Category Archives: Universal

I've run out of fingers and toes to keep track of all the Plague Inc. [$0.99] updates, as today the tenth major update for the game has been released. The update includes two brand new scenarios, one about the upcoming Christmas holiday and one which uses portals. For the holiday one, called Santa's Little Helper, the setup is that the government has banned holidays, laughter and celebrations. Basically, fun and happiness is now against the law. This pisses off a lot of people, including Santa Clause and the Neurax Worm, who form an unlikely alliance and work to infect the world with happiness again. The worm even renamed himself the Neurax Miracle for this mission! I love the whole idea of Plague Inc.–infecting the world with killer diseases and eradicating humanity–being flipped on its head in this scenario...

'Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War' Review - A Freemium Sibling

As we mentioned earlier this month when we posted the teaser trailer, Gameloft’s Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War [Free] has been a long time coming. Announced in June of 2013, we took it for a spin back in E3 2013 and enjoyed the big changes to the series - namely the transition from a traditional shooter to one that was mostly a cover-based on-rails affair. Fast forward nearly a year and a half later and Sons of War is significantly different than when last we played it. For folks hoping for a significant shift in the series direction, Sons of War may disappoint as it goes back to its traditional roots, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing...

'Tales from the Borderlands' Review - Less Loot, More Talk

The idea of Tales from the Borderlands [$4.99] was certainly an intriguing one once it was announced. The Borderlands series definitely has a unique feel to it from its setting, dialogue, and characters that can be easily screwed up by a developer not quite in tune with the way the series operates. The good news is that Telltale Games are experts at story, so the idea that they could approach and do justice to this universe while also expanding on it in a way that isn't just a loot-filled first-person shooter is an interesting proposition...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

Developer LuGus Studios has launched Planet Pinball Pro [$2.99] on the App Store today. This looks like a pretty neat take on pinball, where players take on challenges on a three small tables. Scoring big numbers of points will be required to unlock later levels. There's a mission system that players have to take on to help provide some goals to aim for, along with a leveling system. It'll be possible to get powerups to help get some advantages and score more points...

EA's SimCity BuildIt [Free] has made the jump from soft launch to worldwide release today. This is EA's free-to-play take on their classic city-management simulation franchise that probably served as the genesis for all the popular simulation games that are out there today. The game's got gorgeous 3D visuals, with social elements to trade resources with friends, real-life buildings, and all the challenges that come from building a thriving metropolis. EA released another developer diary video just ahead of the game's release if you want to hear more about the game from them:..

It's been just over a year since FDG Entertainment and Cornfox & Bros. dropped the seafaring adventure Oceanhorn [$4.99] in the App Store, and today to celebrate how wonderful this past year has been FDG has dropped the price on the game for the first time ever, down to $4.99 from its normal price of $8.99. We loved Oceanhorn a year ago in our original review, and then back in August a huge content update was released adding even more great stuff to an already great package. Oceanhorn has also been consistent with updating for new iOS features and hardware, most recently getting an update last week that took advantage of the power in the latest iPhone and iPad devices...

I don't think there's enough good roguelikes and roguelike-inspired games on mobile, given how much sense the genre makes for mobile, since it's so highly-replayable. The first Bit Dungeon [$0.99] was a roguelike-inspired game I enjoyed in my Android days, and now developer Kinto has just released a sequel, Bit Dungeon 2 [$2.99], on several platforms, including iOS. This is a challenging action-RPG where there's a unique permadeath system: when you die, you lose your soul, and must go back to the spot where you lost it to get it back. If you don't, and you die again, then it's game over and you start all the way over from level 1. You start off basically naked, and must find or buy a weapon pretty much from the get-go...

One of my favorite releases this year is RebelBinary's Only One [Free], a king of the hill-style hack 'n slash game that sees you fighting off waves of enemies from atop a giant pillar. The game originally released in February, and we thought it was pretty great, but it's only gotten better through numerous updates since then. Today, its biggest update yet has arrived adding all sorts of awesome new stuff. ..

It's always kind of sad when a game stops being updated and stops working. When you combine the chaotic and unpredictable effects that an iOS system update can have, along with the fact that updating a game might not be worth the time and resources to actually do so, sometimes games just die off. Sometimes developers and publishers pull the games, or just leave them in the store, and caveat emptor. Look at Geometry Wars: Touch [$0.99], for example: it's got issues on iOS 8.1, which is sad as it's got all the cool modes from Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. Some may have thought Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [$4.99] was consigned to a similar fate. It even disappeared off the App Store at one point, and hadn't been updated for three years. Well, out of nowhere, the game's been resurrected and updated for compatibility in 2014!..

'Bean Dreams' Review - Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

Holy heck, does Bean Dreams [$2.99] knock it out of the park. The first Bean's Quest [$2.99] game from Kumobius was a solid game, with inventive ways to approach platforming on a touchscreen-based device. But after they applied their time-traveling take on Tiny Wings [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)] with Time Surfer [$0.99], and gave the challenging arcade game genre an artsy twist with Duet [$0.99], now they return to their original game. And it's clear that the studio has picked up on a lot of lessons from the past few years, as Bean Dreams is possibly Kumobius' best game yet, streamlining the original's concept into a tight and concise experience that they can only further build on and make better...

Proun+ [$3.99] is a game that probably should have been on iOS a long time ago. It makes too much sense, the tube racing, with its simple controls that are perfect for taps or tilts, its quick races, they all make for the ideal iOS game. That this is a port from PC to iOS just feels like it's something well overdue. Proun+ is a tube-racing game, which I previewed last month. There's some utterly brilliant aspects to this one, but also some things that make me curious about, to see if there's not a way this game could have been structured any better...

'Seabeard' Review - A Whole New (Freemium) World

After many months of coverage, a soft-launch and a hands-on preview, Seabeard [Free] is finally upon us. When a game gets this much coverage and hype, it’s typically hard for it to satisfy all expectations. This seems to be even more true whenever a game relies on freemium mechanism as a way to monetize. After spending a great deal of time within the game, I’m happy to report that I don’t believe Seabeard is a victim of its own hype but I do think that its freemium system will probably alienate some of its potential player base...

Marvel's new free to play mobile brawler, which they originally announced at Comic-Con in July and soft-launched in October, is now officially available worldwide. Called Marvel Contest of Champions [Free], the game puts a large cast of Marvel characters, both heroes and villains, at your disposal as you use them to battle in the Contest of Champions. There is a full single-player portion of the game that sees you beating specific quests and unlocking bits of storyline. There's also online multiplayer, though it's against other players' ghost teams and not actually real-time fighting. It's still fun though, and playing versus lets you win Battle Chips which can be used to enter special Arena events where you can earn high-powered characters and other rewards. Finally there are several daily events to play through which also offer special rewards for winning and unique play parameters...

Late last month Zen Studios announced their latest project involving their work with the Marvel license, a new pinball table featuring Venom, the deadly combination of a Symbiote alien who has bonded with the body of Eddie Brock. As usual, Spider-Man and Venom will battle it out against each other, but they will also have to team up to help combat the threat of another Symbiote host, Carnage. Check out the Venom table in action in the trailer below...

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