Category Archives: Universal

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Swap Heroes [$0.99] was a solid game that combined a strategic quick-play focus with plenty of RPG elements. Swap Heroes 2 [$2.99] does pretty much the same thing - it's the same gameplay, where one hero dying means game over. There are a new set of heroes with new abilities to use, but largely balanced in similar ways. The changes here are structural, and that's not a knock on Swap Heroes 2: it's kind of like when a band releases an album a year after their previous one. It's not a huge jump, but you can often tell where refinements and improvements exist, and Swap Heroes 2 is just a better game...

This morning we were excited to tell you that the "Platinum Edition" update for one of our most beloved iOS games Space Miner [$3.99] was awaiting approval from Apple and could be arriving at any time. I'd hoped that while writing that story last night I'd wake up and see the update waiting for me, like a 10-months-too-early Christmas present. Well, that almost happened, as just a few minutes ago the update popped up in the App Store. Well… sort of. Let me explain...

Ammo Pigs [$1.99] is a game that figures that it just needs to do one thing and one thing only, and get that right. From Cascadia Games, it's an homage to the DOS era of gaming and its action-platformers. You control a pig with a gun who must shoot his way through a dozen levels full of sentient butcher knives, spikes, walking guns, and various robots out for your bacon. If you played 2-Bit Cowboy [$0.99] you may recall that game had a level-based structure that still had some aspects of open-world games. This game uses a bit more of a compromise in level design, as the levels have open-world elements where you have to backtrack to hit switches, with some hidden things to find. Still, they feel a bit smaller and more straightforward, but not in a bad way, but in a way that feels more focused...

This Thursday marks the start of the Chinese New Year, and in case you weren't aware, it's the year of the Goat. In celebration of this momentous occasion, one of our favorite iOS platformers of 2014 Bean Dreams [$2.99] has received an update with two new sets of levels, one featuring a rideable goat named Goatee and one taking place in the fiery Temple of the Dragon...

'Daytona Rush' Review - Endless Racing

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February 17th, 2015 3:00 PM EDT by Eric Ford in 4 stars, Free, Games, iPhone games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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As we’ve state before, it’s a tough gig to be an endless runner on the App Store. Nearly all are simply reskins of the same type of gameplay, requiring standouts to either significantly alter the formula (and risk losing that aspect that makes them so appealing) or offer a novel theme to that counteracts what is other standard gameplay fare. Daytona Rush  [Free] is clearly in the latter category with a pretty novel and well implemented theme of stock car racing. When combined with its (thankful) utter lack of IAP, good leaderboard support and great production values, Daytona Rush may be an endless racer worth trying...

I love the idea of Adventure Time Game Wizard [$4.99] because of the power of its license. Pixel Press Floors [Free] was cool technology, in the way that it let people sketch out levels on paper using a system of glyphs, and then take a photograph to scan them into the game. It's a remarkably cool tech and idea. But really, the greatness of the idea and its reach was somewhat limited by the new intellectual property and the limitations that Pixel Press had in terms of PR and reach on the App Store. Thus enter Cartoon Network. The kids love them some Adventure Time. So, why not combine that license and the Cartoon Network marketing muscle with the latest Pixel Press tech? What is here is not just a competent platformer, but an incredibly powerful creation tool that I think could be really great because of the way that it opens up creation to a young audience in an accessible way...

King of Thieves [Free] is a game that shows the problems with review scores, because it exists at two diametrically-opposed extremes. On one hand, it's a remarkably cool concept: it takes auto-running trial platformers and puts it into a Clash of Clans [Free] style raiding system. You can design a dungeon, crafting gems to become more powerful, while trying to keep other players from getting your gems by way of making a dungeon too powerful for them to successfully raid. All the while, you're raiding others and playing through the singleplayer campaign, getting more money, upgrading your stats and traps to be better at raiding and to make raids tougher. But it's a game with a particularly annoying energy system that raises questions about its fairness. It's a game that doesn't go down smooth, particularly if you're not a free-to-play fan...

I admit, when I first played Radical [Free] from BeaverTap Games, I was a little disappointed that the team that made the wonderful Mikey games were aiming a bit lower with this game. But really, the more time I spent with it, the more I found that they had made a clever game that lived up to their standards while at a smaller scale in terms of design and visuals. That they made a smaller game like this was interesting enough to me – and I think that in part from the fact that it's made by interesting developers who know how to make a game, the game is well worth checking out...

In August of last year, Sunnyside Games released The Firm [$0.99], a twitchy high-scoring game based around stock trading. It featured simple swipe left or right controls for buying and selling stocks, making it a perfect one-handed game, and it also boasted some lovely pixel art and a main mechanic that was super easy to understand but very difficult to master, as cliché as that may be. The Firm was a pretty simple game, and Sunnyside has had plans to expand the experience pretty much since launch. It took a bit longer than expected, but this week the big version 1.1 patch for the game has arrived adding all sorts of new stuff. ..

Man, what is the deal with Sensible Soccer? That game is popular for its top-down soccer play and two-button controls, a formula that I see a lot of other soccer games try to replicate. The latest is Active Soccer 2 [$3.99], a soccer game that I wish would try to break free of the two-button limitations, though I do find the soccer action to be quite entertaining here...

'Dark Echo' Review - Silence Is Golden, And So Is This Game

While I love blockbuster gaming as much as the next person, there's no question that the ever-increasing budgets and thinner margins have made the whole upper-end of the video game business disappointingly conservative from the player's point of view. Iteration is great. It's how games have come as far as they have. Yet, as an exclusive diet, playing it safe can sometimes be a little bland. It's a good thing we've got smaller developers who can afford to take risks on crazy ideas, because without such occasional spices, the hobby would be a lot less interesting. Dark Echo [$1.99] is one of those games that simply couldn't exist under the traditional model, but I'm ecstatic it does...

Ever since it’s unveiling over two years ago, Midnight Star [Free] has had some lofty expectations thrust upon it. One consistent theme we’ve heard since its announcement was a promise for a control scheme reimagined for touch-based input. As the game slowly soft launched we realized that such a reimagining would also come with a free-to-play system for monetization. With its worldwide launch last week, we’ve finally had a chance to check out both its claim for improved controls as well as test out its freemium elements. After some extended time with this first-person shooter from Industrial Toys, I came away impressed with the controls and the amount of content offered, but was left lamenting its free-to-play elements...

In September of last year, developer Beamdog released a patch for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition [$9.99] that, among many other things, added Universal iPhone support to the previously iPad-only mobile port of BioWare's classic RPG. Sure, Baldur's Gate: EE was teeny tiny on an iPhone, but it was manageable, and quite a treat to carry around in your pocket. The sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition [$9.99], was released for iPad in January of last year, and had yet to receive the iPhone treatment. Until today that is, as an update has just landed adding in Universal support to Baldur's Gate II along with tons of tweaks and fixes...

In our hyper-connected world of social networks and online gaming, it seems like society is forgetting about our dear old friend the loner. I myself am a loner, as I enjoy single-player games the most and rarely play online with other people. I also don't really leave my apartment ever. Lately developers have been taking aim at that golden loner demographic, with games like One Player Pong last week and today the new Stratego Single Player [$2.99]. Stratego Single Player is pretty much what its title describes: The classic Stratego board game geared towards single-player play. It also features an AI developed by a Stratego World Champion...

'Radiation Island' Review - Get Chased by Katana-Wielding Zombies and Have Fun!

Take the most irrational and demanding mobile gaming fan – you know the kind, the person that only wants paid games and hates in-app purchases and ads in any form – and ask them for a dream wishlist of everything they'd want from a mobile game. What they will describe to you is basically what Radiation Island [$2.99] from Atypical Games delivers on. It's a game that pushes iOS devices to their absolute limits, provides PC-style gameplay on the go with gamepad support, doesn't do much hand-holding, delivers dozens of hours of gameplay, offers online multiplayer, and oh yeah, it's only $2.99 for the entire package. And there's not in-app purchases to be found anywhere in the vicinity of the game, because those are for suckers, right?. Atypical Games decided to make a game for this most vocal and demanding of irrational consumer...

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

'Sneaky Sneaky' Review: Metal Gear Rogue

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February 5th, 2015 1:00 PM EDT by Chris Carter in $2.99, 4.5 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
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Stealth is one genre that still isn't oversaturated, at least in my own mind. While there have been plenty of stealth games as far back as the NES era, pretty much every title adds in their own signature spin to the formula. Sneaky Sneaky [$2.99] is no different, featuring a tiny little rogue with an adorable pet rat...

I hate when a game lets me down. Exiles [$4.99] had a cool premise, and was from a developer that has done big, expansive open-world games on iOS before. Yet, this just falls way short of what it promised to be. This is the latest open-world RPG from Crescent Moon, having you deal with a government conspiracy involving a deadly virus, and the eventual fight against a politician riding in a giant mech. The game is mission-driven, but there's a giant, expansive world that you can explore, though there's not a whole lot to actually find beyond what the missions have. At least you can ride in mechs and on sweet air bikes, and shoot the ironically-named Peacebots...

"Well, that was something that happened." That was my reaction after completing Potatoman Seeks the Troof [$1.99], an oddball little platformer from Pixeljam Games that's certainly an experience. It's a brief platformer, with five different levels, which don't take too long to beat, necessarily, but it's as much about the odd story running through it. You control the eponymous Potatoman, seeking the "troof" – about existence, life, who knows? It's a game that you probably shouldn't play for pure platforming challenge, but because it's an odd experience...

Working in the world of mobile games, it's easy to become jaded. There are so many games released every day, and the stuff that rises to the top of the iTunes charts tends to be targeted at the non-traditional gaming masses, aka the "casual audience." Not that I don't enjoy plenty of casual games, but when I see one rise up the ranks of the iTunes charts I tend not to pay it much mind as that sort of thing happens all the time. Such was the case with Trivia Crack [$2.99 / Free]. You've probably noticed it yourself. Its colorful, smiling icon has been atop both the free and paid charts for the past couple of months. However, at the urging of my not-typically-a-gamer fiancée, I've fallen into the black hole of Trivia Crack and have come to realize that it's actually one of the best trivia games I've ever played...

Crossy Road [Free], the popular and profitable endless arcade game from Hipster Whale, has just received a new content update adding in three new characters to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is coming up on February 19th. You may recall that since its launch last November, Crossy Road received several new characters in an update in December, and a whopping 16 Australian-themed characters in an update just last month. Now here we are just starting out in February and we've already got yet another character update. Hey, I'm not complaining at all! In fact this falls right in line with Hipster Whale's aspirations of adding new characters to the game monthly. So what are the new characters? Well, let's start off with Fortune Chicken, who for a limited time is unlockable for free...

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