Category Archives: Universal

'Kindo' Review - Respect, but not Love

Kindo [$1.99] is the kind of game I feel somewhat conflicted about. It's a game that I like and respect. I appreciate it for what it is and everything that it does. I think the concept of the game is strong, easy enough to pick up on, while allowing for high level play. It does almost everything it needs to in terms of features. But it's the kind of game that I personally won't be playing long-term because it doesn't give me the kind of satisfaction I like from games...

If you were trying to play Hearthstone [Free] in the EU servers last week, you probably got quickly frustrated from being unable to log into the game. Apparently, Blizzard's servers were experiencing some kind of undisclosed issue that prevented many from enjoying the game. It's unlike Blizzard to have such issues for such a long period, so many were surprised (and frustrated). This wasn't the kind of advertising Blizzard was looking for so recently after unleashing the game on mobile devices, but the issue is now fixed and everyone can go right back to dumping dozens of hours into the game...

Apparently Crossy Road [Free] can be successful even when the cars drive on the other side of the road because according to a new report by research firm App Annie, Hipster Whale's take on Frogger had more active players in the UK during the first quarter of 2015 than Candy Crush Soda Saga and Clash of Clans. ..

Those who've been following the iOS CCG scene the last few years know that before there was Hearthstone, there was another digital-only CCG game, Stone blade's Solforge [Free], a lane-based CCG with an innovative leveling mechanic that has been in Beta for some time now. Solforge was the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, but since the company making it isn't called Blizzard, it has had to work with much less resources and, as a result, the fantastic card collection (the game's released over 500 cards so far) and mechanics have been occluded by a less-than-stellar UI and client...

For the fourth year in a row, Wargaming is celebrating National Military Appreciation Month during May and honoring North American vets by donating 25% of the proceeds from the dedicated in-game currency support packages sold in World of Tanks Blitz [Free] Premium Store (only in the North-American one). It's good to see such a huge gaming company like Wargaming, and not just individual streamers, promote charity work, and I hope more companies follow suit. Wargaming is supporting one charity per week starting with Amvets, Wounded Warriors Canada, National Armor & Cavalry Foundation, and Operation Supply Drop. While the Amvets week is over, Wargaming will split an additional 25% of the proceeds from the Military Appreciation Month All-Charity Support Bundle to all four organizations. The bundle costs $14.99 and offers 1,500 Gold and 1,500,000 Silver...

Stop me if you've heard this before -- a new jump-scare horror game is coming out, and it's set in an asylum. As a child of the 90s I've had my fair share of mental ward scares, and Lost Within [$6.99] is no exception. Despite the overdone premise though there is something there, and well crafted touch controls certainly helps its case...

'Anodia 2' Review - Another Brick In The Wall

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May 11th, 2015 4:28 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

It’s interesting how much you can read the history of the App Store in Clueless Little Muffin’s brick breaking Anodia series. Peel back the layers of the original Anodia [$2.99] and you’ll find a three-star rating system, physics-based levels, and a so-called premium price tag. And the visuals--while certainly not bad--do have a slight whiff of “four years ago” to them. Flash forward to now, and Anodia 2 [Free] feels strikingly modern, despite the actual gameplay being almost identical...

Goat Simulator Goat Z [$4.99] by Coffee Stain Studios is among the worst zombie games I’ve ever played. It’s also one of the worst survival, physics, and score chasing games I’ve played. It is, however, a very good goat game. And it’s certainly the best physics-based zombie survival game featuring a goat to ever grace the App Store...

'Demon Hunters: Dungeon of the Hell Dragon' First Impressions - Dungeon Crawling in 3D

Let's see if I can get your attention with two words: Fantasy XCOM. Pretty sure that worked. I've recently been playing Demon Hunters: Dungeon of the Hell Dragon (I know, not the most original title), an upcoming dungeon crawler by Wave Light Games that's gotten people in the forums very excited and for good reason. The developers, who come from a table-top wargamming and strategy-game background,  describe the game as a cross between Warhammer Quest and XCOM, borrowing the dungeon crawling and loot-gathering from Warhammer and the cover and line-of-sight aspects from XCOM. The game is currently in Testflight Beta, and while there's still a lot of work to be done, I like where it's heading...

Lifeline [$2.99] is a gamebook/choose-your-own-adventure novel that tries to do something a bit different from other games: it is designed as a game where you experience it through notifications as much as you do through the app itself, with simple A/B choices to make. It's got Apple Watch compatibility, so it's meant to be something that you can experience anywhere, at any time. It also plays off of the ways that we receive notifications on our devices, and wait for responses. It's a clever concept, with great writing, but it falls apart after the first playthrough, when the waiting gimmick quickly grows old and hinders the experience...

When about a month ago I decided to preview Soulspark - Battle Cards [Free], a new F2P real-time card battling game by Copenhagen Creators and Wizkids, I did so because I always look for games by designers who are trying to innovate or, at least, spice up genre conventions. I was very interested in the way SoulSpark's developers wanted to infuse card-battlers - which are usually defined by slow deliberation - with the element of timing and rapid decision-making. I was especially excited about the prospect of a multiplayer component in the game, which the developers have said they are working on for a future update. Now that I've spent more time with the game, I'm still loving the concept behind the game as well as the visuals, but there are some questionable, yet not game-breaking, design choices that detract from the experience as well as some hard paywalls that make SoulSpark more of a free-to-try rather than a free-to-play game...

Kixeye'sVEGA Conflict [Free] has been out for some time on Android and desktop. If you aren't familiar with this Facebook integrated game, think Clash of Clans with space ships and a much more interesting combat system. The IAP is real, The in-game timers are real, but this is still a hot game. What I have been wondering though is how much gameplay is lost in translation to iOS. VEGA is not your typical Facebook game. Sure you have to sit around and wait on timers and micro manage your space town. The town, to me, isn't really where the game takes place. It's kind of more like an extended UI for the best part of the game, the combat. You get to outfit and pilot a fleet of ships with a very simple interface that has some surprising depth and a high level of skill needed to master. ..

'Wedding Escape' Review - 'Til Match-Three Do We Part

I think that when the world ends and cockroaches roam the Earth in search of Twinkies, there will still be working match-three devices out there. People just can't get enough of the match-three puzzle subgenre (myself included), and even after playing hundreds of them, Wedding Escape [Free] still feels fairly fresh...

Dungeon Link [Free] is a clever game: it combines line-drawing puzzles, where you have to connect different sets of dots with lines that don't intersect, and makes it into an RPG battling system. Characters have different attacks and do more damage the longer their lines are, and the more they run over and by enemies. You can level up, combine, and evolve your characters, just like many free-to-play social RPGs, but the puzzle gameplay is the real hook here. Once auto-battling gets involved and the concept of the game just proves to be something you can just ditch entirely, then a lot of the charm that Dungeon Link first has goes away...

Freebie Alert: '2-bit Cowboy' Goes Free for the First Time to Celebrate its One-Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but it's already been an entire year since Crescent Moon and Cascadia Games released their monochrome "Westernvania" platformer 2-bit Cowboy [$0.99] on the App Store. But time flies, and in celebration of this momentous anniversary the game has been discounted from its already-paltry price of 99¢ all the way down to free. The clever term of Westernvania is a play on Metroidvania–an action platformer that takes place in one big level map that slowly opens up new areas as new abilities are attained by your character–but, you know, with a Western theme. ..

'Kayos' Review - Star Faux

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$1.99 Buy Now

Over the course of my entire iOS lifetime (which started in 2009), I've probably played a couple hundred runner games. Although I haven't given them an equal time of day, for some reason the genre just doesn't get old, and I can spend at least an afternoon with them as long as they're semi-competent experiences. Kayos [$1.99] is another cool little endless runner based on flight that won't garner your interest long, but enough to make an impact...

Apparently, the economy is still in the dumps because even stealing cars comes cheaper now with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas[$6.99] dropping to its lowest price ever. Rockstar's GTA: San Andreas, the iOS port of the fantastic PS2 game originally released in 2004, made quite a few gamers very happy when it hit the App Store in 2013, and now those who don't already own the game can enjoy San Andreas at probably the lowest price ever on any platform. In our review, we talked about how the power of iOS devices fixed all the technical issues of the original version and how the on-screen controls work pretty well (there's controller support too). The game is absolutely enormous and with cloud-saving enabled (through Rockstar Social Club), you won't have to worry about anyone stealing your save games...

I could talk to you about Ustwo's Monument Valley[$3.99], which has just dropped to its lowest price ever, in so many ways. I could wax poetically about its illusory essence or its mysterious blank-faced protagonist. Or maybe just mention the game's abundance of awards, among them Apple's 2014 iPad Game of the Year, 2015 BAFTA for Best Mobile & Handheld, Apple's 2014 Design Award, or 2015 GDC Innovation Award. Or, of more interest to those who enjoy their TV shows, I could talk about how the fictional President Frank Underwood - of House of Cards fame - goes from blasting people on Call of Duty in the first season to pondering his next machination over a solemn game of Monument Valley. I could even talk about how its brevity actually enhances its originality. Or maybe just add a trailer for those who prefer the visual over the textual...

Sometimes getting a second chance works to your benefit, and this seems to be the case for Angry Bugs' Drylands, a post-apocalyptic RPG that briefly appeared on the App Store a few weeks ago only to disappear like all joy and happiness did in the recent Batman trilogy. Drylands' developers apparently fell victim to iOS 8.3 (as did many other developers, most notably Spiderweb Software), and decided to pull the game and fix it rather than just wash their hands of the whole thing. Many in the forums were wondering what the future holds for Drylands, and, fortunately, I have some good news on that front...

'Subterfuge' Strategy/Diplomacy Game Preview - Fascinating Machinations of Machines

One of my favorite aspect of strategy games is the clash of wits and the constant attempt to outmaneuver your opponent. Yet, AI opponents never really give me those glorious moments that a strategy board game can, the knowledge that you've just outmaneuvered someone who sees and understands the game in the same way you do but still couldn't figure out the trap you'd been setting the last few turns. So, when I first heard about Subterfuge, a one-week long multiplayer game of strategy and diplomacy currently in alpha developed by a team consisting of Ron Carmel (of World of Goo), Noel Llopis (of Amazing Alex), and artist Shane Nakamura (of Zombie Gunship), my strategy sense started tingling. According to the developers, the game was greatly influenced by Neptune's Pride and Diplomacy, which is music to my ears. After spending about a week with the game, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the game coming out because Subterfuge really brings diplomacy to the fore and will be a great game to play with friends (as long as you don't mind losing a few of them after you double-cross them for the tenth time)...

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