Category Archives: Ratings

One of the cool things about indie games is that concepts that literally have no chance of getting greenlit via traditional means can still find a way to get out there. Everything from inside jokes to personal stories to insanely specific niches can all become games for the world to see and play. Shinjuku Dungeon [Free], from one-man developer Uehara Labo, is a great example of this. On the one hand, it's a very typical retro-styled adventure that has you exploring a winding labyrinth, solving a variety of puzzles, and collecting keys and items that allow you to open up new areas. On the other hand, it's a nearly perfect recreation of a real place that tens of thousands of people walk through every day. While the game itself is decent enough, it's certainly nothing special. Yet, for anyone familiar with the real place, Shinjuku Dungeon takes on a whole new meaning...

If you’re looking for some slapstick arcade shooter shenanigans, then Pixeljam’s Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork [$2.99] will most likely be your new favorite game. The goofy mashup is a collaboration between Eisner Award winning cartoonist James Kochalka and indie game studio Pixeljam themselves, the very same developers of the prehistorically entertaining Dino Run! ..

It's that time of the month again, where Kemco releases another RPG from their stable of developers using the same old engines and... Sweet Merciful Odin's Beard, it's 3D! Only partially, but still! Okay, I'm being a little flippant here. Most of Kemco's developers have each brought out a new engine in the last couple of years, but Alphadia Genesis [$4.99], from Across Age 2 [$3.99] developers EXE Create, is the first one to use polygonal graphics. It's a superficial advancement, to be sure, but a welcome one from a publisher whose games are generally pretty hard to tell apart for the layperson. It's something of a half step, since only the battles are rendered in polygons while everything outside of them uses the same old 2D sprite engine, but that's to be expected considering the giant jump in scope and budget going full 3D would entail. So, less Final Fantasy 7 and more Wild Arms, but it's still kind of cool to see a polygonal JRPG on iOS from someone other than Square Enix...

'The Wolf Among Us' Episode 1 & 2 Review - Red in Tooth and Claw

The first thing that happens in Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us [$4.99] is that Sheriff Bigby Wolf talks to a toad in a cardigan. The second thing, at least for me, is that he gets beaten to death (twice). Apparent cause of death is an axe handle through the eye socket, but I’m no doctor...

The Winter Games may be behind us for a few more years now, but Old Man Winter's grip on the Northern Hemisphere seems to be holding strong. With flaky white stuff inevitably on the minds of more people than just the usual dandruff shampoo marketing executives, we've been seeing lots of great games that take place in or around snow. Not long ago I reviewed SuperPro Snowboarding [$0.99], which called back to the Tony Hawk era of extreme sports video games, albeit from a 2D perspective. Cubed Snowboarding [$0.99] takes things back a bit farther, with a feel more reminiscent of 8-bit computer sports games. Rather than trying to stuff in all of the intricacies of the sport, it gives you a limited and somewhat simple moveset, a mountain full of increasingly difficult courses, and a challenge to get the highest score you can in a single run of the whole sequence...

'Wave Wave' Review – A Bumpin' Thumpin' Challenging Line

My favorite iOS games run an arcadey-swift 2-3 minutes, engage me instantly, and draw me in so hard that I lose track of the world outside these tiny iPhone screens. Thomas Janson's Wave Wave [$2.99] is exactly that, and then some - packing a bonus of bangin’ soundtrack, hypnotizing visuals, and mind-numbingly difficult gameplay...

An entourage of cute animals, some beautiful hand-painted visuals, and a fantastic soundtrack with music supplied by Leavon Archer, Mighty Mill’s Tanuki Forest [$1.99] is a huge breath of fresh air compared to the increasing number of mediocre endless runners that are gradually finding their way onto the App Store. This may be Mighty Mill Games first project, but the team behind this charming new and exciting game has had plenty of past experience, with titles like TimeSplitters and Criterion's Black as part of their credentials...

Weird hair, strange mumblings and an unhealthy sleep pattern walking around alone in spooky houses. Could it be Mikael Myers or Norman Bates? No it is the Lodger...

'Dual Survivor' Review - Seeing Double

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March 13th, 2014 1:30 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 3.5 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
$2.99 Buy Now

There aren't many games that ask you to do two things at once. One character to move about in a platformer -- one cursor in adventure games -- limiting control to one thing at a time is a common practice. But with Dual Survivor [$2.99], you're controlling two ships through two separate tracks -- which is as tough as it sounds...

I always enjoy it when a sequel makes a strong effort to surpass its predecessor without losing the core concepts that worked in the first place. Bloo Kid [$1.99], released in 2011, was a vaguely Bubble Bobble-like single screen platformer where you had to clear the screen of enemies by bouncing on their heads to finish each stage. The controls were pretty decent, the graphics were colorful and cute, and there were 84 stages with a few goals on each, so if you enjoyed it, there was a fair bit to chew on. That said, single screen platformers, while enjoyable, were knocked nearly into extinction when Super Mario Bros. first came around, approximately 25 years or so before Bloo Kid tried to get some attention with a fairly rote take on the concept. When Bloo Kid 2 [Free] popped up on my radar, I assumed that like many sequels, this was going to be little more than a level pack with a few new things stapled on at best...

If you're a big mobile gamer, you've probably played more running games than you can shake a sneaker at. Whether it's side-scrolling or behind the back, the App Store is full of unimaginative examples of the genre. Because of this crowded market, there are quite a few games in the genre that depend on a gimmick, particularly if they don't have a popular character or license to lean on. Adventure Land [Free], in most respects, is a pretty by-the-numbers side-scrolling infinite runner. You run towards the right, shooting or jumping over obstacles, collect coins, and pick up the occasional health pick-up. Things go faster and get more hectic the longer you play, seeing how far you can get. Adventure Land has a gimmick, though, and it's a truly cool one. In fact, it's probably the most interesting gimmick I've seen in a runner in quite a long time...

'Fright Fight' Review - Super Grimm Bros.

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March 11th, 2014 2:27 PM EDT by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

Bringing the feel of Super Smash Bros. to the mobile platform is a tall order, but APPSolute Games is attempted to do just that with Fright Fight [Free]. The game is free, and its IAP structure is introduced to you immediately after booting it up. Put simply, you'll be able to choose "buy" your first character for free (either a Grim Reaper, Yeti, Werewolf or Vampire), while the others remain as paid add-ons...

Ravenous Games first landed on people's radars with the awesome League of Evil [$1.99] a few years back, but it's pretty safe to say their output has been a bit of a mixed bag overall since. Looking at their last couple of releases, Random Runners [$0.99] was a complete misfire, and before that, League of Evil 3 [$1.99] was a pretty uninspired sequel. This developer is in need of a comeback, and I'm happy to report that at the very least, their latest title, Devious Dungeon [$0.99], shows slightly more creativity in concept than those two. It's more than a little similar in feel to their hit Random Heroes games, but the idea works far better here...

'Block Legend' Review - A Legendary Puzzler No One Should Miss

When you have a trailer as awesome as Block Legend [$1.99], you better have a good game behind it to back up that hype goodness. Luckily the devs behind this RPG puzzler matched their self-made hype and then some. Streamlined combat (complete with random encounters), loads of unlockable content and a robust RPG match-2 overlay combine for an amazing experience that needs to be checked out...

In a throwback to the days before fictional whiny teenage boys who sparkle in the sun, cute, quirky, stealth action game Midnight Bite [$1.99] manages to recapture the essence of the cool, caped retro style bloodsucker and replenish the hunger of the vampire-loving public...

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