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Toby: The Secret Mine in Review – What’s Not Secret Is This Game Is Fun

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Once you start playing Toby: The Secret Mine you might think to yourself that it feels a bit like Limbo.  Don’t worry, that’s to be expected.  Even the developers admit the inspiration in the first line of their iTunes description.  What makes a game like Toby worthwhile is that it stands out despite the similarities, not because of them.  I’ve run into a few games that try to emulate these two visually, but so far I’d say they are best in class in terms of the game play style.  The most important thing is that they are proof positive that a platformer doesn’t have to be all about shooting every bad guy or collecting coins and power ups.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [8/2/17]

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So as luck would have it my “regular schedule” thing didn’t work out so well.  On the plus side, at least it was less than four months between roundups unlike last time.  Even better, almost everything is from this year, and most of the games actually came out in the last couple of months.  Several of the games were fresh takes on beloved but stale genres, and a couple of them even managed to hook me in after I was about ready to remove them from my device.  It’s getting harder and hard to find games that run for a decent length of time without crashing on my iPad 2, and one or two of these games are borderline in that regards, but you should be able to play any of them without too many frustrations even if you have that old of a device.  Hope you enjoy the selection of games and find something that you didn’t know existed but are glad you discovered.
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Deep Town: The Twin Candles HD in Review – More Of A Stagnant Spark Than A Roaring Flame

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I’ve been a fan of G5 for a long time.  I realize they don’t actually develop the games themselves, but their logo at the beginning of an adventure was usually a guarantee of a solid game play experience.  No one is perfect, however, and for G5 it seems that Deep Town is one of their rough spots.  The premise behind the game is intriguing enough that you’ll want to press through to the end, but how you get there is a big enough mess that it might not be worth it unless you are a huge fan of adventure games.
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The Enchanted Books in Review – Wins Most, Loses Some

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I love adventure games, and while I have nothing against the “hidden object movement” it’s nice to play a more traditional adventure every once in a while.  The Enchanted Books certainly fits that bill for the most part, though due to its Myst-like nature there are no NPCs to interact with.  Otherwise it’s just what you’d expect from a solid adventure game – plenty of rooms to explore, lots of inventory based puzzles to solve and the occasional mini-game just to make sure that you don’t always need to find a key to unlock everything in the game.  Unfortunately there were a couple of issues with the general flow of the game, but thankfully they didn’t stop me from seeing it through to the end.  Overall this was another solid adventure from a developer with a decent catalog to their name.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [6/1/17]

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Sorry I’ve been gone so long, but I assure you it’s not because of a lack of games worth playing.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with a more regular schedule for a while now, assuming that developers still turn out some games that work with my ancient iPad 2.  So without further ado, and because I don’t want to prolong this pointless intro any more, here come the games…
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Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery in Review: A New Chapter In The Saga

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The tale of Lost Grimoires continues… sort of.  Like many of the popular Big Fish Games franchises, the only thing this has in common with its predecessor is the name, at least as far as I can tell.  That’s okay, because it’s a decent game in its own right, with most of the same features that made the first installment of the series worth playing.  I didn’t find the story quite as compelling, but that didn’t bother me too much either.  If you’re into adventure games with hidden object scenes and the occasional mini game, Lost Grimoires 2 will make another worthy addition to your collection.
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The Shadow of Devilwood – Adfree in Review – At Least They Tried

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At a time when it seems like the term “adventure game” is used to either encompass everything that’s not a puzzle game or made synonymous with hidden object games, it’s nice to find an entry that’s more along the lines of what I’d consider a “traditional” adventure game.  That is to say a game where you explore a land room by room, gathering objects to solve puzzles and occasionally playing a mini-game to unlock and area or reveal yet another object puzzle piece.  Unfortunately, The Shadow of Devilwood still has a lot of flaws, but at least its heart was in the right place.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [2/20/17]

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So we’re over half way through February, and I’m still waiting for winter to hit.  Nah, I’m just kidding; I’m perfectly content with the less than frigid weather we’ve been having in the Midwest this year.  Luckily the weather has no bearing on playing iOS games, and once again I have what I hope is a diverse collection of products for you.  A lot of these even came out in the last month or two, so maybe you’ll actually believe that I play recent games on occasion.  There were several entries in this list that pleasantly surprised me, but I think the one that rises to the top is Evil Factory.  Not only is the game both a blast (pun not intended) and a challenge, but I could easily see this one showing up on one of the consoles that used to be popular when I was a kid, which at least for the moment makes it even cooler.
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RunGunJumpGun in Review – Intense, Addictive Fun

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Welcome to Flappy Bird 2.0.  The protagonist has a gun, the obstacles fight back and if you want to truly “complete” each stage you’ll need to have a reaction time that borders on crazy.  If you’re not into “retro” gaming you might be put off by the screen shots, but you really shouldn’t let that deter you from trying this game.  From the moment I first loaded it up I was hooked, and it gets better with each section and world that you unlock.  The only thing you might want to consider is either having a pile of pillows nearby or putting an Otterbox type case on your device for when you inevitably throw it out of frustration (if you are that type of person).
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Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom in Review – These Golems Don’t Want A Ring

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I’ve always considered the Artifex Mundi logo sort of a stamp of quality when it comes to adventure and hidden object games, and Lost Grimoires is certainly no exception to that rule.  While this may not be the most challenging offering in its genre, the story is compelling enough to keep you until the very end and there’s enough game play that you shouldn’t feel slighted in that department.  The hidden object scenes seem a bit superfluous, though the mini-games serve the correct purpose of acting merely as an occasional distraction instead of stalling the game too often.  Overall the game is well balanced, and the addition of the concept of alchemy to help solve some puzzles is a nice bonus.
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