Category Archives: Universal

If a buffalo dances in space, does it make a sound?..

The App Store is pretty much overflowing with games that are trying to capitalize on your nostalgia. It seems like many developers hope that aping familiar art styles and systems will elevate their otherwise amateurish endeavors. There is nothing wrong with making a love letter to a series you enjoyed growing up, don’t get me wrong, but it’s becoming a tired gimmick. Then, a few cool cats from Russia follow the same principle of nostalgia, except like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, it’s veins are coursing with steroids instead of blood, and you get a game so jam packed with references and tropes that you can’t help but smile. Until the grind kicks in that is. This is Punch Club [$4.99]...




Playing Hearthstone [Free] alone in your room has its own charm, but if you've never played the game while facing your opponent, you're missing out. Just imagine being able to see the frustration on their face when you drop Murloc after Murloc, or the panic when you play Nozdormu. Yes, face to face definitely adds to the game, which is why many players have been organizing Fireside Gatherings all over the world. Fireside Gatherings let you get together with Hearthstone buddies in a public place and compete to the death (not really, I think). When you participate in a Fireside Gathering, you can even get a special card back, always a plus in my book. I've never been to one (geographical difficulties), but I'm definitely planning to when given the opportunity...

'Dashy Crashy' Review - Full Throttle

'Dashy Crashy' Review - Full Throttle

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January 21st, 2016 10:21 AM EST by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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While deep, engrossing mobile experiences have been somewhat downplayed by the general public, everyone knows that as far as quick fixes go, the platform is king. Dashy Crashy [Free] is yet another take on the success of Crossy Road, all the way down to its monetization scheme, but it's a perfect example of a stop and go game that's easy to pick up and hard to put down...

'Crashlands' Review - Holy Wompit, This Is Outstanding

This might sound odd, but I hadn't been paying much attention to Crashlands [$4.99]. I had read the inspiring story behind its genesis, and I knew it was some sort of crafting game. I knew the developer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, has always turned out quality games. But because I had initially pegged it as being something outside of my usual interests, my eye was off the ball. I'm glad for that, because it allowed me to approach this game without too many preconceptions or any sort of hype build-up. If anything, I wasn't sure if I'd like it as much as another reviewer might, since I rarely get deeply into games built around crafting mechanics. Crashlands had to win me over, in other words, and my biggest surprise is how fully it did so...

One of last year's biggest games and indeed one of our own Best of 2015 and a serious contender for Game of the Year, Aquiris Game Studio's Horizon Chase [Free], has just gone free for the first time since its release. The best way I can describe Horizon Chase is that it's like what someone in 1985 would imagine an arcade racing video game would be like in 2015. It has a decidedly retro feel but somehow still feels modern at the same time. I mean, just look at this glorious trailer for Horizon Chase...

Mr Jump [Free], the brutally difficult precision platformer from 1Button that took the App Store by storm last spring, is getting ready to unleash a brand new update on its masochistic players. This update will introduce "World C" which contains 12 brand new levels and a couple of new features to look out for. First up are teleporters, which as you'll see in the trailer below are used in mind-bending ways to beam you back and forth around a level's many hazards. Then you have what 1Button is calling "reversible spikes" which are these jerkwad spikes that keep flashing on and off like jerks. Basically, World C looks like the next level of Hell...

Back in 2015 (sounds so long ago now, doesn't it), Hearthstone [Free] crashed one Wednesday under the weight of a Tavern Brawl called Captain Blackheart's Treasure, and it took another effort for this Brawl to finally be playable a couple of weeks later. Well, Hearthstone's infrastructure has definitely improved because this week we are getting Captain Blackheart's Treasure again and the game hasn't crashed (famous last words?). If you haven't played this Brawl before, CBT was supposed to be our introduction to the Discover mechanic prior to the launch of League of Explorers, but the whole Hearthstone client imploding thing got a bit in the way. Each turn, you get three cards, and you have to pick one to put in your hand. The cards can be of various costs, so you'll often have to think about the later turns as you try to build a strong hand...

Last month brought the release of Oddrok's Power Hover [$3.99], a behind-the-back hoverboarding game with an incredibly stylish look. Now, a little over a month later and Oddrok has begun teasing some of what to expect in the game's first content update. Backing up a bit, one of the things we loved most about Power Hover in our review is the number of truly interesting environments you got to hoverboard around in, and how cinematic the game could feel with its dynamic camera changing between various dramatic angles. Basically, with the cool visuals, great music, and smooth movement, Power Hover is a game that's simply fun to play and is the perfect game to kind of zone out with. So, as for the update, Oddrok says you can expect a brand new snow level and they've offered up a .gif preview which you can see below...

'Jetpack Fighter' Review - Swoopin' and Slashin'

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January 19th, 2016 12:34 PM EST by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Action, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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Hi-Rez Studios seems to be diversifying their portfolio. In addition to bringing back Tribes in 2011, they worked on SMITE, the action-oriented MOBA, and now, a rather un-imposing mobile game. I have to say though, if Jetpack Fighter [Free] is indicative of their future imprint on the platform, bring it on...

When it comes to modern games trying to pay tribute to retro classics, nailing the balance between making a fun modern game and an appropriate homage is really tough. It can be done – Shovel Knight on console and PC is a fantastic example of how to pay tribute to Mega Man, Castlevania, and the like. And we look at Horizon Chase [Free] on mobile, which did an amazing job at balancing out the feel of retro racing games while not being as clunky, frustrating, and unfair as many of those games were. There's a balance to be had. Venture Kid [$0.99] from FDG Entertainment clearly wants to pay tribute to Mega Man in everything it's about, and in doing so, it's kind of a solid platformer, but it mostly just misses the point of what made the game it's paying tribute to so great...

'Swapperoo' Review - Rage Against The Matching

I remember hearing that people were so obsessed with Tetris in the 80’s that when they’d close their eyes they’d still see the pieces falling and fitting together in their mind. It’s called the Tetris Effect, and I’ve always thought it was weird that people considered it strange enough to warrant its own name. Pretty much anything I get super into will start to invade my thoughts and dreams when I close my eyes. Isn’t that pretty normal? Why is Tetris special? Certainly there are plenty of iOS games that give me the same “effect” when I play them long enough. Like Swapperoo [$0.99], for instance...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Momoka: An Interplanetary Adventure'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Swapperoo [$0.99] is the latest title from Fallen Tree Games, developers of the wonderful Quell series. It released a bit late and kind of missed the whole weekly release post thing, but that's no reason for it to fly under the radar, it's too stinking awesome! Somehow, Fallen Tree has managed to make a match-3 game that's actually interesting, unique, and highly strategic. I figured that train had sailed from the airport a long time ago, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong. ..

Jared Bailey (aka No Can Win) is one of my favorite developers on the App Store. I loved Cubed Rally Racer [$0.99], and was near-obsessed with the follow-up, Cubed Rally Redline [Free]. After that, though, he started focusing on much simpler Ketchapp-style games that weren’t really my cup o’ tea. The last game of his (which I reviewed) was called Super Bounce Back [Free], and it seemed to be a step back in the right direction, with a clever concept that was slightly more involved than the “one-button-quick-reaction” style games he’d been putting out after the Cubed Rally series. And fortunately for me (and you, I suppose), his latest effort Rocket Ski Racing [Free] climbs out of that inverted bell curve even further. Simply put, it’s a blast...

Robomodo's Globber's Escape [Free] was a solid little Pac-Man-esque game that released in 2014, and the game's just gotten an update on iOS that brings it up to par with the Android version and adds in some new features. The game's gotten a bit of a visual upgrade with new colors for the protagonist Globber, as he shifts hues depeer and deepr into the game. And 4 new rooms, though only on higher-end devices, along with various new tweaks and social features to finish out the experience...

'Traffic Rider' Review - Stop Riding Those Brakes, AI

Although plenty of racing games existed before mobile, I feel like the advent of iOS and Android devices spawned a whole new era. While it's generally difficult to craft high quality simulation experiences for PC and console platforms, tons of developers are able to create arcade-like games for mobile, often times to great success. This goes for none other than Traffic Rider [Free], which feels like a fully-fledged racer in its own right...

Let’s talk about upgrades. It’s pretty common in free-to-play games for the difficulty to ramp up and up, and the only way to progress is to spend whatever currencies and upgrade your cards, characters, weapons, clothes, eating utensils, or whatever else is supposed to make you “better”. When it’s done badly it can turn into a dreaded Pay Wall, but there are plenty of fair examples, too. This system works fine in RPGs, shooters, match-three games, and the like. In games that require pure strategy, however, the model starts to feel kind of weird...

During E3 in June of last year, Natsume Inc. announced Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories [$9.99], a new entry in the long-running farming/RPG series and the first "true" Harvest Moon game to land on iOS, as the previous mobile game bearing the Harvest Moon name was a puzzle game. Great news, right? Well, maybe. As many know, the Harvest Moon franchise is a convoluted one, and later entries in the series haven't quite captured the magic that the original SNES Harvest Moon did back in the mid-90s. So fans of the series were understandably cautiously optimistic when it came to Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories, but as of today they can find out for themselves as the game has officially launched on the App Store. Also, even though it would make TOTAL sense for this type of game to be free to play'd out the wazoo, Seeds of Memories is actually a fully paid game with zero IAP. Check out the official trailer...

This week's game releases just went up a notch with the release of Star Trek Timelines [Free], a game from the developers of Game of Thrones Ascent. If you like Star Trek, then you are definitely in for a treat with this one since the game lets you assemble a crew from hundreds of favorite Star Trek characters ranging from the Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. So, as you can imagine, if you've seen a Star Trek character in any those shows, you'll probably be seeing them in this game, too. As I wrote a few months back, the game takes place in a universe where a temporal anomaly (or smart game devs) brings together characters, settings, and stories from all the shows mentioned above...

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