also acted as the publisher for FireFruitForge's awesome melee action game Spell Sword [$0.99], and there are certainly elements of that incorporated into Buzz Killem's design as well...

One of my favorite scrolling shoot'em ups got a fancy modern remake this year with Infinite Dreams' Sky Force 2014 [Free]. It took the original game and gave it a massive graphical overhaul, as well as many other bells and whistles that come with modern mobile gaming like online leaderboards and tournaments. This remade version turned out really phenomenal, but Infinite Dreams still has some more planned for Sky Force 2014. They've posted some new screens in our forums for the forthcoming Stage 8, which you can see in the screenshot on the left while the screenshot on the right is from a cutscene that'll play just prior to the boss battle on that stage...

The Sonic The Hedgehog franchise has a tough line to walk. It's still SEGA's most reliable means of generating sales, and these days, that's more important for that company than ever before. At the same time, the reputation of the character has taken a real bruising over the years from some of the more questionable attempts at leveraging his popularity. For what it's worth, SEGA seems to be aware of the problem, and I would say a good half of the Sonic games released these days are quality efforts like Sonic Generations, the Christian Whitehead remakes of the classic Sonic games such as Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [$2.99], and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed [Free]. I'll even go as far as to say that Sonic Dash [Free] was a pretty decent behind-the-back runner that only got better with updates. Then there's the other side of Sonic, the games that are a poor fit for the franchise, just plain mediocre, or both. Here I'm talking about things like Sonic: Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, and yes, the original Sonic Jump [$2.99] for mobiles...

Late last year, a rough little indie platformer named Cally's Caves [Free] won over the hearts of many members of the TouchArcade forums. No sense mincing words, the game's visuals were pretty bad, both in design and execution. That said, the gameplay was fun, the music was excellent, and for reasons I can't exactly understand, the game in its entirety was free, with little more than inobtrusive ads and a single wholly unneccessary IAP to pay the bills. The game featured large, sprawling levels and a less forgiving checkpoint system than today's games typically use, giving the game a pleasantly challenging bite. Well, it hasn't been all that long, but Cally is back in Cally's Caves 2 [Free], and the months have been kind to her. It's still a bit rough around the edges, and in some aspects rougher than the first, but there's no denying the game is a huge step up from the original overall...

When I was a kid, nobody ever played solitaire. You would see people playing it in the movies, usually in prison or something like that, but there were a million things more fun to do than play solitaire even if you were alone, such as counting the lines on the carpet pattern. That all changed with the advent of home computers becoming the norm instead of an exception, especially once the Internet started existing in the basic form we know it as today. Suddenly there was all kinds of waiting to do, and a game of solitaire was just a couple of clicks away, no shuffling or cleaning up required. You could even choose the design for the back of the cards! These were the salad days for solitaire. As the Internet and computers themselves became faster, and equally mindless but more colorful timewasters became prevalent, solitaire faded back into the pits from whence it came...

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I think Noodlecake and Massive Damage have just written a crown of sonnets to Candy Crush Saga [Free] publisher King. Like one of its previous releases, Flappy Golf [Free], Noodlecake's latest release, Zombie Puzzle Panic [Free], is a reply to one of the biggest hits of the App Store. While that game took the main mechanic from Flappy Bird and gave it an excellent twist to create something new, Zombie Puzzle Panic is altogether less exciting and almost cynical in its fairly strict adherence to Candy Crush Saga's gameplay. One might say King has earned this, but whatever your feelings are about that company, the result in this case is a game that is almost exactly like Candy Crush, but a little bit worse...

Running (mostly) horizontally all the time must get tiring, because our old pal Sonic now has two video games featuring himself jumping vertically and not doing much running at all. The latest is Sonic Jump Fever [Free], which Sega originally announced about a month ago but has been soft-launched since April. It's a sequel of sorts to 2012's Sonic Jump [$2.99], which I actually found surprisingly fun. Sure it was just a Doodle Jump-type game, but Sega did a great job at transitioning the traditional Sonic game into this genre. It has interesting levels, classic power-ups, and exciting boss fights. For being totally not like a traditional Sonic game, it still felt very much like a Sonic game...

In a week already filled with crazy sales, here's a huge freebie we just spotted off our starboard bow: Assassin's Creed Pirates [$0.99] is free for the first time ever, because, well, YOLO? Seriously though, I'm wondering if we're on the verge of a big App Store anniversary feature on the App Store with this game as the Apple sanctioned freebie of the week? Maybe?..

Major Magnet Arcade [Free] will feel awfully familiar to those who played the original Major Magnet [$1.99], as this is a free-to-play take on that title's gameplay, involving attaching to magnets, spinning and launching around levels to get to the portal at the end. But while it lacks in originality, it actually manages to make some improvements to its gameplay while not being awful with the monetization...

Real Racing 3 [Free] just can't stop being updated, can it? There's seemingly something new being added to the game on at least a monthly basis. This month? It's Ferraris. The latest update, available today, adds in two new Ferrari cars. There's the Ferrari F40, the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari, the company's namesake. A classic car to be sure, but a Dodge Dart at high speeds can take it out...

'World of Tanks Blitz' Review - A Fine Addition To Wargaming's Cannon Canon

Although it's recently become something of a household name in gaming circles, Belarus-based developer Wargaming.net has been around for a while now. For the first several years, it focused on strategy games, both turn-based and real-time, and had modest success within that niche. It finally hit the big time with its release of World of Tanks for the PC, a massively multiplayer online action shooter designed with the strategic sensibilities you would expect from a developer with Wargaming's resume. Initially launched in Russia in 2011, it soon spread across the globe, enjoying huge success in virtually every region it released in. It's a rare free-to-play game that manages to pull in casual players and hardcore alike, with its fair economy, approachable gameplay, and surprising depth...

Following the release of the surprisingly fun Bubble Witch 2 Saga about a month ago, King is already back with a new iOS offering with Pyramid Solitaire Saga [Free], which hit the App Store worldwide on the 4th of July. Like all of King's games, Pyramid Solitaire Saga takes a tried-and-true gameplay mechanic–in this case the classic pyramid solitaire–and injects it with a level-based progression system and cutesy graphics...

Have you turned to the dark side of 2048 and other Threes [$1.99] clones because you were too cheap to actually buy the game for a couple bucks? Well, good news: the Starbucks app of the week is Threes, with cards with free download cards in US stores now. So no longer do you have to put up with imitation-brand games, as you can get the real thing for no cost. Well, minus whatever you pay for the drink. Or I suppose you could just go get a water, or something. Point is, the stores have stacks of free copies of Threes, and you should probably go get one while they still have them...

Big things have been happening in the world of True Skate [Free] lately, as just last week it was announced that the phenomenal skateboard simulation game from True Axis was partnering up with Street League Skateboarding as the official mobile game of the contest series. As part of that partnership, actual courses from the Street League series are destined to end up as downloadable parks in True Skate, and the first of these is the course from the 2013 Kansas City Street League stop that is available right now in the game for 99¢. Having a real-life course like that in True Skate is very cool, and kind of surreal, as I remember that course very vividly from watching Street League on TV last year...

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