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Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle is hitting iOS today in the west (Update: Android too now)


Much better suited for mobile
Sep 01
// Chris Carter
[Update: it's also available on Android too.] If you haven't tried Pokemon Shuffle yet, now's your chance -- it's hitting iOS today in North America and Europe. It was always better suited as a mobile game anyway, one th...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Bring a controller
Final Fantasy VII hit iOS last week with a $15.99 price tag, which left a number of people skeptical as to how much work was put into it. After playing it however, I have to say that most of my fears were put to rest. By...

Clicker Heroes photo
Clicker Heroes

We're doomed: Clicker Heroes hits iOS, Android


Be strong
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
It's a good thing I swore off Clicker Heroes. It was bad enough playing the game on a desktop computer. Now, the perpetual time-waster is available for iOS and Android. There's no escape. For the uninitiated, this is an idle ...
Triple Triad iOS photo
Triple Triad iOS

Square Enix's Triple Triad iOS app is an embarassment


How is it possible to ruin Triple Triad
Aug 21
// Chris Carter
For those of you who aren't aware, Triple Triad is an iconic card game that originally debuted in Final Fantasy VIII. It was so iconic that Square decided to use it in multiple series entries over the years, most recentl...

Spider cheats photo
Spider cheats

Hate spiders but want to play Spider? Use this cheat code to play as a walrus


Goo goo g'joob
Aug 20
// Ben Davis
I reviewed Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it, but some readers were concerned about the fact that they would have to play as a spider, because, well... spiders are pretty creepy. If yo...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII hits iOS tonight


At midnight
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
When the clock strikes midnight in your country, Final Fantasy VII will be available on iOS. This version evidently offers up multiple controller options, including analog or digital movement. It also comes with some of...
Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Pac-Man 256, from the developers of Crossy Road, is out now


On Android and iOS
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
Developer Hipster Whale hit it big with Crossy Road, and for good reason -- it's a fantastic little mobile game. Now they're back with Pac-Man 256, which sees the iconic character in an endless runner format, wacka-ing his wa...
Fallout on Tinder photo
Fallout on Tinder

Bethesda wants you to swipe right on Vault Boy on Tinder


And then play Fallout Shelter
Aug 18
// Brett Makedonski
After all this time stuck in adverts for Vault-Tec, Vault Boy needs a little love too. The Fallout mascot has turned to matchmaking app Tinder to look for companionship. It's so awkward when you come across the profile o...
iOS controllers photo
iOS controllers

The Gamevice is the best controller I've used for iOS devices to date


Only for iPad mini though
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
MFi (made-for-iOS) controllers have been around for almost two years now, and slowly but surely, they've risen above their once niche appeal. Previously they were only available for a few devices, and could run upwards of $10...
Gathering Sky impressions photo
Gathering Sky impressions

Gathering Sky is out today on Steam and mobile, and it's quite relaxing


I want to fly like an eagle
Aug 13
// Ben Davis
Gathering Sky, a game from indie studio A Stranger Gravity about controlling a flock of birds, released on Steam, iOS, and Android today. I got a chance to play around with the Steam version this week, and it's a pretty neat ...
Woah Dave! Cross-Buy photo
Woah Dave! Cross-Buy

Woah Dave! is out next week on Wii U, Cross-Buy with 3DS


Out on August 20
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
I didn't really dig Woah Dave!, but a lot of people did, and those folks will be able to enjoy it on Wii U next week. As announced by developer Choice Provisions, it will be Cross-Buy with the 3DS, and if you already own...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter is now available on Android


For free, still
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
Fallout Shelter isn't as completely devoid of free-to-play tactics as Bethesda would have you believe, but even for a AAA mobile game, it's pretty good. While fans were pissed that it was only announced for iOS following thei...
Funcom photo
Funcom

Funcom's in a bad way after poor Lego MMO performance


Seeking merger, acquisition, or anything
Aug 12
// Brett Makedonski
Norwegian developer Funcom is seemingly in financial peril after its free-to-play turned pay-to-play game Lego Minifigures Online performed worse than expected. The company doesn't expect revenues from the Lego ...
 Evangelion photo
Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion invades Super Robot Wars X-Ω


Shinji Ikari returns
Aug 12
// Chris Carter
Before you get too excited, note that Super Robot Wars X-Ω is a mobile game. Ok with that out of the way, Bandai Namco has announced that Eva Unit 01 will be joining the cast of the game, complete with pilot Shinji Ikari. He joins guests from 28 properties, including Code Geass, Star Driver, Zegapain, and Full Metal Panic. Uh, this is enough for me to check it out at some point!
Vinyl photo
Vinyl

Get a load of these hexagonal vinyls for Super Hexagon


Begin
Aug 11
// Jordan Devore
At first glance, I just liked the colors of these limited-edition Super Hexagon vinyl records. Then I realized the sleeves are partially clear and, holy crap, the records are hexagonal! The EP features "Courtesy," "Otis," "Fo...
Sons of Anarchy photo
Sons of Anarchy

What the hell happened to the episodic Sons of Anarchy game released back in January?


I did some digging
Aug 10
// Chris Carter
[Update: a representative from Silverback (who presumably saw this article) has responded. They note that "Silverback Games was hired as a consultant to assist with the creative and some of the technical foundation for t...

Review: Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon

Aug 08 // Ben Davis
Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon (PC [reviewed], PS4, Vita, iOS, Android)Developer: Tiger StylePublisher: Tiger StyleRelease Date: August 6, 2015 (PC, iOS) / TBA (PS4, Vita, Android)MSRP: $12.99 Spider is primarily about eating insects and getting high scores. You play as the titular character in a large, seemingly abandoned estate, and come equipped with all of the skills a real spider would have. It can cling to almost any surface, move around very quickly, jump incredible distances, and spin webs to trap prey. Playing as a speedy, acrobatic hunter feels really great, and the controls are very responsive and precise. But on top of the slick web-slinging gameplay, there's also an underlying puzzle game hidden in the recesses of the estate for players who want to delve a bit deeper. The core gameplay is simple enough to learn the basics very quickly. Basically, jump from one surface to another while spinning a web to start building, and try to create geometric shapes which will be filled in automatically once completed. These webs will trap passing insects, which can then be eaten for points and more silk to spin more webs. Eating multiple insects without leaving the web will increase a combo meter, but the combo will reset to zero once the spider touches any other surface. [embed]297461:59879:0[/embed] Gameplay leaves plenty of room to develop new skills and strategies to maximize your score. Combos remain as long as the spider is touching a web, so you can try building multiple webs to jump between to keep the combo going. More points are earned by eating smaller insects first and saving the larger and rarer ones until the combo meter has built up a bit, so figuring out which insects to catch and eat in which order can drastically alter your score. Different insects require different strategies to eat them. Most have to be caught in a web, but some will need to be led into the web somehow and some can only be caught in strong webs. These strong insects might destroy webs that are too weak, releasing any other captured insects in the process. Other insects can only be killed by being tackled, such as hornets and ants. These have a separate combo meter which runs out in ten seconds unless the spider tackles another insect to keep it going. Just jump into them to eat them. No webs necessary! But be careful, because some of them can fight back. Spider also has an interesting time and weather mechanic. The game detects your location and mimics the current time and weather in-game, between four different scenarios (clear day, rainy day, clear night, and rainy night). You can choose to opt out of the location services as well, in which case it just uses the developer's location. It also tracks the current phase of the moon if it's a clear night. The time, weather, and moon phases all affect gameplay in different ways. Certain insects only come out when it's daytime or while it's raining, and some areas can only be accessed during certain weather conditions. Sometimes, the level will feel completely different between night and day. For example, one level in the barn is filled with a normal variety of flying insects during the day, but at night it becomes infested with hornet nests, totally changing the way you play it. My only complaint is that I felt some of the levels could have used more obvious differences between the various time and weather scenarios, but for the most part there was a good variety. Then there are the moon phases, and this is where the underlying puzzle game comes in. While roaming the estate as a spider, you'll come across secret areas and clues pertaining to certain mysteries. Many of these clues can only be found and solved if special requirements are met, such as playing during a new moon or at night while it's raining, although some of them can also be completed whenever. Solving mysteries will unlock more areas to play, and the game cannot be truly beaten until all clues are found and the final mystery is solved. While time traveling and altering weather mechanics is an option for those less patient players, Spider is really meant to be played slowly over a period of time. Try playing at different times of the day to find new stuff. Or if it starts to rain one day, then try to find some time to jump into the game and see what all has changed with the gloomy weather. Once you start finding clues, you can begin to synchronize your gaming schedule with the phases of the moon and plan out certain nights to return to the game to check on something. Eventually, as the month goes on, you'll start to unravel the mysteries of the estate. Or, if you don't care about all that, there's still the incredibly fun web-slinging, insect-catching action to focus on, which should be more than enough to keep you engaged. I'm sure some players will be more involved with achieving high scores and climbing up the leaderboards than trying to solve riddles and look for clues. Either way you choose to play, it's still a great game. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Spider review photo
Strong web
I will take any opportunity to play as an animal in a video game. Let me control a dolphin, a wolf, a shark, or even a tiny little mosquito and I'm happy. As you surely already guessed, Rite of the Shrouded Moon puts the...

Lara Croft GO captures the essence of pure Tomb Raider

Aug 08 // Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft GO fits soundly into that latter category by more than just name alone. Despite being a mobile title, it nicely captures the spirit of the very first Tomb Raider games. Donning her classic outfit, Lara works through level after level in search of an artifact. Puzzle-solving and exploration are earmarks, just as they had been all those years ago. However, the mobile format is what makes GO distinct. Rather than continuous action, this game is turn-based which places a greater emphasis on thinking before moving. A rudimentary example might be a pair of snakes that are facing opposite directions. You always have to attack from the side or back, lest they strike and kill you first. There's only one path that allows for the correct order of operations; the others just leave you dead. But, even when Lara Croft GO deals out frustration, it doesn't negate progress. This is the mobile crowd, after all -- a group that might not have the patience to have its time wasted. Checkpoints come frequently and everything is ever-so bite-sized. On a micro-level, the scale of each section is obviously intentional. Routon says that the studio knows who it's developing for. Despite Lara Croft GO allowing for minimal time investments, Square Enix Montreal is seeing a more encouraging trend. "People intend to play for five minutes, and they end up playing for an hour or more," Routon comments. "We tell playtesters they can leave, but they say they want to finish this puzzle first. I guess that's not a bad thing." [embed]297421:59880:0[/embed] It really doesn't come as a surprise that people don't want to put Lara Croft GO down. It elegantly encapsulates what makes Tomb Raider work, and boils it down to its purest form. Swipe, swipe, swiping on the screen is so simple, yet it doesn't feel cheap to lead Lara on an adventure in this fashion. Helping production values are the strong aesthetic and the narrative told only through gameplay details. Although it's in the mobile market, Square Enix Montreal prices its titles more traditionally. GO will be available on August 27, but the cost is unknown right now (Hitman Go released at $4.99). Once invested, this game is fully playable at any speed; there are no energy meters to temper progress. Routon confirmed that there will be microtransactions of some sort, but their nature will be puzzle solutions for those who are struggling. In a wasteland of freemium games, this price model is commendable. More commendable, however, is the way that Square Enix Montreal boldly gets back to the roots of Tomb Raider. Series veterans will rediscover a Lara Croft that they know and love in a format that's undiscovered to them. Fitting, seeing as Tomb Raider should be all about discovery.
Lara Croft GO preview photo
Swipe right
Antoine Routon grinned. "We have people knocking down our door saying 'Can you do our game too?'" Routon's the lead programmer at Square Enix Montreal -- the publisher's studio that's dedicated to mobile titles. Square Enix h...

Camp Pokemon photo
Camp Pokemon

Camp Pokemon, that kid-friendly iOS app, gets an update


For kids...right ::shifty eyes::
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
If you have kids and you want them to chill out for a while, you can try handing them a tablet with Camp Pokemon on it. It's basically an iOS app with various Pokemon-related activities on it, and as of yesterday, it jus...

Review: Angry Birds 2

Jul 31 // Chris Carter
Angry Birds 2 (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 6])Developer: Rovio EntertainmentPublisher: Rovio EntertainmentRelease Date: July 30, 2015MSRP: Free-to-play Yes, it's still the same concept as before -- you'll take a handful of birds, and with the help of a slingshot, fire them into the path of evil pigs. Just like before, it's still really fun to unwind and fling things around, and actual designs of some of these forts and contraptions hasn't gotten stale. Sure it's mostly mindless, but there's a great degree of skill involved with Angry Birds as well, like identifying specific objects like TNT, and certain degrees of structural integrity to do the most damage. This depth is aided by the fact that like in Angry Birds Star Wars II, you can choose individual birds to use in each level. Levels are much more interesting as you can now approach them multiple ways, not only in terms of figuring out solutions, but different methodologies in which to reach your end goal. It's also a beautiful game, and Rovio has mastered their craft to the point where it has production values much like a fully-fledged Disney experience. I love how bright everything is, and how charming the character designs are even to this day. Now here comes the bad news -- Rovio got greedy. Unfortunately, it has heavily incorporated free-to-play elements into the game in just about every way possible. There's an energy meter, there are in-app-purchases (IAP), and it constantly nags you to connect to Facebook. Let me break it down though so you better understand exactly what went wrong. In terms of energy, players can thankfully continue to play levels without using up your stock of five "hearts," but if you fail a level once, you'll need to use some stock. This is an issue after level 20 or so, as stages become so complex that you'll often need to give them a go a few times. [embed]296952:59745:0[/embed] It also exposes the "multi-tier" format of Angry Birds 2's stage design. In short, each individual world map level can have multiple arenas within it, so if you fail on a later tier, you'll fail the whole thing. It's actually a cool idea in theory, as you have to play conservatively and try to earn more lives constantly, but it all falls apart when you add in an energy scheme. IAP feels wholly unnecessary, as the game charges a ton of "gems" to continue mid-level after failing to come back to life. Gems are earned at a rate of roughly one continue per 45 minutes, lest you opt to buy them. The sad part is that unlike most of the iterations in the past, there's no option for a premium version. Say what you will about the franchise, but Rovio has generally done pretty well in a sea of freemium-fests over the years, providing fans with a way to buy a game outright. But with Angry Birds 2, you'll have to suffer through all of the fixin's that Rovio forced into the game. Angry Birds 2 proves that the Angry formula is still fun, but Rovio isn't doing itself any favors by gating that fun left and right. Angry Birds is supposed to be a series you can just pick up and play, and I have no idea what they were thinking here -- other than "more money."
Angry Birds 2 review photo
I'm the angry one
As I've said a million times in the past, I have no real problem with the original Angry Birds and the initial string of sequels. Yes, it was a derivative of Crush the Castle, but Banjo-Kazooie was a derivative of M...

Race the Sun photo
Race the Sun

Race the Sun is fantastic, fun, and free today on PC


Can't beat that price
Jul 30
// Brett Makedonski
They say that going solar-powered is a cheap and efficient use of renewable energy. Solar-powered endless runner Race the Sun is the most cost-effective it'll ever be, but for today only. Like the game, it's over when t...
Angry Birds 2 photo
Angry Birds 2

None of the Angry Birds 2 Angry Birds look like happy birds


Flippin' the bird
Jul 30
// Brett Makedonski
Like a story Alfred Hitchcock once told, our fine, feathered friends aren't in a good mood today. The aviary community is up in wings over the launch of Angry Birds 2 on Android and iOS. They're irritated, upset, pissed...
Dropsy photo
Dropsy

Well, I'm no longer afraid of Dropsy the clown


I am scared of whatever that was at 0:35
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
Dropsy is a well-intentioned, upbeat clown who happens to be utterly terrifying. He's misunderstood! Given my fear of grotesque clowns, I've kept my distance, but curiosity got the better of me here. I clicked the trailer. It...
Rhythm Thief photo
Rhythm Thief

Rhythm Thief on iOS is getting shut down this September


It's one of those online-only games
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
Rhythm Thief & The Paris Caper is the latest casualty of war in Sega's efforts to purge its mobile catalog for quality concerns. As of today nothing may be purchased within the app, and on September 28, 2015, it will be c...
Cool iOS game photo
Cool iOS game

Prune looks like a must-play for iOS users


No in-app purchases
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
Every now and then, Twitter throws a wonderful iOS recommendation my way and I'm immediately captivated. Today, it's Joel McDonald's Prune, "a game about the beauty and joy of cultivation." By smartly slicing off a tree's gro...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter (Death)claws its way to Android in mid-August


Can you survive until then?
Jul 24
// Brett Makedonski
It doesn't quite carry the weight of the "available now on iOS" announcement from E3, but Fallout Shelter will come to Android devices in just under three weeks' time. Bethesda's revealed that it's set for an August 13 l...
Dinofour photo
Dinofour

Dinofour is a really cute take on the Lost Vikings formula


Switch between four dinosaurs
Jul 17
// Chris Carter
Dinofour was brought to my attention this week, and based on the adorable art, I decided to give it a try -- I wasn't disappointed. As a massive fan of Lost Vikings, I immediately took to the gameplay, which sees four dinosau...
Secret of Mana photo
Secret of Mana

The Secret of Mana cast pops up in Rise of Mana!


As bosses
Jul 13
// Chris Carter
Ok, so I kind of want to try Rise of Mana now, despite the fact that it looks like a cheap mobile knockoff. Evidently as part of a special event with the Vita version of the game in Japan, the original Secret of Mana&nbs...
Fallout photo
Fallout

Fallout Shelter gets a patch that fixes baby-making issues


Gotta repopulate the Earth I guess
Jul 10
// Chris Carter
I still go back to Fallout Shelter every so often in a casual capacity (it's mobile, am I right, yuck yuck), and one of the things I've noticed is that it takes a long time to make a baby, which can severely impact the p...
Rhythm of Fighters photo
Rhythm of Fighters

Download SNK's The Rhythm of Fighters before it's delisted


Disappearing July 15, 2015
Jul 10
// Jordan Devore
We've got less than a week to download The Rhythm of Figthers - SNK Original Sound Collection before SNK Playmore removes the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The company thanked fans for their support but did n...

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