Category Archives: Universal

Dungeon Link [Free] is a clever game: it combines line-drawing puzzles, where you have to connect different sets of dots with lines that don't intersect, and makes it into an RPG battling system. Characters have different attacks and do more damage the longer their lines are, and the more they run over and by enemies. You can level up, combine, and evolve your characters, just like many free-to-play social RPGs, but the puzzle gameplay is the real hook here. Once auto-battling gets involved and the concept of the game just proves to be something you can just ditch entirely, then a lot of the charm that Dungeon Link first has goes away...

Freebie Alert: '2-bit Cowboy' Goes Free for the First Time to Celebrate its One-Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe, but it's already been an entire year since Crescent Moon and Cascadia Games released their monochrome "Westernvania" platformer 2-bit Cowboy [$0.99] on the App Store. But time flies, and in celebration of this momentous anniversary the game has been discounted from its already-paltry price of 99¢ all the way down to free. The clever term of Westernvania is a play on Metroidvania–an action platformer that takes place in one big level map that slowly opens up new areas as new abilities are attained by your character–but, you know, with a Western theme. ..

'Kayos' Review - Star Faux

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$1.99 Buy Now

Over the course of my entire iOS lifetime (which started in 2009), I've probably played a couple hundred runner games. Although I haven't given them an equal time of day, for some reason the genre just doesn't get old, and I can spend at least an afternoon with them as long as they're semi-competent experiences. Kayos [$1.99] is another cool little endless runner based on flight that won't garner your interest long, but enough to make an impact...

Apparently, the economy is still in the dumps because even stealing cars comes cheaper now with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas[$6.99] dropping to its lowest price ever. Rockstar's GTA: San Andreas, the iOS port of the fantastic PS2 game originally released in 2004, made quite a few gamers very happy when it hit the App Store in 2013, and now those who don't already own the game can enjoy San Andreas at probably the lowest price ever on any platform. In our review, we talked about how the power of iOS devices fixed all the technical issues of the original version and how the on-screen controls work pretty well (there's controller support too). The game is absolutely enormous and with cloud-saving enabled (through Rockstar Social Club), you won't have to worry about anyone stealing your save games...

I could talk to you about Ustwo's Monument Valley[$3.99], which has just dropped to its lowest price ever, in so many ways. I could wax poetically about its illusory essence or its mysterious blank-faced protagonist. Or maybe just mention the game's abundance of awards, among them Apple's 2014 iPad Game of the Year, 2015 BAFTA for Best Mobile & Handheld, Apple's 2014 Design Award, or 2015 GDC Innovation Award. Or, of more interest to those who enjoy their TV shows, I could talk about how the fictional President Frank Underwood - of House of Cards fame - goes from blasting people on Call of Duty in the first season to pondering his next machination over a solemn game of Monument Valley. I could even talk about how its brevity actually enhances its originality. Or maybe just add a trailer for those who prefer the visual over the textual...

Sometimes getting a second chance works to your benefit, and this seems to be the case for Angry Bugs' Drylands, a post-apocalyptic RPG that briefly appeared on the App Store a few weeks ago only to disappear like all joy and happiness did in the recent Batman trilogy. Drylands' developers apparently fell victim to iOS 8.3 (as did many other developers, most notably Spiderweb Software), and decided to pull the game and fix it rather than just wash their hands of the whole thing. Many in the forums were wondering what the future holds for Drylands, and, fortunately, I have some good news on that front...

'Subterfuge' Strategy/Diplomacy Game Preview - Fascinating Machinations of Machines

One of my favorite aspect of strategy games is the clash of wits and the constant attempt to outmaneuver your opponent. Yet, AI opponents never really give me those glorious moments that a strategy board game can, the knowledge that you've just outmaneuvered someone who sees and understands the game in the same way you do but still couldn't figure out the trap you'd been setting the last few turns. So, when I first heard about Subterfuge, a one-week long multiplayer game of strategy and diplomacy currently in alpha developed by a team consisting of Ron Carmel (of World of Goo), Noel Llopis (of Amazing Alex), and artist Shane Nakamura (of Zombie Gunship), my strategy sense started tingling. According to the developers, the game was greatly influenced by Neptune's Pride and Diplomacy, which is music to my ears. After spending about a week with the game, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the game coming out because Subterfuge really brings diplomacy to the fore and will be a great game to play with friends (as long as you don't mind losing a few of them after you double-cross them for the tenth time)...

'Hearthstone' Blackrock Mountain Adventure Review - The Best Way to Experience this Fantastic CCG

After five weeks of playing, thinking, and writing about Hearthstone's [FreeBlackrock Mountain Adventure (BRM), the fun is over and we are back to playing plain, old Hearthstone. No more Wings to explore, no more crazy bosses to tackle, and, more importantly, no new cards to get. What's done is done though, and now that BRM is over, we can look back and see how Blizzard did in its second attempt at an Adventure after the successful Curse of Naxxramas. If we look at the Adventure as a whole, I believe that Blizzard did a great job thematically, perhaps better than with Naxxramas, as the Dragon-and-Fire themes were represented very well in BRM's various wings. The card rewards were also great, and although they might not revolutionize the meta, I think they'll help turn the RNG down a notch. BRM wasn't perfect, though, and some of the issues that Naxxramas had also surfaced here, especially in terms of the Heroic Bosses and the lack of extra deck slots. But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

I'm generally terrible at roguelikes. What can I say, I'm young and reckless! But I love the genre (and its conventions that inspire other games) because they're highly replayable and demand that I get better at them. When Steam had its recent roguelike sale, I found out that I owned more than half of the games on sale – and bought a few more. So, MicRogue [$1.99] definitely appealed to me, especially as a bite-sized roguelike. And hey, I do love me some pixel art. Thankfully, MicRogue delivers solid, entry-level roguelike gameplay...

Minimalist platformer games have become one of my favorite unlikely genres on mobile devices. Years ago I would have scoffed the idea of running and jumping with precision on a touch-specific control scheme, but at this point, we have MFi controllers and a number of talented developers that make it work regardless. Burn it Down [Free] may not have the former convenience, but it works on multiple levels...

'The Paris Dossier' Review - Spying in WW2 Paris

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May 1st, 2015 2:00 PM EDT by Tasos Lazarides in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Adventure, Reviews, Universal
Free Buy Now

When most think of WW2, they think of grainy black-and-white footage of exploding planes and of exhausted soldiers running to their death. That this is the dominant imagery of WW2 is not surprising, of course, since most of us are drawn to the visual spectacle of explosions and destruction. Yet, there was an even more intense aspect of WW2, one that was in a way a war of individuals rather than armies, and that was the spy-against-spy war whose theater consisted of the cities and villages behind enemy lines. It's in this quiet battlefield that Lexica Games has set its noir-ish adventure game, The Paris Dossier [Free], a relatively-traditional adventure game that is entertaining, especially for those with an interest in cryptography and word puzzles, despite its relative brevity and occasional UI issues...

So this is how it ends, not with a bang, but with Nefarian. Hearthstone's [Free] Blackrock Mountain Adventure has reached its end with the last wing, The Hidden Laboratory, and now we'll have to wait until the next expansion to get an influx of new cards. This wing was entertaining, although it felt easier than the previous ones...

How many "city building" tap games have you played before? The answer is usually "just one and I hate them" or "five on a daily basis," with very little room in between. Yes, Century City [Free] is another one of those "wait and tap" builders, but it sets itself apart with a few extra mechanics that allow you to play a more active role in your cities' quest for unfettered expansion...

We have reached the end of the road my fellow travelers as the final Wing of Hearthstone's [Free] Blackrock Mountain Adventure has just opened its gates and awaits your presence. As its name, Hidden Laboratory, reveals, this Wing holds the results of all kinds of unsavory experiments, so be prepared to be unpleasantly surprised. The Bosses you'll be fighting against are Omnotron Defense System, Maloriak, Atramedes, and, of course, Nefarian himself. Unlike the earlier Wings, the Hidden Laboratory comes with only one Class Challenge, the Paladin...

Woah Dave! [$4.99], the pretty cool Mario Bros. like action-platformer where you pick up items to throw at enemies in an arena, has gotten its big Deluxe update today on iOS. It's been available for a few weeks on other platforms, but it's finally available for everyone who prefers to play this game on iOS. The update adds in a whole bunch of stuff: there's two new levels with new wrinkles to try out. A number of new characters are available, with cameos from other Choice Provisions games. Oh, and you can ride a UFO, too...

'Does Not Commute' Review - A Sweet Ride

Does Not Commute [Free] is a game that has looked appealing and intriguing since the day I got to see it in motion. Mediocre posted a teaser video of it, then they demoed the game to us at GDChttp://toucharcade.com/2015/03/06/gdc-2015-does-not-commute/, and it was one of my favorites there. The concept was super-fun to play with, and somehow, Does Not Commute got even better from there. The tweaked some of the things from the original GDC version, and made this an absolute must-have...

'Mega Drift' review - Anywhere but Tokyo

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Cool cars, a rad '90s racer aesthetic, and a free price point -- what could go wrong with Mega Drift [Free]? Despite the on-paper looks, it's the pacing that wounds the beast. As you can probably guess, you'll be drifting a lot with Chillingo's latest foray into the iOS marketplace. ..

Spirit Lords [Free] from Kabam is their twist on the popular free-to-play hack 'n slash genre. Daniel Erickson, lead designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Phil Shenk, lead character artist on Diablo 2, played significant roles in the creation of this game. Additionally, Kabam wanted this to be what they term "white hat" free-to-play, where you can earn all loot through normal gameplay. What they've made is a solid action-RPG, with good touch controls, and a monetization system that can provide hours of play at no cost, but demands lots of grinding to be powerful...

The long-awaited conclusion to the Broken Age [$9.99] game from Double Fine is finally available. Act 2 has been in the works for a while, after Act 1 released last year for other platforms, and now Act 2 is rolling out across all platforms. This includes iOS, which wasn't immediately clear if it was happening along with the other platforms getting the game. As well, it looks like Double Fine has decided to ditch the in-app purchase for Act 2, so if you've bought the game, you can play it right away. The price is still $9.99, with it supposedly being on a 33% off sale, with $14.99 being the total price of the game eventually. That's still cheaper than the regular price of the desktop and console versions!..

Good news for fans of Crystal Siege [$2.99], the action/tower-defense game published by FDG that released last year. The game has been stuck on the iPad since its release, but FDG is releasing the iPhone version this week, and they're going to make it a free universal update instead of a separate iPhone version. The update should be available on Thursday, April 30th. With the new update coming out, the game is on sale for $2.99 this week, so now's a good time to pick it up if you're interested...

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