Category Archives: 4 stars

The other day, one of the fine members of our forums here at TouchArcade pointed out to me that we hadn't reviewed Blek [$2.99] yet and was wondering what was up with that. Yes, what is up with that? So, with all due apologies that this review is a bit late, I decided to give this game a spin and see if words would come out, and wouldn't you know it, they did. Anyway, there are lots of different ways for a puzzle game to succeed, but for me, the most interesting ones are the games that cause me to think in ways I usually don't. I like games like that because you can clearly feel your skills developing. You start off not really knowing what you're doing and just kind of blindly stabbing around in the dark, then you hit that moment where things click, and from there, you're off to the races. It's a euphoric feeling, and it's one that Blek captures quite well...

The name of this game reminded me of two things, neither of them terribly pleasant. Since they share a name, Plax [$1.99] initially reminded me of a terrible, now-discontinued Canadian mouthwash. Nasty red stuff, felt like you were swishing fire around in your mouth. I don't recommend it. The other thing the name reminded me of was Atari's attempted Tetris [$0.99]-killer, Klax, which was not a very good puzzle game at all. Yes, things looked grim for Plax as I loaded it up, but I'm happy to report that it is neither a foul mouthwash that flays the gums from your teeth, nor is it a dull puzzle game with a neon hand on the cover for some reason. It is, in fact, a pretty neat twitchy score-attack game, a genre that needs a more efficient name if there ever was one...

When I was younger, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined bite-sized RPGs to work at all, let alone become popular. Of all game genres, the RPG was the one where you had to set aside a pretty good chunk of time on a fairly regular basis to see the games through, and that long-term investment seemed to be an intrinsic part of the appeal. Yet, here we are today, and RPGs that can be enjoyed in two or three minute slices are not only successful and prolific, they actually seem to have taken the majority position in the genre over their more time-intensive forebearers. With the benefit of hindsight, you can kind of see how it happened. Most people love particular aspects of RPGs, with the satisfaction of raising a character from weak to ultra-powerful being one of the more popular elements. At the same time, not everyone enjoys sinking in the copious amount of time and focus that's usually required. Developers found a way to give those people what they wanted while cutting away what they didn't, and it seems to have gone well, especially on mobiles...

It feels like I've played a lot of word games recently, but I never quite seem to get enough of them. So, when the new releases go up each week, if I see the word 'spell' appear in a title, I am on top of it like a game reviewer on a bad metaphor. Generally, regardless of the other mechanics differentiating them, most of these games treat the actual spelling part the way Boggle does. You're presented with a board of letters, and it's up to you to find the best words you can to accomplish whatever goal you're after. Spellpix [$1.99] might look similar at a glance, but it's quite different, and the result is a game that feels like it has far more in common with the developer's prior work, Pathpix [$1.99], than it does with any other word game...

The iOS platform is one of the best platforms for shoot-em-ups of all time. Yes, I'm going there. In previous reviews of shoot-em-ups I've written here, I may have come off a bit harsh, but that's the reason for it. This is a platform where we have excellent versions of classic shooters like Raiden Legacy [$0.99], Blazing Star [$0.99], the R-Type [$0.99] games, and Cave's finest arcade games. We have ports of modern games like Sine Mora [$5.99] and Dariusburst [$10.99], and even a good selection of original titles like Space Invaders Infinity Gene [$4.99], Phoenix HD [Free], Danmaku Unlimited 2 [$4.99], and Dodonpachi Maximum [$11.99]. That's the cream of the crop, but there are plenty of other excellent shooters available for your mobile device. All of these are available for some of the lowest prices we've ever enjoyed shoot-em-ups at. Simply put, this is a buyer's market of epic proportions, and when you can plunk down a few bucks to get R-Type 2 [$0.99] or drop a ten-spot and change to get a Cave shooter, it becomes a lot harder to justify spending time or money on the mediocre...

The topic of cloning can be broadly broken into two periods: before Michael Keaton's banner work of art, Multiplicity, and after. Oh, sure, in those heady days before 1996, we had some ideas. Waves were made by a sheep named Dolly, Spider-Man discovered that he looks good in a hoodie, Thomas Riker had shown us that a Riker's power is directly proportional to the size of his beard, and George Lucas had certainly written something about clones on a coffee-stained napkin. However, it wasn't until The Keats showed us all how it was done that cloning became truly appreciated as a fictional device, and we are all better for it. Video games have never been shy about dragging clones into the works, mostly because it was a good excuse to reuse art assets while creating a memorable boss fight. One of the best examples from the early days of gaming was in Prince of Persia [$1.99], where an encounter with a mirror created a doppleganger who would go on to help you with a few puzzles before you had to face off with him...

iOOTP Baseball 2014 [$4.99] is the kind of game that numbers junkies will go nuts over. It’s also the kind of game that will have people who need control of every single aspect glued to their tablet from April to October (or November, if your team makes the playoffs)...

Arena battle games have really come into their own in recent years. Mobile platforms in particular have enjoyed a great crop, including Super Crate Box [$1.99], Muffin Knight [$0.99], Spell Sword [$0.99], and many others. It's a great way for a small developer to make a great action game without busting the bank, while providing a nice bite-sized bit of fun that suits mobiles well. Of course, for the gamer looking for something more than just a slice of game now and then, the better examples in this sub-genre have included some sort of progression system that persists beyond individual plays. Typically, this is done by putting in some sort of collectible or experience system that will unlock new weapons or abilities, which not only gives you something to shoot for over the long term, but also refreshes the game experience over time to keep it from getting dull...

David [$1.99] is a curious little game. Recently, due to the release of the beautiful Monument Valley [$3.99], I've talked a bit about experience-focused games versus mechanics-focused games, but David seems to have one foot planted firmly in each camp. It's about as minimalist as one could possibly imagine, yet the most immediate comparison in terms of gameplay is considered a technical masterpiece for the hardware it runs on. The appearance of the game is incredibly simple, and its gameplay is as basic as moving, jumping, and shooting, but it still somehow manages to create a surprisingly complex and tense gameplay experience that pleases the senses...

If someone had said to me that I would enjoy playing an economical game of micromanagement prior to Game Dev Story I would have laughed. The mere notion of such a thing would be preposterous. Now about ten Kairosoft games later they have become an obsessions. Few companies have managed to make their games instabuys the day they are released...

Shoot-em-ups are an old, old genre. It's not unreasonable to say that they are the oldest genre in video games, actually. They were huge, everyone made one, and then some time later, they were no longer huge. Not long after that, they were nearly extinct. They've enjoyed a minor renaissance in recent years thanks to the opening of more viable channels for lower budget games, but even now, they're nowhere near their former prominance. It's clear that the final blow was dealt by their progeny, the first-person shooter, but even before that, they had taken a heavy tumble. People simply got tired of the same old gameplay and settings. The biggest successes in the post-boom period of the genre try to mix up the themes and settings a bit, so that instead of always being a spaceship or a fighter plane, sometimes you're a gothic lolita witch or a princess riding on the back of a giant bug. It's a small shot of freshness for a genre that, for many, feels stale...

America's pastime. Butt-patting. A League of Their Own? Whatever word, phrase or movie may make you think of baseball, the sport has been played, changed, and even endured a lockout. But one facet has remained the whole time: it's fun to play, less so to watch. R.B.I. Baseball 14 [$4.99] is a modern take on what was a classic NES game almost thirty years ago. The original is known not just for being a fun game, but for being licensed by the MLBPA, which resulted in the first console game to use actual player names. Developed by MLB Advanced Media, this updated version stays faithful to the original...

Fans of PC Tower Defense titles may have heard of Prime World: Defenders [Free]. Originally released back in mid-2013, this 3D TD title made a splash offering a complete TD experience supplemented with aspects from a few other genres. Nearly a year later, Defenders finally makes its debut on iOS, a platform that should (in theory) fit it perfectly. While iOS TD aficionados will easily see that Defenders was obviously designed for the PC, it’s still a great title for fans of the genre...

Man, 2014 has already been an absolutely crazy year for roguelikes, and we're not even halfway into it. With the intensely strategic Hoplite, the everything-and-a-bag-of-chips Cardinal Quest 2, the unique sci-fi hybrid Out There, and the iPad port of the grand FTL, you might find yourself wondering how many more high-quality roguelikes you need on your mobile device. That's a valid question, and it's one that hits Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] right in the gut. This is a great, high-quality example of a roguelike, hitting all the expected buttons in the right ways. If you find yourself yearning for another good roguelike, particularly a fairly orthodox one, do yourself a favor, open up the App Store, and throw down your two bucks right now. If, however, you're still right in the middle of Cardinal Quest 2, only taking breaks to play Hoplite, it's sadly a bit hard to come up with reasons why you should add Quest of Dungeons to your cycle...

'Eets Munchies' for iPad Review - Comfort Food

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April 3rd, 2014 6:17 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4 stars, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, Puzzle, Reviews
$2.99 Buy Now

Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes on the current marketplace. Some of them are more action oriented than others, but often times the most rewarding puzzler is one that lets you really sit and think before acting. In other words, a game that truly tests your wits and mettle in ways that faster-paced titles couldn't, forcing you to really dig deep down and bust out every bit of critical thinking you can muster. Like the classic Incredible Machine series, Eets Munchies [$2.99 (HD)] does just that -- but with an adorable (and sometimes creepy) rabbit mascot...

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