I know many of you were left with a VLC shaped hole in your iOS souls when the original developers of the open source media player filed a complaint to Apple and had it removed. And all that for a technical inconsistency with the GPL license! Still, life moves on and other developers have moved in to grab at the now empty spot. Some time ago I reviewed AVPlayer (TMA Review) – quite a strong contender for the crown of universal multimedia players on the iPhone. Most recently I had the opportunity to take a nab at DOTORI PLAYER, a similar all-in-one media player app from a Korean developer.
Action RPGs are a tricky lot to get right. You have to have the perfect balance between RPG and action in order to appease both types of players. On top of that you have to be careful to avoid a common feature that plagues both style of game: repetitiveness. Forcing the genre into a side scrolling perspective adds additional burden, because you all but lose one facet of the RPG side, which is puzzle solving. Unfortunately, ILLUSIA tends to weigh more heavily on the action side of things, and quite frankly that action is starting to get rather boring. I’ve put at least 3-4 hours into the game, it feels like I’ve been playing for days, and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much.
For those of us who prefer using songs as ringtones, we have all tried many times to create the necessary files to sync to iTunes so that they will work on the iPhone. With GeoRing however, there is no more work to be done but choosing the song and where exactly you’d like the ringtone to begin. Thanks to this handy app, users will soon be able to create their favorite ringtones within minutes.
Just slightly bigger than iBasso’s fabulous T3, hippo audio’s second self-branded portable headphone amp is a diminutive, but well-punctuated statement product. iBasso’s effects-be-damned neutral sound is damned in return as the box+ sways the portable audiophile with ‘rich’ sound, the sort made possible only through a Butterworth low pass filter: the sort of sound that has made Head-Direct’s Hifiman series famous.
Escape the room genre is one of those casual spin-offs of full scale adventure games, born with the rise of Flash-based games. Since then it has become a beloved pastime for many office employees and after a while, found its way to the App Store as well. Unfortunately the quality of these titles on the iDevice differs wildly (remember Escape the Room: Magician’s WC (TMA Review)?) But Escape the room 2 is a whole other kettle of fish, having some serious muscle behind it from Tate Games, the dev team responsible for the excellent RPG Crimson Gem Saga (TMA Review).
I still remember the awe I felt on first booting up Myst (TMA Review) for the iPhone. This legendary game, one of the first in the genre to promote the sales of CD-ROMs all those years ago, as well opening up a whole new age in PC adventure gaming, was surprisingly well suited for the modern iDevices. And when I was offered a chance to review Riven: The Sequel to Myst, naturally I jumped at the chance.
Damian Filigree: the Book of Thoth is a quirky little game. It provides a rather interesting match 3 mechanic combined with a “keep on running” component complete with a nasty mummy and a bunch of traps. The problem is that while it initially feels like a casual affair, it ends up being more of a hardcore experience. As a result I’m not really sure how much I care for it. I can guarantee you that you’ve not experienced anything quite like it before, however.
Even with such adventures as HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), 1112 episode 01, episode 02 (TMA Review) having great success on the App Store and earning a well-deserved place in iTunes’ featured section, one originally designed for the iDevice is still a rare guest on my iPhone. Of course there are many reasons for this, both financial and not, but it still pains my heart to see this happen. Nevertheless as the platform matures, we are starting to see more and more developers stepping up to fill the void and who knows, maybe some will earn the right to join our The App Store’s Best Adventure. Tonight’s contender is The Train episode 01, so let’s see if it stands up to the challenge.
One of the relatively new genres, brought about by the explosion of all sorts of casual games, both on the iDevice and PC, is Action Strategy. Though it seems the two genres are so different that it should be impossible even to imagine such a perverted marriage, developers prove time and time again that nothing is impossible. Quite some time ago I reviewed Avatar of War (TMA Review) – one offspring of this unholy union and was left thoroughly satisfied by the casual but fun experience it provided. And today we’ll take a look at Stenches: A Zombie Tale of Trenches, an original re-imagination of World War 2 as the fight against Nazi zombies.
Whether it’s been through emulation or truly porting the game to run natively on the iOS platform, there has been a lot of old titles headed to Apple’s handheld juggernaut, Avenging Spirit being no exception to this trend. I was not actually familiar with this particular game, but having spent some time with it on my iPod Touch I can definitely feel the early 90s platform nostalgia kick in. Conceptually the game is actually pretty interesting, but in practice it makes me realize why I both loved the 90s for gaming and am glad that games have advanced since then.