Category Archives: 4.5 stars

'Powerpuff Girls: Defenders Of Townsville' Review - Once Again, The Day Is Saved

Every once in a long while, things converge in this hobby in such a way that I almost feel the resulting game was aimed right at me. I'll confess, I was on top of this game as soon as I saw it was The Powerpuff Girls. I can't explain why watching three super-powered kindergarteners beat the crap out of a hyper-intelligent megalomaniacal talking monkey is awesome. I shouldn't need to. Next, I saw that word used to describe it: Metroidvania. That term gets tossed around a lot, and even though most of the games that invoke it rarely deliver, I'll still show up every time, because I miss Metroid and Symphony-style Castlevania games. Finally, as a ridiculously unnecessary coup-de-grace on the whole thing, I saw that it was developed by none other than radiangames, who have a very fine catalog of games on the App Store, including the recent Fluid SE [$1.99] and JoyJoy [$1.99]. They're a developer I trust enough to buy their games as soon as they appear, no questions asked...

'TwoDots' Review - Connecting Dots Is Still A Beautiful Thing

Joining the vast selection of exceptional iOS puzzle games isTwoDots [Free], the follow-up to Dots, one of last years smartest and hugely addictive puzzle games. Similar to the original title, which has racked up over 20 million downloads, the object of TwoDots is to connect dots of matching colors horizontally or vertically, and also like its predecessor, the best way to clear the level is to find squares of corresponding colors out of the game board in front of you...

'OTTTD' Review - Gives a New Meaning to the Term "Guts and Glory"

We checked out SMG Studio’s Over The Top Tower Defense title (OTTTD) last month and were stoked about its unique take on the genre. With an impressive melding of traditional TD and action-RPG elements, all of my expectations as to what it had to offer were happily exceeded. Indeed, OTTTD [$4.99] not only takes tower defense to a gameplay depth rarely seen for the genre, but it does so with ease, making this an awesome and refreshing update to the classic genre...

'Darkin' Review - Dungeon Raid: Breaking Dawn

Often imitated and never truly duplicated, Dungeon Raid [$1.99] is a near-perfect distillation of the puzzle-RPG concept and one of the better puzzle games around. To its credit, even three years after its last update, the game still functions properly on new hardware and updated versions of iOS, which sadly isn't the case for all too many older games. With that said, while it's still perfectly playable, the game is showing a lot of wear and tear from its abandonment. It doesn't fill out the screen on new hardware, the graphics don't take advantage of retina displays, and Open Feint still lingers in its icon and main menu in spite of that service having shuffled off the digital coil. We have to face facts, my friends. Someday, Dungeon Raid is not going to work anymore, and we need to find a replacement...

'Doug Dug.' Review - Grab Your Shovel And Dig In!

For the life of me, I really don't understand why I find digging so much fun. Whether it's digging at the beach, at the park, in the shoe section of Walmart, or in a video game, I really seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of displacing soil. If you think I'm weird, think of all the awesome video games about digging: Dig Dug, Mr. Driller [$4.99], Super Mario Bros. 2, Minecraft [$6.99], and Steamworld Dig, just to name a few highlights. Now, I'll grant you that in some of those games, digging is just a portion of the game, but there are quite a few games that center around the idea. Doug Dug [$1.99], the new game from pixa [$2.99] developers The Electric Toy Company, is all about digging for treasure and the risk versus reward that presents itself from the concept...

'99 Bricks: Wizard Academy' Review - An Excellent Twist On Tetris

Tetris [$0.99] is one awesome game. I personally consider it one of the best games ever made, and certainly one of the closest to pure perfection. While most other games are work-in-progress designs that eventually have to be snipped off, polished up, and released, Tetris's big coming-out releases on Game Boy and NES were essentially flawless realizations of the design's potential. Other than catching up with technology like internet play, what do you really add to Tetris to make it better? Every attempt to change the game in some way has resulted in, at best, a lateral move, and at worst, an absolute disaster. Well, 99 Bricks: Wizard Academy [$2.99] offers a few interesting answers to my question, and while it's probably not a better game, it's a more than worthy side-trip for fans of that classic...

'Dragon Quest VIII' Review - One Of Japan's Most Epic RPGs Gets A Slightly Less Epic Port

The Dragon Quest series has had an odd relationship with western gamers. It's a bonafide cultural icon in its home country of Japan in a way few games have managed to become anywhere. I mean, as I type this review, I can hear the theme being played by a school band at the local elementary school, and that's hardly a rare occurrence. However, it's never quite taken in the west, and it's certainly not for lack of trying. Nintendo gave the first game a massive push, overhauling the graphics, interface, and save system, and featuring it prominently in their magazine Nintendo Power, only to be left with so many unsold cartridges they ended up giving them away with subscriptions. Enix of America quietly translated and released the other three NES games, then disappeared shortly into the 16-bit generation before they could release Dragon Quest 5 and 6. Enix of America then briefly reappeared in the PlayStation 1 era, translating the massive Dragon Quest 7. Unfortunately, that game was about as pretty as the south end of a northbound mule, and it released almost a year after the PlayStation 2 released, so it wasn't exactly a big hit...

I sat down to play Crobble [Free] this afternoon. An hour passed, and then my battery started dropping... first 20%, then all the way lower than 10%. It wasn’t until I was completely in the red before I figured it was time to put it down and start writing rather than playing. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t had less than half a battery when I’d started, I’d still be hooked to it...

'Adventure Beaks' Review - A Charming Runner That Will Warm Your Heart

Penguins are one of nature’s most fascinating creatures. In the years that have passed we’ve seen movies such as Happy Feet and Surf’s Up pay homage to nature’s most wonderful aquatic flightless birds, but upon general observation, penguins are known primarily for their gracefulness, elegance and their unusual upright waddling gait. They’re also incredibly badass, and if there’s any game that will demonstrate this, GameResort’s Adventure Beaks [Free] is most certainly the iOS game to capture your hearts...

'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 [$2.99] 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 EST 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...

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