Category Archives: 4 stars

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 [$2.99] 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...

Apart from fussing around with the odd flight simulator on my Commodore 64, one of the first flying games I remember spending any real amount of time on was Top Gun for the NES. Like many young boys, I thought planes were pretty cool, and I loved how I could choose which missiles I wanted to take with me. Anyway, this game was one of the ones that was kept at my grandmother's house, so I only got to play it when we went there to visit, but I would almost always play it when we did. There was just one problem with Top Gun, especially if you only got to play it now and then, and if you've played it, you probably know what I'm talking about. At the end of the first level, you're directed to land your jet on an aircraft carrier. The game gives you all kinds of signals and directions that you're supposed to follow, but no matter what I did, that plane crashed almost every single time. I think I landed it once, maybe twice? As a result of this game, I have a mild trauma when it comes to landing an aircraft in video games, but I have discovered some sweet therapy in the form of Any Landing [Free]...

Hanzo is one angry ninja, as he finds his family kidnapped and village pillaged upon returning from training camp. Most of us would break down and cry, but Hanzo has got the power to cope and the skills to do something about it. Perhaps not the most original story, but considering this is a game called Draw Slasher [$2.99] it will do just fine...

The recent trend in adventure games has been to take on more of an episodic model, which is great when they finally come to fruition, but often results in an introductory chapter that lacks satisfaction. Detective Grimoire [$3.99], from publisher Armor Games and developer SFB Games, fortunately bucks this trend, offering a solid, self-contained story that also has sequel hooks firmly planted. Although it offers just a single case that can be solved in just a few hours without a lot of effort, the level of polish on both the art and the story help elevate the experience. I also appreciate its more abstract and light-hearted take on things. It helps the game stand out a bit in the current landscape of more serious and realistic entries into the adventure genre...

A Darker Shade of Red Review - A Gritty Twisting Tale of Mystery

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February 17th, 2014 12:16 PM EDT by Lucy Ingram in 4 stars, Adventure, Games, iPad Games, Reviews
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Perverted beavers, drug dealing tortoises and peeping-tom pigs, if this isn’t a game that makes you raise an eyebrow, then well I’ll be damned...

Skydrift [Free] is one of the interesting recently-released games on the App Store right now, and I’m still trying to make sense of it. I’m stunned not just because a game this good is free and devoid of IAP — this is Tyson Kubota’s first game, and it’s a hell of a release — but also because it’s one of the strangest and most beautiful mobile games I’ve played in a while...

In an age of horse armor and pay gates, the debate for and against monetization in games rages on. Jan Tomasik is a big fan of genres unique to the platform, namely endless runners, but not as keen on the over-monetization that too often favors money-making opportunities for the publisher at the expense of design and fun. Tomasik decided to team up with his girlfriend to create a game free of freemium trappings. That game is Cloudbreakers [$0.99], and it is an absolute blast...

I've got a bone to pick with Rare. As far as I know, the studio's most popular NES game, Battletoads, consisted of only three levels. The first was a straight beat-em-up. You walked to the right and beat the snot out of giant bipedal pigs and walker robots. In the second level, you rappelled down a pit. The third level, Turbo Tunnel, was the end of the line. You jumped on a motorbike, and you sped to the right down this two-lane road, swerving up and down to avoid colored walls. Only you couldn't avoid them for long because one instant they were materializing and the next you had pancaked against them...

The worst thing about Platforms Unlimited is that it denies you vengeance. My fellow run-and-jumpers know what I'm talking about. You die at a certain point in a platformer, so you retry, and you die again, and again--until at long last, something clicks, and you bound over the pit, or enemy, or whatever-it-was that had sapped so many lives from your once-ripe supply of continues. But that's, like, all part of the Platforms Unlimited [$0.99] experience, man. ..

As someone who grew up in the rather harsh winters of Northwest Ontario, Canada, I know all too well about snow and what a genuine pain in the butt it is, both to remove it and to keep it off. Waking up early school mornings to march outside with a shovel while the snow was still falling, knowing full well as soon as I got home from school, I'd be doing it again, followed by another round just before bed, I have a good understanding of the seemingly futile attempt to fight off Mother Nature. I mention this for two reasons: first, I am certainly in a position to vouch for the authenticity of any game trying to capture the essence of snow removal, and second, you would think that I would never, ever want to play a game that did...

Sure, you love your iOS device. All that inviting metal and glass—who wouldn’t? But do you love your device? Do you want to make it happy? If you do, consider Luxuria Superbia [$3.99], the first iOS release by Tale of Tales...

The tactic of flipping the gravity on the player, whether by giving the player the power to do so voluntarily or forcing it on them as a stage hazard, has been around for a pretty long time in video games. I'm not sure if it was the first, but as near as I can tell, Irem's Metal Storm for the NES was one of the earliest games to use this mechanic, allowing you to reverse gravity at your will. After that, it was seen here and there, but it seems to have really made a comeback thanks to VVVVVV. Fans of mobile games are no stranger to it, of course, thanks to games such as Gravity Guy [$0.99] and Gravity Duck [$0.99]. TripTrap [$0.99 / Free], an interesting little stage-based action game, uses a variation on this tried and tested technique as its primary mechanic...

Broken Arrow. Face/Off. And the bluntly titled Bullet in the Head. When you think of John Woo, you think of firefights and blood. Lots and lots of firefights and blood. You may also think of explosions coming from the most unlikely of sources, like a piece of fruit...

We’ve seen somewhat of a resurgence in decent tower defense titles lately. But as Eli recently mentioned in our podcast, it can be tough to stand out in the crowded genre. Man at Arms TD [$1.99 / $4.99 (HD)] by Inert Soap does a great job of making not by dramatically changing tower defense, but by incorporating an incredibly deep card system that works behind the scenes. Combine that with an impressive suite of multiplayer options and Man at Arms offerings easily outweigh some of its superficial flaws...

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