Category Archives: Free

'Abyssrium' Review - An Underwater Tap 'em Up

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August 26th, 2016 12:48 PM EDT by Chris Carter in 3.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Simulation, Universal
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For some, clickers got real old real fast. Most people I know were introduced to them by way of Cookie Clicker, which took the world by storm for several weeks until people got tired of clicking on things. But since a multitude of developers (even Bandai Namco) are partaking in these click-fests, it's become more important than ever to differentiate yourself from the crowd. That can be done in a myriad of ways, from adding "endgames" or RPG elements. But for me, it's okay for a clicker to just be a clicker, especially when it has a relaxing atmosphere like Abyssrium [Free]. For the uninitiated, the goal of tappers is very much like a city-building simulator -- acquire currency (hearts), so you can use it to acquire items that allow you to gain more currency. It's not a tough thing to wrap your head around, especially since the vast majority of your time is going to be spent tapping indiscriminately at the screen. But Abyssrium manages to add a zen-like feel to the whole shebang that makes it feel like less of a chore and more of means to let off some stress. The spooky yet majestic art is mostly to blame. Your empire starts off with one adorable rock with a smiley face and builds from there. Soon you'll have plants growing out of your avatar, fish swimming around going about their business, and mystic artifacts surrounding your home, all of which impact your earn rate in different ways...

If you like to see weird animals, then you've come to the right place. Hearthstone's [Free] One Night in Karazhan Adventure has opened its third Wing, The Menagerie, and in the process released a collection of rare - and deadly - creatures. Apparently, normally all these creatures are kept in check by Medivh's reliable Curator, but he's having an off night and, well, all the creatures are out to play. You have to step into the Curator's shoes and recapture the creatures before they eat too many guests. This is the setup behind Karazhan's Wing 3, and it's a perfect way to bring out mostrous Bosses like Nightbane, Terestian Illhoof, and the Curator himself, as well as rewarding you with cards like Zoobot, Cat Trick, Menagerie Warden and Menagerie Magician, and even the Curator himself. So, let's start with the first boss and help you take him out in Normal and Heroic...




There's nothing quite like finding a cool game we missed several months back. It's like getting a new cool game, except it's usually had a bunch of updates to make it even better! Such is the case with Celsius Heroes [Free], an interesting take on the Puzzle & Dragons [Free] formula of social RPGs. The game was pointed out to me a few weeks ago by a member of the TouchArcade forums, and I've been looking for an excuse to mention it since. As the game just got a big content update, this seems as opportune a time as any...

Nitrome have, in many ways, taken the helm from legendary iPhone developers Donut Games, in that they consistently release enjoyable retro experiences on the App Store that, while not necessarily the deepest of titles, hark back to a nostalgic and reductionist era, where video games focused on only a couple of interesting features, but did them really, really well. Whether it's the extremely compulsive Leap Day [Free] that has become a daily ritual for many, or something more immersive and traditional like Gunbrick [$2.99], Nitrome have rarely put a foot wrong. Magic Mansion [Free] appears to follow in these footsteps, as obvious inspiration from older Game Boy titles has resulted in a challenging yet charming retro platformer that, for the low, low price of absolutely nothing, is certainly worth a try for Nitrome fans or anyone looking for another arcade experience on the App Store...

After briefly incubating in soft-launch, Puzzle Monster Quest [Free] is out worldwide on both iOS and Android. As is usually the case in Puzzle Quest games, you'll be matching tiles to move your hero around and take out enemies. In this version of the formula, you'll be navigating treacherous dungeons filled to the brim with monsters you can either battle or capture and befriend. And you'll be able to evolve friendly monsters (of course). When you fight against monsters, you'll be trying to match as many tiles as possible to launch stronger attacks. At the same time, different tile colors are associated with different element types that can buff or debuff your attacks...

Captain Blackheart's Treasure is one of those memorable Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawls but not for all the right reasons. CBT is all about the Discover mechanic - each turn you get three cards to pick one - and was supposed to come out just before the League of Explorers adventure as a way to prepare players for what was to come. However, it was not to be as the technical demands of the Brawl stressed the servers so much that Blizzard took it down immediately and gave us Webspinners instead. A few weeks later, in late November, we ended up getting the Brawl after all...

After making balance changes to Clash Royale, Supercell is also doing some balance changes to Clash of Clans [Free] in preparation for the next major update - which shouldn't be too far into the future. The changes, coming in a patch soon, are not that many but as everyone knows, every small change can make a big difference in a game like Clash of Clans. Cannon damage will be increased for levels 11-14 as a way to offer players a better defensive answer to mass attacks of mid-size units, and Healers will once again trigger air traps because recently they've become a staple high-level troop that can at the same time stay out of defensive range...

If you've been looking for a fun CCG that has you clearing out dungeons instead of fighting other players, you should check out Lost Portal CCG [$1.99], which just dropped to its lowest price ever. Lost Portal CCG has been a big hit among our forum members, with the game's thread now over 54 pages long. It's not hard to figure out why it's been so popular; Lost Portal CCG , which by the way is pretty much the word of one person, focuses on a single-player experience and has you exploring dungeons, collecting treasures, fighting AI enemies and bosses, and leveling up your character along the way. The game has plenty of content with random enemies and card drops, 216 cards in five rarities, over 80 enemies and bosses across 5 towns and 15 dungeons...

Horizon Chase [Free] is a pretty astonishing mobile game in numerous different ways. Not only did it receive a glowing review back in 2015, where we declared it as the gold standard for retro-inspired racers on the App Store, but it was also used as a way for composer Barry Leith to propose to his girlfriend in the game, which won the hearts of many adoring fans - and most importantly the lucky lady, who did indeed say yes. Now with over 5 million downloads and around 70 million races completed since its release, developers Aquiris are celebrating the one year anniversary of Horizon Chase's launch with a set of updates that include a new cup, two new cars and Apple TV support...

The beauty of the App Store is that developers aren't afraid to attempt combinations of ideas and concepts that would be too ludicrous or risky on most other major platforms. Before today, I had never considered that real-time strategy and beat 'em up games could come together to form a destructive combo, but I'm extremely glad that Defend Your Turf [Free] - from the efforts of sole developer Stephen Folkes - has taken this exploratory leap. You guide a faction of nondescript red characters to battle a team of opposing blue alternatives, but have to use a variety of attacks, techniques and weapons to defeat them in entirely creative and edgy environments such as a dump and a parking lot...

Pokemon GO [Free] is in the process of being updated to version 1.5.0 for iOS and 0.35.0 for Android,and the new update comes with one big new feature, Pokemon Appraisal. According to the patchnotes, Pokemon Appraisal allows trainers to learn about a Pokemon attack and defense capabilities from their Team Leader (Candela, Blanche, or Spark) to determine which of their Pokemon have the most potential for battle. It's good to see new features getting implemented because as popular as the game continues to be, it still doesn't let you do that much besides hunt for Pokemon...

When Supercell's Clash Royale [Free] launched back in January, it quickly become incredibly popular and started bringing in even more money to Supercell's coffers. Fast forward a few months later, and it's hard to ignore the fact that the game just isn't as popular anymore. And according to a Wall Street Journal story, the game's revenue is in decline as well with an estimated July revenue of $62 million, which is less than half of the $133 million the game generated in March, the month of its global release. Not great news at all, but at the same time not that surprising either...

'One Night in Karazhan' News and Guides, Barnes Talk, Karazhan Videos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #61

Hello everyone and welcome to Touchstone #61, our weekly article covering all the interesting and fun Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. Last week we got to play The Opera, Wing 2 of One Night in Karazhan Adventure, and personally I had fun getting through all the encounters. Yes, Karazhan isn't as innovative as League of Explorers in terms of the encounter mechanics, but thematically I find it more entertaining than the previous adventure, but that could be just me. Today you can check out our Normal and Heroic Guide for Wing 2, views on which classes are getting the best Karazhan cards, a very interesting article on how you should evaluate new cards, and plenty of tournament news and decklists. Let's get started...

Environment Focused Roguelike 'Enyo' Launching September 7th on the App Store

Enyo was a game that caught our eye when we first caught a glimpse of it in May, as its unique mechanic of using environmental traps and obstacles to destroy enemies - rather than traditional attacking options - made it stand out from countless similar titles that have embraced mobile devices for their trademark short gameplay sessions. Developer TiNYTOUCHTALES has today announced that Enyo will descend onto the App Store on September 7th, and the game certainly looks a world apart from the rather bare-bones iteration that originated out of a 7 day roguelike development challenge. With a brand new art style by designer Winnie Song that really captures the ancient Greek theme of Enyo, as well as multiple modes and randomly generated dungeons, TiNYTOUCHTALES may have potentially created another App Store rogue like that can follow in the footsteps of esteemed classics such as Hoplite [$2.99] and Auro [$1.99]...

Welcome to our guide for The Opera, the second Wing of Hearthstone's [Free] latest adventure, One Night in Karazhan. Instead of going with Disney references like Wing 1, Wing 2 goes for a more literary vibe with references to William Shakespeare's, Grimm's, and Frank Baum's works. The three bosses are Julianne, Big Bad Wolf, and the Crone, and there are some fun ideas in this Wing, though nothing like the Chess from last week's Wing. The encounters are pretty easy on Normal - probably easier than last week's - but the Heroic ones are a different matter, especially The Crone one. Overall this is a fun Wing, and while most of the cards we are getting aren't the strongest - outside the Legendary Barnes - any new cards are always welcome...

Back in early March, developer Nanoo Company released their latest game Dark Sword [Free], a side-scrolling hack 'n slash game with a very stylish silhouette art style and great animations. Dark Sword featured bite-sized levels and simplified combat mechanics that still allowed for very satisfying button mashing gameplay. The biggest drawback, depending on your point of view I guess, was that the game is very free to play, meaning there's all the typical trappings from timers to in-game currencies and various IAP packs to be bought. However, if you're into your typical free to play grinding game this one was a lot of fun, and it featured tons of different types of loot to acquire and outfit your character with. Dark Sword has seen many updates in the months since its release which added things like new equipment, new difficulty levels, a Daily Raid mode, a pet system, and more, but its biggest update is yet to come as Nanoo has revealed that PvP is heading to the game in the next update...

If you are in the mood for theater and culture, then you're in luck because The Opera, the second Wing of Hearthstone's [Free] One Night in Karazhan Adventure, has just unlocked in NA. If you haven't bought the whole Adventure, you're going to have to buy this one either with 700 gold or with $6.99. You are going to help Julianne prepare for the performance of a lifetime, tackle the Big Bad Wolf, and more in another Wing clearly inspired by literary works. As a literature person myself, I'm really enjoying all these literary references in One Night in Karazhan, and I'm curious to see Blizzard's take on these famous characters and works...

It certainly is a fantastic time to be a fan of soccer (football) if you're an iOS gamer, as let alone the start of another season with its inevitable highs and lows (or just lows, if you support the wrong team), there are an abundance of new titles released to capitalise on the excitement of The Beautiful Game. Just this week we've seen EA announce a brand new FIFA game for the App Store that has polarised members on our forum thread, and a more traditional title in the form of Sociable Soccer - and this will likely only be the beginning, as new releases roll out in the coming months. Furthermore, for fans wanting their football fix right now, there are some fantastic new sales on some classics we have loved in the past, as Football Manager Mobile 2016 [$8.99] has dropped to its lowest price of $2.99, and Pixel Cup Soccer 16 [$2.99] is now completely free to try out...

When Hearthstone [Free] got its first Co-op Tavern Brawl, Unite Against Mechazod, everyone was very excited because it really was a new way to play the game, and those moments are always welcome. This week, we got Nefarian Rises, another co-op Brawl where you join forced with a friend to take down Nefarian. "Anduin teams up with newcomer Morgl" this time, so you get to see that little Murloc dude in person if you haven't yet. Nefarian is a 0/200 Taunt minion that can't be targeted by spells. As you can guess, both decks consist of cards that buff the other player, so you should be playing with an eye to helping your opponent's minions survive and do more damage while keeping an eye on your health...

Artillery games have long been a popular genre on mobile. iShoot was one of the earliest examples of an indie developer striking it rich with an iPhone game, and of course Angry Birds is a derivative of the artillery genre. A bit later in the iPhone's life a game called Bowman caught fire and ushered in an influx of games where you shot arrows into stick figure people. There's just something so satisfying about guessing the angle and power of a shot and watching you hit your target right on the mark. And when you take that winning formula and throw in Mortal Kombat-style gore? It's absolute gold. That's the story of Bowmasters [$1.99 / Free], which launched under the radar last week. The game sees you battling it out against an AI opponent, each taking turns lobbing various projectiles at each other until one of you runs out of life. ..

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