Category Archives: 5 stars

'Sid Meier's Ace Patrol' Review - The Legendary Designer Delivers with this WWI Dogfighting Sim

The introduction of airplanes changed the face of warfare. The same could be said of Firaxis' entry to the iOS gaming scene: when a Triple-A studio headed by the cherished game designer Sid Meier starts putting out iOS exclusives, you just know things are never going to be the same. Only, instead of bringing about unparalleled death and destruction, this watershed moment marks a new era of quality mobile gaming...

'Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy' for iPad Review - A Grand 4X Strategy Game Tailored for the Touchscreen

The term “4X game” is either scary or foreign to you if you are not a strategy gamer. Even if you are one, like myself, they can still be daunting. With Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy [$6.99 (HD)], Big Daddy’s Creations has attempted to make this genre more accessible. Based on a complex board game of the same name, Eclipse simplifies the the 4X genre by providing guided, limited options and a set game length. That is not to say it is simple, but it has elegant European design; imagine Masters of Orion and Settlers of Catan had a baby...

'The Blockheads' Review - Two-Dimensional Minecraft That's Anything But Flat

In recent years, Minecraft has become the common ancestor of an entire sandbox subgenre. While it boasts a player base bursting with creativity, this is a subgenre that often suffers at the hands of less ambitious developers. Uninspired Minecraft imitations continue to pour into the iOS market, each trying to capture and cash in on a piece of Mojang's magic formula. Cast adrift on an ocean of Cavern Clones, Block Knock-offs, and Tryin'crafts, I sometimes catch myself wondering if it's all been done; if we've already seen the best Minecraft's successors have to offer. But then, inevitably, a new diamond emerges from the coal pile to disabuse me of that notion. The Blockheads [Free] is the latest game to set me straight...

'Nimble Quest' Review - Just One More Run...

Pocket Frogs [Free], Tiny Tower [Free], Pocket Planes [Free]… Nimblebit’s gotten pretty good at keeping us enraptured on our devices with cute graphics and pixelated timers. With Nimble Quest [Free], the team takes a turn towards improving upon and deepening a classic arcade experience. Less of a time-management title and more of an action-oriented experience Nimble Quest is an excellent title that continues the trend of high quality games coming out of Nimblebit...

'Slayin' Review - Who Needs a "G" When You're Having This Much Fun?

Hello everyone. My name is Eli, and...I can't say no to the retro aesthetic. Wow! It feels good to get that one off my chest. In all seriousness, though, the resurgence of 8 and 16-bit era visuals on iOS has done a number on my wallet over the past few years, and that's been somewhat of a double-edged sword...

'Spaceteam' Review - Pushing Buttons and Shouting at Your Friends... as a Spaceteam

Like many gamers, my three best friends and I have a long-standing gaming tradition. Every holiday, we gather for our perennial New Year's Eve LAN party. In an ideal world, we tear down our gaming rigs on New Year's Eve, drop them off at one friend's house with plenty of space, go to dinner at our favorite Tex-Mex place, and then ring in the New Year over a good 8 to 10 hours of gaming nirvana fueled by salty snacks and sugary drinks...

'Ridiculous Fishing' Review - Ridiculous Fishing? More Like Ridiculous Amounts of Fun

If you were around in the early 90's, surely you remember the Dream Team. If not, imagine a time when the sport of basketball was flooded with incredible players, and an Olympic team was assembled of among the best men to ever play the sport playing their respective positions. Unsurprisingly, they took home the gold. If an iOS equivalent exists, it has to be the team of guys behind the recently released Ridiculous Fishing. Vlambeer, responsible for Super Crate Box [$1.99], Zach Gage, the man behind our 2012 Game of the Year Runner-Up, SpellTower [$1.99], Greg Wohlwend who have made too many amazing games to list, and Eirik Suhrke, the maestro behind both Spelunky and Hotline Miami responsible for the soundtrack. Put those guys together in a room, and similarly, they're going to produce gold. What started as the Flash game Radical Fishing has since been endlessly refined into a game that I've been unable to put down...

'Year Walk' Review - Be Careful What You Wish For

I was in a panic. An actual panic...

'Little Inferno' for iPad Review - Burning Up the Hours

There's nothing better than a big, crackling fire, for ambiance, for warmth, for burning all your belongings. In the world of Little Inferno [$4.99], the best thing in life is getting a new toy or gizmo in the mail, tossing it in your Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace, and setting it on fire. In fact, there may be nothing else. Nothing else at all...

'Pixel People' Review - A Brave New World of Timers and Clones

For a while now, I've been worn out on free-to-play sims. Tiny Tower [Free] and Dragonvale [Free] devoured my waking hours (and my phone's battery), but then I grew listless. What's the point, I thought, in clicking stuff to earn coins that just let you click more stuff? Pixel People [Free] has reminded me of something fundamental: it's not the point that matters, it's the fun along the way. LambdaMu Games has distilled everything I love about the freemium sim formula into one incredibly potent brew...

'Battle of the Bulge' for iPad Review - A Grognard's Wardream

Shenandoah Studios' The Battle of the Bulge [$9.99] is to the iPad what SSG's fabled Panzer General was to PC gaming in the '90s. Its a game that will make historical strategy diehards swoon, while also being pretty enough, and easy enough to learn, to draw in people who never knew that this was the game they'd been waiting for...

'Joe Danger' Review - In Danger of Being Too Much Fun

As mobile hardware reaches the point of being comparable to consoles, we're seeing less and less "Game Boy" versions of popular gaming franchises. That is, it's no longer becoming necessary to dumb down or limit a version of a console or PC game just to create a mobile version. In fact we've seen plenty of straight up ports of console and PC games that sacrifice very little technically in order to work on the iOS platform...

'Mutant Mudds' Review - A Challenging, Inventive, and Satisfying Platformer

Platforming games can be a finicky genre on iOS. It almost always comes down to the controls. I've played otherwise great games that were marred by terrible virtual controls, and on the flip side I've played some platformers that controlled beautifully but were bland and boring. To really shine, a platformer has to nail both the controls and the design to a high degree, and that's exactly what Renegade Kid's Mutant Mudds [$8.99] has accomplished...

'Hundreds' Review - Counting On Only the Best

Hundreds [$4.99] could almost get away without an explanation. Here's how the first level plays: you put your finger down on a circle. It starts growing, and a number counts up. When it hits 100, you win. You will never need a tutorial—anyone can learn to play...

'Anomaly Korea' Review - If It Ain't Broke...

When 11 Bit Studios released Anomaly Warzone Earth [$1.99 / $3.99] on iOS in 2011, we were blown away by its unique 'tower offense' take on a genre that had grown stagnant. Fast forward a year and a half later and the first sequel to the acclaimed game has finally arrived. While Anomaly Korea [$3.99] continues to impress with the same great gameplay and concepts as its predecessor, folks looking for more than cursory improvements may be a little disappointed...

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