Posts byBrittany Vincent

Reviews

Knightmare Tower Review

Knightmare Tower is a deliciously addictive casual game that’s difficult to put down. That’s important to remember, since you’ll probably find yourself coming back time and time again. The story of a knight who must attempt to escape a tower continually filling with lava might sound painfully uninteresting at first, but give it some time and you’ll discover a challenging and rewarding adventure perfect for enjoying in short bursts. (more…)

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Ravenmark: Mercenaries Review

Witching Hour Studios is no stranger to strategy games, and their previous Ravenmark entry, Scourge of Estellion, is proof of their pedigree. The free-to-play Ravenmark: Mercenaries is an excellent follow-up to the original game, acting as a triumphant return to the land of Eclisse. Though it can take some time to learn, it’s a full-featured strategy adventure that you should take some time out to experiment with, especially if you’re a fan of the genre as a whole. (more…)

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Samurai Shodown II Review

When arcades ruled empty mall space, 2D fighters were all the rage. It made sense then that plenty were made and intended for use on home systems to emulate the flashy arcade experience. While some were wildly popular, others tended to fade into relative obscurity. Samurai Shodown II is one of those, an SNK Neo Geo fighter coated in a syrupy smattering of nostalgia. It serves up a hefty helping of of 2D beat-‘em-up love, but its iOS resurrection just ends up feeling like a frustrating, barebones port. (more…)

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Magic 2014 iPad Review

Nothing is as evergreen as Magic: The Gathering. Even if your first brush with the grandfather of all trading card games was years ago in your friend’s basement, you can still jump right in again and get up to speed quickly. You’ll have missed a wealth of new cards and expansions, but the core ideas remain the same. Magic 2014 is a fantastic entry in the long-running video game adaptation series of the game, and it even comes with a meaty demo to hook in new players. (more…)

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Lords of Chaos Review

Lords of Chaos is a cult favorite from the early ’90s that predated X-COM and a blitz of other turn-based tactical RPGs. It’s actually the sequel to Chaos, following a wizard who can cast powerful spells and creatures to do his bidding. Originally released on both 8-bit and 16-bit platforms, it’s now seen a high-definition rebirth via iPhone and iPad. There’s nothing truly HD about it other than the fact that it’s constrained to a small square in the middle of the screen, and it certainly hasn’t aged well — but if you’re hankering for hardcore tactical RPG action, you’ll find something to love here. (more…)

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Men’s Room Mayhem Review

The name “Men’s Room Mayhem” sounds pretty dirty. And it is. It’s exactly what you’re thinking, dirty men’s restroom and all. You’ll direct urinating restroom patrons to the right urinal, sort them into stalls, and ensure the floors stay pristine. On top of it all, you’re in charge of their hygiene habits. It sounds extremely crude, but it’s actually an adorable exercise in wave-based puzzling that you wouldn’t expect. (more…)

    Off Topic: Our Ten Favorite Educational Apps

    We all love games, but life’s about more than entertainment. Luckily for us, the App Store is stocked with thousands of educational apps, putting all kinds of knowledge at our fingertips. Plenty of games, dictionaries, math tests, and amalgamations of these are up for grabs to act as aids for teachers, parents, students, or anyone who wants to expand their knowledge. We’ve rounded up an eclectic mix of useful educational apps anyone can enjoy. The power of learning compels you! (more…)

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    Running With Friends Review

    The “With Friends” series is appealing in many ways. It acts as a simple conduit through which a group of gamers can play bite-sized multiplayer sessions without complicated setup or hoops to jump through. It’s also an inexpensive collection of multiplayer-centric titles that you can switch between easily rather than having to fork over a ton of cash each time. (more…)

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    Random Heroes 2 Review

    Random Heroes made its statement on the App Store not too long ago, and it immediately grabbed our attention with its retro graphics, gloriously violent shuffles, and love for side-scrolling platform shooters. Random Heroes 2 feels very much like a continuation of the same game, and while to some that may be a bad thing, we can’t get enough. (more…)

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    Gemini Rue Review

    Gemini Rue is a curious adventure game that actually made its debut back on PC. It’s an exciting dystopian vision of the future that wouldn’t feel out of place in the world of Blade Runner or any futuristic tale. The story of former assassin Azriel Odin is a gripping one that plays out in a manner that goads you to keep playing long after setting it down, just to see how things end up. And it’s as satisfying as ever. (more…)

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    Stargate SG-1: Unleashed Ep 1 Review

    Stargate, much to all its enduring fans’ surprise, has somehow found its way to the iPad as an episodic adventure game. The long-running series, having spawned a massive fanbase and several spinoffs, peaked with Stargate SG-1, and now you an enjoy the same brand of sci-fi at home on your favorite gaming tablet. Stargate SG-1: Unleashed Episode 1 is a mixture of several different games, pieced together with cutscenes and characters voiced by their television counterparts. Unfortunately, it’s a clunky amalgamation of several genres that isn’t quite sure what it wants to accomplish. (more…)

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    Clowns in the Face Review

    Clowns are often responsible for providing the public with nightmares. Something about those bizarre grins, those colorful hairstyles — it’s unsettling. Now just think about clowns hopped up on energy drinks. Those are quite possibly the scariest of them all. So what do you do when you’ve got these freaky clowns running around everywhere? You pelt them with projectiles. At least, that’s the case with Clowns in the Face, a silly little app that finds you abusing these pesky clowns with tennis balls as a former pro tennis player who’s had just about enough. Can you blame him? (more…)

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    Order & Chaos Duels Review

    The App Store is the perfect place for introducing new card games into the trading card game arena, which is no surprise given the versatility of the devices the games will be played on. Touch screen devices are ideal for swiping, dragging, and dropping cards, and players are familiar with the microtransaction model they use. Gameloft adds another potential success to the fold with Order & Chaos Duels, an intriguing high fantasy TCG that brings very familiar games like Magic: The Gathering to mind. (more…)

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    Vector for iPhone Review

    Silhouetted heroes specializing in parkour? Sounds vaguely familiar. If you’re not on the up and up when it comes to the sport (free-running, if you choose), a fantastic game released a few years ago known as Mirror’s Edge explored it quite competently in a refreshing futuristic adventure. Facebook dev Nekki (known for runaway hit Shadow Fight) takes fluid movement, engaging action, and simplistic graphics and weaves a symphony of parkour and addictive endless running that makes for a fantastic on-the-go game. (more…)

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    Spunk and Moxie Review

    Sometimes all you need to make a great platformer is a little bit of rage. Or a lot of it, in the case of Spunk and Moxie. Like all the endlessly frustrating games before it, Spunk and Moxie is an excellent combination of runner and platform delight but that doesn’t keep it from demanding perfection. Players will need plenty of the titular spunk and “moxie” to achieve greatness in this cute little game– and boatloads of patience, too. (more…)

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    Rock Runners Review

    Chillingo is no stranger to publishing addictive and memorable games, and their latest is no different. Rock Runners channels an interesting vibe in the realm of endless runners, and it’s an addictive (and often tricky) exercise in collecting all the crystals you possibly can. This may sound rather mundane, but wait until you sit down with it for a few minutes– you won’t be able to put it down. (more…)

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    Beastie Bay Review

    Kairosoft is no stranger to addictive simulations, and they’ve captivated audiences with adorable adventures like Game Dev Story or Mega Mall Story, proving that sometimes even the most simple of interfaces can make for a fantastic game. Beastie Bay, the ambitious dev’s latest title, is a decidedly different beast– a few of them, actually, and it’s an exciting sim bursting with personality. (more…)

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    Wide Sky Review

    Most hedgehogs aren’t related to video games, not in any way, shape, or form. In fact, Sonic‘s one of the only hedgehogs out there who is, and he’s having a pretty rough time of things these days. But there’s a new hedgehog in town — the star of Wide Sky, which, essentially is about training the spiny little guys. They’re in dire need of some reining in, so that’s where you come in. (more…)

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    Zenonia 5 Review

    Zenonia has been a flagship RPG for mobile players for quite some time now, serving up console-sized narratives and gameplay for on-the-go budgets and mindsets. It’s hard to believe, but the series has hit its fifth installment, and it shows no sign of losing steam yet. It’s not perfect, but for a sprawling adventure (the price is certainly right) the Zenonia series is certainly one of the must-have classic RPGs for iOS. The fifth game doesn’t break the mold, but it’s still a meaty entry to an established commercial success you’d do well to check out. (more…)

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    Swashbuckler Review

    Julius, the popular Paul Frank sock monkey icon, now has his own endless runner that takes him across several islands to rescue his buddy Birdie. How does he do so? In a variety of different ways. Julius is forced to contend with several hazards during his run, but this bright and cheery endless runner doesn’t break any new ground. It’s a mishmash of familiar concepts, and we’ve seen those concepts done better elsewhere. (more…)

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    Shadow Warrior Review

    Growing up a PC gamer in the heyday of Duke Nukem 3D and a host of other classics was like living in a utopia– you had so many wild and varied options, most of which experimented with different types of humor and narratives to keep audiences engaged. Rise of the Triad was one, and Duke Nukem 3D was rooted in the more humorous end of things, but what came next was both quirky and offensive to some– Shadow Warrior, the follow-up by 3D Realms to Duke Nukem 3D. It’s been quite some time since the game has been in the public eye, but now it’s been given the iOS treatment. If nothing else, it brings back the campy old-school shooter attitude. (more…)

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    Hollywood Monsters Review

    Hollywood Monsters is a silly little adventure that follows a couple of reporters on a journey through bizarre Egyptian worlds, lands of giants, and other fantasy motifs. It’s a point-and-click narrative that doesn’t exactly make the best use of the iOS touch controls it’s been given, and strangely, it’s a port of a Hollywood Monsters sequel. Why the strange name change? We’re not sure either. Everything about it is a little off-kilter, and while in some cases that could be a boon to a title’s success, none of that seems to really work too well here. (more…)

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    Impossible Pixel Review

    At a glance, Impossible Pixel calls forth fond memories of the indomitable N+, a deliciously challenging platformer that often felt like an impossible endeavor on its own. This monochromatic adventure strives to follow in the same footsteps, but ultimately ends up failing due to frustrating level layouts and touchy controls. (more…)

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    Wraithborne Review

    Full-featured dungeon crawlers and decadent RPG offerings are rarer on iOS than you might think– good ones, anyway– so when newcomers appear with a heaping helping of potential on the horizon, we pay attention. We first went hands-onwith Wraithborne and were met with an attractive, enjoyable dungeon crawler a la Diablo or one of the many clones out there, and the final product doesn’t disappoint. Magic and goblin-slaying of this magnitude looks and feels good, and we eagerly set out on this quest to make it our own. (more…)

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    Save Them All Review

    The best endless runners provide that perfect blend of arcade excitement and high-score hunting to keep you glued to your device hour after you’ve missed your train stop or finished your business. And luckily for us, there are plenty of them out there to satisfy our cravings when the Canabalt well has run dry and you’re done toying around with your favorite jetpack. Save Them All, Chillingo’s latest addition to the genre, brings one of the nastiest versions of the apocalypse we’ve ever seen. Aliens, zombies, meteors, nuclear war– it seems like the entire universe has gone mad. It’s your job to put a stop to it. (more…)

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    Girls Like Robots Review

    Girls like boys. Some girls like girls. Apparently, some girls like robots– at least, that’s what the latest puzzler from Popcannibal would have you believe. Perhaps that’s not the exact sentiment they’re trying to express, but that’s certainly what came to mind first before tearing into this adorable seating puzzle extravaganza. (more…)

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    Zenforms: Protectors Review

    In our Montopia review, we mentioned how often we see attempts to mimic the colossal success of Pokémon. With sequels to the mammoth franchise on the horizon, now is as good a time as ever to cash in. Zenforms: Protectors, made by a one-man team, is an impressive project that strongly resembles the collectible monster powerhouse both in gameplay and visuals. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s an interesting complement to the monster collecting genre that deserves a look even if it’s just to appreciate the effort put into crafting such a game. (more…)

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    Montopia Review

    Mobile devices across the globe are running hundreds of virtual pet-raising, freemium app toting, cutesy sims right now, and for good reason: they’re addictive! Montopia, however, seems to be the opposite of such. It’s Zynga Japan’s big move to compete with Pokemon and other monster sims. It’s an ambitious goal to be sure, but Pokemon’s a heavy hitter. And from what we’ve seen of Montopia, the original pocket monsters really have nothing to worry about. (more…)

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    Lunar Silver Star Story Touch Review

    Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete was actually a remake of a Sega CD endeavor, but it’s the first brush many of us had with the brilliant RPG Lunar: The Silver Star. The classic tale of a Dragonmaster and his dearest companions has made its way to the iOS as a fantastic mobile port under the name of Lunar Silver Star Story Touch, and while this isn’t the first time the memorable journey has been translated to a handheld or portable capacity, it may well be one of the best. (more…)

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    Strange Clouds: The Game – by B.o.B. Review

    Rapper B.o.B. is the latest to hop aboard the multimedia hype train, where artists release pieces of entertainment that work alongside each other to create a more complete experience for fans… and more revenue for their big releases. Like Bjork’s Crystalline and Gorillaz: Escape to Plastic Beach before it, B.o.B.’s iOS offering Strange Clouds is an odd little game. It has players slicing through colorful clouds a la Fruit Ninja, under the premise that these weird clouds are actually hiding specific shapes because aliens made them that way. Right. (more…)

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    Splice: Tree of Life Review

    Science: it’s no longer reserved for nerds and chemistry teachers stricken with cancer. Just kidding. Science, of course, makes the world go ’round. And while it may seem confusing to the uninitiated, there are certain video games that seek to turn the allure of science into entertaining diversions. Splice: Tree of Life is one of them, an intricate puzzler that finds you splicing molecules left and right to mutate your set of molecules into greatness. It’s a surprisingly elegant waltz through the building blocks of life that appeals to even non-scientific individuals. (more…)

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    One Tap Hero Review

    Oversimplifying gameplay often has dire consequences. In the case of One Tap Hero, whose premise revolves entirely around tapping at any point onscreen to make your character perform, it creates a satisfying and inventive dynamic. It may seem far too easy at a glance, but once you’ve put in the time we have, you’ll come out with a much clearer understanding of just how complicated a game that requires just one tap can actually be. (more…)

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    One Epic Knight Review

    Tiny Heroes was an excellent release from the dev that brought us geoDefense, and One Epic Knight sees fit to follow in its footsteps, adapting characters and ideas from the game and turning it into a completely different monster: an endless runner that incorporates slick combat, item usage, and other tweaks that put an interesting twist on the same old formula we’re all used to. (more…)

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    Fashion Hazard Review

    What constitutes a game for women, anyway? Does it have to incorporate some socially acceptable symbol of femininity to be considered as such? Or does it have to subscribe to a specific set of genre conventions? The answer will vary depending on who you ask, but one thing is always a constant: the fact that there will never be a shortage of games out there that rely on tired tropes, and Fashion Hazard falls somewhere within the threshold between pandering and a creative attempt at hooking a demographic. (more…)

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    Campaign The Game Review

    Campaign The Game sounds an awful lot like some sort of political simulator where you follow a candidate through the rigamarole that is eventually becoming the president of the United States. But it’s a lot less boring than that, actually. In fact, it’s like a hyperactive Game Dev Story with gorgeous neon colors, silly ad campaigns, and the ’80s. (more…)

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    Monster Life Review

    Virtual monsters haven’t seen a cuter makeover since Pokemon’s release stateside. The freemium pet sim/ Farmville clone is a familiar mishmash of tropes we’ve seen everywhere from Nintendogs to Dragonvale. And though it suffers from some of the very same issues we’ve seen in the freemium titles before it, it’s still one of the best-looking and addictive monster raising titles currently available on the platform. (more…)

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    Alien Breed Review

    The ’90s were a shining beacon of goodness for shooters and side-scrollers and the fans who eagerly digested them. Team 17 submitted for our approval a little gem known as Alien Breed, for the Amiga platform. It’s the very same Alien Breed you’ve probably been following as its remakes have infiltrated modern consoles. But this time around, we’re looking at a resurgence of the original 1991 classic for iOS users, and it’s every bit as chilling as it was back then. (more…)

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    Stunt Guy Review

    When it comes to mobile gaming, simplicity is key. An easy-to-understand premise, accessible controls, and engaging mechanics are required in order to create a successful, market-friendly game. It’s also beneficial to spruce things up with plenty of polish to smooth over any rough edges. Stunt Guy takes an interesting premise (albeit one that’s been done) and applies it to a profession many of us our familiar with, creating a simple pick-up-and-play adventure. (more…)

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    Mutant Roadkill Review

    Sometimes, to do what we want on the road, we must be aggressive drivers. That little nugget of wisdom rings equally true when dealing with disgusting mutants throwing themselves in front of your vehicle. Just gun ‘em down. Who cares? They’re mutants. (more…)

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    Synesthetic Review

    When I first joined Xbox Live five years ago, my gamertag was a variation on the word “synesthetic,” as a nod to one of my most beloved rhythm games of all time: Rez. Its masterful combination of the action onscreen and the thumping techno accompanying each area was a beautiful thing, and it effectively simulated the blurring of the senses known as synesthesia. Upon learning of the iOS app Synesthetic, promising a similar allure to Rez’s visuals and the functionality of Audiosurf, I was beside myself– could it really blend the best of both of those worlds? (more…)

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    Professor Pym and the Secret of Steam Review

    Steampunk is huge across so many different circles. Whether you prefer consoles to handheld devices or pirates over ninjas, chances are a steampunk game still strikes your fancy. Professor Pym and the Secret of Steam is a free-to-play puzzler that makes great use of the classical aesthetic, and it’s a charming little ad-supported adventure that feels quite cozy on the iOS platform. (more…)

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    Darkside Review

    The App Store seems to produce more twin-stick shooters than any other genre, likely due in part to the spectacular way in which iPhones and iPads lend themselves to the control schemes and setup. So it’s not a surprise to see Darkside, a free-to-play shooter reminiscent of games like Super Stardust HD for the PlayStation 3. Darkside offers solid graphical appeal as well as a “freemium” level that feels less obtrusive than most other releases on the market. It may be a much prettier version of the game we’ve been playing for years, but it sure feels good. (more…)

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    Chasing Yello Review

    Dreamfab’s follow-up to Saving Yello, a decidedly sinister puzzler in which a poor little goldfish is endlessly set on fire, blown up, and left out in the air to suffocate by his 7-year-old owner Mathilda, is Chasing Yello. Saving Yello saw players catapulting the poor goldfish back into his bowl to ensure he splashed cleanly back into his humble little fishbowl. And now that Yello is alive and well, he’s on the run from Mathilda once again. Seriously, why hasn’t someone taken this poor little guy away from her and locked her up somewhere? (more…)

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    Band Together iPad Review

    There’s something to be said about games that allow us to rise to the status of gods amongst lesser creatures–Lemmings, for example, or the inventive Xbox Live Arcade game From Dust. The responsibility attached to ensuring the creatures you nurture is weighty, but also fleeting. At any moment you may decide to turn on your followers and burn them where they stand, like a vengeful giant with ants and a magnifying glass. Or you may decide to dote on them and ensure their many needs are met. In the case of iPad puzzler Band Together, you encounter a bit of both extremes. (more…)

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    Ichi Review

    Ichi brings a couple of things to mind: the Japanese word for the number one, and the adorable simplicity that drives the Ichi app. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s an intriguing little puzzler that relies on simple taps and holds to corral bouncing balls and lines in a grid paper-like arena. (more…)

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    Project 83113 Review

    Don’t be fooled by adorable diminutive kittens. More often than not, they will fool you. Take Project 83113, for example. At a glance, it conjures platforming you think you’ve seen thousands of times over. Belle, the adorable mascot featured in this gun-happy platformer, feels right at home within this world of action and danger, and so did we. If you’re thinking you’re in for some completely banal exercises in game design 101, you’ve got it all wrong. (more…)

      Nick Jr Draw & Play Review

      Tablets and other electronic devices are quickly becoming the entertainment of choice for parents with young children. Thus, a massive influx of child-friendly apps are required to ensure there’s quality software to run on those pieces of equipment. For many parents the creative software of choice seems to be any type of suite that allows their child to draw and paint to their heart’s content without all the mess that comes from real markers, pens, and crayons. (more…)

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      Kingdom Story XD Review

      Developer Noumena is perhaps best known for their success with strategy app Warring States. Their latest effort, Kingdom Story XD, is a decidedly more stylized effort — a multiplayer-centric world-building playground with the allure of gems and other niceties for players to quickly erect a kingdom worth going to battle for. (more…)

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      Alive4ever Mini Review

      Killing zombies: If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably honed this skill all your life. Feel free to consider yourself an expert on the subject. Alive4ever Mini is the latest attempt at making that oft-cheapening experience feel brand new again. And while it doesn’t exactly succeed, it does serve up some serviceable dual-stick shooter fun. Meridian Digital’s third entry into the series doesn’t innovate, but it stays solid. (more…)