Category Archives: Universal

Nintendo's 'Super Mario Run' is Now Available!

It's been a long wait since Nintendo officially announced Mario coming to the iPhone in early September, and even longer if you consider that people have been clamoring for Nintendo to bring games to mobile even since the arrival of the iPhone a decade ago, but the time is finally here that Super Mario Run [Free] has arrived in the App Store. Well, arrived in "GET" form rather than the "NOTIFY" form it's been in since September, at least. As most everyone knows by now, Super Mario Run isn't exactly the Mario you know and love from the past three decades. This Mario runs, vaults over enemies, and does every other action besides jumping on his own, leaving you to focus all your attention on the jumping by simply tapping on the screen. It'll be interesting to see if Miyamoto and Co. have still provided a rewarding, skill-based Mario game despite the extreme distillation of its hallmark mechanics. ..

If you had any doubts (which you shouldn't) about Pokemon GO's [Free] global popularity this year, look no further than Google Trends for 2016, which shows the most trending searches during the very extraordinary year that we've had. The top 5 include Donald Trump and the iPhone 7, but above both of those is Pokemon GO, which is an amazing feat for a mobile game that was only around for half of 2016. The US trending searches were quite different from the global ones, but Pokemon GO still managed to be number 4 (just above Slitheri.io, another huge game)...




The card game Plants Vs Zombies Heroes [Free] has been doing pretty well so far, even grabbing one of Apple's best of 2016 awards recently. In the latest update, PVZH has added a new feature that should get players logging into the game more often. The new addition is weekly in-game single and multiplayer events that let you unlock new cards to add to your collection. These new cards aren't available via any other means, so this is your chance to grab some sweet exclusives. If you win games with that week's featured Hero class, you can boost the amount of tickets you earn, which in turn you can use to grab even more cards...

I am mildly concerned for the wellbeing of the guys at Foursaken Media, as their unrelenting output of quality games and successive support for their quality releases is surely incompatible with sleep. Only last November we heard of Noblemen: 1896, the quartet's next release and arguably their most ambitious effort to date, and while December hasn't brought with it any new games, Foursaken Media have today released a major update in support of one of their most beloved titles. Block Fortress [$1.99] achieved significant commercial and critical success upon its release in 2013 for its unique amalgamation of Minecraft-esque building with tower defense gameplay, and although it hasn't received any significant content updates since May 2015, a huge new Holidays-themed patch has launched today with a variety of new weapons, equipment and levels, but also some more mechanical changes that have been popularly requested by fans over the years...

Nintendo's Miitomo [Free] hasn't exactly been the blazing success its first days promised - and Nintendo hoped for - but perhaps that's about to change as Nintendo releases more mobile games. Part of the criticism Miitomo received was that there wasn't really much to do that would keep players coming back, even though recent updates have added some promising features. If the recent discoveries from the Cutting Room Floor are accurate, Miitomo might be about to give Nintendo fans more reasons to come back to the game. According to text stored in a Miitomo Drop image file, Fire Emblem textures are coming to the game. These quite beautiful wallpaper and door textures will definitely go a long way to making those plain Miitomo rooms look better and letting players show off their love for Fire Emblem...

This week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is finally all about Gadgetzan, and it's a fun one, too. The Battle for Gadgetzan picks the Druid, Priest, or Paladin class for you and then has you play with that class' Deck Recipe. In other words, you get to play with the various archetypes the developers feel work the best for each class (or at least are the easiest to play). Expect to play Dragon Priest, with all its beautiful new toys, Jade Druid, where you'll play those lovely buffed guys turn after turn, and Buff Paladin, where you buff minions in your hand. There's also plenty of banter between the leaders of the gangs while you play, which is entertaining...

Craneballs' Upcoming 'Bomb Hunters' Looks Like a Blast, Needs Beta Testers

Craneballs are App Store stalwarts, and having been around for a while in iOS gaming, the Czech developers have dabbled in a wide variety of genres, from shooters such as the Overkill [Free] series, to strange Splatoon-meets-racing hybrids like the February release Splash Cars [Free]. However, despite their eclectic experiences thus far, bomb defusing games are certainly new ground, and that's what Craneballs are attempting to pull off in their upcoming game Bomb Hunters. As you'd expect from the title, Bomb Hunters tasks you with navigating highly fortified environments full of numerous defences in an attempt to deactivate a hidden explosive before the timer runs out and it explodes. This interesting against-the-clock take on Crossy Road [Free] endless puzzle games looks refreshing, and if you'd like to give it a go before its impending release, the developers are looking for beta testers for Bomb Hunters on our forum for both iOS and Android gamers...

A few years back, I got into the show Pretty Little Liars, and I'm still not sure exactly why I did so. It is a pretty entertaining show, and even though I'm not the target demographic - I know many, many teenagers who love that show - I still enjoyed the, well, interesting plot lines and the entertaining mystery. The show is launching its final season in 2017, but you can continue to enjoy the glorious adventures of Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily, in the form of an interactive fiction game. Specifically, Pretty Little Liars is launching today on Episode [Free], the interactive stories platform that has hosted stories like Mean Girls in the past...

'Guns and Spurs' Is an Upcoming Open World Western Adventure, Launching Early 2017

One of the more eagerly anticipated gaming announcements of 2016 was the big Rockstar reveal of Red Dead Redemption 2. The epic western open world adventuring of the original game back in 2010 captured the hearts and imaginations of both hardcore gamers and also more casual players, as its incredibly immersive story and world were truly breathtaking to behold. While its console sequel may not be making the transition towards mobile quite yet, one-man development team Sakis25 Games is looking to fill the cowboy-shaped void on your mobile device. Guns and Spurs, which is slated for an early 2017 release, lets you traverse a dusty western terrain on the back of your trusty steed, whilst apprehending enemies and taking part in horse race events across the land...

Supercell is at it again. Clash Royale [Free] is getting an update January 13th, and the developers have once again started throwing sneak peeks our way. The first new addition is a new Arena, the Jungle Arena, which unlocks at 2600 Trophies and looks pretty awesome. We are also getting four new cards, with each card releasing every two weeks as per the usual recent practice. We are getting the Goblin Gang and the Dart Goblin along with two other cards. The Goblin Dart is very appropriate for the new Jungle Arena. We are also getting more ways to get your hands on Epic cards, with Epic Sunday, Epic Chests, and more. You can check all the details on the sneak peeks here...

There's a bit of lingo in Japanese gaming that doesn't have a great equivalent in English. The term is baka-ge (literally "stupid game"), and it refers to games that are intentionally ridiculous or absurd. Think of something like Goat Simulator [$4.99], and you'll be well on your way to understanding what a baka-ge is. The term doesn't make much of a judgment as to whether the game is bad or good, mind you, but the very presence of this kind of spirit is enough to draw a certain type of gamer. My Horse Prince [Free] is an amazing bit of baka-ge, a tapper that seems to find endless joy in warping its equine protagonist's body in nonsensical ways, sending up visual novel tropes, and making terrible dad-jokes. I suspect the majority of people who bring themselves to try it will find it too stupid to tolerate. For some of you out there, however, this might be one of the most memorable games of this year...

'Kathy Rain' Review - The Nightmare of the 90's is Alive in Conwell Springs

The point-and-click adventure game genre has seen quite the resurgence. Once seen as incredibly niche, a growing gaming audience has helped provide a market for many future games, many from those who enjoyed the genre back in the day. Kathy Rain [$4.99] deliberately pays homage to the 90's era not only by taking place in the decade of grunge, but through a low-resolution aesthetic that tries to make the game feel like it came from that original era. And thanks to a compelling story, this is a great way to spend a few hours solving a dark mystery...

Developer Quantum Sheep has earned a strong following over the years in the TouchArcade forums thanks to a combination of making great games, his sensible love of tea, and being a friendly, fluffy sheep. While the developer has been working hard on a few projects for iOS, it's been a little while since its last release on mobile. But that doesn't mean there's nothing Sheep-related for you to put in your own stocking, friends. Quantum Sheep has put together and released a bundle containing all three Air Supply games for the low price of $1.99. Since Air Supply - SOS [$1.99] usually sells for $1.99 on its own, it's like you're getting the other two for free!..

The original Fieldrunners [$0.99] was one of the first major indie hits on the App Store, and instigated numerous attempts at emulating Subatomic Studios' success through an abundance of similar tower defense titles. However, the first game in the series released over eight years ago (sorry for making you feel old!), which is a massive amount of time both in gaming as a whole, but especially in the fast-moving market of iOS gaming. Simply creating more iterative sequels like Fieldrunners 2 [$2.99] simply wouldn't work in the App Store of 2016, so Subatomic have flipped the formula on its head for its newest entry in the series. In Fieldrunners Attack! [Free] - which is now available for free worldwide on the App Store - you are now tasked with raiding defensive structures, as well as having to consolidate the gains made from such sieging activities, which sounds like a lot of fun for those disillusioned with typical tower defense action...

To be honest, I thought the day would never come when we would play Party Hard on mobile. The game had been announced for mobile a long time ago, but its PC release came and went with nary a mention of the mobile version. The game's publisher tinyBuild, is typically very open about what they're working on, so them being hesitant to show off what would become Party Hard Go [$6.99] was certainly odd. I wondered if the game even existed at some point. Like, I doubted that tinyBuild would be oddly skittish on this one's existence when they're so open with everything else, but it did seem odd. Well, after some work adapting the game and giving it a Go in the name, their murder simulator is finally here. And, well, it's a unique game, but one that has a lot of oddities to it...

Apart from being a really creative, awesome RPG, the biggest thing that struck me about the original Siralim [Free] was just how frequently and magnificently it was updated. Everything from balance adjustments to new graphics to entirely new systems was added to the game after its release, and for quite some time, you could be confident that there would always be something new when you fired up Siralim. The sequel, Siralim 2 [$1.99], hasn't seen quite as frantic a schedule when it comes to updates. It appears that the developer is going for bigger, less frequent updates instead, which is fine by me. The latest one has just hit and it's a whopper...

The Star Wars: Force Collection [Free] card game is getting its third set of cards on December the 14th, and - to no one's surprise - this new set includes cards inspired by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The game is getting Darth Vader, Captain Cassian Andor, Alliance loyalists K-2SO and Bodhi Rook, as well as two incarnations of Rogue One's Imperial Troopers, Shoretroopers and Tank Troopers. These guys are specialists commissioned to protect top secret military facilities, and as all Star Wars fans know, they usually do a pretty bad job at it. These are just some of the cards included in the new set, and I have to congratulate the developers for managing to time the release just right...

Blizzard is well-known for brilliant cinematic sequences and for often making cool commercials. These latest live action ones for Hearthstone [Free], though, might not rank up there with the most memorable ones, at least not for the right reasons. The Take this Inside ads (which are two takes on the same idea) are about two co-workers fighting over a guacamole container during what seems like lunch break. The confrontation quickly escalates and the two decide rather than taking it outside (for some fisticuffs), to take it inside Hearthstone and battle it out...

If you remember the scene in Star Wars when R2-D2 is playing Holochess with Chewbacca, then you'll immediately recognize HoloGrid: Monster Battle [Free], a game created in collaboration with Academy Award VFX Director Phil Tippett, the guy who actually designed and animated the Holochess scenes from both Star Wars and The Force Awakens. We wrote about the game back in March, talking about how Tippett wanted to shift from making monsters on screen to making them for games. At its core, the game is a hybrid between a board game and a CCG, but it also uses AR technology to make it feel more alive and closer to the Holochess experience...

Batman - The Telltale Series [$4.99] has had a pretty rocky ride on mobile because of the many and serious technical issues that have plagued Dark Knight's ride on our phones and tablets. And that's a shame because narratively, the series has been doing some very interesting stuff and has given us a fun and unexpected twist on the Batman mythos. If you've been one of those who's managed to enjoy the series, get ready for the grand finale, City of Light (spoilers from here on). As you can see in our review of the series so far, Episode 4 left Batman with a mountain to climb as the city is falling apart around him and Wayne manor has gone up in flames...

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