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'Dark Guardians' Review - Style Over Substance

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April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
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Runners come in all shapes and sizes, but often times, flashy is one of the many coats of colors it may wear. Dark Guardians [$0.99] is a beautiful game that looks very similar to the aesthetic design of the Kickstarter success Banner Saga, but sadly it doesn't have the mechanical chops to prop it up beyond its pretty veneer...

Backflip's Colorful Puzzler 'Dwarven Den' Launching on May 1st

The latest title from DragonVale developer Backflip Studios, Dwarven Den, is scheduled to launch worldwide on iOS on May 1st, the studio announced today. Dwarven Den stars dwarves with hearty beards who must navigate through maze-like levels by mining through various types of blocks and figuring out environmental puzzles, all while collecting loot and avoiding hazards and monsters. Check out the official trailer...

'Rex Rocket' is an Upcoming "Metroidvania"-Style Platformer that I Need in My Life

An upcoming game that was recently posted to our forums has caught my attention, and I don't think I'm alone in being incredibly excited for it. The game is called Rex Rocket from developer Castle Pixel, and it's an action platformer inspired by such classics as the Mario series, Mega Man and Metroid. In fact, it's a "Metroidvania" style game, which means you'll be exploring a series of interconnected levels on a huge spaceship. The story follows a typical space calamity: You play as Rex Rocket, former war hero and current transport ship captain, and during a routine mission transporting slimy Terra-Oozling creatures something goes awry and "all heck breaks loose." While the ship's entire crew was in cryo-sleep, the Terra-Oozlings escaped and corrupted the ship's AI. It's up to you to battle back against this slimy enemy, rescue your crew and regain control of your ship...

TA Plays Live: 'Wayward Souls' and 'Hearthstone'

April 21st, 2014 5:07 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
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With Wayward Souls excitement reaching sky high levels, it only seems right that we spend some time today streaming Rocketcat Games' latest roguelike. Once I hit the skill ceiling on Wayward Souls, which I don't expect to take very long, I'll move over to playing my other favorite roguelike: Hearthstone. I still need to unlock the basic cards for some classes, so why not do that in ranked or in the arena?!..

I haven't really met anyone who doesn't like Monument Valley [$3.99], ustwo's stylish architectural puzzler which launched to critical acclaim earlier this month, but just about everybody I've talked to agrees the game was quite short and they'd love to see more of it. Well, more levels are in the works according to ustwo's Neil McFarland in an interview with The Guardian. However, the studio isn't just cranking out more levels for the sake of it. According to McFarland, "We are making some more levels, but the reasons we're doing it are artistic reasons: there are some ideas that we didn't get to work so didn't put in there, but which we'd like to see work. There are some other things we'd like to try."..

'Wind-Up Knight 2' Review - As Tightly-Wound As A Grandfather Clock

The original Wind-Up Knight [Free] was a great game and a fine example of how platformers, a genre many thought couldn't get along with touch controls, can work just fine on mobiles provided they're designed properly around the hardware. The mechanic of constantly moving forward while asking you to manage jumps, swings, rolling, and the shield gave you plenty to worry about without having to fuss around with a virtual directional pad, and the game made sure to test your skills at all of those things to the hilt. It boasted tons of levels, an assortment of collectibles, and plenty of goals to shoot for during play. It also apparently struggled at its initial price, because it was later retooled as a free-to-play experience, albeit a fairly generous one, since you could still unlock pretty much everything without paying a cent if you were skilled enough at the game...

Square Enix Release a New Trailer for Free to Play 'Final Fantasy Agito'

Final Fantasy Agito, Square Enix’s latest iOS title just got a new trailer ahead of its Japanese release in May. Directed by Hajime Tabata, Agito is a 3D RPG featuring real-time combat and stunning CGI cinematics. Set in the same universe as Final Fantasy Type-0, Agito has a new storyline broken down in chapters that are played out in real time and that change based on the decisions you’ll make. At the end, a new “cycle” will begin and you’ll have more choices to select from. Thus, the game should always be evolving. It sounds insanely weird and we’ll have to wait and see how the free to play elements impact the gameplay. It should be noted that Agito doesn’t have a solid release date here in the west and we’re not even sure it’s going to be released elsewhere...

Spider-Man video games act as little mini time capsules of the video game industry. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's because they release so regularly and haven't found a unique voice the way Batman recently has with the Arkham series. As such, they tend to look to trends for inspiration, and we can see that pattern in many of the games. Maximum Carnage on the Genesis and SNES showed the popularity of belt-scrolling beat-em-ups in the 16-bit era. Spider-Man on the original PlayStation nicely demonstrated both the rise of polygonal graphics and their hard limitations via the poisonous gas that prevented you from going down to the streets. Spider-Man 2, no doubt riding on the back of Grand Theft Auto, introduced an open world, something that has gone as well with Spidey as anything ever could. Spider-Man 3 was a QTE fest, Web of Shadows used an awkward Bioware-style moral dichotomy, Shattered Dimensions had Arkham-style stealth levels, and the console Amazing Spider-Man had support for motion controls...

635699_largerThis week's episode is a little weird, as Jared had to leave super last minute before we started recording... So I grabbed Rocketcat Games' Kepa Auwae who apparently is fighting a vicious illness and was highly medicated. We don't really follow the typical show format with game and news discussion, and instead just chat about random stuff as it pertains to things that Kepa and his studio are working on, game design, and other stuff.

We'll have a normal episode next week, I promise. Maybe I'll even know the correct episode number.

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, even if they don't make it into the podcast. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

 

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This week's episode of The TouchArcade Show is sponsored by…

Cal Pow Dash, Free - Cal Pow Dash, by MackDavi Studios in Australia, is your classical endless runner game presented in a beautiful, fresh 3D environment.

Play as Cal Pow, the unlikely hero, as he dashes to save his princess. Dodge knights, jump snakes, and avoid all sorts of obstacles in his run. Collect coins for power ups and see how far you can get. With ever increasing difficulty, compare your best against others in the leaderboards or unlock survival mode for a real test.

Cal Pow Dash is available on iPhone, iPad, and select Android devices for free today!

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Unpossible'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

This story just popped up on our radar, and it's pretty rad to see Blizzard trying to shift Hearthstone [Free (HD)] from a game you play in your basement wearing your pajamas to a game that you go somewhere to play with other people. (Optionally still wearing your pajamas, if Magic events are any indication.) Blizzard is calling them a "Fireside Gathering" and the first big one will be held next Saturday, April 26th. They've got a directory of venues up on their site, which is a little limited right now, but considering they only just announced this, I expect there will be many more in short order...

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [Free], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [$4.99], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

Early this month, Blizzard's Hearthstone [Free (HD)] soft launched, but it wasn't until this past Wednesday afternoon that the iPad version hit worldwide. I'm not sure it surprised anyone that we loved it in our review, and it's safe to say that if you haven't at least tried the game (Which has been available on the PC and Mac for quite some time!) you really should give it a shot, regardless of what platform you're playing it on. I'm even starting to warm up to the game, as I slowly come to grips with my main criticism of it which seems to be that it's not Magic the Gathering...

The latest update to One Man Left's arcade avoidance game Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous [$2.99] is now available in the App Store. The update adds a brand new mode called Brimstone Pinball where you'll need to use your arrow character to ricochet a fiery pinball of death around the screen and destroy enemies. The new mode is based on a power-up from the original Tilt to Live, but now it's been fully fleshed-out and feels like a brand new game all on its own. We checked out Brimstone Pinball at GDC last month and the official trailer for the new mode can be seen right here...

iOOTP Baseball 2014 [$4.99] is the kind of game that numbers junkies will go nuts over. It’s also the kind of game that will have people who need control of every single aspect glued to their tablet from April to October (or November, if your team makes the playoffs)...

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