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Toby: The Secret Mine in Review – What’s Not Secret Is This Game Is Fun

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Once you start playing Toby: The Secret Mine you might think to yourself that it feels a bit like Limbo.  Don’t worry, that’s to be expected.  Even the developers admit the inspiration in the first line of their iTunes description.  What makes a game like Toby worthwhile is that it stands out despite the similarities, not because of them.  I’ve run into a few games that try to emulate these two visually, but so far I’d say they are best in class in terms of the game play style.  The most important thing is that they are proof positive that a platformer doesn’t have to be all about shooting every bad guy or collecting coins and power ups.
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RunGunJumpGun in Review – Intense, Addictive Fun

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Welcome to Flappy Bird 2.0.  The protagonist has a gun, the obstacles fight back and if you want to truly “complete” each stage you’ll need to have a reaction time that borders on crazy.  If you’re not into “retro” gaming you might be put off by the screen shots, but you really shouldn’t let that deter you from trying this game.  From the moment I first loaded it up I was hooked, and it gets better with each section and world that you unlock.  The only thing you might want to consider is either having a pile of pillows nearby or putting an Otterbox type case on your device for when you inevitably throw it out of frustration (if you are that type of person).
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Vulture Island in Review – Donut Games Does It Again

 

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While it seems like several developers have “mastered” the art of churning out casual games one after the other, Donut Games is one of the few companies that has managed to do it with consistently high quality.  In the last couple of years they’ve started publishing some more complex offerings as well, the latest of which is Vulture Island.  On the surface it might seem like a simple platform game, but it has an inventory system that reminds me of the classic “Dizzy” games from the golden age of gaming.  It also veers away from the traditional “beat the first level, move on to the next” trope in a way that makes it much more interesting and satisfying to complete than your average Super Mario clone.  Platform gamers should rejoice in this new take on the genre, and those that find the all too linear storytelling of a traditional platform game dull might just find something they like here as well.
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Captain Temporium in Review – Time Pilot for a New Generation

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Depending on the kind of shooter I’m playing I’ll usually mention one of two reference points from the “glory days” of gaming: 1942 or Time Pilot.  This definitely falls to the latter for comparison, as one might even assume without seeing the name that it was in fact a remake of the 1982 classic (yeah, you read that right, I’m old school).  The truth is, even if it has nothing to do with Time Pilot in any way, shape or form, I’m more than happy to label it a “spiritual successor”.  The game has the same frantic, 360 degree playing field, nicely updated visuals, and a difficulty level that would make Flappy Bird fans proud.
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News – Marvel Puzzle Quest Awesome Trailer

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I don’t normally promote trailers for video games, mainly because the game itself is the most important part of the package. In this case, however, I found this trailer to be clever, and if all you see of it is the TV spot then you’re missing out. So, here’s the full live action trailer for Marvel Puzzle Quest: http://bit.ly/MarvelPuzzleQuestTrailer

While you’re at it, why not grab the game as well: https://d3go.com/games/marvelpuzzlequest/

Tiny Passengers in Review – Clay Characters Catching Cabs (sort of…)

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Tiny Passengers is about cute clay characters, budding friendships and the need to pile as many people as possible in quirky rides.  It’s primarily a quick reflex game, but even when you’re not playing puzzle mode it helps if you can plan ahead a little bit.  The atmosphere is clearly geared towards children, but as an adult I can say that the older set should get some enjoyment out of it as well.  Plus, if you happen to have kids then it’s something you can share with them on your iOS device.  The game can get repetitive over longer play sessions, but for small bursts of time it’s a nice diversion from the typical fare you’ll find on the App Store.
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Super Phantom Cat in Review – This Platformer Is The Cat’s Meow

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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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Symmetrica – Minimalistic arcade game in Review: Please Say It Ain’t Over!

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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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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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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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