Category Archives: 5 stars

'Angry Birds 2' Review - The Best, and Most Free to Play 'Angry Birds' Yet

'Angry Birds 2' Review - The Best, and Most Free to Play 'Angry Birds' Yet

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July 31st, 2015 4:52 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Free, Reviews
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The Angry Birds franchise has had a hell of a ride on the App Store. Our involvement started with an email from one of the co-founders of the former-Angry Birds publisher Chillingo on November 26th, 2009 asking if we were interested in an exclusive announcement of their new game. Knowing what a ridiculous worldwide sensation the game has become since then, reading the rest of the email conversation is pretty insane, as we're initially incredibly skeptical of the game and weren't sure if we wanted to agree to posting about Angry Birds without way more information. Fast forward 5 years and 8 months, and such a thing is laughable. While Angry Birds mania has subsided a bit from their hay day of an Angry Bird being featured on nearly every t-shirt sold at Wal-Mart, the series is still going strong and following over three billion downloads across all the Angry Birds games, now seems as good of a time as any to release Angry Birds 2 [Free]...

'Prune' Review - Let it Grow on You

I must admit, Prune [$3.99] snuck up on me though it probably shouldn't have. Made by ex-AAA developers out of Madison, apparently the game had been floating around the midwestern games scene, and I somehow missed it until I got an email about it a couple days ahead of launch. And holy heck, do I wish I had seen this sooner, because Prune is a gorgeous and unique experience...




'Pac-Man Championship Edition DX' Review - If It Ain't Broke, Make it Faster and Add Bombs

Screwing up Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99] on mobile seemed like it would be difficult. All Namco would have to do is to basically port the game over, maybe make some tweaks to help it work better on mobile with touch controls, as the ludicrous speed of the console and PC version might not work so well with most people using swipes to move. Maybe throw in iCloud and support for both iCade and MFi controllers, and you've got yourself a five-star package. Namco almost did screw this up with a wacky free-to-play version of the game based around levels and energy timers, but thankfully they came to their senses and decided to just drop the game with minimal mobile tweaks on the App Store as a premium game. The world is better for it...

'Cally's Caves 3' Review - Cally Powers Up Yet Again

Going back and playing the first Cally's Caves game, it's stunning how far this series has come in such a short span of time. While the core action gameplay is solid, just about everything else in the game looks and feels, well, like the small indie game that it is. Cally's Caves 2 [Free] upped the ante significantly, not just in terms of presentation but also in gameplay mechanics, adding a compelling Ratchet & Clank-style weapon upgrade system and smoothing out the overall difficulty. A quick glance at Cally's Caves 3 [Free] would make you think you're getting more of the same from the second game, but although the game may not appear all that different at first, I'm going to go as far as to say that this third game represents almost as significant a leap over Cally's Caves 2 as that game had made over the original...

'Don't Starve' Review - A Masterpiece of Horror, Humor, and Hunger

Don't Starve [$4.99 (HD)]. A simple imperative that encapsulates so much about this game; it sets the mood and traces your constant, furious, yet ultimately futile attempts to follow that advice (or is it a command?). Klei Entertainment's Don't Starve is a survival game with a lot in common with Minecraft in terms of gameplay, but at the same time it also manages to draw its own path because of its amazing art style and its uncompromising and challenging design that pushes players into moments of desperation punctuated by brief moments of triumph. Played either with the help of the many dedicated wikis or as blindly as a newborn baby traversing Hell, Don't Starve stands as a memorable, meticulously designed experience with a UI and control scheme that make it a real pleasure to play on the iPad. Just remember, Don't Starve...

'The Executive' Review - Like a Boss

Riverman Media's latest game The Executive [$4.99] is a masterpiece. The new game from the creators of Pizza vs. Skeletons [$4.99 / Free] is brilliantly absurd and absurdly brilliant. Riverman has combined a touchscreen-friendly brawler with an idle clicker, all set in an absurd universe full of things like wolves wearing Guy Fieri shirts, and featuring a distinctive art and animation style. It's an amazing game, and you need to play it...

'Furdemption' Review - A Great Puzzle-Platformer Brimming With Whimsy and Gore

Imagine a cute bunny hoping around a hellish landscape, leaving the bloody trails of his repeated failures all over the wonderfully-drawn landscape. Sounds fun, if somewhat macabre, doesn't it? Well, it is indeed. Furdemption [$2.99], the puzzle platformer (or bunny-suicides simulator) from Raresloth (apparently a very philozoic two-person company), is a very fun game with great art and animations and a responsive control system that almost always delivers. Puzzle games don't always excite me because I find most of them too reliant on trial-and-error design, which requires more time than I'm willing to put in games of this genre; fortunately, Raresloth expertly designed and molded Furdemption into an intuitive puzzle game that is a pleasure to play...

'Piloteer' Review - Joyride in a Jetpack

'Piloteer' Review - Joyride in a Jetpack

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June 30th, 2015 12:24 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $2.99, 5 stars, Arcade, Games, Reviews, Universal
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I was about five years old when film The Rocketeer hit theatres, so I don’t remember a whole lot about the characters or plot. What I do remember is strapping a pair of 2-liter bottles to my back and zooming around my backyard like a lunatic. I’m almost afraid to re-watch the movie now that I’m older, because I have nothing but good feelings about it currently and I don’t want cold hard reality to tarnish them. That childhood wonder I felt while pretending to fly around in an awesome dieselpunk jetpack was pretty priceless, ya know?..

'Transistor' Review - An Action-Packed, Evocative Journey in an Amazing World

I love stories, always have; give me a book, and I'm a happy man. It's not surprising, then, that I always appreciate games with strong, emergent stories that seamlessly mix with the gameplay. Yet, all too often many of the games I play show a distinct disconnect between story and gameplay or contain any story elements in the few, obligatory cutscenes. Don't get me wrong, I also like games with fantastic gameplay and nothing else, but the games that stick with me are those with great stories. Fortunately, there are those rare occasions, those rare games whose story and gameplay are so intertwined that they blend beautifully. Transistor [$9.99], Supergiant Games' second game, is precisely one of those rare occasions where the story emerges from the gameplay and the gameplay emerges from the story, one of those rare games that prove the importance of cohesiveness in narrative and gameplay. That cohesiveness made Transistor one of my most memorable gaming experiences in quite a while; perfect it is not, but it is a fantastic experience that most iOS gamers will really enjoy...

'Xenowerk' Review - They Call Me a Werking Man, I Guess That's What I Am

I know Pixelbite's focus has been making racing games all this time, but man, was the world of dual-stick shooters missing out. Xenowerk [$1.99] is a more traditional dual-stick shooter affair than Space Marshals [$4.99], a more tactical shooter with stealth elements. Regardless, this is a ton of over-the-top fun. If you want a game that lets you blast a bunch of bugs into gooey puddles, rewards you for playing well, supports MFi controllers, and will push your device to a degree that will make it an effective hand-warmer in the wintertime, you'll love Xenowerk...

'Nubs' Adventure' Review - A Tale Of Home Ownership In The 21st Century

Poor old Nubs. He had defied the odds of the modern economy and purchased a nice house with a great view and plenty of land to build on. Sure, the land taxes were a bit tough to manage each year when tax season came around, but he had things sorted out nicely for the most part. Then one day, a couple of guys swing around, kick him out of his house and off the nearby cliff, then burn the whole thing down. I mean, are debt collectors getting rough these days or what? Luckily, a fairy offers to help you rebuild a home in a new, even better location. You're just going to have to grease the wheels a bit with some fairy dust, which can be extracted from crystals that are just laying around the world, protected by deadly monsters, cunning traps, and treacherous terrain. All things considered, it's probably still safer than a bank loan...

'You Must Build A Boat' Review - You Must Buy This Game

To tell you the truth, friends, I'm actually pretty busy working on something today. That said, I was asked to come and write something for all of you about the new follow-up to Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99]. It's called You Must Build A Boat [$2.99], and it's every bit as compelling as the first game. Did you like the first game? Do you enjoy puzzle games? Do you like games? You're going to want this one, trust me...

'Chaos Rings 3' Review - Put A Ring On It, This One's A Keeper

Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is hauling a lot of baggage with it. It carries the hopes of a series that seems to be hanging on by a thread, the expectations of a fanbase who were heavily engaged by the storytelling chops of the series to date, and potentially the future of original, premium mobile RPGs from Square Enix. Like the protagonists of the previous games, it's a creation pulled out of its context, struggling to find relevance in a changed world that offers little mercy. The entire game feels like it was heading down a particular path only to get yanked in an entirely different direction just before it was finished. This whole situation likely explains why this game has a lot of cruft and loose ends hanging from it. It feels like they threw in everything, the kitchen sink, and the whole housewares department while they were at it. As a result, I think this game has a little something for everyone, but few people are going to indulge in everything. It's just the sort of messy RPG that Square Enix used to fill our bellies with on a regular basis when they weren't quite so risk-averse, and I personally love it for that...

'Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions' Review - Finally on Mobile, and I Couldn't be Happier

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's what Activision's Sierra imprint and Lucid Games have done with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [$4.99]. They iterated and tweaked upon a winning formula without rocking the boat too much. The game is this: it's the base modes of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, which formed the base of the long-gone Geometry Wars: Touch. It then adds in the adventure mode, centered around what Geometry Wars: Galaxies introduced. These are levels where you have to hit certain score thresholds to get stars and to advance. Mix those in with the new modes introduced by the Retro Evolved 2 game, and throw in some original creations, like Sniper, where there's limited bullets to use. Visually, it sticks the glowy geometric style of Geometry Wars, but throws in some new touches, like spherical 3D boards similar to Super Stardust. Yet it has a particular color scheme that makes it something that's familiar in many ways, but ultimately is its own creation. And with all that, you get Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Lucid Games absolutely knocked it out of the park when it first came out on console and desktop, and now it's on iOS. It is a wonderful game...

'Grim Fandango Remastered' Review - Dust off the Bones Before you Roll Em

It's not every day you get to say that a Tim Schafer/Double Fine creation just released, but today we can celebrate the iOS port of Grim Fandango Remastered[$9.99]. This is a game that for so many of us requires no introduction whatsoever. The stars have aligned and now we have another treasured piece of history that has been given new breath to once again delight and mezmerize...

'Capitals - Free Word Battle' by NimbleBit Review - Real Game, Really Fun

Capitals [Free] from NimbleBit is their take on a long-running genre: the turn-based multiplayer word game. Thankfully, they manage to deliver a fun and worthwhile take on the genre by making it a simple strategy game that just uses familiar word game mechanics to feel familiar. It's a game that's accessible, but leads to an intense battle between folks. You form words from tiles on a hex grid using Scrabble/Words With Friends [Free] rules, with each tile you play being replaced by another tile. Any tiles you play connected to your color of tile are added to your tiles, and if you capture the enemy capital, you get an extra turn. Wipe out all the enemy territory, and you win!..

'Legend of Grimrock' Review - Sounds like a Tenacious D Song, Just as Epic

Legend of Grimrock[$4.99] just landed on the app store. Almost Human decided it was time, and I couldn't agree more. For those of you who are familiar, this port doesn't disappoint. I never got the chance to play the PC version, but I am convinced I have lost nothing in the translation. If you only play one dungeon delving game this summer, I feel bad for you, but it had better be Grimrock...

'Test Chamber' Review - The Best Little Puzzle Game You Haven't Heard Of

Test Chamber [Free] is a gift for any game reviewer. The minimalist indie puzzler sneaked on to the App Store a couple of weeks ago with very little fanfare, and went largely unnoticed. But those who did play it discovered a wonderful logic game, with a unique physics twist and some excruciatingly tough but very satisfying puzzles. And now, dear reader, I get to share it with you, and you can discover its delights for yourself...

'Hearthstone' Blackrock Mountain Adventure Review - The Best Way to Experience this Fantastic CCG

After five weeks of playing, thinking, and writing about Hearthstone's [FreeBlackrock Mountain Adventure (BRM), the fun is over and we are back to playing plain, old Hearthstone. No more Wings to explore, no more crazy bosses to tackle, and, more importantly, no new cards to get. What's done is done though, and now that BRM is over, we can look back and see how Blizzard did in its second attempt at an Adventure after the successful Curse of Naxxramas. If we look at the Adventure as a whole, I believe that Blizzard did a great job thematically, perhaps better than with Naxxramas, as the Dragon-and-Fire themes were represented very well in BRM's various wings. The card rewards were also great, and although they might not revolutionize the meta, I think they'll help turn the RNG down a notch. BRM wasn't perfect, though, and some of the issues that Naxxramas had also surfaced here, especially in terms of the Heroic Bosses and the lack of extra deck slots. But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

'Does Not Commute' Review - A Sweet Ride

Does Not Commute [Free] is a game that has looked appealing and intriguing since the day I got to see it in motion. Mediocre posted a teaser video of it, then they demoed the game to us at GDChttp://toucharcade.com/2015/03/06/gdc-2015-does-not-commute/, and it was one of my favorites there. The concept was super-fun to play with, and somehow, Does Not Commute got even better from there. The tweaked some of the things from the original GDC version, and made this an absolute must-have...

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