Category Archives: Universal

One of my very favorite recent releases is the Out Run-inspired arcade racer Highway Runners [$1.99] from developer Brownieless Games. It launched amidst the madness of the holiday rush mid-December, and once that craziness had finally cleared and the new year was upon us I was just about to pull the trigger on a "Hey guys check this out!" kind of article about it. As luck would have it, though, our own Chris Carter came through with a full review right at that same time, which is far better than my own silly ramblings would be. At any rate, the word was out! And I was very happy about that. While most who have ventured into Highway Runners have loved it, two major requests have arisen pretty frequently. One was for touch controls, as the game originally launched as tilt-only, and the developers added in a wonderful touch option just prior to us posting our review. So that took care of that. The second major request was for native iPad support, and as of today that's officially a thing with a new Universal update for Highway Runners...

Cannonfire Concerto [$3.99] is another gamebook release from Choice of Games that offers an unusual premise and excellent world-building. You play as a touring musical virtuoso in a setting that has something of an 18th century European feel. It's a time of momentary peace for the region, but things are starting to fire up again. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to get involved and which side you'll pull for, but whatever you choose, the show must go on. Written by Caleb Wilson, Cannonfire Concerto is a lighter and faster-paced read than some of the last few ChoiceScript games released, but that doesn't stop it from creating an interesting setting and having a good bit of fun with it...




A few days back, Ben Brode talked about the Hearthstone [Free] team's wish to make more Designer Insights to better address community concerns, so it comes as no surprise that tomorrow morning, January 13th, we are getting a brand new Designer Insights, and this one will be a live stream. Ben Brode will be joined by game designer Dean Ayala for a live Q&A at 9am PST, and they'll both address issues like the state of the game, the new player experience, the ranked play system, and any questions from players. If you want to have your questions answered, send a tweet to the official Hearthstone Twitter account using the hashtag #QA. You can also post a question here, or you can simply join the stream and ask questions there...

Announced this past November, and slightly delayed last month, the iOS port of award-winning murder mystery board game Mysterium [$6.99] is now available in the App Store. Mysterium is a cooperative board game that has one player playing the ghost of a murder victim who uses various types of cards to give clues to the other players–who are paranormal psychics by the way–as to who, where, and how they were murdered. It's up to those other players to use those clues to ultimately solve the mystery of the murder...

At 3am UK time on Wednesday morning, my iPhone buzzed furiously as news spread that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [$14.99] had finally launched on the App Store. After what seemed like months of drama, anticipation and hype on our forums, such a sudden and unexplained release felt particularly fitting for The Binding of Isaac's turbulent development cycle, but thankfully it's now out and, according to our five star review, a rather excellent port to boot. Many people have also left glowing reviews for The Binding of Isaac on our forum thread, however the most frequently asked questions amongst gamers in our community have been how the port shapes up to the PC, 3DS, and PS Vita interactions of the title. While a small minority have taken issue with the perceived lack of precision with the controls, most TouchArcade forum members have been greatly impressed by how The Binding of Isaac has transitioned to mobile devices...

10tons have had an impressive run on the App Store as of late, with their mobile adaption of the excellent dual stick shooter and roguelike amalgamation Neon Chrome [$9.99] receiving a hat-trick of accolades, with a glowing five star review, a Game of the Week award, and featuring in our 100 Best Mobile Games list. Xenoraid [Free] is looking to continue this trend - having launched previously on consoles back in October to critical acclaim, 10tons' interesting approach of merging old and new elements of the typical vertical shoot-em-up title resulted in a truly unique take on a relatively tired genre. Having just avoided the typical Wednesday evening rush of releases, Xenoraid has finally launched on the App Store today for free (with a discounted $4.99 in-app purchase to unlock the full game), so be sure to give 10tons newest release a try if you want some thrilling shooter action to liven up your Thursday...

'The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth' Review - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

At last! The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [$14.99] has finally released on iOS, and it was well worth the wait. Perhaps the most popular dual-stick shooter roguelike out there, rumors, Apple approvals drama, and a constantly-shifting release date led to this being the white whale for many iOS gamers. As the release date narrowed down to a general range, every day saw one question surely asked: "When's Isaac coming?" Well, thanks to a surprise Tuesday night release on January 10th US time, The Binding of Isaac is finally here, and well worth the wait. The scatological, challenging roguelike dual-stick shooter promises challenging gameplay with mountains of secrets to discover...

While some people are enjoying Capcom's ports of the original 8-bit Mega Man games well enough, it's safe to say that the consensus is that they're not very good ports. A surprising thing for 20 - 30 year old games that ran on a system with less processing power than your bagel toaster, a disappointing thing given the relatively high quality of the Mega Man Legacy ports that appeared on other platforms in the last couple of years, but not necessarily an unfixable thing. After all, this is mobile gaming in 2017. Games are getting updates all the time! Heck, games are being updated as I write these very words. So when I opened up the App Store today and say that beautiful little red number along with Mega Man Mobile's [$1.99] icon, I got a little excited...

This past November Netmarble opened up pre-registration for a new PvP game set in the Star Wars universe, and following a fairly brief soft-launch period that game, Star Wars: Force Arena [Free], is now available in the App Store. In the game you'll control a main hero from either the Rebellion or the Imperial side, and then develop and use a deck of cards that will spawn your troops. The action plays out on a MOBA-style battlefield, but the actual mechanics are much closer to something like Clash Royale. It definitely seems to find that sweet spot of quick and accessible action that suits mobile so well. ..

When Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$4.99] arrived on iOS back in July of 2015 (has it really been that long already?), Klei Entertainment provided a beautiful port of their critically-acclaimed survival game that was revamped and tailored to work with the touchscreen. It used a tap-to-move and tap-to-interact-with-stuff control scheme that worked perfectly, but it was one that didn't suit the tastes of a lot of players, myself included. I mean, in theory, a truly native touchscreen control scheme is far better than just slapping some virtual controls on a game and calling it a day, but I'm among those who actually prefer virtual sticks and buttons most of the time, and it's always nice to at least have the option. ..

You haven't heard from me in a couple days because I temporarily traded TouchArcade Towers for King Entertainment's Studios in Barcelona, Spain, and the reason I was there was the launch of Bubble Witch 3 Saga [Free], the new addition to the Bubble Witch franchise that has just released worldwide. If you haven't played the previous two games, Bubble Witch is King's take on bubble popping, which hasn't managed to gain the traction of King's megahit, Candy Crush. Still, the Bubble Witch franchise is quite fun, and the new entry tries to shake up both the franchise and the genre...

The iOS App Store is a crazy place. In early October, we previewed a then-upcoming game called Level With Me [Free], which had you balancing various types of objects on a teeter-totter-like board by blowing floating bubbles onto its underside in order to raise or lower each side and keep said objects from sliding off. The objects include things like a heavy bowling ball, a bouncy beach ball, humans, zombies, and more, each requiring different strategies to ensure they stay on the board. The game was level-based in a way as you'd have to balance each type of object for a certain amount of time before completing a level and moving on to the next, but it was also endless as your ultimate goal was to complete as many levels in a row as possible. You know, it's a tricky game to try to explain, so why don't you just check out the trailer for Level With Me...

It's been a bit quiet since iTunes finally thawed out after Christmas, and it feels like we're still awaiting that big first release to really kick off the year (looking at you, Binding of Isaac). Out of nowhere yesterday, Gameloft soft launched their newest entry in the Gangstar series in The Philippines, and while previous iterations have explored Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, your nefarious criminal kingpin is now running amok in New Orleans. While Gameloft have touted Gangstar New Orleans to be the 'gold standard for open-world action-adventure', the reaction from gamers on our forums is significantly more mixed, with some sharing positive sentiment, and others deriding the release for being a bit rough on this initial soft launch...

2016 was renowned for its famous deaths, and unfortunately mobile was not exempt from such a tragic series of events. The news that Bulkypix had declared bankruptcy in August of last year was met with a vast array of mixed emotions - while many sympathised with the publisher for going under, as they had brought to prominence a lot of hidden gems on the App Store, most were incensed by their poor treatment of the developers under their wing during this period. Despite this, some creators risen from the ashes of Bulkypix's unfortunate demise and have taken this chance to further build and expand on their games, and Keybol is one such developer. With Pretentious Game [Free] now back under their control, the developer has planned to add a whole new Chapter 5 to the title, which is set to launch as a free update (for anyone who has already purchased the Chapters pack) on February 1st...

Upcoming RPG Epic 'Tower of Time' Promises Over Twenty Hours of Exploration, and Has a Stunning New Trailer

It's a well known fact that anything with 'time' in the title is guaranteed to be a success. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is arguably the greatest game of all time, Adventure Time spearheaded a wave of excellent cartoon shows in the past decade, and developer Event Horizon's upcoming RPG epic Tower of Time is set to follow in such prestigious footsteps. With some beautiful atmospheric graphics that looks to push the platform to its limits, as well as a touted twenty to thirty hours of gameplay, Tower of Time is an extremely ambitious premium effort from an indie developer, and will hopefully kick off 2017 with a bang when it launches in the coming weeks. To tide us over before Tower of Time finally drops, Event Horizon have revealed a brand new trailer and a whole host of details that demonstrate what you can expect to experience in this impressive RPG effort...

Developer Astrograde Lab had planned on releasing their new puzzle adventure game this past Wednesday night alongside all of the other new releases of the week and didn't quite make it in time, but as of this morning their game Shards of Memories [$1.99] finally worked its way through Apple approval and arrived on the App Store. Shards of Memories has you piecing together pieces of various objects tangram-style, and the solved puzzles themselves are actually pieces of the storyline in the game, which based on this trailer seems like it might get a big heavy at times...

Earlier this week we showed you the first teaser trailer for the new game from Fixpoint Productions, creators of some great games that start with the letter P including Piloteer [$2.99], Pivvot [$2.99], and Polymer [$2.99 / Free]. Well, it lagged a bit behind our normal weekly new games post, but that game, called Remedy Rush [Free], is now officially available in the App Store. And it most definitely does not start with a P! Remedy Rush has you playing as an actual remedy fending off a sickness, and you do this by navigating a variety of strange objects through an endless maze-like level killing germs and destroying toxins by collecting health bursts along the way. If you aren't quick about it though, the sickness will consume you!..

A couple of days ago, we talked about how Ben Brode, Hearthstone's [Free] Game Director, went on reddit to describe the steps being taken to enable the team to maintain a better communication with players in the near future. Today, Brode decided to wade into a reddit discussion about the problems of the new player experience. The discussion was specifically about how the biggest problem with the new player experience is that there's not enough separation between those just starting out and people who've been playing the game forever. Brode first talked about how they're aware of the work needed to improve the new player experience and how they've been tweaking it for years and have seen significant increases in new player retention. The team has worked a lot on improving the Casual matchmaker, which resulted in new player winrates increasing by around 15%...

'Mega Man 1-6' Now Available on iOS and Android

[UPDATE: It only took mere moments of playing one of these ports to see that they are shockingly bad, so even though we'll have an official review coming soon we wanted to give people this extra head's up to avoid these at all costs.] Mega Man is one of the most difficult game series even with a physical controller, and as we've seen a couple of different times over the years the experience doesn't translate super well to the touchscreen. Well, Capcom Mobile is taking another stab at it as they announced last month that the six 8-bit Mega Man games would be hitting mobile, and as of just a few moments ago they've arrived in the iOS App Store as well as on Android's Google Play Store. These ports have been adjusted for mobile play, but I'll have to actually dive into these before we really know what that's supposed to mean. One thing I do know though is that the trailers don't give me a lot of confidence in these ports, as the frame rates look pretty poor. ..

The Iranian Revolution isn't exactly an era gamers get to visit often, so when 1979 Revolution: A Cinematic Adventure Game [$4.99] released, it caught the eye of all those who enjoy historical fiction. Now that the game has gone free for the first time, you have no reason not to put yourself in the shoes of Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist caught in the flames of the Iranian Revolution. The game is narrative-heavy in the style of Telltale games and will have you making critical choices that alter the narrative's course. I haven't played the game yet to know how much your choices affect the narrative, but I don't think that will matter too much in this case because most players will play 1979 Revolution mostly to experience those momentous events...

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