Category Archives: Universal

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...

Developer Osao dropped Chronology: Time Changes Everything [Free] on the App Store last week. If the title didn't give it away, Chronology is a platform game that grants you, the player, the ability to manipulate time. Straddling the time periods directly before and after an apocalyptic event, it's up to you to discover the cause and ultimately try to prevent the disaster. Born from a sketch of a snail and a man with a fez, this game has a quirky sense of humor that should prove to have a pretty wide appeal...

Yes, I went for the low-hanging fruit with the review title. Let's just try to move past that and get to the game I want to tell you about today, Kapsula [$1.99]. This is a pretty unusual game. If it wasn't so utterly out there with its theme, I'd almost think it was the product of some bizarre marketing meeting. This is basically a lane-based endless runner mixed with a match-3 puzzle game, and I'll let you try to hash out how that might work for a second before I spoil it all for you...

I wanted to love Phantom Rift [$2.99]. I wanted to give it my unabashed affection. I am quite fond of the Mega Man Battle Network series because of, well, everything about it. Certainly, paying homage to Mega Man is something Phantom Rift isn't doing, but the series itself is paying homage to boasted a unique combat system that took the best aspects of card games and mixed it with fast-paced real-time combat. But where Phantom Rift falls apart is not respecting that speed. Not so much in the combat, but in the overworld that governs getting from fight to fight, and managing the character and deck: it's just too slow to get anywhere in this game, both figuratively and literally...

Microsoft announced earlier this morning that it had acquired Mojang — and Minecraft right along with it — for a cool $2.5 billion. The acquisition is expected to be finalized later this year, and Mojang's three co-founders, including Markus "Notch" Persson, are leaving the company...

A few months ago, ustwo announced that they were creating new levels for Monument Valley [$3.99], their beloved and popular puzzling adventure game of Escherian geometry. Well, between the Apple Design Award, Android release, million copies sold, and just the ravages of time, it'd be easy to forget that new levels are coming. Well, good news: those new levels are still coming, and we have proof, as a screenshot was posted on Twitter over the weekend by ustwo founder Mills...

Duke Dashington [$0.99] is the kind of game that exists in a kind of quandary. It's a game built around brevity, and for mobile devices: it's a platformer where players must swipe to get the eponymous Duke to the exit in no more than 10 seconds. It's frequently challenging but failure never leaves the player washed too far ashore to not just go back and try again. It's a game built around maximizing its brevity, but because it's so small, it winds up limiting just how well it succeeds at what it sets out to do...

Crazy Taxi City Rush [Free] has gotten its first major post-release content update. The big new addition is the fourth district, Hills, which takes place in a Hollywood-esque area. This section is roped off to those who have not completed all the Uptown HQ missions, so this is aimed for people who have played through most of the game already, and want more to do. But I suppose that's the point of any update. Those who do have it can play new HQ missions for characters, and explore the new sights...

I have a very simple wish. I don't think I'm asking for all that much. I want Etherlords [Free] to be the vanguard for the death of energy systems in free-to-play RPGs. We've seen a rise in these kinds of games that make game design purists recoil in horror – ruled by automated battle systems that don't always work in favor of the player. But here's Etherlords, which at least has the decency to let the player play as much as they want. Oh, and it's also a puzzle game with battling that's really just incidental to the whole experience...

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