Category Archives: 4 stars

An entourage of cute animals, some beautiful hand-painted visuals, and a fantastic soundtrack with music supplied by Leavon Archer, Mighty Mill’s Tanuki Forest [$1.99] is a huge breath of fresh air compared to the increasing number of mediocre endless runners that are gradually finding their way onto the App Store. This may be Mighty Mill Games first project, but the team behind this charming new and exciting game has had plenty of past experience, with titles like TimeSplitters and Criterion's Black as part of their credentials...

I always enjoy it when a sequel makes a strong effort to surpass its predecessor without losing the core concepts that worked in the first place. Bloo Kid [$1.99], released in 2011, was a vaguely Bubble Bobble-like single screen platformer where you had to clear the screen of enemies by bouncing on their heads to finish each stage. The controls were pretty decent, the graphics were colorful and cute, and there were 84 stages with a few goals on each, so if you enjoyed it, there was a fair bit to chew on. That said, single screen platformers, while enjoyable, were knocked nearly into extinction when Super Mario Bros. first came around, approximately 25 years or so before Bloo Kid tried to get some attention with a fairly rote take on the concept. When Bloo Kid 2 [Free] popped up on my radar, I assumed that like many sequels, this was going to be little more than a level pack with a few new things stapled on at best...

Ravenous Games first landed on people's radars with the awesome League of Evil [$1.99] a few years back, but it's pretty safe to say their output has been a bit of a mixed bag overall since. Looking at their last couple of releases, Random Runners [$0.99] was a complete misfire, and before that, League of Evil 3 [$1.99] was a pretty uninspired sequel. This developer is in need of a comeback, and I'm happy to report that at the very least, their latest title, Devious Dungeon [$0.99], shows slightly more creativity in concept than those two. It's more than a little similar in feel to their hit Random Heroes games, but the idea works far better here...

Ghost hats, packs of vicious dogs, and strutting ostriches. If you’re giving me a strange look, then you haven’t heard of Floyd’s Worthwhile Endeavour [$0.99], a platform game that utilizes a combination of magnificent 19th Century photography and bizarre elements to concoct one of the most eccentric and fascinating games you will ever lay eyes upon...

For a game with a title which sounds like a 80’s rock band, Primal Flame [$2.99] is surprisingly serene. In fact, it’s more than serene, it’s beautiful; and not just a hackneyed beauty either, it’s poetic...

You might recall that with The Walking Dead: Season One [Free], we did something of an unorthodox review due to the episodic nature of the game. There was a basic overview that was appended to with a review of each episode as they released, with the score adjusting appropriately. As it worked pretty well last time, we'll be doing the same thing here. I'll do my best to avoid any serious spoilers for the current season, but I'm going to talk frankly about the first season, so if you haven't finished it yet, consider yourself warned about possible spoilers...

When you think of card games, you usually think of sitting at a table, real or virtual, with other people, shooting the breeze and enjoying a nice, strategic social activity. It's not all that shocking, then, that most video card games are also geared towards multiplayer, with single player usually amounting to little more than an AI opponent you can practice on to learn the rules of the game in order to get ready for the real thing. Every once in a while, though, you get a game that really makes a strong effort to flesh out the single player experience into something resembling a proper game on its own. Sometimes the game does this by adding increasingly naked ladies, sometimes it throws in familiar characters from other games complete with entertaining banter, and other times it fits a bit of a quasi-RPG shell around the card battles. Card City Nights [$1.99] uses two of those three methods. The latter two, specifically. There are no increasingly naked ladies in this game...

'The Descent' Review - Chasing The Unknown

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March 5th, 2014 1:06 PM EDT by Lucy Ingram in $0.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Prices, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Perhaps one of the most visually stunning games on the iPad so far, The Descent [$2.99] takes full advantage of the Unity3D graphics engine in order to build on a wonderfully deep and immersive player experience that takes you through deserts, caves, the afterworlds and more on a quest to find missing daughter Liza...

'Continue?9876543210' Review - In My Time Of Dying

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March 4th, 2014 2:16 PM EDT by David Clarke in $3.99, 4 stars, Adventure, Retro, Reviews, Role-Playing
$3.99 Buy Now

Does anything drive humans as much as our awareness of mortality? No other animal sees a bush, calls it a bush, draws the bush, gives the bush a back story, then cries when the bush dies. It's arguably the saddest, and most beautiful quality humans possess. We have awareness of the world, we can create art, and we know we are going to die...

You don't see a lot of big name "edutainment" titles on the market today. Whereas my childhood was dominated with Reader Rabbit, Number Munchers, Math Blaster and Oregon Trail, it's rare to really see an educational game release with any fanfare these days. That's why Calculords [Free] is so special, because the game is almost entirely based around multiplication, subtraction, and addition. Oh, and blasting aliens into the next galaxy, of course...

Perhaps because of how many of them are made, platformers have often turned to heavy usage of gimmicks to try to breathe some fresh air into things. Whether it's the closet full of special suits from Mario's adventures or the gravity-defying antics of VVVVVV, it's strangely more difficult sometimes to find a platformer that isn't packed full of novelties. There's nothing wrong with gimmicks, of course. When used well, they can make running and jumping from point A to point B feel like something you've never done before. Still, it's nice once in a while to play a game that gives you a straightforward run and jump through cleverly designed stages. Ava's Quest [Free] is just such a game. There are a few little gimmicks as you play through the game's 30 levels, but for the most part, the game simply focuses on using familiar elements to present you with a pleasant challenge. Oh, and to let you know up-front, you only get four stages for free. The rest are unlocked via an IAP for $1.99...

'Disco Zoo' Review - The Funkiest Zoo Of All

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February 28th, 2014 11:05 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 4 stars, Free, Games, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

NimbleBit has garnered somewhat of a legendary reputation around here for being one of the few outfits that consistently releases free to play games without the predatory IAP mechanics that surround typical free to play games. If you haven't played one, in NimbleBit games, IAP truly feels optional. Thankfully, it seems that this vibe persists through their new publishing effort, as Disco Zoo [Free] (Which was actually developed by Milkbag Games) perfectly fits on the App Store shelves next to Tiny Tower [Free], Nimble Quest [Free] and their other titles...

If you had asked me back in the 90s which of the popular and/or long-running adventure series would be more or less the last one standing almost 20 years later, I doubt I would have guessed Broken Sword, but here we are. With the dissolution of Lucasarts likely putting Monkey Island to rest forever, Sierra being completely eradicated in the Activision-Blizzard merger, and the huge breakout success of The Walking Dead [Free] making it increasingly unlikely we'll see any further Sam & Max games or the planned King's Quest revival from Telltale Games, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse [$6.99] appears to be the only survivor from that golden era. Amazingly, the series is still in the hands of its creator, though this new chapter needed some help from the fans to make it to fruition...

Although I have an intense dislike for infirmaries, A&E and doctor’s surgeries, I have for some reason always enjoyed playing games which involve themes surrounding hospitals. When I was a young lass, Theme Hospital was one of my all-time favorite games, just because it made the concept of being ill far less scary. (Yes, Bloatyhead will always be ingrained in my memory). A more serious approach to the daily struggles of a doctor’s life, Doctor Life [$0.99] is slightly educational in some ways but in a strictly playful and lighthearted manner. I think I learnt more about illnesses and general prognosis here than any time spent in the doctor’s office or simply browsing the web...

It's been a long wait, but Tengami [$4.99], the adventure game inspired by pop-up storybooks, has finally been completed. The developer, Nyamyam, is a new name, but you're almost certainly familiar with past projects they've worked on, including Diddy Kong Racing, StarFox Adventures, Way of the Samurai 3, and Kinect Sports. Tengami got a lot of attention almost immediately, thanks to its eye-catching, beautiful graphical style. The final product delivers on that visual promise and then some. It was less certain was how the gameplay would turn out. Happily, I can say that while the gameplay is considerably more pedestrian than the presentation, it's solid enough that fans of adventure and puzzle games will definitely want to give the game a go...

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