Category Archives: Universal

Good news! KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained χ [Free] just popped up on the App Store, so this week is suddenly shaping up to be a pretty good one in terms of releases. If you don't know much about the game, Tetsuya Nomura described the game as taking place during the beginning of the KINGDOM HEARTS series. It takes place in the world of the fairy tales talked about throughout the series and before the Keyblade War. You'll play as one of the many keyblade wielders. In the game you'll fight the Heartless as you explore Disney's worlds (more Disney themes on the App Store today after Disney Crossy Road [Free]). You can collect and evolve hundreds of character medals containing the power of popular Disney and FINAL FANTASY heroes and villains, which was a blend I always found fascinating in the KINGDOM HEARTS games...

If you dislike RNG in Hearthstone [Free], then you should definitely stay away from today's Tavern Brawl, Too Many Portals. If you enjoy all kinds of crazy RNG-induced shenanigans, you're about to have a blast. This Brawl isn't new, but it's still one of the most iconic Brawls we've gotten up to now partly because it emphasizes the craziness of the mode. If you haven't played Tavern Brawl in the past, in this one the master mages of Dalaran have gone too far and ended up opening up hundreds of portals (sounds like Mickey in Fantasia). Now, you choose a class, get a few class-specific spells and plenty of Unstable Portals, and you start slinging them around and hope for the best...




World of Tanks Blitz [Free] is one of those games that hits a great balance between short, fun gameplay and long-term goals, and that's why I often return to it. The way you advance in WOT Blitz is by researching higher Tier tanks up to the top Tier X beasts. And trust me when I say, going to Tier X takes a long, long time. However, an issue that WOT Blitz has had pretty much since the beginning was that higher Tier tanks (especially Tier IX-X) would often cost you money rather than give you money even when you won, and that was due to the high cost of repairs after each round. Now, Wargaming.net has finally decided to fix this issue with Update 2.8 that aims to make playing higher tier tanks worth playing...

If you've enjoyed Telltale's Minecraft Story Mode but now want to go back to building and blowing things up in Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99], Mojang is making it possible that you can have the best of both worlds, sort of. In celebration of Story Mode Season One's conclusion, Minecraft PE is getting a skin pack that lets you dress up as Jesse, Olivia, Axel, Petra, and many more of the character from Telltale's take on the Minecraft Universe. There's a total of 27 skins in this pack, and they are all free on iOS between April 6th and 12th. After that, the pack will cost $2.99, so make sure you pick it up before the 12th (part of the skin pack will remain free forever). There's even a Story Mode-themed arena map that recreates Soren's mob-grinder, so good luck surviving that...

In January of this year I was pleased to see Sega release an update for Sonic 4 Episode 2 [$2.99] that addressed some iOS compatibility issues which had rendered the game unplayable. Sure the game was broken for about 2.5 years before the fix arrived, but I was still glad to see it arrive at all and, perhaps feeling a bit too optimistic, I also said "Although it's never been broken by iOS, I sure wouldn't mind Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 [$2.99] getting a little update love with some widescreen action." Well hey, guess what? Sega has done just that with an update released just this morning. Not only is the game properly widescreen now, but the art itself has been cleaned up for modern iOS device resolutions. Here's a bunch of comparison shots from before and after today's update, click on any of them to enlarge...

While many genres are forced to stick with conventions (action games typically have an ending, for example), puzzle games can basically do whatever they want. That's both a boon and a curse, as developers can often completely blow your mind or go so far out there that the concept doesn't quite land. Perfect Angle [$1.99] actually manages to encapsulate both of those concepts, oddly enough...

Just like everyone else in the Hearthstone [Free] universe, I'm also anxiously waiting for Standard mode to finally hit Blizzard's CCG and radically change the game, hopefully for the better. From what we know so far, we expect the new Standard/Wild format split and the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion to hit late April early May, and now we may actually have an approximate date, April 26th. Where did we get this date? Well, if you go to the Battle.net client and try to buy the Curse of Naxxramas Adventure, you get a warning that starting April 26th, cards from this set will only be playable in Wild play format and you won't be able to purchase this adventure any more...

Monkey Swingers [Free] is a game that has some immediate appeal, but it doesn't take long for it start pushing you away. Not only is the game quite tough, it also demands a fair bit of concentration, and a good run usually lasts longer than the excitement does. If you intend on getting your little monkey up into space and beyond, you need to demonstrate a high level of skill, but also set aside a reasonably big chunk of time to dedicate to the task. I like the idea behind the game well enough, and it's certainly got a nice system of upgrades and fun cosmetic items to unlock, but it just doesn't come together as well as I'd hope...

And then they were three Old Gods in Hearthstone [Free]. After C'Thun and N'Zoth, Blizzard unveiled Y'Shaarj, the biggest of the Old Gods and once the head of the largest empire on Azeroth. The third of the gods from the upcoming Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, Y'Shaarj is, of course, a 10-cost Legendary and has the highest stats of the Gods we've seen so far with 10 Attack and 10 Health. His effect, though, is on the disappointing side, at least with what we know so far about the expansion. At the end of your turn, Y'Shaarj puts a minion from your deck into the battlefield. First, a couple of clarifications: as with other similar effects, Y'Shaarj's won't trigger battlecries, and cards with end of turn effects that are pulled out of your deck will not activate those effects, which pretty much demands you build a very specific deck if you're not to waste your cards' battlecries and effects...

We've been following the progress of Power Hover's [$2.99] forthcoming update for the past few months as developer Oddrok has been posting bits and pieces of the update in our forums. Now it's all coming full circle as that update is finished and set to arrive next Thursday, April 7th. The update will include new environments to hover around in, an entire new chapter with 6 new levels and 1 new endless boss level, and new characters to unlock and play as. All of this new goodness can be seen in this brand new trailer...

'Dirac' Review - Atoms @ Home

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March 31st, 2016 1:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Drawing, Games, Puzzle, Reviews, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

With a name like Mediocre, it’s almost like the studio is baiting reviewers. “Go ahead,” they're saying, “just try to make some lame joke about our games being mediocre.” Of course we can’t say those things, because Smash Hit [Free] and Does Not Commute [Free] (and earlier titles like Sprinkle [$1.99]) were outstanding games. The irony in their name proves the studio is supremely confident in the quality of their products, and they've certainly earned it...

I quite enjoyed Rope Racers [Free] in my review last week, and in fact I’m still playing every day. Flying through each level via ropes and trying to beat nine other people to the finish is incredibly fun, but unfortunately the game has just about every free-to-play mechanic you can think of. There’s a slot machine, two currencies, a stamina meter, and several other timers. It’s far from the worst I’ve seen, but it can hamper your progress if you’re not careful. Fortunately, I managed to unlock all 20 leagues and most of the characters since it came out, and I’ve compiled some of the tips and tricks I used below...

'Exploding Kittens' is a Blast of a Game That's a Couple of Features Away from Being Amazing

How can hurting kittens be any fun? I mean, they truly are the cutest beings ever, and yet here I am reviewing a game called Exploding Kittens [$1.99], which I very much enjoy playing. I suppose it's somewhat similar to playing Cards Against Humanity and making the weirdest, most inappropriate card combos just for laughs. But, I digress. Exploding Kittens is the digital version of the Kickstarter-darling card game with the same name that's gone to break all kinds of records. It's not the most complex card game, but it was never aiming for that; rather, the physical version of Exploding Kittens bet on the cute art combined with the totally inappropriate theme of hurting cute kittens and managed to deliver a quick, fun card game that hits the right balance between being casual and still having enough complexity to keep it interesting after multiple rounds...

Sure, a while back I said I was done with idle clickers. But I'm done with them in the same way I'm done with match-3 games, for the most part: I'll play the occasional one because I still enjoy the core idea, but I've just played too many of them to want to keep diving back in on a regular basis. Doomsday Clicker [Free] from PikPok is my occasional exception to clickers, particularly as I enjoyed the concept, and the typical PikPok production values go a long way here. But it's still a clicker, and it can only really go so far at this point. Plus, it's one of this new generation of non-clicker clickers, and I'm not sure I enjoy that development...

Dragon Hills [Free] busted onto the scene just about a year ago, and took the whole "diving in and out of the ground eating people and destroying things" gameplay first popularized by Death Worm [$2.99 / Free] and gave it the lovely style and personality that developer Rebel Twins is known for. While the game was quite enjoyable upon release, it never received any new content afterwards, which is a surefire way to be forgotten about in the tough App Store environment. Well, upon its one year anniversary, Rebel Twins has prepared a hefty update for Dragon Hills which will add new playable dragons called "King of Fire" and "Worminator", a new Pirate-themed environment, new enemies, and more. Check out the trailer for the new update...

Second new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl in a row, so we must be doing something right. This time around, there are no preconstructed decks to frustrate anyone with their complete lack of balance (sorry Rafaam, you sucked); instead, what you get to do in You Must be This Tall to Brawl is fill your deck with spells and minions costing over 7 mana. As you can imagine, you can't just rely on those big finishers to end the game because you'll be done way before turn 7. The good thing is that you know the opponent only has 7-cost minions too, right? Well, not quite. Keep in mind that you can take any spell along that summons minions like Hunter's Animal Companion, Ball of Spiders, or spells from other classes like Power of the Wild, Imp-losion, and so on...

The quite popular A/RPG Soul Seeker [Free] is getting a pretty big update soon that should make players quite happy. If you haven't played the game, Soul Seeker offers real-time combat and over 200 hundred heroes, all wrapped up in a pretty intense package. The new update will offer a new Hero Combination System, where players can acquire new specific heroes. The new system will consist of S-Grade, A-Grade, and B-Grade Heroes, which require various materials in order to be obtained. The update will also modify the Raid Battle System by adding a normal mode. Awakening materials will be available to obtain Raid Heroes introduced in this new mode...

I believe it's quite fair to say that The Walking Dead franchise has turned many of us into followers of everything zombie-related and, especially, everything TWD related. So, it's no surprise that there are two The Walking Dead games in the first 150 top grossing apps of the App Store, and one of them, The Walking Dead: No Man's Land [Free], just got a pretty interesting update. If you haven't played the game, No Man's Land is a base building game with a pretty robust tactical component that makes those fights with the undead both entertaining and tense. As solid as the combat was in the game, it has become even better with update 1.8 that's gone live today. This update has introduced a cover system that will make the ranged part of combat much more tactical than before...

We've been following the progress of Extreme Gear ever since spotting it for the first time back in late January, but today is the day that Zero Games' Extreme Gear: Demolition Arena [Free] has finally arrived in the App Store. If you haven't been following along, Extreme Gear is pretty much an homage to old-school Destruction Derby from the PS1 days, something I've been hoping for on iOS for a long time. I've spent a good chunk of my day with Extreme Gear, and while it's certainly rough around the edges and has plenty of room for improvement, the bottom line is that smashing into other cars is fun, and Extreme Gear does a great job at letting you do just that. ..

Minecraft Pocket Edition [$6.99] developers have repeatedly said they aim for total parity between the various versions of the game. Today we got more evidence on how serious the developers are since they announced that MCPE will get command blocks, mods, and more as they work towards reaching feature parity as soon as possible. While those features won't be as powerful as on the PC for a while, according to developer Tommasso Checchi, they are hoping to make them just as powerful in the future. According to Jens Bergensten, lead developer on Minecraft in case you don't know, modding is a core element of the Minecraft community, so they definitely want to bring that feature to MCPE...

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