Category Archives: Ratings

Armor Games has been doing a decent job of porting a few of their many online games to iOS as of late, and Cursed Treasure 2 [$1.99] is one of their better TD titles to hit the App Store. Combining a lot of the standard TD fundamentals with some nice novelties and improvements, Cursed 2 isn’t going to wow anyone with a significant reinterpretation of the genre. However, it does have some cool nuances, plenty of replaybility, and hits all the requisite marks to make it yet another great TD game for App Store users...

Starbase Orion [$7.99] developer Chimera Software has released it's turn based card and strategy game, Starbase Annex [$1.99]. Annex is set within the larger Orion universe. Starbase Annex is one of those games that feels like it should be a multiplayer game. 1v1 turn based strategy games tend to carry that expectation as part of the genre. Annex has a bit of originality that helps it overcome this deficiency. There are many turn based hex grid games available for iOS and Annex reminds me of one of my favorites, Outwitters [Free]. If you combined gameplay elements of Outwitters and some mechanics from the popular card game Hearthstone [Free], you would get something close to what Starbase Annex is. ..

'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' Review - In the Trenches

One of my favorite poems in the English language canon has, ironically, a Latin title: "Dulce et Decorum est." In it, English poet and soldier Wilfred Owen tells his audience that, had they seen the chlorine-tinged carnage of trench warfare first hand, they..

'Rapture - World Conquest' Review - Take over the World in Five Minutes

Tundra Games has opened up shop with its debut title, Rapture - World Conquest [$2.99]. With a new faceplate and some veteran talent, this game studio is one to keep an eye out for. If you asked the question: how could you make the Civ experience accessible and time-appropriate for the iOS mobile platform? This game would probably be the answer. Sure there are plenty of world conquering strategy games out there, but this one has a fantastically frenetic pace that is perfect for on-the-go gaming...

'Smarter Than You' Review - Crushing Dreams, Telling Lies, and Shooting Arrows

The problem with knocking the ball out of the park the first time you're up at bat is that every time you approach the plate, fans expect you to do the same. Luca Redwood's 10000000 [$2.99] was an iOS gaming grand slam. As mentioned in our review, the game ticked off every checkbox that makes a game impossible to put down, and since then has only gotten better with updates. 10000000 is among the games that I install first when I get a new device, and is in the same folder of iOS games that if I needed space on my device I'd sooner delete family photos than anything from it...

'Anomaly Defenders' Review - Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

I admit that I'm coming into this Anomaly Defenders [$4.99] with a bit of bias because I've played each of the Anomaly games. I liked the games, but I'm hardly a raving fanatic for the series. But still, it's hard not to play this and think that this is kind of fan service for people have played the previous games in the series and wonder what it would be like to play as the aliens defending from the humans. Well, let me just say – it turns out 11 bit is as good at tower defense as they are at tower offense...

Frequent readers of TouchArcade know that I enjoy gamebooks quite a bit. What can I say? I grew up during the rise of Choose Your Own Adventures, when a pocket RPG meant a bunch of words written by Steve Jackson that you had to steal the dice from the family Monopoly set to play. It's more than just simple nostalgia, though. Call me an old curmudgeon, or maybe just a guy looking out for his livelihood, but I feel like there's a particular imaginative power to the written word that can't quite be matched by any other form of expression. That fight with the giant lizard king never turns out quite as awesome in illustrated or animated form as it does in your mind as you read the words off of a page. I'm thrilled that gamebooks have come back with a vengeance on mobiles. It's a perfect home for them, and allows developers and authors to push their ideas beyond the constraints of a physical media, while still using good old-fashioned words to beam the finest of adventures into your head...

I love tower defense games. I can totally understand the sentiment that as a genre, its a little played out though. Right Pedal Studios' newest title, Ninja Raft [$2.99], has an eye out to avoid some of the most common pitfalls many TD games make. With a focus on active gameplay and an adventurous setting, you aren't going to be left feeling like you are digging in waiting for things to happen. Your ninjas will need to be agile to keep their floating fortress safe from their ultimate nemesis...

Sometimes games have the hallmarks of greatness, but fail to stick the landing, and that's how I perceive Joinz [$1.99] to be. It mixes Tetris with Threes [$1.99], having players form tetrominos and other block shapes by sliding different-colored blocks around the board, with same color blocks sticking to each other. As more matches are made, powerup blocks come into play, and more colors get involved, making the game steadily more challenging. But it's the way that the game starts and then increases its difficulty, along with a qualm with randomness and the logic of blocks sticking together that keep it from really reaching its potential...

Cubus Games is a relative newcomer to the surprisingly burgeoning gamebook market on the App Store, with Heavy Metal Thunder [$2.99] being just their second release. Mobile gamers have been getting spoiled lately by the heavy competition between the existing gamebook publishers, with each new release finding new ways to push beyond what was possible with an actual paper book. Heavy Metal Thunder won't be joining that particular arms race, but it does deliver a reasonably exciting adventure with some occasionally shaky but always enthusiastic writing. In most ways it's a very orthodox entry into the genre, though I do give it credit for its strong use of audio, and while it may lack in ambition, it's a very well-put together, enjoyable bit of pulp sci-fi action...

Before I write anything else, I want to commend the developer of Lith [Free] on their courage. Making an entire game around a gameplay concept that is likely most famously remembered as "the puzzley bits that everyone hates in middling JRPGs" takes some guts. Lith is a puzzle game made up entirely of those puzzles where you have to slide across icy surfaces to reach an exit. Once you've stepped onto the ice, you can't stop or change direction until you reach a tile with some sort of traction or bump into a wall...

There are plenty of negative things to be said about Goat Simulator [$4.99]. Its controls are difficult to manage, and lead to many awkward camera angles and difficult attempts at navigating. The visuals...are not the peak of 3D modeling. The world is a bit small, and while there's plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, you can see most of this game in a short amount of time. The game's general clumsiness makes it difficult to manage the skill-based aspects, and to complete some of the achievements. And the game is generally kinda buggy, with the goat's head getting stuck and warped in fences, occasionally just falling through the earth, and the odd crash or two. The whole thing is a joke that runs its course not too long after playing it...

'WWE SuperCard' Review - Playing Cards 3:16

'WWE SuperCard' Review - Playing Cards 3:16

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September 22nd, 2014 10:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Card, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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The mobile platform has created a market that I can't get enough of -- digital tabletop. Although the online marketplace has created potential issues in terms of overcharging for cards, expansions, or game pieces, playing a tabletop game without having to deal with any of the setup is a godsend in many instances, particularly with games that take forever to lay out. It also allows games to flourish that wouldn't have existed otherwise, like WWE SuperCard [Free]...

'FOTONICA' Review - A Running Riot

I'm going to take a guess, dear reader, and say that you have played an endless runner or two hundred. I don't think you've played anything on mobile quite like Fotonica [$2.99]. It's an auto-runner by way of Mirror's Edge [$0.99 / $9.99 (HD)] – not the side-scrolling game, but the original game, in first-person, all in a wireframe style. The entire game is played with one touch, but it's not tap-to-jump. Essentially, tapping and holding on the screen descends to the ground, and allows the runner to pick up speed, while letting go jumps in the air. When jumping, trying to land with this rapid descent is important to maintain speed, as bonus points are earned for running fast enough that the world turns gold...

I am willing to admit that I have a soft spot for challenging, minimalist arcade games. The thing that fascinates me about something like a Super Hexagon [$2.99] or Flappy Bird is the way that such small concepts can be designed in such ways that they inspire constant replayability despite having such simple concepts. And in the case of Flappy Bird, it's possible for these games to succeed accidentally. It's an absolutely fascinating genre. So, seeing Hyper Trip [$1.99], I found myself curious to see if this could be something special, as I dug its concept of controlling a square through mazes, not unlike a Tron lightcycle. And certainly, it's a challenging game, requiring quick reactions to avoid the maze walls that pop up, with four modes the feature increasingly-challenging layouts. Certainly, it falls into my line of interest, but it left me not as satisfied as I hoped...

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