Category Archives: 4.5 stars

'Sorcery! 2' Review - Continue The Adventure In This Bigger And Better Chapter

If nothing else, the year 2013 has been a great one for gamebooks. With Tin Man Games continuing their excellent work with original and licensed works that faithfully recreate the feeling of a real book, Forge Reply and Bulkypix bringing back an old favorite character with stunning new presentation in Lone Wolf [$4.99], and inkle's great interpretation of the epic Sorcery! [$4.99] saga, I dare say fans of the genre have never had such a wealth of interesting, quality choices as they do today on mobile platforms. We reviewed the first part of Sorcery! earlier this year and came away quite impressed with inkle's spin on the concept, and I'm happy to tell you that it only gets better in Sorcery! 2 [$4.99]...

'Deemo' Review - A Beautiful Rhythmic Experience

It’s been nearly two years since we saw the release of Cytus [$1.99], an excellent music game that was not only built on a solid gameplay foundation but has been continually updated with new tracks since its release. Now, developer Rayark is back with their second music/rhythm title and it’s just as awesome as the first. Deemo’s [$1.99]gameplay may not be groundbreaking, but it’s still an amazing game with a highly refined experience worth checking out...

'Tic Tactics' Review - Tic-Tac-Toe Becomes A True Challenge Again With This Plotting Puzzler

Back in the day when our brains were just in their formative years and we didn't have a mobile, touchscreen device to entertain us, we could entertain ourselves with nothing but a pencil and a piece of paper from a notebook that should have been used for studying. Tic-Tac-Toe was the favorite in my circle of friends. At that age, it didn't require a long setup for a single game like a round of Dots and Boxes or enough book smarts to make a big enough challenge for a game of Hangman. It was my first introduction to strategy games and a new turn-based puzzler has not only brought it back but they've found a unique way to make a deceptive and entertaining challenge...

'Lords Of Waterdeep' Review - A Great Conversion Of An Excellent Board Game

Playdek has built a good reputation converting trading card games to iOS, and their recent foray into board games, Agricola [$6.99], showed they know their way around that type of conversion just as well. Their latest release, Lords of Waterdeep [$6.99], is unsurprisingly another thoughtful adaptation, this time of Wizards of the Coast's 2012 hit Forgotten Realms board game. Like other mobile adaptations of board and card games, the advantages are clear. It's a lot cheaper, it's easier to play with friends, you can play solo against or fill out your multiplayer games with AI opponents, you don't have to set up or clean up, and cheating is considerably harder. If you happen to be a fan of the actual board game, I'll save you a few minutes of reading: this is a faithful version of the core game, so if that's what you were looking for, feel free to buy without remorse...

'Space Chicks' Review -  Endless Galactic Galavanting

There are so many ‘endless’ games constantly being released that it really takes a lot simply to get noticed in the crowded genre. Crescent Moon Games’ Space Chicks [Free], which combines fast-paced platforming with endless elements, has just enough pizazz to accomplish that feat. It also helps that Space Chicks is a blast to play, infusing some life in the tired genre with great visuals and engaging mechanics...

'Fist of Awesome' Review - Simply Awesome

My favorite beat 'em ups have character and personality, tight combat and hit-boxes, and responsive controls that allow for tactical decision making. If they also have referential humor, a great art direction, a kick ass soundtrack, and a bad ass bear-punching, beard-having protagonist - like in Fist of Awesome [$3.99] - that's even better...

'Football Heroes' Review - The Awesome Gridiron Mayhem

Football Heroes [Free] by Run Games is a sports lover’s wet dream come true. Combining crazy gameplay elements from past satirical sports franchises (Mutant League Football, Blitz, and Tecmo Bowl) with simplistic and strategic play-calling, Football Heroes is without question the best American sports portrayal on the app store. FB leaves out all seriousness and infuses an abundance of fun that overflows through its presentation, wit, and perfect controls. It has very minor technical glitches that I can completely overlook as it has easily become my most used app. For its advancement of a genre, controls, and presentation, it is an absolute no-brainer to download, play, and keep...

'GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience' Review - A Pretty Smooth Ride

Hot off the heels of the release of its arcade racer back in August, Gameloft is back behind the wheel with GT Racing 2 [Free], a racer that focuses more on ‘simulation’ rather than thrills. Just as it did with Asphalt 8, GT Racing 2 boasts impressive visuals, loads of content, and a pretty approachable experience both in terms of gameplay and presentation. In fact, the only downsides lie with its freemium timers, which are annoying but not game-breaking...

'Bit.Trip Run!' Review - A Mostly-Intact Port Of An Excellent Runner

We often see the case of a game from a genre well-realized on consoles, dedicated handhelds, or PCs releasing on mobile. Sometimes, we even see these games make their way over to the platforms where their genres were born or popularized. For example, Chaos Rings [$7.99] is a JRPG, a genre popularized by consoles, that was released on mobiles first, and then eventually making its way to the Playstation Vita. It's considerably more rare, due to the relative youth of the mobile platform, to see a game from a genre popularized on mobiles release on consoles. Such was the case with Bit.Trip Runner, an auto-running game released for Wii, with later releases on 3DS and Steam. With the release of the sequel, developer Gaijin Games decided to really go big, putting the game out on pretty much every platform under the sun including, in a slightly modified form, iOS...

'Star Wars Pinball 2' Review - The Tilt is Strong With This One

Enough with the Star Wars. We get it. They were fun movies. But do we really need another derivative, cynical capitalization on our memories of a... what's that? It's a pinball game from Zen Studios? Yes, please. And how much of my money would you like?"..

'Doom and Destiny' Review - A Funny Parody With A Solid Game Backing It

One of the interesting things I've noticed with the rise of indie game developers in the last several years is the reappearance of the long-absent category of parody and satire games. As game publishers became bigger and budgets went higher, it felt like the industry was losing its sense of humor and self-awareness. I'm happy to see these kinds of games making a return. Of course, even though being clever and funny are great things, it's important for there to be a decent game behind all of the jokes, so that you don't end up with something best enjoyed as a YouTube video. Doom & Destiny [$2.99] is a pretty funny send-up of RPGs, classic games, and the people who play them. More importantly, it's also a good RPG itself...

'Duet' Review - Meditating on Deaths

As much as it might punish me for it, I have difficulty putting Duet [$2.99] down. As it did with both Bean's Quest [$2.99] and Time Surfer [$0.99], Kumobius has tapped into a potent combination in its new game, this time exploring simple action, electronic music and death. Quite a bit of the latter...

'Paint It Back' Review - The Picross Game You've Been Waiting For

Like many gamers, when I got my first iOS device, I was looking for a ton of recommendations. I wanted to know the best rogue-like, the best RPG, the best platformer, and so on. Little by little, I found satisfactory answers to virtually all of my requests. But it was only this last week when I finally had what I expected to be a simple request properly fulfilled. You see, I love Picross. Whenever I stumble on a new Picross game, it takes me over until I've finished every last puzzle. Given the natural fit of a touch screen and the relatively small-scope nature of putting a puzzle game together, I was sure the App Store was going to be a wealth of riches for Picross clones. Boy, was I wrong. There are some that are decent enough, but controls, polish, and puzzle design have always been an issue. The closest thing we've had is the well-done 3D Picross clone Oh! Cube [$0.99]. Today, however, we have Paint It Back [Free], and whether you are a fan of Picross or have no idea what it is, you're definitely going to want to give it a look...

'Indigo Lake' Review - Not Your Average Idyllic Town

One day, when you’re older, you might think it’d be nice to retire to a small, sleepy town, and live out the remainder of your life happy, surrounded by the rustling of trees and the rushing of water...

'Mimpi' Review - A Moving Man's Best Friend Platformer

While I have a lot of respect for blockbuster action-packed titles, some of my most memorable iOS experiences have been with games that look beyond superficial excitement and focus on the surreal. There's something about affording players the opportunity to participate in an intimate journey with gameplay that focuses on critical thought rather than reflexes that works really well on iOS. Silicon Jelly's Puzzle/Platformer Mimpi [Free] is an excellent example of this type of adventure and is a game that everyone needs to play...

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