Category Archives: 5 stars

'Dragon Quest IV' Review - But Thou Must Play This!

Dragon Quest IV [$14.99] is one of my favorite games in the entire Dragon Quest series. That also makes it one of my favorite RPGs, and by extension, one of my favorite games. Every time I run through this game, I find myself impressed that a game of this vintage hasn't lost even a bit of its shine. Dragon Quest IV does many interesting things, some of which are rare even today. As a result, while a lot of elements of this game are going to feel familiar to RPG fans, there's still nothing else quite like it, even with nearly 25 years of road behind it. So, you know clearly now where I stand concerning this game, but that's not much use to you without telling you why I think so highly of this game...

'Astro Duel' for iPad Review - A Fabulous Single Device Local Multiplayer Arcade Game

With pixelated, triangular ships thrusting around an asteroid-studded starfield and issuing forth crunchy 8-bit sounds, the trappings of Astro Duel [$2.99 (HD)] would allow it to blend seamlessly into any eighties-era arcade. Yet, Astro Duel is timely, for it taps into the quiet renaissance currently unfolding in the mileu of razor-sharp in-person competition waged across a single screen. Whether sitting cheek-by-jowl around a Warlords machine, or in a tangle of controller cables strewn from a console running Bomberman or in front of a desktop PC running the latest indie sensation on Steam (if you're curious, try out Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn or Crawl), there is a particular intensity to testing your reflexes and tactics against those of your friends with no barriers between you...

'Traps N' Gemstones' Review - An Excellent Metroid-Style Indy Game

I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but Traps n' Gemstones [$4.99] isn't exactly the kind of game I've come to expect from prolific mobile developers Donut Games. Don't get me wrong, their games have a very consistent quality to them, and like their namesake, there isn't really a bad one in the bunch. Still, in the past, they've tended to put together highly-focused gameplay experiences, often building a game around mastery of a single concept, whether it be cutting grass, flinging monkeys, or batting a ball between cats. Short little score-attack affairs, for the most part, have been the bread and butter of Donut Games, and they've found a lot of success with that type of game...

'Fates Forever' Review - An iPad MOBA Built to Last

'Fates Forever' Review - An iPad MOBA Built to Last

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July 15th, 2014 1:00 PM EDT by Carter Dotson in 5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, MOBA, Prices, Ratings, Reviews
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Fates Forever [Free (HD)] is a MOBA. This isn't so much a description of the game's genre, as it is acknowledging what the game's intent is. It's a MOBA for iPad – and it's meant to make as few concessions as possible toward providing a full-fledged MOBA experience. What this means is that the game isn't really meant for pick-up-and-play sessions, but it stands out because of it: it's a limited-compromise game that can be played for hours on end on an iPad...

'Monster Hunter Freedom Unite' Review - Good-bye Free Time, Hello Wildlife Slaughter

Capcom's iOS games present a truly insane roll of the dice. You've got terribly reimagined ports of classics like Mega Man X [$4.99], wonderful ports of underappreciated games like Ghost Trick [Free], ports that are maybe a bit too perfect like Street Fighter II Collection [$3.99] or the dearly departed Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and games that take familiar names and series and go in strange directions like Ghosts 'n Goblins Gold Knights [$0.99]. This time, however, they've really gone and done it. Just when you think they can't make you doubt them any further, they go and totally redeem themselves with an absolutely fantastic iOS version of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite [$14.99]...

'Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake' Review – A Scrumptious Treat

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake [$4.99] is one of my favorite games of the year. It's a puzzle game that's bright & colorful, but decidedly not just for kids. It's a game that has complexity without frustration, and takes place in a wonderful world that helps make it so much fun to just play again and again...

'VVVVVV' Review - A VVVery Good Port

'VVVVVV' Review - A VVVery Good Port

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June 18th, 2014 11:44 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, Platform, Reviews
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It's hard to believe that it's been four years since Terry Cavanaugh's VVVVVV was first released, but here we are in 2014 with an iOS port. While a lot of people would be quick to note that due to its precision nature, the mobile platform wouldn't be conducive to pixel-perfect jumping , I'm pleased to say that after playing it -- they're wrong. VVVVVV [$2.99] on iOS is a wonderful port-job, and newcomers and veterans alike will be able to enjoy it...

'Battleheart Legacy' Review - This RPG is Among the Best Games I've Played This Year

Turning the clocks back to early 2011 brings us to the original release of Mika Mobile's Battleheart [$2.99]. It's hard to forget for me, as I was living in Paris for a few months at the time, but instead of doing all sorts of Parisian things I was pounding away at monsters on my iPad. It was impossible to put down, as Battleheart did something totally unique in that it allowed you to effortlessly control a whole party of dudes in a MMO-feeling boss encounter, with fairly complicated boss gimmicks, without ever feeling frustrating. If you haven't played it, I still highly recommend the game- Or at least reading our review of it...

'Kero Blaster' Review - Toad, All Carnage

It's hard not to think about Cave Story while playing Kero Blaster [$4.99]. For those unfamiliar with Cave Story, it was one of the first big games of the modern indie era. Released all the way back in 2004 on PC, it was an extremely impressive take on the Metroid-style non-linear action game genre. Packed with challenge, secrets, and great action gameplay, it held up strongly to the best the genre had to offer. On top of that, it was faux-retro well before that became trendy, featuring adorable and expressive pixel-art characters and a wonderful chiptune soundtrack. Released on the PC for free and ported to almost everything under the sun except mobiles, it drew attention to the indie scene in a way no other game had before and few have since. It wasn't just a great game, it was an important game, and it was all the product of one single person: Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. Cave Story was the result of five years of work for him, and it shows in every respect...

'Kiwanuka' Review - Simply Electrifying

Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$1.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close...

'Leo's Fortune' Review - A Treasured Platformer

A good platformer not only requires a good gameplay experience in terms of level design and controls, but also need to do a good job of conveying an experience to the player. Leo’s Fortune [$4.99], with its beautiful visuals, well-done gameplay and its rich tale of redemption, does just that. Regardless if you’re a platforming veteran or novice, Leo’s Fortune is an excellent example of how iOS platforming should look and play...

'Wayward Souls' Review - A Must-Have Game For All Souls

It feels like forever since we first learned about the follow-up to Rocketcat's awesome action RPG Mage Gauntlet [$2.99]. It's actually only been a couple of years, but in iOS time, that feels like a lifetime. Known by many names over the course of its development, Wayward Souls has finally been released. With all of that anticipation, there's always a high risk of disappointment, but I'm very happy to report that Wayward Souls [$5.99] delivers fully on its promise. If you came to this review wondering if you should buy the game or not, let me save you some time: go open up the App Store and get this now. It's an incredible game. It's one of those games where after you play it, you're filled with a sort of infectious enthusiasm that makes you want to tell someone all about it...

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

'Hitman GO' Review - A Surprising Hit Puzzler

'Hitman GO' Review - A Surprising Hit Puzzler

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April 17th, 2014 11:20 AM EDT by James Paterson in $4.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Strategy
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Hitman GO [$4.99] is not what you’d expect from a title bearing the stealth series name. And at first glance, you’d probably dismiss the game as being a cheap cash-in...

'Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft' for iPad Review - Shuffling for Zul'jin

Blizzard Entertainment has a long line of releases with serious stories, usually focusing on the fate of the world or racial warfare. The Warcraft franchise has a few nods to comedy here and there with creatures like the Murlocs and the Pandaren, but for the most part, big bads like the Lich King still run the show. Comparatively, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Free (HD)] is a card game where you can summon an angry chicken and peck your enemies to death. As you can imagine, it's a ton of fun...

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