Category Archives: Reviews

'Death Road to Canada' Review - A Dog, Anime Magical Girl, and A Farting Man Enter a Bar...

I think you could make a strong argument that Rocketcat Games is the greatest developer in the history of mobile games. No studio has quite the collection of masterpieces that they do. Go on and look it up, their worst title is Five Card Quest [$2.99] and even that isn't so bad. Madgarden, meanwhile, has the strongest collection of unreleased titles perhaps out there, but when he releases something, it tends to be great. See their previous collaboration Punch Quest [Free], which is still brilliant and so unlike everything else on the App Store. In fact, that's the problem: these folks make games that are such pinnacles of what they do that nobody else can even come close. So, perhaps you might think Death Road to Canada [$7.99] off the bat seems a bit weird for them to do. After all, it's a zombie survival game. There's a ton of them. But that would be short-sighted: Death Road to Canada is another masterpiece from a partnership that keeps cranking out the hits...

Developer Zach Gage has a knack for putting together simple, accessible games that you can play for hours on end. He's been involved in a number of high-profile iOS games, but one of his earlier hits was the word game SpellTower [$2.99]. That was one of those games that seemed to transcend the usual crowd that played mobile games, appearing on the devices of the most unlikely of people. And why not? Word games play well with a large audience for a variety of reasons, and SpellTower was a very good one. Gage is back at the genre with TypeShift [Free] , but I can't help but feel this is aimed at a very different sort of player. It's an attractive game with an enjoyable primary mechanic, but there are a few things that keep it from reaching the heights of Gage's previous tower...




I'll give this to Capcom, they sure picked an unusual bunch for their latest mobile initiative. Given the original game's importance in Capcom's history, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] made a certain amount of sense. It was their first big hit, and shooters tend to play well with the mobile audience. Ghosts 'n Goblins [$1.99] is certainly a significant game but it wouldn't be my first choice to adapt to touch controls. Capcom disagreed enough that the next game in the series is Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile. The meat in that Arthur sandwich, however, might be the oddest choice of the lot. Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile [$1.99] is a technically-sound port of the game once known outside of Japan simply as Commando. It was a decent hit in its time, and it's certainly an influential game, but it manages to suffer from the negative points of both prior Capcom Mobile ports...

For all of the interesting themes that can be found in the published works of Choice of Games, one of the more common ones is that of war. I suppose that's no different from a lot of forms of entertainment, but it does start to feel like I'm re-living Disney's Mulan over and over again. Somehow a plucky (and usually lowly) hero manages to upset the certainly-evil invading bad guys almost entirely on their own, and usually gets a smooch or two along the way before being declared the best person that ever was. Yes, I'm over-simplifying, but it's only because this premise is starting to get a little weary. I had hoped Runt of the Litter [$3.99] would put a new spin on the theme, with its central conceit being that you need to raise and train a war gryphon. Indeed, it does play out differently than I would have guessed, but it's hard to say if that's for the better or the worse...

'Golf Zero' Review - Jump and Shoot

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March 23rd, 2017 11:15 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Puzzle, Reviews, Sports, Universal
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I learned golf from the NES, and the SNES changed my perception of how far the concept could go. One of the most engrossing games I've ever played was Kirby's Dream Course on the Super Nintendo. I waltzed right into a Blockbuster Video one day and picked it up just because of the cover, and three days later I wasn't ready to return it...

'Card Thief' Review - It Eventually Stole My Heart

Tinytouchtales and artist Mexer reunite to make Card Thief [$1.99], a solitaire card game that is a follow-up to Card Crawl [$2.99]. Instead of being a dungeon crawler, this is about stealth, with a card system. You move your thief card around the board in any direction, dealing with traps, enemies, torches, and items that pop up. Your objective is to clear out cards to get through the deck, eventually picking up the treasure chest that gets on the board, and escaping when you've gotten through the deck. While there's actually an unlimited number of cards, the deck has certain milestones that pop up throughout your session. The thing is that where Card Crawl definitely added in some new elements after launch that added some depth and complexities to the experience, it's a much simpler game than what Card Thief is conceptually. For example, I went back to Card Crawl after a long time not playing (I have too many games on my phone...and iPad), and after a little bit of reacquainting myself, the game made sense. On the other hand, Card Thief off the bat is a more esoteric experience. It has its own rules, and a number of systems and card types that all interact with each other in ways that you probably won't understand right away. In fact, it plays fast and loose with the whole 'cards' concept to begin with. It could have just been a stealth action game without the card concept, I imagine. But the thing I found is that after a few sessions of not knowing what I was doing, the more I played, the more Card Thief clicked with me. And when it clicks, it's an amazing game...

There's something about a first-person dungeon crawler that just pulls me in and tugs at my brain. They're a nice contrast from the more talkative RPGs, which often involve intricate stories with large casts of characters. A dungeon crawling RPG will generally have a handful of NPCs, if that. Most of the time, it's just you and a big dungeon that you have to conquer one small piece at a time. Filling out a map, watching the floor count go up, raising your party to the point that earlier challenges are trivial, and finding hidden secrets are about as straightforward as markers of progress get, but somehow it still works for me every time. Whether or not you get into Crescent Moon's latest publishing effort, The Deep Paths [$3.99], is going to depend on whether you share that particular quirk with me or not. It's not the sort of game that is going to convince anyone who isn't already predisposed, but those who like to live their gaming life one uniform-length step at a time should be satisfied...

Like anyone who has been playing games for any length of time, I've seen so many endings that they barely even register in my memory anymore. But I distinctly remember the Saturday one summer in high school when I finally finished Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. My friend owned the game, and I had dabbled with the game here and there over the couple of years leading up to that moment thanks to the occasional loan. It was something I had originally written off as being too frustrating to care about, but I was staying at my buddy's house that weekend and he was out for the day. Lacking other options, I sat down and played through the whole thing (twice). It's an incredibly difficult game even for its era, but there's a certain rhythm to it that will carry you through once you learn it. And to be perfectly honest, it's probably the easiest game in the series that started with 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins...

'The Big Journey' Review - This Platformer is Near Purrfect

Folks, we’re in the middle of something of a feline renaissance of late, what with the recent release of an amazing kitten rhythm title and the future release of an RPG that lets you play as a cat (among other games). Meanwhile, The Big Journey  [$1.99] from Catfishbox and Armor Games is the latest platformer starring a cast of cuddly fat cats.Thankfully, The Big Journey does justice to our cat overlords with an excellent soundtrack, gorgeous visuals and gameplay that offers something for every type of gamer...

While the last open-world puzzle adventure I reviewed had the torches and pitchforks out for me, I do love the concept of like, a Metroidvania style puzzle-adventure. Take Pan-Pan [$3.99], a weird little game that has you crash-landing on a strange planet. The parts of your ship that can be used by your crew to repair your jalopy and get back into flying are scattered all about. So, you have to set out and discover just what's going on, solving weird puzzles along the way in an open world. It's a game that is rather charming, and can be a bit frustrating due to some design decisions, but it's a fun experience to check out...

I must have played billiards a hundred times as a kid before I truly understood what it was about. The mathematical calculations that go into each shot, the finesse and nuance involved, it blew past me while I was hitting a fun looking ball with a stick. Like a lot of sports the finer points were actually taught to me by way of video games, which highlighted the trajectory of the cue and where it would bank. It was an enlightening experience for sure, and one that I would apply to countless amounts of real life and digital games over the course of my lifetime.Incidence [$1.99] might look artsy, but at its heart it's basically a fancy version of pool or mini golf...

My big beef with Capcom, as a mobile fan, is that I never really know what level of effort to expect from them. I consider them responsible for some of the finest ports to iOS (Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies) and some of the worst (Mega Man Mobile, Mega Man X). Since the games they choose to port are selected from their excellent library of classics, it's hard not to get excited when they announce something new is coming. But somewhere in the back of my brain, I worry that we're going to end up with another unreasonably poor effort. Such was the case when Capcom recently announced that they would be bringing four of their arcade classics to the platform. Well, the first one is here, and I'm happy to say that we got the good Capcom this time. While it's not perfect, 1942 Mobile [$1.99] is a very good re-creation of Capcom's classic vertical shoot-em-up, with all that implies...

Okay, not quite all of them. That honor goes to Enter the Gungeon (SUCH A GOOD GAME), but it doesn’t take long to see what the primary inspiration for this game probably was. If you’re into the roguelike offerings of Nuclear Throne or Enter the Gungeon, this mobile game was made just for you. It’s solid to the core, and while it somewhat ironically lacks a soul or identity of its own, it revels in tossing pretext aside and getting to the action. Most importantly, especially for a lot of people who read this site, the economy is a glorious, unobtrusive, generous, beautiful thing. *wipes away tear* This is Soul Knight [Free]...

Did you guys know that they’re making a movie about the Rampage video game franchise starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson!? I am super pumped for that. Shame it shares a title with an Uwe Boll franchise. I learned this piece of recent news researching for the game in this review. I grew up playing the Playstation/N64 Rampage games, World Tour and Universal Tour. I loved them as a kid and am rocking some rose-tinted glasses as far as they’re concerned. It’s been over a decade since we’ve had a proper Rampage entry, and that realization fills me with sadness, but there have been several mobile games inspired by Rampage specifically or kaiju city destruction in general. MonstroCity: Rampage! [Free] decided to put it as the freaking subtitle...

'Jelly Juggle' Review - Jelly Fish Pong

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March 10th, 2017 11:00 AM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Game Center, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews
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I've been down the road a couple of times before with games from developer Ian MacLarty, and I feel like I know at least a few things to expect from his work. First, my poor pride is going to take a serious beating. Second, I'm going to keep on playing anyway. That was true for Boson X [$2.99] and Black Hole Joyrider [$0.99], and it's true again for Jelly Juggle [Free]. This one has a cuter, softer, kid-friendlier look to it than MacLarty's last couple of iOS games, but don't be fooled. That smiling, goggle-eyed fish wants only one thing in this world, and that's to make you cry. You might not feel like you need another ultra-tough, one-touch game on your device, but if you've ever enjoyed that sort of thing, I certainly encourage you to give this quirky Pong take-off a try...

'Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze' Ep. 1 Review - A Fun Experience With Great Fan Service

Let me first start by stating the obvious; if you've watched even a few Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' episodes (currently on Netflix), you will enjoy Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze [$2.99] Episode 1 much more than if you know nothing about the Australian lady detective. Before getting into the review, let's talk a bit about the TV show because its spirit is carried intact into the visual novel adventure. The show takes place in 1920s Australia and is a procedural of sorts with an overarching narrative loosely tying it all together. Miss Phryne Fisher is a private lady detective who doesn't take no for an answer and manages to solve all kinds of crimes using her wits, persistence, and feminine wiles. The show is quite funny and definitely entertaining...

Video games are the best form of artwork there is, because the unique aspects of the form create for interesting works. Like, Milkmaid of the Milky Way [$3.99]. It's a point-and-click puzzle adventure by solo developer Mattis Folkstead that pays homages to the initial heyday of the genre in the 1990s. And he does so in a game about a milkmaid in 1920s Norway that has to save her cows from aliens. While all the dialogue is written in rhyme. Oh, and the story has a certain melancholy to the whole affair, about time passing and losing loved ones. Also, you ride a hoverbike. Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a unique affair...

Geometry Wars almost spawned a  new genre of shoot 'em up when it arrived in 2003, as a Trojan horse of sorts inside of Project Gotham Racing. While developer Bizarre Creations thought it would be a throwaway extra that would be relegated to a behind-the-scenes lifespan, it became wildly popular and was eventually remade into its own release, and eventually, its own franchise. Characterized by a confined grid-like arena and its endless supply of cell-like enemies, the idea wasn't wholly new, but the neon art style conjoined with that setup was unique at the time. Hyperlight EX [$0.99] replicates that same experience, albeit with slightly less bravado...

'Djinn Caster' Review - This Djinn's a Tonic

At this point, I'd forgive anyone for having a genuine case of Kemco fatigue. On the one hand, they're one of the few publishers left in mobile who frequently deliver new, traditional RPG experiences, and I really do appreciate that. On the other hand, it wasn't hard to notice how similar their games were to one another, particularly as their number of sub-contracted developers started to dwindle. Even with me being as enamored of RPGs as I am, my enthusiasm for new releases with Kemco's name on them has been ground down to the point that I tend to kick them off to the side for a couple of weeks after buying them. This is a publisher sorely in need of a new trick, and as luck would have it, I think they found one in Djinn Caster [$4.99]...

'Dungeon Rushers' Review - Rush and Attack

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March 6th, 2017 12:59 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $4.99, 3.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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Dungeon Rushers [$4.99] makes a really strong first impression, and if I had only played the first hour or so of the game, I might have been inclined to give it more praise. Depending on how you want to look at it, it's either a simplified dungeon crawler or a more complex take on Dungelot [$0.99]. You start off with one character and slowly assemble a group of 10 adventurers, 5 of which can be in your party at any given time. Your team will make their way through grid-based dungeons, revealing one square at a time and dealing with whatever may appear. The battles take place on a separate screen and use a simplified turn-based RPG system. With a quick pace and a fair amount of strategic options, it's pretty fun at first. It's a longer game than you might expect, however, and by the end it's far more stick than carrot...

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