Category Archives: Reviews

Evoland [$4.99] is an odd experience. It's packed to the brim with genuine enthusiasm for my favorite genre and many great games of that genre and outside of it. Like an experienced stage magician running through his act, it has a brilliant set of tricks that it cleverly lays out one after the other, upping the ante each time to maintain your awe and excitement. At first they come at breakneck speed, not unlike the progress of gaming technology itself. After a half hour or so of this, the designers must have realized that they had to space out their remaining cards so that the game wouldn't be finished too quickly. Things slow down. They ride out the previous trick for a while, perhaps too long. Then, having exhausted their bag of tricks and understanding that even a patient audience can get restless, things come to a swift, sweet finish. Evoland is too short at times and too long at others...

'Pike and Shot' Review - Historical Strategy Hits the Mark

'Pike and Shot' Review - Historical Strategy Hits the Mark

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February 9th, 2015 10:44 AM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $19.99, 4.5 stars, iPad Games, Reviews, Strategy
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Pike and Shot [$19.99 (HD)] is out now on iOS from strategy vets Slitherine. This port of a PC game has made the transition very well. I bet you saw the price tag on this game, but let me be the first to tell you it's worth it. If you are wondering what the balance between quality and quantity is for this title, the balance is that it comes with heaping amounts of both. A host of features, in depth combat, historical narratives and a clean visual style make this an amazingly well rounded premium game...

Kairosoft makes a lot of games. Rather, I suppose they made a lot of games and have been diligently porting them over to smartphones ever since. They're not bad games. If you happened to be trapped in an elevator for a couple of days with one, you might not even notice you didn't hit your floor. That said, they are extremely similar to one another, relying on the same few templates spread across every single job anyone ever had or will have. It wears on you after a few games, especially if you fall into a row of their building simulations. I've often said that any given Kairosoft game is going to be amazing if it's your first and mind-numbing if it's your fifth. The sad thing in all of this is that the template that brought them to the dance, so to speak, is the least-recycled of them all. Game Dev Story [$3.99] put Kairosoft on the international map years ago, and the biggest request everyone has made since is for a sequel. Kairosoft marches to their own beat, though, and that beat apparently dictates that there shall be only one Game Dev Story per Halley's Comet appearance...

In the early months of each year, I like to comb around for anything we might have missed in the rush leading up to the holidays. This extremely intensive effort typically involves heading to the TouchArcade forums and looking for big threads on games we haven't reviewed. Every time I've visited recently, one game keeps surfacing to slap me with its fins: Shark Eaters: Rise Of The Dolphins [Free]. While I had originally passed over the game due to its frankly aggravating controls, I saw it received an update that was supposed to address the problem, so I've given it another solid try. While I have to admit it's better than it was, it's still not doing much for me...

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

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February 5th, 2015 1:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
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Stealth is one genre that still isn't oversaturated, at least in my own mind. While there have been plenty of stealth games as far back as the NES era, pretty much every title adds in their own signature spin to the formula. Sneaky Sneaky [$2.99] is no different, featuring a tiny little rogue with an adorable pet rat...

There are a lot of issues with Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD [$9.99 (HD)], the spiffy remaster of the 1999 classic PC strategy game. The control layout has done little more than map things directly from keyboard and mouse to touch, with not much in the way of explanation of the intricacies, even in the tutorial. There's significant content missing in the form of the two expansions, which will not be coming to this version due to the source code being lost. The map editor found in the original game and the PC version of this HD remaster is not included in the iPad version. The updates are few in number, with just a bit of spit-polish done on the sprites and text to make them look a little less pixelated. These are all good reasons to pass on Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD, especially if you have a computer, where you can buy and play the complete version of the game with all expansions included for the same price...

I hate when a game lets me down. Exiles [$4.99] had a cool premise, and was from a developer that has done big, expansive open-world games on iOS before. Yet, this just falls way short of what it promised to be. This is the latest open-world RPG from Crescent Moon, having you deal with a government conspiracy involving a deadly virus, and the eventual fight against a politician riding in a giant mech. The game is mission-driven, but there's a giant, expansive world that you can explore, though there's not a whole lot to actually find beyond what the missions have. At least you can ride in mechs and on sweet air bikes, and shoot the ironically-named Peacebots...

DeNA continues their strange new pattern of releasing iOS versions of PC indie games under new names with Yet It Moves [$2.99], probably the most famous of the batch so far. Originally titled And Yet It Moves, it was first released on PC back in 2009 before making its way to WiiWare, of all places, in 2010. It received a fair bit of praise back then for its clever take on platforming and unique presentation. Here in 2015, it's not quite as unusual as it once was, but its strong level designs and good pacing make it a game still well-worth checking out...

"Well, that was something that happened." That was my reaction after completing Potatoman Seeks the Troof [$1.99], an oddball little platformer from Pixeljam Games that's certainly an experience. It's a brief platformer, with five different levels, which don't take too long to beat, necessarily, but it's as much about the odd story running through it. You control the eponymous Potatoman, seeking the "troof" – about existence, life, who knows? It's a game that you probably shouldn't play for pure platforming challenge, but because it's an odd experience...

'Lamp And Vamp' Review - This Campy Vamp Is Hoplite-Like And That's Alright

It was just over a year ago that I reviewed Douglas Cowley's excellent strategy game Hoplite [$1.99]. I found it to be a superb game, as many did, with tremendous depth and not an ounce of fat on its bones. It's one of the most efficiently-designed mobile games I've ever played. I can't say for sure if Mucho Party [$2.99] developer GlobZ was inspired by Hoplite when they made their latest game, Lamp And Vamp [$1.99], but it sure feels like they were. Not in a bad way, mind you. Lamp And Vamp certainly feels familiar, but it's different enough that it doesn't feel superfluous. Like Hoplite, you're trying to make your way across a single board, divided into hexagons, to an exit. In this case, it's a coffin. All you need to do is survive the gauntlet of enemies that lay in the path. It's harder than you might think...

Craft the World - Pocket Edition[$9.99] is a sandbox crafting game from Devokir Entertainment very much in the vein of Terraria[$4.99] and Starbound. The side view perspective works amazingly well and with multiple characters to control, it very much resembles an interactive any colony...

I have a confession to make to all of you. About a month and a half ago, I started playing Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, and I've been hooked ever since. I'm in deep, playing every day to open up new chapters from the games and unlock new characters. For a Final Fantasy fan, it's almost the best case you could imagine for a free-to-play social RPG. A lot of that is because it understands that you have to give people some of what they want or you're going to lose them right away. It's not as strategic as Terra Battle [Free], and it certainly has some pay boundaries when you get several hours in, but all-around, it's one of the more generous and fun social RPGs I've played so far. It's certainly not what I expected from DeNA, a company who has earned a bit of a reputation over the years...

We're really going down the meta-rabbit hole here. The latest release in the long-running and prolific LEGO series of video games from TT Fusion and Warner Bros. is The LEGO Movie Video Game [$4.99]. It's a game based on a movie, based on a toy, whose sense of humor and visual style was heavily drawn from the games based on the toys made from licenses of other movies. This version specifically is a slightly modified port of the game as it appeared on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, so don't expect any open world shenanigans or levels drawn from the console version of the game. It most closely resembles LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe In Peril [$4.99], which I enjoyed more than the usual fare due to it being less of poor imitation of the console versions and more of a game built for handheld play...

Genre saturation seems to come in waves on iOS, and Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) appear to be the latest game type to get a bunch of high profile titles in a short period of time. The Witcher Battle Arena [Free] is the latest such title to grace the App Store, bringing the CD Projekt RED’s fantasy world to iOS in some small fashion. While Battle Arena does a decent job in providing a comprehensive MOBA experience, the gameplay itself just isn’t compelling enough at this point to be worth an investment...

'Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered' Review - My Kind of Nightmare

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy was recently rereleased on PC. Luckily, the developers also saw fit to port it over to iOS under the full title Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered [$9.99] as part of its decennial celebration. As a narrative-heavy action-adventure, Indigo Prophecy was excellent for its time and mostly makes a successful transition to Apple’s portable devices...

'Particle Mace' Review - Come and Swing with Me

As a rule, I try not to buy early access games unless I absolutely feel the need to. Particle Mace [$2.99] on desktop was one of those games I stayed away from, but always had in my mind: the concept seemed intriguing, plus it was iOS bound sometime down the road. As such, when I found out that the game was leaving early access and releasing for iOS, I was extremely excited. One, I like seeing games actually leaving early access and becoming finished products, because early access trades on respecting your customer, and delivering on the promise that you're finishing what you started as a developer. Early access can be a really great thing for developers and for players, but when developers use it as an excuse to just make money off of unfinished games, it's saddening. Two, I was excited to actually play the game without compromising my principles. I'm willing to bend them when I feel like it, so I'm perhaps not the person to listen to, but I stick to it more often than not. Well, Particle Mace was well worth the wait. And the developer, Andy Makes Games, was smart in tweaking the game to fit iOS...

Last year when I reviewed TouchMint's Adventure To Fate [$2.99], I suggested in the review title that if the game were boiled down much more, there wouldn't be anything left. Apparently, the developer took that as a thrown gauntlet, because the follow-up to the game, Adventure To Fate: Battle Arena [Free], manages to trim the concept down even more. Remarkably, it does so without losing any of the things that worked well in the first game, making for a more smartly-paced game all-around. Fans of the original title should be very pleased, while those who felt that it was a bit too grindy might be happy about certain cuts. Don't be alarmed by its free price tag, it's one of those good ones that makes you wonder how the developer plans on making any money...

Ambition Of The Slimes [Free] appeared on the App Store worldwide a few months back, but until recently, the only language it offered was Japanese, making it tough to play for people using every App Store except Japan's. An English patch was promised in the notes, but after a few updates came with no sign of a translation, I had assumed the developer meant it in a 'someday' kind of way. Apparently not, however, as the game's most recent update finally opened up the game to English players. So, as I promised back in the first article I wrote about the game, I'm here to give the game a proper review...

The new year is already off to a great start for iOS RPG fans. We've received a port of the wonderful Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99], an excellent puzzle RPG in Hero Emblems [$3.99], and even a couple of indie surprises in the form of Lowlander [$1.99] and Adventure To Fate: Battle Arena [Free]. I'm feeling pretty good about 2015's potential RPG line-up already. While we don't know exactly what's in store for us, there is one thing we can surely count upon: Kemco will be here with about a dozen new RPGs, some of which might even be good. That said, they're not getting off to a great start with Dead Dragons [$3.99], their first release of 2015. While it's not as lousy as some of their efforts, I'm not sure it's actually worth your time and money, either...

'Dragon Quest 5' Review - The RPG Of A Lifetime

Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99] is a rare jewel. This is a game that carried the burden of being a sequel in one of the most successful franchises of all-time. In the pre-merger days, it's safe to say that Enix as a company depended on the performance of Dragon Quest games. It's the very definition of a AAA installment in the middle of a long-running series. Such products are not where we would expect to find the unique voice of the game's creator telling such a small and personal tale. That's just what designer and writer Yuji Horii did, however, and the result is perhaps one of the finest stories ever seen in an RPG. In my opinion, the series was never able to top this installment, but that's fine, because not many games in general have...

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