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Binding of Isaac photo
Binding of Isaac

Apple rejects The Binding of Isaac for depicting child abuse


How do they explain Candy Crush then?
Feb 07
// Jed Whitaker
Remember the other day when we reported The Binding of Isaac is coming to iPad? Well, looks like that may not be the case now, as Apple has rejected the game. Apple apparently doesn't allow software depicting violence t...

Review: Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories

Feb 02 // Alissa McAloon
Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories (Android, iOS [reviewed], PC)Developer: NatsumePublisher: NatsumeReleased: January 13, 2016MSRP: $9.99 This is the first time a traditional Harvest Moon game has released for mobile, and I was honestly surprised by how functional the controls were. There are two different ways to interact with the world -- talk mode and farm mode -- but both control by tapping and dragging your finger across the screen. Even in farm mode, there's no need to switch between tools; tapping a plot of farmable land automatically uses whichever tool is appropriate, be it a hoe, watering can, or fertilizer. The downside to this is it's easy to accidentally till a circle around the plant you're trying to water. That's not the biggest problem in the world, but it is entirely the reason the neat rows of seeds I tried to plant look like a drunken art project. As with any Harvest Moon game, Seeds of Memories starts when your character, a young traveler, decides to settle into a small town and transform an abandoned farm into a productive, fertile homestead. After a quick tutorial, you discover that the townspeople have lost some of their memories and, by making some new memories of your own, you can help them remember.  There's a few good fishing spots, a mountain to explore, and a town filled with various characters to chat with. If you're familiar with this series, you'll find it easy to quickly slip into a daily routine of farm chores, foraging, and potential spouse romancing. But for those in need of a little more motivation, there is a list of memory milestones that represent different accomplishments to be made, from celebrating a townsperson's birthday to upgrading your house. Chasing down all 150 memories helps introduce more direction into a game that is otherwise somewhat aimless.  It isn't hard to find busywork, but after a while it becomes difficult to find a reason to keep playing. Even with all of the memories and events to experience, Seeds of Memories simply lacks the personality and charm past titles have brought to the franchise. The townspeople never seemed interesting beyond their comically exaggerated accents. Bonding with characters is necessary to unlock new seeds and further the story, but it always felt more like a chore than anything else. Toward the end of my time with the game, I just stopped visiting the town entirely except to purchase livestock or seeds.  Seeds of Memories has the all promise of a solid Harvest Moon title, but it fails to develop those features into anything substantial. Its forgettable storyline is somewhat redeemed by how well the actual farming side of things works, but that alone isn't enough to make it worthy of your time.  [This review is based on a retail copy of the game acquired by the reviewer.]
Review photo
Better off forgotten
I've been religiously playing Harvest Moon games for more than half my life. The addiction started when my dad bought Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for our PlayStation back in 2002. I remember racing home every day to play it...

Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft announces Assassin's Creed Identity


A new mobile game
Feb 02
// Chris Carter
Ubisoft is bringing out another Assassin's Creed game specifically for iOS. It'll arrive on February 25, and will bring us back to the "fan-favorite" (or as some might say, "overused") time period of the Italian Renaiss...
Rise of Mana photo
Rise of Mana

Rise of Mana will cease to exist in March


Free-to-play gaming, folks
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
The newest Mana game in the series will be no more, come March. Square Enix has announced that Rise of Mana, the free-to-play game that hit the mobile and PSP circuit will end its service at that time. Evidently not enou...

Atari's gay parade photo
Atari's gay parade

Be the mayor of the gayest town ever in Pridefest


LGBT city building
Jan 27
// Jed Whitaker
Atari has released its free-to-play city management and Pride parade simulator, Pridefest, on Android and iOS devices. You're tasked with being the mayor of a city that has lost all its color and fun, so you have to piz...
Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Use this code for 3,000 coins in Pokemon Shuffle


20160123
Jan 25
// Jordan Devore
You can never have enough coins in Pokemon Shuffle, particularly if you're playing on mobile and are trying to catch 'em all, which I foolishly am. There's no escaping this fate, but I've come to accept that. After spending I...
Republique photo
Republique

After over two years since launch, Republique will finally be complete this March


Wow, what a wait!
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
How's this for episodic content? Republique first launched in December of 2013 on iOS, and it's still not fully complete yet. Episode 2 launched five months later, with the third part coming five months after that, and Episod...
Monster Monpiece Naked photo
Monster Monpiece Naked

Monster Monpiece gets Naked for cell phones


Please text me nudes
Jan 15
// Steven Hansen
Compile Hearts is forgoing the PlayStation Vita for the next entry in the Monster Monpiece series. The company just announced Genkai Tokki: Monster Monpiece Naked for iOS and Android. Pre-registration is open up on the site,...
Adventure photo
Adventure

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is now on iOS, Android


Not your typical adventure
Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
"I have no mouth, and I must scream" isn't just a profoundly cool phrase. It's the name of Harlan Ellison's short story (read it here!) about a malicious computer who endlessly tortures the world's few surviving humans. Ther...

Review: Rick and Morty: Pocket Mortys

Jan 13 // Chris Carter
Pocket Mortys (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 6])Developer: Big Pixel StudiosPublisher: Adult Swim GamesMSRP: Free (with microtransactions)Released: January 14, 2016 There's no beating around the bush here, this is a complete and utter Pokémon clone. No, I don't mean that it's a cute parody with subtle references and mechanical influences -- I mean it's literally a Pokémon game with Rick & Morty's world injected in. Presentation-wise it gets the job done, as each type of Morty (read: Pokémon) is fairly unique, and although there aren't full voiceovers and cutscenes, there are some original quips by way of Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty. As a clone, it features an old school turn-based RPG style battle system (with options for attack, item, switch, and run). Attacks even have AP, and you can capture wild Mortys with a Pokéball Manipulation Chip -- I mean, they aren't even necessarily trying to be funny about it. Pocket does feature "types," but instead of elemental themes it follows the bite-sized rock, paper, scissors style, which predictably counter each other. Hell there's even a bank and Pokémon Morty [healing] Center (though in the case of Pocket, the former also has an SMT-like character combination feature). You know what though? It all actually works, even on the mobile platform. I wish the d-pad were a bit more adaptive (it's basically tethered to one part of the screen), but it's really easy to select each battle and menu option with just a quick tap that I don't really pine for a proper tactile control method. The hub is well designed and easy to get around, with a square-like layout and plenty of helpful shops. Peppered in alongside of the core campaign is a series of sidequests as well (basically item fetch quests), coupled with a rather deep crafting system. In terms of the flow, the gist is that our duo is stuck in a hub world in an alternate dimension, with their portal gun confiscated. To earn it back Rick has to prove himself to a council of Ricks -- all of whom have their own Mortys to do battle with. Of course there's a time-gating catch, as the player will need to earn badges (ha) to unlock each subsequent Rick fight. Think of it like the Elite Four, except in this case, there are six Ricks. Early on, jumping into each zone was a rush, and I couldn't wait to see what types of Mortys and Ricks awaited me. Mini Mortys, Stray-Cat Mortys, Evil Rabbit Mortys -- all of them come complete with their own set of abilities and such, and capturing them to find a well-rounded team was a ton of fun. Except, said loop eventually grows stale after you beat the third Rick council member or so, as Pocket basically says "get more badges, bitch," and forces you to grind it out to see the ending. Because with Pocket Mortys, every zone (which features one possible badge with a Rick fight at the end) is a randomized dungeon of sorts. At first it's exhilarating, diving into the unknown and finding more Mortys along the way, but the tedium sets in after you've seen all the biomes and settings available. While I initially played three hours straight (which is an accomplishment for a free mobile game), once the fatigue set in I resorted in taking frequent breaks. One could argue that this is totally cool for a mobile experience, but it could have at least broken up some of the monotony. Having said all that, the game manages to be fun throughout in spite of this roadblock that will inevitably turn some people off. Okay, so it's free, is there a catch? Sort of. The microtransaction scheme is twofold. First, you can watch videos (ads) for extra currency, which is used to buy items from the in-game store. It's a strategy that a lot of games are using these days, and for the most part, it's fairly inoffensive. Where Pocket kind of gets me irked is the second scheme, which are good old fashioned microtransactions that grant you tickets to exchange for better items and even new Mortys. Sure you can still earn tickets occasionally (mostly by beating an "Elite" member), but the fact that both of these strategies co-exist does get in the way somewhat. Now, I'm not the type of person who automatically burns things at the stake for microtransactions merely on principle, especially if they ultimately are optional, and that's how I felt with Pocket Mortys. Not once did I feel the need to spend money, and although I was tempted to watch an ad or two to earn enough to buy an extra potion for a boss fight in one zone, the realization that I could just die, go back to the hub without penalty, and move on to another random zone didn't sting in the slightest. Pocket Mortys, like many episodes of the show, is a true roller coaster. It has a lot of highs, a ton of lows, and that may not appeal to everyone. For me though, I feel like I got my money's worth, and it made the wait for the next season of the show (which still has no set premiere window) that much easier. [This review is based on a retail build of the free game provided by the publisher ahead of launch.]
Rick and Morty review photo
Gotta ::burp:: 'em all, Morty
I only started watching Rick & Morty halfway into the second season several months back, but after catching the first few episodes, I immediately burned through all of it. There's something about the show's sick sense of ...

Adventures of Mana photo
Adventures of Mana

English release of Final Fantasy Adventure remake likely


But Vita version dropped
Jan 08
// Steven Hansen
Square has put up an English version website for Adventures of Mana, which is a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure. Square released that game as a Final Fantasy title in 1991 though it would ultimately lead to the Mana series...
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,...

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