Category Archives: Universal

I must admit that I am a sucker for games with good craftsmanship. For me, good visuals, refined controls, little details, things that can seem often shiny and superficial reveal something to me, especially when they come from a smaller developer: they reveal that there is perhaps a deeper quality to pay attention to here. Crossy Road [Free] was so excellent to me not just because it is so much fun to play, but little details and tweaks made to game feel abound in that game, and they push it from "entertaining diversion" to "supremely excellent game." What we have here in Bit Dungeon 2 [appprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-dungeon-ii/id823658485?mt=8" is the flip side of that coin: what happens when a game has a compelling structure, but lacks that last stretch of quality that makes the great games what they are? You're left with an experience of what could have been...

FIFA 15: Ultimate Team [Free] is a game that lives and dies by its monetization. Where previous entries in the series had a bevy of modes that soccer video games will have, this latest entry in EA's soccer series scraps them all for the Ultimate Team mode being the exclusive focus of the game. This is about building squads of players obtained through card packs, earning coins from matches, competing in seasons and tournaments, trying to get rewards and buy more card packs to build deeper and better teams in the quest to form the Ultimate Team. While the core game is better than ever, and the Ultimate Team mode has its perks, the shift to just being about this monetized meta-game hurts FIFA 15...

Tap Titans [Free] is the latest game to make me feel ashamed for enjoying it so much. After Bitcoin Billionaire [Free] ruined my life, I figured I was safe from clickers for a while. Then I saw Tap Titans on the App Store, and heard it mentioned in a comment that I was probably enjoying it. I wasn't yet, but that spurred me to check it out. And I'm either really glad I did, or really distraught that apparently my tastes are this shallow that the very semblance of a game is enough to satisfy me...

In True Axis' fantastic skateboard simulator True Skate [$1.99], manuals (or wheelies to the layman) were always possible to do, but they were sort of finicky. In an update in late November, True Axis greatly improved the way manuals worked, adding a whole new dimension to the game. Our resident True Skate master, forum member totallymichael, made a new video showcasing all the possibilities that the revamped manual system allows. Check out the vid, and maybe even watch it a couple of times to fully comprehend all the crazy tricks he pulls off...

Endless runners are a dime a dozen on the App Store, but there's one that's unique enough that it's been holding my attention ever since it released in late September. That game is Jack B. Nimble [$1.99] from indie developer Sean Noonan. Obviously it's an auto-runner where the speed gradually increases as you jump from platform to platform and try to avoid falling to your death, but it adds a clever Castlevania-inspired whipping mechanic into the mix which also has you trying to whip candlesticks to increase your score multiplier while simultaneously avoiding falling to your death. The added mechanic adds an extra layer of franticness and a risk/reward proposition as sometimes going for those candlesticks can seriously throw off your running and jumping rhythm. This is all tied together with visuals that are a very faithful homage to the original Game Boy and a killer soundtrack...

Everyone knows and loves Scribblenauts, which made a welcome iOS appearance in Scribblenauts Remix [$0.99] a few years ago. Well, that series' creator 5th Cell made another game with creative elements on the Nintendo DS, called Drawn to Life [$4.99], which 505 Games ported to iOS and released earlier this year. If you've never gotten a chance to play it, then good news: 505 Games has put this creative platformer on sale for $0.99...

This news flew under the radar a bit, but a few weeks back Coffee Stain Studios spelled out their plans for Goat Simulator [$4.99] on mobile, and fans of the wacky sandbox game should be pretty excited about it. As they explain in a post on their blog, they're currently working on bringing a new level, Goat City Bay, as well as "a ton of new goats" to the iOS and Android versions of Goat Simulator. Even though this is content that's already in the PC version of the game, they have to essentially build everything from scratch in order to make it work in the mobile version, which is then followed by ""months of optimizing, building and testing in a cycle that takes a really long time." So it's not like they're ignoring you, mobile goat enthusiasts, it's just time-consuming work...

The end of November saw the return of one of iOS's first platforming game mascots with the release of Bounce On Back [$2.99 / Free], the third entry in the Bounce On series. This week Bounce On Back received its first content update. The update includes Game Center leaderboard integration, so you can compete with the world on level completion times. The game also received its first batch of Challenge levels with more planned for future updates...

Platform Panic [Free] is an interesting game because it manages to straddle both sides of an interesting duality regarding retro-style and pixel art games. Pixel art games are always an interesting proposition because there's a sort of confusing duality to them. Part of the appeal of pixel art is based on the limiting nature of retro games, with their low resolutions and limited resources demanding pixel art. So it gets used in part because it's a throwback to the early days of gaming. But it's also a bona-fide art style at this point that can be used in games that really don't have much to do with retro games, but still just use that style. I mean, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP [$2.99 / $4.99] really isn't much like classic games, but it's got distinctive pixel art. ..

'Dojo Slash' Review - Tap Ninja Tap

The mobile platform has allowed for quite a bit of experimentation. I've seen callbacks to the NES era, 16-bit, and more 32-bit remakes than you can shake a stick at (I'm looking at you Tomb Raider 1 and 2). But often times developers will put their own dose of charm into a game despite the fact that it doesn't belong in a single era -- and you get that feeling with Dojo Slash [Free] right from the get-go following a faux-DOS intro...

I often am asked how we come across some of the games we cover here at TouchArcade. While I can't spill all of our secrets lest Eli end me with a single, swift swipe, I can tell you one of the things we keep an eye on is what the members of the TouchArcade forums catch on to. That's how I first caught notice of a humble little developer by the name of Quantum Sheep, at the time fresh off of releasing a clever endless runner called Air Supply - Infinite [$0.99]. It didn't look like much from the screenshots or description in the App Store, but our forum was absolutely crazy about it, so I gave it an honest go and found it to be a very compelling game, with a wry sense of humor and an enthusiastic appreciation for the 8-bit computing era. Quantum Sheep's next game, Air Supply - SOS [$1.99], took the Jetpac concept and gave it a good old twist, creating a frantic action game in the classic arcade style. SOS's development was fairly lengthy and the developer wasn't shy about discussing it, so I had a good idea early on of what it was and when it was coming...

'Gentlemen...Ricochet Mini!' Review - Something to Reflect Upon

Limitations are often a great thing for an artist. Gentlemen...Ricochet Mini! [$0.99] shows that in two different facets. This is a sequel and de-make of Gentlemen...Ricochet! [$0.99] which strips away all the modern trappings of the original physics puzzler, and replaces it with something that could be on the original Game Boy. But this is hardly to the game's detriment, as it winds up improving on the original while not losing anything that made its concept great...

iOS gamers that are into brawlers may have heard of Reliance Entertainment, makers Real Steel World Robot Boxing [Free] (among a variety of movie tie-in games). Well, the developers are back with Ultimate Robot Fighting [Free], another robot brawler that focuses on the likes of recent free-to-play brawlers such as Injustice and Marvel Contest of Champions. Lacking the star power of those two games, Ultimate Robot Fighting is forced to rely solely on its gameplay and freemium elements. Unfortunately, lackluster controls and simplistic gameplay make this game a bit hard to recommend...

Considering EA’s recent trend of reviving old IPs in a freemium world, it’s safe to say that expectations weren’t high when it was announced that SimCity would return to iOS with a free-to-play model. Yet, SimCity BuildIt [Free] is surprisingly tolerable with impressible visuals and a somewhat fair monetization system. Sure, it’s not the SimCity game that most fans of the series probably want but I think it manages to do the franchise some small justice...

'Annoying Cab' Review - Just Plain Annoying

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December 22nd, 2014 11:00 AM EST by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal, Word
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I've never really had a bad experience with cab rides. Maybe it's because I don't live in a major city and don't take them every week, but as a general rule, when I do take cabs I have nothing major to complain about. At the very least the driver isn't annoying, which is what the typing trainer Annoying Cab [Free] is all about...

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