Category Archives: 4 stars

I'm generally terrible at roguelikes. What can I say, I'm young and reckless! But I love the genre (and its conventions that inspire other games) because they're highly replayable and demand that I get better at them. When Steam had its recent roguelike sale, I found out that I owned more than half of the games on sale – and bought a few more. So, MicRogue [$1.99] definitely appealed to me, especially as a bite-sized roguelike. And hey, I do love me some pixel art. Thankfully, MicRogue delivers solid, entry-level roguelike gameplay...

Minimalist platformer games have become one of my favorite unlikely genres on mobile devices. Years ago I would have scoffed the idea of running and jumping with precision on a touch-specific control scheme, but at this point, we have MFi controllers and a number of talented developers that make it work regardless. Burn it Down [Free] may not have the former convenience, but it works on multiple levels...

'Hellrider' review - Ducks of Anarchy

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Have you ever wanted to ride a motorcycle through Hell as a duck? Well, Hellrider [Free] is your huckleberry. Accompanied by a slick set of pixelated visuals and an appropriately chiptune soundtrack, Hellrider sees players riding a motorcycle through a hellish landscape, avoiding lava at two sides and a heap of different obstacles. By default you'll start by veering off into one direction, and a simple tap anywhere will change your course. By tapping rapidly you'll stay in place, but eventually you'll need to commit. The animation is very slick on an iPhone 6, and the controls are pretty much instant...

Diego Cathalifaud's mobile roguelike trilogy is concluding with another solid game: Arcane Tower [$1.99]. After the fun Amber Halls [$1.99] and Power Grounds [$0.99] each released last year, a game with similar flat visuals and roguelike gameplay. It's a great way to end the trilogy, bringing another solid game that's great on the go...

When Microsoft announced Halo: Spartan Assault way back in early 2013 as a dual-stick shooter set in the Halo universe that would be exclusive to the Windows platform, no one ever thought that the folks in Redmond would ever sign off on it eventually hitting Apple’s App Store (although we dreamed about it when we checked it out at E3 that year). Yet, here we are with Microsoft pulling a rabbit out of its hat and launching both Halo: Spartan Assault [$5.99] and Halo: Spartan Strike [$5.99] simultaneously on the App Store. As you’ll soon discover, both games play quite similarly to each other, but we’ll focus primarily on Spartan Assault and the gameplay basics in this review and will get into more specifics as well as the differences of Spartan Strike in Part II of our review...

I remember the early days of the App Store, when twin-stick shooters roamed the landscape free and clear. They're a bit more rare now, as the genre got crowded and kind of played itself out. Geometry Wars: Touch [$0.99] remains un-updated for modern devices. At least Radiangames has cornered the market with JoyJoy [$1.99], Inferno 2 [$2.99], and the dual-stick shooter Metroidvania Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville [$3.99] which unfortunately is no longer for sales. I enjoyed the era of dual-stick shooters, because I liked the variety of games developers made with the conventions! Trigonarium [$1.99] should provide some hope for the masses, needing more dual joysticks to blast enemies from all over the place. If you like frantic shooters and going for high scores, all at a silky-smooth 60 frames per second, Trigonarium is the game for you...

There's something about girls with pet dragons. I think we can all agree on that. But while Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones [$4.99] uses her scaly babies for intimidation, airborne immolation and other miscellaneous conquering duties, the princess in Dragon Hills [$1.99] uses hers strictly for vengeance. Leave the fair maiden alone and she'll not trouble you. But lock her up in a tower and she'll summon forth her fiery steed and hunt you down, wreaking all manner of chaos and destruction in the process...

Some runners are so seamlessly crafted that they don't even feel like runners at all. That's definitely the case with Pie in the Sky [$2.99], partially because of the fact that you are actually flying rather than running, and that it manages to strip most instances of repetition in favor of a more cohesive frame, similar to the old classic Paperboy...

'Corridor Z' Review - Running in the Hall

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April 9th, 2015 4:30 PM EDT by Keith Swiader in 4 stars, Free, iPhone games, Ratings, Reviews, Runner
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There’s certainly no shortage of endless runners on the App Store in 2015. Just as the creation of the match-three puzzler spawned countless spinoffs, the endless runner, popularized by Imangi Studios’ Temple Run [Free] series in 2011, has seen numerous variations from different developers, including the recent Daytona Rush, which added the now-popular three lane mechanic and stock cars, and Touchdown Hero, which added Sega Genesis graphics with top-down gameplay. ..

CivCrafter [Free] is quite the curious little clicker game, and it's not quite the one that you expect. It's a resource management game with raiding-strategy real-time multiplayer, all wrapped up in the veneer of a simplified clicker game. But it has countless things to track and upgrade on your way to becoming the greatest civilization known to humankind. This has to be the pinnacle of the clicker genre and its logical end, right? How do you further deconstruct gaming to its simplest form while also making something this deep?!..

'Mortal Kombat X' Review - Vengeance Feels A Lot Like Justice

Let's get the obvious out of the way before we start. Mortal Kombat X [Free], the mobile take on the latest in the long-running Mortal Kombat series, is not a port of the game that is about to hit consoles. It uses some scaled-down assets and draws its roster from that game, but you should not expect this game to play like a traditional Mortal Kombat game. Instead, Mortal Kombat X should be seen as sort of a follow-up to the popular mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free], with simple tap-based combat and a focus on collecting and building your stable of characters. Like it or lump it, the masses have spoken on what they want to see in a mobile fighting game, and fumbling around with virtual buttons and combos never meant for touch controls didn't make the list. Likewise, the heavy story elements found in the console versions of the game are nowhere to be found here...

Baseball is finally back after a long winter. It's looking like another rough season for my Texas Rangers, with more season-ending injuries and prospects they traded playing for other teams. Thankfully, baseball simulator iOOTP is back for another season on iOS. Boasting a fresh MLB license and a new name, MLB Manager 2015 [$4.99], the time has come for me to try and change my favorite team's fate, and develop them into perennial contenders. Previous iOOTP games came with what amounted to incremental improvements from year-to-year. MLB Manager, despite the fresh new license, follows the same tack: a few new tweaks and features rule the day...

Ryleh Industry’s Chromaticon [$1.99] is a challenging experience that relies heavily on tilt mechanics and color coordination. In fact, it’s probably one of the more difficult games that I’ve played in a while and borders on being too hard for some players. However, it succeeds in making accomplishment a very cool experience and, when combined with great visuals and cool music, make it a game worth checking out...

If you're some kind of touchscreen-tapping iron man and you made it through the first 12 levels of brutally-hard platformer Mr Jump [Free], then get ready for another dozen levels arriving at the end of the month...

Fast & Furious: Legacy [Free] is a game that I only played because I wanted to review it. Now that may sound dumb, and perhaps a little unfair to the developers, but allow me to explain: I love the movies. I love cars, I love driving games, and this one is an action-packed racer with some of the most gorgeous graphics I've ever seen on mobile. If the developers would stick a price tag on it then they'd have themselves an instabuy. But it's free-to-play, and that's a big no-no for me...

Not all runners are created equal. Some are endless, others are finite, but for the most part, we can agree that they fit the mobile platform due to their simplistic controls. Escape from the Pyramid [$1.99] is another game that both benefits and suffers from its simplicity...

After a full trilogy of games in the span of just seven months, the Five Nights At Freddy's [$2.99] series could be forgiven for taking some time off after this one. Whether or not Five Nights At Freddy's 3 [$2.99] is where it ends, you have to give this series and its developer a lot of credit. In a short span of time, it became a minor cultural phenomenon, recorded huge sales on every platform it released on, and earned success and recognition for an independent developer who has taken plenty of swings at the whole "making a game" thing before finally knocking one out of the park. Fans all around the world compare notes about the story, trying to piece together mysteries that may not have ever been intended to be solved. The titular Freddy Fazbear himself is likely more recognizable than the character he parodies among most people under a certain age. In a lot of ways, we've come a long way from the humble point and click simplicity of the first game...

'Breath of Light' Review - A Boundary Pushing Zen Like Puzzle Game

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March 27th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Ben Jarris in $2.99, 4 stars, Puzzle, Reviews
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Breath of Light [$0.99] is a meditative, zen like puzzle game that is beautiful, distinctive and fun to play. It's not a prototypical puzzler; it's a relaxing and unique experience which is currently rated the best new puzzle game in 92 countries by apple. The game centers around manipulating a captivating particle flow of light to pass life-force from one white lotus flower to the others by moving stones, filters, mirrors and other objects in a futuristic zen garden. The graphics are intensely beautiful, the sound track is immersive, alluring and transient. Most importantly the puzzles are challenging, surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable to solve...

Proto Raider [$2.99] makes a great first impression. Its graphics are entirely composed of ASCII symbols, giving it a striking appearance, particularly when things start to move on the screen. By this point in gaming, it's somewhat difficult to make a platform game that can immediately catch the eye, and the idea of going back to the very roots of video games for inspiration is a clever one. Behind the intriguing presentation sits a somewhat ordinary platformer with excellent level design. It reminds me of the wildly experimental days before the success of the Super Mario Bros. series dictated what platformers ought to be like. It's almost as though a lost Commodore 64 game spilled out of the time tunnel and into the App Store...

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon [$9.99 (HD)], developed by Polar Motion and published by Slitherine, was first released on PC and is now out on iOS. The iPad version had an eventful launch because of a bug that made the tutorial unplayable on iPad Air devices (in a demonstration of its efficiency, Slitherine quickly identified and fixed the issue). The game puts you in the role of the Director of NASA, the Soviet Space Agency (SSA), or the fictitious Global Space Agency (GSA) as you try to launch rockets, satellites, and humans into space — and, in the case of the US and Soviet campaigns, do so before the other side does...

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