10 App Store Games To Watch [8/1/16]


The App Store continues to be flooded with new games, and I continue to try and dig out the ones that aren’t some variant of slots or a game that was “loosely” based off of a template from a “learn to code in 12 easy steps” online course.  I found another online game that suits me in the form of ION Space.  It’s a dual stick space shooter that handles my two biggest multiplayer pet peeves perfectly: there’s no chat option, and each game forces you to start fresh so you’re not bullied by the folks that play it 80 hours a week to your measly 2 hours.  Kitten Squad gives Legend Of Zelda style game play a social bent.  Thankfully the “save the animals” aspect is presented fashionably and not shoved down your throat, and while the levels can get a bit repetitive it still manages to provide some old fashioned console game fun.  The Counter Of Death is akin to taking the limited control scheme of Dragon’s Lair and applying it to a Kung Fu game.  It’s surprisingly entertaining, and thanks to the restrictive controls is much more accessible on the touch screen than many full blown action games.
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Super Phantom Cat in Review – This Platformer Is The Cat’s Meow


I’ve always loved side scrolling platform games, which I think is one of the reasons I’m such a fan of the 8 / 16 bit console eras.  It’s still one of my favorite genres to indulge in today as long as the game is done right, and Super Phantom Cat is definitely hits the mark in that regards.  The characters are great, the levels are designed well, and the controls are spot on.  The visuals have a look that borrows from bygone days of gaming but adds a touch of modern sensibility, and the soundtrack is just what you’d expect from this type of game.  There’s very little to criticize with this platforming adventure.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [7/6/16]


If you’re like me it’s the middle of summer right now, so shame on you for not taking advantage of what is hopefully nice weather outside.  Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you about some of the games I’ve been playing recently.  My electronic sports skills are about on par with my real life ones, which is to say basically non-existent.  Thankfully One Tap Tennis eases the pain by providing a fairly entertaining racket experience that only requires a well timed touch on the screen – and you get a zombie as one of your playable characters.  For those that are hooked on the 2048 genre like I am, Retro Knights: 2048 proves to be an interesting variant to the formula.  As you swipe to make combos you’re actually building an army which you can upgrade and then send out to defend the village that you live in.  Squaredance is for those that like a little thought with their action.  Slide pieces around to match ones of the same color and clear them from the board, but watch out for all the dastardly obstacles that will keep the pieces apart or in a worst case scenario destroy them.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [6/8/16]


This roundup seemed to feature several dungeon crawl / exploration style games, which isn’t all that surprising given that I really like that type of game play.  While none of them were particularly revolutionary in what they offered, they all had one or two features that felt unique to their peers.  The Greedy Cave is a rogue-like that forgoes equipment wearing out and minimizes the concept of perma-death.  As a compromise, however, whenever you leave the dungeon the only items that you can take with you are ones that have been branded “golden”, so if you find something you really like that didn’t come that way you’ll need to seek out a statue that can apply the “golden touch”.  Dynamons is a Pokemon style game, but instead of giving you an overworld map to explore like an old fashioned RPG it uses a progression map like you’d find in a Candy Crush style game.  While it might seem like you lose half the gaming experience that way, it actually makes for a nice mobile game that you can play for a few minutes here and there and not forget what you’re trying to accomplish in the in between times.
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Symmetrica – Minimalistic arcade game in Review: Please Say It Ain’t Over!


I don’t typically get into what I consider “twitch” games, mainly because I’m just not that good at them.  As a result, levels that to me seem like they should be easy and interesting often become frustrating and make me just want to shut off the game.  I would consider Symmetrica a “twitch” game, at least to an extent, and there were times that some levels became frustrating.  In the end, however, the difficulty was well balanced enough that I never wanted to chuck my device across the room, and when I finally did complete certain levels I felt a sense of accomplishment rather than simply sighing in relief that I could move on.
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Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker HD in Review: Not Your Children’s Playthings


If I mention the likes of Big Fish Games or G5 Entertainment you’ll know what I’m talking about in an instant, especially if you’re a hidden object game fan.  Artifex Mundi, on the other hand, might not ring any bells.  If it doesn’t you should look them up, because their iOS games have received some of my highest accolades where hidden object / adventure games are concerned.  Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I was excited to see them start publishing under their own moniker on the App Store.  I finally had the chance to check out one of their titles, Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker, and it’s fair to say I couldn’t put it down (well, except when I had to go to work).  It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, as it forgoes the now standard object puzzle elements for a straight hidden object / mini game combo, but it just goes to show that in the right hands such a combination still works.  With this as an example I can’t wait to dig into more of their iOS titles. Continue reading…

Madfinger Games Anniversary and Unkilled Update


Madfinger Games recently celebrated their 6th anniversary as a games development company.  Since their inception they have released 10 games on the App Store, including some of my favorite FPS games.  They’ve even released Shadowgun: DeadZone Game Master’s Kit on the Unity asset store, which is basically the entire Unity project for their standalone multiplayer version of Shadowgun.  This demonstrates a strong dedication to their user base, as does their efforts in making top notch mobile games.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [5/17/16]


Yep, it’s time for me to get all opinionated on you again. This roundup’s theme seems to be “cool variants of games you’ve seen before”. There’s an interesting adventure game called The End of the World by Sean Wenham, an extremely retro looking arcade game titled Tomb of the Mask that’s lots of fun, and even a multi-player game you can enjoy with your kids that’s focused around square shaped fowl called Duck Bumps. There’s a nice variety of games in this group, so as always I hope you’ll find something that appeals to you.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [4/28/16]


Several of the games for this edition of the roundup came in pairs.  CarsBattle and On The Run are both vehicle based games, though one is more like an infinite runner and the other lets you drive like a maniac and blow everything up… okay, at times there’s a bit of that in both games.  If you like the undead there’s Chill Out! Zombies and Zombie Maze: Puppy Rescue, both oddly enough featuring zombies.  The first is a quirky Flappy Bird clone, and the second is a neat puzzle game that can prove really challenging at times.  Versus Run and Exodus really have nothing in common in terms of game play.  Instead, they are both published by Ketchapps, and they both have that casual addictive quality to them.  And just for kicks I threw in a mini retro-review as well.  It’s actually a game I’ve written a full review for in the past, but I thought after all this time I’d check it out again and see if it still lives up to my original lofty sentiments.
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Forgotten Places: Regained Castle in Review: A Tale Worth Remembering


When it comes to hidden object games, Big Fish Games and G5 Entertainment seem to have dominated the mobile market.  However, if more developers / publishers start turning out games like Forgotten Places: Regained Castle, the “big two” might actually start facing some serious competition in this genre.  The game is certainly not without its flaws, but it’s one of the best “third party” hidden object games I’ve played in quite a while.  This is actually the second in a series, and I hope it does well enough to warrant a third installment.
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