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As a longtime fan of gamebooks and interactive fiction in general, I've enjoyed seeing the genre blossom on iOS, especially within the last few years. What's especially great about it is that it hasn't simply been the work of any one developer. The genre is far stronger for having a variety of voices like inkle, Tin Man Games, Forge Reply, and Cubus Games each doing their own thing. A lot of people who probably haven't picked up a physical gamebook since elementary school are enjoying the feast of choices we have available to us on our mobile devices. Each push of boundaries for the genre seems to widen the audience even more. A lot of the recent hits have focused on playing with the presentation or the freedom to move away from the traditional structure adopted from paper books. The monochrome sketches of Lone Wolf [$0.99] coming to life, the simple yet striking imagery of 80 Days [$4.99], the hilarious Kate Beaton sketches of Hamlet and company in Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be [$5.99], or even the rocking soundtrack of Heavy Metal Thunder [$2.99] are all signs of a genre that is casting off the limitations of the past and charging into its own unwritten future...

Just last week Zen Studios added a brand new Age of Ultron table to both Marvel Pinball and Zen Pinball in celebration of the new Avengers movie opening today, but already the probably-sleep-deprived studio is back with another brand new table, this time based on the excellent Star Wars Rebels IP. As you can imagine, being a table from Zen and all, there's all sorts of fancy stuff happening while you play the Star Wars Rebels table, like lightsaber fights and crazy shootouts against a bunch of TIE fighters. Check it all out in this trailer...

'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
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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...

Those of you looking to play the next game from Threes [$1.99] creator Asher Vollmer finally have your chance, though not on mobile. While his game Close Castles is on hold (and not necessarily planned as a mobile game), you can play Royals right now. This is a smaller game currently on Windows and Mac, where you play as a peasant, trying to make your way in a 1-bit world, and eventually become a royal. Much like Drake, you'll have to start from the bottom, though. But over time, you and your whole team can get to the top. But death will eventually come for you. Literally, you can die of old age...

'Ys Chronicles 1' Review - How Much Is That Dogi In The Window?

In my personal experience, I'm not sure if there's ever been as strong a case of sounding awful on paper but being outstanding in practice as Falcom's action-RPG Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. I'm actually something of a latecomer to the series, though it was always in my periphery. During the old console wars, there were plenty of ads in game magazines for the SEGA Master System version, and later the TurboGraphx-16 collection of the first two games. It certainly got its fair share of positive press in reviews. In those naive years of my youth, however, I was a one-company boy, and my chosen team was Nintendo. Basically, that means my first experience with the Ys series was with Tonkin House's port of Ys 3: Wanderers From Ys on the Super NES. It was a bit of an odd duck in the series, but I didn't know that at the time. I wouldn't touch another Ys game for more than 20 years...

We’ve seen more than our fair share of CCG games on the App Store, with the majority of them falling squarely within the Freemium genre. However, Star Wars Card Trader [Free] presented by Topps is probably one of the more unique takes on that type of game (for better or worse)...

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...

RPG Reload File 036 - 'Partia'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where no losses are accepted when we can just reload. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past. It's a chance to revisit an old favorite, reflect on how well it holds up, and take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. With a genre so diverse that bloody feuds can start just by asking for definitions, it's important to present a balanced plate of games from week to week. I'll always do my best on that front, but just to keep me from going mad with power, I turn the choice over to you fine readers once per month. Simply make your suggestion by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload and if the RNG gods favor you, your selection might pop up in the June reader's choice article. Why June? Because May's article is next week, and it's already been decided. As per a suggestion from reader Jonathan Leschinski, next week's article will feature none other than the legendary Final Fantasy 4 [$15.99]. Mark your calendars, friends. It's going to be a big one!..

Apparently, Madden NFL is not the only game franchise that has a curse associated with its cover, as the EA Sports UFC [Free] mobile game has just one-upped it big time. For those who don't play Madden NFL, there's a so-called "Madden Curse" that states that the player who appears on the cover of a Madden NFL game either has a very bad season or gets injured. Well, EA Sports UFC, a pretty good MMA game that's just been released, put Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones as its App Icon, and lo and behold, Jones has not only been suspended indefinitely by the UFC, but has also had his belt stripped...

Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] has just gotten several new levels in its second big content update. You can now flee from the police in three new maps: the beach, a hockey rink, and wintertime Finland. The Finland level has the fake news brief in Finnish, a clever little detail. Why are the cops driving on to a hockey rink to run down a Zamboni? Who knows, but might as well score some goals with the hockey puck that's there, eh?..

Their last sale just ended, but Kemco's already rolling out their next one. I guess with that many games to your name on the App Store, you can pretty much just keep the sales coming if you want to. To be honest, this batch is a bit less exciting than the last one. All of these have been on sale before, and for cheaper to boot. But if you're looking for a new JRPG and really don't want to wait, you might find something in here to enjoy...

If you like to get your news online, then you'll know that it was impossible to avoid reading today about how Glu Mobile is following its mega hit, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood [Free], with a game starring the rejuvenated 90s icon, Britney Spears (there's also a Katy Perry game on the way). Although Glu's financial news was also fascinating, with the Chinese Internet giant, Tencent, buying 126 million dollars worth of Glu's stocks (and in that way declaring its faith in Glu's "Hollywood Gaming Platform" plan), what caught my attention was the incredible reach of an announcement regarding Britney starring in a mobile game. As I was browsing the news, I realized once more that even though many "hardcore" gamers feel that gaming resides in the traditional genres that have been around for many years, for most people outside the bubble of "traditional" gaming, a Britney Spears game by Glu, which many readers of this site won't bother playing even once, is pretty much synonymous with contemporary gaming...

What seems to be the norm nowadays for App Store releases is for developers to do the normal Thursday midnight rollout so we have an idea on what's coming out worldwide each week. But more and more developers schedule games later or at different release times, and this week, there's a few stragglers that just now made it out on to the App Store...

Mr Jump [Free] became a particularly popular platformer upon its release, and not just because Apple featured it as Editor's Choice (though I'm sure it didn't hurt). As oulined in our review, it's a game that does a lot right and introduces a lot of clever elements into what could be another Impossible Game [$0.99] or Geometry Dash [$1.99] style of difficult auto-running platformer. Well, the game has just gotten its first update, adding in 12 new levels to play in the new World B. These add in a number of new elements to play with, like jetpacks. The new trailer shows off some of the new content:..

HeroCraft's entry into the crowded genre of Warhammer games, Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf [Free], has jsut gotten a big update adding in PvP multiplayer to the strategy game. You'll be able to take on opposing teams in 3-on-3 battles. There will be a rating system that has you taking on tougher and tougher foes as you win more, but you start to get better rewards for doing so. Leaderboards are also present, with a season system so that you perhaps have a shot to get to the top of the leaderboards someday when you're strong enough. The update is live now, and HeroCraft has released a new trailer for the new PVP mode:..

One of the thing developers seemed particularly stoked for following last year's WWDC was Apple's own analytics package for app developers. Analytics packages have existed for quite a while now from third party services, but Apple's analytics likely will be better since they don't open up their back end to third party providers...

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...

'Night Terrors' Aims to... Actually Do Something Cool with Augmented Reality

It feels like developers have been trying to do something with augmented reality for years now. I've always been oddly excited for the technology, as the augmented reality dream is really cool. Imagine playing a game that uses your surroundings as the play field, or an app that uses your phone as a lens to view information about the world around you. On paper, it sounds rad as hell, but in practice it's almost always really lame. Augmented reality games often require you to print something out for your camera to recognize, and apps like Yelp's "monocle" functionality really just don't work that great- It all ends up coming off as somewhere in between gimmicky and broken. This feels like the promise developers often make with augmented reality, when in actual reality, you usually just get some aliens overlaid on top of whatever your camera is seeing without actually augmenting reality at all...

A little over seven months into the life of the iPhone 6 seems to be the sweet spot as to when you finally get around to updating your existing catalog of games to work with the new screen size. We've seen a ton of different iPhone 6 updates recently, and hopefully this gravy train keeps rolling as it's awesome to be able to go back and replay these classics that I half assumed would always just be kinda-sorta broken forever. This morning Infinity Blade II [$6.99] and Infinity Blade III [$6.99] were both updated, bringing these iOS classics up to speed with modern iOS gaming...

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