Category Archives: Ratings

Arena battle games have really come into their own in recent years. Mobile platforms in particular have enjoyed a great crop, including Super Crate Box [$1.99], Muffin Knight [$0.99], Spell Sword [$0.99], and many others. It's a great way for a small developer to make a great action game without busting the bank, while providing a nice bite-sized bit of fun that suits mobiles well. Of course, for the gamer looking for something more than just a slice of game now and then, the better examples in this sub-genre have included some sort of progression system that persists beyond individual plays. Typically, this is done by putting in some sort of collectible or experience system that will unlock new weapons or abilities, which not only gives you something to shoot for over the long term, but also refreshes the game experience over time to keep it from getting dull...

'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Review - Shuffling for Zul'jin

Blizzard Entertainment has a long line of releases with serious stories, usually focusing on the fate of the world or racial warfare. The Warcraft franchise has a few nods to comedy here and there with creatures like the Murlocs and the Pandaren, but for the most part, big bads like the Lich King still run the show. Comparatively, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Free (HD)] is a card game where you can summon an angry chicken and peck your enemies to death. As you can imagine, it's a ton of fun...

'Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller' Review - Choose Your Own Kirk-Venture

Do you like Star Trek? Specifically, do you like the original series, with reckless Captain Kirk going on tons of away missions with Spock, Bones, and Redshirt, breaking the Prime Directive whenever he feels like it all in pursuit of adventure and alien love? If so, you're going to want to check out Tin Man Games's latest mobile conversion, Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller [$5.99]. It's an utterly shameless love letter to Star Trek, and it happens to be one of my very favorite books in the Fighting Fantasy series. I've played plenty of Star Trek games over the years, more than the franchise has deserved given the somewhat sorry state of quality they usually offer, but in my opinion, nothing has captured the feeling of the original Trek quite as well as this little gamebook written by Steve Jackson...

David [$0.99] is a curious little game. Recently, due to the release of the beautiful Monument Valley [$3.99], I've talked a bit about experience-focused games versus mechanics-focused games, but David seems to have one foot planted firmly in each camp. It's about as minimalist as one could possibly imagine, yet the most immediate comparison in terms of gameplay is considered a technical masterpiece for the hardware it runs on. The appearance of the game is incredibly simple, and its gameplay is as basic as moving, jumping, and shooting, but it still somehow manages to create a surprisingly complex and tense gameplay experience that pleases the senses...

Connoisseurs of specialized arcade cabinets have probably heard of DJMax Technika , the South Korean touch-screen based rhythm game. Being an arcade music game with touch controls, an iOS version would seem to be a natural fit and that’s exactly what we have with DJMax Technika Q[Free]. With an incredibly fine-tuned and enjoyable rhythm engine, Technika Q is unfortunately hampered by the bloated systems placed on top of its core gameplay...

If someone had said to me that I would enjoy playing an economical game of micromanagement prior to Game Dev Story I would have laughed. The mere notion of such a thing would be preposterous. Now about ten Kairosoft games later they have become an obsessions. Few companies have managed to make their games instabuys the day they are released...

Shoot-em-ups are an old, old genre. It's not unreasonable to say that they are the oldest genre in video games, actually. They were huge, everyone made one, and then some time later, they were no longer huge. Not long after that, they were nearly extinct. They've enjoyed a minor renaissance in recent years thanks to the opening of more viable channels for lower budget games, but even now, they're nowhere near their former prominance. It's clear that the final blow was dealt by their progeny, the first-person shooter, but even before that, they had taken a heavy tumble. People simply got tired of the same old gameplay and settings. The biggest successes in the post-boom period of the genre try to mix up the themes and settings a bit, so that instead of always being a spaceship or a fighter plane, sometimes you're a gothic lolita witch or a princess riding on the back of a giant bug. It's a small shot of freshness for a genre that, for many, feels stale...

Family Guy is one of those shows you either love or hate. You love its humor, whether it’s offensive or not, with some pretty memorable characters (Greased Up Naked Deaf Guy? C’mon). Or you hate it, think it’s stupid, and can’t understand how a show like that is on the air. Whatever your view, Family Guy is here to stay, and Seth McFarlane is one of the biggest people in the industry at the moment...

The genre our hobby labels as "puzzle games" has got to be one of the broadest categories in entertainment. As such, the variation we see within that genre is massive. Sure, wherever there is success, there will be clones, but outside of naked attempts to imitate something great, it's fairly unlikely for any two random puzzle games to resemble one another, even in broad strokes. I'm not sure if it will prove to be a blessing or a curse for developer Radiangames, but it's certainly a bizarre bit of kismet that their new puzzle game, SideSwype [$1.99], a game about swiping blocks around on a grid, has landed just after the phenomenal Threes! [$1.99], which is also a game about swiping blocks around on a grid. There's absolutely no way this was cobbled together in the brief period of time since the release of Threes!, as it's incredibly polished and well-thought out, so we're left with one of those situations where we have to marvel at how interesting life can be sometimes...

Hurtling endlessly forward, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, avoiding obstacles that will put a quick end to your trek. Collecting coins to upgrade abilities between rounds, completing missions to earn a rank up that adds to your multiplier. Grabbing a collectible item, you're sent soaring up to a bonus area packed full of coins. Maybe this time you'll finally earn enough coins to unlock those pricey new characters, each of whom has a unique trait. Skyline Skaters [Free] isn't going to win any awards for originality...

When Transport Tycoon [$6.99] came out on iOS, I was thrilled. In my review, I stated how happy I would be, and how happy fans of the series might be, if Rollercoaster Tycoon were to come out on iOS...

Donut Games has been around the iOS scene for quite a while now, and while they might not be the first name you think of when it comes to big hits on the platform, they've actually been quite successful with a number of their games. One of their first games, Monkey Flight [$1.99], proved to be a pretty big hit with its combination of gassy monkeys and gameplay somewhat reminiscent of Angry Birds [$0.99], and has enjoyed many updates in the half decade it's been out. Beyond the fact that monkeys are generally a pretty big crowdpleaser and that flinging animals at things is something of a national sport for mobile gamers, Monkey Flight also gave buyers a great value for a reasonable price. There are a ton of levels, and updates only added more, along with new modes of play...

America's pastime. Butt-patting. A League of Their Own? Whatever word, phrase or movie may make you think of baseball, the sport has been played, changed, and even endured a lockout. But one facet has remained the whole time: it's fun to play, less so to watch. R.B.I. Baseball 14 [$4.99] is a modern take on what was a classic NES game almost thirty years ago. The original is known not just for being a fun game, but for being licensed by the MLBPA, which resulted in the first console game to use actual player names. Developed by MLB Advanced Media, this updated version stays faithful to the original...

In my younger years, I would often look through the ads in the back of games magazines, goggle-eyed at all the niche import games and weird pieces of hardware that, living in a very small town, I would never, ever have a chance to find in a local store. Ads were a liittle different back then, which was likely a result of the primitive nature of game graphics, and they had a tendency to, shall we say, oversell the concept in slightly misleading ways. If you had an active imagination, it was all too easy to read one of these ads and conjure up something in your mind that was far more entertaining than the reality. I'm sure we can all rifle off a variety of examples, but for me, one of the worst was the Barcode Battler...

Fans of PC Tower Defense titles may have heard of Prime World: Defenders [$4.99]. Originally released back in mid-2013, this 3D TD title made a splash offering a complete TD experience supplemented with aspects from a few other genres. Nearly a year later, Defenders finally makes its debut on iOS, a platform that should (in theory) fit it perfectly. While iOS TD aficionados will easily see that Defenders was obviously designed for the PC, it’s still a great title for fans of the genre...

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