Category Archives: Universal

And the spoilers keep on coming. Blizzard is revealing more and more new Hearthstone [Free] Grand Tournament cards, and I'm quite excited that we still have a long way to go until we see all 132 new cards. Now, on to some of the new spoilers. The card that has my, and many others', attention (not for its raw power, though) is the Legendary Justicar Trueheart whose Battlecry, replace your starting Hero Power with a better one, is bound to create all kinds of trouble. At 6 mana, though, and with 6/3 stats, this is quite a weak card, and its Battlecry doesn't raise its value enough to make it worth a spot in most decks. However, a lot depends on what other cards we'll see in this set because we still don't know most of the synergies and combos from the new set...

TinyBuild's Divide by Sheep [$2.99] is a game that I first saw back at PAX South, and it left an indelible mark on me. This was thanks not just to its cute-yet-macabre theme, but also because its puzzles were clever, and did a lot to add joy to what is otherwise a casual-friendly math puzzler. Not that there's anything wrong with being a casual-friendly game, but it's tough for those games to stand out. I do wonder just how much Divide by Sheep suffers for trying to be a game for gamers, though: it feels like it sits in this odd middle ground between being a game that's a casual-friendly math puzzler, but with a deceptive theme. And I worry too many people will see the sheep and bright colors and maybe pass this fun game over. Though, if you're reading this, you should not, it's fun...




'Down the Mountain' Review - Crossy*bert?

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Just make Crossy Road [Free]. It’s easy! All you need to do is take a classic video game from the 80’s, give it a cheerful, vaguely Minecraft-ian art style, load it with cute characters to collect, and park your car in the garage so the driveway is clear for all the dump trucks full of money. Of course, in reality things aren’t quite that easy. I mean, I don’t think anyone is entirely sure why Crossy Road was such a huge success considering the sheer volume of other fun little time wasters there are on the App Store. Why Flappy Bird, for that matter? Why Temple Run [Free]? Why Doodle Jump [$0.99]?..

It's been almost a year now since Bandai Namco soft-launched a free to play version of the updated take on their classic Pac-Man franchise Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99], but at long last the game has finally gone worldwide as of earlier today. What took so long? Well, the version that soft-launched last year was built with all the typical free to play trappings, like in-game currencies and timers, and was met with plenty of criticism from fans, especially those who have enjoyed the various premium Pac-Man Championship games on consoles and even right here on iOS over the years. ..

Announced back in May and arriving a wee bit later than the rest of this week's new releases, Adventure Time Puzzle Quest [Free] is now available for download in the App Store. It's very much what it says it is on the tin: Puzzle Quest with an Adventure Time theme. Well, I guess that's not totally accurate. The matching-and-battling gameplay essence of Puzzle Quest is here, but this latest entry hews much closer to D3's other licensed matching RPG Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free], as it's free to play and loaded up with lots of social stuff...

'The Mesh' Review - I Believe In Numerals, You Hexy Thing

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July 23rd, 2015 2:45 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
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In The Mesh [$1.99] by Creatiu Lab you play as a mad king who believes he rules over an ever-changing land of whole numbers. In the middle of the game board is a white tile which represents the most ideal House, and your goal as ruler is to combine the number tiles to the North and South so they add up to the white one. If you fail, the remaining numbers will revolt and destroy sections of your kingdom, bringing you and your people ever closer to a gruesome demise...

As a critic, you almost always inevitably face a response to your criticisms somewhere in the neighborhood of ‘Well let’s see you do better!’ As if one must first master an art rather than be a knowledgeable and experienced consumer of it to have valid criticism. You especially see these comments thrown at highly negative critics, probably along with a Molotov cocktail and a screaming honey badger. It’s pretty rare for those critics to reply simply with ‘OK, why not!?’ as Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw has done with his first ever mobile game, Hatfall [$1.99]...

There really aren't enough expansive RPGs or dungeon crawlers on the mobile platform. It's a pretty hard pair of genres to translate, but the ones that do shine on mobile are perfect for quick "pick up and play" sessions. That's basically where Exsilium [Free] stands, and although it doesn't do a whole lot more than your average top-down action game, it's a free affair that is easy to get into...

I know, few of you care much about Hearthstone's [Free] Tavern Brawl today since the big announcement is coming in a few hours; however, the announcement will come and go, but this week's Tavern Brawl will be around until Sunday. So, this week's Tavern Brawl is Heart of the Sunwell: you start each game with ten mana and then you go from there. In this Brawl you build your own deck and then go to battle with ten mana already there for you to use. As you can imagine, the ten mana rule means no need to build up towards an end-of-game strategy or wait till the later turns to play your combos. Now you just need enough cards in your hand (so make sure you run cards that enable card draw). Ever wanted the ability to play those 9-cost minions immediately or run your combos non-stop? Here's your chance...

One of my favorite games of 2015 is the adorable and bloody puzzle platformer Furdemption [$2.99] from developer RareSloth, which launched just about a month ago. In it you guide a cute bunny rabbit through the treacherous depths of hell over the course of 100 increasingly complex levels. From the fluid animations, to the wonderful art style and music, to the cuteness of your rabbit juxtaposed with its horrific death scenes, Furdemption fires on all cylinders, and we happily gave it 5 stars in our review. Today we have learned that more Furdemption is coming our way in the form of an expansion titled The Widow's Den. ..

Illusion Labs is easily one of my very favorite developers, with their trademark colorfully cute 3D visuals and long tradition of taking familiar genres and mixing them up with clever controls and unique gameplay mechanics. Sway [$4.99] was among the first games I ever bought on my iPhone, and I’d argue that Touchgrind Skate 2 [$4.99] is one of the best skateboarding games on any platform. Even their dinky little kart racer Rocket Cars [Free] stole my heart recently, and it’s one of the few free-to-play games that I actually 100%’d...

'Puzzle Sweeper' Review - I'm Only Sweeping

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July 20th, 2015 1:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
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There are a number of ancient iOS games I’d just about kill to have updated to make them compatible with current iPhones and iPads. Chief among them is a criminally underrated minesweeper clone called Mines In Space [$1.99]. It’s so old that the Touch Arcade “review” was written by Arn himself, way back in 2008. It was incredibly fun, looked great (for the time), and had several different modes that were absolutely brilliant twists on Minesweeper. It was also, unfortunately, completely broken by the time I upgraded to an iPhone 5...

As the mobile market trends further and further away from classic, no frills, pay-up-front gaming in favor of freemium models, games like The Silver Bullet [$2.99] become an ever increasing rarity. I don't really hate freemium, and there are still plenty of places to find that classic gaming experience. But it would still be nice to see more games like this one, from Korean developer KwangSam Kim and Byulbram studio, supported by the masses. Because man this one is a surprising treat, with awesome gameplay across a fairly lengthy campaign...

I don't think I'll ever get tired of samurai-based media. There's a certain elegance to it, especially when it's coupled with images of Japan's serene countryside. In that regard, Samurai Blitz [Free] is basically everything I could ever want out of an endless action experience...

Heroki [$7.99] is a game I desperately wanted to love. It hits a lot of my buttons: it's a stunningly gorgeous game. It's a platformer-type game that's centered around premium experience, and charging a fair price. It is a game I desperately want to do well. I want other big publishers to see that charging reasonable prices for well-made premium experiences is a viable business strategy for mobile games. I want there to be an audience for this. Plus, it's just so well-made, and its protagonist is adorable in the way an older Sega character might be. It does a lot right, and I am invested in this game's success. The problem is that the game is just kind of blah. It isn't bad. It just isn't very memorable. ..

'Adventures of Pip' Review - I Came In Like A Rectangle

The majority of games I’ve been playing the past few months have been somewhat shallow affairs. Quick reaction games, simple puzzlers, goat simulators. That’s not to say some of them haven’t been excellent and extremely rewarding experiences, but it’s no shock that iOS games, for the most part, tend to not be terribly deep. Now, before you exclaim “But Nate! What about X or Y?”, just know that I’m not saying there aren’t ANY substantial games on the App Store. I’m just saying that if you pull up the list of recently released games on Appshopper any given hour, you’re gonna be flipping through quite a few pages before you find anything more than random clickers, Ketchapp-style microgames, and some gross casino sims. (Also, don’t call me Nate. Only my friends call me that, and I don’t know any of you weirdos.)..

It released at kind of an oddball time in the week, but we thought board game fans would be excited to know that Days of Wonder has released the digital version of Splendor [$6.99] into the App Store. A couple of weeks back Days of Wonder announced the release date of Splendor on iOS, and our own Tasos Lazarides summarized what the game was all about quite well:..

Imagine an MMO RPG where you venture through fantastic worlds with great environment variety, fun enemies, and an entertaining story. I know, this description fits most good MMOs, so now imagine that in this MMO you get to play as one of over a hundred different characters, each with his or her own skills, special moves and powers, and you've got the new LEGO game, Funcom's LEGO Minifigures Online (LMO) [$4.99], the iOS version of the original computer game. The game offers a variety of fun worlds and environments, one included with the game and four more as IAPs, an incredible amount of ridiculous characters to play as, and the usual LEGO gameplay fare of fighting, smashing, and building...

It's tough to really tell what's interesting these days on the App Store, but something the other day caught my eye with Downhill Riders [Free]'s app icon -- a kid in a shopping cart going downhill, bringing back fond memories of watching Jackass with friends. It's not quite everything I had hoped for, but most runner enthusiasts will want to give it a shot...

Shooting Stars [$0.99] is the kind of game that hits very high heights: it has an enjoyable premise, lots of bullet-dodging shoot 'em up action, roguelike elements, plenty of flashiness, and laser cats. It should be amazing. But as you play, those elements show themselves to have flaws: a game with very shallow humor, a flawed daily run mode, and imbalanced weapons. Shooting Stars is fun, but it's remarkably flawed, too...

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