Category Archives: 5 stars

'Oddmar' Review - This Game Earns its Place in Valhalla

If you're a fan of paid mobile games, and you don't buy Oddmar [$4.99], you are the problem. If the developer Senri had any sense whatsoever, they would have released this on other platforms like the Switch first, and then released it on mobile maybe someday in the distant future. This is one of the best-looking mobile games of all time. And it's an incredibly fun action-platformer that anyone who cares about mobile gaming, or just wants a fun game to play, has to pick this up. It's not an option. This game is a mandatory purchase for all mobile gaming enthusiasts...

'Ovivo' Review - No Grey Areas

'Ovivo' Review - No Grey Areas

April 9th, 2018 7:00 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $1.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews
99¢ Buy Now

You don't usually think of meditation and video games in the same thought. The serene calm you search for in meditation seems antithetical to the pulse pounding shooters or brain scratching puzzles or edge of your seat cinematic story books you find in most games. It seems to be a weird way to introduce a game, as one that does not drive the brain with sensory overload. But that is a core part of Ovivo's [$0.99] identity. So enough talking about what it isn't and what it doesn't do, because there is a lot of meat on the bone of this trimmed down gem...

'Fighting Fantasy Classics' Review - A Doorway to Adventure

Although they've been branching out in some big ways in recent years, Tin Man Games is still best known for one thing: digital gamebooks. Whether wholly original works like their Gamebook Adventures series or adaptations of physical books like the Fighting Fantasy line, Tin Man's gamebooks generally have featured excellent presentation while remaining quite faithful to the paperbacks that inspired them. They've released quite a few such titles on mobile, but it's been a little while since the last one came out. Fighting Fantasy Classics [Free] is Tin Man's return to digital versions of traditional gamebooks, and what a comeback it is...

'Evoland 2' Review: Let's do the Timewarp Again

Shiro Games isn't the type of game company to release tons of games that are broad reaching and cover many genres. This is kind of weird because in order to be proficient at making a game like Evoland 2[$6.99], they have the chops to make a LOT of games. Unlike the original Evoland, the sequel fully explores several genres and manages a voice and a character all it's own. While the first Evoland really never fully pushed past the big names that it pays homage to, Evoland 2 will draw you in and make you forget at times that it is in many ways an almanac of gaming nostalgia. Evoland 2 just recently released on iOS as a port from the PC version, and it is a really great way to play this enchanting game...

'The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands' Review: It Only Takes a Spark

I have been cycling through a lot of games lately that have very busy interfaces and give explicit instructions on every aspect of the game. Through unskippable tutorials and heavy hand holding, it feels like these games force feed you the info they think you need to be convinced to not uninstall their app. Xigma Games latest offering, The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands [$3.99], is an effervescent tonic to the plague of over information we seem to be in the midst of. ..

'Part Time UFO' Review - It Works Hard for Its Money

For many years, mobile gamers dreamed the impossible dream of having Nintendo games on their platform of choice. When that dream finally, improbably, came true, it didn't come in the form that many of those players had hoped for. There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about why Nintendo's mobile efforts are what they are, but regardless of the why, the fact remains that they're not quite the same as what the company puts out on its own hardware. Well, HAL Laboratory isn't Nintendo, but they're quite close in a lot of ways. If you were one of those people looking for a Nintendo-like experience on your mobile device, you may find that HAL's latest release, Part Time UFO [$3.99], scratches the itch nicely...

'Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition' Review - In Other Words, Final Fantasy 15

The very existence of Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition [Free] is both weird and fascinating. Final Fantasy 15 is the latest in the classic series of JRPGs. It launched last year on the latest home consoles, and on its face certainly didn't appear to be a good candidate for a mobile release. Maybe Final Fantasy 8 next for mobile players? Or even Final Fantasy 10? No, Square Enix clearly wanted mobile players to experience the story of the newest game in the series, and found a way to do just that. Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition is Final Fantasy 15… sort of. It's as though someone had the script and a pretty decent walkthrough of the original game and was told to remake it for mobile devices. Miraculously, it works...

'Dandara' Review - Gravity-Defying Goodness

'Dandara' Review - Gravity-Defying Goodness

February 6th, 2018 9:45 AM EDT by Nick Tylwalk in $14.99, 5 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews, Universal
$14.99 Buy Now

For anyone who's reached adulthood, few game genres are as comforting as metroidvania. There's something about the combo of action and platforming that just takes you back when done correctly, and Dandara [$14.99] surely does that. While it wears its classic influences very much on its sleeve, this game builds on them with a unique system of movement and a gorgeous environment that beckons you to explore. Even though Dandara launched on multiple platforms, it feels right at home on touchscreens, so much so that you can't help but wonder if this is how it's truly meant to be played...

'The Room: Old Sins' Review: 'The Room' Series Continues to Amaze

Originally released all the way back in 2012 for the iPad, The Room [$0.99 (HD) / Free] was a delightful surprise. Using touch gestures you interacted with a puzzle box that was absolutely packed with secrets. When we first reviewed it, the main problem with the game was that while it was a great game it just abruptly ended in a way that felt like you had all this build up with no payoff. An epilogue update hit almost a year later which did a great job at not only adding some more content to the mix, but also giving the game a much needed ending. (My theory on all this always was that the developers at Fireproof Games really didn't expect The Room to be as successful as it was, so there never was much thought to making the game a series and how they'd need to link together.) The Room Two [$1.99] was released in early 2014, and as we explain in our review, it improved upon the original in every way imaginable...

'Sid Meier's Civilization VI' for iPad Review - Wow, Just Wow

'Sid Meier's Civilization VI' for iPad Review - Wow, Just Wow

December 21st, 2017 2:22 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Games, Reviews, Strategy
Free Buy Now

Q4 of 2017 has, without a doubt, been absolutely absurd when it comes to high quality premium game ports on iOS. However, just as we were thought we were finished with the App Store game release rush that has become tradition each holiday season, Aspyr comes out of left field with Sid Meier's Civilization VI [Free (HD)] for the iPad. Better yet, the release of the game was just non-chalantly announced on Twitter, like when your parents just casually mention late in the morning on Christmas that there's one more present behind the tree. Civilization VI was released on the Mac and PC a little more than a year ago, which is one of the many things that makes this port so exciting- There's still an actively maintained game with content in the pipeline for the Mac/PC, and the iOS version even boasts additional expansions coming in the future right in the main menu. This isn't just some port they farted out to make a little extra money on an otherwise forgotten title from other platforms. This is the real deal...

'Arena of Valor' Launch Day Review - The Global Sensation Arrives in North America

While I've dabbled in MOBAs since the earliest days of DOTA, it was Riot's League of Legends (LoL) that finally sucked me in. I started playing LoL in 2009, and haven't really looked back since. Before Playerunknown's Battlegrounds was released, my PC was used exclusively to play LoL with friends. I've played thousands of individual games, and have spent thousands of dollars in the game over the last eight years, slowly unlocking every champion and collecting a absurd amount of skins in the process. In fact, LoL is what brought me in to the esports fold, and I've since attended multiple League of Legends Championship Series games. What's always been strange to me is that while I cannot get enough of LoL on my PC, mobile MOBAs really haven't done anything for me with Call of Champions being the only one I stuck with for any significant amount of time. Sadly, it seemed the community died off pretty quickly, and with that, my interest in the only mobile MOBA I enjoyed...

'Gorogoa' Review - Picture Perfect

'Gorogoa' Review - Picture Perfect

December 13th, 2017 11:45 PM EDT by Tasos Lazarides in $4.99, 5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, News, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$4.99 Buy Now

Puzzle games are a dime a dozen on the App Store and most offer only slightly different iterations of the same ideas. Once in a while, though, you get some innovative puzzle games that introduce some intriguing ways of interaction, and Jason Roberts' Gorogoa [$4.99] is definitely one of those special games. Gorogoa gives players the ability to manipulate four panels, but the ways those panels can be manipulated are very clever and offer some surprises that I really enjoyed. I knew Gorogoa gave players the ability to interact with the overlays of the various illustrations, but I didn't expect it to do so in such inventive ways. Add to those smart interactions some truly gorgeous, hand-drawn art, and a mystical story, and you have a puzzle game that everyone who enjoys the genre should definitely grab. And if you have friends who like to debate whether video games are art, send them Gorogoa just to add more fuel to the fire...

'Reigns: Her Majesty' Review - This Queen Reigns Supreme

'Reigns: Her Majesty' Review - This Queen Reigns Supreme

December 7th, 2017 12:10 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$2.99 Buy Now

The original Reigns [$2.99] was easily among my favorite games released last year, as the whole experience felt like a masterpiece of game design. Via binary options, triggered by swiping right or left as if you were browsing through Tinder profiles, players were invited to rule their kingdoms and attempt to balance the competing powers in the land: The church, the people, the military, and the treasury. With few exceptions, every decision made increased favor with at least one power, while decreasing your standing with others. The trick is, you need to use your intuition to figure out what decision you're going to make to keep everything in check. For example, you might come across a doctor who offers to heal your subjects, and allowing them to do that will increase your favor with the people, while decreasing your standing with the church who frown upon the medical sciences. The rest of the game goes like this until you inevitably meet your demise in many amusing ways, at which point the whole process repeats again, as you're cursed, and return again and again as a new king... Until you figure out how to break the curse, anyway...

'Football Manager Touch 2018' for iPad Review - The Best Just Got Better

Football Manager Touch 2017, Sports Interactive's classic football (soccer for some of you) management game, was one of my top 10 games of the year despite some serious technical issues that led to plenty of crashes. Those issues aside, though, the game was a fantastic and deep sports management game that had no equal on the App Store. Enter Football Manager Touch 2018 [$19.99 (HD)], the latest in the series. FMT 2018 sticks to what made FMT 2017 so great—a more accessible version of the PC version of the game but deeper than the handheld one—and makes little changes that go a long way toward making the game easier to play on a tablet. With an improved UI and the same addictive gameplay, FMT 2018 is another jewel of a game that I will spend too many hours playing...

'Game Dev Tycoon' Review - If You Liked 'Game Dev Story' You'll Love 'Game Dev Tycoon'

In 2012, Greenheart Games released game developer simulator Game Dev Tycoon [$4.99] for PC players. Billed as somewhat of a basic strategy/simulation title, Tycoon earned a strong player following and has been a favorite indie title on PC for quite some time. Five years later and a mobile version of Tycoon is finally on iOS, where it naturally fits and is an awesome addition to the genre...

'GRID Autosport' Review - The Best Racing Game on Mobile by a Mile

My review of Codemasters and Feral Interactive's GRID Autosport [$9.99] can easily be my shortest review ever: if you want the best racing game on mobile by far and one of the prettiest game ever to grace the platform, stop reading and go buy this game right now. Why? It's simple, really. GRID Autosport is a fully premium experience with content that will take you forever to complete, a ton of ways to play, fantastic visuals, and highly customizable controls and difficulty level that will suit every player out there. Feral Interactive has really brought a console-quality game to iOS. The port of the game is almost perfect, but expect your battery to drain faster than the gas tank of a supercar and also the rare frame drops when visuals are turned up (even on an iPhone X). Despite these small issues, GRID Autosport is a fantastic game and one racing fans have been craving for...

'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...

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