Category Archives: 4 stars

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 [$4.99], Blazing Star [$0.99], the R-Type [$1.99] 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 [$0.99], 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 [$1.99] 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...

Though I played my fair share of hockey in my youth, it may surprise you to find out that I am not a sportsman. I mean, unless downing an order of spice level 10 at the local curry restaurant counts as a sport now, but I suspect the Olympic Committee is going to give me a negative on that one. In spite of that, I really enjoy a variety of sports video games, even the ones based on sports I was never all that interested in before, like football and skateboarding. Looking at all of the sports out there, the biggest disparity in interest for me personally between watching/playing the real thing and indulging in the game version is with golf. I hope I don't offend any golf fans out there when I say that, for me, it's one of the most boring things around. Yet, for whatever reason, I love golf video games. From Golf on the NES to Links on the PC to Hot Shots Golf on PlayStation, I feel like I need to have at least one golf game on any gaming-capable hardware I own. Realism isn't even that important, as long as I get that satisfying feeling that comes from hearing that ball go into the little cup...

Glitch Games have been working hard these past few months. Not only did they release the unconventional but fun Ferris Mueller’s Day Off but they’ve been working hard on their most recent release Cabin Escape: Alice’s Story [Free], a short iOS adventure game that stands as a prequel to the fantastic Forever Lost series. To tide fans over between the second and third episode for fans eagerly awaiting its impending release, this albeit brief but fantastic entry in the Forever Lost series is a glorious “bite-sized” offering, packed full of exciting puzzles each designed to challenge and stimulate the mind...

I have reviewed almost a thousand games for iOS since I got into mobile gaming, and there is one thing I truly hate: slow tutorial levels. Most of us understand how a game works, and just need a splash screen or two showing the controls. When Lost Light started with what seemed like an endless stream of slow tutorial levels I almost lost my cool. I get it you darn cute squirrel! I make numbered areas with my finger by connecting blocks, it is not that hard. But still the cute animals keep pestering me with match this, and match that...

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