Category Archives: Universal

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the States, and as with pretty much any major holiday developer Pixbits have updated their phenomenal crafting adventure game Junk Jack X [$4.99] with holiday-themed content. There's a new Pocket Turkey rare pet, a craftable hay bale block, new dyeable wood panels which can be coupled with the new sloped barn roof and supports so you can build your very own barn(!), and finally there's a Thanksgiving zombie that will drop a rare "weapon" should you come across it. Yes, they put "weapon" in quotes because I imagine it's something silly like a turkey leg or maybe a poisonous buckled hat...

I will forever admit to being a sucker for games with pixel art, and Sunburn [$2.99] had immediate appeal to me based on that, but also thanks to its unique premise: instead of trying to save everyone, the goal is to control the jetpack-equipped astronaut captain, trying to get a bunch of stranded astronauts together, and launch into the sun so that nobody dies alone. But there's limited oxygen, so there's some planet-hopping involved, fiery asteroids to avoid, and a chain of astronauts to string along, trying to make sure they don't suffer a solitary demise while trying to get to the collective goal. This means that death is an odd thing, because dying itself might not be the ultimate goal. It's about making sure everyone suffers a quick death, rather than dying alone in the middle of space. That's a new one! It's a clever and macabre concept for a space physics puzzler, and while the game has issues, the concept alone is well worth checking out...

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [Free], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

In late October, developer Funcom soft-launched a remastered iOS version of their critically-acclaimed 2000 PC adventure game The Longest Journey, but we weren't really sure when it would be seeing a wider release. Today we have our answer: The Longest Journey Remastered [$6.99] is available worldwide right now! ..

Zen Studios is adding another Marvel-themed table to their lineup of digital pinball games across all platforms, including of course iOS. Spider-Man's arch-nemesis Venom will be getting his very own table, and it'll be coming to both Zen Pinball [Free] and Marvel Pinball [$0.99] the week of December 8th. Specifically, iOS gamers can look forward to the table becoming available on December 11th, and it'll be in line with other Marvel tables from Zen and will cost $1.99. Here's a screen of the new Venom table...

Brace yourselves, we're going to talk about some truly old-school gaming in this review. Before there was Clash Of Clans [Free], Call Of Duty, Tetris [$0.99], Super Mario Bros., or even Pong, a huge gaming craze swept the world. It was a puzzle game known to the western world as Tangrams, brought over in the early 19th century from China, where it had been around for several hundred years. Suddenly those months-long New Zealand soft launches don't look so bad, do they? If you aren't familiar with Tangrams, the puzzle involves using seven pieces to try to match a set shape. You would think this to be a pretty shallow affair, but there have been several thousand different puzzles made. I'm not sure if it's still the case, but books of Tangram puzzles were always a mainstay in gas stations and convenience stores when I was a kid...

The fourth and final installment of Forge Reply's digital gamebook Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$0.99] is now officially available for download, just as we learned it would be earlier this month. The new installment, titled Act 4 - Dawn Over V'taag, will run you $4.99 if purchased on its own, or if you've previously bought a Season Pass it will simply be available for download. Here is a trailer detailing the Dawn Over V'taag episode...

A little more than a year ago, id Software updated two of their old iOS ports–Doom Classic and Rage HD– with 4-inch widescreen support and support for Apple's then-new iOS 7 software. Both games had quietly disappeared from the App Store at least a month prior to the updates, which was scary for me as I'm a massive fan of the Doom iOS port. I was delighted to see them return with updates, and hoped that id might see fit to update some of the other games in their iOS catalog...

'Crossy Road' Review - Watch Out for That Train!

What separates the great games from the good games? There's an intangible aspect of making a game feel fun to play that can be difficult to pin down when trying to describe it, and even more difficult for a developer to create. But when a developer nails it down, it's truly sublime. Crossy Road [Free] absolutely nails how a game should feel, which makes it endlessly replayable, and my current go-to pick-up-and-play game...

Character action games are a genre that feels underrepresented on iOS, perhaps because they inherently rely on complex button combinations for combat that just don't translate very well to the touchscreen. Well, about a month ago, Ghost Blade [$4.99] launched on the App Store seemingly out of nowhere, and set a standard for how these types of games should be built for the touchscreen. Rather than rely on a set of virtual buttons, Ghost Blade uses intuitive touchscreen gestures for its combat mechanics, and it works incredibly well, creating a very satisfying experience. ..

As one of my favorite bands Iron Chic points out in the song "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?", we're all on a giant blue rock that's spinning through space, falling in circles forever into the sun. It's a pretty morbid way to view human existence, and kind of depressing, but the one lyric that makes me feel better is "This once we all fall together." Hey, we're hurtling towards a giant fireball in space, but at least we're in it together, right? That's similar to the premise behind Sunburn! [$2.99], the debut title from developer Secret Crush that just hit the App Store this morning...

It's a frequently-visited topic throughout the history of the hobby, but the topic of the length of games (or the lack thereof) has been coming up a lot recently among mobile gaming fans. Faced with a market that that is often frighteningly resistant to handing over more than a few dollars in lump sums, many developers who want to build a traditional game with a beginning and ending, free of IAP consumables and other monetization techniques, are faced with a pretty hard economic reality. The answer to that problem is usually to scope the game's content according to some very meager budgets, leading to some great games that don't take all that long to play through. This was a very hot discussion when it came to Monument Valley [$3.99], and it may well be the same for those who pick up Space Expedition: Classic Adventure [$0.99]...

Viking's Journey: The Road to Valhalla [$0.99], formerly titled Lost Viking, exists in an odd place in that the game is physically fun to play, but the actual game itself winds up being a struggle. It's a puzzle-RPG from the creators of Dungelot [$0.99], with a remarkably slow upgrade system, gameplay that feels like it's stacking the deck against the player in most every way possible to the point that it delivers far less fun than it should...

It was just about a week ago that we told you that the latest update for Minecraft - Pocket Edition [$6.99], version 0.10 to be precise, had been submitted to Apple for approval. Well it didn't take too long because as of this morning that update is now live and available for download in the App Store. Version 0.10 is more of a big facelift and a few nips and tucks, as there isn't any major new feature additions. The visuals have been improved, and it's immediately noticeable. The textures are better, the clouds more crisp, and the water is way more watery-looking now. It's like the game's color pallet moved from fourth grade primary colors to something a bit more adult. Here's some side-by-side comparison shots so you can see the difference. "Before" pictures on the left, "after" on the right, click to enlarge if that's your thing...

This week the latest entry in the open-world action game series Far Cry will be releasing on Windows PC and both current- and last-gen game consoles, and to supplement this big release developer Ubisoft has released Far Cry 4 Arcade Poker [Free] for free on mobile devices. Like other mobile tie-in apps that launch alongside big-name console releases, Far Cry 4 Arcade Poker actually offers a benefit to players of the full game: you can earn currency which you can use in the full game on console or PC. Presumably this will be handled by linking up your Uplay account, though obviously I don't have the console game to test this out...

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