Category Archives: 2.5 stars

On your first look at Snoopy's Street Fair [Free], you'll probably feel a warm glow of nostalgia. It might be for Charles Schulz' classic Peanuts comic strip or television specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas. But you also might be thinking of something a little more recent. Like, say Beeline Interactive's big hit, Smurfs' Village [Free]...

I expected to love Evertales [$0.99]. Its trailer is stylish and charming, it looks a tiny bit like Trine, and it's by Thunder Game Works, the folks who made the Trenches series, and Crescent Moon Games, the studio that brought us Pocket RPG, Aralon, Gears and other great games. We were optimistic in our previews. But here's the thing about expectations -- sometimes they leave you disappointed...

Dark Incursion [$1.99] had all the makings of a decent ‘Metroidvania’ title for iOS. Everything from its classically-inspired pixel graphics and music to even its overarching story created a compelling atmosphere for playing. Most importantly, Dark Incursion also did a good job of somewhat emulating the Metroidvania style of gameplay while attempting to improve upon it with its different take on equipment upgrades. However, despite all these positives, Dark Incursion’s horrendous control scheme simply ruins almost all of the fun...

I have such a love-hate relationship with High Flyer Death Defyer [$4.99 / HD]. On one hand, I love the visually striking graphics which I think complement the sky-diving gameplay beautifully. On the other hand, the poorly done tutorial and lackluster controls hold back High Flyer Death Defyer from being even an above average addition to the genre. Whether you actually decide to pick up this skydiver is going to depend on how much you love graphics over, well, everything else...

One of my most favorite puzzle games that I played while growing up was Lemmings. Sure, there were plenty of games before that required thinking and coordination, but there was something about being in charge of a group of characters and having to lead them across maps of perilous obstacles that I loved...

Croma [$0.99/HD/HD Free], a shooter by Mindfruit Interactive, looks like a new game – its aesthetic is modern and minimal, sporting the en vogue polarity-switching system of games like Ikaruga and Outland...

By all rights, Drawin' Growin' [$0.99] should be a good game. It was released by Taito, who ought to be riding high off the acclaim they've earned with Groove Coaster [$2.99]. It looks cheery and sweet, with a hand-drawn art style that charms. So how has it ended up so completely bland?..

In the great scheme of iOS gaming, Darkness Escape Deluxe [$0.99 / HD ] isn’t a horrible game. In fact, Darkness Escape does an adequate job representing the platform runner genre that has become more prevalent on the App Store in recent years. Unfortunately, adequate isn’t enough, especially when compared to some of the other heavy hitters in the genre. There are simply too many missteps, mainly a lack of content and questionable asset design, that prevent this game from rising above the rest of the competition and actually earning your play time...

One thing about Shift 2: Unleashed [$5.99/HD], just real quick: Don't bother. If I had to summarize EA's latest Need for Speed sim, it certainly wouldn't involve the word "unleashed." This is about as misleading a subtitle you could attach to something so tame and afraid to do anything outside its comfort zone...

Just so we’re clear, VOLV’s Dawn of War [$.99] has nothing to do with Relic Entertainment’s RTS series of the same name. While I’d imagine this will cause some legal woes down the road, it does present a cool contrast at the moment. This Dawn of War is a 2D side-scrolling strategy game grounded in the technology of modern warfare. Its backdrops and armies are also based firmly in our actual world. Relic’s Dawn of War, on the other hand, is filled with thickly plated space imperialists and mutants tainted by a ruthless intergalactic nether realm...

Do you like Minecraft, but find that all of the tedious mining, building, and exploration mechanics get in the way of your enjoyment? Are you a fan of crafting objects, but feel like a 3x3 grid isn’t nearly hardcore enough? Yes? Then my friends, have I got a 6x8 upgrade for you...

Ever since the success of Death Rally [99¢] earlier this year, there has been somewhat of a resurgence in isometric racing titles with an emphasis on weapons and destruction. And why not? There’s nothing cooler than setting up a shot in your souped-up racer and blowing apart the leader right before taking the checkered flag. Mad Wheels [99¢/Lite/HD] attempts to ride on this wave of enthusiasm and success and, while the title does a decent job nailing the core gameplay, its lack of any real customization definitely hurts replayability...

Back in January at a Capcom preview event, I was able to get some hands-on time with Resident Evil Mercenaries VS [$2.99], a new multiplayer focused entry in the Resident Evil mobile series. During that preview, I could see that there was some potential fun that could be had battling it out with other players Resident Evil style, but was left with many reservations. The game’s performance was pretty atrocious, and it was slated to only ship with 2 playable characters and 1 multiplayer map. Even with the potential of the actual gameplay, these shortcomings left me doubting how the game would turn out...

There were tons of App Store casualties of the holiday season as EA's insane sale and the onslaught of news games drowned out the competition in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It's Just a Thought [$1.99] is one of the many games that got trampled in the holiday stampede which I just discovered today as fellow judges went through the entrants in the International Mobile Gaming Awards. At its core, It's Just a Thought is a basic tilt to move game that is so basic it doesn't even come with a way to calibrate the tilt controls. Normally this can be a deal breaker for me since I generally dislike hunching over my phone holding it perfectly level, but It's Just a Thought is cool enough that I'm more than willing to overlook all that...

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