Category Archives: 5 stars

'Icycle: On Thin Ice' Review - A Strange, Beautiful, Lonely Trip

These days, there are so many games in the "naked guy riding a bicycle through an icy wonderland" genre that it's hard for a new game to stand out. Wait, what? Rewind that. Okay, so the first impression Icycle: On Thin Ice [$2.99] is going to make on you is an extremely confusing one. I wish I could sit here and tell you that you'll be less confused by the end, but I can't do that, I'm afraid. This game is either full of wonderful symbolism or fortuitous random strangeness, and I can't really decide which right now. What I can decide is whether or not to recommend this game to you. My decision: yes...

'Rayman Fiesta Run' Review - Back With Another High Quality Showing

Rayman Jungle Run [$2.99] turned a lot of heads when it hit the App Store, and it's not hard to see why. The graphics were gorgeous, the music was infectious, the controls felt good, and the challenge offered something for players of all skill levels. It took console big brother Rayman Origins and distilled it down into its purest gaming form. So how do you follow that up? With a powerful extra helping of the same, it seems. Rayman Fiesta Run [$2.99] isn't doing a whole lot different from its predecessor, but when it's this good, it's hard to complain...

'Anomaly 2' Review - An Amazing Evolutionary Sequel

When Anomaly Warzone Earth [$3.99] hit back in 2011, its ‘tower offense’ gameplay was pretty novel and made for a highly enjoyable experience. Fast forward to today, and games still haven’t quite  hit on what made Warzone (and it’s half sequel, Anomaly Korea [$3.99]) such a success. With Anomaly 2 [$4.99], 11 Bit Studios have raised the bar, with an impressive array of improvements and a new multiplayer mode I love...

'Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas' Review - Zelda Is Better Without the Princess

To say that Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas [$8.99] is like The Legend of Zelda, particularly the seafaring The Wind Waker game, is an understatement. Developer Cornfox & Bros. is unapologetic in its attempt to emulate the successful Nintendo action-adventure series. This is Zelda through and through, but it’s not as good. Pretty damn close, though...

'Device 6' Review - An Interactive Story Unlike Any You've Ever Experienced

Device 6 [$3.99] is the newest project from developer Simogo — an independent team that has quickly risen to the cream of the crop among iOS developers. But you won't find endless runners or dual-stick shooters in their repertoire — with games like 2012’s Beat Sneak Bandit [$2.99] and this year’s Year Walk [$3.99], Simogo has shown that they know how to utilize the platform’s strengths like few others are doing. In Device 6, Simogo brings that same relentless ambition to the genre of interactive fiction and crafts an experience unlike any other I’ve encountered on iOS...

'Boson X' Review - An Amazing 'Super Hexagon'-Like Runner

Has it really only been four years? Four years since Canabalt [$0.99] burst onto the scene and arguably created and inarguably popularized a genre? Looking around the App Store today, it's hard to remember a time before endless runners, let alone the idea that it's all happened in less time than it took to make a fourth Spider-Man movie. The genre has certainly built quite a bit on top of the framework set by its originator, as well. Perspective changes, missions, power-ups, level-ups, currency, vehicles, mini-games, character customization, and more have been added to the genre, resulting in amazing games like Temple Run [Free], Punch Quest [Free], and Jetpack Joyride [Free]. Still, as we felt when we recently took a look back at Canabalt, there's something about the game's minimalism and tight mechanics that allow it to continue to stand out among the razzle and dazzle of its successors...

'Angry Birds Star Wars II' Review - We Joined the Pork Side and So Should You

'Angry Birds Star Wars II' Review - We Joined the Pork Side and So Should You

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September 18th, 2013 2:10 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews
Free Buy Now

There's so many Angry Birds games out there that listing them all would make for an incredibly obnoxious opening paragraph. Originally released in 2009, I'm not sure anyone could've predicted that Angry Birds would turn into the worldwide empire it has since become. It's been a long road, and Rovio is no stranger to sequels, spinoffs, and movie tie-ins at this point so I'm not sure anyone was surprised when Angry Birds Star Wars II was announced. Regardless, we loved Angry Birds Star Wars [$0.99 / Free] in our review, so it'd only stand to reason that the sequel is just as good- If not better...

'Infinity Blade III' Review - Chair Raises the Graphical Bar to Low Earth Orbit

Looking back, the notion that we would one day have the Unreal Engine on the iPhone seemed, well, unreal. Epic teased us with the Epic Citadel [Free] tech demo, and left the whole internet wondering what playing a game inside of the beautiful little universes that now were now able to be rendered on the device in our pocket would be like. Infinity Blade [$5.99] was the answer we were all hoping for and Chair not only managed to release a game that outclassed everything else on the App Store in the graphical department, but they also came up with their often imitated but never duplicated swipe-based combat system...

'868-HACK' Review - A Cyber-Roguelike that Excels in Design

868-HACK [$5.99] is: a risky pricing-experiment, a rogue-like, a tightly-designed machine, a Michael Brough game, and an onion…..

'Terraria' Review - A 2D 'Minecraft'-like With a Sense of Adventure

I don’t particularly love the sandbox-survival genre - made famous by Minecraft - or care to dabble in every one of its corners. I often play these kinds of games in a 3-4 hour chunk, vigorously exploring, crafting, and building until the well of joy runs dry and I rarely come back to them. Turns out, though, Terraria [$4.99] has one hell of a deep well, and has had me coming back for more on more occasions than I can count...

'Junk Jack X' Review - Beauty in Simplicity

Take a quick gander at the App Store's top apps, and you'll see an astonishingly large amount of Minecraft-like games. Whether its emulating its visuals or open-world sandbox gameplay, it's obvious that the genre is hot on iOS. Take Junk Jack for example, an excellent 2D sandbox game that did a good job recreating that spirit of exploration and self-discovery. Now, nearly two years after its release the folks at PixBits saw fit to release Junk Jack X [$4.99]. With a greater emphasis on accessibility and an all-important multiplayer mode, Junk Jack X does a great job of expanding on the original without changing what made the original successful...

'Asphalt 8: Airborne' Review - An Amazing Arcade Racing Experience

Gameloft's Asphalt series has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings as a portable title on the Nintendo DS and early mobile devices. Indeed, since the iOS release of Asphalt 4 (the first of the series to grace Apple's platform) each iteration has done a good job steadily improving what the series has to offer in order to stay competitive with other iOS powerhouse racing titles. ..

'Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time' Review - A Fantastic Sequel to the Classic Original, This Time for Free

Originally released for the Mac and PC in early 2009, Plants vs. Zombies [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] managed to similarly capture the lightning in a bottle that has made all PopCap releases impossible to put down no matter your gaming pedigree. Whether you're the most casual gamer on the planet, or as hardcore as they get, everyone seems to have a soft spot for Plants vs. Zombies, and most, if not all, other PopCap games for that matter. An iOS port of PvZ hit a little less than a year following the original Mac/PC release, effortlessly earning five stars in our review, and over the years the game has been ported to basically every other platform under the sun...

'Mikey Hooks' Review - Mikey Returns with New Tricks Up His Short Sleeves

It's almost the one-year anniversary of the release of Mikey Shorts [$0.99 / Free], the platformer from BeaverTap Games that made such a splash in the world of iOS gaming. It garnered praise for absolutely nailing the controls, and it was stuffed with tons of humorous unlockable costumes which added a very welcome aspect of customization as you played...

'Rymdkapsel' Review - Minimalist Base-Building Among the Stars

It took me a long time to beat Grapefrukt's Rymdkapsel [$3.99] a second time, even after playing it for a week...

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