Category Archives: 3 stars

If you’ve ever built a car for a pinewood derby, then you probably know what I mean when I say having all the parts isn’t enough. Sure, you’ve got a piece of wood that kind of looks like a car and it has four wheels that spin, but you’re way back in last place while the rest of the heat is already at the end of the track. While your little block of sawdust chugs along, you wonder where you went wrong. You’ve got all the parts, after all. Is it not still a pinewood derby racer?..

Is there a more American game character than Pac-Man? I know it's Japanese, but come on, has there ever been a better metaphor for Fitzgerald's American Dream? The Jay Gatsby of games swallows whole each and every pellet in its path, with no hope of stopping, until the ghosts of one's past offer death's sweet release. Unlike Tetris, a Soviet fantasy about placing blocks in an orderly fashion...

Sometimes you want your villain to have a face. Perhaps it’s Voldemort, Thanos, Zod or some creepy dude with a villainous “muahahaha” laugh. Then, there are the villains who have no faces. In the case of Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar [Free], you’re up against The Black Weep. No, this isn’t a group of Templars; rather, it’s a vile sickness - much like Resident Evil’s T-Virus - that turns its infected into headless-undead abominations. You’ve got to become the Avatar of Renown and save the world. Let the hero’s quest begin...

It's no wonder that endless runners have earned the bad reputation that they have. It’s just too easy for iOS developers to crank out one after another, each relying on in-app purchases and familiar game mechanics to make their money. ..

It is a known fact that pigs are constantly up to no good. They are an ever-present threat to the safety and survival of the human race, which is why we all work hard to keep them in check by eating a lot of bacon. Their natural wickedness has made them a popular target in many games, but in recent times, pig sympathy has resulted in some games where you take the side of the pigs. Confusion and conflict are sure to follow such a jarring shift of perspective, which is why I recommend talking a half-step first with Kamikaze Pigs [Free]...

Some things are released into the world brimming with potential but ultimately unfinished or broken in some fundamental manner. Frankenstein’s monster. The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Battlecruiser 3000 A.D. Add War of the Zombie [$2.99] to the list. War of the Zombie is a game brimming with great ideas that are held back by a combination of annoying bugs and poorly implemented features. The problems aren’t game-breaking for the most part, but they definitely detract from the overall experience. Despite its flaws, War of the Zombie is a game very much worth trying if you have a few spare dollars lying around. Even in its currently flawed state, the game gets enough right to provide at least a few hours of outstanding play time...

Tell me if this game sounds familiar. You walk around in a top down map, command cute creatures to fight other cute creatures, capture those creatures and choose when they can evolve. You guessed it… Pokemon. But that’s not the name of the debut game from Little Box Apps, the new company of Bryan Mitchell, the developer who made Geared. This game is called Monsters Invade: Oz [Free]. Yes, as in The Wizard of Oz, minus everything you know about L. Frank Baum’s beloved story, save the yellow brick road and Toto. ..

Having never played any of the previous games in the series, Sky Gamblers: Cold War [$4.99] was an entirely new experience for me. ..

When Nintendo released the Game Boy in 1989 with Tetris packed right in the box, that's when I feel mobile gaming really hit the mainstream. Sure, there were handheld gaming systems before it, like Nintendo's own Game & Watch devices among others, but back when the '90s were just on the horizon everybody and their brother/sister/aunt/uncle/grandpa/dog/parakeet were playing some Tetris on the Game Boy...

Gun and Mighty Rabbit Studios’ latest iOS turn-based tactical-strategy game - Breach & Clear [$0.99] - could be so much more than what it is, and promises to be, when... it’s actually finished. With loads of content dangling in your face, locked-aside with a note that simply reads "coming soon," Breach & Clear quickly dipped into the depths of disappointment with me the more I played of it...

Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes [Free] was an instabuy for yours truly. Heavy Metal, using guitars as weapons, and Joe Satriani? What could be more suited to a middle-aged metal-head gamer like myself?..

Walking along a grassy forest floor among silhouetted trees shooting interminably upward, each step rumbling in his ear, the Boy accidentally steps on a wolf trap. His head pops into the air, followed by a comet’s tail of black blood, as his body goes limp, and the trap pries itself open with a creak. It’d be funny if it weren’t so arresting, but that’s Limbo [$4.99]...

One of the coolest things about the rise of independent games combined with a global digital market is that we are seeing more and more games developed in countries we don't typically associate with games. We've all played our fair share of games from Japan, the USA, the UK, France, and Canada, but now almost every country is joining the fray, with some interesting results. Moscow Dash [$0.99], from Russian publisher Star Computers Trading, is a fine example...

Now this was a heck of a surprise when I jumped on to the forums the other day and saw that Colin McRae Rally [$2.99] was available on iOS. I rubbed my eyes and stared at the screen, thinking that the information was too good to be true and that someone must have spiked my cereal but no, it was right there, App Store link and all...

In a genre that's incredibly crowded, Picaro Games' Attack of the Spooklings [$0.99 / Free] had to get a lot right just to earn some attention. True, a quickie action game requires good, simplistic gameplay and decent presentation, but supplemental aspects such as secondary goals are a must to stand out. Spooklings mostly hits the former, but it pretty much ignores the latter, making it a title that may be overlooked simply because it doesn't offer enough...

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