Category Archives: 4 stars

These days, any game that leaves an emotional impact on the player (in a smart way) is ridiculed as being pretentious. By definition, the label is accurate, but typically falls under a negative connotation. It's understandable that some gamers just don't care much for the approach to story-telling, but I don't mind it when done well. Turns out, Pretentious Game [Free] is one of those examples. At least this game isn't hiding from what it is; and what it is, is a short but sweet pretentious little game...

I swear, Kemco must get a bulk discount on orphaned protagonists. As many games from this publisher do, Chronus Arc [$3.99] opens by showing us a horrible tragedy that befell the hero of the game at some point in the past. In fine RPG tradition, especially those with 'Chron' in the title, the introduction to our plucky lead in the present is with someone close to him waking him up. The past might have been grim, but here and now, it's party time. In an incredibly odd and sure-to-be-plot-significant ceremony held every ten years by the kingdom, they perform a ritual called "Time Rewinding". Certain broken items are restored to new condition right before the eyes of the people, and a good time is apparently had by all. Well, who am I to criticize? In the town I live in, we have a festival where people have fights using 25-foot poles with burning lanterns attached to the top. Festivals are nuts sometimes...

You don't see too many games about leprechauns these days. Maybe it's because of their secretive nature, leaving most of the inspiration to the imagination. Well that's just what Odyssey Creative Labs has done with Tale Tapper [$0.99] -- a tale of a leprechaun who's determined to get his stolen pot of gold back...

'Rube Works' Review - A Classic Contraption Conundrum Comes to Life

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December 9th, 2013 9:35 AM EDT by Danny Gallagher in $0.99, 4 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews
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The concept of making a Rube Goldberg machine in a video game has been done so many times that it feels like some kind of crime against gaming that one hasn't been done to honor the man who invented it. He's has a huge following that has survived almost a century. His name has become part of the American vernacular. His comic strips were clearly ahead of their time as a way to mock the unstoppable drive of technology. Perhaps that's why it's taken so long to get a game made in his name and it's a shame because it's a faithful, fun adaptation of some of Rube's famous works...

The vast majority of virtual or interactive pet games might offer a fun, regular distraction of caring for something without any real consequences if you forget to feed it or fail to keep it happy over a regular period of time but they lack a certain reality by their very nature. Most of these "pets" are just a collection of animated sprites designed to react to certain stimuli and choices over time. They don't move with any real fluidity to fulfill their obligations as true virtual pets...

'AdvenChewers' Review - It's Time to Chew Bubble Gum

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November 27th, 2013 10:33 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $0.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

Endless runners can satisfy a certain kind of itch every so often, but sometimes, I want structure. With a level-based system and endless runner-like qualities, AdvenChewers [$0.99] is a modest compromise of both formulas, and ends up offering an extremely addictive mixture of the two...

It's crazy to think how many console games are ported to iOS, and actually work. With a number of high profile Xbox Live and PSN games releasing on a weekly basis, a large sample of them are starting to see some life in the mobile arena -- and I suspect that once iOS 7 controllers catch on, we'll see even more. The latest mobile port is Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse [$9.99]  -- a solid remake that lends itself fairly well to the mobile platform, barring a few issues that spill over from the core game...

Remember back when Game Dev Story [$4.99] released? It was such a fun game, and it seemed like everyone was playing it, even people who weren't really into mobile gaming. At that point in time, the future looked pretty bright for developer Kairosoft, with a future as a dominant force on the App Store seeming likely. Well, they perhaps didn't make the most of their chance, but they're still trucking away, porting their old feature phone and PC releases to iOS and (more frequently) Android. That they could sell tons more copies of Game Dev Story 2 than The Sushi Spinnery [$3.99] may or may not be obvious to them, but they're clearly marching to their own beat, and today, that beat sounds a lot like clopping hooves...

About a year and a half ago, NTT Resonant and ZigZaGame Inc. released Dragon Island Blue [$0.99], an RPG that was very heavily inspired by Nintendo's Pokemon. Offering a huge roster of monsters and abilities, it nicely tapped into a few of the hooks of the famous franchise. There were lots of reasons to like it: the joy of collecting as many creatures as you can, building a team that's all your own, the tension of trying to whittle down the enemy's life without killing them to ensure a capture. However, while it got some things right, there were other ways it didn't fare quite so well. It was a really ugly game with really poor visual consistency. The spread of creatures looked like random clip art gathered from a variety of artists. The quest itself was kind of limp, with most of the focus being on the monster-collecting. Still, it was a fun game, but the sort of fun game that was begging for a good follow-up...

Playing Doom for the first time is one of my fondest childhood memories. It sounds odd, playing such a violent game at such a young age, but Doom really helped shape my gaming habits for years to come. It wasn't my first FPS strictly speaking, but with simple gameplay, tons of weapons to choose from, and a labyrinthine set of maps, it was one of my favorites. Neon Shadow [$0.99] attempts to recreate that classic feeling, and even though it may not fully succeed, there's still a great deal of love involved in this letter...

I was pretty excited to hear about a new game coming from Eccentricity, the developers of Dive For Treasures [$1.99]. In spite of a pretty plain name, the game itself was a unique, relaxing experience. Well, there's not a lot unique about their new title, Tower Dwellers [$3.99], and I can't say it's all that relaxing, but depending on how well you liked Kingdom Rush [$0.99] and your personal definition of how close is too close, you should have a good time with this one while it lasts...

Maze Crusade [Free] from developer My Evil Twin is something special: A fun and challenging take on the ubiquitous match-3 genre that spurs players on with the same intensity as a game like Knightmare Tower. You play as a knight who navigates a deadly maze full of bloodthirsty foes, dead ends, and a row of moving spikes that destroys everything on the bottom of the screen...

Earlier this year, 2K Games dropped a really cool little turn-based strategy game called Sid Meier's Ace Patrol [Free] on iOS. Like many, we loved it, but quite a few people were disappointed with its pricing model. Ace Patrol was free to play, offering a portion of a campaign with the remaining campaigns sold separately. I get the impression that part didn't bother people too much, but there were other IAP lurking that had some people wishing the game just included everything, with no IAP, at a premium price. Well, Ace Patrol is and probably always will be a free-to-play game, but the follow-up is here, and 2K Games seems to have heard the message, loud and clear...

I admit, I was pretty surprised when I heard that the folks at Nimblebit were going to join forces with Disney Interactive to create a Star Wars game. Yet, after a few soft launches here we are with Star Wars: Tiny Death Star [Free], a title that combines the simplicity and adorable visuals of Tiny Tower, with the rich assets of Star Wars. The combination of both should be a match made in heaven, but a stingy premium currency economy may make some think twice about investing in this otherwise great fan service tribute...

Given the rather obvious angle of the art direction and marketing for this title, you'll have to forgive me for having been skeptical of Spirit Stones [Free]. With top-heavy, scantily-clad women all over the place, it almost appears to be trying to make up for something. What that something might be is still not apparent to me, because this game is a surprisingly good mash-up of Puzzle & Dragons [Free]-style puzzle-RPGing and mobile TCGs. The juvenile character art and evolve-to-strip stuff are not only unnecessary, they're actually a negative point on a pretty good game...

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