Category Archives: 5 stars

'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 [$1.99 / 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...

'Bloodmasque' Review - Vampires + Stupid Faces = Massive Entertainment

Bloodmasque [Free] from Square Enix is a true oddity. It's part RPG, part Infinity Blade [$5.99] and part Clone Booth [$0.99]. You play the part of a vampire hunter who has sworn his (or her) life to ridding the world of the bloodsucking vermin, starting with nineteenth century Paris, France...

'Tiny Thief' Review: The Point-And-Click Adventure That Stole My Heart

Who plays point-and-click adventure games for the gameplay? I don't. I'd rather be jumping, shooting, slashing or racing. No, I play them for the package. The look, sounds, mood, story and characters all matter more when a game consists of interacting with a static environment. Well, 5 Ants has developed one amazing package in Tiny Thief [Free], published by Rovio, the second in their Rovio Stars initiative. It's good to see Rovio using their powers for good...

'Agricola' Review - Farming is Beautiful, and Brutal

Agricola [$6.99] is a farming sim set in 17th century Europe. You may think you know what a farming sim is, but until you've played Agricola, you don't know anything. There are no timers in Agricola, no virtual currency, and the only people whose farms you'll be paying attention to are those of the 0-4 people (or AI opponents) you are playing against...

'Bridgy Jones' Review - The Great Train Tomfoolery

Bridgy Jones [$2.99] catches my imagination in subtly complex yet playfully joyous ways that few apps can. Published by Chillingo and developed by Grow App, Jones is a splendid blend of self-deprecating fun with an impeccable amount of eccentricity. Perfection is in the details and Jones makes them intrinsic enough to grasp and simultaneously intricate for limitless evolution of gameplay...

'XCOM: Enemy Unknown' Review - AAA Comes to the App Store, Buy This Game Now

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a game about story. And not just the scripted, overarching pulp-y sci-fi one that it tells. But the one you weave on battlefield tapestries, as you gather enough resources to engage the alien threat. Your choices, your losses, your wins inform the experience, shaping a bigger picture that's, basically, unique to you. While Enemy Unknown is a winner both mechanically and technically, it's this triumph in design that makes it worth a shot on any platform that it's on -- including the awesome new iOS version...

'Little Luca' Review - A Charming Puzzler that Fires on All Cylinders

Now I'm not usually one to pick up a puzzle game, partly because there are so many of them crowding the App Store that are simply below average, but mostly because my brain is as good at solving problems as a goat is at knitting a car. But when I saw the pixel art screen shots, I had to download Little Luca [$2.99], as being a '70s baby I am a sucker for anything 8-bit. Luckily, the cutesy low-fi images aren't the only good thing about this game... far from it...

'Scurvy Scallywags' Review – Not Yar Average Match-3

Let’s be honest: if you’re a fan of Ron Gilbert’s work you’re already playing Scurvy Scallywags [$1.99], only reading to make sure I give the game a score you can agree with. Scroll to the bottom, and thank me later. For everyone else: I hope you’re looking for a match-3 that’s more than what the App Store has accustomed you to; because Beep Games’ latest pirate-themed matcher is exactly that...

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