TouchMyApps » Arcade 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 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:29:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Overkill 3: Get Ready For 3rd Person Mayhem This Fall http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/27/overkill-3-get-ready-for-3rd-person-mayhem-this-fall/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/27/overkill-3-get-ready-for-3rd-person-mayhem-this-fall/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:27:54 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73952 The Overkill series from Craneballs has always been among my favorites as far as gallery style shooters go. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw that they were taking the series to a truly 3D third person perspective. The more I watch the video, however, the more … Read more]]>

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The Overkill series from Craneballs has always been among my favorites as far as gallery style shooters go. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw that they were taking the series to a truly 3D third person perspective. The more I watch the video, however, the more excited I get about seeing this game released. If you’re curious, and you should be, you can check out the video yourself here: Overkill 3 Teaser. I’ve also listed a few point of note about the game below.

  • Change to TPS to showcase the character and armor/gun upgrades directly in the game
  • Boss battles – against drones, robots, vehicles
  • Machine gun nest missions for pure “letting of steam”
  • Night missions – they look great thanks to Unity with its lighting possibilites
  • Plenty of guns and sophisticated gun upgrading (not entirely unexpected from an Overkill title)
  • Release date Fall 2014
  • iOS and Android
  • Free to play

In the mean time, you can check out previous installments of the franchise to get a small taste of what you’re in for.

Overkill Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill – Free
Overkill 2 Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill 2 – Free
Overkill Mafia Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill Mafia – Free
appBlaster Overkill Craneballs Studios LLC, appBlaster Overkill – $1.99

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Blowfish Meets Meteor in Review: A Brick Breaker, And So Much More http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/06/04/blowfish-meets-meteor-in-review-a-brick-breaker-and-so-much-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/06/04/blowfish-meets-meteor-in-review-a-brick-breaker-and-so-much-more/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:30:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73880 The brick breaker genre has never been a particular favorite of mine, but just like with most other styles of game play, if a certain offering is well designed I can definitely be entertained.  Such is the case with Blowfish Meets Meteor, which would have caught my attention with the name alone.  Smart level design, … Read more]]>

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The brick breaker genre has never been a particular favorite of mine, but just like with most other styles of game play, if a certain offering is well designed I can definitely be entertained.  Such is the case with Blowfish Meets Meteor, which would have caught my attention with the name alone.  Smart level design, power ups that serve a purpose rather than just being bombarded at you and a wacky atmosphere make this one of the best brick breakers I’ve played.  The main down side is that some levels can be frustratingly challenging, even to the point where I couldn’t earn a single gem in the three gem rating scheme.

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You play a loving father who must rescue his mermaid daughters after a catastrophic incident resulted in all of them getting captured.  Surely that won’t take long, you think.  Apparently this guy has a lot of kids.  Anyway, the kids have been imprisoned in cells made out of bricks, so you have to use your trusty meteor fragments along with a sizeable clam shell to bust them out from their captivity.  Oh, and did I mention the manatee and oversized piranha?  If I haven’t done a good enough job of making it evident yet, this game is not the norm when it comes to atmosphere for a brick breaker game.  And that’s just one of its charms.

The basic mechanics are that of a brick breaker: move the dad back and forth so that he can keep the meteor fragments bouncing up towards the top of the screen.  And yes, there are some bricks up there to break.  Sometimes, though, there might be just as many sticks of dynamite as there are bricks.  In other cases you might find giant piranha or schools of smaller fish providing obstacles to your ultimate goal, which is clearing a path so that each of the trapped mermaids can get free and swim to the dome at the bottom of the screen.  You also have to protect the dome from any falling objects because one hit is grace, but two hits means you start the level over.  On some levels you might get a power up such as a sticky paddle or a temporary shield, but this is more the exception than the rule and is determined by what you must accomplish in the level.  What really makes this game shine is that levels were extremely well thought out, and it never once feels like a traditional brick breaker in terms of boring rows of bricks.

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The world appears to be divided into at least 5 areas, and so far each has been comprised of 9 subordinate levels and one boss level.  In most cases you just have to rescue the daughters (and occasionally beat a boss) in order to progress to the next level.  To earn gems, however, you are judged on several criteria like damage sustained and number of bricks broken.  This will get you the red and / or green gems, but you must complete a specific task to earn the blue gem.  Out of the 18 levels I’ve completed so far I’ve only managed to acquire all three gems on three of them, and in a couple of cases I didn’t even get one gem right off the bat.  This is my main gripe – I personally feel the goals are often too difficult to achieve, especially early on in the game.  Blowfish Meets Meteor is integrated with Game Center where you can find 60 different leaderboards, so those that like to climb ranks should be extremely happy.  There are also 11 achievements, many of which suffer the same difficulty curve as the gem based goals.

The graphics are great, with well designed and animated characters atop nicely detailed backgrounds.  A couple of the levels have a cool sunset silhouette type look as well.  I could easily picture this being a Cartoon Network offering from a visual perspective.  The sound effects are pretty decent, though the grating cry of the mermaids when the dome is shattered or they get eaten by a piranha almost makes you not feel sorry for them.  The music is quite nice and does a good job of setting a peaceful mood despite the “dire” circumstances.

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While I’m no more of a brick breaker junkie than I was before playing Blowfish Meets Meteor, I definitely like this game.  The level design is far superior to most of its peers, and I love the fact that the main goal is to rescue the mermaids, not to remove every brick from the screen.  The visuals are colorful, the music is good and the overall atmosphere is fun.  Some of the goals are discouragingly tough, but fans of the genre and those that normally shy away should both find something to like here.

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App Summary
Title: Blowfish Meets Meteor Developer: Sky Tyrannosaur, LLC
Reviewed Ver: 1.06 Min OS Req: 6.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 93.1 MB
  • Unique level design
  • Not just about brick breaking
  • Cartoon like atmosphere
  • Goals can be frustrating
  • Mermaid cries are annoying

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Splash Dash in Review – Infinite Isn’t Just For Running Any More http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/05/10/splash-dash-in-review-infinite-isnt-just-for-running-any-more/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/05/10/splash-dash-in-review-infinite-isnt-just-for-running-any-more/#comments Sat, 10 May 2014 18:32:03 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73808 These days it’s not uncommon for several infinite runners to come out in a single week.  The problem is trying to figure out which ones are worth playing.  Lucky for you I’m a huge infinite runner fan, so I try to do a lot of the leg work for you.  Unfortunately even a lot of … Read more]]>

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These days it’s not uncommon for several infinite runners to come out in a single week.  The problem is trying to figure out which ones are worth playing.  Lucky for you I’m a huge infinite runner fan, so I try to do a lot of the leg work for you.  Unfortunately even a lot of the better entries in the genre any more are starting to feel the same, but there are still some that are worth playing.  I happen to think one of those is Splash Dash.  The game feels kind of like a third person 3D Frogger, and it’s hard to go wrong with that.
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In Splash Dash you have one primary goal: don’t become frog legs for the alligators.  Of course you’ll also want to travel as far as you can and collect as much loot as possible to both rank on leaderboards and be able to buy cool accessories and useful power ups.  In other words, Splash Dash has all the markings of a typical infinite runner.  The fact that you’re constantly jumping changes the dynamic a bit because it is possible to suddenly find yourself leaping to a spot where there is no place to land.  You are afforded a few mistakes, but if you’re not careful eventually the alligator that’s chasing you will catch up and make a nice meal out of you.  There are also alligators along the trail that will be more than happy to sample your slender green appendages if you don’t land in the right spot.

On the other hand ducks, dragonflies and grasshoppers can help you progress more quickly through the level.  There are also flowers that spring up occasionally and give you a super jump should you land on them.  And of course there is the generic magnet that lets you attract coins without actually touching them.  This is the one power up or boost that doesn’t really seem very creative or really even in context with the rest of the game.  But, it works so why complain?  If you really get into trouble and your meter is full you can swipe up to launch yourself forward a few meters, though this action bypasses any coins you might come across.  And, as luck would have it, coins are what fill the meter in the first place.

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Your frog constantly moves forward on its own, and you can choose to either tilt the device or swipe your finger across the device to move left and right.  The tilt functionality actually works pretty well, but I just naturally prefer to use touch screen options for this type of game when possible.  To execute a super jump you swipe up which always executes flawlessly for me.  There are three leaderboards, one each for distance, most coins collected and total score.  There are also 38 achievements to earn, though you don’t actually seem to accrue any points for ones that you’ve completed.  If you’re a “collector” there is plenty of gear to work towards as well as several different frogs to buy, and of course being an infinite runner you can always try to better your best run.

The visuals are pretty high quality, and the swamp theme sets the game apart from most similar romps.  The character designs are decent and as you buy new apparel your amphibians are more than happy to model it for you.  The sound effects have a nice arcade-y ring to them and the game is kind enough to play a specific tone when your “super jump” meter is full.  The music is quick and lively, but it can get a bit repetitive if you pay too much attention to it.

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I’ve begun to accept the fact that we’re currently at a point where new runners by and large won’t bring anything unique to the table.  As such I’m perfectly happy with offerings that do the job well and at least look like they are trying to be different, and Splash Dash certainly fits the bill in that regards.  Colorful characters, upbeat music and a swampy motif give the game a fun atmosphere.  Plenty of items to unlock and achievements to earn give you something to do besides just jump, and solid controls make the trip enjoyable.  Splash Dash doesn’t tread much new ground, but it’s towards ahead of the pack in making old ground feel fresh.

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App Summary
Title: Splash Dash Developer: Capedy LLC
Reviewed Ver: 1.3.2 Min OS Req: 5.1
Price: Free App Size: 50.6 MB
  • Cool swamp motif
  • Plenty of stuff to unlock
  • Lots of achievements to earn
  • Nice visuals
  • Doesn’t offer up much new
  • Music can get repetitive quickly

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Bridge Me in Review – Creative But Needs More Subtance http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/05/05/bridge-me-in-review-creative-but-needs-more-subtance/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/05/05/bridge-me-in-review-creative-but-needs-more-subtance/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 15:35:40 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73786 Quite often I only play certain games because of the weekly roundup that I write, and such is the case with Bridge Me.  It’s not that I necessarily didn’t want to play it, but I download so many games in a given week that I only ever get around to trying a small fraction of … Read more]]>

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Quite often I only play certain games because of the weekly roundup that I write, and such is the case with Bridge Me.  It’s not that I necessarily didn’t want to play it, but I download so many games in a given week that I only ever get around to trying a small fraction of them.  In this case I’m glad that I did take Bridge Me for a spin.  The game is pretty basic and can get repetitive after a while, but the concept is cool and it definitely has a lot of potential.

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The premise is simple: you want to get from one platform to the next, and in order to do so you have to build a bridge.  Construction is a simple matter of holding the hammer button down until the bridge is as long as you’d like.  The problem is that the bridge is built straight up, so you have to use your best judgment to determine if the bridge is long enough but not too long.  As you play the game more you’ll start to get the hang of it and build the bridges right fairly consistently.  That’s where the bonus levels come in, though, as they throw in things like disappearing target platforms, moving target platforms, target platforms that split up into multiple segments and bridges built of invisible wood.  It’s a nice way to break up what can become monotonous, and I’d personally love to see a mode that’s comprised of just random bonus levels.

The main problem is that what I described above is basically all there is to Bridge Me.  There is only one game play mode, and there are no power ups or obstacles besides simply building the bridge the wrong length.  You can connect to Facebook to compare scores or post what you earned on your latest run, and thankfully as of the last update there are now 58 achievements for you to earn.  The concept is actually pretty creative, but while it’s fun for a while the game really needs to be fleshed out in order to have sustainable replay value.

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The graphics are decent in a Minecraft sort of way.  The backgrounds are interesting because for the most part they are faded and blocky, but you’ll often see a nicely detailed imagine of some sort of famous building passing by.  The sound effects are okay, and unfortunately there is no music playing in the background.

Bridge Me’s biggest selling point is that it’s not like anything else you’ll find on the App Store.  The problem is that while a unique concept is enough to grab your attention for a while, the concept needs to have enough substance to keep you hooked, and I’m not sure that’s the case here.  I think Bridge Me is worth checking out, but I wouldn’t expect much more from it than quick bursts of game play every now and again.

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App Summary
Title: Bridge Me Developer: Snagon Studio
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.0 Min OS Req: 5.1
Price: Free App Size: 16.5 MB
  • Interesting game concept
  • Easy to learn
  • Decent Minecraft like visuals
  • Not much variety
  • Only one game mode
  • No music

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Toast Time in Review – When Breakfast Fights Back http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/03/21/toast-time-in-review-when-breakfast-fights-back/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/03/21/toast-time-in-review-when-breakfast-fights-back/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:14:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73653 The idea is simple: protect the clock from a swarm of aliens for a designated number of seconds.  The thing is you’re just a toaster, so you do what toasters do best.  Each tap of the screen has you ejecting a nicely cooked piece of bread with the intention of either flinging yourself to a … Read more]]>

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The idea is simple: protect the clock from a swarm of aliens for a designated number of seconds.  The thing is you’re just a toaster, so you do what toasters do best.  Each tap of the screen has you ejecting a nicely cooked piece of bread with the intention of either flinging yourself to a more accessible spot or taking out a slimy critter before it gets too close to the clock.  You start with your basic slice of white bread, but you can change your weapon by shooting creates that appear from time to time on the screen.  Crates also help you unlock new weapons and outfits, so be sure to get as many as you can per level.

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There are 5 different worlds, each with nine levels to conquer.  You can just save the clock to beat a level, but in order to earn three stars you have to work at getting a nice high score.  In addition to the campaign mode there is an ironman survival mode where you have to play through all the levels in succession until you fail to save the clock.  This mode can only be beaten when you play through all 45 levels in a row without losing.  There are seven leaderboards to compete on: one for each world, one for all worlds combined and one for beating the ironman mode.  There are also 9 achievements to earn, and while this doesn’t sound like much some of them should prove to be quite a challenge.

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The graphics have an original Gameboy feel about them, though there is some color strewn throughout the levels.  The game does a decent job of making blocky look good.  The sound effects aren’t bad, but I do really like the music.  At first I thought there was a theme per level set, and there are definitely multiple themes, but I’m not sure if the music is chosen at random or there are just multiple themes per level set.  Either way the music is probably the best part of the aesthetics.

While I can’t say that I ever recall playing a game quite like this “back in the day”, Toast Time does an excellent job of capturing the feel of retro video games.  There are a decent number of levels to complete, plenty of weapons and outfits to unlock, and if you really get bored there’s the ironman survival mode to tackle.  All in all this is the perfect offering for those that enjoy the “simple to pick up, challenging to master” type of game.

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App Summary
Title: Toast Time Developer: Force Of Habit
Reviewed Ver: 1.01 Min OS Req: 5.1
Price: $2.99 App Size: 20.3 MB
  • Simple, challenging game play
  • Plenty to unlock
  • Nice retro visuals
  • Great music
  • Outfits don’t affect game play

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Galaxy Run in Review: Out Of This World Fun http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/03/10/galaxy-run-in-review-out-of-this-world-fun/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/03/10/galaxy-run-in-review-out-of-this-world-fun/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:02:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73596 Galaxy Run is a one screen, one button platform game from Spiel Studio, the folks that brought us the cool “launch an object” game Propel Man.  Generally I get into this style of game play pretty easily, and I like the progression of game mechanics Galaxy Run employs as well as the space motif.  The … Read more]]>

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Galaxy Run is a one screen, one button platform game from Spiel Studio, the folks that brought us the cool “launch an object” game Propel Man.  Generally I get into this style of game play pretty easily, and I like the progression of game mechanics Galaxy Run employs as well as the space motif.  The main problem I have with the game is that there seems to be a strong lack of difficulty, at least in the initial sets of levels that come with the game.  Thankfully the bonus worlds start to fix that problem, but I think the initial six worlds could use a bit of balancing.

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Your job is to help Rez get home after he crash lands on an alien planet.  All you have to do on each level is make sure he gets from point A to point B without falling into a pit, impaling himself on spikes or electrocuting himself.  Of course your basic method for doing this is simply tapping the screen to jump.  Thankfully each new level set brings a new mechanic to the table like double jumping, moving fast and even swinging on ropes.  Some actions like double jumping require you to pick up the power up first, while others happen automatically like stepping on an accelerator that causes you to run.  Some of the mechanics work a bit differently than you might be used to from other games, like swinging which is activated automatically when you’re close enough to a swing point and stops as soon as you tap the screen.

The initial game is divided into 6 sets of 20 levels apiece.  You have to complete the first 15 levels to move on to the next set, and then you can work on the last five, known as the “extreme” levels, at your own pace.  Once you complete the initial 6 level sets you unlock the bonus levels, which currently provide another 12 sets of levels for your platforming pleasure.  As long as you complete a level you can move on to the next, and once you complete the basic levels of one set the next set is unlocked, but earning stars on a given level is based on the amount of time it takes to complete a level.  Sadly, aside from having to replay on occasional level a few times in order to score three stars, you generally won’t run into any issues until you start getting into the bonus levels.  I think I completed the initial 6 worlds (minus the extreme levels) in less than an hour.

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As mentioned before, all you need to do is tap.  The trick is making sure you tap at just the right moment to do whatever actions you need in order to complete a level.  The game seems pretty responsive, though as I mentioned with the rope jumping some mechanics take a bit of getting used to because they work differently than you’d expect.  The game offers 65 achievements to earn and a leaderboard for each level set as well as various totals leaderboards, so there is plenty to work towards in Galaxy Run.  The game also supports Facebook and Twitter, which I presume is for communicating high scores and achievements with your followers.

I like the visuals in Galaxy Run, though things do tend to be a bit small because the levels have to fit on one screen.  Still, there’s a decent amount of detail and some nice animation, which can especially be appreciated when poor Rez gets fried by a laser.  The sound effects aren’t great, but thankfully they don’t get too annoying.  The music has its moments although it’s hard to appreciate when you go through most of the levels as fast as you will.

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As far as this style of platform gaming goes, Galaxy Run is a pretty decent little game.  Folks that aren’t so good with this type of game or prefer their platformers a bit easier will feel right at home.  If you like a bit more of a challenge and are willing to tough it out through the first few level sets the difficulty later on will be more to your liking.  With 360 levels and tons of achievements there’s certainly plenty to do, and a recent update is supposedly adding 3 new levels a day to each of the three worlds.  Add to that a level editor that the developers are working on releasing and Galaxy Run is definitely a worthwhile investment.

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App Summary
Title: Galaxy Run Developer: Spiel Studios
Reviewed Ver: 1.65 Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $0.99 App Size: 48.6 MB
  • Easy to learn
  • Lots of levels
  • New elements introduced in every level set
  • Nice visuals
  • Levels are rarely challenging

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Shadow Blade in Review – Old School Action With Modern Looks http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/02/06/shadow-blade-in-review-old-school-action-with-modern-looks/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/02/06/shadow-blade-in-review-old-school-action-with-modern-looks/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 05:50:44 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73539 Amongst all of my past console excursions, the one that I remember with the most fondness was my time spent playing my Nintendo Entertainment System.  A franchise that kept me entertained if not a bit frustrated was Ninja Gaiden, the tale of a ninja named Ryu that kicked butt and liked to do back flips.  … Read more]]>

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Amongst all of my past console excursions, the one that I remember with the most fondness was my time spent playing my Nintendo Entertainment System.  A franchise that kept me entertained if not a bit frustrated was Ninja Gaiden, the tale of a ninja named Ryu that kicked butt and liked to do back flips.  At first glance one might feel that Shadow Blade is a modern interpretation of this classic series, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  After spending some time with the game I’m not so sure if it’s meant to be an homage to or simply inspired by the old favorites, but either way the game is quite entertaining.  It also manages to pretty much conquer the issues most action games have with controls on a touch screen device.

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There are no cutsecnes in the game or story panels hidden away in some obscure help menu, so you really don’t know why you’re doing what you do.  What you do figure out early on, however, is that you’re a cool ninja with some decent skillz that likes to collect shiny lights and glowing green Japanese symbols.  To complete a level you just need to find the exit, but to master a level you must collect three shurkiens: one for finishing the level below a certain time, another for collecting all the shiny lights and a third for uncovering the two glowing green symbols somewhere within the level.  These goals must be completed simultaneously in order to get all three shurkiens, so don’t think you’ll leisurely stroll through collecting goods in one round and then just fly through the level to earn that third elusive timing star.

Along the way you’ll face all the usual platforming pratfalls like deadly spikes, platforms that spin, platforms with deadly spikes that spin and more.  There are also plenty of enemies to take out before they get the drop on you.  Thankfully you’ve apparently been trained well because you can double jump, flip between walls to climb high, and smash through ice walls by attacking while in mid air.  You can also kill your opponents in several different ways, the most efficient of which is executed when you sneak up behind them.  Keep in mind that while it make take you multiple hits to down a foe, they will take you out in one, as will the unfortunate circumstance of running into anything that you shouldn’t.  At least there are checkpoints along the way so you don’t have to start over, but these can really mess you up if you’re trying for that timer star since the timer doesn’t reset to where it was when you first activated the checkpoint.

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There are two ways to control your ninja: gesture based and with a virtual joystick.  I gave the gesture controls a try for a few seconds, and they might not be bad once you get used to them, but the virtual joystick works so well that I’ve not looked back again.  There are arrows for moving left and right as well as buttons for jumping and attacking, and aside from the occasional misstep that I think is inherent to touch controls I’ve not had a single issue doing what I’ve needed to unless I just haven’t had the skill to do it.  The game is made up of three chapters with 10 levels each and a hardcore mode with 9 levels.  Unfortunately, without and leaderboards or Game Center achievements there’s little cause to replay anything once you’ve earned the maximum number of stars available on a given level.

The game looks great.  The backgrounds have a gritty feel to them and are nicely detailed.  The characters are well designed and the animation is well done.  The game doesn’t get overly bloody or anything, but it might be a bit gruesome for the younger set.  The sound effects are decent and while there’s not a lot of ambient noise there are a couple of nice touches like the sound of the train in the background of certain scenes.  The music isn’t bad, but from what I can tell there’s only one track that plays throughout all the levels.  Either that or it all sounds the same to me.

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Shadow Blade is a prime example of platforming done right on a touch screen device.  The bite size levels make it more than tolerable if you have to play one several times before getting it right, and the spot on controls make sure you don’t have to worry about that too often.  The game looks good and sounds decent, and the levels are actually designed pretty well.  The down side is that there isn’t much replay value, and a skilled player will probably make it through most levels rather quickly.  Some achievements and a leaderboard would certainly help sweeten the pot, and hopefully decent sales will inspire the developer to add a couple more level sets.  Despite its shortcomings Shadow Blade is a lot of fun to play.

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App Summary
Title: Shadow Blade Developer: Crescent Moon Games
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.1 Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 155 MB
  • Fun game play
  • Well designed levels
  • Tight controls
  • Excellent visuals and good sound
  • Low replay value
  • No achievements or leaderboards
  • Only one musical track

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Crazy Chicken: Pirates in Review – More Tame Than Crazy http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/01/29/crazy-chicken-pirates-in-review-more-tame-than-crazy/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/01/29/crazy-chicken-pirates-in-review-more-tame-than-crazy/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 05:17:15 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73530 While some developers have come a long way towards making playable FPS games on touch screen devices, the shooting gallery style game is really a much more pleasant experience for said hardware.  One franchise in particular that has always brought entertaining installments to this genre is Moorhuhn, aka Crazy Chicken depending on where you live … Read more]]>

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While some developers have come a long way towards making playable FPS games on touch screen devices, the shooting gallery style game is really a much more pleasant experience for said hardware.  One franchise in particular that has always brought entertaining installments to this genre is Moorhuhn, aka Crazy Chicken depending on where you live in the world.  One recent edition to the franchise is Crazy Chicken: Pirates for iOS devices, which as of the writing of this article has been subtitled Christmas Edition for the holidays.  It has all the wackiness you’d expect if you were familiar with the brand, and three different game play modes to boot.

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Despite having 3 different game play modes, Crazy Chicken: Pirates basically has one overriding goal: shoot as many chickens as you can.  Defense mode is the most basic in the sense that you only have one screen and besides the chickens the only thing you have to shoot is falling presents.  Chickens will come from both directions and you lose a heart each time a chicken exits the screen on the opposite side.  Every 15 presents you shoot earns you an extra life, but they won’t last long.

In Classic and Arcade modes you have multiple screens that not only offer up poultry to pulverize but provide you with skulls to collect, coins to capture, diamonds to dredge up and other miscellaneous items to use as target practice.  There are counters for the diamonds, coins and skulls, but I honestly don’t know what happens when you collect all of a particular item.  Both Classic and arcade modes are timed, the big distinction being that Classic mode only gives you 90 seconds, whereas Arcade mode gives you extra time when you shoot chickens.

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To shoot you simply tap the screen, and on levels with multiple scenes you just swipe left or right to get to other parts of the island.  Like I said, from a control perspective this is the perfect fit for a touch screen.  There are 59 achievements to earn, and while there is a “current objective” when you begin each game you can complete each achievement at any time.  There is a leaderboard for each game play mode as well as a special one for the Halloween update, which I assume will become active again if the game is still around for Halloween next year.  The biggest thing missing from this game is a clear explanation of anything.  You actually have to select a game play mode and then pause the game to find out what the mode is actually about, and there are no clues given as to what, if anything, you earn for collecting things like diamonds, coins or skulls.

The visuals are extremely well done.  The animation is good, the design for the chickens looks great, and there are all kinds of nifty details if you can spare the time to look around.  The sound effects are a bit lackluster, mostly comprised of gunfire and the sounds when the chickens die.  I do like the tapping when one of the chickens “knocks” on the inside of your screen.  Unfortunately there is no music unless you’re on the menu screens, which is kind of a shame.

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I remember having a lot of fun with this series on my PC, and I was fully expecting the same enjoyment from this iOS installment.  Maybe I’ve grown a bit more finicky over the years, but it just felt like there wasn’t quite enough there this time around.  It’s certainly enjoyable trying to find all the little things you can shoot, and the chickens are quite humorous to watch, but after a while it gets extremely repetitive.  Add to that the lack of explanation from certain achievements to what collecting the “special” items gets you and the game just doesn’t rise to the top where it should be.  If you like shooting gallery style games you’ll still get a kick out of it, but it sadly rests squarely in the middle of the pack.

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App Summary
Title: Crazy Chicken: Pirates (Christmas Edition) Developer: Teyon
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.6 Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 69.7 MB
  • Lots of things to shoot
  • Three different game play modes
  • Plenty of achievements
  • Love the chickens!
  • Not much variety in game play
  • Way too light on explanation
  • Lackluster sound and no music

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Air Supply – Infinite in Review – New Spin On An Old Classic http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/01/16/air-supply-infinite-in-review-new-spin-on-an-old-classic/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/01/16/air-supply-infinite-in-review-new-spin-on-an-old-classic/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:53:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73513 If you’ve played the original Air Supply (and shame on the infinite runner lovers that haven’t) then a lot of this will feel familiar.  Sam is back, but his perspective has changed a bit, or more appropriately he’s finding himself going around in circles.  Air Supply – Infinite is just as fun as the original, … Read more]]>

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If you’ve played the original Air Supply (and shame on the infinite runner lovers that haven’t) then a lot of this will feel familiar.  Sam is back, but his perspective has changed a bit, or more appropriately he’s finding himself going around in circles.  Air Supply – Infinite is just as fun as the original, and the best part is it maintains the unlock system that kept me going back to the original for more.  I’ve always maintained that even the best developers will falter once in a while, but so far Quantum Sheep has not let me down.review-air-supply-infinite-2

You are Spaceman Sam, and you have been commissioned by your future self to recover the eight infinity cups.  To do this you’ll have to run around 7 planets and a black hole until you get enough speed going that you can reveal the hiding place of the missing cups.  Unfortunately there are some nasty aliens that will try to keep you from achieving your goal, but you’ll be okay as long as you keep jumping over them.  Occasionally a UFO will show up and emit a tractor beam that temporarily holds you in place, but the ground aliens keep coming so make sure you continue jumping.  You’ll also have asteroids that show up from time to time and reverse the spin of the planet for 10 seconds.  Oh, and then there’s the problem with running out of air.

Thankfully refills are consistently falling through the atmosphere, and running into a transparent one adds one bar back to your oxygen while running into a solid one completely refills your tank.  There are also smart bombs that destroy everything bad that’s currently on the screen and give you some air at the same time.  Additionally, the floating S symbol will temporarily slow things down, the freezer pauses an alien in its tracks for a bit, and the shield will destroy any bad thing that crosses your path for a short time.  You’ll see stars in the mix as well, but all those do is help you unlock new characters to play as.  Speaking of which, collecting oxygen and smart bombs help you unlock new musical tracks and new graphics colors respectively.  And, just in case you can’t get the infinity cup on certain planets you can unlock new planets simply by accumulating revolutions around the planets you’ve already unlocked.

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The default control is simple: tap to jump and double tap to launch a smart bomb.  There are other configurations, but aside from the occasional accidental smart bomb discharge I’ve not had any problems with the initial settings.  Besides unlocking all the choices for characters, planets and such, which really is the best part of the Air Supply series, there are 25 achievements to earn.  There’s even a “longest run” leaderboard if you’re interested.  You can also tweet your scores if you really want to.

The visuals look like something you might find in an early 80’s computer game, which is of course the whole charm behind them.  There isn’t a lot of detail to the game, and most of the animation is actually in the background, which can get a bit overwhelming at later stages.  The sound effects and music also reflect the retro nature of the game, the difference being that some of the sound effects can get a bit annoying and have to be taken as a package, whereas some of the musical tracks are pretty cool and you can pick the one you want to listen to.

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In the end this is basically Air Supply – 1 Bit Run with your character going around in circles instead of following a linear path, but that’s okay.  The biggest down side to the original was running out of things to unlock, so now I get to experience it all over again.  And you know what?  It’s just as entertaining this time around.

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App Summary
Title: Air Supply – Infinite Developer: Quantum Sheep
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 19.2 MB
  • Same Air Supply addiction
  • Lot of items to unlock
  • Plenty of achievements to earn
  • Cool retro video and audio
  • Can get repetitive
  • There’s little draw once everything is unlocked

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Santa Rama: Christmas Mania in Review – Monetize The Children? http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/25/santa-rama-christmas-mania-in-review-monetize-the-children/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/25/santa-rama-christmas-mania-in-review-monetize-the-children/#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 21:05:07 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73491 Honey Tribe Studios has an interesting way of making social commentary, first on the plight of bees and then on the state of humanity as it revolves around money.  Their latest effort focuses specifically on the Christmas season, and while it may not be a message you want to hear it’s sadly true.  It’s also … Read more]]>

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Honey Tribe Studios has an interesting way of making social commentary, first on the plight of bees and then on the state of humanity as it revolves around money.  Their latest effort focuses specifically on the Christmas season, and while it may not be a message you want to hear it’s sadly true.  It’s also an entertaining game, at least in small bursts.  Can you help turn the tide of commercialism this holiday season?

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The crux of this game is that kids have become so caught up in advertising and the “gotta have” mentality that permeates the last couple of months of the year that they don’t get what Christmas is really about.  Just like moths to the flame they are attracted to the glow at the bottom of the screen, which I assume is meant to be the radiant energy of a TV screen.  It’s your job to snap them out of it by tapping on them before they reach the point of no return (aka the bottom of the screen).  You do have a couple of power ups including a clock that temporarily slows the children’s movements, a book you can use to block individual children and turn them to reading, and an activity bar that stretches from one side of the screen to the other and turns the kids towards more profitable activities for a short period of time.

A single tap converts most kids, while the bigger one takes two taps to persuade.  Holding down on the screen will activate the reading power up if you have it, while swiping across the screen from left to right will fire up the activity bar.  The clock is simply activated as soon as you tap on it when it goes floating by.  You’ll also see interlocked hands floating by from time to time that can be collected and used to bolster the duration of a power up and the frequency with which power up refills show up.  There are 2 leaderboards, one for high score and the other for overall score, and a “whopping” 5 achievements to earn.  There are also plenty of ads to help support the game (after all, the game IS about advertising).

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The graphics have a decent stylized look to them.  Much like in McBank the characters start out grey until you “rescue” them from their entrapment.  The sound effects are cool because each character plays a different tone when you free them.  There’s only one song that plays in the background, but I really enjoy it despite hearing it over and over again.

For the majority of you this will not be the type of game you’ll play for hours on end, but I don’t really think it was meant to be.  Play it when you’re next in line at a slow checkout lane or just want to do some mindless tapping for a few minutes.  It may get repetitive after a while, but the quirky theme, cool music and funny cartoons will keep you sufficiently entertained.

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App Summary
Title: Santa Rama: Christmas Mania Developer: shazad yousaf
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: Free App Size: 31.1 MB
  • Interesting Christmas message
  • Cool visuals and fun music
  • Funny cartoons when you lose
  • Gets repetitive quickly
  • Tapping fast kids isn’t always responsive
  • Lots of ads (yeah, I get the irony)

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Darklings: Gesture Based Action and an Odd Adventure http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/17/darklings-gesture-based-action-and-an-odd-adventure/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/17/darklings-gesture-based-action-and-an-odd-adventure/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 02:53:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73472 The minute I began playing Darklings, I had a lot of questions. What is a Darkling? Where is my character and what on earth is going on? Out of all the iPad games I’ve enjoyed, this was definitely one of the strangest. That isn’t, of course, to suggest that it’s bad – in fact, I … Read more]]>

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The minute I began playing Darklings, I had a lot of questions. What is a Darkling? Where is my character and what on earth is going on? Out of all the iPad games I’ve enjoyed, this was definitely one of the strangest. That isn’t, of course, to suggest that it’s bad – in fact, I found the game surprisingly intuitive once I’d figured out more about the strange character at the bottom of the screen. This $0.99 iPhone/iPad game was created by MildMania, and is definitely on par with dark and quirky games like Limbo. When you load the app, you find yourself in control of a small character called a Lum, and it’s your goal to save him from surrounding monsters that have come to attack. Your character exists in a lonely looking universe where it’s constantly night time, and you’re surrounded by endless models.Adding to the mystery and spooky element of the game is the soundtrack. I immediately noticed the audio of the game when loading, and enjoyed it from the very beginning. Despite the initial confusion over the character and the purpose of the game, the soundtrack was superb and I quickly became engrossed in the story. Your ghostly little character, or ‘Lum’ needs to use his powers to get rid of all the evil Darklings. The dark characters surround your Lum and must be fought off using magical powers.

 

As you progress through the game, you can also play with new Lums that each has different powers. With your character, your ultimate aim is to survive, reaching new levels and bosses as you progress. The storyline may well be simple, but it’s definitely fun. I was immediately engrossed, not only because I love survival games, but also because I have never seen gameplay like this before. In order to fight off the Darklings, your Lum must replicate the shapes on the heads of each of the evil Darkling characters. I should say, rather, that it is the player that has to replicate the shapes. Here you will find no directional arrows, you won’t navigate through a landscape like a traditional game either – you will have just one role. You will use your finger as if it were a pencil, and trace the shape on the screen, which sees your Lum jump into the character of the related Darkling. You’ll also see stars appearing around your character throughout the game. It’s important that you collect the stars with your finger and draw a line to your Lum. This increases the amount of time you have on the game, and collecting five big stars can give you helpful little extras! If you run out though, as always with inexpensive games, you can purchase more for a small fee from the shop. You can also share your results with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends for new stars.

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While it’s definitely intuitive and enjoyable, it’s not the most comfortable way to play the game. If you’re lucky enough to have the current iPad Air, or perhaps even the iPad Mini, you’ll probably fine. If you have an older generation iPad however, then you’ll probably find the game uncomfortable, owing to the extra weight. Unless you’re ambidextrous, you’ll have to keep your iPad in one hand while you draw away with the other – that can be quite tiring after spending some time on the game! I must also be honest about the fights with bosses. While generally the gameplay feels seamless and smooth, it begins to lag a little bit when you’re fighting the bigger Darklings. You’ll probably find yourself drawing your patterns numerous times over before anything registers, which can be quite annoying when you’re counting on a win to progress!

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All in all though, I have to rate Darklings quite highly. It’s definitely a welcome new addition to the App Store, and one of the most intuitive games I’ve played in a while. The gameplay is flowing, the soundtrack very nice and visuals are superb. The levels seem endless, you can play different characters and you can enjoy an impressive range of challenges. It’s well worth the small fee of $0.99!

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Darklings Darklings - $0.99

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Vampire Ventures in Review – No Blood, But It Doesn’t Suck http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/12/vampire-ventures-in-review-no-blood-but-it-doesnt-suck/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/12/12/vampire-ventures-in-review-no-blood-but-it-doesnt-suck/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:14:10 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73462 When I first saw this game I liked the screen shots but I thought it was basically going to be a “been there, done that” sort of match 3 game.  In some ways it really is, but it packs in so many cool features from other games in the genre that it doesn’t really matter.  … Read more]]>

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When I first saw this game I liked the screen shots but I thought it was basically going to be a “been there, done that” sort of match 3 game.  In some ways it really is, but it packs in so many cool features from other games in the genre that it doesn’t really matter.  Throw in great music and a story that ties everything together and you end up with one of the best match 3 games to hit the virtual iOS shelves in quite some time, if not ever.

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You play Val, a vampire on a quest to rescue her father from the clutches of some evil fiend that seems to desire your destruction.  As a progressive vampire family that drinks strawberry juice instead of blood you can’t imagine who’d want to hurt you, but you’re sure to find out as you travel through 75 levels across a variety of locations.  Along the way you’ll encounter a variety of play styles including clearing away designated tiles, causing a variety of objects to fall off the bottom of the screen, and clearing a path so that you can move an object from one location to another.  The last mode is cool because there are buttons that let you rotate the board 90 degrees in either direction so that you can get the tiles to fall to your advantage no matter how the path twists.

Occasionally you will have to fight some bad guys as well, which is also accomplished via a match 3 board.  The difference here is that you and the villains will be making matches on the same board at the same time, so you have to be quick and pay attention to what they are doing at the same time.  In grand super hero cartoon style, the first character to push their opponent’s ray back in their face wins the battle.  There’s a lot to tackle, but thankfully at certain milestones you’ll collect talismans that give you the ability to do things like clear all the tiles of a certain color, remove all tiles in a selected area and even make diagonal moves for a short period of time.  Some talismans require you to match tiles that are the same color as the talisman, others just require matches of four or more of a tile, and some give you one use and then you have to win them with the spin of a wheel in order to use them again.

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The game uses a simple tap or swipe mechanic to swap two tiles for a match.  Some talismans require you to drag their energy to a target location on the board, while others require basic taps to activate.  Overall the control scheme is easy to use and quite responsive.  Beyond the 75 level campaign there is no infinite level but there are both relaxed and time modes as well as the ability to add additional tiles to each level where you must clear away designated tiles.  This at least adds some replay value.  The game offers 3 profiles so multiple people can play on the same device and iCloud support so you can play across multiple devices.  There are 15 achievements to earn and one leaderboard to compete on which ranks you based on your overall score for the game.

Vampire Ventures is not the fanciest looking match 3 game around, but the visuals are still pretty nice.  The characters remind me of something out of a PBS cartoon, and there are some nice special effects when you use the various talismans.  The sound effects are okay, and I do like the voice they used for Val in the cut scenes that appear between many of the levels.  The most impressive part of the aesthetics is definitely the music.  Sometimes bouncy, sometimes series and occasionally bordering on moody, I could easily see this score being used in a Hollywood soundtrack.

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When I first played Kitten Sanctuary I felt like Clockwork Pixels knew their way around the match 3 concept pretty well, and Vampire Ventures just validates that theory.  Multiple play styles, useful power ups and a story to tie everything together all help this game stand out from the crowd.  Now if they’d just throw in an infinite play mode the replay value would be incredible.

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App Summary
Title: Vampire Ventures Developer: Clockwork Pixels
Reviewed Ver: 1.02.0 Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $1.99 App Size: 89.8 MB
  • Multiple play styles fend off repetitiveness
  • Profiles and iCloud support provide flexible playing options
  • Music is incredible
  • No infinite mode
  • Achievements on first come, first serve basis

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