Category Archives: 4.5 stars

'Thomas Was Alone' Review - A Heartwarming Tale of Discovery & Friendship

Meet Thomas. He’s a curious rectangle who has continued his journey from platform to platform, and I’m not just talking in-game here. Thomas Was Alone [$5.99 (HD)] was first released for PC and Mac back in 2012, and with the help of Curve Studios’, both PS3 and PS Vita version were released in early 2013, with brand new exclusive content. It was certainly successful, and created a lot of buzz, and now one year on creator Mike Bithell has teamed up with Bossa Studios to bring this BAFTA winning, bestseller to the App Store for iPad users to get a taste of just what all the fuss is about...

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

'Botanicula' Review - Nature’s Beauty

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May 15th, 2014 10:05 AM EDT by Eric Ford in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Adventure, iPad Games, Puzzle, Reviews
$4.99 Buy Now

In 2012, Amanita Design, developer of Machinarium (another game we absolutely loved) launched Botanicula on the PC, another great point-and-click puzzle that took the gameplay experience to a more natural setting. It’s taken nearly two years to hit iOS, but the wait is finally over for Botanicula [$4.99 (HD)] for iPad. Just as Machinarium benefited from a transition to touch-based controls, Botanicula is another fine example of a great game made better on the iPad...

'Sometimes You Die' Review - Not What It Seems

Once in a blue moon, an inconspicuous game will come around and turn an entire genre or platform on its head. Sometimes You Die [$1.99] is one of those games. On the surface, Sometimes You Die is a very standard, but sleek platformer that asks you to get a cube through a series of hard-hitting arenas, with razor sharp spikes and enemies that usually employ the same said sharp tactics. You'll be able to traverse these areas by way of moving left, right, and jumping -- that's all you'll really need...

'Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller' Review - Choose Your Own Kirk-Venture

Do you like Star Trek? Specifically, do you like the original series, with reckless Captain Kirk going on tons of away missions with Spock, Bones, and Redshirt, breaking the Prime Directive whenever he feels like it all in pursuit of adventure and alien love? If so, you're going to want to check out Tin Man Games's latest mobile conversion, Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller [$5.99]. It's an utterly shameless love letter to Star Trek, and it happens to be one of my very favorite books in the Fighting Fantasy series. I've played plenty of Star Trek games over the years, more than the franchise has deserved given the somewhat sorry state of quality they usually offer, but in my opinion, nothing has captured the feeling of the original Trek quite as well as this little gamebook written by Steve Jackson...

'Tiny Space Adventure' Review - Lost In Space

Point-and-click adventures don’t really fall under the descriptors “action-packed”, “fast-paced” or “adrenaline-fuelled.” Yet very often great games are singled out as so for these reasons alone. So when it comes to a decent point-and-click game, the factors are largely different. This can be anything from how the game looks, to the story it tells, and even the puzzle designs used within the game. Tiny Space Adventure [$1.99 / Free] is an example of a game that combines all of these elements; but what aspects in particular make this game such an enjoyable little package? ..

'CLARC' Review - How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Truly, block puzzles are one of the unsung staples of gaming's history. They're an essential part of many great games across a variety of genres, a figurative Kit-Kat break between fighting Ganon's minions or dealing with a sarcastic rampant AI. Even though we cherish them as a tasty spice on some of the biggest games around, games built solely around block puzzles have had to settle for being niche products since almost the beginning of the hobby itself. A lot of that, I think, comes down to their repetitive nature. Once you've nailed down a few key strategies, even large puzzles become a sequence of rote actions. That's fine for something you're going to pick up and play here and there for a few minutes, but it's not well-suited to a big adventure. CLARC [Free / $3.99] is, at its heart, not much more than a block puzzle game. If you absolutely hate doing that type of puzzle, you're probably not going to be convinced otherwise here...

'Perils of Man: Chapter 1' for iPad Review - A Gripping Mystery On A Journey Through Time

LucasArts may be no more, but it may fill you with excitement to hear that Swiss indie game studio IF Games’ new iOS adventure Perils of Man: Chapter 1 [Free] has an astonishing lineup of industry veterans including the involvement of ex-LucasArts Designer Bill Tiller and 1954: Alcatraz developer Gene Mocsy. ..

'Mount Olympus' Review - Return The Gods To Their Glory

One of my fondest memories back in elementary school was learning all about Greek mythology and greek gods. I also am a bit of a Percy Jackson fan, but that probably makes me more of a dork than anything else. When I first noticed Mount Olympus [$1.99] I couldn’t resist downloading it and seeing what this intriguing point and click adventure had to offer...

'Smash Hit' Review - Madness with Marbles

Some people can't get enough of endless runners. The concept of chasing a carrot on a stick and collecting tons of miniature carrots along the way has its own allure, but there's no denying that the same concept is often used over and over to the point of boredom. Smash Hit [Free] turns the runner concept on its head with a first-person perspective, beautiful graphics centered around objects made of glass, and a completely fair free-to-play system that actually works. You could say it's a... smash hit...

'Cardinal Quest 2' Review - Come On, Rogue!

It may have a name that calls to mind bright red birds or baseball, but Cardinal Quest [$3.99] is a pretty cool roguelike. Originally released on PC and later ported to iOS in 2012, it basically boils the genre concept down and streamlines it as much as possible. Interestingly, the way the developer went about simplifying it didn't so much remove depth as take the direct responsibility for handling it out of the player's hands. It proved to be a great fit for mobile platforms, and has a good following of fans, including me. Unfortunately for me, when I finally made the jump to newer hardware than my creaky old iPhone 4, I was a bit heartbroken to find that Cardinal Quest didn't work very well anymore thanks to the new dimensions of the screen. I was left waiting for the announced sequel, and after a fairly lengthy soft launch period, Cardinal Quest 2 [Free] is finally here...

'Shin Megami Tensei' Review - A Genuinely Classic RPG Gets Its English Debut

We've reached a point in gaming where, at least when it comes to major franchises, there are very few great JRPGs that haven't been eventually released in English. There are no lost Final Fantasy mainline games, all the holes in Dragon Quest have been filled, and even less famous series such as Ys and Monster World have had previously skipped over installments finally brought to English gamers. There are still a few significant gaps, though, and for me personally, none more significant than the missing games in the Shin Megami Tensei series. This is a franchise that, largely through the popularity of spin-off series Persona, has never been so relevant in the west as it is now. Sure enough, missing games connected to the franchise have made it over, one-by-one, with the entire Persona series now available in English and even the cursed Soul Hackers finally finding its way overseas, but we're still missing the games that started the whole ball of wax...

'Mines of Mars' Review - Diamond in the Rough

We’ve been keeping tabs on Crescent Moon Games’ Mines of Mars [$4.99] since we first caught wind of it nearly a year ago. Now, after over a year of development, we’ve finally got our hands on WickyWare’s mining adventure. The wait may have been long, but it’s well worth it as Mines of Mars is an excellent adventure that does a great job melding open-world exploration with a cohesive quest-driven story...

‘Avadon 2: The Corruption’ Review - A Worthy Return To The Black Fortress

It’s been quite some time since iOS users have explored the world of Spiderweb Software’s Avadon [$9.99 (HD)]. After the release of the original adventure in 2011, the classic RPG developer has spent the last few years introducing iPad owners to its original Avernum series. Now, fans of the series get the opportunity to return to the Black Fortress in Avadon 2: The Corruption [$9.99 (HD)]. Continuing the impressively high standard of previous Spiderweb RPGs on iOS, Avadon 2 is another fine addition to iPad RPGs and a must-own...

'Eliss Infinity' Review - Splitting Planets Like Atoms

Many of you may not remember the iOS marketplace in 2009, but when it was released, Eliss was a dominant authority in the puzzle arena. Now it's back five years later in the form of Eliss Infinity [$0.99], and the good news is, it's better than ever. Somehow, Infinity manages to balance both puzzle and action elements to near perfection...

'Word Mage' Review - The Hyperactive Member Of The Word Game Family

The word game is one of those genres that's basically always active on iOS, with new entries released at a fairly regular pace. That said, recently, there seems to be a higher amount than usual of excellent new games twisting RPG mechanics into the genre. They're two great tastes that taste great together, I suppose. What's interesting to me is how games coming from the same basic angle of "word game plus RPG" can have such different results. If we consider the recent Spell Quest [Free] to be the Dragon Quest of word RPGs, with its slow, deliberate pace and focus on carefully-planned strategy, then Word Mage [$0.99] is the Ys of the genre, moving at a blazing pace and demanding quick reactions to enemies that become increasingly dedicated to finishing you off...

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