This has been a crazy week of travel between attending various iPhone events, so we didn’t post the best games last week, and this week’s podcast is going to wait until Monday… But after that things should get back to normal, at least until the E3 and WWDC insanity in June. Anyway, here’s the top rated game reviews we posted over the last two weeks:
Implosion - Never Lose Hope, $9.99 [Review] – Implosion – Never Lose Hope ($9.99) is the latest game from Rayark, the developer behind the wonderful titles Cytus ($1.99) and Deemo ($1.99). It’s an outstanding game, and if you’re reading this review because you want to know whether or not you should drop ten US dollars (or your local equivalent thereof) on it, let me cut to the chase for once. Yes, you should. Head over the the App Store, hit the button to purchase it, prepare a cup of your beverage of choice while it downloads, and get ready to settle in for a slick action game with superb production values and seriously well-designed combat. I can’t recommend this game enthusiastically enough.
Football Managerâ„¢ Classic 2015, $19.99 [Review] – I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve started a review of Sports Interactive’s Football Manager Classic 2015 (FMC) ($19.99), which has finally landed on tablets, with a confession of my love of RPGs, strategy games, and choose-your-own-adventure gamebooks. It’s because even though many don’t realize it, at its core, FMC is a game about creating stories. In my many, many hours playing Football Manager and its precursor, Championship Manager, I’ve had to make choice after choice and, in the process, I’ve created a multitude of stories. Playing Football Manager has always been a very intense gaming experience because I always know that every decision I make, like buying a new player or changing tactics mid-match, changes my story in the game. I’ve spent literally countless hours playing Championship Manager and, subsequently, Football Manager on both a PC and a tablet, and my clubs have experienced incredible highs and incredible lows. Yet, even my failures have been entertaining because FMC has mastered the art of letting the player create unique and utterly entertaining stories in every single playthrough.
Attack the Light, $2.99 [Review] – There are pretty much three things that I care about in life: mobile games, baseball, and cartoons. How society decided I was an adult was a tremendous failure on the part of a lot of people, but we’ve got to live with the consequences. My latest obsession besides games or crying over Texas Rangers players suffering season-ending injuries? It’s Steven Universe, created by Rebecca Sugar, who pretty much wrote and storyboarded all the best episodes of Adventure Time before she became the first woman to create a Cartoon Network show. And Steven Universe is amazing. It’s gotten better and better as it’s passed its first season, it’s picking up fans, and it is now the recipient of its own licensed game, in Attack the Light ($2.99).
Crowntakers - The Ultimate Strategy RPG, $2.99 [Review] – A genre once almost totally represented by so few games that you could count them off on your fingers now has a strong influence, especially in the PC and mobile gaming markets. That has resulted in some very interesting and enjoyable variations on the theme. One that went over very well, and rightfully so, was 2012’s FTL ($9.99) from Subset Games, which rolled the basic spirit of a roguelike into a spaceship sim to create something entirely new. Among other games like Spelunky, Demon’s Souls, and The Binding Of Isaac, it showed that even if you weren’t making a strict roguelike game, there were still plenty of useful lessons to be learned from the genre’s structure. Crowntakers ($2.99), from Kasedo Games, presents another interesting twist on the formula, bringing in elements from strategy RPGs to give the game some extra texture. It proves to be a winning combination.
Halo: Spartan Strike, $2.99 [Review] – It’s no question that if I had to choose between Halo: Spartan Assault or Halo: Spartan Strike that I’d pick the latter. It’s brand new, has a host of iterative improvements to the gameplay formula and looks and sounds excellent. However, both have a enough story immersion that I’d recommend picking up both for completion’s sake (thankfully a bundle is available for both at a discount). Regardless, these are both two great dual stick shooters that are a welcome addition to the App Store and are well worth a purchase.
The Quest Keeper, Free [Review] – Crossy Road (Free) has inspired a lot of games recently, which is natural because it’s been a huge success. It’s made Hipster Whale millions of dollars on a game made in three months and without aggressive monetization. There are countless developers in similar situations that would kill for a tenth of its success. There are many straight-up clones, we’re now starting to see games that try to iterate on it and make their own unique experiences. The Quest Keeper (Free) has an obvious inspiration, but it adds in RPG tropes, its own movement rules, and plenty of cool new things that make it its own fun game.
Cube Koala, Free [Review] – Some people like to curl up with a good book to relax, I like to curl up with a challenging game. While that sounds like the opposite of therapy for a lot of people, I enjoy the notion of testing my brain, especially with a casual setting like a mobile device where I can pick it up and play anytime. Cube Koala (Free) pretty much encapsulates that ideology.
Additionally, we reviewed a few other games this week. As always, you can dig into all of our reviews by clicking here. Alternatively, you can hit up specific scores by using these links: