Category Archives: Universal

Remember Aralon: Sword and Shadow [$4.99] from Crescent Moon Games? It's gotten a number of price drops since its last update way back in the halcyon days of 2012, when iPhones were small and didn't bend. But oh, today is a different day. iPhones are bigger. iPads are the same size and also smaller and rumored to be bigger soon. But no longer is Aralon static. It has gotten the double-whammy update: it now supports widescreen iPhones. And it supports iPhone 6 and 6 Plus resolution. Plus, the game has been updated to support iOS 8, so it's widescreen, bug-free, and has improved lighting and shadow effects. My, what an age we live in...

'Anomaly Defenders' Review - Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

I admit that I'm coming into this Anomaly Defenders [$4.99] with a bit of bias because I've played each of the Anomaly games. I liked the games, but I'm hardly a raving fanatic for the series. But still, it's hard not to play this and think that this is kind of fan service for people have played the previous games in the series and wonder what it would be like to play as the aliens defending from the humans. Well, let me just say – it turns out 11 bit is as good at tower defense as they are at tower offense...

Frequent readers of TouchArcade know that I enjoy gamebooks quite a bit. What can I say? I grew up during the rise of Choose Your Own Adventures, when a pocket RPG meant a bunch of words written by Steve Jackson that you had to steal the dice from the family Monopoly set to play. It's more than just simple nostalgia, though. Call me an old curmudgeon, or maybe just a guy looking out for his livelihood, but I feel like there's a particular imaginative power to the written word that can't quite be matched by any other form of expression. That fight with the giant lizard king never turns out quite as awesome in illustrated or animated form as it does in your mind as you read the words off of a page. I'm thrilled that gamebooks have come back with a vengeance on mobiles. It's a perfect home for them, and allows developers and authors to push their ideas beyond the constraints of a physical media, while still using good old-fashioned words to beam the finest of adventures into your head...

Flappy Golf [Free] fan that wants some new content? Well, do I have good news: there's a creative new asynchronous multiplayer mode called King of the Hole coming, and we only have the children to thank for that. Noodlecake crunched the numbers on the data, and saw that Flappy Golf's numbers were steadily increasing...and then immediately started falling around Memorial Day, i.e. when schools start letting out for summer. The game plummeted off the charts. That is, until late August and early September, when the game's download ranks suddenly started climbing again...

I love tower defense games. I can totally understand the sentiment that as a genre, its a little played out though. Right Pedal Studios' newest title, Ninja Raft [$2.99], has an eye out to avoid some of the most common pitfalls many TD games make. With a focus on active gameplay and an adventurous setting, you aren't going to be left feeling like you are digging in waiting for things to happen. Your ninjas will need to be agile to keep their floating fortress safe from their ultimate nemesis...

Sometimes games have the hallmarks of greatness, but fail to stick the landing, and that's how I perceive Joinz [$1.99] to be. It mixes Tetris with Threes [$1.99], having players form tetrominos and other block shapes by sliding different-colored blocks around the board, with same color blocks sticking to each other. As more matches are made, powerup blocks come into play, and more colors get involved, making the game steadily more challenging. But it's the way that the game starts and then increases its difficulty, along with a qualm with randomness and the logic of blocks sticking together that keep it from really reaching its potential...

FIFA 15 Ultimate Team [Free] from EA is out today on the App Store. This latest version of the hit soccer simulation is focused around the popular Ultimate Team mode, which involves building a team based on real-world players and buying packs of player cards to help improve the team. Note that the game is pretty much exclusively just about building the Ultimate Team, as the only way to play as teams besides your own are in the Games of the Week mode, which are based around the club you choose, including their real-world schedule. Last year's version offered IAP to unlock the ability to play quick matches with anybody. For the team you're building up, you can choose to play out the matches they play in the various quick matches, seasons, and tournaments, or take part in quick simulations...

The short turnaround time between the iPhone 6 Plus' announcement and release has left developers scrambling to support the larger iPhone, which has some new technical wrinkles because of its higher resolution. It presents a conundrum because where the iPhone 6 renders @2X, the same pixel density as previous Retina Displays, the iPhone 6 Plus internally renders @3X, an entirely new pixel density. To help explain what is happening in action, David Frampton of Majic Jungle sent over some screenshots showing off The Blockheads [Free], and the differences between an unoptimized iPhone 6 Plus game, and what it would look like:..

Cubus Games is a relative newcomer to the surprisingly burgeoning gamebook market on the App Store, with Heavy Metal Thunder [$2.99] being just their second release. Mobile gamers have been getting spoiled lately by the heavy competition between the existing gamebook publishers, with each new release finding new ways to push beyond what was possible with an actual paper book. Heavy Metal Thunder won't be joining that particular arms race, but it does deliver a reasonably exciting adventure with some occasionally shaky but always enthusiastic writing. In most ways it's a very orthodox entry into the genre, though I do give it credit for its strong use of audio, and while it may lack in ambition, it's a very well-put together, enjoyable bit of pulp sci-fi action...

Duke Dashington [$0.99] released a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed the game, but thought that there were some additions that could be made to the game to improve its longevity, without necessarily adding new content. The developer, Adventure Island, has promised that they were coming in an update, and they have delivered: Duke Dashington 1.1 is out right now, bringing a new time trial mode and Game Center to the game...

Alpha Dog Games' Wraithborne [Free] has gotten its first update in over a year. Typically such an update, especially timed around an iOS release, would be about just updating the game for the new iOS version and new devices, which this one does, yes – there's iOS 8 support and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compatbility. But the game has also gotten some new contents, and has been made into a free-to-play title...

There are plenty of negative things to be said about Goat Simulator [$4.99]. Its controls are difficult to manage, and lead to many awkward camera angles and difficult attempts at navigating. The visuals...are not the peak of 3D modeling. The world is a bit small, and while there's plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, you can see most of this game in a short amount of time. The game's general clumsiness makes it difficult to manage the skill-based aspects, and to complete some of the achievements. And the game is generally kinda buggy, with the goat's head getting stuck and warped in fences, occasionally just falling through the earth, and the odd crash or two. The whole thing is a joke that runs its course not too long after playing it...

'WWE SuperCard' Review - Playing Cards 3:16

'WWE SuperCard' Review - Playing Cards 3:16

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September 22nd, 2014 10:00 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4.5 stars, Card, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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The mobile platform has created a market that I can't get enough of -- digital tabletop. Although the online marketplace has created potential issues in terms of overcharging for cards, expansions, or game pieces, playing a tabletop game without having to deal with any of the setup is a godsend in many instances, particularly with games that take forever to lay out. It also allows games to flourish that wouldn't have existed otherwise, like WWE SuperCard [Free]...

'FOTONICA' Review - A Running Riot

I'm going to take a guess, dear reader, and say that you have played an endless runner or two hundred. I don't think you've played anything on mobile quite like Fotonica [$2.99]. It's an auto-runner by way of Mirror's Edge [$0.99 / $9.99 (HD)] – not the side-scrolling game, but the original game, in first-person, all in a wireframe style. The entire game is played with one touch, but it's not tap-to-jump. Essentially, tapping and holding on the screen descends to the ground, and allows the runner to pick up speed, while letting go jumps in the air. When jumping, trying to land with this rapid descent is important to maintain speed, as bonus points are earned for running fast enough that the world turns gold...

I am willing to admit that I have a soft spot for challenging, minimalist arcade games. The thing that fascinates me about something like a Super Hexagon [$2.99] or Flappy Bird is the way that such small concepts can be designed in such ways that they inspire constant replayability despite having such simple concepts. And in the case of Flappy Bird, it's possible for these games to succeed accidentally. It's an absolutely fascinating genre. So, seeing Hyper Trip [$1.99], I found myself curious to see if this could be something special, as I dug its concept of controlling a square through mazes, not unlike a Tron lightcycle. And certainly, it's a challenging game, requiring quick reactions to avoid the maze walls that pop up, with four modes the feature increasingly-challenging layouts. Certainly, it falls into my line of interest, but it left me not as satisfied as I hoped...

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