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Disney Infinity 3.0 photo
Disney Infinity 3.0

Disney Infinity 3.0 has Star Wars, Marvel, and Mulan


The Starter Pack releases this fall
May 06
// Jordan Devore
Following last week's leak, Disney has come out with full details for Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, which introduces Star Wars to the game/toy platform this fall. For Play Sets, we're looking at: Star Wars: Twilight of the R...
Galaga x Tekken photo
Galaga x Tekken

When Tekken met Galaga


Did it for the dumb Photoshop
Apr 27
// Jordan Devore
Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning? I don't know about all that, but the idea of Galaga x Tekken sounds damn fine to me. It originally entered our consciousness on April Fools' Day, but i...
Hearthstone on phones photo
Hearthstone on phones

Hearthstone's availability on smartphones is bad for my health


Custom deck building at red traffic lights
Apr 22
// Chris Carter
When Hearthstone made its way to the iPad, I may or may not have played it for two weeks straight. My wife and I would sit down by the fire (or hearth, if you will) with our iPad and laptop in-hand and play for hours whi...
Apple Watch Gaming photo
Apple Watch Gaming

Adventure time with WayForward's Watch Quest: Heroes of Time for Apple Watch


Mathematical?
Apr 14
// Jed Whitaker
The first adventure game made exclusively for Apple Watch, Watch Quest: Heroes of Time, has just been announced by WayForward. Your iPhone will serve as your kingdom, while your journey takes place on your shiny new Appl...
Hearthstone photo
Hearthstone

No escape: Hearthstone is now playable on phones


iPhone 4S and newer
Apr 14
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard's digital collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (that's harthstone, not herthstone) will be available as a free download on iPhone and Android phones beginning today. If you mispronounce the name, Kyle will break into your home, drop your phone in the toilet, and steal all of your rice. He told me that and whispered while saying it so he means business here.
Lara Croft: Relic Run photo
Lara Croft: Relic Run

Lara Croft's in a new mobile runner \_(ツ)_/


The Lara you used to know and love
Apr 13
// Brett Makedonski
Crystal Dynamics has announced a new mobile runner titled Lara Croft: Relic Run. The name's fittingly nebulous. Is Lara running after relics? Or, is the old-school Lara the running relic, a classic character hearkening back t...
DuckTales photo
DuckTales

In case you missed it, DuckTales Remastered is on iOS and Android


With controller support
Apr 13
// Chris Carter
DuckTales Remastered was released in 2013, and despite a few nagging issues, it was a fantastic platformer. Now thanks to WayForward you can play it on iOS and Android for $9.99, and it's actually not half bad. The key is to...
Professor Layton 7 photo
Professor Layton 7

Professor Layton 7 is coming to smartphones, maybe not the 3DS


A vampire whodunit
Apr 07
// Chris Carter
Back in 2013, Layton 7, the newest game in the series at the time, was announced for iOS, Android, and 3DS. Now it seems like the latter platform has been cut out entirely, as developer Level-5 unveiled its work so far on the...
Dual iOS impressions photo
Dual iOS impressions

'Dual' is a really cool mobile shoot 'em up that functions over two devices


With a fair 'one person buys' setup
Apr 06
// Chris Carter
The other day I ran across a newly released shooter for iOS and Android called Dual. The whole gimmick is that it uses two devices to function, with a screen that spans between them. By forming a tenuous Voltron-esque link you can play two modes, versus and co-op. Although it is a free download, thankfully, only one person needs to buy the premium version ($1.99) to play the latter mode.

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is out today, and it kicks the crap out of All the Bravest

Mar 26 // Chris Carter
Unlike Bravest's soulless narrative, Record Keeper's setup is actually kind of cute. Individuals in a mysterious realm are charged with protecting the records of countless lands, literally framed within various paintings. After an evil darkness descends upon the world the records have been seemingly lost, leaving it to you, a titular record keeper, to bring them back. Under normal circumstances, only a master would be allowed to tinker with said records, but a top Mog in the order grants you permission to save the day. Like I said, cute. So let's get right to it -- the game is free-to-play, but follows a much different strategy than the aforementioned disaster of a game. There is an energy system (stamina), and items can be purchased by way of microtransactions (IAP), but you can completely enjoy the game without having to resort to buying anything. The core of Record Keeper's success is that stamina refills at a pretty respectable rate, which keeps you playing more often than most titles with the same mechanic. Additionally, the premium currency can be earned in-game through normal play by doing well, and the story doesn't feel gated to goad you into paying to win. The experience itself is fanservice at its finest. You'll dive into various classic Final Fantasy titles, reliving key moments like the bombing of the Mako Reactor, leveling up, and acquiring new party members (like Cloud) and equipment. Keeper's active-time-based combat isn't just a swipe fest, as you can use magic and abilities, as well as defend and use limit breaks of sorts called Soul Breaks. Although it doesn't get as involved as the core series there's a bit of strategic depth to it with mechanics such as elemental weaknesses, and the tap-based controls are precise. [embed]289548:57917:0[/embed] The best part about the combat system is that it doesn't really feel unfair, to the point where if you play smart, you should be able to overcome most of the tasks placed in front of you. Square Enix could have easily sleazed this bit to get you to cough up some cash, but at least with this collaboration with DeNA (yep, that DeNA), it seems to have learned from its mistakes. The reward loop is generous for a free game, which should encourage players to want to spend money. It may not make as much cash as All the Bravest as a result, but it feels a lot less criminal. You can find Final Fantasy: Record Keeper on iOS and Android today if you want to give it a shot.
FF: Record Keeper photo
Great in short bursts
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest was a travesty. It played itself, it was pretty abrasive in its pandering, and the microtransactions were so pushy that it was hard to enjoy it without feeling like you were constantly being sold something. Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is another free-to-play game in the same vein, but it's a much better effort that doesn't feel straight-up insulting to fans.

Review: Jump'N'Shoot Attack

Mar 26 // Tony Ponce
Jump'N'Shoot Attack (Android, iOS [reviewed], Windows Phone)Developer: FreakZone GamesPublisher: ScrewAttack GamesReleased: March 26, 2015 (Android, iOS) / TBA (Windows Phone)MSRP: $2.59 You are Louise Lightfoot. The President has been captured by mutants. In order to save him, you must follow these specific instructions: Jump. Shoot. Every so often, jump and shoot at the same time. So... Mega Man? Yeah, kinda! Only the commands are more explicit here, since the only two actions at your disposal are jumping and shooting. Jump'N'Shoot Attack is an auto-runner, only less Canabalt and more Rayman Jungle Run and Fiesta Run. There are four worlds split into four stages apiece, and Louise will hoof through each without a care. To jump, tap anywhere on the left half of the screen; to shoot, tap anywhere on the right half. Simple and responsive! [embed]289538:57919:0[/embed] Your gun can be upgraded twice by collecting power-ups -- the first upgrade grants a double shot, while the second bestows the mighty spread shot. Raising the stakes even further is a jetpack item found in certain stages which transforms the action into a deadlier version of Jetpack Joyride. The 16 stages are rather short, so to compensate, they've been packed with enough enemies and obstacles to give your thumbs a proper workout. Between adjusting the height of your jumps to cross narrow platforms and hammering the trigger because your gun is not rapid-fire, you'll be feeling the burn before long! One small mercy is that Louise stops running if she hits a wall, so use the break to regain composure before hopping over and storming onward. For completionists, three gems can be found in each level. As expected, collecting these gems often requires you to skirt closer to death than you'd prefer. Case in point, you may reach a fork in the path, with one branch leading to a gem and the other to a power-up that would make the rest of the level less stressful. As concentrated as the challenge is, however, the overall length is still on the tragically low end -- on my first run, collecting the gems in all but two levels, I finished in just over an hour. There's even an achievement for clearing the game in under 10 minutes! Unless you are a serious achievement or high-score hunter, it's unlikely that you'll return to Jump'N'Shoot Attack once the credits roll. There's a solid foundation that I hope FreakZone will expand upon. Rayman Jungle Run got a free update that added more levels, so perhaps that's a possibility here as well. Could we maybe get some boss battles too? It's a shame to have a game that so clearly draws inspiration from Mega Man and Contra but skimps out on the meaty encounters that highlight those series. So will Jump'N'Shoot Attack spark a mobile renaissance and win over the hardcore masses? Probably not. Is it a solid runner that delivers a tough but responsive platforming experience as promised? Absolutely. Gold star for effort.
Jump'N'Shoot Attack photo
Something, something, Egoraptor reference
Four Christmases ago, I joined the smartphone brigade when I found an iPhone 4S nestled under the tree. Oh boy! I thought. Now I can grab all those iOS games that people can't shut up about! And for a couple of years, I was a...

Nintendo mobile photo
Nintendo mobile

Nintendo talks NX, mobile game pricing, DeNA partnership


'Nintendo will continue its [console] business with even stronger passion'
Mar 18
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is finally entering the mobile game space through a collaboration with DeNA. Why now? As CEO Satoru Iwata explained to TIME, "We have come to the stage where we can say that we will be able to develop and operate so...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X doesn't lose any brutality in its mobile version


Practice your tapping
Mar 12
// Brett Makedonski
Just because it's running on devices that aren't as powerful as PC or consoles, doesn't mean that Mortal Kombat X tones down the violence for its mobile version. No, judging by this gameplay video, all the skull-crunchi...
Lost Within photo
Lost Within

Human Head is back with mobile survival horror title Lost Within


Coming to iOS and Fire devices
Mar 09
// Jordan Devore
Last I heard of Human Head Studios, it had taken over development on Minimum (and, prior to that, was working on Prey 2 until publisher Bethesda finally said stop). The company is now putting out a mobile horror title called...
Breaking Bad photo
Breaking Bad

This Breaking Bad 'inspired' weed game on iOS is just....


Can't even
Mar 04
// Chris Carter
While scrolling about in the iOS app store I found a game called Breaking Farm -- or as it's known by its other name, "Impending Lawsuit." The story involves "Weedsenberg," who watches a "famous television series" a...
Rockman Xover photo
Rockman Xover

Rockman Xover will be shut down at the end of this month


Mega Man was dead, risen on mobile, will he rise again?
Mar 03
// Chris Carter
Have you experienced the trainwreck that is Rockman Xover yet? The free mobile game may not be available in the west, but it's still the only surviving and active Mega Man game -- that is, until the end of this mont...
Republique photo
Republique

At long last, Republique is out on PC via Steam, GOG.com, and the Humble Store


The developer made good on its promise
Feb 26
// Chris Carter
Once upon a time it felt like Republique would never make it to PC after its successful Kickstarter campaign. Thankfully though developer Camoflaj has been open about the process, guiding us through the series of delays until...
Mizuguchi's 18 photo
Mizuguchi's 18

Rez, Lumines creator working on puzzle RPG '18'


Well, the art is great
Feb 20
// Jordan Devore
On a few separate occasions this year, I've been reminded that Rez exists and felt a flood of guilt after recalling how long it's been since I last played this ridiculously cool sequence (too long). A new Rez, or Rez HD on c...
Endless snowboarding photo
Endless snowboarding

Stylish endless snowboarder Alto's Adventure now on iPhone and iPad


It's nice when mobile games respect your time
Feb 19
// Jordan Devore
It's rare that I cover mobile games here but I couldn't let Alto's Adventure slide by me. This is pegged as an "endless snowboarding odyssey" with a one-button trick system and 180 goals to best. Other things worth noting be...
Mighty Switch Force photo
Mighty Switch Force

Mighty Switch Force! makes the jump to iOS with a funky trailer


Well that was sudden
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
WayForward sent me an interesting note today -- Mighty Switch Force! is coming to iOS in the form of Mighty Switch Force! Hose it Down. Wait, what?! This isn't going to operate just like past entries though, as it is not a t...

Review: Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect: Episode One

Feb 03 // Chris Carter
Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect: Episode One (iOS [reviewed], PC)Developer: Orpheus Interactive, Silverback GamesPublisher: Fox Digital EntertainmentReleased: January 29, 2015 (iOS) / TBA (PC)MSRP: $2.99 per episode ($14.99 Season Pass) Plain and simple, this is a Telltale-style affair complete with item-based seek-and-finds, player choice, and a ton of dialogue. In other words, there's little room for exploration as you hop from one tiny child-sized sandbox to another -- otherwise known as the new school adventure genre. As a grizzled veteran who has spent hours pixel hunting in Myst and King's Quest, I'm generally okay with the push towards more visual novel and less adventure. Some of you may not be. The Prospect kicks things off with a rather interesting flash forward, giving the player character a choice to execute someone else with a bag over their head. Who is this hooded person? Are you even in control of the "main" character, or are you in the hood, and are you deciding to pull the trigger on yourself? It's a neat method of storytelling and likely won't be explored until the finale. [embed]287005:57140:0[/embed]The core narrative however will be spent setting things up for the rest of the tale. You'll meet the main character, whose Dad is terminally ill and could go at any moment. His brother happens to be part of the notorious Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club (this time called SAMLIN, based in Oregon), and his father thinks that he's been saving up to send his favorite son to college -- only, you've been spending that cash to keep the lights on, and keep him alive. Methods to earn unscrupulous cash are literally knocking at the door. Over the course of the show we've seen many unlikely people become members of the club, and it's interesting to see it unfold from their eyes. Your landlord, the local police, your dad, and of course the Sons play a vital role in your character's future, and the hook actually isn't bad. There's also some loose ties to the show with fan-favorite character Tig Trager, also played by Kim Coates, who makes a decent impression and not just a cameo. Thematically the dialogue is also very similar to the show, which is fine by me, but may offend others. In other words, the dialogue is very male-driven, and you'll likely find plenty of sexist and racist lines in the first 15 minutes. But while the setup is great on paper, the actual follow-through isn't so exciting. Visually the game looks similar to something Telltale would create, but with less emphasis on character design and world building. It just feels off and uninspired at points, like development was straight-up rushed. The motorcycle portions are probably this biggest offender, all of which feature the same dark highway. Choices aren't that prevalent either, so the visual novel comparison couldn't be more apt. You basically get a few options to shoot people or not, and that's about it. There are "relationship" counters of sorts where if you say something mean an icon will pop up with a "minus" symbol, or a heart symbol for something favorable. There's no indication that these actually mean anything or will matter later on. This initial episode will run you $1.99, and the season pass costs $15, which will net you all 10 episodes. This is a rough prospect, because although I am supportive of the episodic format, I'm generally in for four or five -- ten is way too many, to the point where a mere hour is very difficult to really drive anything meaningful home. Even the show started running hour and a half episodes eventually. Maybe this will turn out great over time with the planned PC version as a bundle, but the jury is still out. Even with its faults, The Prospect really isn't as bad as it looks. The cheap fan service of Tig (one of my favorites) drew me in, and the idea of slowly working your way into the Sons of Anarchy is fun enough. Since there are going to be so many episodes, I'll likely do a check-in at the halfway point and again at the end. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Sons of Anarchy review photo
SAMCRO takes a backseat
I was skeptical of Sons of Anarchy at first, but once I realized it was Hamlet on wheels I was in. Its seven season run wasn't perfect (particularly the Belfast plotline), but it kept me thoroughly entertained throu...

Crossy Road Android photo
Crossy Road Android

Download Crossy Road from Google Play and wonder where the day went


It's like Frogger, except kids recognize it
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
Hipster Whale's endless mobile hit Crossy Road was previously only available from the Apple App Store and Amazon, but now Android users can play the game through Google Play, too. I like Crossy Road, but not as much as some p...
Monument Valley photo
Monument Valley

Monument Valley apparently has a 95% piracy rate on Android, 60% on iOS


Wow
Jan 07
// Chris Carter
Although I haven't had the chance to finish it, Monument Valley is a rad indie mobile game. Sadly, developer Ustwo has shed some light on some recent sales data, and it doesn't look good. According to its numbers, only 5...
Bravely Default photo
Bravely Default

Bravely Archive: D's Report is a thing now for iOS/Android


And it's officially a franchise
Dec 23
// Chris Carter
After I finished Bravely Default and unlocked the secret ending, I thought to myself "please make this a franchise." I know the sequel was already greenlit by Square Enix, but I wanted the series to continue -- perhaps b...
GTA photo
GTA

GTA: Chinatown Wars out now on Android


Also, it's gone universal on iOS
Dec 22
// Chris Carter
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was an odd release. Rockstar decided to support a Nintendo platform and it paid off critically, but for whatever reason it never took off, and was ported to the PSP later that year a...
Free games photo
Free games

Halfbrick makes some good games, and now all the iOS ones are free


Happy holidays
Dec 18
// Brett Makedonski
Ah, the holiday season. That awkward time of year when you're expected to be in the same room as your extended family, talking to your great aunt that you barely remember about how no, you're not in school anymore; you gradua...
Hearthstone photo
Hearthstone

Hearthstone is now available everywhere on Android


Finally
Dec 18
// Chris Carter
After a soft launch in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available worldwide. You'll need to sport a 6" (or larger) Android device to run it though, so don't try and squint on you...
Lords of the Fallen photo
Lords of the Fallen

Angry Viking simulator Lords of the Fallen is coming to iOS and Android


Interesting
Dec 18
// Chris Carter
Well this is an interesting turn of events. Despite not having a version of the game out for the Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii U platforms, developer Deck13 Interactive will release Lords of the Fallen on iOS and Android de...

Review: Peggle Blast

Dec 06 // Chris Carter
Peggle Blast (Android, iOS [reviewed])Developer: PopCapPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: December 2, 2014MSRP: Free (with in-app purchases) As expected, this is Peggle in mobile form. Swipe to aim and tap to shoot. It's all very accurate and intuitive. Just like the past games in the series it's a modified version of Pachinko, guiding balls to clear out orange pegs and gaining tons of points in the process. Bank shots, combo shots, and precision aiming are still key mechanics, and I still haven't gotten bored of the formula nearly eight years after the launch of the first title. It's fun at first in the tutorial zone, where the game tricks you into thinking it's fair. Then the bullshit starts to come into play. For starters, the developers have added "fire" to the mix. If a ball hits fire in select levels, it is lost. Of course, balls are limited just like the other games, but now you'll have to pay if you lose them all and want to keep playing. Yep, strike one is an energy mechanic. This is not only sleazy due to the erratic and unpredictable nature of Peggle, where a ball could fly into any corner at any given time no matter how good the player's aim is, but it also defeats the feel-good, positive nature of the series. When a ball fell into a pit after hitting no pegs in the past, it felt like the player's fault, and with the "free ball" bucket mechanic, there was always hope that a bad shot would become a good play. With balls just fizzling up in flames before they can hit the bucket, that's all gone -- better have that wallet ready. Lives take half an hour to regenerate, or of course, cold hard cash will do the trick. Lots of other things can take away lives too, like "phoenix eggs," which need to be hit multiple times to hatch, lest they randomly fall and cost a precious life. Why do these mechanics even exist? [embed]284665:56561:0[/embed] You better still have that wallet out when you access a new set of levels, because you need to wait six hours before playing them, unless you recruit sleaze your Facebook friends for instant access. Oh, and did I mention the power-ups, which are constantly thrown at you and are custom-tailored to certain difficult levels? Or the fact that the game attempts to sell them to you when you're about to lose? It's a shame, because I really want to move on and see some of those new adorable Peggle Masters that were added, but this is too much to handle. Just look at the potential in-app purchase list on this iTunes page. EA literally has Peggle on mobile devices right now with a model where you purchase the entire game. Why in the five hells of Cthulhu are they monetizing a franchise that has already seen a massive amount of success on the platform? Look EA, if you want to make the next Candy Crush, I get it, but don't use the Peggle franchise to chase that dragon. I've reviewed over a hundred mobile games since the iOS market caught on, and I've seen it all. I've seen games with microtransactions, energy systems and more, and a lot of those titles were actually pretty reasonable and fun to play in spurts. Peggle Blast however is a complete 180 from what the franchise once was, and the entire philosophy that PopCap created does not fit this model in any way, shape, or form. It would be a lot easier to swallow if there was what I call a "buy-out" option, which lets you essentially purchase the entire game for a fee, eliminating all of this nonsense. But you cant, because the experience is custom-tailored around the worst kind of microtransactions. I don't think this can be saved. EA needs to stop this bullshit with their mobile line, because they've had a pretty decent thing going on recently with games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Ruining all of the goodwill that Popcap has built up over the years is a damn shame. EA is doing some things right in the current climate, but the publisher has consistently shown us that it cannot move forward without taking multiple steps back. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Peggle Blast photo
Bjorn, what have they done to you
My criteria for enjoying a game with microtransactions is simple -- am I having fun, and can I consistently have fun without feeling like I need to pay out? Unlike some people who hate microtransactions on sheer principl...

Tomb Raider II photo
Tomb Raider II

My favorite Tomb Raider game is out now on iOS for $1.99


I know the suspense is killing you
Dec 05
// Chris Carter
Tomb Raider II is by far my favorite Lara Croft adventure. Although the visuals are dated by today's standards, the locales and sense of adventure pretty much have no equal for me. I remember spending roughly 30 hours pl...

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