TouchMyApps » Games http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Thu, 05 Mar 2015 05:48:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey HD in Review – Creepy Visions Make Nifty Games http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/03/01/mind-snares-alices-journey-hd-in-review-creepy-visions-make-nifty-games/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/03/01/mind-snares-alices-journey-hd-in-review-creepy-visions-make-nifty-games/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 03:32:17 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74298 If you’ve been adventure gaming on your iPhone or iPad for long I’m sure you’ve run across a G5 adventure or two.  The name Artifex Mundi might not sound quite as familiar, but they had their hands in both the Nightmares from the Deep series and Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden, both of which I’ve … Read more]]>

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If you’ve been adventure gaming on your iPhone or iPad for long I’m sure you’ve run across a G5 adventure or two.  The name Artifex Mundi might not sound quite as familiar, but they had their hands in both the Nightmares from the Deep series and Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden, both of which I’ve given high regards to.  Their latest combined effort is Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey, and having just finished it I’d say it deserves the Artifex Mundi branding.  Excellent visuals, theatrical quality music and an odd storyline do a great job of keeping you entranced to the very end.  Either this version wasn’t the collector’s edition or the typical bonus adventure was strangely absent this time around, but there was more than enough main game play to make up for that missing element.

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You play the role of Alice, a run down middle class laborer who is basically unhappy with her life.  On your way to a client you run off the road, and the journey that ensues is one of weird dreams and enlightening quests.  Alice certainly has a vivid imagination, as her black robed spirit guide takes her through a “living doll” factory, the salvation of a half dying tree and the quest to feed some old hag her supper.  Through it all you’ll have to complete plenty of object quests, solve a few mini-games and explore several hidden object scenes.  The game is broken up into an intro and four main chapters, and of them I think I liked chapter one the best as it had the most enjoyable ratio tasks: object puzzles took center stage, mini games came next and hidden object scenes were minimal.  As the game progressed the amount of hidden object scenes increased, and while I have nothing against them I’m finding that I much prefer the object based puzzles like adventure games of old.

Control is just what you’d expect from this style of game.  Double tap where you want to move, tap to pick up objects and interact with the scene, and tap or drag to use inventory items with something on the screen.  The mini games are all fairly basic and require little beyond simple tapping or dragging.  While conceptually some of the games were different then I’ve seen in the past, it would have been nice if there were a bit more innovation in interacting with the device itself, like tilting or maybe even using the camera.  The game has the standard difficulty settings that alter things like the time between hint recharges and whether or not “hot spots” sparkle so they are easier to find.  The game does have several achievements you can earn, and what it thankfully doesn’t have is any of those “collect 50 of these throughout the game” type objects.

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As usual the visuals are top notch, with finely detailed backgrounds, well rendered hidden object scenes and cool looking characters.  And as usual the main drawback is that the lip syncing always seems a bit off.  The sound effects are decent enough, and the voice acting is actually pretty good.  I also think they did a really good job with the music.  It’s not distracting, and when you actually take the time to listen to it you’ll hear that it’s quite well written.

Overall I really enjoyed Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey.  I don’t get to do a complete play through on games very often any more, but this one kept me going until the end was right there.  I would have liked to have seen the balance of game play styles stay consistent based on the first chapter, but other than that I have no complaints.  If you are an adventure game fan, and especially if you’ve played other Artifex Mundi games, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.

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App Summary
Title: Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey HD Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver:  1.0 Min OS Req:  5.1.1
Price: Free App Size:  779 MB
  • Interesting story
  • Lots of game play
  • Great visuals
  • Excellent music
  • As game progresses the balance of game play elements gets worse

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10 App Store Games To Watch [2/19/15] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/19/10-app-store-games-to-watch-21915/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/19/10-app-store-games-to-watch-21915/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 05:00:45 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74276 As I continue to delve through my backlog of games it amazes me how many hidden gems there are.  Of course there are still lots of new games coming out there are cool as well.  This article’s collection includes everything from retro turn based RPGs to hybrid runners / collectable card games.  And as always, … Read more]]>

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As I continue to delve through my backlog of games it amazes me how many hidden gems there are.  Of course there are still lots of new games coming out there are cool as well.  This article’s collection includes everything from retro turn based RPGs to hybrid runners / collectable card games.  And as always, everything on this list is here because I’ve played it and enjoyed it enough that I felt it was worth writing about.  Hopefully you’ll feel the same once you’ve taken some of these games for a spin.

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Zombie Highway 2 [8/8/14] – Everyone’s favorite 3D vehicular zombie mauling franchise is back for another outing, and it certainly hasn’t lost any muster.  If you’re not familiar with the dreaded Zombie Highway, it’s basically you in a vehicle trying to plow down as many of the undead as you can before either they take you out or you run into something because you’re too busy dealing with the zombies.  Your options are to run over the zombies, scrape them off your car using your surroundings or shoot them off with your weapon of choice.  There are six different vehicles to unlock as well as 15 types of weapons to acquire, each with something to upgrade.  Money is used to perform upgrades and to commandeer new weaponry while coins let you unlock new rides early or rewind the game.  Yes, if you die too young you can rewind slightly and try to avoid whatever caused your imminent demise – but keep in mind you can only use this trick so many times in a given run and it gets more expensive each time.  Of course if the simple thrill of decimating hordes of zombies isn’t enough for you, the game does have a highest distance leaderboard via Game Center as well as 55 achievements to earn.

Zombie Highway 2 Auxbrain, Inc., Zombie Highway 2 – Free

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Monster Kingdom 2: Rise of the Grembles [11/13/14] – There was a time when Pokemon style games were actually hard to come by, but now they seem almost as plentiful as match 3 games, especially considering that many of them use the match 3 mechanic for combat.  Thankfully this one takes the more traditional rock-paper-scissors approach with each monster representing a certain element that is better than one type and worse than another.  You start off with one monster to train, and can capture more along the way using spirit cubes.  Monsters can be leveled up and they can evolve, and you can also level up their abilities.  When you win battles you will be rewarded with lots of goodies, some of which can be equipped to your monsters to increase their stats even further.  Items can be fused or bolstered with gems to make them more powerful.  Explore the single player campaign or take on other players live in the arena.  If you’re feeling a bit more friendly you can trade with other players to get the perfect equipment for your playing style.  There are several achievements to earn, though the game uses its own system instead of Game Center.  I don’t know if this is the best choice for Pokemon clones out there, but right now it’s certainly an enjoyable one for me.

Monster Kingdom 2: Rise of the Grembles Zhurosoft, Monster Kingdom 2: Rise of the Grembles – Free

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Platform Panic [12/16/14] – I’m a big fan of games that manage to make single screen experiences engaging.  Platform Panic ups the ante by randomly stringing the screens together, so no two runs through are exactly the same.  The down side is that the distinct number of styles of screen seems to be a bit on the small side, but the developers get around that by flipping the orientation and changing things slightly like adding an extra explosive or something of that nature.  Your score is determined by the highest number of rooms you visit in one run, and the coins you collect are used to buy new characters.  There are 9 characters to collect altogether, and most of them will seem familiar if you have much of a past playing console games.  You’ll have to do quite a bit of playing to earn enough coins to get all the characters, which initially seemed a bit frustrating and not worth the effort.  Thankfully the first update introduced upgrades that provide your characters with power ups, so now the thrill comes in unlocking each character and finding out what it brings to the game.  Of course there is also a leaderboard to see who has conquered the most rooms in a single run as well as 8 achievements to unlock.  Not only is this a fun little time waster, but it’s also a nice bit of nostalgia for platform buffs.

Platform Panic Nitrome, Platform Panic – Free

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Hero Pop [1/8/15] – This is a cute take on the whole balloon popping genre.  Instead of a random tap fest there’s a bit of logic and puzzle solving involved in this game.  To clear balloons you have to make matches of three or more, and if you can make a match of five or more balloons you’ll create a super balloon that can unleash various cool powers on the gaming field depending on the color of the balloon.  Each level has one or more goals to complete in order to pass the level, and most levels only provide you with a certain number of moves.  As you finish levels you earn coins which can be used to purchase power ups to start the level with.  Once you master a group of levels you’ll have to complete three special quests to move on to the next set of levels, and the coins can also be used to bypass these special quests (which are a tad bit tougher than the normal levels).  You can connect to Facebook to rank your progress, but you can also trade with your friends to get extra lives or keys to unlock the quests before their time.  There is even a leaderboard and 22 achievements through Game Center if you’re not much into Facebook.  This is a freemium game, so expect to spend some time waiting for certain things if you choose not to shell out any IAP.

Hero Pop Chillingo Ltd, Hero Pop – Free

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Bit Dungeon [12/14/12] – If the general crop of rogue-like games on the iOS platform seem a bit tame to you, bit Dungeon might be a “bit” more to your liking.  The biggest challenge is that it forces permadeath on you instead of making it an option or not even having it at all.  In addition to that you only get one slot for each type of item, and that’s the slot that you use to equip said item.  This makes you really think about what you want to keep and throw away instead of just picking up everything you run across in the dungeon.  Every level is a 9×9 grid with a boss room at the end, but the contents of each room is randomly generated, as to an extent is the way in which rooms are connected.  Besides equipment and health and mana potions you can collect souls which can be used to buy equipment or additional lives should you happen across the ghostly imp that’s selling such things.  The graphics and sound have a great 8 bit feel, and despite the diminutive nature of the main character everything you equip him with changes his appearance.  The one thing that’s kind of frustrating is that the game locks up for a fraction of a second every once in a while, but that hasn’t deterred me from playing several runs through.

bit Dungeon Tom Heinecke, bit Dungeon – $0.99

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Super Scrapped Robot [7/13/14] – I probably picked this up roughly around the time it came out, but it was a recent article about “retro games you should be playing now” that made me finally give it a try.  Turns out I shouldn’t have waited so long to give it a shot.  You play a robot that gets tossed in the trash and decides to escape from his ship and go on a quest for hats.  It’s a dual stick shooter which means plenty of bad guys to decimate, many of which fortunately enough look like cats.  Each level contains a subterranean cavern that houses both that level’s boss and hat.  Finding the entrance might mean playing a mini game, defeating a crowd of bad guys to rescue a hapless victim or flipping a switch somewhere else on the level, just to name a few options.  There are 11 achievements to earn, and if you support the game via IAP you’ll unlock the ability to challenge other players.  The IAP also provides you with options to tweak the game’s difficulty as well as the ability to change color palettes, and in an interesting twist you can choose what you want to pay even though based on the description all levels provide the same unlocks.  The game looks and sounds like a modern Gameboy game, so those that remember the era will get a nice feeling of nostalgia as well.

Super Scrapped Robot bureaubureau, Super Scrapped Robot – Free

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Monsu [10/1/14] – Monsu is a 2D side scrolling infinite runner with levels.  I know that sounds a bit contradictory, but the idea is that you can play a particular level for as long as you can keep going, collecting all the diamonds and points that you can.  Once you’ve died you will have either completed the goal for that level in which case you can move on to the next, or you’ll have to repeat the level and try to do better.  For each level you complete you’ll get a nice little bonus, and on every fifth level you’ll earn a fairly decent prize, including the occasional bonus card.  That’s where Monsu gets interesting.  In addition to the typical bonuses like shield and magnet, there are a total of 44 cards that you can collect that fall into three different categories.  You can have one card from each group active at a given time, and the cards provide cool power ups like a dinosaur to ride, a hornet that mows down enemies and a bauble that increases the longevity of other power ups by a certain amount of seconds.  The best part is that each card can be upgraded to level 5 to make them even more powerful and useful (except for the duck, which apparently isn’t useful at all).  You can compete in tournaments with Facebook friends to earn prizes, and there are 14 achievements for you to conquer that will net you some cool gems to spend.

Monsu Boomlagoon, Monsu – Free

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Dungeon of Genesis [12/3/14] – If you remember what it was like to play “3D” dungeon crawlers before the concept of a 3D engine even existed then this game is for you.  Fans of any of the old games like Bard’s Tale or Might and Magic should appreciate it, but to me it most closely resembles the original Wizardry series.  You create a party of up to six characters with a system that seems quite limited by today’s standards, and then you descend into the dungeon to conquer all the nasty critters until you get to level 30 to defeat Geordeen, the demon king.  Though there are plenty of levels there is only one dungeon, and the “town” consists of a few locations accessible by a scrolling menu on the main screen.  On a slightly more modern note the graphics are pretty decent and the music is good and sometimes just a bit eerie.  And, in a twist that I don’t think I’ve seen before, daily bonuses don’t penalize you for missing days between logins (so if you’ve only played 4 times in two weeks, you’ll still get the day 5 bonus when you log in for the fifth time).  This definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and modern gamers might find it lacking in the “essentials” for a good dungeon crawl, but old timers and nostalgia buffs really should give it a try.

Dungeon of Genesis Akihiro Moriwaki, Dungeon of Genesis – Free

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Neonize Premium [8/28/14] – If you’ve always felt that Simon was an interesting but slightly mundane memory game, Neonize is the cure for that.  Just like in Simon, you’ll be presented with a sequence that you have to match.  In this case the sequence is the direction from which you’re being attacked, as you are a spacecraft in the center of a hostile area.  You keep playing until an enemy craft gets close enough to touch you.  If you accidentally fire in the wrong direction you can correct yourself, but you can’t shoot again until the first bullet has cleared the screen, so don’t count on this safety net to be very useful.  Score is based on the number of ships you destroy, but you can build up a multiplier by blasting ships on the beat – once you miss the beat, however, the multiplier is gone.  There are 44 achievements to earn through game center and 24 medals for the taking, and while I haven’t done a total compare I’m assuming that all of the medals correspond to achievements with an additional load of achievements to earn.  There are also three leaderboards to rank on: score, endurance and number of hits.  Neonize does a nice job of taking the concept of a memory game and adding a little kick to it.

Neonize Premium Defenestrate Studios LLC, Neonize Premium – $0.99

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Warship Solitaire [1/15/15] – If you were to take Battleship, combine it with the Picross puzzle concept and toss out multiplayer mode you’d have Warship Solitaire.  The bad news is that there is little frill – music only plays during the menus and sound effects are basically non-existent (well, unless you crank the volume way up).  Thankfully, the game doesn’t really need any bells and whistles.  Using a simple set of rules and a few predefined squares in a grid, your job is to find each of the 6 battleships hidden in the water.  You get 10 hints to help you along the way, and you can buy additional hints via IAP or use your favorite social media to ask for help.  The game has 5 level sets that contain 25 puzzles each, so there’s enough to keep you busy for a while.  There are 10 achievements to earn through Game Center, and you can also share your victories as you conquer each level.

Warship Solitaire Nexx Studio, Warship Solitaire – $0.99

Well that wraps up another edition of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played recently that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our App Store Games Roundup:

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Satellina in Review – Simple Yet Engaging http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/18/satellina-in-review-simple-yet-engaging/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/18/satellina-in-review-simple-yet-engaging/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 01:52:30 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74269 There are a multitude of games in the “dodge everything” or “dodge this while avoiding that” genre of causal games, but few have managed to be anywhere near as intriguing as the Tilt To Live series.  With Satellina there’s a new contender to the throne, and the game play is actually unique compared with any … Read more]]>

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There are a multitude of games in the “dodge everything” or “dodge this while avoiding that” genre of causal games, but few have managed to be anywhere near as intriguing as the Tilt To Live series.  With Satellina there’s a new contender to the throne, and the game play is actually unique compared with any other games of this style that I’ve played before.  Combined with simple yet sharp visuals and a great soundtrack, this is basically a “can’t miss”.  The main gripe I have with the game is its length, or unfortunate lack thereof.

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The goal of the game is to clear each of the 50 boards in under two and a half minutes.  You can change the color scheme, but using the default theme you’ll do this by first collecting all the green items, then collecting all the yellow (which will turn to green), and finally consuming the red (yep, they change to yellow and then green respectively).  This sounds easy enough, right?  Well, the levels are lumped into groups of 5, and within a level group once the clock starts ticking it doesn’t stop.  If you touch one element of the wrong color you have to start that level over, so if you run into a particularly challenging level it can quickly eat into your two minute thirty second time window.

To top it off, you’ll have to clear every level in under 2:30 in order to truly beat the game.  Oh, and once you’ve mastered all that you can play the grand tour, which takes you through all 50 levels with one timer.  Controlling the game is a simple matter of dragging your finger across the screen, and you can either keep it right on your avatar if you feel that gives you tighter control or at a distance if you think it gives you a better view of the action.

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Having said all of that, I think I completed the entire game, including the grand tour, in about 45 minutes.  That’s not to say you can’t go back and try to better your score in a particular set of levels, and it is actually entertaining to do that for a while, but I really hope they have plans for more levels, because this is one game that definitely needs it.  The game does keep track of your score compared to other players, though it does this internally and not through Game Center.  It would be nice to have some sort of achievements even if they are trivial to provide incentive to keep playing.  Some multiplayer options would be cool as well, like say a competition where the game randomly picks five levels and see which player completes them more rapidly.

The visuals are simple but effective.  All the objects are circles that actually kind of look like a power button icon, and you are represented by a white crosshairs.  The background is a solid color which is there just for the sake of having a background.  The sound effects are basically superfluous, though there is a noise to indicate that you’ve cleared all objects of the “safe” color.  The music is quite nice, on the other hand, and there is a separate track for each level group.  The game is even kind enough to switch between tracks as you advance through the level groups in Grand Tour mode.

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Satellina is a good game, and every time I’ve gone back to it for final analysis before finishing up this review I’ve enjoyed playing it.  The music is great, the levels are varied and some are rather challenging, and trying to master some level groups to get the best score can be quite a rush.  I just wish there was more to the game.  I don’t know what the developers have in store for the game’s future, though the ? in the last level group circle indicates that there’s additional content coming.  Hopefully it will come soon and be as strong as what the game currently has to offer.

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App Summary
Title: Satellina Developer: Peter Smith
Reviewed Ver:  1.0.3 Min OS Req:  iOS 4.0
Price: $1.99 App Size:  40.7 MB
  • Cool variation on “dodge and consume” style game play
  • Levels are often challenging
  • Great music
  • Current content is too short
  • No replay incentive other than high score

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Robot School. Learn To Code – Even Programming Can Be Fun http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/15/robot-school-learn-to-code-even-programming-can-be-fun/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/15/robot-school-learn-to-code-even-programming-can-be-fun/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 23:43:24 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74265 Do you have children that are interested in learning how to program?  Maybe you just feel like your son or daughter has potential and want to trick them into it?  Robot School. Learn to Code might just be the tool for the job.  Aimed at children 7 and older, the software is presented as a … Read more]]>

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Do you have children that are interested in learning how to program?  Maybe you just feel like your son or daughter has potential and want to trick them into it?  Robot School. Learn to Code might just be the tool for the job.  Aimed at children 7 and older, the software is presented as a puzzle game where you have to help a robot make its way back home, but in order to do so you’ll have to program it to get around all kinds of sticky situations.  According to the developer Next is Great, here are the basic selling points:

  • The app is suitable for children aged 7 and above
  • It offers a child-friendly way to learn procedures, loops and conditional instructions, while making programming fun and accessible, regardless of prior experience
  • The app has 45 levels for children to work through, unlocking new powers and achievements as they go
  • The code created in the app can be then previewed in Apple’s Swift programming language and shared on Facebook
  • PSST … it is a great logic game for grown ups too!

If you’d like to see the game in action, here’s a Youtube video: Robot School is in session

And for the first three to grab them, the developers were kind enough to offer some promo codes:
MJ4M4TPKWY9W
7M46WEMEMN7K
WM9KLRNFTJ73

If you happen to take one please drop the developer a note to say thanks, or at least consider rating it on the App Store.  And if the codes have already expired I apologize, because it took me a little while to get this post up.

Robot School. Learn to Code Next is Great, Robot School. Learn to Code – $2.99

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Romance And Games? G5 Seems To Think So… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/10/romance-and-games-g5-seems-to-think-so/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/02/10/romance-and-games-g5-seems-to-think-so/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:37:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74262 Looking for some tales of love but not interested in “chick flicks” or the latest romance novel?  The fine folks over at G5 games have put together a collection of 5 of their most romantic offerings to get you through this sappy holiday.  They were even nice enough to put all of the games on … Read more]]>

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Looking for some tales of love but not interested in “chick flicks” or the latest romance novel?  The fine folks over at G5 games have put together a collection of 5 of their most romantic offerings to get you through this sappy holiday.  They were even nice enough to put all of the games on sale to help make your decision a little less strenuous.

Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures (Full) G5 Entertainment, Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures (Full) – $0.99
Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures HD (Full) G5 Entertainment, Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures HD (Full) – $1.99
Spirit of Wandering - The Legend (Full) G5 Entertainment, Spirit of Wandering – The Legend (Full) – $0.99
Spirit of Wandering - The Legend HD (Full) G5 Entertainment, Spirit of Wandering – The Legend HD (Full) – $1.99
Vampires: Todd and Jessica's Story G5 Entertainment, Vampires: Todd and Jessica’s Story – Free
Vampires: Todd and Jessica's Story HD G5 Entertainment, Vampires: Todd and Jessica’s Story HD – Free
Mystery of the Opera (Full) G5 Entertainment, Mystery of the Opera (Full) – $0.99
Mystery of the Opera HD (Full) G5 Entertainment, Mystery of the Opera HD (Full) – $1.99
Romance of Rome (Full) G5 Entertainment, Romance of Rome (Full) – $0.99
Romance of Rome HD (Full) G5 Entertainment, Romance of Rome HD (Full) – $1.99

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Crazy Chicken Director’s Cut in Review – Second Verse, Better Than The First http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/28/crazy-chicken-directors-cut-in-review-second-verse-better-than-the-first/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/28/crazy-chicken-directors-cut-in-review-second-verse-better-than-the-first/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:51:07 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74254 The chickens are back, and I’m still not 100% sure what to make of the series.  As a mid-tier movie buff I like the setting of this game much better, especially since it focuses on sci-fi and horror movies.  On the other hand, there is only 1 game play mode instead of the three offered … Read more]]>

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The chickens are back, and I’m still not 100% sure what to make of the series.  As a mid-tier movie buff I like the setting of this game much better, especially since it focuses on sci-fi and horror movies.  On the other hand, there is only 1 game play mode instead of the three offered by the original game, and the number of achievements is significantly less.  I still think of the two offerings I’d rather play this one, but it probably isn’t going to be enough of a step above Crazy Chicken Pirates to satiate the hunger of those that got bored with the original.

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As with its predecessor, the top priority in Director’s Cut is to shoot the chickens.  Whereas the original offered three game play modes which admittedly mainly differed in determining what resulted in the game being over, this one offers only one option: you play until you run out of bullets.  The game toggles between a scene full of sci-fi sets and one that boasts spoofs of all your favorite horror films, and in order to transition from one to the other you must shoot a certain number of 3 different types of targets.  Of course the total number of targets increases with each transition, and so far I have seen no way to earn extra bullets aside from actually completing a scene and transitioning to the next one.  As a result, it almost seems inevitable that you will eventually not have enough bullets to complete a scene, especially if you make one or two mistakes (or decide to shoot something else just for the sake of it).

Thankfully the need to shoot everything in sight to find out what you can score on is still present in this game.  In addition to that, however, there are some instances where you have to solve a simple puzzle in order to get a chicken to a position where you can take them out.  And, if you happen to be a fan of either of the covered genres, you’ll appreciate trying to find all the hidden (or not so hidden) references to the films you know and love.  The game only has one leaderboard and 40 achievements to earn, so while it’s not quite as Game Center centric as the original there’s still plenty to work towards.  But, much like its predecessor, the game can get a bit repetitive after a while.  Even if they stuck to the same 2 genres and charged IAP for them, it would be nice to see a couple more scenes added over time.  That shouldn’t be too hard given the plethora of source material to choose from.

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The visuals are right in line with the first game, which is to say that they are cartoonish, detailed and quite enjoyable.  There’s a certain undeniable charm in seeing a chicken dressed as classic horror icons, and the sci-fi world is pretty cool as well.  The sound effects are decent and the music is well written, but it would have been nice if the audio gelled a bit more with the specific content instead of feeling generic. Still, I’m glad there at least was music at all, which is a step up from their previous effort.

The mobile touch screen paradigm is the perfect place for a shooting gallery style game, so it seems only fitting that the Moorhuhn franchise would find its way to iOS devices.  While not the best of the genre for said devices, the Crazy Chicken series certainly provides some decent entertainment with its colorful characters and plenty of extras to shoot at.  If you haven’t taken one for a spin yet I’d certainly recommend giving Crazy Chicken Director’s Cut a try.

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App Summary
Title: Crazy Chicken Director’s Cut – Moorhuhn series Developer: Teyon
Reviewed Ver:  1.0.0 Min OS Req:  iOS 5.0
Price: $0.99 App Size:  64.0 MB
  • Plenty to shoot at
  • Great themes with loads of colorful characters
  • Good music
  • Tends to get repetitive
  • Only one game play mode
  • Needs sound effects that relate to specific events going on

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10 App Store Games To Watch [1/14/15] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/14/10-app-store-games-to-watch-11415/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/14/10-app-store-games-to-watch-11415/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:14:21 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74238 Welcome to 2015!  Last year was a great one for iOS games, and I fully expect this one to be even better.  For the first roundup of 2015 I tried to include games that were a bit closer to the article’s release date, but you’ll see one that snuck in which has a bit of … Read more]]>

roundup-01142015-intro

Welcome to 2015!  Last year was a great one for iOS games, and I fully expect this one to be even better.  For the first roundup of 2015 I tried to include games that were a bit closer to the article’s release date, but you’ll see one that snuck in which has a bit of mileage on it.  The way I figure it, if the game is still selling in the App Store it’s still worth reporting on.  Sit back, relax and get ready to start downloading some new games!

roundup-01142015-peggle-blast

Peggle Blast [12/1/14] – There’s something about the pseudo random nature of Pachinko style games that has been as much a turn-off as an interest to me.  In this case, however, I’m willing to make an exception.  Unlike this recent deluge of “casual” games that believe it’s best to make things impossible, Peggle Blast actually gives you a chance to succeed at each level.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll beat each one on the first try, but you won’t get frustrated because you can never win, either.  Each level has one or more goals to achieve, and there are plenty of ways to get bonus points.  There are also different boosts you can select at the beginning of each round to help your game play.  On most levels you can even earn extra balls by racking up a certain score or through the extra ball bucket on the bottom of the screen.  Most importantly, though, is the fanfare at the end of each level when you do well.  It’s lots of fun and really makes you feel good.  I also love the different characters and their facial expressions, especially when the ball is getting ready to strike the last peg for your goal.  This is definitely a game to play when you want a pick me up after a hard day’s whatever.

Peggle Blast Electronic Arts, Peggle Blast – Free

roundup-01142015-owens-odyssey

Owen’s Odyssey [12/9/14] – Owen takes this week’s coveted “thank you for not being Flappy Bird” slot with game play that’s sort of like Flappy Bird in two directions.  The titular character is a boy with a helicopter beanie that gets stuck in a dangerous castle due to inclement weather.  Cheesy story aside you have a challenging platform game that has only two mechanics: tap the right side of the screen to flap forward and the left side of the screen to do a back-flap.  The trick is finding the right combination of movements to avoid all the nasty things like lava and patch-eyed penguins while still managing to collect all the coins on each level.  You might even find an extra guy lurking about every so often.  You can also earn an extra life if you complete a level under a certain time constraint.  There are only 40 levels, and the levels are actually fairly short, but they are challenging enough that the average player will still feel like they had to work for their victory.  Game Center provides a leaderboard and 43 achievements, though 40 of them come from the first time you beat a level in the designated time interval.  The graphics and music have a NES look and feel, and while it can get frustrating repeatedly dying on a level you previously completed, the overall package makes it worth pressing on.

Owen's Odyssey Brad Erkkila, Owen’s Odyssey – $0.99

roundup-01142015-looney-tunes-dash

Looney Tunes Dash! [12/18/14] – Okay, let me get my biggest complaint out right away: where’s the animation with the rings and either Bugs or Porky’s head popping through?  Anyway, there’s no question that the Looney Tunes characters are one of the most beloved cast of cartoon crazies around, and this finite runner actually manages to do them some justice.  You start as Bugs Bunny in the famous time period known as Rabbit Hunting Season, and eventually you’ll unlock other characters and play through various well known episodes of the classic cartoons.  Besides being chased by the appropriate nemesis various other characters will pop up along the way to either help or hinder you.  Of course you’ll also have various location based obstacles to avoid as well as coins and power ups to collect.  There are even collector’s cards to find on each level set that depict the character you’re playing in certain famous scenes centered around that character.  The graphics do a good job of capturing the characters’ personas, the voices are pretty well done, and the overall atmosphere feels like a cartoon that you can control.  Thank goodness not all licensed properties get handled poorly when translated to the mobile video game screen.

Looney Tunes Dash! Zynga Inc., Looney Tunes Dash! – Free

roundup-01142015-raystorm

Raystorm [6/21/12] – This game is old in a couple of ways.  It first hit the App Store in 2012, and it’s actually an iOS port of a game that came out in 1996!  So why include it in the roundup now?  Well, I just recently got the chance to actually play the game, and honestly I feel it’s better than most of the “new” scrolling shooters that come out for iOS devices.  Despite being almost 20 years old the graphics look great, and the music is top notch.  The levels are extremely well designed and have a surprising feeling of depth, especially when you get into Earth’s orbit and take on an entire space fleet on your own.  There are 2 different game modes each with multiple difficulty settings, and you can choose manual fire if you want to make things a bit more challenging.  Game Center provides a leaderboard and 31 achievements for those that need the “I’m an iOS game” feel.  The biggest complaint I have from a game play perspective is that they don’t seem to limit the continues, even on the hardest level.  Sure you don’t have to tap the screen to continue, but that option should be greatly diminished on the hardest difficulties.  The price tag might be a bit hard to swallow, but it’s a great scrolling shooter experience that’s enjoyable even after playing through it multiple times.

RAYSTORM TAITO Corporation, RAYSTORM – $8.99

roundup-01142015-nut-run

Nut Run [12/11/14] – This is a silly game.  Despite the name the acorns you run across are few and far between.  There is a single leaderboard, no achievements and nothing to unlock or power up with.  There’s a single location with no variety in visuals and one chip tune song that plays throughout every run.  Still, every time I load up the game I have a hard time trying to stop playing it.  It’s the very definition of addictive simplicity.  The game is basically a 3D version of the lumberjack sub-genre, except instead of chopping down the tree you’re simply rotating it to avoid the limbs (you are a squirrel, after all).  The funny thing is that the guy who came up with the game is just as interested in promoting the story behind the game as the game itself.  So what’s the scoop?  Apparently he’s a lawyer from Australia who decided to recruit a couple of self taught coders to do the technical work for him.  Just goes to show that anyone with an idea and some ambition can make their dreams come true, even if they don’t want to acquire the skills themselves.  Did I mention that the game is addictive?

Nut Run Nathan Khoury, Nut Run – Free

roundup-01142015-cars-fast-as-lightning

Cars: Fast as Lightning [10/8/14] – Admit it: no one ever though a movie about cars with people-like personalities was going to be good, and everyone was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  As luck would have it Gameloft has managed to make a fairly interesting game out of the whole experience with Fast as Lightning.  All your favorites are here, though I don’t know what more you could need than the ever lovin’ Mater, and as you progress through the game you can unlock and race with the ones you want.  Play through solo races and complete tasks in order to earn experience and money, or take it to the internet and compete in weekly competitions in order to earn in-game prizes.  Upgrade your car to make beating your opponents easier, then modify the track so the races are cooler and you earn more experience.  You even have the chance to construct Radiator Springs in time management style game play.  The visuals look pretty sharp and when the characters do speak you’d think you were in the movie universe.  The controls are simple enough for younger kids to handle yet still provide an enjoyable enough experience for adults – you know, the kids at heart.  The game is free to play, so maybe it’s time you paid a visit to Radiator Springs.

Cars: Fast as Lightning Gameloft, Cars: Fast as Lightning – Free

roundup-01142015-epic-fall

Epic Fall [12/10/14] – I’ve played a lot of infinite falling / infinite jumping games (ala Doodle Jump), and this is actually one of the most creative I’ve run across in a while.  You play an Indiana Jones type character that gets caught while raiding a tomb and must make his escape.  The only way is down, which of course happens to be littered by all kinds of nasty things that hurt you when you hit them.  Thankfully you have your trusty side arm, and all you have to do is shoot the obstacles you can destroy and shoot something else to steer you away from the indestructible things.  As luck would have it this is a physics based game, so every substantial obstacle you hit will help guide your path, though it might not always be in the direction you want to go.  Shoot bullets to get extra ammo, shoot coins to spend on upgrading your weapon or buying a new costume and collect treasure chests to find items that will unlock some very special suits.  Gain enough experience with your selected weapon and you can unlock a new one so you can start the upgrading process all over again.  There is a leaderboard based on largest number of meters fallen and 18 achievements to earn, just in case all the upgrades and outfits aren’t enough to work towards.  If you’re a fan of the genre you definitely don’t want to pass this one up.

Epic Fall Alexander Kiselev, Epic Fall – Free

roundup-01142015-the-sleeping-prince

The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition [9/5/14] – Don’t let anyone ever tell you that sleeping is a waste of time.  It seems that the kingdom has been placed under a spell which has caused all the inhabitants to fall asleep except for you.  Now you must use all your skills to guide the heroic prince on a journey to restore awakeness to the kingdom.  Of course he’s napping as well, so you’ll have to fling him through the land, using whatever you can find along the way to propel him to new heights and reach the end of each level.  Bouncy platforms, movable rings and rubber band sling shots are but some of the tools that will help you accomplish your tasks.  Each level has three goals: a time limit to beat, 3 stars to gather and gems to collect.  The gems are used to buy boosts at the beginning of a level or to acquire the services of your fellow landfolk once you’ve awoken them from their slumber.  Stars, on the other hand, allow you to unlock more levels in the game.  You can retry the levels as often as you like, but to earn the gold medal you must achieve all three goals in the same play through.  The graphics are great, and the music has a nice, upbeat tone to it.  This is one of those games that both kids and parents can equally enjoy.

The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition Signal Mobile LLC, The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition – Free

roundup-01142015-temple-tap

Temple Tap [11/8/14] – I like the concept behind the whole Simon game play mechanic, but I usually don’t stick with that type of game too long because frankly my memory isn’t that great.  As such I’m not exactly making much headway with Temple Tap, but I like the premise behind it which gives me a bit more incentive to push on.  You’re a purveyor of fine antiques that stumbles upon the key to a temple filed with flashy treasures.  Unfortunately the path to each room is protected by a series of tiles that must be tapped in the right sequence.  One twist to the formula is that eventually you might have to tap two tiles at once.  I haven’t discovered anything more yet, but that’s what happens when you can only make it to level 10.  What I do know is that at the end of each level you make it through you earn either a coin or a gem which gets you some cash that you can then use to unlock idols to help your game play.  Some idols work continuously, others are good once a level and the most powerful ones can only be used once for each play through.  You get three mistakes per level, but if you fail a level you have to start back from the beginning.  If you enjoy “remember the sequence” style games then Temple Tap offers enough of a change from the norm that you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Temple Tap Heroic Stand, LLC., Temple Tap – $0.99

roundup-01142015-tap-titans

Tap Titans [12/17/14] – When I first saw my son playing this game I thought “that looks kind of silly, but I like the graphics”.  I decided to try the game myself and it turns out that it can be rather addictive, given that it’s “just” another one of those tap repeatedly type of games.  What sets this one apart to me (besides the theme) is the fact that there are actually small goals you can achieve, instead of simply saying “tap the screen one million times”.  You start out with one brave hero fighting a titan at a time, and as you win battles you’ll collect coins so that you can upgrade your heroes and unlock new ones.  Each round is comprised of 9 minion fights followed by a mini-boss, and once you’ve cleared enough mini-bosses you can move on to the next world.  You’ll always be able to beat the minions but you only get 30 seconds to take out a boss, and believe it or not that may not always be enough.  If you fail to conquer a boss just keep working on additional minions until your characters are powerful enough.  There’s really no way to lose Tap Titans, it’s more a matter of how long it takes you to ultimately win, assuming there is such a thing.  The icing on the cake is that the game “plays” while you’re away, so expect a pile of cash waiting for you every time you return.

Tap Titans Game Hive Corp., Tap Titans – Free

Well that wraps up another edition of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played recently that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our App Store Games Roundup:

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The Secret Of Raven Rock in Review – Don’t Worry, I Won’t Tell http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/05/the-secret-of-raven-rock-in-review-dont-worry-i-wont-tell/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2015/01/05/the-secret-of-raven-rock-in-review-dont-worry-i-wont-tell/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 06:08:04 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74229 The Secret Of Raven Rock was the last game I played in 2014, so I figured I’d make it my first review for 2015.  As adventure games go it doesn’t have the most original or intriguing plot, but the game play is interesting enough that you want to keep coming back to find out what … Read more]]>

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The Secret Of Raven Rock was the last game I played in 2014, so I figured I’d make it my first review for 2015.  As adventure games go it doesn’t have the most original or intriguing plot, but the game play is interesting enough that you want to keep coming back to find out what you’ll discover next.  The puzzles are well balanced, the mini games don’t keep you hung up for too long, and the game actually tries to take advantage of some of the features of the device like multi-touch and tilting.  Overall it was a fun experience and worth the time investment for iOS adventure game fans.

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The basic premise is that you arrive home after an extended absence only to find the village abandoned and a weird vibe in the air.  Now you must figure out where your people went and who the mysterious warlock is that you’ve heard rumors about.  At least this gives you a reason to do what you’re doing, but this “disappearing town” shtick gets kind of old because it means there are no NPCs to interact with, and to me that’s half the fun of an adventure game.  Still, if you can get past that hang up there’s plenty to do in Raven Rock and an odd mystique that drives you to do it.

Navigating the world is pretty typical: tap where you want to move, tap to pick up items and drag to use items somewhere in your current scene.  At least, that’s what the game would have you believe.  As it turns out, there are times where you have to drag things to move them, hold things with one finger while tapping objects with another, and even an instance where you get to use the camera.  I like how they’ve integrated more than just simple tap mechanics into the game, though it would have been nice to know that such mechanics existed so I wouldn’t have torn out quite as much hair.  Still, I’ve already forgiven the developers and applaud them for thinking outside the box.  There’s also a map, and while it’s not completely interactive, at least it lets you jump to the start of any major section of the game.

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In addition to the bounty of object based puzzles there are also plenty of mini games to dig into.  There’s a nice variety, though sadly they still had to have at least two of the “slide tiles to make a picture” type, which are among my least favorite given that there is no recourse to skip a puzzle after a given amount of time.  Just like with the object based puzzles, there are times where you must use multi-touch and even an occasion that requires you to tilt the device to complete the puzzles, so while the types of puzzles might not always have been to my liking, I give them credit for not just making another simple tap everywhere type game.  If there was one true complaint I had it’s the fact that the game tends to be a bit unstable, as it crashed on me several times over the course of playing.  Thankfully I never lost any real progress.

Raven Rock looks really good.  All the backgrounds are crisp and nicely detailed, and for the most part it’s easy to tell what all the objects are.  The graphics do get a bit fuzzy when you transition between scenes, but I’ll take it because I like the whole transition effect.  It gives you more of a sense that you’re moving between areas instead of just suddenly being in a new place.  The sound effects do a decent job of conveying what’s going on around you, so at least it doesn’t feel completely dead.  The music is pretty good, and in certain locations they do a great job with ambient sounds – hanging around in certain locations can give you the creeps, especially if you forget the game is running!

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The Secret Of Raven Rock is certainly not without it’s issues, but along with Escape From LaVille it has provided a strong, enjoyable conclusion to my year as far as adventure games go.  And, despite the fairly clichéd story, the cliffhanger at the end has me hoping that they are working on a sequel for the new year.  I just hope the next installment comes with a slightly more stable engine.

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App Summary
Title: The Secret of Raven Rock Developer: Raven Rock Games
Reviewed Ver:  1.1 Min OS Req:  iOS 7.0
Price: $1.99 App Size:  96.0 MB
  • Plenty of puzzles and mini-games
  • Used mechanics beyond simple tap and drag
  • Really nice visuals
  • Good music and ambient noises
  • Story was pretty generic
  • Game crashed several times

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10 App Store Games To Watch [12/31/2014] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/31/10-app-store-games-to-watch-12312014/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/31/10-app-store-games-to-watch-12312014/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 2015 01:23:33 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74215 Welcome to my last roundup of 2014, even if you’re not reading it until 2015.  As far as I’m concerned it’s been a great year for iOS gaming, even for those of us that haven’t been able to upgrade to a device running metal yet.  I expect that 2015 will be an even better year, … Read more]]>

roundup-intro

Welcome to my last roundup of 2014, even if you’re not reading it until 2015.  As far as I’m concerned it’s been a great year for iOS gaming, even for those of us that haven’t been able to upgrade to a device running metal yet.  I expect that 2015 will be an even better year, and I look forward to being part of it.  Without further ado, here are 10 games to ring in the New Year right…

roundup-bumpy-birds

Bumpy Birds – I downloaded Bumpy Birds mainly because of a Twitter challenge.  I’ll probably never beat the challenge, but in the process I got the chance to try a pretty cool casual game.  It’s kind of like the grandchild of Flappy Bird and Frogger where you control a bird that must pass through as many rows of unfriendly birds as possible by tapping the screen to flap upwards and letting going to fall back down.  You’ll constantly be passing flags that mark your progress, and if you get lucky you might even bounce up to claim one final flag when you inevitably get hit by a bird or rogue raincloud.  Occasionally a golden butterfly will flutter back and forth and if you snag it you’ll go all Powder Puff Girls and zoom through a few flags unharmed.  The game supports Facebook and Twitter for regaling your escapades and there is a personal leaderboard, though the game could stand to incorporate Game Center for global competition.  There are several birds you can unlock by climbing to certain heights or through a one time IAP purchase, but they don’t seem to add anything to the game other than a bit of variety.  In the end this is a nice causal game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t maddeningly difficult like your average flappy game.

Bumpy Birds Tapchat, Inc., Bumpy Birds – Free

roundup-best-fiends

Best Fiends – Welcome to the ultimate showdown of bugs vs. slugs.  In this match 3 fest you’ll control up to five bugs at a time, and your job is to conquer the evil slugs throughout the land and rescue your families that have been captured.  Every level has one or more goals and a certain number of moves in which to achieve those goals.  Make matches to power up your bugs and have them attack, and when you’ve matched enough of a particular color the corresponding bug will unleash a special tile on the board.  Collect fuzzy yellow creatures and diamonds which can be used to level up your bugs, or use the diamonds to buy keys that will let you uncover squares on a special board that could give you even bigger bonuses like additional bugs.  You can connect to Facebook and Twitter to share your exploits, and there is also Game Center support though you’ll currently find only 5 achievements and no leaderboards.  Cute visuals, peppy music and silly sound effects create a great atmosphere for a fun match 3 variant.

Best Fiends Seriously, Best Fiends – Free

roundup-doodle-jump-dc

Doodle Jump DC Super Heroes – I am not a fan of the Doodle Jump franchise.  Even worse, I tend to get frustrated with all these licensing tie-ins because they often don’t really improve the base game at all.  This is one time where I stand corrected, although there’s a strong possibility that I’m biased simply because I’m a fan of the Dark Knight.  Whatever the case might be, this endless jumper has managed to keep me entertained for a lot longer than I had first expected.  As you might expect you basically play that weird Doodle Jump dude dressed in a Batman costume, though one of the perks is that you can unlock several different eras of costume over time.  In addition to being able to shoot you also get to use your cape to glide by swiping down when falling.  There are 4 items to upgrade including a batcopter, and as you continue to play you’ll earn experience that lets you level up which increases one of three stats that make your Doodle guy a better champion of the night.  The game has Game Center integration for one leaderboard and 12 achievements, just in case trying to one up your previous score isn’t satisfying enough.  And of course the doodle-ized versions of some of the most iconic bat-villains are pretty cool.

Doodle Jump DC Super Heroes Warner Bros., Doodle Jump DC Super Heroes – Free

roundup-find-the-line

Find The Line – This is one of those games that, like Zen Bound, is more about the tranquility of playing the game than earning a high score or lots of achievements.  Don’t get me wrong – the game has three leaderboards and 41 achievements on Game Center.  For me, though, the ability to get lost in the music and fluid line movements is so much more rewarding than any high score I won’t beat or achievement I don’t get around to earning.  The idea is to take two or more objects on the screen and slide them around until they form one unique object in the center of the screen.  One trick is figuring out the target object, because in at least one level so far it seemed like I could make a couple of different things with one of the lines.  Another goal is to find the star in each level which means paying attention to the intermediate steps and not just the ultimate result for the level.  Some levels also have hidden keys on them, and these are important in order for you to be able to progress to higher levels.  The game has more than 200 levels that you can play for free, or you can support the developers and remove the ads for 99 cents.  Either way it’s a really good deal for some tranquil fun that doesn’t require precise timing or the need to blow something’s head off.

Find The Line Chillingo Ltd, Find The Line – Free

roundup-roll-rage

Roll Rage – Tired of rolling balls through mazes?  How about running them through 10 different mini games?  This collection of bite sized entertainment will have you blasting boulders, falling through shimmering gates and dodging bees while you collect fruit and stars to earn points and coins.  You can earn bronze, silver and gold trophies on each level, and it takes a silver trophy or some coins to move to the next mini game.  Once you’ve collected all 10 silver trophies you’ll unlock a mission based mode to each of the mini games as well, providing even more reflex testing action.  There are 10 leaderboards, one for each game when played in arcade mode.  There are also 27 achievements to earn, just in case you didn’t have enough else to work towards.  One thing I really like is that each game has its own upgrade path, which at first seemed unfair until I realized that there were different types of upgrade based on the mini game.  This is a cool feature that I don’t believe I’ve run across in other mini game collections before.

Roll Rage John Leather, Roll Rage – Free

roundup-diner-dash

Diner Dash – Flo has always been one of my favorite time management protagonists, and I was exited to see her show up in a new iteration of the Diner Dash franchise.  This one, lovingly called simply Diner Dash, appears to be a reboot of the franchise.  If you’ve played any installment in the series you’ll know what to expect: seat the guests when they arrive, take their orders and serve them as promptly as possible, and clean up when they are done.  As usual there are plenty of upgrades to make your serving experience easier, some of which require coins and others demanding dollars.  Both can be earned simply by doing your job and completing achievements, though I’m guessing coins are the primary method of reward while if you want the big ticket dollar items you just might need to shell out a little cash (real dough, that is).  The game is free to play, but you do have a life meter that gets used up with every level and slowly recharges.  The graphics have a slightly different feel about them so they are familiar and yet better at the same time.  Overall this is another stellar notch in the story that proves the franchise is both still relevant and just as fun as it used to be.

Diner Dash PlayFirst, Inc., Diner Dash – Free

roundup-running-shadow

Running Shadow – This offering from Game Insight takes the infinite runner format and adds a bit of depth to it.  You take on the role of a thief who manages to steal an incredibly powerful and dangerous artifact, and you end up getting recruited by an organization that wishes to take down the folks you stole the artifact from.  The story unfolds as you explore your city, and I imagine as you get further into it things won’t always be as they seem.  Instead of engaging in trials of infinite running you’ll face short sequences that you have to conquer to earn rewards and upgrade your character.  In typical Game Insight fashion there will be requirements in order to play the various segments in the first place, such as upgrading a piece of equipment or attaining a certain skill level.  In addition to the main quests necessarily to complete the game you’ll also have the chance to test your skills and thumb your nose at other players by actually robbing their “houses” in the game.  This is an interesting take on the whole infinite runner genre, but you have to keep in mind that as a Game Insight offering you’ll probably have to dump some IAP into it in order to enjoy the game for more than a few minutes at a time.  Also, while it runs on my iPad 2, it’s not all that graceful (the game does actually warn you that you need a more competent device, however).

Running Shadow - Fantasy Runner - Be an Assassin! Game Insight, LLC, Running Shadow – Fantasy Runner – Be an Assassin! – Free

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Stick and Chick – The name’s actually much longer, but I get tired just looking at it.  As you might expect, this is a “stick figure” game.  Truth be told, though, the graphics are much better than the average game of said artistic style.  In fact, I quite like the visuals and the fact that each level takes you to a new locale, though it’s kind of funny that your adversaries look the same no matter where you go.  As for the game itself, it’s a shooting gallery style game with a constantly scrolling background and bad guys that also run around, which makes targeting interesting except for the small amount of time they stand still.  It definitely provides a greater challenge than your usual shooting gallery game.  There are 10 levels to conquer, though you actually have to pay to play the last level.  In addition to your standard weapon you can unlock machine gun and grenade enhancements, but keep in mind those aren’t unlimited like your standard weapon is.  You can also purchase the ability to use multi-touch during games, but each outpour of cash only gives you this ability for a limited number of games, so consider wisely.  If you like this style of game play then what you get for free is certainly worth checking out, but other than ad removal I think they need to revamp their IAP system just a bit.

Stick and Chick - The Ultimate Stick Man Game Where You Gotta Fight For Your Girl - Crazy Fast Shooting Game Animax, Stick and Chick – The Ultimate Stick Man Game Where You Gotta Fight For Your Girl – Crazy Fast Shooting Game – Free

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Dead Run – In Dead Run you’re only as good as the number of people you save… literally.  Dead Run is an infinite runner, but instead of all the fancy obstacle dodging and corner turning and such you only have two options: swing your club or fire your shotgun.  The trick is in deciding which ones are the zombies and which are the humans, because everyone is just a shadow.  The reality is that it’s not all that difficult to discern, but as you get caught up in the moment you’ll get impulsive and tap that trigger finger when you don’t mean to.  Kill as many zombies as you want, but the first innocent you slay signals the end of the run, at which point your score is determined by how many survivors are following you.  In addition to the slick visuals there’s a chilling soundtrack, and amazingly enough it’s almost unsettling watching an innocent bleed blocks of red as they scream their last breath.  The game offers 4 leaderboards and 13 achievements, so there’s something besides simply running to keep you busy for a little while.  It would be cool if you could upgrade your weapons, even if it was just for show, but there’s something about the simplicity of this zombie runner that manages to hook you in regardless.

Dead Run Twoplus Games (Pty) Ltd, Dead Run – $1.99

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Docking Sequence – This is the latest offering from Quantum Sheep, and if you’re a long time fan like me you might be slightly saddened to see that there is no Sam in this game.  In fact, it has nothing to do with the Air Supply universe.  Instead it’s kind of like an overhead view lunar lander type game.  On each level there is a station and you must guide your ship to the center of that station to complete the level.  Of course hitting the walls of the station is a no –no, but there are also obstacles like asteroids and shooting ships to get in your way.  Your fuel is also limited – each move cost a fuel cell, and when the fuel runs out you get 5 seconds to dock before you lose the level.  On a more positive note you’ll be able to rescue astronauts that make you feel good about yourself and work towards unlocking stuff and earning achievements.  Also, for those of you that are like me and enjoy the Air Supply series because of the unlocks: have no fear.  Successful dockings work towards unlocking new ships, collecting astronauts gets you new music and remaining fuel cells give you the opportunity to select from the ever popular array of one color palettes.  There is even a leaderboard and some achievements courtesy of Game Center.

Docking Sequence Quantum Sheep, Docking Sequence – $0.99

Well that wraps up another edition of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played recently that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our App Store Games Roundup:

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Ho Ho Halfbrick This Holiday Season http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/18/74209/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/18/74209/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:12:14 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74209 Looking for some new games to add to your iOS collection this holiday season?  If you’re into casual gaming, Halfbrick is the place to be.  From the international sensation Fruit Ninja to one of the first “do something besides run” infinite runners Monster Dash, these guys have a wide assortment of options for you to … Read more]]>

Halfbrick-Christmas

Looking for some new games to add to your iOS collection this holiday season?  If you’re into casual gaming, Halfbrick is the place to be.  From the international sensation Fruit Ninja to one of the first “do something besides run” infinite runners Monster Dash, these guys have a wide assortment of options for you to choose from, and they’ve decided to go crazy and give them all away for this festive occasion.  This is quite the one-two punch given that they’ve recently updated several of their titles with lots of fancy new features.  I could tell you more, but the best way for you to experience the fun is to simply head on over to the App Store and check out the choices yourself.

Halfbrick on the App Store

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Escape From LaVille1 in Review: Beware The Green Mist http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/15/escape-from-laville1-in-review-beware-the-green-mist/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/15/escape-from-laville1-in-review-beware-the-green-mist/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:04:09 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74203 As I start to write this review the sequel to Escape From LaVille has been released for just a few days.  I never got the chance to play the first one, however, so I figured I should do that before diving into the sequel.  I’m glad I did.  Not only does it directly set up … Read more]]>

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As I start to write this review the sequel to Escape From LaVille has been released for just a few days.  I never got the chance to play the first one, however, so I figured I should do that before diving into the sequel.  I’m glad I did.  Not only does it directly set up the second game, but it’s actually a very entertaining adventure game.  Best of all, while the ending is brief, it’s one of the best ones I’ve run across in a mobile adventure game in a while.  It certainly left me surprised and stunned.

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You are Forest Campbell, and you have been sent to LaVille to try and figure out what wiped out the entire town.  Your investigation leads you to an old mansion with a weird green light that seems to emanate from the porch, and once you enter your adventures are only beginning…

It amazes me how many old mansions are filled with traps and puzzles, but I guess if they weren’t we’d have nothing to adventure around in, right?  This is a “pure” adventure game in the sense that all you’ll find is object and logic based puzzles rather than a collection of hidden object screens.  The puzzles are pretty straightforward and well thought out, and while I did have to access the help a couple of times I think there was really only one instance where I wouldn’t have figured out the solution with a little more patience.  There was really only one mini game that consisted of rotating some tiles in a picture, and it was fairly easy to figure out.  The interface was fairly basic adventure fare that requires you to tap to move and pick up objects.  In this particular interface, however, you tap inventory items and then tap where you want to use them instead of dragging them onto the scene.  Everything was extremely responsive and I never had trouble executing what I wanted to do.  If anything I might say the game could have been just a smidge longer, but I don’t think you’ll feel disappointed in any way.

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The graphics were good, though I think I did myself a disservice by playing the iPhone version of the game on my iPad.  I cheated a bit and used shots from the iPad version for this review, and they certainly look much crisper than what I saw when I played.  Still, for being scaled up to fit my device the visuals were certainly detailed enough and everything was readily discernible.  The sound effects weren’t bad, though we didn’t get treated to any voice-overs since this was a solo outing with no NPC interaction.  Musically the audio delivered with a soundtrack that fit the ominous tone of your explorations.

Escape From LaVille 1 is another fine example of how to do an adventure game right on iOS devices.  The interface was solid, the story was intriguing (though they could have used a better translator), and the audio and visuals did a decent job of taking you into Forest Campbell’s world.  You can quibble about the length of the game, but equal parts of me say it was a bit short and it was just the right length.  If you like adventure games you should enjoy this one.  Now if you’ll excuse me I’m on to part two…

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App Summary
Title: Escape from LaVille 1 Developer: Gabriele Pellistri
Reviewed Ver:  1.2 Min OS Req:  iOS 5.0
Price: $0.99 App Size:  87.8 MB
  • Good story with twist ending
  • Balanced game play with minimal mini games
  • Pleasant visuals
  • Good music
  • Might have been a bit short
  • Text could have been translated better
  • Needed some voice-overs

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The House on Usher in Review: Bosses That Go Bump In The Night http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/13/the-house-on-usher-in-review-bosses-that-go-bump-in-the-night/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/13/the-house-on-usher-in-review-bosses-that-go-bump-in-the-night/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 12:29:41 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74196 So here we are with another hidden object game that wasn’t released by one of the “big players”.  In fact, The House On Usher looks to be the first iOS outing for Red Aphid Games.  Turns out it’s actually a pretty fun game.  As sadly seems to be the case with most hidden object games … Read more]]>

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So here we are with another hidden object game that wasn’t released by one of the “big players”.  In fact, The House On Usher looks to be the first iOS outing for Red Aphid Games.  Turns out it’s actually a pretty fun game.  As sadly seems to be the case with most hidden object games there’s a bit of a response problem when clicking on the objects you’re trying to find, but otherwise the game has solid production values and plenty of locales to explore.  It also has a decent mystery vibe about it that makes you want to keep playing to find out what the strange force behind the house is.

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The House On Usher is what one might expect if the legendary Steven King where to try his hand at horror comedy.  You’re a neophyte real estate woman trying to make her name by turning over this worn down, abandoned property… which just happens to be haunted.  The story unfolds through newspaper clippings and your general investigation of the house, and your only contact with the outside world is your boss who seems to know a lot more than he’s letting on.  There’s nothing earth shattering about the story, but the lighthearted nature is a nice change form many of the macabre offerings of Big Fish Games.

The interface is pretty standard for this style of game play.  Tap on the screen to move to a new location, tap on items within the screen to pick them up and drag items from your inventory to use them with other items on the screen.  There are just a couple of different types of mini games scattered throughout the main game and they just require simple tap and drag operations as well.  You can pinch to zoom in and out, but there’s also a handy magnifying glass that will zoom you completely in or out with a quick tap.  More importantly, I really appreciate the fact that you can actually tap on the locations in the map and move directly to them without any fuss.  This should be a standard feature of adventure games in my opinion.  The main issue with the interface is that you often have to click several times on an object before it registers that you clicked the object.  Sadly that’s pretty common with hidden object games on the iPad, but in this case it gets really frustrating when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for in the first place.

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Game play is divided into three segments: object puzzles, hidden object scenes and mini games.  As a “bonus” you get to clean the house which consists of finding any stray cobwebs, bugs or mauve items (apparently your character doesn’t like mauve).  This is where it gets frustrating, because in a given scene you’re told how many items need to be cleaned up, but not what you’re looking for.  The bugs are especially difficult to find, and when clicking them doesn’t respond appropriately it may leave you baffled.  In hidden object scenes you’re always presented with a list so you don’t have to try to match shadows or place objects where they belong.  Most of the mini games are like a Wheel Of Fortune board where you’re given a clue and must spell out a phrase with supplied letters.  There are a couple of others, but thankfully unlike a lot of modern hidden object games you don’t have to complete a mini game to get behind every locked area.  Overall the game play felt pretty balanced.

The graphics fall in line nicely with higher end hidden object games.  Detailed backgrounds give you a real sense of the environment and also make it challenging to find the objects.  There are only two characters, you and your boss, but they are well designed and some of the boss’ expressions are pretty humorous.  The sound effects are decent enough, and they did a good job casting the boss, though I will say that the girl seems a bit whiny sometimes.  There’s a decent selection of music that all sounds really good, but don’t listen to closely to some of the tracks because you’ll realize that they are on a fairly short repeat loop.  Still, I enjoyed the tunes for the most part.

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While we’re seeing more “pure” adventure games show up on the App Store these days, they’re still few and far between compared to hidden object games.  As long as the latter is going to be prevalent for a while, I hope more of them turn out like this one.  Niggles about the interface and the sometimes repetitive music aside, I found myself practically unable to tear myself away from this adventure until it was complete, and that’s the way a good gaming journey should be.  I will leave you with one final warning: if you’re the type that finds the end more important than the journey you might want to stay away, because the conclusion to this tale leaves a lot to be desired.

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App Summary
Title: The House on Usher Developer: Red Aphid Games
Reviewed Ver:  1.0 Min OS Req:  iOS 6.0
Price: Free App Size:  230 MB
  • Mystery that keeps you coming back
  • Decent balance of game play
  • Nice visuals
  • Entertaining music
  • Item tapping needs to be more responsive
  • Weak ending
  • Soundtrack does get repetitive

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