Category Archives: 3 stars

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

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April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EST 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...

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...

Captain America is one of those Avengers that used to have a support role, but lately he has become a headliner thanks to his original movie getting a recently released sequel. That might not be a perfect spot for this rather stiff character that has to rely on his personal history to become interesting, and relevant. Compared to the Hulk, or Wolverine who are characters with an ongoing internal struggle...

Twinsen is a dreamer, and soon learns that dreams can change the world. He finds himself imprisoned in an asylum, but he can’t let the evil Dr FunFrock just rule the world. Escaping the asylum is the first steps in Little Big Adventure, [$4.99] and you will get to repeat this part a couple of times. Little Big Adventure was released back in 1994 for MS-DOS, and I fell in love with the whimsical world of Twinsun right away. I don’t remember if I ever completed it back then, or if I just enjoyed exploring the quite open game world. DotEmu has recreated the original, as close as I can remember it. ..

Following hot on the heels of their movie-licensed shooter Robocop [Free], Glu Games has finally taken their follow-up to Frontline Commando [Free] and Frontline Commando: D-Day [Free] out of soft launch and into wide release. Robocop itself used many of the same mechanics as the Frontline Commando games, so it's perhaps not that surprising that some of the new elements in Frontline Commando 2 [Free] echo certain parts of it. Luckily, one thing they didn't carry over, at least not completely, is the stamina meter, but even without that hanging over its head, Frontline Commando 2 is kind of a dud sequel, particularly when held against D-Day...

One of the cool things about indie games is that concepts that literally have no chance of getting greenlit via traditional means can still find a way to get out there. Everything from inside jokes to personal stories to insanely specific niches can all become games for the world to see and play. Shinjuku Dungeon [Free], from one-man developer Uehara Labo, is a great example of this. On the one hand, it's a very typical retro-styled adventure that has you exploring a winding labyrinth, solving a variety of puzzles, and collecting keys and items that allow you to open up new areas. On the other hand, it's a nearly perfect recreation of a real place that tens of thousands of people walk through every day. While the game itself is decent enough, it's certainly nothing special. Yet, for anyone familiar with the real place, Shinjuku Dungeon takes on a whole new meaning...

Weird hair, strange mumblings and an unhealthy sleep pattern walking around alone in spooky houses. Could it be Mikael Myers or Norman Bates? No it is the Lodger...

'Fright Fight' Review - Super Grimm Bros.

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March 11th, 2014 2:27 PM EST by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

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...

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