Category Archives: Reviews

'Dragon Lapis' Review - Not Exactly a Gem

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On the one hand, Dragon Lapis [Free / $4.99] is a bog-standard Kemco RPG release, the sort they used to boot out the door on a near-monthly basis. The only novel thing here is that the game is played in the portrait orientation rather than landscape, a change that makes it resemble Square Enix's iOS Dragon Quest games in what I'm sure is a total coincidence. On the other hand, Kemco hasn't been booting these kinds of games out the door on mobile quite as often as they used to. No one really is, if we're being honest. If nothing else, that makes Dragon Lapis slightly more welcome than it might have been had it dropped in the middle of Kemco's more prolific past...

Cooperative singleplayer puzzling is what Death Squared [$6.99] provides in its iOS release. It's not perfect, and has a few annoying factors and humor that doesn't really break a lot of boundaries, but it provides some fun puzzles to solve and a game design that works perfectly for either playing solo or with a friend on the same device. I've played Death Squared in some early builds in the past couple of years, so I was curious to see how it would come to iOS, since what I played was very much driven by cooperation with another player. However, the final release makes the story mode something that a single player can play by themselves. The puzzles don't require a lot of simultaneous movement, they just requre that players be able to mentally deal with two different characters...




'Florence' Review - A Brief Fling

'Florence' Review - A Brief Fling

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February 13th, 2018 6:46 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Games, Interactive Fiction, Reviews
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Mountains has been an interesting studio to watch as their team has some serious industry street cred- Particularly with their involvement in both Monument Valley [$3.99] and Cuphead. Backed by Annapurna, it seemed like Mountains had the luxury to release anything they wanted. What they decided on was an interactive love story and after waiting what feels like an eternity, Florence [$2.99] is finally here. Florence is a tricky game to review, as it's the sort of project that invokes all those annoying arguments surrounding what is and isn't a game. (I'm not sure it's possible to lose, it's fairly difficult to not progress, and you can "beat" it in 30 minutes.) I think a better lens to examine Florence through is not as a game, but rather, as a really clever evolution of a visual novel. In that respect, Florence succeeds on a level that's really just sort of absurd...

Rusty Moyher delivers a brutal platformer roguelike in Dig Dog [$2.99]. You play as a dog that will go to the ends of the earth to get as many bones as possible, even the ends full of weird evil creatures and spikes everywhere. C'mon dog. Those players out there who enjoy getting tested by games will like this, as it's a well-made platformer with a simple but effective visual style. But even if you like games with no fail state, Dig Dog is here to accommodate you as well...

'Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition' Review - In Other Words, Final Fantasy 15

The very existence of Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition [Free] is both weird and fascinating. Final Fantasy 15 is the latest in the classic series of JRPGs. It launched last year on the latest home consoles, and on its face certainly didn't appear to be a good candidate for a mobile release. Maybe Final Fantasy 8 next for mobile players? Or even Final Fantasy 10? No, Square Enix clearly wanted mobile players to experience the story of the newest game in the series, and found a way to do just that. Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition is Final Fantasy 15… sort of. It's as though someone had the script and a pretty decent walkthrough of the original game and was told to remake it for mobile devices. Miraculously, it works...

Calling The X-Files just another science fiction show is doing it a slight disservice. It became a cultural phenomenon by mixing aliens and the supernatural, as well as mythology and standalone episodes, all while introducing iconic characters led by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Similarly, you can't really call The X-Files: Deep State [Free] just a hidden object game, seeing as it also has numerous other mini-games, dialogue-driven decisions that affect the story and much more. It's an intriguing mix of elements worthy of its source material, but it's plagued by a sinister array of free-to-play headaches as menacing as anything cooked up by the Cigarette Smoking Man...

'Dandara' Review - Gravity-Defying Goodness

'Dandara' Review - Gravity-Defying Goodness

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February 6th, 2018 9:45 AM EST by Nick Tylwalk in $14.99, 5 stars, Action, iPad Games, iPhone games, Platform, Reviews, Universal
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For anyone who's reached adulthood, few game genres are as comforting as metroidvania. There's something about the combo of action and platforming that just takes you back when done correctly, and Dandara [$14.99] surely does that. While it wears its classic influences very much on its sleeve, this game builds on them with a unique system of movement and a gorgeous environment that beckons you to explore. Even though Dandara launched on multiple platforms, it feels right at home on touchscreens, so much so that you can't help but wonder if this is how it's truly meant to be played...

Developer Kenny Sun is best known for his unique puzzle games involving geometric shapes. Each of those games picks a shape and builds a puzzle experience around it that tends to differ entirely from the developer's previous games. There are some common points, of course. The games usually have a ton of levels, each one introduced with a card stating that it was made by Kenny Sun. They're also typically audiovisual treats, albeit abstract ones. A Hollow Doorway [Free] follows in the footsteps of games like Yankai's Triangle [$2.99] and Yankai's Peak [$2.99] in some ways, but it's different in that this is more of a game of reflexes than considered thought. It has this developer's usual flourishes, but in terms of mechanics, it's closer to something like Super Hexagon [$2.99] than the positional puzzles seen in the last couple of Sun games...

'Disc Drivin' 2' Review - The Evolution of a Classic

As I've talked about before, the original Disc Drivin' was something of an obsession with the TouchArcade staff and many members of our community. I'd say it easily wins as being the mobile game I've played for the longest time, as it launched way back in 2010 and has remained a constant in my rotation ever since, with only a few breaks in between. So it was a mixture of delight and trepidation when developer Pixelocity announced Disc Drivin' 2 [Free] which just launched this week. On one hand fans were getting a new entry of a favorite which would theoretically add all sorts of fun new stuff. On the other, would this sequel mess with the formula or ruin the happy feelings we have towards that beloved original? As a diehard Disc Driver I'd say there's a bit from column A and column B, but overall I'm thrilled with this new entry in the series and Disc Drivin' 2 looks poised to continue the tradition that the original started for many more years to come. If you're unfamiliar with Disc Drivin' then please read my review of the original game for the nuts and bolts of what the basic concept behind the game is. This review will assume you have a basic understanding of Disc Drivin' and mostly focuses on what's new compared to the original game...

'Meteorfall: Journey' Review - Cards Against Calamity

Once upon a time, most of the card games you'd find in the App Store were of the CCG variety, and with some notable exceptions, not very inspiring ones at that. More recently, games like Reign and its sequel have demonstrated pretty clearly that there are things you can do with cards other than collect them. Enter Meteorfall: Journey [$2.99], a roguelike fantasy RPG that just happens to be built on cards, and one where your skill at deckbuilding on the fly is one of the keys to success...

'Lord of Dice' Review - A Loaded Gacha Experience

Kakao might not be a game company you are familiar with, but their success overseas has opened doors for them to bring their widely popular gachapon Lord of Dice [Free] to western shores. If you are not instantly familiar with that term gachapon, its basically a reference to free to play games that allow you to collect, level up and evolve your team of fighters to take on ever increasingly strong enemies. These games offer a slow trickle of hero acquisition which can be expedited via the purchase of summoning gems. If you aren't a fan of this type of free to play model, I can save you some time and say that the formula is followed closely enough that you probably won't enjoy this game. For those of you who do, however, there is a lot under the hood that this game offers. ..

It feels like a million years ago now, but at one point the most hopping hub for indie games was through web portals containing games built in Flash. Yes, the one that doesn't work with iOS and has largely gone the way of the dodo. Anyway, back in 2006, if you were a Flash game developer, the place to be was Newgrounds. They had a whole bunch of the best Flash games in one place, along with seemingly thousands of, er, learning experiences. It was in this environment that Mr. Fancy Pants, the titular character of Fancy Pants Adventures [Free], made his amazing debut. That game did the most important thing a platformer can do to get going: polished its physics and controls to a fine, fine sheen. It proved incredibly popular, and its developer continued to build on it in his spare time, adding new worlds complete with new gimmicks and moves to play around with...

'World of Warships Blitz' Review - Smoke (and Shells and Torpedoes) on the Water

It's kind of a crutch any time one explains or reviews a mobile game and says "it's kind of like x but with y instead." Yet there are cases where those kinds of comparisons are more than appropriate, and World of Warships Blitz [Free] is one of those. Wargaming already gave us a good idea of what to expect with World of Tanks Blitz [Free], and if you substitute water for land and boats for tanks, you get the idea pretty quickly. Let's say, for the sake of argument, you've never played World of Tanks Blitz or any of Wargaming's free-to-play multiplayer military battlers. If this is your entry point, that might be a good thing, as life on the sea is all you'll know. ..

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

'Slime Pizza' Review - Why Don't Doggos Like Slime? I Don't Get It.

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January 25th, 2018 1:32 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in 4.5 stars, Games, Platform, Puzzle, Reviews
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If you asked me what a typical Nitrome game is, I'd say it's a fun game with good pixel art, some rockin' chiptune music (provided you un-mute your iPhone) and a super generous free to play system that actually allows you to play through their games provided you have the patience to sit through lots of ads. Slime Pizza [Free] is the latest release published by Nitrome, but it was actually developed by Neutronized who have made a dumb amount of great games. (Which makes you wonder why they sign with publishers, given their track record?) Super Cat Tales [Free] and Drop Wizard Tower [Free] are two of my favorite games of theirs, but looking at their portfolio it's hard to even pick. Interestingly enough, Slime Pizza seems to be a pseudo-sequel spinoff of sorts of Slime Laboratory 2, a Flash-based browser games that shares a lot of visual similarities...

Joe Richardson's iOS debut game, Four Last Things [$3.99], is out. This is a port of a Steam game, but unlike most ports, this is the Dev's first foray into the land of iOS. At Touch Arcade, we love to see developers take big risks to reach gamers that want to play their game and there is rarely a better way to reach as many gamers as possible than to release a game on iOS. There may already be quite a few point and click adventure games out there, but I think after a little investigation you will find that Four Last Things is something completely different...

'The Room: Old Sins' Review: 'The Room' Series Continues to Amaze

Originally released all the way back in 2012 for the iPad, The Room [$0.99 (HD) / Free] was a delightful surprise. Using touch gestures you interacted with a puzzle box that was absolutely packed with secrets. When we first reviewed it, the main problem with the game was that while it was a great game it just abruptly ended in a way that felt like you had all this build up with no payoff. An epilogue update hit almost a year later which did a great job at not only adding some more content to the mix, but also giving the game a much needed ending. (My theory on all this always was that the developers at Fireproof Games really didn't expect The Room to be as successful as it was, so there never was much thought to making the game a series and how they'd need to link together.) The Room Two [$1.99] was released in early 2014, and as we explain in our review, it improved upon the original in every way imaginable...

'It’s Full of Sparks' Review - A Cracking Good Time

It’s Full of Sparks [Free] is the latest release from prolific App Store publishers Noodlecake and developer Dabadu Games, and it’d be understandable if there were lingering doubts about whether quantity would eventually come at the expense of quality, and if some titles would make less of a bang amongst the iOS community. Thankfully, It’s Full of Sparks lives up to its name - from the outset, Dabadu Games have made a game full of sparks, new ideas and an abundance of charm from start to end. While a ‘platformer’ in the loosest sense of the word, It’s Full of Sparks suits the iPhone and iPad perfectly with its simple but incredibly solid central premise, and inventive level design means it remains engaging even as the novelty begins to wear thin...

'Cytus II' Review - Finger Dance Revolution

Some developers just demonstrate a knack for certain genres and decide to stick with them. It's not a bad way to go, and since Rayark has already given us several quality rhythm games like Cytus and VOEZ, it's only natural that the studio might want to revisit that particular music-saturated well again. Happily, what it's come up with in Cytus II [$1.99] is the best kind of sequel, one that should please fans of the first game while also assuring you don't require any knowledge of it...

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

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January 18th, 2018 12:00 AM EST by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
$8.99 Buy Now

10tons multiplatform hit JYDGE [$8.99] is out now on iOS. JYDGE is a twinstick shooter set in a late twentieth century urban dystopian future. You play as the titular Jydge, a cop with the authority to dispense justice to bad guys, save hostages and confiscate contriband loot along the way. You are equipped with a wide array of cyberware enhancements and your trusty firearm, Gavel, complete with various firing modes and its own upgrades. You have been tasked with completing various missions that upon completion award you with points and credits to further upgrade and customize your gear. Much like its predecessor Neon Chrome [$6.99], you can quickly get overwhelmed in enemy fire if you aren't careful. JYDGE does, however, step away from Neon Chrome in a few key areas. The levels are not procedurally generated and and feel more fine-tuned. JYDGE also trades in the endless run idea for finite levels that seem to better encapsulate the sometimes limited time requirements of being on a mobile platform...

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