Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers in Review: Rose Colored Glasses Might Be Required

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I feel a certain bit of irony as I write this piece.  Over the past 10 years, most any time I’ve written a review of a third person perspective adventure game I’ve made some sort of reference to the legendary Sierra On-line games catalog.  Now I’ve finally gotten the chance to play one of these legendary games on my iPad and I’m not sure what to make of it.  The game is Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition, and in my defense, I never actually played this particular game the first time around.  Still, I believe it’s regarded as one of the best non-Williams Sierra games from the “old days”, and yet I’ve really struggled to get into it.  As a result of that I didn’t get very far into the game before my time ran out with it, but I’ve decided to give you my impressions thus far, rather than an actual “review with a rating”.  It might feel like a review, but I’ll leave that distinction up to you.  (For those curious, I say my “time ran out” because I was playing the game through Testflight, a system which allows me to play the entire game without buying the IAP, and my Testflight build has expired).
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Dodo Master in Review – Don’t Be A Dodo And Miss This One

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3D certainly has its place in the world of gaming, and there’s no question that some of the 3D content available on the iOS platform looks pretty slick.  Personally, though, I’d just assume have a nicely drawn 2D game any day of the week, and Dodo Master is just such a game.  It’s a lot more than eye candy, however.  It’s the perfect example of how to make a fun platform game for iOS that has pretty basic mechanics and derives its challenge from excellent level design rather than shoddy controls.  And, you get can hats for your dodo.  Who doesn’t love a dodo wearing hats?
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A Day In The Woods Gets Spooky For Halloween

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One of my biggest joys as a reviewer is being able to report about games on the App Store that stand out from the pack, and A Day In The Woods is just such a game.  You can check out my review here: To Grandmother’s House We Go.  To celebrate the Halloween season, RetroEpic Software has added a Halloween themed skin (called, appropriately enough, a “season” within the game).  Unlike the other seasons in the game which have to be unlocked via collecting stars, this one will be available immediately once you’ve updated after the October 22 release of the new version.  If you don’t already own the game, RetroEpic has temporarily knocked a dollar off of the game’s price as well.  You can download it here:

A Day In The Woods RetroEpic Software, A Day In The Woods (TMA Review) – $3.99

The sale only lasts until Halloween, so grab it while you can.

The Lost Ship in Review – Unfortunately It’s A Short Search

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I’m a huge fan of adventure games, and to be quite frank I’m not that upset when they don’t last for 10 or 15 hours.  On the other hand, this is the second game I’ve played in the last couple of weeks that took under an hour to play.  Still, despite its short running time The Lost Ship was a fun game to play.  I just wish there had been a bit more substance to the game, maybe in the form of more complex object puzzles to solve or something.  As it stands right now The Lost Ship feels more like a series of mini-games tied together with a thin plot than a full blown adventure game.
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Blockadillo in Review – You Got A Brick Breaker In My Platform Game!

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I’ve always thought the armadillo was a cool looking creature, yet it seems like any time it is used as the protagonist in a game it ends up spending most of its time rolled up into a ball.  Thankfully these games usually tend to be fairly interesting, and Blockadillo is no exception.  In this case game play is akin to a 360 degree brick breaker with some interesting platform style elements thrown into the mix.  It can get frustrating at times, but overall the game is challenging, well balanced and most importantly, fun.
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Unkilled Rises To The Challenge

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Madfinger Games has been on the iOS scene since 2009, and I’d say they’ve got the first / third person shooter formula down pretty good at this point.  It started with Shadowgun, which was one of the few third person shooters I’ve really gotten into on any platform, and then they moved to the Dead Trigger series.  Now they’ve unleashed Unkilled on us, and it’s clear they’ve refined the game mechanics they established in their previous zombie franchise.  Apparently I’m not the only one that feels this way, because the game has been downloaded more than 3 million times since its release. Continue reading…

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Haunted Hotel: Death Sentence HD in Review: Playing It Was Anything But

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My latest outing in the world of adventure / hidden object games comes in the form of Haunted Hotel: Death Sentence HD from Big Fish Games.  My usual stomping ground for this style of game on the iOS platform is G5 Games, but it’s nice to see that when I do drift over to the “other side” that the competition seems to keep up rather nicely.  I played the free version with a one time IAP to unlock the complete game as well as some extras (this is a collector’s edition).  It didn’t take long before I was eager to take the plunge and buy the game.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the few games I’ve played recently that I’ve managed to stick with and complete in a relatively short time from when I first started playing it.  I guess you could say I was convicted of curiosity and sentenced to find the outcome.  Or you could just say I really enjoyed the game. Continue reading…

Colopl Gearing Up To Tell A Rune Story

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Colpol might not be a household name in America, but they’ve certainly been busy on the App Store with more than 100 games available for download.  I’ve actually mentioned several of their games in my “10 App Store Games To Watch” articles over time.  One thing I’ve noticed about their catalog is they seem to focus on simple casual games, which is perfectly fine for a mobile market.  It looks like their starting to expand their scope, however, both in content and location.  Colopl is gearing up to open a North American division of their company, and their first release is going to be an action / RPG called Rune Story.
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Tiny Empire in Review – Cute And Challenging

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I’m willing to admit that I loved Angry Birds right along with everyone else when it first came out.  After umpteen sidetracks and licenses, however, I found the sequel to be too little too late.  I still think the general mechanics of the Angry Bird style game work, but I’m tired of being angry.  That’s where Tiny Empire comes in.  You’re still trying to get rid of the bad guys by flinging objects at them, but in this case you simply need to take out the enemy, and not destroy everything in sight.  It’s a simpler approach, but I’ve found my time with Tiny Empire so far much more fulfilling than my outing with the latest avian adventures.  Besides, tiny equals cute, and I like cute. Continue reading…

Castling in Review – You Got Your Chess In My Puzzle Game…

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When I was younger, most notably in high school, I liked to play chess once in a while.  The problem with a game like chess is it’s not easily accessible like checkers or most card games, so it can be hard to find folks that want to play with you.  Earlier this year my kids started to gain an appreciation for the game, so when I came across Castling I thought it might appeal to both them and me.  The brilliance of Castling is that while it never presents a full game it teaches you how to move all the pieces, and it throws a nice bit of good old fashion puzzle strategy into the mix as well.  Add to that the entertaining representations of the different pieces and you have an instant classic for both chess lovers and puzzle gamers alike.
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