Category Archives: 4.5 stars

'Soda Dungeon' Review - A Light, Fizzy Quest With Some Real Pop

I've lost more than a few weekends to offerings from Armor Games, and Soda Dungeon [Free] certainly didn't break that pattern. While it assuredly leans on the lighter side of the RPG scale, its combination of a compelling upgrade system and quick, yet not entirely brainless, battles make for a pretty good way to kill a few minutes or a few hours as needed. I'm also pleasantly surprised by its generosity. There are no catches in the game that you can't buy your way out of with in-game currency. I'm not sure what the business plan is here, but I'm not a business reviewer, am I?..

One of my favorite games growing up was The Incredible Machine. While the IP has been sadly dragged through the mud in recent years, it was once a work of art, tricking kids everywhere into partaking in what was essentially edutainment. The concept was clear -- simply get an object to its goal while using any number of over-the-top machines.  They were Rube Goldberg machines through and through, and taxed your brain just as often as they put a smile on your face. The Sequence [$0.99] is a bit more muted, but it's the same principle...




'AZZL' Review - Razzl Dazzl

'AZZL' Review - Razzl Dazzl

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October 1st, 2015 10:41 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

I’ll admit I was a bit dismissive when I first saw the trailer for Jutiful's AZZL [$0.99]. I mean, sure, it looks really well made and has a neat idea at its core, but… it just seems like a children’s game. Ultimately, though, I couldn’t resist the the promise of a colorful, relaxing puzzler and dove in. But should I review it? Would the intelligent and discerning (and quite good looking) readers of this esteemed mobile review site even be interested in something like this? I think they might be, and I hope you’ll (they’ll?) allow me to spend the next seven paragraphs explaining why...

'Hopiko' Review - Gotta Go Fast

Laser Dog Games' Hopiko [$1.99] is a title I've been dying to see come to fruition since I first saw it and played it. The preview build I got to try had some real promise, but the game has come so far along that it's become this amazing, cohesive, and stylish experience. It's a demanding game, and one with some flaws, but Hopiko is too cool to pass up...

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

'Cavernaut' Review - The Eagle Has Landed

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September 29th, 2015 10:59 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4.5 stars, Arcade, Cave-Flyer, Games, Retro, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

I had several moments while playing EinheitB's Cavernaut [$1.99] where I thought to myself, "This is exactly why I love mobile." It's a game that's probably not going to change the world, but that's okay. It's just a great, tight little experience that could really only exist on this platform...

'Starseed: Origin' Review: Old School Cool

Starseed: Origin [Free] is not a game you play for an original concept or to casually tap with half your attention elsewhere. Starseed is a game you play until it gets too hard and too fast and you blow up and die. ..

'SPL-T' Review - Simogo's Super Simple Secret Stuffed Puzzler

No developer out there is so quick to buck trends and make risky, imaginative, original titles like Simogo. Heck, they don't even have an internally consistent style or handful of genre's they stay with. They've covered puzzle, rhythm, adventure, endless, all with different atmospheres. They're basically allergic to sequels and sameness. The single thread connecting their games is their talent for great, memorable game design. So when you look at SPL-T [$2.99], and I tell you it's the latest amazing game from Simogo, I fully expect you to look confused or laugh in my face...

'Trick Shot' Review - Putter Finger

When a game has been revealed to be developed by one of the artists behind Monument Valley [$3.99], it has quite a lot to live up to. That game is an outstanding puzzler, but I’d wager about half of its appeal is the unique, wonderful visuals. It won a ton of awards and recognition--deservedly so--and I don’t envy artist Jonathan Topf for developing what could be seen as a followup of sorts. Sure, Monument Valley and his first solo outing Trick Shot [$1.99] don’t have much in common, but they are both puzzle games in their own way. And, of course, they’re pretty good lookin'...

'Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville' Review - Can I Kill One More Zombie Mom, Please?

Although the tide has subsided a bit, it's still pretty hard not to bump into a few zombies when playing video games or watching TV shows. We are definitely past the zombie wave crest, but those lovely creatures are still dragging their destroyed bodies towards us every opportunity they get. The zombie theme's popularity makes any new game about zombies a "been there-done that" kind of affair. Still, we do occasionally see games that use the zombie theme well, and Sarah Northway's Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville [$4.99], a strategy sim game about restoring (or remaking) civilization after the zombie apocalypse, is definitely one of the good ones. Rebuild 3, much like The Walking Dead, cleverly uses zombies as the backdrop to the challenges of rebuilding society after it collapses...

'Blocky Highway' Review - Voxel Vehicles

I've had a new wind when it comes to racing games lately. There's a boon on iOS in terms of MFi compatible games, and gyro controls have come a long way since they were introduced so many years ago. While racing is the perfect subgenre to exploit any energy system, the developers of Blocky Highway [Free] have managed to craft a limitless experience that follows the same generous IAP principle as Crossy Road...

'Lara Croft Go' Review - Spear Beats Gun

I'm so glad that Square Enix has let its Montreal branch go crazy with great ideas for mobile versions of their licenses. Like, Lara Croft Relic Run [Free] isn't the worst idea since Temple Run [Free] exists, but did the world really need it? Instead, Square Enix Montreal has gotten to go wild with clever and whimsical concepts such as Hitman Go [$4.99] and Hitman Sniper [$0.99]. Now, they expand out into the Tomb Raider franchise with Lara Croft Go [$4.99], which takes the Hitman Go formula of being a turn-based board-style game and makes it about solving puzzles and staying alive in the tomb raiding setting. It abandons the board game style of Hitman Go, while keeping similar gameplay. And much like Hitman Go, it winds up doing some really clever things that make it another must-play game...

'Dandy: Or A Brief Glimpse Into the Life of a Candy Alchemist' Review - Sweet Gameplay Wrapped In Tasty Visuals

To explain why I wanted to give Dandy: Or a Brief Glimpse Into the Life of a Candy Alchemist [$3.99] a try once I saw it pop up on the App Store, I first need to talk a bit about the type of shoot 'em ups I enjoy. One of the few genres of games I've never cared much for is bullet-hell shoot 'em ups, those games where you fight a constant hail of fire while trying not to get a headache from all the blinking and flashing. The shoot 'em ups I enjoy are the slower ones, the kind that forces you to study your enemies and devise strategies on the go (like the PC game The Binding of Isaac for instance), and this is precisely the kind of gameplay Dandy offers. ..

'Manowar' Review - Ship For Brains

The term “manowar” can refer to a lot of very different things. It’s a metal band from New York that at various times held the Spinal Tap-esque title of "World’s Loudest Band". It’s the name of a famous horse in the '20s that is considered by several prestigious organizations as the greatest racehorse that ever lived. And my personal favorite: the Portugeuse Man o’ War, a truly bizarre jellyfish-like sea creature made up of a whole colony of smaller animals with one hell of a painful sting. The original meaning of the phrase comes from British warships from centuries past that had tons of cannons and other murder-y things like that, and it’s this definition that the game Manowar [$1.99] by Lachlan Nuttall uses as a jumping off point for a series of maddeningly clever puzzles...

Deck Builders have really been on the rise in recent years. From the humble beginnings of games like Dominion, now we’ve even got Marvel and Alien deck builders. I’m really partial to this genre myself. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer [Free] is a game I still log into from time to time and it has never left my phone or iPad. I think the appeal of deck builders comes from having every card you’ll need right in the box. You don’t collect or trade cards and meticulously build your own deck before even playing. You and your friends can play right out of the box with a much smaller financial investment. They’re massively approachable. Anyway, the point is, Deck Builders are my jam, and Splendor [$4.99] is a super tasty mixed berry jam that’s won several awards for being so darn tasty...

'Loot & Legends' for iPad Review - Plenty of Loot Awaits In This Funny and Entertaining Game

A few days ago, I wrote a story about how Collectible Card Games are flourishing on mobile devices, with Hearthstone, of course, leading the way. If you haven't read the article, a new report from SuperData Research stated that the portability and popularity of mobile devices have created an excellent environment for digital CCGs. Why have I started a review of Dropforge Games' Loot & Legends [Free (HD)], which from its screenshots looks like a table-top board game, with a discussion about CCGs? Well, maybe the name of Loot & Legends' PC predecessor might give you a clue: Card Hunter, Blue Manchu's 2013 hit that cleverly put a table-top board game of old and a CCG into a blender and out came a game that cleverly injected a deck-building component into your RPG. Loot & Legends continues that tradition, producing a fun digital table-top experience that has CCG mechanics at its core...

'Hanger World' Review - Not A Used Clothing Store

I was a fan of TouchArcade long before I was a writer here, and one of my favorite of the more recent regular features is Shaun’s Update Mondays posts. The weird thing is, the updates themselves aren’t even why I look forward to it every week. Rather, it’s because I think Shaun’s a funny dude and I just enjoy reading his descriptions of each update. More specifically, I need to know what game he decides to give the coveted Update Mondays Most Spider-Mans Of The Week Award to. Is it going to be Spider-Man Unlimited [Free] again? (I mean, it does get a lot of Spider-Mans.) Or will it be something completely random? Well, I think I may have found a good future candidate. I’m talking about A Small Game’s Hanger World [Free], and it’s packed full of all kinds of Spider-Mans slinging themselves this way and that. As it turns out, it’s also a really, really fun game...

'Shibuya Grandmaster' Review - I Left My Heart In Shibuya

A long time ago, by App Store standards anyway, a unique puzzle game named Shibuya released on iPhone. Said to be inspired by the neon lights and the tall buildings of Tokyo's famous Shibuya district, it also seemed to be following in the footsteps of stylish puzzle games like Lumines and Meteos produced by Q Entertainment. The game got a lot of acclaim and a few updates, but it eventually fell behind the times and was pulled from the App Store. I had kind of thought we'd seen the last of it until I got word from the developer that Shibuya was returning, better than ever. Shibuya Grandmaster [$1.99] is a well-crafted update to the original, bringing modern features and style to the game while still offering up a strong and unusual twist on falling block puzzles...

'Champion Of The Gods' Review - Destiny's Child

The gamebooks released by publisher Choice Of Games are a bit of a tough sell to the uninitiated. I mean, gamebooks in general are a tough sell, but many of the other gamebook publishers on the App Store put a lot of work into the stuff around the text. Whether it's a plethora of illustrations, a unique visual presentation, added music or sound effects, or even just playing around with the appearance of the virtual pages, considerable effort seems to be spent to try to get people to give the actual meat of the experience, the text, a proper chance. Choice Of Games offers little more than a splash image, generic radio buttons for choices, a couple of splashes of color in the status screen, and black text on white pages. There is no sleight of hand here. It all falls on the plot, the quality of the writing, and the success of the choices presented in creating a compelling personal experience for the player...

'To-Fu Fury' Review - Soy Milk Ninja

There's been a resurgence of games featuring tofu in the past year or so, but not all of them are necessarily worth checking out. Naturally, I gravitated towards a recent release called To-Fu Fury [$0.99], featuring piece of ninja tofu. I mean, when have ninjas ever let me down, right? While you won't be running on rooftops and taking down rival daimyos in epic combat, you will be flinging yourself across the screen and collecting pieces of Chi. It's more of a zen-like ninja experience, and that's completely fine with me, given how great the control scheme is...

It's really tough to describe a game like Agar.io [Free]. It hearkens back to the old age of computing, back when Prodigy and CompuServe allowed users access to games at the cost of an hourly rate. There's something soothing about the experience, and since it's free and gets right into the action in seconds, you may as well try it out...

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