Category Archives: 4 stars

When it comes to building sims, most mobile games go as big as possible. We're talking about designing entire cities, countries, planets or what have you. It's not that often that you get to focus in on a more micro level, but that's exactly what Project Highrise [$3.99 (HD)] has you do, zeroing in on just one building at a time and seeing if you can handle the economic and logistical challenges involved. If Tiny Tower and SimCity got together and had an offspring — which would probably involve lots of drafting paper and nothing carnal — this game would likely be the result...

Shadowgun Legends [Free] from MADFINGER Games is finally here after what turned out to be a long development and beta period. If you’re not familiar with the series, it revolves around a group of mercenaries called Shadowguns who hunt down and kill aliens called “The Torment” who came from an unknown place and for an unknown reason. It’s all very Gears of War, which the earlier 2 games in the series clearly drew inspiration from, being third-person shooters. Legends’ combat plays out in first-person view,..




'Peko Peko Sushi' Review - All You Can Eat Sushi

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April 3rd, 2018 1:15 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Proving that you really can make a fun game out of just about anything if you come at it the right way, the food-serving genre has been quite popular in recent years. At their core, most of these games are really more like fast-paced puzzle games than anything else. Customers come in and demand certain dishes, and you have to sling them as fast as you can. Some games throw in food preparation to make things more complex, but even then, you're just trying to recognize symbols and flick as quickly as possible. Peko Peko Sushi [Free] doesn't ask you to make the sushi, and instead tries to weave more complexity into its food-slinging mechanics. In the end, it feels a lot like a fun arcade game, the sort that might have slipped out in the 1980s as counter-programming to a diet of shoot-em-ups...

Armello [Free] from League of Geeks is a game of options, and figuring out how to deal with your opponents. You and three other opponents take turns in a day-night cycle, all the while the King of Armello is dying from corruption by the Rot. Then, this becomes a game of plotting, intrigue, and even potential alliances in the game's online multiplayer mode. The fun comes from being devious, and watching as your glorious plan starts to come together...

Okay, I know some people out there aren't going to believe me, but sometimes educational things can be fun. Sometimes fun things can be educational. Our parents and teachers weren't totally misguided. Exhibit A: logic puzzles. Are they the greatest puzzles out there? It depends on your tastes, but at the very least I expect most fans of video games to enjoy logic puzzles in some form or another. The interesting thing is that no matter how they are presented, they all come down to a set of very basic rules that can be diagrammed in a way that looks more like homework than entertainment. Throw in an element of time pressure and you've got yourself a blueprint for a fine video game...

Read Only Memories: Type-M [Free] finally brings the cyberpunk, Snatcher-inspired point-and-click adventure to mobile, years after its Kickstarter project promised a mobile release. Since then, the game has seen release on pretty much every other system under the sun, including the Ouya and Vita, but mobile players have not had their chance to explore 2064 Neo-San Francisco for themselves. Now they can, with Read Only Memories: Type-M. This futuristic point-and-click adventure has you tagging along with the robotic AI Turing, who is trying to discover what happened to their creator, Hayden. By solving puzzles and interacting with people, you wind up uncovering a deeper conspiracy that goes into Hayden's disappearance...

We've been keeping tabs on EA and Maxis' The Sims Mobile [Free], with the game being in soft launch for almost a year. Well, for iOS gamers in NA, the game has finally exited soft launch and is available for purchase. But, like all freemium games based on popular IPs, there are probably a lot of you out there with one simple question: Is it worth it? Well, we've had the opportunity to check out Sims prior to its NA release and while I've had a great time so far, that enjoyment is caveated by one's toleration of freemium systems in general...

Are you ready to get down with the spear god in Lichtspeer [$3.99]? Noodlecake helped port Lichthund's spear-tossing action game to iOS, where it finally belongs. I mean, we've been training for this kind of game for years with all the physics puzzlers about launching stuff out there. I'm ready and primed for this. Which is good, because this game is quite challenging, but it feels so good to take out hundreds of dudes with a light spear in a uniquely-themed world. You stand alone, launching spears at hordes of enemies that just keep coming, facing off in the occasional boss battle. Expect to leave plenty of bloody, spear-ridden corpses in your wake...

Gacha games are all about that feel good moment when you know you are about to open up some loot in game. Idiocracy, Inc knows this and wants to hit you right in those feels with Dice Brawl: Captains League. Dice Brawl shares many characteristics of some games most of us are very familiar with, but it is ready to clash with the best of them. Sporting a more traditional tabletop style gameplay and a dash of random gameplay mechanics, Dice Brawl has a niche that suggests it will be able to compete without fully stepping on anyone's toes too much...

Cooperative singleplayer puzzling is what Death Squared [$2.99] provides in its iOS release. It's not perfect, and has a few annoying factors and humor that doesn't really break a lot of boundaries, but it provides some fun puzzles to solve and a game design that works perfectly for either playing solo or with a friend on the same device. I've played Death Squared in some early builds in the past couple of years, so I was curious to see how it would come to iOS, since what I played was very much driven by cooperation with another player. However, the final release makes the story mode something that a single player can play by themselves. The puzzles don't require a lot of simultaneous movement, they just requre that players be able to mentally deal with two different characters...

Rusty Moyher delivers a brutal platformer roguelike in Dig Dog [$2.99]. You play as a dog that will go to the ends of the earth to get as many bones as possible, even the ends full of weird evil creatures and spikes everywhere. C'mon dog. Those players out there who enjoy getting tested by games will like this, as it's a well-made platformer with a simple but effective visual style. But even if you like games with no fail state, Dig Dog is here to accommodate you as well...

Developer Kenny Sun is best known for his unique puzzle games involving geometric shapes. Each of those games picks a shape and builds a puzzle experience around it that tends to differ entirely from the developer's previous games. There are some common points, of course. The games usually have a ton of levels, each one introduced with a card stating that it was made by Kenny Sun. They're also typically audiovisual treats, albeit abstract ones. A Hollow Doorway [Free] follows in the footsteps of games like Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] and Yankai's Peak [$2.99] in some ways, but it's different in that this is more of a game of reflexes than considered thought. It has this developer's usual flourishes, but in terms of mechanics, it's closer to something like Super Hexagon [$2.99] than the positional puzzles seen in the last couple of Sun games...

It feels like a million years ago now, but at one point the most hopping hub for indie games was through web portals containing games built in Flash. Yes, the one that doesn't work with iOS and has largely gone the way of the dodo. Anyway, back in 2006, if you were a Flash game developer, the place to be was Newgrounds. They had a whole bunch of the best Flash games in one place, along with seemingly thousands of, er, learning experiences. It was in this environment that Mr. Fancy Pants, the titular character of Fancy Pants Adventures [Free], made his amazing debut. That game did the most important thing a platformer can do to get going: polished its physics and controls to a fine, fine sheen. It proved incredibly popular, and its developer continued to build on it in his spare time, adding new worlds complete with new gimmicks and moves to play around with...

'World of Warships Blitz' Review - Smoke (and Shells and Torpedoes) on the Water

It's kind of a crutch any time one explains or reviews a mobile game and says "it's kind of like x but with y instead." Yet there are cases where those kinds of comparisons are more than appropriate, and World of Warships Blitz [Free] is one of those. Wargaming already gave us a good idea of what to expect with World of Tanks Blitz [Free], and if you substitute water for land and boats for tanks, you get the idea pretty quickly. Let's say, for the sake of argument, you've never played World of Tanks Blitz or any of Wargaming's free-to-play multiplayer military battlers. If this is your entry point, that might be a good thing, as life on the sea is all you'll know. ..

There is a good reason why each of the premium titles that were created by the Cube Escape [Free] developer bear the name Rusty Lake. Seeing this name should evoke the same sort of gut reaction upon seeing the words Twin Peaks. For those of you who are familiar with either of those names, you know you are in for a surreal cult series that is designed to bend the edges of reality. The tv show is a classic and broke new ground, and while Rusty Lake Paradise [$2.99] is only a sequel it does offer a lot of new story and of course new puzzles to solve as well...

Sometimes all you really need is a bit of quick shooting action. Beyond Helios [$0.99] aims to fill that need in a game that feels like an homage to classic arcade shooters like Sinistar. Minus Sinistar itself, of course. No one can imitate that guy. You'll hop in your ship of choice and fly around freely in overhead stages set in space. There are a number of targets you'll need to take out, enemy ships that will hassle you as you attempt to do so, power-ups that will give you a temporary boost, and some hazards that will kill you if you bump into them. It's a pretty fast-paced game and there are some rough edges here and there, but overall there's a fair bit of fun to be had here for action fans...

'BBTAN2 by 222%' Review - Winter Break-Out

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January 3rd, 2018 10:30 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews
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Developer 111% has been buttering their bread the last couple of years with their TAN series of games. They're simple games, many of them variants on the classic Atari game Breakout, with the most popular of the bunch being BBTAN by 111% [Free]. That game generally followed the Breakout formula, swapping out the familiar paddle at the bottom of the screen with a character who launches balls using a slingshot mechanism. It's a concept 111% has returned to once before with BBTAN: 7 YEARS [Free], and now they're back to it again with a sequel named BBTAN2 by 222% [Free]...

SEGA Forever, the SEGA initiative to bring some of their classic library to mobile devices, has had quite the year. It launched in the early summer in a rather dismal state, faced a swift backlash, and has been trying to crawl its way back up ever since. While largely limited to games from SEGA's 16-bit console thus far, the selection has been eclectic to say the least. I'm not surprised the team wants to close out the calendar year on something of a safe note with the release of Gunstar Heroes [Free], a game that has quietly become one of the most popular classics in SEGA's back catalog. It's one of the more frequent re-releases from that era, and even iOS has played host to a version before...

Around two and a half years ago, Sonic Team released their first (and thus far only) mobile game. Sonic Runners finally brought the famous hedgehog to a gameplay style that should have fit like a glove. It was a side-scrolling auto-runner packed with rings to grab, characters to collect, and more nods to SEGA history than you could shake a ceramic knife at. Unfortunately, it was also packed with free-to-play shenanigans galore, using virtually every trick in the book to try to monetize. At its core, the game was fun, with interesting level designs and fairly solid gameplay. That clearly wasn't enough, however, as SEGA ended up pulling the plug on the game less than a year after its debut...

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