Category Archives: Universal

Rather than the big blockbuster ports such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas [$6.99], it was Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$0.99] that really made many of my avid gamer friends sit up and take notice of iOS as a legitimate gaming platform. Such was the critical reception of the game that Klei Entertainment crafted on its initial PC release; survival games were rarely as deep and thought provoking before Don't Starve came and really shook up the genre. For anyone who wasn't able to pick up the mobile port the first time, the game has gone on sale to $0.99 for the first time. We thought it was brilliant in our review back in 2015, and because of a universal update that was pushed through shortly after its release, anyone can delve into the dark yet deep world of Don't Starve - even if it probably is better to experience on the larger screen of an iPad...

Philipp Stollenmayer, aka Kamibox, is the creator of Sometimes You Die [$1.99], a minimalist platformer that turned out to be much more than it appeared on the surface and through clever platforming mechanics it also delivers commentary on the genre itself, video games as a whole, and even life as we know it. It's a very powerful and thought-provoking experience. He also made Pancake - The Game [Free], a game about flipping pancakes. It should say a lot that both of those titles, while spanning a wide gap of what people expect a game to be, are among my favorites on iOS, and Kamibox has consistently put out highly playable and interesting games for years now. The latest is called Squaredance [Free], which arrived yesterday and is a minimalist puzzler that uses a swipe-the-whole-board-at-once mechanic similar to Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. This isn't a high score chaser though, as each level has a different board shape which makes your goal of combining all like-colored squares in order to remove them that much more difficult...




While the array of traditional RPGs on iOS certainly are welcome (as long as they remain on the App Store, at least), it's cool to see an increasing number of role playing games that take a more portable and mobile edge on the genre while still remaining true to their roots. One such game is Questland, which has just soft launched on the New Zealand App Store for free, and features a decent amount of customization options with a interesting first person battling perspective under a layer of incredibly beautiful cel-shaded graphics. With a strong character creation system and a wide selection of armor and weapon choices which all have their own unique style, Questland should definitely satiate both hardcore and casual RPG fans looking for a new game to play on the go...

If you like CCGs like Hearthstone, you should definitely check out Shadowverse [Free], a new CCG that's now available in a number of countries (including the US and the UK) with more countries coming in August. Developed by Cygames, the Japanese developer responsible for Rage of Bahamut, Shadowverse will definitely remind you of Hearthstone, but it has enough to offer both in terms of gameplay and world-building to make it stand on its own. And yes, I know I'm constantly referencing Hearthstone, but Blizzard's game has become the golden standard for mobile CCGs. Add to that how Shadowverse's gameplay has plenty in common with Hearthstone's, and you'll understand the reason I keep bringing it up...

Zombieville USA [$0.99 / Free] was one of those early iPhone hits that put developer Mika Mobile on the map. A side-scrolling shooter with a killer art style, Zombieville launched in early 2009 and quickly rose up the charts and maintained a position there for many months to come. Obviously its success led to a sequel a couple of years later, Zombieville 2 [$0.99] which launched in October of 2011. The sequel improved upon the original with a wider range of movement, tons of unlockable characters and weapons, a cool upgrade system, and most impressive of all co-op multiplayer both locally and over WiFi. Well, it's been a couple of years since Zombieville 2 has received any update love, and like any game on iOS it has developed a few issues over the years as new iOS hardware and software has rolled out. With the release of their latest game Lost Frontier [$2.99] now behind them, Mika Mobile took this time to fix those issues as well as bring the beloved Zombieville 2 to the Android platform for the first time...

Developer XperimentalZ Games has a vibe to its games that I can really appreciate. These games feel like they fell out of some parallel timeline where arcades stayed healthy and full of a variety of game types. A place, time, and dimension where games made about as much sense as a 1980s action movie, and took deep pride in that fact. I'm a big fan of XperimentalZ's previous release, Pixel Boat Rush [Free], a wild side-scrolling action boat racer, and when I heard the developer was tackling a pinball hybrid next, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, as the release date of Pinball Breaker Forever [Free] approached, so too did a ton of RPGs, which meant I couldn't get to the game I had been looking forward to. Worse, everyone else at TouchArcade got busy at around the same time, leaving Pinball Breaker Forever to slide by without a review. No, we can't have that...

Marriage is a tricky, tricky act, isn't it? Quite often those joined in holy matrimony don't really fit well together, and even when they do, compromises must abound if there is to be any kind of happiness in their new union. And when the marriage is of two very different people, the challenges are even greater. If you've played Minecraft (either the mobile or the PC version) and any of the Telltale games, then you already know why I started my review of Minecraft: Story Mode [$4.99] with these metaphors. When Telltale told the world that it would apply its narrative-based formula on Minecraft, the game that's now synonymous with sandbox, many gamers wondered whether Telltale could pull it off and whether Minecraft players would bother with a developer that put their beloved open-world game in a narrative straight-jacket, possibly chopping off any parts that refused to obey the narrative techniques that Telltale has used in its other series...

'Rush Rally 2' Review - The Best Rally Racer on iOS

The first rally racing game I played was SEGA's SEGA Rally Championship on the SEGA Saturn. To tell the truth, before that game, I wasn't a huge racing game fan. I'd play the odd game at the arcades, and I'd certainly join in on a race or two with my friends on their games, but it wasn't a genre I was terribly interested in. In fact, SEGA Rally wasn't even my first choice for a game the day I bought it. I had wanted Virtua Fighter 2, but the shop was sold out, so instead I brought home a racing game. I fell in love with that game, and it served as a gateway to the whole sub-genre of rally racing for me. Games like V-Rally, Colin McRae, Rallisport Challenge, and WRC became regular purchases for me, even as I continued to almost entirely ignore every other kind of racer. There's just something about this type of racing that speaks to me...

For some, there's nothing more gratifying than posting something on social media that truly takes off. As vain as it almost certainly is, there is a certain joy in seeing something posted on twitter receiving some significant traction and lots of likes or retweets. Thankfully, there is now some justification for this narcissism, as Tweechi - from developers Fuzzy Face Studios - has just soft launched in New Zealand, and the game implements Twitter integration so for every retweet received in real life, you can receive coins to spend within this eccentric looking virtual pet simulator...

'POLYFORGE' Brings the Zen Back to the App Store This July

The App Store and mobile gaming in general can have a legitimate claim to pioneer many aspects of the medium that are, in 2016, taken for granted. The obvious ones may be popularising touch screens, gyroscopic controls or the freemium/IAP focused monetisation system, however personally following the iOS scene for so long has shown to me how video games can be more of a transcendental experience. Zen Bound [$2.99] and its sequel by Secret Exit were the key examples of this - a soothing musical score coupled with calming yet stimulating gameplay and visuals created something that was more than the sum of its parts. POLYFORGE - A Symphony of Shapes, Sound and Color by Impact Blue Studios appears to be aiming for a similar experience, and the developers have released a trailer showing off its unique style and mechanics:..

Sky Force Reloaded [Free] is one of those games that is impressive in a variety of ways. In our review, we were blown away by what we called our 'favorite shoot 'em up in recent memory', and not without reason. It looks beautiful in motion, absolutely nails the core mechanics of a shooter and today it seems that active and receptive developers is another positive trait to add to the list. Infinite Dreams have announced that a new content update in response to forum feedback is due to land onto the App Store next Thursday, and appears to add a nice packet of features that is sure to help mix up the variety of an already essential game...

It's barely been a week since the surprise release of Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] on the App Store, and despite receiving rave reviews - including featuring as our Game of the Week - developers OrangePixel haven't rested on their laurels. In the next few days, an update for the excellent arcade dungeon crawler will be released and features a whole host of new content coupled with a variety of fixes and changes that will help improve and refine what was already one of the best iOS games of the year thus far...

'Mighty Match' Merges Match 3 and Dungeon Crawling on iOS, Coming Soon

Amidst the ever increasing influx of free to play games that are riddled with timers and in game currency, there has been a backwards reaction from fans and developers alike rejecting this culture and desiring an experience that is immediate and complete from the moment you download it. Even though there are some excellent freemium games such as Clash Royale [Free], and such a pricing model normally has its merits, publisher Playmium have decided to make their own stand. They have pledged to only produce games with zero IAPs that are completely sponsored, meaning you will never have to pay for their releases. Mighty Match is the newest game from the developers, and despite its interesting monetisation, it seems like a very interesting app in its own right...

When we looked at Power Hover [$3.99] back in December of last year in our review, we were generally impressed by the fun arcade style hover-board action and beautiful cel-shaded visuals, even if there wasn't that much derivation from the enjoyable core gameplay at its heart. However, the developer Oddrok has been extremely busy both answering fan questions on our forums as well as updating Power Hover with lots of substantial content updates that have made it a mainstay on many a gamer's iDevice. Today that pattern continues, as a brand new summer update has released for the game adding numerous new modes and characters...

We brought news last week that 1979 Revolution [$4.99] by developer iNK Stories was to be released on the App Store soon, and thankfully the wait was not too arduous as this morning the game was finally released. However, it really is a 'game' in the loosest sense, but definitely not in a bad way. While you have the ability to make certain choices as the protagonist Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist living in the very heart of the Iranian Revolution, the main focus is on the 'cinematic experience' which really delves into the reality of one of the most momentous events of the 20th century...

You know Warbits [$3.99] is good when our very own Carter breaks his allegiance with 3.5 stars and gives it 4.5. The Advance Wars "inspired" wargame continues to be fun both in single player and multiplayer, and the latest update should make it even more fun. Update 1.1 will do wonders for your multiplayer gaming as it adds new official multiplayer tags (these tags place you in matches against others using the same tag) including a brand new mode with 10 maps. #Brawl uses pre-deployed armies for quick action, #RapidFire sets the turn timer to 10 minutes, and #ChargeFree is vanilla Warbits with powers disabled. All three sound like good additions to the multiplayer side of Warbits and should please most players...

11 Bit Studios have earned a very deserved reputation as one of the best developers on the App Store. Ever since the launch of Anomaly: Warzone Earth [$1.99] back in 2012 which completely reversed the tired Tower Defence genre on its head with beautiful graphics to boot - and even won an Apple Design Award for their efforts - 11 Bit Studios have strived in releasing games that are ever increasing in quality. If for whatever reason you haven't had the chance to play one of their games or are missing a title from their library, this may be the perfect time to amend that as the developers are having a sale on their applications until June 20th. Unfortunately, as of today only their most recent premium effort This War of Mine [$14.99] is on sale for $2.99, however the fact that all of their games are on sale on Android and their Twitter suggests that this is also applicable for iOS, there is a chance that other apps such as Anomaly 2 [$4.99] and Anomaly Defenders [$4.99] may also drop in price soon...

'NinjAwesome' by GameResort Sneaks onto the App Store on June 22nd

As such App Store classics as Fruit Ninja [$1.99] and 1-Bit Ninja [$2.99] have proven, having any sort of reference to ninjas in a game is almost always awesome. GameResort, the makers of App Store Best of 2014 nominee Adventure Beaks [Free] - which we loved in our review - are well aware of this trope in NinjAwesome, their upcoming side scrolling platforming release that is dropping on the App Store for free on the June 22nd...

After a few weeks of fun, new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawls, we are back to an old one, and I suppose it was about time. This week's Brawl is Heart of the Sunwell, a Brawl almost from a year ago (wow, we've had Brawls for almost a year now). Heart of the Sunwell has you building a deck and then starts you off with ten mana. As you can imagine, you don't have to worry about low-mana early game minions, but at the same time don't go overboard with big minions because you want to be able to play more than one minion at a turn if you can. It's a good idea to run some card draw so you can have enough cards in your hand - but play spells rather than weak card draw minions - and keep in mind that unlike the original version of this Brawl, you can bring those Old Gods along and play them on turn one if you so wish (although they won't be too useful)...

Dawnbringer [Free], Kiloo Games and Copenhagen Creators' open world RPG that we've written about recently, is out now (one day earlier than announced), and if you like RPGs even a bit, you should probably give it a try. Dawnbringer takes place in a demon-infested realm where you traverse the ruined world in an attempt to probably kill every monster you meet until PETA stops you. In your quest you try and uncover the mystery behind the corruption destroying the world and in the process challenge your reckless brother. The brother-on-brother violence seems to be central to the game's story, which is an interesting narrative take...

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