Category Archives: Universal

Ever since we first caught wind of it back in February, Sick Bricks  [Free] by Spin Master has been an intriguing title to play. A lot of the individual elements have been seen before in countless games before it. However, as a compilation, we’ve never quite seen a title combine all of those elements with a real-world toy buying campaign. Granted, it’s not quite the perfect melding of real and digital world assets that I’d like. However, Sick Bricks is still a pretty fun game and should do quite well with its intended audience...

There are a lot of pieces of Pixel Heroes [$6.99] that would have had a much stronger effect on me a couple of years ago. The well-designed faux-retro graphics and sound, the roguelike elements, and the referential sense of humor are all things that have appeal for me, but even the marriage of these particular aspects is getting a bit too familiar to be exciting. That means the game has to carry forward on its gameplay, and it's honestly a mixed bag. This is a challenging streamlined RPG that doesn't take itself too seriously and offers a lot of replay value, but its repetitive nature and tedious combat eat away at the fun, bite by bite...

We're busy little bees running around GDC meeting with developers and checking out cool games, but this is just a quick heads up that the latest update for Pixelbite's tactical dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] is now available as a free update in the App Store. The update adds Chapter Two to the game, which includes new weapons, new gear, new missions to complete and new enemies to defeat. Check out the trailer...

Earlier today we sat down with Disco Pixel, makers of the rhythm title Jungle Rumble: Freedom, Happiness and Bananas [$3.99]. Since its release in 2014, Jungle Rumble has seen enough success in various markets to warrant some significant updates, which were revealed to us at GDC...

A few weeks back, our crack Japan-based reporter Shaun Musgrave wrote about a new update for the iOS version of the original Final Fantasy [$7.99]. It was the first update to the game in more than two years. While the game didn't receive true widescreen support, it did get some lovely border art to fill in the dreaded "black bars" when playing the game on any of the widescreen iPhone devices. Similarly, the previous iPhone-only version of the game became Universal, though its scaling was a bit weird on iPad devices. Strangely, some of the long-standing bugs in the game didn't get fixed with that update at all, but at least it was nice to see Square Enix paying some kind of attention to one of their oldest iOS games...

We were already well aware that Pixelbite Games were experts at making racing games, with the excellent Reckless Racing series and Repulze, but in early January they released Space Marshals [$4.99] and showed the world that they've also got a lock on tactical dual-stick shooters. We loved Space Marshals in our review, noting that it really focused on forethought, skill and strategy, which is a contrast from most dual-stick shooters which are largely blast-a-thons. The one bummer about Space Marshals is that it was designed as an episodic game, and the first chapter, while a nice meaty ride, still felt like it left you hanging when it was over. Good news, then, as today Pixelbite has announced that the Chapter Two update to Space Marshals is arriving next week on March 5th. They've released a new trailer showing off some of the awesome new stuff you can expect in Chapter Two...

'AG Drive' Review - Doesn't Reinvent the Hover Engine

You just don't see a whole lot of ugly futuristic racers. Even if a game has ugly visuals, it can be excused away as a lo-fi stylistic choice to represent the vagueness of the future, or some artsy gobbledygook like that. But often, because the games can be big, bold, and colorful because they're playing with exaggerated fantasy, futuristic racing games can be gorgeous. Wipeout has always been a great-looking franchise. AG Drive [$3.99] follows that Wipeout formula - deliver fast-paced futuristic racing that's absolutely stunning to look at. This is a solid futuristic racing game that's quite easy on the eyes...

Nitrome is a company with a very fascinating output, as they have roots as a Flash game company with a particular pixel art style, and Flash games have always felt to me like they straddle a line between being casual-friendly but also maintaining that appeal to core, dyed-in-the-wool gamers. As such, their mobile games definitely have that casual feel while still being ones that core gamers should enjoy as 'real games'. And Magic Touch - Wizard for Hire [Free] is perhaps their best effort at being casual yet gamer-friendly. It's got touch-friendly controls, but very quickly ramps up into an incredible challenge to face down...

One of the best mobile games of 2014 was Goblin Sword [$1.99], an action platformer with RPG trappings from two-man studio Gelato Games. With drop-dead gorgeous pixel art, flawless controls, a lengthy campaign and just enough character upgrading and customization elements, everything just fell into place with Goblin Sword and we effortlessly awarded it 5 stars in our original review. That was all way back in September of last year though, and while it's taken a bit of time, a huge new update has just been released for Goblin Sword which adds in all sorts of goodies...

Rarely does a game make me question the reason for its very existence. Often times, the objective is clear enough. A game might want to tell a story, to thrill the player and test their reflexes, or even to just make a lot of money by capitalizing on a particular trend. But with Tempo [$3.99], I just cannot for the life of me conceive just why does this game exist? Who thought this game was a valid idea that should exist? It's not a bad idea, but it's the video game equivalent of building a bridge in the middle of a field. Sure, it can be a structurally sound and beautiful bridge, but what exactly was the point of building it in the first place?..

'Garou: Mark of the Wolves' Review - When Butt Fights Dong, We All Win

The latest port of an SNK Neo-Geo fighting game to iOS is one of the best yet. Garou: Mark of the Wolves [$0.99] has a reputation as being one of the last Dreamcast games to release in the US, a late-era Neo Geo game, and as a darn good fighter, the last in the main Fatal Fury series. Now it's on iOS along with other ports done by DotEmu, but this version winds up being one of the best ports yet thanks to the robust features included...

Pinball Arcade [$0.99] is like a digital museum of real-life pinball machines that's been kicking around on various platforms, including iOS, for a few years now. It's had a staggering number of pinball machines added to it over the years, some that are high-profile, big-name IPs and some more obscure stuff. The holy grail of these real-life pinball machines is The Addams Family Pinball which was created and release in the early '90s to coincide with the Addams Family movie. ..

One of the more highly-anticipated games around TA finally launched this week with Built By Snowman's Alto's Adventure [$1.99]. The game has been highly praised for its beautiful art, which has caused it to gain a lot of traction and even get coverage on several media outlets that don't normally cover video games. It's definitely striking enough to have a mainstream appeal, and I myself have to confess that I'm constantly being stricken by the game's beauty. However, as a long-time gamer and someone who has played more side-scrolling endless runners than I can count, I admit that I was underwhelmed gameplay-wise the first time I took Alto's Adventure for a spin. It felt like, "That's it?"..

Last month NetherRealm Studios and Phosphor Games unleashed WWE Immortals [Free] onto a bunch of unsuspecting marks. In simple terms, WWE Immortals is NetherRealm's Injustice: Gods Among Us [Free] for mobile but reskinned with superhero versions of WWE wrestlers. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, as Injustice is fantastic and the world of WWE is full of colorful characters who could fit right into a game like this. In fact I'm a big fan of Immortals, and gave it 4 stars in my review, basically stating that it was off to a great start but it has a long way to go to catch up to Injustice in terms of content and polish. ..

'Alto’s Adventure' Review - Winter Wonderland

'Alto’s Adventure' Review - Winter Wonderland

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February 20th, 2015 2:00 PM EDT by Eric Ford in $1.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Arcade, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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Ever since we caught wind of the teaser back in September of last year, Alto’s Adventure [$1.99] has been an intriguing title. The biggest question I had was whether the game’s highly stylistic art style would be able to counterbalance a gameplay system that is essentially standard endless snowboarding fare. For me, I think the excellent visual style and soundtrack make for an experience that’s worth experiencing the otherwise basic endless gameplay...

Coincidentally on the heels of talk about how long people are entitled to updates on games comes news of another App Store classic getting a maintenance update. rRootage Online HD [$0.99], the paid and universal version of Kenta Cho's classic freeware shmup, ported to iOS, has just gotten an update to make the game work on iOS 8, and to support iPhone 6 & Plus resolutions. The game's last update was in 2012, which was a maintenance update to make it work with the latest iOS, with iPhone 5 resolution, and to replace OpenFeint with just Game Center. Previous updates added iPad support and other maintenance features - rRootage is content-locked at this point, but it's just great to see the game continue to get updates to work as iOS devices change and evolve. Here's some grainy footage of the PC version in action being played by an expert:..

Another Thursday straggler that didn't quite hit at midnight? AG Drive [$3.99] from ZORG Entertainment, a futuristic racer, is now out worldwide. If you enjoy games like F-Zero, Wipeout, and the many futuristic racers that followed in their footsteps, this might just be up your alley, as you control a way-too-fast hover-car through dangerous, twisty courses at high speeds. There are no weapons here, so it's just about out-maneuvering and out-speeding your opponents. Or, at the very least, just staying alive to the finish line, as you have a health bar and three lives to deal with...

If you hit up our weekly new game release post looking for the stylish endless snowboarding game Alto's Adventure [$1.99] and panicked when you didn't see it, fear not: The game is now officially available in the App Store. We've had our eye on Alto's Adventure from developer Snowman, Inc. since they first began teasing the game last fall. It utilizes a very attractive art style that's reminiscent of thatgamecompany's 2012 PlayStation hit Journey, which Snowman has indeed cited as an inspiration. Gameplay-wise, Alto's Adventure is very similar to the excellent Ski Safari [$0.99]. Your character moves to the right automatically, while tapping the screen makes him jump and holding down on the screen while in the air performs a backflip. ..

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 [$0.99] 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...

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