Category Archives: Universal

When I went to the movie theater the other day to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was greeted by a Clash of Clans [Free]  commercial featuring a different type of warfare. Leaving aside the commercial's content for a second, it still amazes me that a video game has such reach (and so much money, too). So, the commercial stars Christoph Waltz (of Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds fame) and the award-winning British comedian James Corden. The two actors play out a slightly weird father-and-son scene where the father tells the son a bedtime story about, you guessed it, a Clash of Clans attack. The Legend of the Last Lava Pup, where the sole remaining lava pup takes down the enemy's base, is a dramatization of the actual battle between attacker CamaroBro and defender Newgfarmer...

'Gopogo' Review - Hop 'til You Drop

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December 29th, 2015 4:30 PM EST by Chris Carter in 3.5 stars, Action, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Universal
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The mobile landscape has shifted quite a bit since the introduction of the App Store. In the beginning, the market was flooded with tons of hardcore experiences, meant to cater towards the console and PC gaming crowd. But over time, a lot of those games started to thin out, in favor of garnering massive audiences with casual titles and aggressive IAP "platforms." While there are a lot of gems in either side of the coin, it's nice to get a difficult game ever now and then, which includes the inevitably polarizing Gopogo [Free]...




'Grayout' Review - How Do I Word?

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Neven Mrgan and James Moore's Grayout [$2.99] is a word game, but in a unique sense that it plays with words in ways you might not necessarily expect. You are Alaine, who is suffering from aphasia, a condition that affects communication, which manifests itself in this game as where you have a whole pile of words to respond to messages from the doctors allegedly treating you. You need to form sentences, and it starts out just from having a bunch of different words that are designed to fool you from their slight differences as to how they play out in the sentence, eventually getting to the point where the words become warped, and you have to piece together sentences going through several layers of aphasia-induced difficulty...

In December of 2012, developer Renegade Kid released their excellent action platformer Mutant Mudds [$4.99] on iOS following its release on 3DS the previous January. The game's main hook revolved around jumping between the foreground, middle ground and background of each level in order to discover new areas and solve puzzles, and it was incredibly fun. In fact, despite being initially build for a handheld with physical buttons and relying heavily on precision platforming, Mutant Mudds translated extremely well to the touchscreen. ..

'Badland 2' Review - The Pursuit of Flappiness

It’s weird how much gaming has changed since I was a kid. In the old days, sequels usually meant a game would be bigger and better in nearly every way, with more levels, characters, new modes, etc. Consider Perfect Dark, the spiritual sequel to Goldeneye 007, for example. It was absolutely bursting with new stuff to do. There was the campaign and multiplayer (like Goldeneye), but it also had a brand new challenge mode, a gun range, a co-op and counter-op campaign mode, a main menu that you could walk around in, and a massive customizable bot mode that I lost a large chunk of my adolescence to. These days, though, things are a bit different. Because games tend to have more content added through updates and DLC, that means version 1.0 of a sequel can often feel a bit lacking. It’s especially striking when you consider iOS classic Badland [$2.99], which is certainly one of the most updated games I can think of. It’s the reverse of my Perfect Dark example, where the original game is the one now bursting with levels and modes while the sequel feels a bit sparse in comparison. It’s an interesting problem to have, but even despite that, I think Badland 2 [$4.99] is a superior game to the original, with the potential to surpass it many times over in terms of quality and amount of content...

Remember that wacky, over-the-top short film riff on kung-fu movies called 'Kung Fury' which took the internet by storm back in May? You may also recall that a mobile tie-in game was released alongside it called Kung Fury: Street Rage [Free], and at that time it was little more than an endless, high-score-chasing beat 'em up with left/right combat mechanics similar to something like One Finger Death Punch [Free] or Fatal Fight [Free]. Now, that wasn't exactly a bad thing, as Kung Fury was a lot of fun for a high-scoring game and the production values were totally on-point, nailing the look and feel of an '80s-era arcade game. It's just that it felt like it could have been so much more; a full-fledged brawler like Final Fight or Streets of Rage...

I'm so glad that so many old school conventions are still commonplace in this industry. Tons of retro genres are seeing a resurgence, particularly roguelikes and adventure titles, and a lot of them end up on the mobile platform, bringing the meeting of old and new full circle. Tales of a Viking: Episode One [$0.99] has a few fundamental flaws for sure, but it handles grid-based combat with more grace than a lot of its competitors...

I like roguelikes, don't get me wrong. I like the replayability that comes from their procedurally-generated structure, and I enjoy the challenge. I'm having a ton of fun right now with Rust Bucket [Free] from Nitrome, for example. But sometimes I think there's a value that comes from level design, of having an experience that was deliberately designed by someone. Thus, while Into the Dim [Free] looked like a roguelike, and has some of the hallmarks such as the turn-by-turn basis and the bumping into enemies to attack them, the game's fixed nature helps make it stand out among a sea of roguelike dungeon crawlers...

I make a terrible Arthur. It's not something I've had to put much thought into in my life, so I wasn't actually aware of that particular gap in my skillset until I played Pendragon Rising [$3.99], the latest release from prolific interactive fiction publishers Choice Of Games. This adventure sees you guiding a young Arthur (or Arta, if you'd prefer to play a woman) as he returns to Briton from a seven-year stay in Rome. Your parent, the ruler of Gwynedd, is seriously injured in a battle with the leader of the invading Saxons, and the matter of their succession will determine the fate of Gwynedd and Briton itself. There's a rightful heir to the throne, and you technically aren't it, but as is often the case with stories based on the Arthurian legend, things get complicated fairly quickly...

'Hearthstone' League of Explorers Adventure Review - No Monkeying Around, This Adventure Was Spectacular

League of Explorers, the latest Hearthstone [Free]Adventure, came pretty much out of nowhere. Although we knew that something was going to be announced at BlizzCon, we didn't have any details about its theme or the cards it would include. Not only were we surprised with an Adventure that deviated from the typical World of Warcraft lore of previous expansions and adventures, but we got it in our hands the week of the announcement, leaving little time to evaluate the Adventure's 45 cards. It's not that surprising, then, that when the first bunch of cards, and especially Reno Jackson, were released after LoE Wing 1, everyone was amazed by the effect LoE already had on the game. Literally overnight, the meta slowed down and everyone playing Hearthstone, from pros to casuals, felt that the game was fresh and interesting again and out of the rut it had been for months...

Hello Hearthstone [Free] players. I hope you've been enjoying the pleasantly-turbulent meta courtesy of the League of Explorers Adventure like I have. While I try to keep you informed about all the weekly news from the world of Hearthstone, for the next few weeks I'll be unable to do so because I'll be on a secret mission (vacation). With Christmas coming, I suspect the world of Hearthstone won't be at its most active since we've already seen Blizzard's Christmas present to us all (the Feast of Winter Veil) and there aren't that many important tournaments coming up. I think that with LoE having shaken the meta as much as it did, this Christmas will be the best time for everyone to mess with those cards and come up with crazy fun decks; I know I will for sure. There are some Murlocs waiting for me and some other silly ideas that I'm looking forward to trying out...

'AirAttack 2' Review - Stunning Shooting

When people claim that gameplay takes precedent above all else, including visual fidelity, I ask, "why not both?" There have been plenty of games that have pushed the envelope in just about every facet imaginable, including the recent Witcher 3 from CD Projekt Red. The same goes for mobile titles, which are pushing boundaries far beyond what I thought was initially capable when the App Store first debuted so many years back. We're starting to see full console experiences on portable devices, and AirAttack 2 [$2.99] is one such game that doesn't even feel like it should be possible given the hardware...

'Rush N Krush' Review - Wacky Races

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December 18th, 2015 10:39 AM EST by Chris Carter in 3 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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I never could have imagined that the mobile platform would house so many old school arcade experiences. Growing up I'd spend hours pumping quarters into various games, often times logging how much average playtime I'd get out of a single coin, so I could maximize my time at an arcade. I kind of do the same thing now with mobile games, especially if they offer "extra lives" or some form of energy mechanic...

After releasing the huge Town Hall 11 Update, Clash of Clans [Free] developer Supercell continues to monitor the game and apply any necessary fixes. Today, Supercell briefly took the servers offline to make some important changes primarily to the Personal Break system. First, they fixed a bug in the Personal Break system that could force players into Personal Break even after being offline for a while. They've also increased the Personal Break online time limit from 3 to 4 hours, and the Personal Break limit now fully resets when being 15 minutes offline without Shield or Guard (was 30 minutes before). Personal Break limit extensions have been increased to 30 minutes from 15 after taking a defense without shield or getting kicked out without being attacked. As you can see, pretty big changes to Personal Breaks that, from the looks of it, have pleased most Clashers...

There's something to be said about striking the cultural zeitgeist at the right time. Power Hover [$3.99] drops right when people are getting into hoverboards, what with the fascination over this being the year that Back to the Future Part 2 took place in, and those little scooter things that are called hoverboards despite not actually hovering. But I guess they have no better name. Point is, hoverboards are blowing up. Literally. And Power Hover is here to be an entertaining game where you race through deserts, on the ocean, and through tubes, on a hoverboard. It's solid if not amazing, but fun for the time you'll sink into it...

Last month RobTop Games teased something called Geometry Dash Meltdown on Twitter. Was it a new game? An update to the original Geometry Dash? Something else entirely? We didn't know! Well just today RobTop posted a brand new trailer for Geometry Dash Meltdown on their Youtube channel, and after watching it, guess what? I still don't know what it is! But it looks awesome...

It feels like there's a lot of news about Rayark's excellent stylish action game Implosion [$9.99] lately, but not much of it has been about the game itself. There's been an animated movie announced, and its Kickstarter campaign appears to be going well. Rayark has also started a serial comic based on the game, which you can read here. It's another cool way to build on the world of the game, but hey, what about that game? Is it being left behind for the sake of more passive forms of media? Worry not, friends. Rayark hasn't forgotten what brought Implosion to the dance, and they're proving it by putting together a big update for January 2016...

Brad Erkkila's Flip Champs [Free] is a pretty fun game that you should play, but when it initially came out, it was lacking one killer feature: local multiplayer. See, the whole game is built around one-on-one battles, and the whole dynamic of trying to collect the energy orbs to charge up your weapon and use them on your opponent to win your battle where there's only two hits: you hitting them, and them hitting the floor. That competitive dynamic was apparent even against an AI opponent, but it was easy to think "what if I was competing against a real human being in these battles?" Well, good news: the game just got single device multiplayer. You and another person can battle to the death in best of 5 matches, with controls on each side of the screen...

Fruit Ninja [$1.99] is one of those platform-defining games and it put long-time Australian developer Halfbrick on the map in a big way. It was just about as perfect a mobile game as you can get. Short gaming sessions, intuitive touchscreen slicing controls, and colorful visuals made Fruit Ninja an immediate and long-lasting success. However, after years atop the iTunes charts Fruit Ninja was struggling to keep people interested in the face of a constant deluge of new games. ..

If you are surprised that this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is available early in NA, it's not a drill or a mistake; Blizzard has decided to change the Tavern Brawl times to help with the recent Brawl issues. Now, the Americas Brawls will start Wednesday 9:00 AM PST to give Blizzard time to monitor any issues that might pop up, increase their response time, and minimize service impact to all the players. So, from now on if you are in the Americas, you get to play the Brawl for a few more hours a week. Brawl time changes aside, today we have a new Brawl to play, and it's a very fun and festive one. The Gift Exchange Brawl, a special Winter Veil Brawl, is probably one of the most entertaining I've played so far. It's also season-appropriate as it's all about giving and receiving presents...

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