Posts byErik Carlson

Reviews

The Lone Ranger by Disney Review

Video games licensed from movies have a long and checkered history of being terrible. They tend to be nothing more than cheap tie-ins designed to ride the coattails of whatever movie they’re promoting, and seem to be made with the hopes that our excitement for the film will be enough to get us to play the game. (more…)

Reviews

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage Review

We may reach a point, sometime in the future, when our enjoyment of so called physics-puzzler games reaches a sort of critical mass. When our love affair with annoyed avians, candy addicted whatevers, or ninjas with a vengeance against fruit may well and truly reach its cultural nadir. But as long as inventive, campy, and multifarious games like Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage continue to come out and remind us why we started to relish this genre in the first place, then that national nightmare could still be a ways away. (more…)

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Reviews

Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom Review

The Fighting Fantasy gamebook series has been a staple of many table-top gamers’ lives for decades. It started in the early ’80s as a collaboration between Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and over the years it became a beloved choose-your-own-adventure series of books. Almost every page could take you in any number of directions, and many readers/players ended up being eaten alive by wolves, burnt to death by dragons, lost in caves, drowned, and so on. (more…)

Reviews

Gangstar Vegas Review

Imagine trying to describe the Grand Theft Auto series to someone who has never played it before, isn’t much of a gamer, and has probably never seen a gangster movie. You talk about the massive “open-world” settings, the ridiculous amount of destruction you can wage with an arsenal of weapons, the crime stories, the vehicular mayhem, the colorful characters, and the sordid missions you can undertake. You don’t give this person any specifics, but you try to convey a general sense of what the games are all about. (more…)

Reviews

Kingdom Rush Frontiers Review

It’s not easy being a tower-defense game. The genre is designed to be repetitious and almost passive in a way. There are only so many ways you can place your towers, hit the start button and watch things happen. Thankfully, last year brought us a genuine gem in the genre in the way of Kingdom Rush. It really did a lot to engage the player and did it with such style that it’s no surprise it quickly became one of the most loved tower-defense games for iOS. (more…)

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Reviews

Warhammer Quest Review

Warhammer by Games Workshop is a gaming world that’s close to the hearts and minds of geeks the world over. Started in the early ’80s, Warhammer is a fantasy adventure table-top game that shares many of the same Tolkienesque tropes that Dungeons & Dragons does. But its potent mix of player interactivity and a world that’s darker and grittier than D&D’s have given Warhammer fans a violent, dangerous and enthralling experience that many still love today. (more…)

Reviews

Dead Ahead Review

It’s kind of tough to get excited about another game with zombies. It’s even tougher to get excited about another endless-runner. And it’s even more difficult to get excited about another endless-runner featuring zombies. Dead Ahead, the new game from Chillingo, does very little to overcome those hurdles, but it at least has a nice art style and an amusing sense of humor. (more…)

Reviews

Frozen Synapse Review

At first glance, Frozen Synapse may seem like an iOS version of the classic arcade game Robotron. The simplistic graphics and sparse battlefields call to mind a time when shapes and stick-figures were the best we could get from a game. But if you take a closer look at this PC port, you find a game brimming with a staggering depth of gameplay, hours of intriguing strategy, and one of the best soundtracks you’ll ever hear in an iOS title. And if you zoom in, those “simplistic” graphics are gorgeous. (more…)

    Blitz Brigade Players Encounter Connection Issues

    When Gameloft announced Blitz Brigade at the beginning of the year, multiplayer fans greeted the news with equal parts excitement and skepticism. Fans of Team Fortress or Battlefield: Heroes were excited to play a new IP for the iPhone that looked like it was mashing up the best parts of both games, with the usual polish we expect from Gameloft. Most were even willing to look past the fact that Blitz Brigade looked like a pretty blatant clone. Then the game came out, and there was a big problem. (more…)

    Reviews

    BlastPoints Review

    There’s been a dearth of quality space-shooters for iOS. Sure we’ve had our Galaxy on Fires and Galactic Phantasies, but on the whole this is one genre that’s been a little starved. But in the past month we’ve gotten the amazing Arc Squadron, which proved our little phones were more than capable of giving us that Star Fox feeling. Hot on the heels of that game, Checkbox Studios has brought us BlastPoints. And while its threadbare story won’t exactly light up the skies, its intense and addictive action more than make up for it. (more…)

    Reviews

    Leviathan: Warships Review

    The open waters can be a treacherous place. Brigands, scofflaws and villains of all types will try and plunder, pillage, and claim all that they can for their own nefarious needs. Luckily, in Leviathan: Warships, you control a fleet of super powered, heavily armed, and technologically advanced vessels of destruction to stop these sea-based reprobates from using the lawlessness of the high-seas to their advantage. (more…)

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      Junk Jack Sequel Coming Later This Year

      Good news for fans of 2D house building, monster hunting, food making and crafting all manner of ladders: The sequel to Junk Jack is slowly becoming a real thing. On Thursday, Junk Jack creator PixBits posted a huge update about the sequel — currently titled “Junk Jack X” — to their massively popular and just plain fun MineCraftish game. And boy oh boy does this look like it’s going to be an even bigger time-sink then the first. (more…)

      Reviews

      Sorcery! Review

      It can be hard for non-gamers to understand how something like a videogame can be so engrossing and so captivating that most outside concerns take a second seat to the screen in front of our faces. We’re not entirely sure if Sorcery! from creator Steve Jackson is the game to convince them, but it’s a good candidate for the job. It’s an elegant, thoughtful and spellbinding adventure. (more…)

      Reviews

      LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes Review

      The Dark Knight has always been a bit of a loner. Fighting crime, righting wrongs, embarrassing the police and protecting the citizens of Gotham are all things he likes to do on his own. But sometimes even the Caped Crusader needs a little help from his friends, and luckily in his newest adventure LEGO Batman: DC Superheroes, the Bat grudgingly (very grudgingly in Superman’s case) learns to love. (more…)

      Reviews

      The House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels Review

      Zombies, zombies, zombies. We honestly think that if a zombie apocalypse were to happen now, we would be pretty well prepared. What with action, strategy, puzzle, and defense games–and even zombie exercise apps–we can’t think of any zombie situation that we aren’t prepared for. Now we’ve got House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels to show us what a zombie invasion would be like if it took place in an old-school exploitation film. (more…)

      Reviews

      Ark of Sinners Advance Review

      Ark of Sinners Advance is a game that very desperately wants to fill your Metroidvania needs, and it has elements in place to seemingly make it work. It has an appealing art style, huge levels to explore, and lots of combat options. Unfortunately, none of these components add up to anything interesting, and we ended up wondering why a game that started out its life as a critically savaged Wii-Verse title from two years ago would get ported to iOS without fixing at least some of the things that made the console version so very, very terrible. (more…)

      Reviews

      Final Fantasy V Review

      Final Fantasy V is a game that has a weird place in the legacy of the series. It doesn’t have the nostalgic values of being the first in the franchise, nor does it have the crown of being the first to introduce something like the Jobs system that has become a staple of the Final Fantasy games. It also doesn’t have a beloved story like the fourth, sixth and seventh installments. Going back and looking at what people thought of it way back when, you’ll find words like “trite” and “simplistic.” Not exactly sentiments you would expect to see about a game from the early days of this classic series. (more…)

      Reviews

      Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops Review

      The original Tiny Troopers took us by surprise. Here was this little war game featuring bobble-headed characters, an odd sense of humor, and single-finger controls. Could something like this work? It turns out it did– marvelously in fact– and Tiny Troopers ended up being one of our favorite games of 2012. Now comes the inevitable sequel, and while it doesn’t stray too much for the original’s formula, it still manages to be a fresh and fun experience that we dare say is even better than the first. (more…)

      Reviews

      Star Wars Pinball Review

      Star Wars Pinball, the newest game from the makers of the superb Zen Pinball, is exactly what it sounds like: Star Wars + Pinball. Boom. Like we said, pretty simple. This isn’t a game that’s going to blow your mind with radical concepts and way-out-there uniqueness, but if you like pinball and you like Star Wars, then this is a game for you. (more…)

      Reviews

      Journey to Hell Review

      Journey to Hell, the new game from BulkyPix, is the gaming equivalent of a 2X4 to the back of the head, and we mean that in a good way. It’s a game that wears its influences on its sleeves, that doesn’t have any pretensions about being anything other than what it is, and just wants to get you into the action as quickly and as brutally as possible. It’s kissing-cousins with the Doom games of yore and shares a certain kinship with the more recent Serious Sam series of games. Quick and dirty is the name of this game. (more…)

        The 10 Best iOS Games for Gamers of All Ages

        While many of us enjoy the more “mature” types of games, we have to admit that gallons of blood and violent battlefields aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, the App Store offers all kinds of quality games that don’t feature bullets flying all over the place. We’ve come up with a list of games that offer full-fledged, engrossing experiences, while still being appropriate for gamers of all ages. (more…)

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