Category Archives: Universal

Why, hello there, totally random IP crossover! In case you weren't aware, this year marks the 30th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies, Ghostbusters, and apparently an appropriate way to celebrate that is with… an update to Fruit Ninja [$0.99 / Free]? Yes, it sounds weird, but that's totally the case, and in fact it's a really nice update for fans of both brands...

NimbleBit's Tiny Tower Vegas [Free] has received its first batch of new content today, and it's celebrating the internet's favorite holiday – Halloween. There's a special Halloween lobby to unlock. Want a giant jack-o-lantern as the roof of your tower? That's available now, too. A new Halloween elevator, with bats, a coffin, and pumpkin on top, is also available. Special Halloween missions and floors are available, and of course, there's BitBook posts that are themed after the spookiest holiday of them all...

Y'all forgot about Gameloft's NOVA series, didn't you? While they were busy making new Modern Combat games, their Halo-inspired FPS series has sat dormant. Well, this isn't anything too new, but it's at least a sign of life: there's a new free version of NOVA 3 [$6.99] now available: the NOVA 3 Freedom Edition [Free]. This isn't necessarily a 'free-to-play' version of NOVA 3 in that it is really just NOVA 3 with ads and its already-existing IAP, with everything still intact including online play, though certainly the game could have been tuned to be more IAP-friendly. Our forums will be sure to point out if it is...

Back in July, Bandai Namco soft-launched their new free to play card battling game called Outcast Odyssey [Free], and as of last night the game is now officially available worldwide. While the card battling genre is quickly getting saturated on the App Store, Outcast Odyssey hopes to stand out from the pack with its emphasis on exploration and almost dungeon crawler-like gameplay. It seems to have worked too, as Outcast Odyssey has performed well in all the countries it was available in during its soft-launch, and it has almost universally positive praise from players in our forums...

'Zombie Highway 2' Review - The Fun Never Stops

Free-to-play gets a bad rap among a lot of serious mobile gamers, and often for good reason: there are many games which devolve and infantilize their design because it's more profitable to do so. But not Zombie Highway 2 [Free]. This is a free-to-play game that features many of the trappings of the business model, two-tier currencies, and incentivized video ads, but it makes them feel optional, and doesn't get in the way of being a fun, zombie-splattering good time...

In January of this year, Tapstar Interactive and First Star Software announced a brand new game in the classic Boulder Dash series to mark the 30th anniversary of the original game's release. Originally planned for an "early 2014" release, the new game took a bit longer than anticipated, but as of today Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary [Free] is finally available in the App Store. The original game's creators Peter Liepa & Chris Gray have come together for the first time since 1984 to design levels for this new game, and there are also a few major changes over the original like ramps and diagonal movement. Check out the trailer to see it in action...

Imagine you're the creator of Dragon Quest [$2.99]. You've successfully streamlined the somewhat impenetrable RPG genre to a point where anyone and everyone can play the game and enjoy it, and now it's time for a sequel. Obviously, people are ready and asking for something a bit bigger and more complex, and simply delivering something in the same scope as the first game isn't going to satisfy them. How far do you walk the concept back to its inspirations, Wizardry, Ultima, and the like? That's a question I suspect Yuji Horii grappled with when coming up with Dragon Quest 2 [$4.99] , and while he wouldn't hit the sweet spot until the next installment, it's undeniable that the sequel to Dragon Quest is a considerably bigger and slightly more sophisticated game...

Halfbrick is continuing with the Zombie Month updates for their dual-stick shooter Age of Zombies [$0.99], as another significant update is now available for the game. The month of updates began a few weeks back when Age of Zombies was updated with co-op multiplayer, and this latest update completely revamps the game's Survival Mode into a wave-based affair complete with boss fights called Horde Mode. In addition, there are four new sentry guns to use in Horde Mode so you can strategically set up some stationary offense to help you mow down waves of enemies...

'Terra Battle' Review - Final Fantasy's Creator Works His Magic On Social RPGs

Some gamers know Hironobu Sakaguchi's name. Others do not. Just about everyone is familiar with his work, however. He's the creator of the Final Fantasy series of games, the director of Final Fantasy 1 through 5, one of the designers of Chrono Trigger, the producer or executive producer of Final Fantasy 6 through 12, and unfortunately, the director of the feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. In 2003, he resigned from the company built on his efforts to strike out on his own, just before the merger that created Square Enix. His new company, Mistwalker, debuted with a bang, releasing two great RPGs on the Xbox 360, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. These titles were backed by Microsoft money, and it was hoped they would give the 360 what it needed to compete in the Japanese market. Unfortunately, they didn't go over quite the way Microsoft had hoped...

'Pumped BMX 2' Review - I Want To Ride This Bicycle

Side-scrolling games where you ride through a course performing tricks and stunts seem to be all the rage these days, mostly thanks to the sudden popularity the Trials series found several years ago. That rise coincided nicely with the fall of 3D open world trick games like the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series, ensuring that trick-crazy gamers wouldn't go hungry. Unfortunately, Trials took its sweet time coming to mobiles, just arriving in 2014 as Trials Frontier [Free]. One thing I've learned about the App Store is that if you leave a void, someone will fill it, and one of the more fun attempts to do so came in the form of 2012's Pumped BMX [$1.99], from developer Yeah Us. The game was a weird hybrid of Tiny Wings [$0.99] and Trials, focusing mostly on performing stunts on the way to clearing each stage...

'Inferno 2' Review - Great Balls of Fire

Radiangames – perhaps the most prolific creator of dual-stick shooters on the App Store - has made their biggest one yet with their latest release Inferno 2 [$2.99]. Seriously, Inferno 2 is massive: 80 levels full of mazes, tens of thousands of enemies to take down, four different weapons to use, four different missiles (inspired by the special weapons of JoyJoy [$1.99]), a level-up system, and loads of upgrades to use. This game is vast, and it's a great pickup for fans of Radiangames' previous work, or anyone looking for an action game to sink a few hours into...

'Spirits of Spring' Review - A Powerful, Cathartic Experience

Let me begin this review by lighting the "Experience Game" signal, just so that we're starting off with clarity. I've talked before about the distinction between games focused on mechanics and what I usually refer to as experience games, particularly in my review of Monument Valley [$3.99]. As you would probably expect from Minority Media, the developers behind PlayStation 3 game Papo & Yo, their new game fits firmly into the latter category. In Spirits Of Spring [$1.99], the mechanics exist only to serve the experience, so if you're mostly into mastering play mechanics, I guess this review was a short read for you. There are no fail states in this game, it's relatively brief in run-time, and you're never asked to do anything terribly difficult with the few abilities you have at your disposal. Those who enjoy games that focus on delivering an experience, on the other hand, will find something more than worth your time and money. It's a bittersweet exploration of bullying, from both sides of the fence, and though its hand is perhaps a little too heavy at times, I still found it to be a very precious journey...

I've been even happier than usual with the recent releases from gamebook developer Tin Man Games. They've taken a couple of books that I enjoyed a great deal when I was younger and rather than simply present them faithfully as they typically do, they've shined them up into even better forms. The Complete Sagas Of Fire*Wolf [$9.99] represents a slightly different challenge, however. In my opinion, the original books that this release draws from are deeply flawed in a way none of the other books Tin Man have sourced for their adaptations are. They've made some serious improvements, but in the end, it's probably something that only the hardcore gamebook fans or people with nostalgia for Fire*Wolf ought to look into. Oh, and the asterisk stands for some kind of grunt that we can't make in our language. Basically, his parents were hippies...

Cosmophony [$1.99] is a rhythm-based tunnel shooter that is built to be challenging, with formations of obstacles to avoid throughout five levels, all set to an EDM soundtrack. The rhythm part is loose at best, but changes in the game do go along with changing sound cues. The problem is that the game is built around its challenge being through perfectionism. That, the only way to advance is by completing a very hard level in one life leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and limits what this game can do...

For millions upon millions of mobile device owners, Zynga's Words With Friends is as important a function of their mobile device as sending text messages or browsing the web. It's basically Scrabble that you can play practically anytime or anywhere with people from across the globe, even when you're pooping. What a world we live in. Today, Zynga has introduced a massive revamp to the game and rebranded it New Words With Friends [Free]. What's new about it? First and foremost is a Solo Play option that lets you square off against an AI opponent even if you don't have an internet connection, something I've been dying for forever...

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