Category Archives: 4.5 stars

'Brew Town' Review - Less Filling, Plays Great

People take craft beer seriously. Maybe too seriously. We all know that one guy or girl who swears their home brew is the best, and while they are occasionally correct, it can get a little overbearing. Cooking up your own beer should be fun, because beer. Brew Town [Free], by AppBox Media and I Fight Bears, takes a very Joker-esque, "Why so serious?" approach to creating your own libations, taking you from just one person with a lager and a dream to an outfit big enough to take on the giants of beer...

'Dissembler' Review - Click-Clack I Was Making a Match

While it's true that not every pre-existing genre of game has adapted comfortably to touch controls, I feel like the puzzle genre has benefited tremendously from them. In some cases, there are puzzles that just wouldn't work properly with other methods of input. Other titles benefit simply from the improved tactility that comes from using your fingers directly on objects in the game. Granted, you're just mushing your finger against a piece of smooth glass no matter what the game is like, but the really great ones line up sound effects and visual flourishes to create the illusion that you're actually playing around with solid pieces...




'Alto's Odyssey' Review: Once More Down the Mountain

Snowman returns to their breakout hit with Alto's Odyssey [$4.99], and while they don't veer too far from what worked in Alto's Adventure [$4.99], they still find room for a few surprises while maintaining the engrossing atmospheric experience of the original. It doesn't do enough new to change the minds of anyone that didn't like the first game, but everything Adventure does right, Odyssey expands on it...

'Florence' Review - A Brief Fling

'Florence' Review - A Brief Fling

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February 13th, 2018 6:46 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Games, Interactive Fiction, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Mountains has been an interesting studio to watch as their team has some serious industry street cred- Particularly with their involvement in both Monument Valley [$3.99] and Cuphead. Backed by Annapurna, it seemed like Mountains had the luxury to release anything they wanted. What they decided on was an interactive love story and after waiting what feels like an eternity, Florence [$2.99] is finally here. Florence is a tricky game to review, as it's the sort of project that invokes all those annoying arguments surrounding what is and isn't a game. (I'm not sure it's possible to lose, it's fairly difficult to not progress, and you can "beat" it in 30 minutes.) I think a better lens to examine Florence through is not as a game, but rather, as a really clever evolution of a visual novel. In that respect, Florence succeeds on a level that's really just sort of absurd...

'Disc Drivin' 2' Review - The Evolution of a Classic

As I've talked about before, the original Disc Drivin' was something of an obsession with the TouchArcade staff and many members of our community. I'd say it easily wins as being the mobile game I've played for the longest time, as it launched way back in 2010 and has remained a constant in my rotation ever since, with only a few breaks in between. So it was a mixture of delight and trepidation when developer Pixelocity announced Disc Drivin' 2 [Free] which just launched this week. On one hand fans were getting a new entry of a favorite which would theoretically add all sorts of fun new stuff. On the other, would this sequel mess with the formula or ruin the happy feelings we have towards that beloved original? As a diehard Disc Driver I'd say there's a bit from column A and column B, but overall I'm thrilled with this new entry in the series and Disc Drivin' 2 looks poised to continue the tradition that the original started for many more years to come. If you're unfamiliar with Disc Drivin' then please read my review of the original game for the nuts and bolts of what the basic concept behind the game is. This review will assume you have a basic understanding of Disc Drivin' and mostly focuses on what's new compared to the original game...

'Meteorfall: Journey' Review - Cards Against Calamity

Once upon a time, most of the card games you'd find in the App Store were of the CCG variety, and with some notable exceptions, not very inspiring ones at that. More recently, games like Reign and its sequel have demonstrated pretty clearly that there are things you can do with cards other than collect them. Enter Meteorfall: Journey [$2.99], a roguelike fantasy RPG that just happens to be built on cards, and one where your skill at deckbuilding on the fly is one of the keys to success...

'Lord of Dice' Review - A Loaded Gacha Experience

Kakao might not be a game company you are familiar with, but their success overseas has opened doors for them to bring their widely popular gachapon Lord of Dice [Free] to western shores. If you are not instantly familiar with that term gachapon, its basically a reference to free to play games that allow you to collect, level up and evolve your team of fighters to take on ever increasingly strong enemies. These games offer a slow trickle of hero acquisition which can be expedited via the purchase of summoning gems. If you aren't a fan of this type of free to play model, I can save you some time and say that the formula is followed closely enough that you probably won't enjoy this game. For those of you who do, however, there is a lot under the hood that this game offers. ..

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

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January 25th, 2018 1:32 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

If you asked me what a typical Nitrome game is, I'd say it's a fun game with good pixel art, some rockin' chiptune music (provided you un-mute your iPhone) and a super generous free to play system that actually allows you to play through their games provided you have the patience to sit through lots of ads. Slime Pizza [Free] is the latest release published by Nitrome, but it was actually developed by Neutronized who have made a dumb amount of great games. (Which makes you wonder why they sign with publishers, given their track record?) Super Cat Tales [Free] and Drop Wizard Tower [Free] are two of my favorite games of theirs, but looking at their portfolio it's hard to even pick. Interestingly enough, Slime Pizza seems to be a pseudo-sequel spinoff of sorts of Slime Laboratory 2, a Flash-based browser games that shares a lot of visual similarities...

'It’s Full of Sparks' Review - A Cracking Good Time

It’s Full of Sparks [Free] is the latest release from prolific App Store publishers Noodlecake and developer Dabadu Games, and it’d be understandable if there were lingering doubts about whether quantity would eventually come at the expense of quality, and if some titles would make less of a bang amongst the iOS community. Thankfully, It’s Full of Sparks lives up to its name - from the outset, Dabadu Games have made a game full of sparks, new ideas and an abundance of charm from start to end. While a ‘platformer’ in the loosest sense of the word, It’s Full of Sparks suits the iPhone and iPad perfectly with its simple but incredibly solid central premise, and inventive level design means it remains engaging even as the novelty begins to wear thin...

'Cytus II' Review - Finger Dance Revolution

Some developers just demonstrate a knack for certain genres and decide to stick with them. It's not a bad way to go, and since Rayark has already given us several quality rhythm games like Cytus and VOEZ, it's only natural that the studio might want to revisit that particular music-saturated well again. Happily, what it's come up with in Cytus II [$1.99] is the best kind of sequel, one that should please fans of the first game while also assuring you don't require any knowledge of it...

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

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January 18th, 2018 12:00 AM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

10tons multiplatform hit JYDGE [$2.99] is out now on iOS. JYDGE is a twinstick shooter set in a late twentieth century urban dystopian future. You play as the titular Jydge, a cop with the authority to dispense justice to bad guys, save hostages and confiscate contriband loot along the way. You are equipped with a wide array of cyberware enhancements and your trusty firearm, Gavel, complete with various firing modes and its own upgrades. You have been tasked with completing various missions that upon completion award you with points and credits to further upgrade and customize your gear. Much like its predecessor Neon Chrome [$6.99], you can quickly get overwhelmed in enemy fire if you aren't careful. JYDGE does, however, step away from Neon Chrome in a few key areas. The levels are not procedurally generated and and feel more fine-tuned. JYDGE also trades in the endless run idea for finite levels that seem to better encapsulate the sometimes limited time requirements of being on a mobile platform...

'Antihero' Review - A Thief's Life for Me

'Antihero' Review - A Thief's Life for Me

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January 2nd, 2018 7:30 PM EDT by Tasos Lazarides in $3.99, 4.5 stars, Board, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, News, Reviews, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

The Christmas celebrations in most of the world has been infused with the spirit of those "charming" Victorians, with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol—and its many adaptations—dominating across all kinds of media. And as we all say goodbye to the Christmas spirit—complete with carols, punch, and top hats— we say welcome to Antihero [$4.99], the turn-based digital board game that reminds us that Victorian England was as much about thievery and murder as it was about Christmas carols. We first wrote about Antihero back in 2014, and, after stopping on PC first, the game is finally on mobile, and it's easily one of the best games of the genre. This Victorian take on the 4X genre offers much more than first meets the eye, and it's guaranteed to keep you scouting, researching, killing, and thieving for quite some time...

'Cinco Paus' Review - A Rosa By Any Other Name

One of the things that makes games from developer Michael Brough so great is in how much there is to discover in each one. They're densely-packed pouches full of Eureka moments, constantly dripping out new tricks, traps, and techniques for those who are patient and observant enough to notice them. His games don't just trust the player to figure them out; they challenge the player to do so. You really won't make much progress at all in his games if you're not willing to play along with this philosophy. It's a school of design I happen to enjoy, but I do so knowing that it's just as much of a turn-off for some as it is a joy for others. After all, there's a fine line between being obtuse in order to teach and being obtuse just to be obtuse. Where that line falls tends to come down to the player...

'Animus - Stand Alone' Review - The Dark Souls of Mobile

The Dark Souls series is an extremely popular game franchise that is infamous for its brutal difficulty, methodical combat, and merciless boss fights. I especially loved the series' "spin-off", Bloodborne on the Playstation 4. As usual, I enjoy discovering games on the App Store that are similar to some of my favorite games on console or PC. Luckily, Animus- Stand Alone [$7.99] proudly wears its Dark Souls/Bloodborne inspirations on its sleeve! Many people believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let's see if this saying holds true, shall we?..

'Life is Strange Episode 1: Chrysalis' Review - Square Enix Kicks This Series off With a Bang

When Life is Strange [Free] was originally announced back in 2014, it immediately shot to the top of my list of anticipated releases for 2015. Since then, I’ve played it multiple times across various platforms but had been constantly puzzled at the lack of an iOS version given the genre. I thought Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment would’ve seen the value in putting their new adventure release on a platform where Telltale Games has seen success. Fast forward to today and we finally have Life is Strange on iOS and the port is mostly great. ..

'Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!' Review - You Are What They Eat

Now this is how you do a remake. Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! [$7.99] is a rebuild of the original Oddworld game, Abe's Oddysee, and it doesn't do any of it by half-measures. The graphical improvements are obvious, but there's also a ton of new content and even some expanded mechanics in the game. While it's always a risky move to change things in a classic, you can tell the developers had a good sense of what worked and what didn't in the 1997 original. New 'n' Tasty! has almost all of the strengths of Abe's Oddysee and very few of its weaknesses, and its theme is (sadly) just as relevant today as it was two decades ago...

'Fez - Pocket Edition' Review - A Great Game, and an Even Better Reason to Buy an MFi Controller

Originally launched back in April of 2012 on Xbox Live Arcade, Fez is a 2D platformer with puzzle elements that hinge around being able to rotate the game world in 3D space. Since its initial release Fez has been ported to practically every platform under the sun, and in the process has won an absurd amount of awards. Fez is one of those games that it really doesn't matter where you play it, as long as you're playing it somewhere. This morning Fez - Pocket Edition [$4.99] was released on the App Store, providing a fabulous opportunity for fans of Fez to experience this gem on to go, as well as folks who potentially never heard of the game to play it for the very first time...

'Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp' Review - Tom Nook Always Gets His

'Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp' Review - Tom Nook Always Gets His

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November 21st, 2017 12:53 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Free, Reviews
Free Buy Now

News first broke in late April of 2016 that an Animal Crossing game would be making its way to the App Store, and after more than a year of speculation and a brief soft launch, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free] launched globally this morning. If you've been paying any attention to what Nintendo has been doing in the mobile arena, what Pocket Camp actually is shouldn't surprise you much. Much like Super Mario Run [Free] and Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], Pocket Camp is a shockingly well done mobile adaptation of Animal Crossing without ever replacing "real" Animal Crossing games such as New Leaf on the 3DS. Similar to previous Nintendo mobile titles, Pocket Camp is severely limited in scope compared to the full-featured games on Nintendo platforms, but still serves as an incredibly fun distraction- And you really can't beat that for the current asking price of free...

As far as endless arcade type games go, the first Dragon Hills [$2.99] was a fun and chaotic beast. Featuring a princess in a tower waiting for her prince to rescue her, a prince finds all the gold on a lower floor and just books it. The princess, apparently being great friends with the dragon that ‘imprisoned’ her (I assume as a favor so she could get a man), sets off after this jerk of a prince with blazing fury in her eyes, embodying old sayings about hell’s fury and scorned women. All while riding said dragon, who gets around by burrowing, jumping, and sliding through the hills. Rebel Twins have now returned with a sequel, and it’s more varied, more polished, and much stranger than ever. Welcome back to the hills. It’s Dragon Hills 2 [$2.99]...

I'm probably not saying anything controversial by mentioning that like any other human, I have genre preferences. I obviously enjoy my superhero stories and flights of fantasy, and humor goes a very long way with me. I'm not that big on horror stories, however. Stories about ghosts and the paranormal have to work a little bit harder to get my attention. With that in mind, I wasn't sure how well I was going to take to Heart of the House [$5.99], a recent release from prolific gamebook/interactive fiction publisher Choice of Games. It's a Victorian-era story of the supernatural with a healthy dollop of mystery mixed in. While this isn't my usual cup of tea, the character development and overall high quality of the writing ended up winning me over...

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