TouchMyApps 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 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 22:14:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 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]]>

review-raven-rock-1

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.

review-raven-rock-2

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.

review-raven-rock-3

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!

review-raven-rock-4

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

roundup-stick-and-chick

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

roundup-dead-run

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

roundup-docking-sequence

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]]>

review-house-on-usher-1

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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Get A Chance To Try Out Earthcore: Shattered Elements Early! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/05/get-a-chance-to-try-out-earthcore-shattered-elements-early/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/05/get-a-chance-to-try-out-earthcore-shattered-elements-early/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:17:49 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74191 Do you eat, sleep and breathe CCG… or at least really like that type of game play?  How would you like to get your hands on such a game before its general release on the iOS platform?  If you’re already starting to drool then you’re the right candidate for the job.  Head on over to http://earthcoregame.com/beta … Read more]]>

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Do you eat, sleep and breathe CCG… or at least really like that type of game play?  How would you like to get your hands on such a game before its general release on the iOS platform?  If you’re already starting to drool then you’re the right candidate for the job.  Head on over to http://earthcoregame.com/beta and sign up for the Earthcore: Shattered Elements beta.  If you’re one of the first 10 people to sign up and put TouchMyApps in the favourite CCG field then you’ll be guaranteed a slot in the beta.  Please make sure you have an iPad 3 or above (including iPad Minis) before you sign up, however.  Hurry up, too – open beta registration closes on December 10th.  For more information:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/earthcoregame
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/earthcoregame

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Acky’s Breakout Reloaded – brick breaker in Review: Played The Rest? Try One Of The Best http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/03/ackys-breakout-reloaded-brick-breaker-in-review-played-the-rest-try-one-of-the-best/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/12/03/ackys-breakout-reloaded-brick-breaker-in-review-played-the-rest-try-one-of-the-best/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:51:42 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74184 If you consider yourself anything more than a solitaire player when it comes to computer games then you’ve probably played a Breakout clone or two in your time.  Much like the tower defense genre there’s a pretty basic game play mechanic that most variants in this genre stick to, so just like in tower defense … Read more]]>

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If you consider yourself anything more than a solitaire player when it comes to computer games then you’ve probably played a Breakout clone or two in your time.  Much like the tower defense genre there’s a pretty basic game play mechanic that most variants in this genre stick to, so just like in tower defense games it tends to boil down to window dressing.  And boy is Acky’s window looking spiffy.  There are power ups, pilots and pets, oh my!  Create more than one ball at the same time, destroy random bricks to help you complete a level and try real hard to conquer the boards where you must hit all the bricks without touching the side and top walls.  This may be “just” a brick breaker at heart, but there’s plenty of fluff to keep gamers happy.

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So it’s just another Saturday night as you head out in your extremely oversized paddle to knock around a few bricks that seem to have formed odd but appealing patterns in the middle of space.  If most of this sounds familiar then you get the gist of your average Breakout clone.  Thankfully Acky’s Breakout Reloaded tosses in enough extras to make it stand out from the crowd.  Foremost is the idea of creating balls from a mystical material called ether.  As long as you have enough you can create another ball and keep playing, and the stuff does regenerate over time.  You can also collect it as it falls from certain bricks or buy it in the store with the pizza that you earn.  There are plenty of power ups to collect and use, and whenever possible the game tries to put a new twist on them – for example, the Prediction power up will not only draw a line to show where the incoming ball will bounce when you hit it, but the ball actually slows down so you can try to reposition the shot if you want.

When you complete a level you’ll earn 10, 20 or 30 slices of pizza depending on the rank you placed in the level.  You can also sometimes pick up slices of pizza floating in space if your reflexes are quick enough, and naturally you can buy additional pizza via IAP.  Pizza is used to buy power ups (if you want to actually start the level with one), specials which include things like filling ether and gem tanks, and pilots and pets.  You can collect ‘em all if you wish – in fact it’s encouraged thanks to two of the missions – but you can only use one pilot and one pet at a given time.  Each has their own bonus to bring to the game, so choose wisely based on how you like to play.  The game boasts 175 levels, and so far none of them have felt repetitious to me.  There are also 24 missions (AKA Game Center achievements) to complete as well as 6 different leaderboards to rank on.  The only additional thing I’d like to see is some sort of reward for completing each mission.

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The graphics are retro HD, with cool pixel graphics that are nicely detailed and just enough special effects to keep them from getting boring.  You do actually see your pilot and pet in the paddle as well, which is a sweet touch.  The sound effects are pretty much what you might expect from this type of game, and it’s kind of disappointing that there are no special noises for any of the pilots or pets that you pick.  On the other hand, I really like the music.  It’s not necessarily the kind of stuff I’d listen to on its own, but the style just seems to suit the overall atmosphere of the game.

There is certainly no shortage of breakout style games on the App Store.  The question is whether you want just another clone or are you more interested in playing the best?  If you choose the latter then you’ll definitely want to take Acky’s Breakout Reloaded for a spin.  I’m not a big fan of the genre, but after more than 40 levels the game still has me thoroughly entertained.  Between the sheer number of levels, the achievements and the vast amount of pilots and pets there are to collect there’s never a shortage of goals to reach for, and the game even does a decent job of combating the “can’t get that last brick” syndrome so many brick breaker games suffer from.  And who doesn’t love the thought of using pizza as currency?

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App Summary
Title: Acky’s Breakout Reloaded – Brick Breaker Developer: Isotope 244
Reviewed Ver:  1.0 Min OS Req:  iOS 5.0
Price: $2.99 App Size:  38.2 MB
  • Plenty of levels
  • Numerous achievements and 6 leaderboards
  • Lots of pets and pilots to collect
  • Great pixel art and rockin’ music
  • Pizza takes a lot of time to earn
  • Sound effects are a bit weak

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Bundle Up Your Software This Winter http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/29/bundle-up-your-software-this-winter/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/29/bundle-up-your-software-this-winter/#comments Sun, 30 Nov 2014 03:06:40 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74179 One of the latest features of the App Store is the ability for developers to bundle up their software titles and offer that bundle at a reduced price.  What’s really nice for the consumer is that if you own some of the games in the bundle already you can purchase the rest for a pro-rated … Read more]]>

One of the latest features of the App Store is the ability for developers to bundle up their software titles and offer that bundle at a reduced price.  What’s really nice for the consumer is that if you own some of the games in the bundle already you can purchase the rest for a pro-rated lower cost so you still save some money.  Many game developers are already jumping on this bandwagon, so I thought I’d point out a couple of recent one that I thought were interesting.

tilt-to-live-bundle

Tilt To Live Tilty-Tilt Boom Boom Bundle

Besides being one of the best names for a bundle so far, this bundle contains some of the best twitch action, dodge everything games you’ll find on the App Store.  Start with the original Tilt To Live, my favorite game in the genre at the time.  You can read all about my adventures with this gem here: Tilt To Live review.  Once you think you’ve mastered all there is to tilting and destroying you’ll want to check out Tilt To Live 2: Redonkulous, the game that managed to kick the insanity of the original up a notch or two.  I just happen to have a review of that one as well, just in case you’re inclined: Tilt To Live 2: Redonkulous review.  Finally, you can see what the first official spin-off feels like in Tilt To Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge.  This game turns the crazy, arena based action into an obstacle course instead, proving that the Tilt To Live franchise isn’t a one trick pony.  This is one action bundle you can’t go wrong with.

Tilt to Live Tilty-Tilt Boom Boom Bundle One Man Left, Tilt to Live Tilty-Tilt Boom Boom Bundle – $4.99

cubus-games-bundle

Cubus Games Adventures

There’s actually a bit more to the title on this one, but I think you’ll get the drift once I start laying out the games contained within.  First up is The Sinister Fairground, an interactive horror gamebook that’s sure to make you think twice before visiting your local carnival next time.  An intricate, detailed storyline is laced with combat and mind bending puzzles to keep you on your toes.  If you’re more of a sci-fi nut you’ll want to try Heavy Metal Thunder.  A deep science fiction plot will suck you in and a slick combat system will keep you entertained.  It’ll also prepare you for the sequel which is due out some time in the near future.  Finally you have Necklace of Skulls, a story steeped in Mayan culture.  Besides the unique background for the tale, an innovative combat system is sure to intrigue even the most seasoned gamebook player.

Cubus Games Adventures: get into the darkest, dangerous stories – Gamebook Bundle Cubus Games, Cubus Games Adventures: get into the darkest, dangerous stories – Gamebook Bundle – $7.99

I believe both of these bundles have a limited shelf life, so grab them while you can.

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10 App Store Games To Watch [11/19/2014] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/20/10-app-store-games-to-watch-11192014/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/20/10-app-store-games-to-watch-11192014/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:19:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74161 While I might not have been reporting on them so much in the past few weeks, that doesn’t mean there have been any less new game offerings in the iOS world.  I’ve decided to change things up a bit, however, and instead of tying each installment to a specific week, I’m just going to bring … Read more]]>

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While I might not have been reporting on them so much in the past few weeks, that doesn’t mean there have been any less new game offerings in the iOS world.  I’ve decided to change things up a bit, however, and instead of tying each installment to a specific week, I’m just going to bring you the games that I’ve currently been playing.  So, without further ado, here are 10 App Store games to watch…

roundup-11192014-adventure-xpress

Adventure Xpress [10/1/14] – Much like Spellfall or some of the other more popular match 3 / RPG hybrids of late, there really isn’t much of a quest or narrative portion to the game.  You basically select a location, conquer all the creatures at that location and then move on to the next location.  Locations are divided into realms, and the one thing that ties each realm together is that at the beginning of the realm you get a letter and at the end you deliver it to someone.  If you’ve played Giant Boulder Of Death you’ll understand that what makes this game rise above its peers is the sheer silliness of it.  My character currently dons an outfit that looks like an ice cream sundae and wields an ugly face mace, which is literally a mace with an ugly face on the end of it.  I like how each color on the board has a corresponding spell that you can unlock, and using spells doesn’t even count as a move.  You can also move tiles on the board without making a match, which means if you have the patience you can set things up for the ultimate combo attack (or you can simply get the right piece to where you need it to help match a trapped piece).  The visuals and audio definitely feel like they came from a cartoon, which says to me that PikPok has developed quite the knack for translating Adult Swim’s properties to the mobile screen.  If I had one gripe – which I do – it’s that even into the third realm the game is a bit too easy.  Otherwise it has definitely been quite enjoyable.

Adventure Xpress [adult swim], Adventure Xpress – Free

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El. [10/9/14] – The Flappy Bird clone craze hasn’t died yet, so here’s this round’s “thank you for not being Flappy Bird” entry.  For me this would be one of those games that would qualify for the “are games art” discussions that some folks like to have.  The landscapes and adversaries as well as the avatar herself are beautiful in their silhouetted simplicity.  The feathers you collect stand out with their vibrant white tone and yellow highlights, and the backgrounds are comprised of subtle hues that vary based on the scene you’re in.  There are plenty of items to dodge, and not everything moves in a straight up and down pattern.  To compensate for that, and to help you in your quest to collect as many feathers as possible, you can swipe to move your avatar left and right using gusts of winds instead of just tapping to raise her and releasing to lower her.  The game has 12 levels, three different difficulty settings to master and is connected to Game Center, though at the moment there are no achievements.  If you like this style of game play, this is definitely worth your time to check out.

el. GREE, Inc., el. – Free

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Daddy Long Legs [10/7/14] – So I still don’t get Flappy Bird, but I’m starting to appreciate the idea of extremely difficult games that suck you in even though you know you’re not going to do well.  Daddy Long Legs is the tale of a furry little creature with extremely long legs that just wants to walk.  In order to help him out, all you have to do is tap the screen to move its legs.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Basically all I’ve managed to do so far is recreate the tumbling first moments of Bambi’s failed walk from the seminal Disney film over and over again, yet I still feel compelled to keep trying.  I can’t get the rhythm down right and I’m not even sure if it makes a difference where you tap on the screen, but I’ll tap again and again just to get it wrong one more time.  You do have the option to share your trials and tribulations with Everyplay if you want, but I have just enough dignity not to do that.  The graphics are pretty simple and there are just some basic background noises, but while a musical number would be nice you won’t notice the absence of one very often.  There are 21 achievements to earn and a leaderboard to conquer, and I’m positive you won’t have to worry about me taking your top spot should you happen to actually acquire one.

Daddy Long Legs Set Snail, Daddy Long Legs – Free

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Yes Chef! [10/9/14] – It seems that everyone wants to be in the match 3 business these days, and Halfbrick is no exception.  From a general game play perspective there’s not much new here.  Match 3 to clear tiles away and match more than 3 in certain patterns to create bonus tiles.  Goals include all the typical things like earning a certain score, making a certain number of tiles fall to the bottom of the screen, or appeasing so many customers by matching the various foods that they want.  Limitations are typically a particular number of moves or a certain amount of time, and many levels have additional requirements like collecting a certain number of ingredients or clearing a set amount of special tiles.  One thing this game does have is an inordinately diverse “economy”.  Energy is what allows you to keep playing, virtual bills let you buy boosts before a level starts and gold coins give you the chance to purchase power ups once you’ve started playing a level.  For each level you complete with three stars you’ll earn a medal, and these medals can be used to upgrade permanent boosts like increased score multipliers.  Finally you’ll be able to earn bonuses for Fruit Ninja should you happen to have that installed as well.  I’m not about to declare this my next favorite Halfbrick game, but from the standpoint of a more “traditional” match 3 experience it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Yes Chef! Halfbrick Studios, Yes Chef! – Free

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Game Town [9/1/14] – I don’t remember if it was because of the PR or what, but originally I assumed this was supposed to be a kids’ game.  I can even kind of see that selling point given the cute graphics and upbeat music.  If you’ve ever played Tap The Frog, however, you’ll soon realize that looks can be deceiving.  In fact, I get the feeling Game Town was inspired by that game given the general layout.  There are several mini games for you to play, attempt to conquer and eventually get frustrated with (not in a bad way, mind you).  You can earn up to give stars for each game, and those stars will allow you to unlock more mini games to torture yourself with.  Each game also has 4 achievements to earn, many of which are just as if not more challenging than earning those 5 stars.  A quick sampling of the games includes Rabbit Hats, where you must get all the rabbits’ hats to be the same color in the shortest amount of time, Beat The Moles which is basically whack-a-mole, and Chick Jump where you must help a poor chick to clear as many platforms as possible by single or double jumping when appropriate.  As the widely overused phrase goes, they are all “simple to learn yet difficult to master”.  And, just like Tap The Frog they’ll keep you and your kids busy for quite some time.

Game Town Tufan ALIN, Game Town – Free
Game Town HD Tufan ALIN, Game Town HD – Free

roundup-11192014-angry-birds-transformers

Angry Birds Transformers [10/15/14] – After Star Wars, which basically felt like a reskinned Angry Birds with a few new powers and Angry Birds Epic, which for me was mostly an epic fail, I was a bit hesitant about Angry Birds Transformers.  Just like the IP it is based off of, this game is more than meets the eye.  It manages to combine the action of a shooting gallery game where the opponents shoot back with the physics fun you’ve come to know and love from an Angry Birds game, and it does it in such a way that it’s actually fun.  You start with Optimus Prime bird and along the way you’ll unlock other favorites like Bumblebee, Shockwave and more, each with their own abilities.  Plus you’ll have the ability to transform into vehicles to dodge nasty traps.  Earn coins and crystals to upgrade your army and defeat the evil EggBots (yeah, the Decepticons – I mean Deceptihogs – aren’t actually your enemies in this game).  Hook up with friends and take their troops into battle for a 1 – 2 punch.  The game also supports Telepods if you like that concept, though I must admit I found it to be a bit frustrating with the Star Wars games.  Angry Birds is free to play, though certain game modes and various other frills require IAP.  Still, if you like the Angry Birds franchise but are kind of tired of the same old offerings from their standard line, this is one off-shoot that’s actually worth the time to play.

Angry Birds Transformers Rovio Entertainment Ltd, Angry Birds Transformers – Free

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Marble Mountain [10/1/14] – If your first thought when you check out this game is “Marble Madness”, you appreciate fine retro games as much as I do.  While there still aren’t really any games in my opinion that truly capture the magic of that classic, Marble Mountain makes a really good attempt.  The controls aren’t the greatest, and the auto camera that supposedly helps you keep things in perspective sometimes seems to do more harm than good.  The game has no “safety points” in a level, which the developers are unapologetic about but kind of bugs me – when a level is of any decent size I don’t want to play the whole thing 500 times just to finish the small section at the end that I can’t conquer.  So what keeps me intrigued?  So far this game has some of the best level design I’ve seen in a marble rolling experience in quite some time.  The expansive outdoor levels sure beat rolling around in yet another set of labyrinths, and even though some traps can be fairly sticky everything seems pretty well balanced and manageable.  I also like the challenge of trying to find all of the aurums on each level, as it forces you to explore the surroundings a bit more than you might in this type of game.  Best of all, if you don’t believe me it doesn’t cost you anything to try it.

Marble Mountain Lightning Rock Pty Ltd, Marble Mountain – Free

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Kitchen Scramble [7/31/14] – Look out Flo, there’s a new cook in town!  While I’ve yet to see a cooking based time management game usurp Diner Dash’s throne, Kitchen Scramble does a pretty good job trying to lead the revolt.  In typical time management fashion you’ll need to serve a variety of meals to a continually growing and diverse population of hungry patrons.  Treat them well and in a timely fashion and you’ll earn stars, coins and extra rewards like star medallions and premium ingredients.  Take too long to get to someone and they’ll be happy to leave you with lost business and extra food that you’ll have to throw away.  Coins can be used to buy and upgrade necessary equipment, while bills let you buy special items to make you really efficient.  I’m not sure if you can earn bills, however, or if these are an IAP only luxury.  Star medallions are needed to get past certain points in each neighborhood, so go back and play levels where you didn’t earn 3 stars the first time once you have better equipment.  The dishes start getting more complicated and taking multiple steps to complete, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of who was next in line, especially when you have three customers that look the same and ordered the same meals.  Still, it’s the kind of controlled chaos that any time management fan will love.

Kitchen Scramble RockYou, Inc., Kitchen Scramble – Free

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Duke Dashington [9/3/14] – You are intrepid explorer Duke Dashington, and you seem to have a knack for getting to structures that hold magnificent treasures right before they are ready to collapse.  Thankfully there’s still time to navigate the deadly traps in each location and recover the treasure before the surroundings turn into a pile of rubble.  There are 4 areas altogether, each one containing 30 levels.  Many of the levels are fairly easy, but some will require multiple attempts due to some tricky timing elements.  Thankfully you only get 10 seconds to complete each level, so even if you have to play one many times over in order to complete it you should beat most of the levels before any sort of frustration sets in.  Once you’ve completed an area you can attempt to play the whole thing in one sitting to see how quickly you can do it and with how few lives.  There is a leaderboard for each of the 4 areas and 12 achievements to earn.  The game has a high def old school look and a soundtrack to match making it feel like a modern SNES game.  There’s something about games that manage to make a wide variety of interesting puzzles out of single screen environments, which is a big part of the appeal for Duke Dashington.  If anything I’d say the controls seem a bit finicky, but for all I know any more they might have done that on purpose.

Duke Dashington Jussi Simpanen, Duke Dashington – $0.99

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Jet Run: City Defender [10/29/14] – This is an “infinite” game, and one of a small but growing number that has you piloting a flying vehicle of some sort.  There are power ups that you can collect as you’re flying that take effect immediately, and you also have three slots that you can populate with weapons and gadgets, many of which you can upgrade.  Some of these items get used automatically when needed and others require you to tap a button to activate them.  Of course most of them are consumable and can be resupplied with medals that you collect along the way (or buy via IAP if you so desire).  There are also missions to complete which earn you medals and XP, the latter which allows you to level up and unlock more gadgets to buy – in other words, the typical vicious circle that makes infinite games so much fun.  What sets this game apart from the others, however, is that in addition to flying without crashing you’ll have to engage in combat with aliens.  Better yet, that segment of the game feels like an homage to Space Invaders or Galaga, albeit with much flashier, 3D visuals.  And, while most of these infinite flying games take place in somewhat contained areas for the sake of making things tense and deadly, there’s something about flying through cities full of tall buildings that gives Jet Run a fresh feel atmospherically.

Jet Run: City Defender Wicked Witch, Jet Run: City Defender – 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 New App Store Games Roundup:

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Zup! in Review – What Goes Zup… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/12/zup-in-review-what-goes-zup/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/11/12/zup-in-review-what-goes-zup/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:09:31 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74156 These days the “infinite” mold takes on many different shapes and sizes.  You have your traditional runners, vehicular based romps, games where you’re constantly falling or in cases like this a flight to the ends of the universe (or at least to Mars).  Cool graphics, jazzy music and a number of achievements give you reason … Read more]]>

review-zup-1

These days the “infinite” mold takes on many different shapes and sizes.  You have your traditional runners, vehicular based romps, games where you’re constantly falling or in cases like this a flight to the ends of the universe (or at least to Mars).  Cool graphics, jazzy music and a number of achievements give you reason to keep coming back, but the lack of upgradable anything seems to be curbing my enthusiasm just a bit.

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Top Hat Joe just wants to reach for the stars, and it’s your job to help him fulfill his dreams.  The problem is that things like skull balloons, laser barriers and UFOs that shoot fireballs all do their part in trying to stop Joe from having a good time.  Luckily you can acquire temporary power ups like a gun or helmet that takes out the opposition or a magnet to attract stars to you so that you can stay out of harm’s way.  You’ll also occasionally run into hot air balloons that both give you an inflated sense of ego and add an extra life to your roster.  Don’t allow this to let you take your guard down, however, because no matter how many lives you have hitting enough of the wrong things will eventually end your trip and force you to start again.

Navigating Top Hat Joe is a simple matter of tilting your device left and right.  You do need to keep in mind that Joe will wrap around the screen, so make sure that when you’re trying to escape one obstacle by drifting “out of bounds” that you don’t end up colliding with something on the other side.  The game offers 2 leaderboards via Game Center.  One is for longest distance travelled and the other is for highest score.  I’m not sure what all gives you score, though I know collecting stars is one of the possibilities.  There are also 27 different achievements to earn, and while not all of them are overly difficult I think you’ll find that trying to get them all will keep you busy for a while.  The one thing I really missed was the fact that there were no power ups to upgrade or anything like characters or outfits to unlock.

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Visually the game is a cross between good sixties cartoons and the animated sequences in a Monty Python movie.  Object designs are well done and everything is nicely animated.  I like some of the little touches like your head growing bigger as you gain lives.  The sound effects are kind of a mixed bag, but the music further solidifies the whole Saturday morning cartoon feel the game exudes.  It’s definitely an atmosphere that both kids and adults can appreciate.

Zup is a fun infinite floater in a kooky Saturday morning setting.  It’s easy to get into and even if you’re not the kind of person to compete with others in leaderboards the achievements will keep you coming back for some time.  I just wish there were elements to upgrade or unlock to make you feel like the stars were really worth collecting.  I know the stars embellish the score, but to me the real joy in this style of game is getting a higher score because I’ve upgraded something to the next level.

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App Summary
Title: ZUP! Developer: e4 software
Reviewed Ver:  1.0 Min OS Req:  iOS 6.0
Price: $0.99 App Size:  69.5 MB
  • Easy to grasp
  • Decent assortment of achievements
  • Cool visuals
  • Fun atmosphere
  • No unlocks or upgrades
  • Screen can get cluttered

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You Got Your NFL In My Temple Run 2… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/10/17/you-got-your-nfl-in-my-temple-run-2/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/10/17/you-got-your-nfl-in-my-temple-run-2/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:42:18 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74150 Ever fancied yourself running the locales of Temple Run 2 with your favorite NFL player?  Well now you can, assuming of course that your favorite player is either Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers or Russell Wilson of Seattle Seahawk’s fame.  Starting from October 10 until Thanksgiving rolls around, two new players will be … Read more]]>

temple-run-2-NFL

Ever fancied yourself running the locales of Temple Run 2 with your favorite NFL player?  Well now you can, assuming of course that your favorite player is either Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers or Russell Wilson of Seattle Seahawk’s fame.  Starting from October 10 until Thanksgiving rolls around, two new players will be released each week.  If you purchase them while they’re available you’ll have access to them even after the week is up, but once the next set comes to the Temple Run 2 store you’ll be out of luck.  For more information on this special event go here:

Temple Run 2 and the NFL

And if for some reason you don’t already have Temple Run 2, check it out here:

Temple Run 2 Imangi Studios, LLC, Temple Run 2 – Free

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