10 App Store Games To Watch [4/13/16]

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So after making a splash for releasing some of the biggest mobile devices on the market, Apple is reversing their trend with a new 5 SE phone and a smaller iPad Pro.  Such a fickle consumer base us iOS junkies are.  At least that hasn’t diminished developers’ desire to release games in any way.  Once again littered with fun, casual games, this edition of the roundup had several games that were more like really strong starts than fully fleshed out contenders.  Yarn!, 3-2-1-Zombies! and Gun Boat Havoc are all games to watch because they are headed in the right direction, and maybe some gentle nudging from enough players will encourage the creators to add in some extra features and make these games real contenders in their respective genres.
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Perfect Angle in Review – Not Quite, But Almost

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Ever have one of those experiences where you know a game is great, but you wish that either the developers had done one or two things slightly differently or that you simply could play the game under better circumstances?  Perfect Angle is just such a game for me.  When a game’s opening screen is itself a puzzle (albeit in this case a very simple one that they give you ample leeway to solve), you’re in for something special.  Unfortunately for me new technology far outpaces my budget right now, and my ailing iPad 2 does not handle the processing requirements of the graphics very well.  Combine that with the limited number of helps you get before having to shell out some cash to buy more and this becomes a journey that I sadly probably won’t see through to the end.  However, if you have a newer device and are reasonably astute at solving optical puzzles, you’d be remiss in not giving this game a try.
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Royal Trouble: Hidden Honeymoon Havoc HD in Review: Not So Happily Ever After

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It’s hard to believe it’s been over 3 years since we last saw Loreen and Nathaniel, but the outrageous couple is back and ready to start their life of Happily Ever After.  In this sequel to the wonderful adventure game Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures, our royal duo has just gotten married and are embarking on their honeymoon.  Naturally chaos ensues, leaving us with a wonderful adventure full of quirky characters to meet, plenty of puzzles to solve and no hidden object scenes to scrounge through.  Unfortunately there is one little side hunt that just slightly mars an otherwise stellar offering, but if I didn’t have something to complain about I’d probably be lost.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [3/15/16]

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Spring is in the air, more or less.  Thankfully, better weather doesn’t deter me from playing games.  After all, even on the nicest days it gets dark at some point.  This roundup features a couple of interesting hybrid games, as well as an interesting take on a style of RPG I’m not normally fond of.  Puzzle Siege is a tower siege game that uses an odd combination of 2048 and collapsing bricks for its puzzle mechanic.  Throw in the ability to level up your units and you have an extremely interesting mash-up that actually works quite well.  Dungeon Monsters RPG is a menu driven RPG, which usually tends to bore me before too long.  With the addition of 3D dungeon maps to explore, however, Dungeon Monsters RPG transcends the trappings of its peers and manages to hold my interest.  Defenders 2: Tower Defense CCG is a mash-up of, well, take a guess.  While the CCG part of the mix sometimes feels gimmicky, when you tack on the overhead map that you can explore it adds enough variety to the game to make it a fresh tower defense experience.
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Want To Chat With Taylor From Lifeline?

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Ever had the desire to talk to a fictional character? On March 22nd you’ll get your chance, at least if the character you want to chat with is Taylor from the first and third installments of the Lifeline series from 3 Minute Games. Just load up your favorite Twitter client on the 22nd and send your questions to @lifelinegame. Just make sure to include the hashtag #Talktotaylor so everyone can follow along on the fun.
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Lifeline: Silent Night in Review – Great Story, Minimal Game Play

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Lifeline: Silent Night is the third in a series of “interactive conversations” from 3 Minute Games.  On the plus side, this chapter of the series returns us to the adventures of Taylor the astronaut, because the second installment went off on some weird mystical tangent that was anything but engrossing.  The problem with Lifeline, and with this style of game in general, is that I feel more like I’m taking a psychological exam then playing an adventure game.  I applaud the fact that they take a completely different approach to telling a story, but in the end I find that the mechanism actually removes me from the narrative instead of drawing me into it.  It’s a shame, because the story deserves more.
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Venture Kid in Review: Modern 8 Bit Platforming Glory

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When I first saw the screen shots for Venture Kid I thought it was just going to be a cheap knock-off of Mega Man.  Even the main character looked like nothing more than a Photoshopped version of the Mega Man sprite from one of the 8 bit iterations of the game.  Still, as a fan of the series that obviously inspired this game I really wanted to give it a try, and I don’t regret it for a minute.  Since there’s not likely to be an iOS version of Mega Man (at least as far as original content is concerned), Venture Kid is a more than adequate substitute.  Smart level design, a decent variety of enemies and a difficulty level that will make fans of the famous blue robot feel right at home all come together to make Venture Kid a platform game worth playing.
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10 App Store Games To Watch [2/19/16]

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So I start this roundup with an apology.  In a couple of the early entries I made reference to Game Center with comments like “I think” and “there appears to be”, because the games indicated they supported Game Center but for the last couple of weeks at least I have been unable to log in to the service.  After a while I just gave up on mentioning Game Center.  I know that’s not really my fault, but somebody has to apologize for the fact that Apple seems to keep breaking their fundamental iOS applications.  Anyway, you’ll see a lot of familiar styles of game in this list, because I like what I like.  Just remember that the games make my list because they kept me entertained, not necessarily because they were of a particular game mechanic.  It just happens that those two things obviously collide more often than not.
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Fire: Ungh’s Quest in Review – Not Your Typical Caveman Adventure

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There were several adventure games in 2015 that stood out for one reason or another, but Fire: Ungh’s Quest was by far the most unusual one that still managed to be enjoyable.  A wacky plot, plenty of challenging puzzles and some crazy supporting characters has kept me engaged for the most part.  Unfortunately, the need for a walkthrough has been a bit of a turn off.  In the end though, helping Ungh recover his fire has been primarily been a rewarding experience.
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Air Attack 2 in Review – Sorry Sky Force, You’ve Been Replaced

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So how do you make a compelling scrolling shooter that works at all the right levels?  I could list a bunch of criteria here, but I figure I’ll just make this easy for both me and you and say “give Air Attack 2 a try”.  Much like Sky Force in 2014 (and much of 2015), Air Attack 2 will be the scrolling shooter to dethrone this year.  Between the extensive single player campaign and several special runs that allow you to compete against other players around the world, Air Attack 2 has plenty of game play to keep you busy.  And, while you might have to fly some missions over and over again to achieve all the goals, you’ll never get bored doing so.  If this is your type of game then you’ll want Air Attack 2 on your device right now.
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