Category Archives: 3 stars

'Fright Fight' Review - Super Grimm Bros.

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March 11th, 2014 2:27 PM EDT by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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Bringing the feel of Super Smash Bros. to the mobile platform is a tall order, but APPSolute Games is attempted to do just that with Fright Fight [Free]. The game is free, and its IAP structure is introduced to you immediately after booting it up. Put simply, you'll be able to choose "buy" your first character for free (either a Grim Reaper, Yeti, Werewolf or Vampire), while the others remain as paid add-ons...

In a crowded games market where it may be tough to stand out, games that try to meld genres tend to have the greatest chance of getting attention. Of course, the problem with that technique is the simple fact that it can be hard to make an engaging game takes the right elements from their respective genres. As a reverse TD Action/Strategy hybrid Demonrock: War of Ages [$0.99] actually does a decent job from a technical standpoint in melding gameplay. However, it’s missing a lot of the refinement from each of those respected genres that make them popular...

Fancy yourself as a bit of a detective? Want to solve the most ludicrous cases in a world where candy is strictly forbidden? Publisher Chillingo’s latest game takes the simple aspects and ideas of a puzzle game and give it a whole new meaning to the word “depth.” Taking hold of the reigns and steering players in a completely new direction, Another Case Solved [Free] is a humorous light-hearted take on the whodunit genre, with a distinctively interesting variety of puzzles all incorporated and combined into one fine game...

Where would you go if you were a green mule out in the Wild Wild West? Well that’s what Mr. Rooney has to figure out, in a game full of the most offbeat puns and unconventional puzzles. Glitch Games, the very same developers of the dark and macabre Forever Lost, have done a complete 180 with intriguing iOS point-and-click style adventure Ferris Mueller’s Day Off [$1.99]. Based very loosely on the renowned film of similar namesake, this curious game, which is clearly about a mule and not a young teenager on the brink of adulthood, invites you into a bright, colorful world where mules have humanity and the fellow town residents are largely unaccommodating...

Old school games are often filled with technical limitations that made them harder than they otherwise would have been. The modern term for this is "fake difficulty," and although it's a bit of an overused catch-all to describe challenging games, it often applies to many works, even today. Trambo [$1.99] is one such game that often feels unfair as a result of its design, but masochists will still find a lot to like despite its flaws...

If a remake of a historically significant game in one region is finally released for the first time in others and naturally finds itself outdated by more modern takes on the genre, how should it be approached? Banshee's Last Cry [Free] is in a bit of a weird place, to be sure. On the one hand, finally getting such an important game in English is certainly a good thing, especially with the quality of the localization work found here. On the other hand, English gamers have no nostalgia for this game, and in the iOS market in particular, the competition in the interactive fiction genre is absolutely savage...

'In Fear I Trust' Review - Is It the Bugs You Fear?

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January 24th, 2014 11:34 AM EDT by James Paterson in $2.99, 3 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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Horror games are a dime a dozen nowadays. Every developer and their mother can string together a series of rooms, have some weird shaped figure jump out at you, and be classified as a horror game. Perhaps we have Hollywood to blame for games like this, with "horror" titles such as Paranormal Activity or Insidious that are more comical than anything. But maybe that's just me, being a horror buff and desensitized to the plight of the woman who runs upstairs and essentially traps herself to escape a killer...

In my recent review of Hoplite [$1.99], I mentioned how the game benefited from a focused design. It's vitally important when the team is small to avoid biting off more than you can chew, because you might end up with a game full of content of wildly varying quality that doesn't measure up as an overall experience. This is unfortunately the case with the Trese Brothers' latest, the fantasy strategy RPG Heroes of Steel [Free]. The aspects of the game that are the most fun would have benefited from the extra resources that were spent on things that don't work well at all. Specifically, the turn-based battles are very solid, but almost everything between them is a slog. If you have the patience to deal with or embrace the slower bits, the game is without a doubt a good value for its content, with the free prologue spanning about five hours alone and the promise of more to come via IAP chapters, the first of which is available for just a dollar. With a lot of competition in the turn-based strategy genre on iOS, though, it's hard to recommend spending your time on this one...

'Tomb Raider I' Review - Disastrous Controls Destroy An Otherwise Good Port

Well, the review title pretty much says it all, doesn't it? I guess I can sneak off for an early lunch now. Actually, I suppose since the original game this is ported from is 17 (!) years old now, I should probably elaborate a little bit. Tomb Raider I [$2.99], as it's apparently called now, is a game I'm sure many readers know like the back of their hand, and maybe the front, too. If you are very familiar with the game and just want the brief, this is a port of Tomb Raider Gold, the PC re-release that included the Unfinished Business expansion. If you have a controller, you'll be partying like it's 1996 all over again, but if you don't, you'll be subject to virtual controls that mess up a movement system that hasn't aged all that well in the first place...

One of the problems with adaptations of existing works is that no matter how perfectly the conversion is pulled off, the end result still depends heavily on the quality of the source. If you're familiar with developer Tin Man Games, I probably don't even need to tell you that Fighting Fantasy: Island of the Lizard King [$5.99] is a perfect iOS version of the classic gamebook. The thing is, there are a lot of Fighting Fantasy books, and they're not all winners. Island of the Lizard King isn't a bad one, and oh my, are there some bad ones, but I've never been a big fan of it. The unfortunate result is that while I will once again applaud Tin Man Games's fine work in the gamebook genre, I don't think this one is all that great, through no fault of their own...

It's kind of remarkable, given how successful it's been, that we are nearly seven years down the line from the release of Peggle [$0.99] with no real sequel released. Heck, we haven't even seen new stand-alone content since 2008's Peggle Nights. Personally, I blame Plants Vs. Zombies [$0.99] for being so awesome. Well, anyway, Peggle 2 is finally on its way, but it's exclusive (for now) to the Xbox One, so us iOS gamers are going to have to wait a little while longer. What to play in the meantime, though? There are actually surprisingly few games that imitate Peggle around. Well, the makers of the immensely popular Candy Crush Saga [Free], King, have a suggestion: Papa Pear Saga [Free]...

Poor, old Mega Man. Although he's one of gaming's longest-running and most prolific icons, he's surely seen his ups and downs, and these last couple years have been some serious examples of the latter. While not so long ago he was flying high, today he seems to be largely abandoned by his owner and replaced by his "father". On iOS, we've gotten an embarrassingly cut-down and IAP-laden port of Mega Man X [$4.99], a port of Mega Man 2 [$0.99] with lousy virtual controls, and Mega Man XOver, a game so bad that Capcom opted not to release it outside of Japan for quality reasons. For the Blue Bomber-loving iOS fan, the pickings are pretty slim...

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a strange beast. While there have been a number of sequels and spinoffs to official FF games all of them were based on post-SNES era games. Yet, in 2008 SE released this direct sequel to FFIV to the Japanese populace as a mobile game, and would eventually launch it in the US first as a WiiWare port and then as part of a compilation on the PSP. Now, iOS users finally have a chance to check out After Years although there really isn’t much to enjoy...

Spelunker was released in 1983 -- before I was even born. With the simple premise of "explore a giant cave" and arcade-like gameplay, Spelunker won the hearts of many, and destroyed the gaming aspirations of many more. In a word, the game was difficult, and is often infamously referred to as one of the hardest games of all time. Everyday Spelunker [$3.99] may faithfully re-create the magic of the retro original, but unless you're a die-hard fan, you'll probably want to avoid this excursion...

Whenever I play a games with a post-apocalyptic ocean setting, I’m always reminded of that horrible Waterworld movie. Sure, most games will undoubtedly do the bare minimum to create an experience marginally better than that flick, but it’s never a good starting position. Oil Rush: 3D Naval Strategy [$4.99] certainly does what it can to offer a decent superficial experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do nearly enough in other facets and ends up being simply satisfactory...

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