Category Archives: Reviews

'Mount Olympus' Review - Return The Gods To Their Glory

One of my fondest memories back in elementary school was learning all about Greek mythology and greek gods. I also am a bit of a Percy Jackson fan, but that probably makes me more of a dork than anything else. When I first noticed Mount Olympus [$0.99] I couldn’t resist downloading it and seeing what this intriguing point and click adventure had to offer...

I have reviewed almost a thousand games for iOS since I got into mobile gaming, and there is one thing I truly hate: slow tutorial levels. Most of us understand how a game works, and just need a splash screen or two showing the controls. When Lost Light started with what seemed like an endless stream of slow tutorial levels I almost lost my cool. I get it you darn cute squirrel! I make numbered areas with my finger by connecting blocks, it is not that hard. But still the cute animals keep pestering me with match this, and match that...

'Smash Hit' Review - Madness with Marbles

Some people can't get enough of endless runners. The concept of chasing a carrot on a stick and collecting tons of miniature carrots along the way has its own allure, but there's no denying that the same concept is often used over and over to the point of boredom. Smash Hit [Free] turns the runner concept on its head with a first-person perspective, beautiful graphics centered around objects made of glass, and a completely fair free-to-play system that actually works. You could say it's a... smash hit...

Twinsen is a dreamer, and soon learns that dreams can change the world. He finds himself imprisoned in an asylum, but he can’t let the evil Dr FunFrock just rule the world. Escaping the asylum is the first steps in Little Big Adventure, [$4.99] and you will get to repeat this part a couple of times. Little Big Adventure was released back in 1994 for MS-DOS, and I fell in love with the whimsical world of Twinsun right away. I don’t remember if I ever completed it back then, or if I just enjoyed exploring the quite open game world. DotEmu has recreated the original, as close as I can remember it. ..

Heart surgery, eye transplants, and dentistry. If this sounds like a horror movie, then you’re not far off. Except this time you’re the one in control, and all your patients are called Bob. No, you’re not dreaming, this is Bossa Studio’s Surgeon Simulator [$5.99 (HD)], which has been remodelled and released for the iPad, and if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of a surgeon, well now here’s your chance...

'Cardinal Quest 2' Review - Come On, Rogue!

It may have a name that calls to mind bright red birds or baseball, but Cardinal Quest [$3.99] is a pretty cool roguelike. Originally released on PC and later ported to iOS in 2012, it basically boils the genre concept down and streamlines it as much as possible. Interestingly, the way the developer went about simplifying it didn't so much remove depth as take the direct responsibility for handling it out of the player's hands. It proved to be a great fit for mobile platforms, and has a good following of fans, including me. Unfortunately for me, when I finally made the jump to newer hardware than my creaky old iPhone 4, I was a bit heartbroken to find that Cardinal Quest didn't work very well anymore thanks to the new dimensions of the screen. I was left waiting for the announced sequel, and after a fairly lengthy soft launch period, Cardinal Quest 2 [Free] is finally here...

Combining some super addictive and challenging physics puzzling with four classes of the cutest zombies, Artifex Mundi’s Deadlings [$1.99] is a joy to play. In a similar fashion to Lemmings, you, as the player, must navigate each of the zombie babies around and across the most death-defying traps in an attempt to "train" your minions...

There are many genres where people will debate the usefulness of touch controls, but one genre that is unequivocally better played on a touch-screen than a traditional controller is the strategy game. No surprise, then, that the App Store has a ton of great games in the genre, covering everyone from beginners to experts. One of the more prolific developers in this genre in the last few years is Hunted Cow Studios, who have mostly dedicated themselves to cranking out turn-based strategy games, starting with Tank Battle: 1944 [$0.99]. Since then, they've covered a variety of wars in several times and places, including Rome and the American Civil War. Their latest release, Tank Battle: East Front, brings things back around to where they started, the European theater of World War 2...

Dawn of Play’s Roll Back Home [$1.99] doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to tilt-based platformers. While it has a few tricks up its sleeve in regards to the physics puzzles you do eventually take on, I’d say it’s still pretty traditional as far as the genre goes. Combine it with an impressive showing of sketchbook visuals and some pretty catchy music, and that’s really all Roll Back Home needs to be a fun game worth downloading...

'Shin Megami Tensei' Review - A Genuinely Classic RPG Gets Its English Debut

We've reached a point in gaming where, at least when it comes to major franchises, there are very few great JRPGs that haven't been eventually released in English. There are no lost Final Fantasy mainline games, all the holes in Dragon Quest have been filled, and even less famous series such as Ys and Monster World have had previously skipped over installments finally brought to English gamers. There are still a few significant gaps, though, and for me personally, none more significant than the missing games in the Shin Megami Tensei series. This is a franchise that, largely through the popularity of spin-off series Persona, has never been so relevant in the west as it is now. Sure enough, missing games connected to the franchise have made it over, one-by-one, with the entire Persona series now available in English and even the cursed Soul Hackers finally finding its way overseas, but we're still missing the games that started the whole ball of wax...

Blazing down hills on some super fly skies has never been part of my life, as I live in the flattest area in Sweden. Winter sports were always about snowball fights instead of graciously navigating between gates, or finding fresh snow to freestyle in...

I find it kind of interesting that although one of the appealing aspects of flying is the freedom from our earthly bindings, a great deal of games built around the concept opt to set themselves up like a dark ride at Disneyland. You get in your ship, or on your dragon, or into your fighter jet, and are pulled along a rail while all kinds of craziness unfolds around you. Usually you're more the gunner than the pilot, since you can really only move yourself around in the little one-way tunnel the game has set up for you. There are a lot of good reasons for this kind of set-up, including a desire to guide the experience for the player to create more cinematic scenes, technical limitations of one sort or another, or a simple lack of the resources required to create a full, free 3D world. I suspect with Star Horizon [$3.99], the new space-themed rail shooter from Tabasco Interactive, it's that first reason more than anything else...

Following hot on the heels of their movie-licensed shooter Robocop [Free], Glu Games has finally taken their follow-up to Frontline Commando [Free] and Frontline Commando: D-Day [Free] out of soft launch and into wide release. Robocop itself used many of the same mechanics as the Frontline Commando games, so it's perhaps not that surprising that some of the new elements in Frontline Commando 2 [Free] echo certain parts of it. Luckily, one thing they didn't carry over, at least not completely, is the stamina meter, but even without that hanging over its head, Frontline Commando 2 is kind of a dud sequel, particularly when held against D-Day...

The original Block Fortress [$1.99], from the good folks at Foursaken Media, was one of the roughly 86 million Minecraft [$6.99]-inspired games that came in the wake of its success. More importantly, it was one of the roughly five Minecraft-inspired games that weren't awful. It was a really cool fusion of FPS, construction, and base defense, with each element working almost perfectly in combination with one another to create a compelling new take. Block Fortress: War [$1.99], the new spin-off, also attempts to fuse genres. This time, it's a bit of RTS, a bit of tower defense, a bit of MOBA, and, of course, a hearty helping of the construction genre. That's a lot of plates to keep spinning at one time, so perhaps it's no surprise that things don't work quite as well as you might hope...

Two years ago, iOS players received a gem in Autumn Dynasty [$6.99], a beautiful real-time strategy game with a unique art style and excellently implemented gameplay. With the recently released Autumn Dynasty Warlords [$6.99], the stakes are raised significantly with a fully functioning turn-based strategy game incorporated on top of the core RTS gameplay. While this sounds like an awesome combination in theory, Warlords implementation leaves plenty to be desired...

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