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Hexagon photo
Hexagon

PSA: Super Hexagon is free this week on iOS


See what all the buzz is about
Jan 08
// Chris Carter
Super Hexagon, that game that was all the buzz back in 2013, is now free this week on iOS. Developed by Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame, Hexagon is a twitch-heavy title with a good chiptune soundtrack. It's a pretty neat game, but I couldn't really stand to play it for more than a few days before I got bored. Since it's free, you have nothing to lose! Super Hexagon [iTunes]
Endless clicker / tapper photo
Endless clicker / tapper

Tap My Katamari - Endless Cosmic Clicker is now available on mobile devices


If you live outside of the US
Jan 05
// Jed Whitaker
So the free-to-play Tap My Katamari - Endless Cosmic Clicker is finally available on Android and iOS devices, pending you live outside the US, but hopefully that will be remedied soon. Since I haven't played the game, a...
Rick and Morty photo
Rick and Morty

An official Rick and Morty Pokemon parody game is coming this month


Pocket Mortys
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
Adult Swim just teased Pocket Mortys, a new mobile game (Android and iOS) coming January 14, and I'm pretty stoked about it. Simply put, it seems to ape Pokemon, with a Rick and Morty tint to it -- it's a free game, so t...
Supergiant photo
Supergiant

Transistor sells over a million copies


Here's to more!
Dec 28
// Jordan Devore
In a blog post recapping its year, Supergiant Games gave updated sales figures for Transistor and Bastion. The former has officially passed one million copies sold, while the latter has cleared over three million sales. If yo...
Breath of Fire 6 photo
Breath of Fire 6

Breath of Fire 6 will be released next year on PC and mobile


Yep, PC
Dec 25
// Chris Carter
We've known about Breath of Fire 6 for a while, though it was originally targeting a Fall 2015 release date. Now thanks to a new trailer from Capcom, we now know that the game will be released in February in Japan. Well, tha...
Katamari Damacy photo
Katamari Damacy

Tap My Katamari is coming soon so you can click click click while you poop poop poop


Your iPhone or Android will be filthy
Dec 22
// Zack Furniss
Just a few weeks ago, Jordan "Eagle Eyes/Good Legs" Devore wrote about Bandai Namco filing a trademark for Tap My Katamari. Now we have confirmation that it'll be what kids call a "clicker," and it's coming soon. You can find...
Republique episode 4 photo
Republique episode 4

Republique finally gets analog controls on PS4


Physical disc rounds out best package
Dec 11
// Steven Hansen
Republique, a stealth game proud of its Metal Gear Solid 4 lineage, was Kickstarted in 2012. It hit iOS in 2013, and then proceeded at a pace of one port per year (2014, Android; 2015, PC) en route to three of five episodes h...
Review: Gamevice photo
Review: Gamevice

Review: Gamevice for the iPhone


Like the Vita's controls for your iPhone
Dec 09
// Jed Whitaker
Mobile gaming is becoming closer and closer to console gaming, and with the line thinning the only thing missing is phones coming with dedicated controllers. That is where the Gamevice comes in, to try to fill that hole by turning your iPhone 6 into a fully-fledged gaming console. While it does the job well, it certainly isn't without some minor flaws.

Review: Rayman Adventures

Dec 08 // Brett Makedonski
Rayman Adventures (Android, iOS)Developer: Ubisoft MontpellierPublisher: UbisoftReleased: December 3, 2015MSRP: Free, with microtransactions Rayman Adventures is an auto-runner that often moves at a restrained pace. Swiping on the screen gets the titular character moving, tapping implores him to jump, and swiping again changes direction. And while many runners press ever-onward left to right, Rayman Adventures tries to avoid that trap, usually allowing the player to dictate the flow. Keeping things from speeding out of control is a smart design decision, but not one that's quite consolation enough for inaccurate inputs. Chaining together swipes and taps works sometimes, but it's a bummer each and every time they don't. More damning, the rest of Rayman Adventures feels built around those moments when the controls falter. The big picture going-on in Rayman Adventures involves saving Incrediballs. These quirky creatures help Rayman grow a tree higher and higher into the sky for whatever reason. Incrediballs occasionally appear fully grown, but they'll often take the form of eggs that need to be incubated (either by waiting or by using resources to speed up the process). [embed]325074:61452:0[/embed] Incrediballs feel very much like a direct response to Adventures' lacking controls. The player can call on a number of them to assist them through a level. The game's broken down into three main level types: exploration-based, combat-based, and collection-based. For combat levels, each Incrediball acts as a shield for Rayman, a second (and third and fourth) chance for when the player inevitably runs into the tightly-placed enemies. That's an example of Incrediballs acting as a crutch, but sometimes they're flat-out necessary. In collection scenarios, dedicated Incrediballs act as a magnet for the Lums; there's no performing well without their assistance. Predictably, this all loops back to the fact that Rayman Adventures is a free-to-play title. Incrediballs grow tired and need to be fed in order to be used again. The game dishes out a fair amount of food, but you can always buy some with real money if the need arises. To its credit, Rayman Adventures never gets heavy-handed with the microtransactions. There isn't any sort of mechanic that forces you to either pay or keep waiting, and resources seem to come at a constant enough clip that there exists the possibility it won't ever become an impediment (unlikely as that may be). However, there's a flood of different consumables that make them difficult to keep track of: gems, golden tickets, food, and elixirs can all be earned/purchased, and they all feed right back into one another. For example, tickets (and more) can be bought with gems. That ticket you scratch off might award some food. Food's used to revive Incrediballs which are used to perform well in levels, where the likes of gems might be the prize. Round and round we go. To what end, it's difficult to say. Scaling back and looking at Rayman Adventures as a whole paints it as a game where progress feels meaningless and sometimes confusing. But spending time inside the Rayman-patented lively world is a joy in small bursts, even if the execution is left wanting. Like those other Rayman titles, Adventures effectively captures the spirit of the franchise; it just has a hard time living up to the sterling precedent those games set -- a tall task that maybe the mobile format never had a chance of accomplishing in the first place. [This review is based on a retail build of the game at launch. No microtransactions were purchased.]
Rayman Adventures photo
So close, yet so far
Rayman has had a good run of it as of late. The last two console games -- Origins and Legends -- were fantastic platformers worthy of the highest praise. Now Ubisoft is testing the franchise's viability in the ...

TWD: Michonne photo
TWD: Michonne

Here's your first real look at The Walking Dead: Michonne


Three part mini-series coming in 2016
Dec 03
// Alissa McAloon
It might not be The Walking Dead: Season 3, but an all new trailer for The Walking Dead: Michonne is better than nothing. The mini-series was first announced back in June and hasn't seen much publicity since then. ...
Monument Valley photo
Monument Valley

Escher-esque puzzle game Monument Valley is currently available for free


Get it while it's free!
Dec 02
// Ben Davis
Monument Valley, the peaceful isometric puzzle game with a visual style reminiscent of Fez, is currently available for free on iOS devices and on Android devices through Amazon Underground, dropping its previous $4 price...
Hearthstone photo
Hearthstone

This Hearthstone combo kills both players instantly


Compliments of Tavern Brawl
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Hearthstone's Auchenai Soulpriest is up to his old tricks again. As most Priest players know, this card swaps healing powers for damage, setting up some devastating combos if used on the enemy. But in the case of this week's ...
Republique photo
Republique

Republique gets a PS4 trailer, still isn't done nearly two years after launch


Five episodes
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
If you're interested in espionage narratives and stealth-based gameplay, Republique may be your huckleberry when it releases next year on PS4, with all five episodes bundled together. I enjoyed what I've played of the i...
Release the Drones photo
Release the Drones

Futurama lives on in new mobile game


Bite my shiny, metal microtransaction
Nov 24
// CJ Andriessen
Good news, everyone! Futurama, the twice-canceled sci-fi masterpiece, is coming back (yay!) as a mobile game (awe). Fox Digital Entertainment announced it is teaming up with German developer Wooga Games to make Futurama: Game...
Last Horizon photo
Last Horizon

Take a fateful trip beyond the sun in Last Horizon


Goodbye Earth, hello yawning black death
Nov 23
// Jonathan Holmes
Last Horizon is a space exploration game on Steam, Android, and iTunes where it's up to you to find a new home for the entire human race. It has the underlying sense of loneliness and dread that you might find in films like ...
Rayman Adventures photo
Rayman Adventures

Next month's Rayman looks great, I'll probably never play it


Coming December 3 to little fanfare
Nov 18
// Steven Hansen
People have said nothing but good things about Rayman Jungle Run and the third mobile Rayman game using the same assets (after Fiesta Run), Rayman Adventures, looks great. And while Jungle Run was limited as an endless runne...
Skylanders iOS photo
Skylanders iOS

Skylanders SuperChargers for iOS is basically the same as consoles, and that's crazy


You still need an iOS Portal
Nov 10
// Chris Carter
It's crazy how far mobile gaming has come in just a few short years. I still remember the wild west of mobile development with my iPod Touch, and how gems were plentiful enough, but mostly ancillary or retro experiences. Now,...
Hexagon photo
Hexagon

Super Hexagon goes 60FPS on iOS


Okay
Nov 05
// Chris Carter
Haha, okay. So, Super Hexagon, a game from 2012, just got an update on iOS. It's the new "2.0" version, and it makes the game run smoother, presumably a fix for the larger screens as of late. It's an all across the board...
Fallout second screen photo
Fallout second screen

You can download the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy app now


Plays a little game, too
Nov 05
// Steven Hansen
Calling all folks who bought that Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition what looks like you got a giant novelty gag dog poo on your wrist: Bethesda's Pip-Boy app is live on the App Store and Google Play. Certainly you'll feel alive, too,...
Emoji and GIFs photo
Emoji and GIFs

Text like you're in a nuclear wasteland with the official Fallout keyboard


Fallout C.H.A.T.
Nov 03
// Jed Whitaker
Bethesda has released an official Fallout-themed keyboard for iOS and Android called Fallout C.H.A.T. (or, Communications Hub and Transmitter). The app includes a custom keyboard that outputs text in old-timey black and white...
Neko Atsume photo
Neko Atsume

Super cute Japanese cat-collecting game now in English


Neko Atsume!
Nov 02
// Jordan Devore
Step 1: Place playthings and snacks in your yard. Step 2: Wait for cats to visit! That's advice for Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector (iOS, Android) and life in general. As of a recent update, the Japanese app is now also in Engli...

Review: Mushihimesama

Nov 02 // Chris Carter
Mushihimesama (Arcade, PC [reviewed], PS3, iOS, Xbox 360)Developer: CavePublisher: Degica (PC)MSRP: $19.99Released: October 12, 2004 (Arcade), December 15, 2011 (iOS), November 5, 2015 (PC) Mushihimesama is translated to "Bug Princess" in English, which is an apt name as an insectoid theme permeates the shooter. You may play the role of a human girl, but you'll ride on a bug, blast other bugs, and take on gigantic, intimidating bug bosses. This unconventional theme (shmups usually feature traditional spaceships) helps set Mushihimesama apart from the pack immediately. Don't expect anything in the way of a narrative, though -- the story is once again rather throwaway in favor of focusing on the action (a princess races to find a cure for her village). Bug Princess was crafted after cave had nearly 10 years of development experience under its belt, and the enemy and bullet designs really reflect that. You may have seen this infamous video from the game's Xbox 360 sequel (Mushihimesama Futari). While players won't be taking on that exact same encounter, the game's harder difficulties can get similarly insane. For those of you who opt for lower settings however, the game plays out more like a bullet purgatory, with deliberate patterns that are manageable and direct across all five stages. Because ultimately, great shmups aren't just action games, they have elements of puzzle titles peppered in as well. While blowing things up and earning a high score is paramount, the way that Cave and its competitors design enemy patterns indicates a huge attention to detail, as they're not just strewn about for good measure, and always have a counter to them with specific degrees of movement. This is especially true for Mushihimesama, and I enjoyed relearning some patterns as well as giving my twitch skills a test with the PC release. Thankfully, this edition also features full two-player co-op (with drop-in support) if you want to bring another friend into the mix. [embed]318273:60921:0[/embed] As a port, Mushihimesama far exceeds the amount of effort that went into Playism's localization of Touhou 14. It's fully translated, there's options for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, full screen mode, screen rotation (for vertical monitors), fully customizable controls (for keyboards and controllers), and allowances for UI additions like arcade joysticks and buttons. Players can also tweak the difficulty before each session (original, maniac, and ultra), including the total ship count and the points required to earn an extra life. It's a limitation of the first game, but I wish there were more characters, and not just three variations of the same princess. The difficulty curve is perfect, as original is manageable even by casual fans, maniac significantly steps things up a bit in a way veterans will appreciate, and maniac, for once, earns the moniker. Almost immediately with the latter difficulty, you'll see regular enemies fill up the entire screen with giant bullet-curtain mazes, forcing players to use everything they've picked up from the genre to survive. Although it wasn't factored into this assessment, there's a V1.5 "Matsuri" DLC available for $4.99 at launch that essentially adds in a new arranged mode with a remixed soundtrack. It's a bit redundant to say as nearly every Cave shooter is a "must play" title, but Mushihimesama is required reading for shmup fans. Whether you're going at it solo or with a friend, on the highest difficulty setting or the lowest, Mushihimesama is incredibly easy to spend an afternoon with for years to come. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Mushihimesama photo
Bug Princess finally hits PC
I was lucky to have been introduced to Cave shooters at a young age. I had a friend who lived in Japan and had family there, so he'd just bring games back over and we'd play them. Most were ported from the arcades to the PS2,...

Contra photo
Contra

There's a new Contra coming, for Android and iOS...in China


Ahhhh, so lame
Nov 02
// Chris Carter
These days, retro-era publishers can get desperate. While they've made their fortunes on the traditional arcade and console market, other revenue streams can seem enticing after others have struck gold in ways they've never s...
Jason photo
Jason

Jason terrorizes more Mortal Kombat X players today


Some of them will be teens
Oct 30
// Brett Makedonski
Like a mall Santa without any other prospects, Jason Voorhees lives for one time of year. (Or maybe he's dead? I don't know.) Regardless, Halloween is kind of Jason's bread and butter because then he can show up, scare some ...
Nintendo mobile photo
Nintendo mobile

Nintendo's first mobile app is Miitomo


Releasing next year
Oct 28
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is finally entering the mobile space with DeNA. Its first app to come out of the collaboration, Miitomo, is a Mii-centric free-to-play title about communicating with others. Miitomo was originally scheduled to launch...
Skullgirls 2 photo
Skullgirls 2

Audacious iOS developer rips off basically every fighting game


Skullgirls 2: A Deadly Adoption
Oct 23
// Mike Cosimano
I'm not into fighting games, so I have no experience with Skullgirls. The animation is gorgeous, but that's about where you lose me. However, I did sit in on a packed Lab Zero Games panel at Anime Expo, and let...
Gearbox photo
Gearbox

Gearbox is shutting down the Borderlands LootTheWorld app today


Oh yeah, this exists
Oct 22
// Chris Carter
If you're a fan of the LootTheWorld Borderlands app, you'll want to boot it up today and enjoy your final day with it -- Gearbox has announced that it's shutting down as of October 22. Previously, it allowed you to ...
Game of Thrones photo
Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Episode 6 dated, Episode 1 available free now


Winter is coming in Winter. Or something
Oct 21
// Vikki Blake
The final episode of Telltales' Game of Thrones series, The Ice Dragon, will release on November 17, 2015.  To celebrate, Episode 1 - Iron from Ice - is available for free on... well, everything (PlayStation 4, Play...

Downwell tips and tricks to get down the well well

Oct 20 // Steven Hansen
Advanced - Killing enemies without touching the ground builds combo. Use your Gunboots to control your descent and stomp on enemies (except bright red ones) whenever possible to refill ammunition. - Time voids. There are magic bubbles built into the walls of the well. Stop in them to grab chunks of 100 gems, hearts, and battery for your Gunboots (more ammo). As long as you crash land in the bubble, and not outside of it, it doesn't end your combo. - Stop & shop. The merchant's shop also has a time void. Buy batteries, health, and expand your health. Any heart you get when maxed out fills a little four-block white bar below your HP meter and filling that will also expand your max health. - Junk that isn't blocks or platforms can be stomped on for a brief pause in downward momentum, ammo refill, and a couple gems. All the detritus in the first area, the candles in the second area, and so on. - Turtles won't die to bullets, so you can empty your clip into them to really slow things down, then bop them for a refill if you need a reprieve or to take stock of what's below you. - End your combo at 25. All this talk of maintaining combos. This is because at 8 you get a 100 gem bonus, then a battery bonus, and finally, at 25, a heart bonus. Hearts are the most precious commodity, so forget the style points, just keep killing your combos at 25 and stock up on hearts. - The Knife and Fork upgrade (eat dead bodies for health sometimes) is great and so is the one that creates a blast whenever you stomp on enemies. Anything that shoots bullets upwards can be extra helpful starting in world 3 or so. - The Laser and Shotgun kind of suck at first with limited ammo, but they are powerful and, thus, probably the best late-game for controlling your fall. - Levitate Style for life. Playing the game unlocks new styles, like the 6HP, tubby Boulder style, but Levitate offers the easiest body control (comboooos), though you might reach a point where the fast-falling boulder helps shave seconds off your best time -- worry about getting to the end once, first. - There's a wall jump! It requires pretty perfect timing and can help in a pinch. Or at least for snuffing out candles in wall well rooms, picking up a couple gems like searching the couch for pennies.
Downwell guide photo
Tips, tricks, highlights, scores & stats
Downwell is one of the best games of the year and it's only $3. If the stellar reviews and word of mouth are enough to convince you that this game is excellent, you're in luck. And while it's pretty great to just learn how the game works through repeated, vicious deaths, here are some tips to get good quick. The Basics - Go down the well

Review: Downwell

Oct 20 // Steven Hansen
Downwell (PC [reviewed], Android, iOS)Developer: MoppinPublisher: Devolver DigitalReleased: October 15, 2015MSRP: $2.99 Downwell asks you to learn with it, explaining nothing outside of the control scheme (move with directional pad or analog, jump and shoot with one button) and the upgrades between levels. Initial expeditions down the well are clumsy. Your Gunboots start with limited charge (think: ammo) and you have to refill them by touching solid ground. Or -- wait, they refill when you stomp on an enemies' head, too? -- and, oh no, don't try and stomp on an enemy that is an angry bright red. These are the kind of things you learn as you delve deeper and deeper into Downwell's four worlds (three levels each) and they are presented intelligently. For example, the first spat of blood red enemies that you shouldn't be jumping on all have spikes, video game shorthand for danger. Later ones won't warn you so nicely. And of course there's trial and error, too, like touching a hot stove, for those who don't get it. Level randomization requires you stay engaged. Different power up offerings between levels will change how you play. Dimension-shattering time voids are occasionally cut into the well walls and host a treasure trove of gems or different ammunition. The latter is where the Super Crate Box comparison is obvious. [embed]316411:60790:0[/embed] Changing ammo isn't a strict necessity, but it practically is, given that picking up a new ammo types will often come with a heart or some battery charge for the Gunboots (more ammunition between reloads), but different ammo types function in drastically different ways. Shooting is actually more useful in fighting gravity and keeping yourself from falling too quickly into unseen trouble than it is for killing enemies; they should typically be bopped. Especially since bopping enemies fills your Gunboots and stringing together kills without touching down gives you rewards. It's best to stomp out enemies, using your ammo stores to occasionally slow your descent or send you across the screen to stomp something else. Aside from the constantly changing levels, ammo types, and upgrades, new "styles" are unlocked over time, like the "Boulder style," which features a much fatter boy who starts with six HP instead of four, but only gets to choose from two between-level upgrades instead of three. Then of course there are dozens of Palette options that change the colors of the game, though I have only found a handful I like as much as the default black, white and red. The variety makes the frequent deaths more palatable and I would probably buy a custom dedicated handheld that just played this game. Because death comes so quickly, health is at a premium. If you slowly inch your way down the well, stopping at every platform and dutifully eliminating enemies, you'll take forever and likely not rack up enough gems to clear out shops, which are operated by the the most adorable timeline version of a snowman (who gives a good disapproving face when you jump behind the counter). But as you get better and can chain combos, netting gem, battery (ammo) and health bonuses, you can stay in the black, even increase your max HP. It's all about building a better, more equipped you while you play. It's always fraught, mind. You are working against gravity and your stabilizing shots will sometimes rip the ground from under you as you destroy blocks on the way down that might have offered reprieve. Or you accidentally shoot an enemy you're coming up on, losing a chance to replenish your ammo, and end up in a dangerous free fall. My 15-hour transition from inelegant tank (Boulder style) laboring down the well to eyes-closed, 25-kill-combo (Levitate) falling with style has been a flurry of close calls, of "one more run," of consistently dying to the boss despite doubling my starting health. The knees-braced bullet pounding side winding across the screen to slow my descent, the meaty pop of brain stomping and the brief upward moment it grants before gravity yanks me down again. And for such a noble reason. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Downwell review photo
Falling with style
Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling down wells. Downwell is a game about getting down a well, but the only way to get down the well is to learn how to get down the well well. Because this Game Boy thr...


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