Category Archives: 5 stars

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 EDT by Nick Vigdahl in 5 stars, Free, Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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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 [$1.99] 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 EDT 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 [$0.99], 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...

'Old Man's Journey' Review - Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

It's been on our radars for about a year, and Old Man's Journey [$4.99] is out now and well worth checking out. This adventure game is the tale of an old man who goes on a journey that touches on his past and is at times a harrowing tale of survival in a world where there just isn't that much transportation infrastructure. I'm joking around, but that is solely to cover up that Old Man's Journey is an emotionally effecting experience that is brief but well worth experiencing...

'Miles & Kilo' Review - It's Dog-Gone Great!

The original Kid Tripp [$0.99] was an excellent ode to Westone's classic Wonder Boy and the Adventure Island series that it spawned. The game looked and sounded like a latter day Master System or Game Gear game, and the auto-running platforming was almost pitch-perfect. To this day, I consider it one of the better platformers available on iOS. Well, the kid is back, and this time, he brought his dog. More importantly, however, Miles & Kilo [$2.99] tries to advance the Wonder Boy-style gameplay with new moves, gimmicks, and obstacles that Tom-Tom never had to worry about. The result is a fantastic game with one foot planted firmly in the past and the other in the here and now. If you like platformers, you won't want to miss this one...

'Spaceplan' Review - Delicious Potatoes

The clicker genre can still surprise and delight, it turns out. Jake Hollands and Devolver Digital have delivered a fantastic narrative clicker in Spaceplan [$2.99] that is well worth checking out even if you're clickered out on clickers. While the core hallmarks of the clicker genre are here with lots of clicking and idle energy generators, with waiting outside the app playing a role in the game. But it also features a unique sci-fi story that reveals over time that has an incremental narrative game influence, and a finite scenario to enjoy. Plus, there's lots of potatoes...

'Planescape: Torment' Review - What Can Change the Nature of an App?

Oh. Really? Another one of those old isometric dinosaurs got released on iOS? No. I am sorry, but that's wrong. THE old isometric dinosaur that devours and spits out other isometric dinosaurs is finally out for iOS. Fresh off solid remasters of Baldur's Gate [$9.99], Baldur's Gate II [$9.99], and Icewind Dale [$9.99], Overhaul Games is back with the magnum opus of the CRPG world Planescape: Torment [$9.99], and yes this terrible thunder lizard still has teeth. Much commentary of this recently revamped game is devoted to how the upgrade was handled. As many of you, dear readers, may not be very familiar, I will also be unwrapping my personal experience with the actual content of Torment. Even though I have been an avid gamer through the decades, this was one I did not get the chance to play back in the day (I blame Diablo II, personally). Now given the chance to remedy this grave personal flaw, I present to you my humble take on a giant of the industry. ..

'Death Road to Canada' Review - A Dog, Anime Magical Girl, and A Farting Man Enter a Bar...

I think you could make a strong argument that Rocketcat Games is the greatest developer in the history of mobile games. No studio has quite the collection of masterpieces that they do. Go on and look it up, their worst title is Five Card Quest [$2.99] and even that isn't so bad. Madgarden, meanwhile, has the strongest collection of unreleased titles perhaps out there, but when he releases something, it tends to be great. See their previous collaboration Punch Quest [Free], which is still brilliant and so unlike everything else on the App Store. In fact, that's the problem: these folks make games that are such pinnacles of what they do that nobody else can even come close. So, perhaps you might think Death Road to Canada [$9.99] off the bat seems a bit weird for them to do. After all, it's a zombie survival game. There's a ton of them. But that would be short-sighted: Death Road to Canada is another masterpiece from a partnership that keeps cranking out the hits...

'Card Thief' Review - It Eventually Stole My Heart

Tinytouchtales and artist Mexer reunite to make Card Thief [$1.99], a solitaire card game that is a follow-up to Card Crawl [$2.99]. Instead of being a dungeon crawler, this is about stealth, with a card system. You move your thief card around the board in any direction, dealing with traps, enemies, torches, and items that pop up. Your objective is to clear out cards to get through the deck, eventually picking up the treasure chest that gets on the board, and escaping when you've gotten through the deck. While there's actually an unlimited number of cards, the deck has certain milestones that pop up throughout your session. The thing is that where Card Crawl definitely added in some new elements after launch that added some depth and complexities to the experience, it's a much simpler game than what Card Thief is conceptually. For example, I went back to Card Crawl after a long time not playing (I have too many games on my phone...and iPad), and after a little bit of reacquainting myself, the game made sense. On the other hand, Card Thief off the bat is a more esoteric experience. It has its own rules, and a number of systems and card types that all interact with each other in ways that you probably won't understand right away. In fact, it plays fast and loose with the whole 'cards' concept to begin with. It could have just been a stealth action game without the card concept, I imagine. But the thing I found is that after a few sessions of not knowing what I was doing, the more I played, the more Card Thief clicked with me. And when it clicks, it's an amazing game...

'Hidden Folks' Review - Seek This Game Out

While Game Oven Studios, the collection of maniacs behind Fingle [$1.99 (HD) / Free (HD)], Bam Fu [$0.99 / Free], Bounden [$2.99], and Jelly Reef [$0.99], is no more, developer Adriaan de Jongh is still out there making games. And he's back with another fantastic and unique experience that you have to try. Hidden Folks [$3.99] is a collaboration between him and illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg that takes a very simple concept of being a "Where's Waldo" game. Then it makes everything happen in a monochromatic world, with huge canvases to explore as folks wander around, and you have to find a certain bunch of these folks. It's a simple idea, but the work that the team behind the game has done with the art, sound, and playability, makes this a fantastic experience. ..

'Slayaway Camp' Review - A Killer Puzzler

The first thing that drew my attention to Slayaway Camp [$2.99] was the horror theme. Designed as a pastiche of 1980s horror in all its cheesy glory, combined with a voxel look that allowed for some gory slasher action with a comical feel. And then the game released on Steam first. After some work to make the game acceptable for Apple, we finally have Slayaway Camp on mobile, and what I found wasn't just a game that was over-the-top in gore and humor. I also found a great sliding puzzle game, that also managed to integrate its theme in a masterful way. This is a game that's fun to play and experience the little world it has created...

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