Category Archives: 2.5 stars

If The Wars II: Evolution [$1.99] is good at anything, it's highlighting the futility of war. You will see several hundreds of your loyal soldiers dying for the cause of beating the hell out of your neighbours on the other side of the screen over many generations, seemingly without making much progress. 'Loyal' is one word for them anyway, 'stupid' could be another, but I digress...

There's something very enjoyable about anticipation followed by a pleasant surprise. Casinos, collectible card games, and a lot of video games all use this technique to make things more fun. Action RPGs have managed to create this feeling quite a bit in the past with random loot, but Battlestone [Free] comes at it from a slightly different angle, to middling results...

Better Than Portal [$0.99] certainly makes lofty claims with its attention-grabbing title. With clever storytelling, a cheeky sense of humor, fresh mechanics, and interesting puzzles, Portal is an amazing title. Better Than Portal is, of course, not better than Portal. While it openly draws inspiration from that title, it contains almost none of what makes Portal the outstanding game that it is...

Telltale Games is on a high after their humongously successful Walking Dead: The Game [Free]. If you doubt that, go here to check out the ridiculous amount of awards it has won. Any game that releases after a massive hit always has a harder time living up to expectations which is why it was probably smart of Telltale Games to release another one of their most popular IPs to help offset the expectations. Enter Poker Night 2 which hit the App Store Thursday night. Sadly, they seem to have fallen victim to the classic Telltale blunder of releasing iOS ports that are choppy, glitchy, and overall just not up to snuff with any other version of the game...

With the recent announcement that Diablo would be making its way to consoles, gamers have been looking for something to satisfy their hack-and-slash needs on their iOS device. Gameloft recently released the fourth installment of their dungeon crawler, Dungeon Hunter 4, and less than two weeks after, Gamevil has come out with their first foray into dungeon crawlers with Dark Avenger [Free]..

For some reason there isn't an iOS adaptation of HeroQuest, the adventure board game that informed the childhoods of many folks my age. There are a few that tread similar territory, though, and one of them is Mighty Dungeons, [$1.99] published by Forest Moon Games...

For simplicity's sake, call me a Bronie: the only part of the label I won't own is the defensive masculinity implicit in the "bro." I'm also a gender-neutral parent, which just means trucks and dolls, pink and blue, workbenches and kitchen playsets for everyone...

I sometimes wonder if we play Monopoly more out of habit, or some sense of nostalgic obligation, rather than because we actually want to. There’s barely a half-functioning family in the world that doesn’t have some kind of annual board game tradition, and at some point during the year we all give Monopoly a dusting off and joke, between yawns, about how great it’d be if this were real money...

I distinctly remember playing Zaxxon in the arcades, although I’m now a bit shocked to discover it was 1982. What I remember most about Zaxxon isn't so much its amazing graphics, but rather a vague sense of bewilderment as I tried to wrap my head around its pseudo 3D controls...

Despite one's personal feelings on the Marvel universe (or comic books in general) you cannot deny the sheer rejuvenation in popularity for the series, culminating in the recently released Avengers film. Marvel (via Wideload Games) has decided to take advantage of this popularity with its release of Avengers Initiative [$1.99], a new title for iOS. While Initiative looks stunning and models its gameplay after the incredibly successful Infinity Blade series, a distinct lack of innovation coupled with a weary reliance on IAP make it fall disappointingly short...

As much as I love tower defense games, I have to admit that there's currently an issue of over-saturation within the genre. As such, I'm always looking for games that differentiate themselves from the pack. Bulkypix's Bug Invasion [$1.99] attempts to do so with its emphasis on nature's smaller denizens. Unfortunately, while battling for food supremacy offers a different take on tower defense, Bug Invasion falters in basic genre staples, leading to an overall generic experience...

We’ve had our share of flying-based 3D platformers and ANIMA Entertainment’s Crash Birds Islands [$0.99] looks to build on the genre with its own take on the experience. Unfortunately, a decidedly average gameplay experience combined with spotty controls and a harsh difficulty keep the ride from being anything but smooth...

Deep in the bowels of my local Wal-Mart, past frozen foods and sporting goods and electronics, a heated Bop It! tournament takes place. The competitors: me, and the last sticky-fingered kid who pulled one of the boxed electronic toys off the shelf and pulled, twisted, and bopped his way to a high score. ..

Fernando Sanchez is Virtua Tennis Challenge’s [$4.99Rafael Nadal doppelgänger. So whimsically named after barely winning out against Brafael Nadalf in an interoffice poll, Bizarro Nadal quickly became my player of choice in the iOS version of Sega’s classic tennis series. Sanchez, like Virtua Tennis Challenge, is a pretty good facsimile of the real thing. He’s fast and has an incredible two-handed backhand, but he’s a facsimile all the same. A half-hearted attempt at greatness, poor Fernando’s Plasticine mullet and vacant zombie eyes are analogous to the lack of care Sega has given this, the newest entry in one of its most revered franchises...

Punch Hero's [Free] moment of brilliance occurs when it has you against the ropes. You’ll come to a point during the game’s eighteen-bout arcade mode where progression seems well-nigh impossible. Down to a trickle of health, you will think about throwing the towel in, taking an uppercut to the chin so you can earn some gold and turn the thing off...

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