Posts byGrant Holzhauer

Reviews

Shrek Kart Review

When it rains, it pours. It took a while for kart racers to speed onto the iPhone, but now that they’re here, they’re coming in droves. And what would Gameloft be if it did not capitalize on this and further secure their rising dominance of the platform? Like every other game from the publisher, this one sparkles and shines with lots of visual finesse (minus a few frame rate speed bumps), but the kart racing formula has not evolved much in the 17 years since the debut of the original Mario Kart. Shrek Kart does little to further that evolution, and your affection for (or tolerance of) the game may depend on your love of the Shrek franchise. (more…)

Reviews

Crusade of Destiny Review

Anyone remember Quest 64? As the PlayStation handily took over the RPG scene in the 32-bit era, Nintendo was left scrounging for something to counter. Until Ocarina of Time came along, Quest 64– an ugly, unfun, and lifeless RPG– was all N64 fans had at their disposal. Years later, we’re now having a severe case of deja vu. Sony’s PSP and the Nintendo DS have a boatload of RPGs in all shapes and sizes, but it’s still slim pickings for the iPhone, and the first truly 3D offering has Quest 64’s stink all over it. (more…)

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    The Five Best And Worst Movie-Based Games

    Almost as long as there have been games, there have been games based on movies. Tie-ins are big business, as they help drive up hype for movies, which until recent years, tended to make far more money than games ever could. Unfortunately for gamers, they are also notoriously rushed products that often feature bland gameplay, confusing storylines, and reek of being rushed (Raiders of the Lost Ark for the Atari 2600 and Hudson Hawk for the NES, for example, set the bar incredibly low). (more…)

    Reviews

    Lumines: Touch Fusion Review

    We wanted to love Lumines; we really did. We’ve been following the games’ rise from an offbeat PSP hit, to its outstanding (and maybe under-appreciated) sequel, to its price-gouging cousin on the Xbox 360, and even its lighthearted, simplified mobile version. Each time, despite unexpected costs and varying visual quality, it was still the same Lumines: block-dropping goodness set to killer beats. The iPhone has had its clones (the closest being Blocks 2, later redubbed Irides), but they’ve lacked the musical aesthetic that makes Lumines, well, shine. (more…)

    Reviews

    Pandorum Review

    Pandorum, released in theaters today, may or may not be an entertaining box office hit, but its iPhone tie-in game was released a week early to (in theory) whet our appetite. Looking at a few screenshots for this sci-fi/horror/shooter game, you might be deceived into thinking Pandorum could be a worthy addition to your gaming arsenal. Think again. (more…)

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    Reviews

    Orbital Review

    Orbital is a rare gem on the iPhone. It likens itself as the spiritual successor of the free Flash game, Gimme Friction Baby, but adds better physics and a polished shine that the original simply didn’t offer. It has long intrigued us, and even though it took a few rounds for us to figure out exactly what was going on, by the time we got the hang of it, we were hooked. (more…)

    Reviews

    Cheap Shot: 20Q Mind Reader

    Ever since Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in chess, computers have shown that they are an intellectual force to be reckoned with. In their continued quest for global domination, they are now disguising themselves as innocent electronic games, probing our innermost thoughts. 20Q Mind Reader is their latest dirty little trick. Once satisfied to tickle our craniums at 20q.net and in cheap handheld gadgets, they are now bent on conquering the iGeneration with their telepathic capabilities. (more…)

    Reviews

    The Game of Life: Classic Edition Review

    The modern Game of Life by Milton Bradley hit store shelves in 1960, 100 years after a more antiquated version of the game was created. Nearly 50 years later, fans of the board game now have a fully featured, 3D version of the game at their fingertips for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This is just the latest handheld board game port to come from EA, and while it may not have as many upgrades as some others, this is a great version of a timeless game. (more…)

    Reviews

    Simon the Sorcerer Review

    Released in 1993, the original Simon the Sorcerer was a hit. Going head-to-head with the likes of LucasArts’ and Sierra’s best point-and-click adventure games, achieving such a memorable status was no small feat. Once again, however, this game is riding on the coattails of one of LucasArts’ best, The Secret of Monkey Island. How does this iPhone reincarnation fare? (more…)

    Reviews

    Ranch Rush Review

    As though our day-to-day lives weren’t busy enough, we often busy ourselves playing simulations in which we rush about solving virtual problems, micromanaging the working lives of the game’s protagonists. Ranch Rush is the latest in a long series of such games to hit the iPhone and iPod Touch, albeit a port of an existing Mac/PC game. (more…)

    Reviews

    Rummikub Review

    Rummikub conjures up memories of Saturday afternoons as a child spent with my grandmother. It’s one of those simple family games that you can play for hours without getting bored, as each session plays a little bit differently. (more…)

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    Reviews

    Blocks2 Review

    If you read our hands-on preview of Blocks2, then you are already aware of what this Lumines clone is all about. Lumines was what made the PSP a must-have system at its launch, and many would argue that its sequel topped the original. Since then, Xbox 360 and PS2 users have also had the opportunity to try it out. The good news is that Blocks2, while not Lumines, offers much of the same experience. The bad news is that being a spitting image of its spiritual successor means that it brings few new things to the table. (more…)

    Previews

    Touch Pets: Dogs Preview

    Whether you are a pet owner, animal devotee, or just a lover of all things cuddly, there’s probably an app for that. If nothing has yet tickled your fancy (or rubbed your belly), ngmoco might have what you’ve been searching for with their new Touch Pets series headed to iPhone.

    The first entry, Touch Pets: Dogs, is being developed with the expertise of virtual pet veteran, Andrew Stern, who worked to create the pivotal Petz franchise in the late 90s. We recently had a chance to discuss his newest project with him via e-mail. (more…)

    Reviews

    Reign of Swords: Episode 2 Review

    Turn-based strategy games, love them or hate them, are a mainstay in video games. They’re incredibly deep and require constant planning, patience, and brainpower to master. This combination often turns off casual gamers due to the slow pace and steep learning curve.

    Nevertheless, for those that enjoy them, they have an addicting quality and longevity that make great ones worth their weight in gold. One such game, Reign of Swords: Episode II, has hit the App Store, and we’ve spent ample time exploring its intricacies. Has it got the depth strategy gamers desire? (more…)

    Reviews

    Cheap Shot: iDroids Mania

    Imagine a dystopia where Asimov’s rules of robotics have been tossed out the window, where robot cities have sprung up across the land and heartless MonkeyBots thwart your every move with their incessant banana hurling. Yes, welcome to iDroidOpia. Won’t you stay awhile? (more…)

    Reviews

    Cheap Shot: H1N1 Swine Flu Resistance

    Although the swine flu’s menacing days have mostly gone the way of SARS, it’s apparently never too early to poke fun at a pandemic-induced pandemonium. (more…)

    Reviews

    Cheap Shot: PathPix

    No timers. No power-ups. No RPG elements. Remember when puzzle games used to be simple like this? Start a puzzle, solve it, and move on to the next one.

    Pathpix, a port of an independent PC game, is the epitome of simplicity. With 144 unique puzzles, though, this $1.99 puzzler will keep you entertained for hours on end. (more…)

    Reviews

    Homerun Battle 3D Review

    Baseball seems like an easy game to simulate, but there are nuances in the pitching and batting that can severely hinder the game’s playability if they’re done poorly. Homerun Battle 3D does not encompass the entire sport, focusing instead solely on batting. It’s too bad, because with its smooth presentation and excellent controls, it could easily be a full-fledged arcade baseball experience. (more…)

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      Dollars and Sense: The App Store Pricing Puzzle

      With the App Store entering its second year, everyone is looking for a slice of the pie. Developers are hungrier for your dollars more than ever. But developing a great game simply isn’t enough, and the low cost of many apps and games is rapidly changing the accepted norms for pricing models. (more…)

      Reviews

      Numba Review

      Puzzle games are plentiful, which can make it all the more difficult to add something noteworthy to the genre. Numba at first glance looks like every other falling-block games on the market, but don’t be too quick to pass judgment. This is a finely tuned puzzle game that, while not busting at the seams with unique qualities, boasts a solid presentation and enough addictive elements to easily justify its ultra cheap $1.99 asking price. (more…)

      Reviews

      Defender Chronicles Review

      Tower defense games have just about been done to death on the iPhone, but we continue to welcome them as long as they bring new twists to the genre. Defender Chronicles doesn’t dramatically alter the tried-and-true formula, but it brings enough new ideas to make it a worthwhile purchase for most fans of these games. (more…)

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      Just A Watch - Apple Watch News, Apps, Games, Gear, and More

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      We'll bring you the latest apps, games, gear, tips and tricks for the Apple Watch daily. Scouring the interenet for the best info, without the clickbait and the fluff. It's the same concise curation of content like Slide to Play but focused on the Apple Watch.

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