Category Archives: Push Notification

One of last year's biggest games and indeed one of our own Best of 2015 and a serious contender for Game of the Year, Aquiris Game Studio's Horizon Chase [Free], has just gone free for the first time since its release. The best way I can describe Horizon Chase is that it's like what someone in 1985 would imagine an arcade racing video game would be like in 2015. It has a decidedly retro feel but somehow still feels modern at the same time. I mean, just look at this glorious trailer for Horizon Chase...

TouchArcade Game of the Year 'Land Sliders' and the Best iOS Games of 2015

Logo_on_whiteWell, it was another banner year in the world of iOS gaming, with so many great games released in 2015 that it made our head spin trying to whittle it down to the list you see before you. When it came to our Game of the Year pick, it really came down to the nitty gritty between two particular titles. In the end, one just barely inched out the other for reasons we'll get to in a second. Following the Game of the Year and Runner Up picks are 25 of what we feel were the best games of 2015. Of course this list doesn't include many other great games that came out this year, and to be honest it could have easily been three or four times the size. However, we thought this was a nice cross selection of genres and truly the best of the best of this year. If a game you adored this year isn't featured here, feel free to list it in the comments below, we love hearing about what games people enjoy playing on their iOS devices.

Now, without further ado…

 

Game of the Year 2015: 'Land Sliders'


Land Sliders, Free - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - It seems like the best mobile games latch onto a simple mechanic that feels natural on a touchscreen device and then builds an entire game around it. Slicing fruit in Fruit Ninja, drawing lines in Flight Control, even tilting back and forth in Doodle Jump are all great examples of this. Those simple actions spawned countless copycats and even entire genres in the mobile space over the years, but it's rare that a game can come along and create a mobile game that feels truly unique and native to the platform.

In 2015, I don't think any game accomplished that goal as well as Land Sliders, the first game from Australian developer Prettygreat, did. Land Sliders is a game that's built around inertial scrolling. What is inertial scrolling? Well, when you're scrolling through a list on your iOS device, say your list of emails or a list of songs in the Music app, inertial scrolling is the thing that allows you to scroll fast with a quick swipe and the screen will gradually slow down as it runs out of inertia.

It sounds like an incredibly boring concept for a game, but inertial scrolling is something that iOS devices have nailed since the beginning, and I believe it's one of the things that truly put the iPhone ahead of the pack in the early days of smartphones. Early iPhone rivals had pretty janky touchscreens which didn't have the smoothness of an iPhone. Scrolling around on iOS devices is fun and satisfying. Flicking a swipe fast and knowing you can stop the screen from scrolling on a dime if you want. It's really cool.

It's not a bad idea to try and capture that feeling and create a game around it, but how exactly does that work? I saw a very early prototype of Land Sliders at GDC this year and thought it was a clever concept and the sliding around the world felt great. But honestly I had no idea how they would craft a compelling game around it, and figured it would end up as one of those "hmmm, that's neat!" tech demo type of games and be fun for a few days before being forgotten.

That ended up not being the case at all, and besides its unique concept, I think that's shows the brilliance of Prettygreat. Not only have they created a full-fledged high-scoring game with endlessly replayable randomly-generated levels and a wide cast of neat characters to unlock, but they've created this is a way that's easy to add on to, and given the popularity of Land Sliders this seems like the kind of game that can continue living on for years and years with a constant flow of new content.

Besides the game itself, developer Prettygreat also created an insane real-life meta game that they incorporated into Land Sliders that has kept our forums on fire for months since the game's release. If you haven't read the lengthy thread in our forums, but if you like treasure hunts or ARGs, it's worth the read as the lengths Prettygreat went to to create this global game are pretty astounding. In fact, the ARG is still going and hasn't been completely solved yet.

Sliding your character around the world of Land Sliders just FEELS right, and developer Prettygreat did a wonderful job of building a whimsical world and cast of characters around that unique mechanic. There were other great games in 2015, but Land Sliders is a great mobile game through and through, and isn't the kind of game that could work on a platform other than mobile. For all these reasons it'll be something that I continue to play daily and will always have a home on my device, and it earns our nod for Game of the Year 2015


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When it comes to people like me, there's no such thing as "too much" Lovecraftian horror. I love to rep H.P. and the Big C whenever I can. There is just something so wonderfully visceral and imaginative about eldritch horror. Clearly, I'm not the only one who has been sucked into this particular abyss. We've already had a few solid mobile outings for Cthulhu and his gang of incomprehensible amorphous ungodly powerful monstrosities, such as Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land [$4.99], and a port of the phenomenally insane board game Elder Sign: Omens [$0.99 / $1.99 (HD)]. Technically we've had this game since December of 2013, but it's recently been re-launched in its final form with a happening new icon and complete feature list. I give you The Moaning Words [Free]...

'Final Fantasy VII' Hits the NZ App Store

'Final Fantasy VII' Hits the NZ App Store

August 19th, 2015 10:10 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Featured, News

This is not a drill. Final Fantasy VII has hit the New Zealand App Store. It's $19.99 NZD which should translate to around $15 US if my math is correct. Either way, it should be available on the US App Store at 11:00 PM Eastern tonight...

TouchArcade Needs Your Help, Please Support Our Patreon

It's hard to imagine where the App Store would be without enthusiast sites like TouchArcade. We've been covering iOS gaming before the App Store even launched, years before the term "iOS" was even coined by Apple. While the "mainstream" games media often looks down on mobile games, we've been evangelizing the platform for seven years now- discovering amazing new titles and bringing incredible indie studios to the spotlight who might have otherwise been totally lost between the cracks of the App Store. Additionally, in the process we've fostered the absolute best community for discussing iOS games online, which has turned into an invaluable resource for both up and coming iOS developers as well as every type of iOS gamer imaginable. Unfortunately, despite all this, our very existence is in jeopardy. If you like what we do, please consider supporting our Patreon or consider advertising with us. If you'd like to know what led to this, read on- I'm going to lay all of our cards on the table...

If you're picking up an Apple Watch, or just want a rad freebie to check out, you can get Rules! [$2.99] for free right now. It was the first game to officially support the Apple Watch when it was updated in March. Now, Apple is giving it away for free. It's not just free on the App Store, though: you have to obtain the freebie through the Apple Store app. [Free] To do so, launch the app, go to the Featured section, then scroll down and look for the thin banner as pictured below:..

Best of GDC 2015: 'Crashlands', 'Does Not Commute', 'Sorcery! 3' and 'Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon'

As you all know, last week was GDC 2015 and it was a week-long whirlwind of developer meetings, game demos, walking and Denny's. Everyone is in town all at once and we try to meet with as many people and see as many iOS games as possible. It's exhausting and overwhelming and fun all at the same time, and that's without ever even setting foot on the actual show floor. With all of our GDC coverage finally out there in the open (save for a couple of demos that are held up with embargo silliness) it's time to go back through and highlight the games we found to be our favorite. Here are four games from GDC that you can look forward to playing this year that stood out to us and why...

Apple's "Spring Forward" keynote event is underway, and it's pretty much a given that they'll be unveiling all sorts of new details about the Apple Watch. But there might be some other surprises as well. A refreshed MacBook Air? An iPad Pro announcement? Something to do with Beats or their iTunes Radio streaming services? Who knows! You can watch all the keynote action right from the comfort of wherever the heck you are. ..

For the first time since releasing in September of last year, Ian MacLarty and Jon Kerney's fantastic behind-the-back runner Boson X [$2.99] is currently free on iOS. We loved the look of Boson X since we first laid eyes on it prior to it being released. The premise is that you're a scientist running through a particle accelerator, leaping from platform to platform while avoiding falling into the gaps, and running across the glowing platforms to hit an energy threshold that lets you move on to the next level. It's proudly inspired by Super Hexagon both in its look and the fact that you're rotating a giant angular shape by tapping either side of the screen. Though Boson X is based on a decagon as opposed to a hexagon...

It seems hard to believe, but it's already been a whole year since developer Michael Brough released his techno-roguelike masterpiece 868-HACK [$4.99] onto the App Store, and to celebrate he's dropped the price of the game for the first time ever. You can now buy the game at the discounted price of $2.99, down from its original price of $5.99. In case you're not familiar, 868-HACK is a highly strategic, incredibly challenging roguelike with a cyberspace theme. It's one of those games where every single choice you make matters, and it's imperative that you have a decent understanding of the game's mechanics and are able to plan your moves well ahead. We absolutely loved it in our review from a year ago...

Exclusive Hands On With 'Flappy Bird' Creator Dong Nguyen's Next Game: 'Swing Copters'

Looking back on the Flappy Bird phenomenon, and the onslaught of games developer Dong Nguyen inspired with his brutally difficult single-tap gameplay, it's clear what made it so hard to put down. The first time you loaded up Flappy Bird, chances are you didn't even make it through the first set of pipes. It might not have even been until your 10th try that you managed to make it through, but man what a feeling that was...

Here's a whopper of a freebie: ZeMind Games' Starborn Anarkist [$2.99] is currently free for the next two days. Originally launched this past December, Starborn Anarkist sunk its hooks into me thanks to a very engrossing ship-building system. There are more than a dozen different ship shapes to build by dragging and dropping a variety of weapons, plating and other equipment onto a grid. The game does a remarkable job of making each ship feel wildly different from the next, and there's a crazy amount of strategy tied to how you build out your ships...

A year ago yesterday, Mighty Rabbit Studios released Breach & Clear [$3.99] into the App Store, a tactical strategy game built for mobile devices. Now, to celebrate that first anniversary, Mighty Rabbit has dropped the price of Breach & Clear to free for this weekend. Our original review of Breach & Clear talked about the flashes of brilliance showcased in the game, but we were really put off by how much content in the game was labeled as "coming soon." It just felt like an unfinished product, and we can only really review the game as it exists at the time of review. To Mighty Rabbit's credit, they've since updated the game numerous times, not just adding in the "coming soon" content but also making many tweaks and improvements to the overall experience...

'Hearthstone' Expansion Curse of Naxxramas Pricing Details Revealed, $24.99 for All Content

Since the expansion was originally hinted at, Hearthstone [Free] players everywhere have been speculating how much the expansion was going to cost. Well, Blizzard just gave us our answer. First off, players who participate in the launch event which will last around a month following the release of the expansion will gain access to the first wing, the Arachnid Quarter. After that, the rest of the wings can be purchased for 700 in-game gold each, or $6.99 in real money...

Have you turned to the dark side of 2048 and other Threes [$2.99] 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...

Here's a great game for free, via a source I'm not sure anyone expected. Rayman Fiesta Run [$2.99], the fantastic sequel to Rayman Jungle Run [$2.99] can be had for free with minimal screwing around thanks to the Expedia App [Free]. Thing is, you don't even need said app to get a code to download Rayman for free. It's actually much easier-..

Freebie Alert: 'True Skate' Street League Skateboarding Update and Price Drop are Now Live

Earlier today we detailed the latest news in the world of True Skate [$1.99], the popular skateboarding simulation from True Axis. As of just a few moments ago, that update has gone live in the App Store as has the very limited time free promotion of the base download of the game. The big new feature in this update is a new park, the real life street course from the 2013 Street League event in Kansas City. This is what that new park looks like...

Halfbrick's entire library is on sale right now. The whole darn thing. Every game can be had as a free download right now, from Age of Zombies [$0.99] to Monster Dash [Free], an a-to-z reference that would work better if they had any games that had letters later in the alphabet. No word if this is a temporary sale, or like what NimbleBit did after they hit it big, just making everything free to download because forget paid games. ..

It's been a while since we've had a proper five alarm freebie alert around here, largely because a hell of a lot of games just are free anyway these days. Regardless, this hasn't stopped me from checking AppShopper's recent free game sales feed (which you should totally book mark if you haven't) every morning. Today's goodies include Tilt to Live [$2.99] and Tilt to Live 2 [$2.99]. If you've got an iPad, Tilt to Live HD [Free (HD)] has been free forever...

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