Category Archives: TA Plays

We first heard about West of Loathing, a Western-themed spinoff of the massively popular MMO Kingdom of Loathing, back in May of last year, with word that it should be heading to mobile devices in addition to PC whenever it ended up being finished. Well, that time ended up being last month when West of Loathing officially launched on desktop with the mobile version being about "2 to 3 months" away. This weekend at PAX West developer Asymmetric has an early build of West of Loathing running on an iPad and they let us take it for a quick spin, check it out...

We've been following Thimbleweed Park for well over a year now, and while the game launched on Steam to overwhelmingly positive reviews, I've been waiting for it to hit the iPad to play it. Developer Ron Gilbert has been teasing for a while that the game is coming very soon to mobile, and at PAX we got a chance to verify that yes, it is in fact running on an iPad: ..




While Vainglory [Free] is still the king of the mobile MOBA market, there's loads of developers eager for a shot at that particular throne, with Square Enix being the latest to announce their challenge. Flame vs Blaze is in beta now, but we got a chance to spend some time with it on the PAX show floor. The cadence of the game is pretty interesting, there's a traditional lane phase where you're fighting back and forth and killing minion-like creatures, then the game is ended with a boss battle that feels a bit like how the immortals work in Heroes of the Storm's Battlefield of Eternity map. Check it out:..

While Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition was stealing the show when it came to mobile stuff in the Square Enix booth at PAX, the upcoming King's Knight was nothing that we expected. It's basically a strange combination of a dungeon crawling hack and slash type game that got mashed up with a vertical shooter, complete with gigantic bosses. Check it out:..

Hidden amongst a bunch of Steam games on individual kiosks at PAX was an ultra-cool puzzle dungeon crawler for touch devices called Plunge. The game orbits around a familiar sliding mechanic where your character moves as far as they can before colliding with a wall, then can move again. While that sort of thing has been done a ton of times on the App Store, the black and white art combined with the isometric view created a really neat overall experience. Check it out:..

UPDATE: We've got a way better video up with the actual developer talking about the game here. Be sure to check that one out too...

As of this week, we'll be 291 episodes into our podcast. It's hard to believe we've been doing it weekly for over five years now. I think that makes us the longest running mobile games podcast out there! In the last few weeks, we've been refining the video version of our podcast which is the same audio as our normal podcast, except you can see the games we're playing and the things we're reacting to in real time. Here's a teaser of this week's episode:..

As I mentioned with Merchants & Mercenaries earlier, I really love these hyper-concentrated strategy experiences on iOS. Element falls directly in line with that, but with gameplay that feels like an interstellar lightweight version of Civilization mashed up with an RTS, or something similar. Element is deep into the category of games that are hard to explain, but will make total sense in a few seconds of watching video. Check out how quickly things come together:..

We got a nice look at Ticket to Earth back at GDC, and while the game seems real similar to what we saw before, it's super rad to see it with another near-year of development time on it. If this is the first you've heard of it, imagine something like Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99] combined with... *dramatic pause* Dungeon Raid [$0.99]. I am super excited for this, check it out:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Thwart Geo'

November 10th, 2016 7:00 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays
Free Buy Now

The second space shooter I saw at PAX Australia after Flingship was Thwart Geo [Free], which is more traditionally what you might think of a modern Astroids-like shooter. Instead of being endless, it's level-based with a whole heap of power ups to explode and skins to unlock. Take a look:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Flingship'

November 10th, 2016 6:45 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays
Free Buy Now

A lot of space games seem to rely on an Astroids-like inertia system for moving around, where a lot of the time you're thinking of how you're going to make your next calculated thruster blast. Not the case in Flingship [Free], a surprisingly frantic arcade space game that sends your ship rocketing towards whatever direction you swipe. It's simple, but there's a ton of game modes that add a bunch of variety:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Harvest'

November 10th, 2016 6:15 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays
Free Buy Now

What do you get when you combine farming, runners, and r/OSHA? Apparently, Harvest [Free] is the answer. In the game, you're running from a massive combine through a corn field, fighting to stay alive, which is a totally realistic setting as someone who has spent a lot of time on actual corn farms. Anyway, once you finally get run over by the combine, you're able to tweak out your actual farm in a bunch of interesting ways. The premise doesn't make a ton of sense, but it's still pretty dang fun. Check it out:..

SMG's One More series got a whole lot more rad with the sorta recently released One More Jump [Free]. If you haven't played it, it's a single button jumping game that's a neat spin on all the"impossible" platformer genre. (And if you're not into that one, check out One More Bounce [Free] or One More Dash [Free]) Well, they've got a bunch of updates that have been released since launch and are still coming. Check it out:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Barking Irons'

November 10th, 2016 5:15 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays
99¢ Buy Now

By 2016, it seems like every game that can have some kind of tap and drag sling shot-y mechanic has been done, except for gallery shooters. Well, Barking Irons [$0.99] solves that problem and in the process actually provides a mechanic for one-handed play that works surprisingly well for this kind of game. So, if you're the kind of person always on the hunt for more single hand portrait mode games, give this a look:..

Qinoto is an abstract puzzle game with a really fascinating mechanic where puzzles are solved by folding the art which makes up the scene you're looking at to form another image. It reminds me of if you took those Mad Magazine fold-ins where you fold a page of the magazine up to reveal something else, but blown out into an actual game. Like a lot of puzzle games, it'll make way more sense when you see it in motion:..

In 2016, I feel like it's really rare to see a tower defense game of any kind that makes you say to yourself, "Huh, that's neat." That's not really a slam on the genre or anything as much as it feels like every possible iteration has been done before. The upcoming Chika Invasion mixes things up in an interesting way I'm not sure I've seen before, and if I have, it's been a while. Well, the neat spin Chika Invasion has is that you're place your towers in 3D, which means instead of just being on a path they can also be on walls and similar. Take a look:..

Among the many things I dig about mobile, it's how developers have come up with more and more clever ways to compress what feel like "full" gameplay experiences into something you could realistically play between subway stops. I love games like Civilization, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan and other similar games, but playing one of those has you really committing to a decently long gameplay session (or, incredibly long, in the case of Civ). Merchants & Mercenaries takes a lot of those same flavors, but combine them into a easily digestible mobile experience. Check it out:..

The internet was on fire this morning when it was revealed that Unity developer Erik Roystan Ross posted a playable version of Super Mario 64 HD built in unity that runs inside your browser, provided you've got the Unity plugin installed, of course. It's a bit of a tech demo to showcase his Unity tool Super Character Controller which is a collection of functions that make animating characters easier. How easy? Well, easy enough to throw together the first level of Super Mario 64...

Gunbrick [$2.99] came out a while ago, and while we reviewed it and discussed it a couple times on the podcast, it's really one of those games that are better to see in motion. The game mechanic revolves around rotating your Gunbrick to solve puzzles where your gun (and sometimes blast shield) are in the right location. Also, I like recording video of puzzle games because it immortalizes you looking really dumb:..

TA Plays: 'Angry Birds Seasons' All Star Update

February 20th, 2015 1:00 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, TA Plays
Free Buy Now

While Angry Birds might be totally out of style these days, it's nuts to go back and look at how much content has been added to these games over the years. Still available for a buck, Angry Birds Seasons [Free] offers a ridiculous value proposition. When it was first released it was just a silly spinoff with holiday themed Angry Birds levels. In 2015, it's like having the whole Encyclopedia Britannica set dumped on your doorstep, only Angry Birds level packs instead of books. ..

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