Category Archives: 5 stars

'Lineage II: Revolution' Review - A Fascinating Exploration of What Actually Constitutes Gameplay in an MMORPG

When it comes to massive mobile game launches, it seems like Lineage II: Revolution [Free] has rewritten expectations of what a "huge" launch can be. NetMarble has pulled out all the stops when it comes to promoting this game, doing everything from tapping celebrities like Conan O'Brien to advertising the upcoming launch of the game literally everywhere (except TouchArcade, it'd seem). The amount of awareness this has raised is unlike anything I've seen before, and this pre-launch hype was flawlessly quantified by the over 1.5 million people they got to sign up for the game before it was available to download. Even friends of mine who I know don't care at all about mobile gaming knew about it. From a marketing perspective, Lineage II: Revolution is a flawless victory for NetMarble, but is the game any good? It turns out that's a question with a surprisingly complicated answer...

'Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times' Review: Outstanding Follow Up to One of the Best Tactical Combat Games Ever

What are the best tactical role-playing games for mobile devices? I see that question a lot and, inevitably, somebody mentions Warhammer Quest [$2.99] by Rodeo Games, and rightfully so. Warhammer Quest is without question one of the best turn-based combat games out there and one in which I've invested a huge number of hours in the four-plus years since its release. Rodeo Games is no more, unfortunately, but that didn't stop a sequel from making its way to the App Store. Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times [$4.99] was just released by Perchang, but can it clear the high bar set by its predecessor?..




'Kick Ass Commandos' Review- A Gloriously Gory Homage to Arcade Shooters of the Past

The late 80's and early 90's were times when the more gore and shock-value video games had, the better. One of my favorite games of this time was Total Carnage. My cousin and I would play the crap out of its violent cooperative mode. Total Carnage's gory, action-packed gameplay made us feel like the edgiest kids of all time. I'm a sucker for anything that provides nostalgia (as I have mentioned time and time again) and Kick Ass Commandos [$2.99] gave me a much-desired dose of Total Carnage-like gameplay. It was originally released on Steam back in November of 2016, and now the game has "Schwarzenegger'd" and "Stallone'd" its way onto the App Store...

'Thimbleweed Park' Review - It's Not Over Til The Weird Uncle Sings

With around a half century behind the video game medium at this point, it's clear that it is taking after other forms of entertainment media in at least one point: no idea that was ever bankable will stay dead forever. Genres wax and wane, creators leave their beloved IPs and return, companies collapse and get bought up by the next ambitious up-and-comer, and franchises thought to be rendered toxic by a low quality installment or five can spring back to life with incredible force. You can't stop this train we're on, even if you wanted to. Like many other genres, point-and-click adventures were declared dead a long while back, a condition which never really stopped them from going about their (substantially reduced) business anyway. It's not that they ceased to be released altogether, but it's certainly arguable that changes had to be made to accommodate survival. If you liked them just fine the way they were? Well, you were out of luck...

'Iron Marines' Review - 'StarCraft' for Mobile

'Iron Marines' Review - 'StarCraft' for Mobile

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September 15th, 2017 4:45 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Reviews, Strategy
$4.99 Buy Now

Earlier this week, I posted some pretty exhaustive first impressions of Iron Marines [$4.99], and consider this review a continuation of that article. In it, I cover most of the basics of the game and how various mechanics work. To avoid endlessly repeating myself a bunch, I'd recommend going back and reading that as this review will mostly confirm suspicions that I had and answer questions about the game's monetization methods which have been fairly controversial in our community...

'Danmaku Unlimited 3' Review - The Depths of Bullet Hell

The 32-bit Appocalypse is upon us, friends, and some genres are going to get hit worse than others. By the looks of things, shoot-em-up fans are going to have plenty to be upset about. Just about every fantastic Cave shoot-em-up is headed for the scrap heap, and if the company plans to update them, they haven't said anything about it. It's a real loss, not just because they were relatively pricey by App Store standards, but also because they represent some of the finest the bullet hell sub-genre has to offer. You know what, though? I think we're going to be okay, because as long as there are developers like Doragon Entertainment out there putting out games like Danmaku Unlimited 3 [$1.99], we're still eating well on iOS...

'Cat Quest' Review - An Interactive How-to on Mobile RPGs

We've had our teeth sunk into Cat Quest [$4.99] here at Touch Arcade Towers for a while now. It's been just about a year since one of our first looks at the game at TGS 2016. Since then we also took a peek into the dev process Gentlebros went through to cook up this Action-RPG offering. A lot of times our Patreon supporters will ask us about games that shape or define a genre, and Cat Quest, for all its levity, has left an indelible paw print on that list. ..

'Darkest Dungeon' Review - Brave the Darkness for One of the Better RPGs on iPad

You've probably read headlines, and maybe even entire articles, about Darkest Dungeon [$4.99 (HD)]. There's been plenty of them. The game was officially released on Steam in early 2016 and has garnered all kinds of praise and game-of-the-year accolades. It also has a reputation for dishing out one heck of a beating to victory-seeking players. For every "this game is great" comment there seemed to be a couple "this game is impossible" disclaimers. Darkest Dungeon has built up quite the reputation for both excellence and challenge and those of us in the mobile crowd finally got our first crack at it with the recent release to iPad. Does Darkest Dungeon live up to the hype? Short answer: definitely, go buy it. For the long answer, read on...

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "pigeon"? I don't know about you but I have always been told that they are "the rats of the sky". They can't be that bad, can they? Pigeons used to be pretty useful by delivering written messages back in the day. That fact has to make them a bit better than rats. Honestly, that's the only positive thing about pigeons that I can conjure up from my mind. Anyways, all of these thoughts flew through my brain as soon as I read the title of Pigeon Wings [$1.99] by Ignacio Schiefelbein...

'Rogue Wizards' Review - A Turn-Based RPG with all the Loot

'Rogue Wizards' Review - A Turn-Based RPG with all the Loot

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August 4th, 2017 1:00 PM EST by Nick Vigdahl in 5 stars, Free, Games, iPhone games, Reviews
Free Buy Now

Do you like loot in your games? More specifically, do you like grabbing loot from the corpses of your foes and using said loot to create even more corpses and get even better loot? If you answered yes to this question I’d like to introduce you to Rogue Wizards [Free]. Rogue Wizards is a turn-based tactical role-playing game that made the leap from Steam to iOS earlier this year. It features a primary story line focused on fairness and equality among wielders of magic in a fantasy setting. The plot, though decent, is certainly not the reason to play this game. The reason to play is the fun and challenging combat and, of course, all the loot...

'The Elder Scrolls: Legends' Review - Pretty Legendary

Although Bethesda's and Dire Wolf Digital's Collectible Card Game (CCG) The Elder Scrolls: Legends [Free] has been out for a while now, we were waiting for the game to go universal before reviewing it. And now that it's finally out on iPhones, we can talk about what Legends brings to the table and how it stands apart from a game like Hearthstone, which has pretty much become the golden standard for digital CCGs. Since this is a CCG that's still growing, especially now with the influx of more players and the recent Skyrim expansion, it's hard to talk about whether its meta is balanced, whether there are cards that need to be nerfed and haven't, and so on. That's why I will mostly focus this review on the ways Legends stands apart from Hearthstone and whether those differences are a good thing or a bad thing overall. Spoiler warning: I think they are good overall...

'Miracle Merchant' Review - A Masterful Solo Card Game from the Creator of 'Card Crawl'

Do you love solitaire-style mobile games? If the answer is yes you're in luck because Miracle Merchant [$1.99] released today and is one of the best card games in the App Store. Miracle Merchant is the latest title from TinyTouchTales, indie developer and master of modern solitaire variants. 2015's Card Crawl [$2.99] is on my Mount Olympus of mobile games and has been the source of countless hours (seriously, I couldn't begin to count them) of entertainment. Card Thief [$2.99] was released earlier this year and is also eminently replayable...

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

'Linelight' Review - A Fine Line

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$1.99 Buy Now

In years to come, the App Store will be both commemorated and condemned for revolutionising the delivery of digital content, implementing the use of innovative gaming inputs, and instigating an industry-wide transition away from fully priced releases. However, one of the most profound impacts this emergent platform has had on video games has been its ethos of ‘show, don’t tell’. Monument Valley [$3.99], Sword and Sworcery [$3.99], and a number of landmark titles have fought against the limitations of a handheld device to completely immerse the user through pure aesthetic bliss. Despite not originating on the iPhone, Linelight [$1.99] is the next notable independent release that champions these values, through slick puzzles, accessible controls, and stunningly dynamic visuals and audio. The resulting concoction is an extremely memorable mobile experience that, while by no means perfect, is far grander than its subtle minimalistic design suggests...

'Layton's Mystery Journey' Review - Better Layton Than Never

Of all the possible games, series, and franchises that could have been ported to mobile over the years, one of the ones that made the most sense has been a no-show until now. Level 5's Professor Layton series of puzzle adventures, which debuted on the Nintendo DS in 2007, seemed like a great match for mobile both in terms of its game design and demographic appeal. For whatever reason, however, the platform seemed to get passed over for a mainline Layton game even as the occasional spin-off popped up. Well, no matter what the reason was, Level 5 seems to be ready to take a chance with the latest game in the series, Layton's Mystery Journey [$15.99]. This is a full Layton game in the traditional style, packed full of puzzles, a wild and woolly story, and plenty of tapping on everything for hint coins you'll never use...

'Prison Architect' Review - Running a Prison Shouldn't be This Fun

Let's start this review with the obvious: building and managing a maximum security prison in this day and age can be a peculiar experience given all we hear about the way the real-life prison system works. And yes, I know that some people have found Prison Architect [Free (HD)] disagreeable because of precisely these reasons. Add to that how the game's tutorial starts with having you build an execution chamber and then proceed to execute a murderer, and you can see why this game's theme might not be for everyone. Those reservations aside, though, in terms of mechanics and gameplay variation, Prison Architect is a very entertaining game with tons of content and plenty of depth that will keep you busy for many, many hours.While the title of Prison Architect implies that all you'll be doing in the game is building a prison, it's actually slightly misleading; you are in charge of so much more than just designing a prison. Your duties extend to planning your inmates' daily schedules, hiring the right kind of people to help run the facility, arranging for the prison to be "pleasant" enough so you can avoid riots, manage your tight budget, and much more. Prison Architect will definitely remind you of classic PC management games rather than modern mobile games when it comes to just how much you can control and how much tinkering you can do...

'Flipping Legend' Review - It's Flipping Sweet

It can be tough to stand out for a game that is in a well-worn genre. The sort of endless runner with action elements genre can be a tough sell for some folks when there's a ton of those games out there. But Flipping Legend [Free] doesn't deserve to be skipped. This separates itself from the rest of the pack by having a unique movement system, an RPG-style upgrade system, strong artistic direction, and most importantly: being fun to play at its very core...

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

'Yankai's Peak' Review - Pyramid Perfection

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June 14th, 2017 9:00 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

Developer Kenny Sun sure does like geometric shapes. His latest game is about pyramids, and just like his previous efforts, it's both bizarre and brilliant. Yankai's Peak [$2.99] might be titled like a sequel to last year's Yankai's Triangle [$2.99], but it's something totally new mechanically. While that game saw you spinning triangles around, disassembling them, and reassembling them to try to make them fit together, Yankai's Peak is more like a traditional Sokoban-style box-pusher. Instead of cooperative little squares, however, you're pushing around pyramids that aren't really good about moving in a straight line. The core mechanic is clever and rewarding, and the game sprinkles in new gimmicks regularly to keep you interested...

'Framed 2' Review - The Second Half of a Really Good Game

When I reviewed the original Framed [$3.99], I said "Given the brevity and lack of progression in the concept, this really does feel like half of a larger whole stretched out to fill one game." Holy crap was I right. Loveshack Entertainment decided to return to the concept with Framed 2 [$4.99] and the difference is night and day. I don't know if I have ever played a game where the second title in the series made the first one look like utter garbage in comparison, but that's exactly what Framed 2 does. It is exactly what the original game needed to feel like the genius title that the concept deserved...

'Beholder' Review - Oppressing People and Taking Names Was Never This Fun

Recently, we've had the "pleasure" of playing quite a few games that turn you into a cog in a totalitarian machine rather than a hero fighting against a ruthless State apparatus. Paper's Please and The Westport Independent played on the delicate balance between being moral and staying alive in an oppressive regime, although with differing levels of success. Still, they both managed to involve the player in what is a game of moral tug of war, where any initial desire to play the game as a moral and just individual slowly gets crushed under the reality that is survival for you and, in many instances, your family...

'Steredenn' Review - Horns Out For This Roguelike Shoot 'Em Up

Sometimes good ideas don't come together into being good final products. What sounds good on paper can be lackluster in execution. Not so much with Steredenn [$3.99], which sounded amazing on paper! A roguelike combined with a shoot 'em up, with a heavy metal soundtrack? It's like Pixelnest said "How can we make a game that Carter Dotson would enjoy?" Then, they made it. Of course, they didn't do exactly that since it didn't release on mobile for about a year and a half after its original release, and I am kicking myself for having not played it until now. Well, better late than never: Steredenn is fantastic fun for fans of roguelikes, shoot 'em ups, and/or heavy metal...

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