Category Archives: 3 stars

Supernauts [Free] is a curious mix of a game: it's a blend of the well-worn town-building simulation genre and the kind of world-building sandbox crafting gameplay popularized by Minecraft [$6.99] et al. The thing is, the way that Supernauts tries to blend together these two genres it has to take away a lot of what makes them both tick individually...

This is a slightly controversial opinion, depending on one's values, but I personally believe that video game fans have never had it as good as we have it now. Particular genres have ebbed to an extent, as they tend to in this hobby, but I feel like the overall spread of the market is broader and deeper than it's ever been. As the big companies have focused more and more on creating big, expensive productions that dazzle with their beauty and scope, indies have rushed in and filled just about every possible gap you could think of. On top of that, the popularity of deep discount sales across most digital platforms means that not only do we have more choices than ever before, but they're a lot cheaper than ever, to boot. It's truly a buyer's market...

Broken Age [$4.99 (HD)] is an appropriate name for this point-and-click adventure from Tim Schafer's Double Fine, veterans of the genre. The game is about two separate stories that eventually come together, hence the 'broken' part of the name, but it's also about how this game itself is broken into two separate parts: this is part one of two. Reviewing early access games from a critical perspective is hard enough as it is because a game can change so much from even a public release to its completion. But for this game, there's a special challenge because instead of charging for the full game up front like on PC, with clear "early access" distinguishers, this is just being sold as part one, with part two available as an in-app purchase. So, while I feel like part one of Broken Age shows some promise for the eventual whole, as a consumer product in and of itself, where people can buy just part one of the game, it's hard to recommend on its own...

Rolling Zimro [$0.99] is an endless runner with a gimmick. Actually, it's an endless runner with two gimmicks, but one of them is just set dressing. First, and most obviously, this game has a big old coat of recreational drug culture paint covering it from head to toe. The main character is a thinly-veiled pot-farmer, some of the enemies look kind of like bongs, the name of the currency you're collecting is 'munchies', and most of the power-ups are drug references. That's going to be a selling point for some people and a turn-off for others, but personally, I'm kind of indifferent...

These days, developer 5th Cell is most famous for their huge break-out hit series, Scribblenauts. Although that series started on the Nintendo DS, it saw an iOS release more than two years ago in the form of Scribblenauts Remix [$0.99], which still regularly hangs in the top selling paid apps. Offering players a great deal of personal input into solving the game's levels, it's easy to see why it appeals to so many. However, that wasn't 5th Cell's first foray into games that allow players a way to express their creativity. That honor goes to Drawn To Life [$4.99], released in 2007 for Nintendo DS, a platformer that asks the player to draw various objects into the world, not the least of which being your main character. While it wasn't the mega-hit Scribblenauts would become, it was a very successful game that kicked off its own series, and it's now available on iOS courtesy of publisher 505 Games (Terraria [$4.99]) and developer WayForward (Shantae: Risky's Revenge [Free])...

It is the future. The world is governed by a singular authority; a tough motorcylcle-riding all-female police squad named the SXPD. Dark and violent in nature, SXPD [Free] is reminiscent of comic series such as Tank Girl or Heavy Metal, perhaps, and is ideal for anyone who wishes to dive into the world of intense high speed chases, rapid gunfire and earth-shattering explosions...

If it seems like you’ve seen Micronytes Directors Cut [$0.99] somewhere before, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Previously available for Android, the game is a 2D platformer that was released way back in 2011 for Xperia Play. Unfortunately, it was sloppy, a little ugly in all the wrong places, and infuriatingly difficult for the most part. On the bright side, it’s been redesigned, reconstructed and re-released for iOS devices, and it certainly looks like a completely different game indeed...

You might remember the developer of this game, Game Stew, from the cool Tower of Fortune [$0.99] games. Even if you forgot their name, you would know the minute you laid eyes upon Devil Shard [$1.99] that it's from the same people, since it shares a visual theme. Play into the game a little bit and you'll have it entirely confirmed. That series, most recently represented by Tower of Fortune 2 [$1.99], presented a unique combination of RPG, roguelike, and slot mechanics which, with its unique art style, created something that really stood out among the numerous pocket RPGs available on the App Store. Devil Shard is another RPG twist, but this time it's a considerably more pedestrian one. It doesn't stop it from being fun, but it's a lot harder to make the case for adding this to your library as a result...

Phoenix Online Studios’ latest game release Lost Civilization [$4.99] follows a slightly nonsensical story through the beautiful city of Prague to the darkest corners of Mayan civilization. Combining both adventure gaming elements and simple logic puzzles with hidden object scenes, it falls under the interesting “adventure-lite” genre, one that I don’t believe I’ve had the honor of exploring properly before...

I completed Lethal Lance [$1.99], the latest from Bulkypix, a few days ago, but I had to revisit it today prior to writing this review. That's not out of the ordinary in and of itself, since I'm usually replaying the game while I write the review to make sure I get my details straight. What is remarkable about Lethal Lance is that I needed to revisit it not to clarify little details, but because I had almost entirely forgotten the game. Now, I'll grant you that I play an awful lot of games, but it's quite rare for me to blank so thoroughly on something I played all the way through in the same week. For some of you, that might be all you need to know about this game, but I'm going to keep going anyway...

The early 1990s were a crazy time in gaming. Nintendo's near-monopoly in the American market was being broken. Consoles were finally starting to make a dent in the computer-dominated European market. Both of these things were being accomplished by SEGA, and in both cases, a tremendous debt was owed to a blue hedgehog whose career has seen more ups and downs than John Travolta's. As if we weren't flooded in mascot platformers already due to Super Mario Bros., Sonic The Hedgehog [$2.99] unleashed a positive tidal wave of games featuring animals with attitudes hopping through levels. Even if they didn't have any of SEGA's hardware, people wanted something like Sonic, and a great many developers were all too happy to comply. This is the era that birthed Superfrog, an Amiga platformer from eventual Worms developer Team17. In yet another reflection of the era, Superfrog had a sponsorship deal with energy drink Lucozade, with the drink appearing all throughout the game as a power-up...

Fans of indie titles on Steam have probably heard of David Williamson’s rogue-like Hack, Slash, Loot. True to its name-sake HSL is an exceedingly streamlined take on the genre that is known for its occasional unforgiving difficulty, all due to the random nature of the game. In its debut on iOS, Hack, Slash, Loot [$4.99] for makes a decent transition to iPad complete with navigable touch controls. Whether its barebones gameplay makes a splash amongst a crowd of great rogue-likes on iOS is another question, however...

Ah, Kemco, my old nemesis. After the release of the surprisingly high-effort Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], for the first time in quite a while, Kemco did not come out with a new RPG at the beginning of last month. Maybe they wanted to give the game time to breathe. Maybe they were anxious about what to follow it with. Whatever the case, iOS gamers have had to face a dystopian reality where we had no new Kemco RPG for a month and a half. Our long nightmare is over, however, because we've got a new release, and its name is Fortuna Magus [$2.99]. Android gamers got this one several months ago, actually, so we're a bit late to the party on this one, but don't worry too much. It's a pretty lame party...

'Dark Guardians' Review - Style Over Substance

StarStarStarNoneNone
April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, but often times, flashy is one of the many coats of colors it may wear. Dark Guardians [$1.99] is a beautiful game that looks very similar to the aesthetic design of the Kickstarter success Banner Saga, but sadly it doesn't have the mechanical chops to prop it up beyond its pretty veneer...

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...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.