Posts byShawn Leonard

    Football Heroes Hands-On Preview

    When I sat down to play Football Heroes, the pitch from the game’s creators at Run Games was somewhat weird. At its core, Football Heroes starts by drawing heavily from Tecmo Bowl’s classic and simplistic style of football. The next thing was infusing that proven formula with MOBA-inspired special attacks, like in League of Legends. Quite the unusual mix, but I parked the hype, and tried out Football Heroes for myself. (more…)

      Hands-On with Konami’s Upcoming Games

      I recently spent some time touring Konami’s upcoming slate of mobile games. There were a wide cross-section of games across multiple genres. That said, all of them had one thing in common: They will all will be launched with a free-to-play model. Hate it or love it, this is the new normal and Konami’s showing proves this new normal can be exciting based on it’s Summer 2013 lineup. (more…)

        Bloodmasque Hands-On Preview

        Amazing games like Chaos Rings and Song Summoner prove that when Square Enix puts their minds to developing a role-playing game for mobile devices, fans have reason to get excited. Bloodmasque is next in line, and it places you in the role of a vampire slayer traversing 19th century Paris. While story is always a key feature of RPGs, Bloodmasque’s big hook is letting you become a key figure in the story, literally. (more…)

          Crazy Chicken: Pirates Hands-On Preview

          One of the more interesting little gems I saw at E3 was from Polish developer Teyon Games. Crazy Chicken: Pirates is a casual iOS game that draws upon the Moorhhuhn universe, which is very popular Germany. The distinct visual style of the game is eye-catching, but the gameplay offers an interesting fusion of Where’s Waldo and Duck Hunt. Crazy combination, right? I thought so too. (more…)

            Deus Ex: The Fall Hands-On Preview

            Deus Ex on mobile seems like and odd combination. Generally speaking, Deus Ex has always been the grown-up shooter/RPG– there’s no running around recklessly circle-strafing the AI to death here. The gameplay is thoughtful. For that reason, the franchise has garnered a fierce following that is understandably skeptical about whether iOS and Android can handle hosting Deus Ex: The Fall. (more…)

              Modern Combat 5 Hands-On Preview

              One of mobile’s biggest fist-person shooter franchises is revving up to drop another helping of modern military conflict on iOS gamers. In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Modern Combat 5 is in the works and it’s shaping up to be the biggest, most bombastic installment of the game to date. Gameloft had an early version on display at E3, and I was able to go hands-on with it. (more…)

                Man of Steel Hands-On Preview

                I took a stop by the Warner Bros Interactive booth to check out what’s on display. Was it a bird? A plane? No, it’s licensed mobile game attempting to leverage the excitement around the new Superman movie! (more…)

                  Asphalt 8: Airborne Hands-On Preview

                  It’s easy to criticize Gameloft for pumping out sequels as quickly as they do. The easy armchair analysis would argue the short time between sequels slows the innovation curve. True or not, there’s an argument on both sides of the fence. Where there is no argument is in Asphalt 8: Airbourne is legitimate effort to not retread the past. Even Gameloft’s most bitter critics will have to tip their cap for what’s coming this time around. (more…)

                    FIFA 14 Hands-On Preview

                    The FIFA franchise has historically offered a great simulation of soccer on mobile. For the most part, the essential gameplay and feature modes tend to closely mirror its console brother. FIFA 13 was an elegant and satisfying soccer game we loved. Naturally, I was eager to see what an extra year can do for the best portable soccer game around. In FIFA 14, the series makes bold moves to rethink how soccer should be played on a portable device. (more…)

                      Fightback Hands-On Preview

                      Ninja Theory is best known as the developer of console hits like Heavenly Sword and Devil May Cry, so it’s exciting when they turn their attention to the mobile space. Their upcoming iOS game is Fightback, a side-scrolling action game that features a generic ’80s action hero guy looking to save his helpless, kidnapped sister. (more…)

                        Plants Vs Zombies 2 Hands-On Preview

                        Plants Vs. Zombies 2 was on display at EA Mobile’s showcase, and was much to see. A lot of dismay was expressed over the game moving to a free-to-play model, but from what I played, there is good reason to step back from the ledge and give it a fair shake. Coming this July as an iOS timed exclusive, the team at PopCap has made some interesting additions that change the cadence and feel of Plants Vs. Zombies, in a good way. (more…)


                        Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic iPad Review

                        It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years since Bioware delivered their landmark epic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). Developed as the first Bioware RPG on the original Xbox, it was an original sprawling journey that was completely faithful to the Star Wars universe we all love. The idea of playing this game on an iPad seems impossible, but with the efforts of Aspyr Media, KOTOR is on iOS fully intact. (more…)


                        Gun Commando Review

                        Ripstone’s Gun Commando has a certain kind of charm. It’s a game that harkens back to the days of Doom, Marathon, and Quake, when things were much simpler and the adrenaline rush came from picking up a gun and simply mowing down anything that moved. In the modern shooter landscape, when we’re surrounded by load outs, regenerating health, multiplayer, and other mechanics designed to add depth, we explore the question of whether there is still a place for a game like Gun Commando. (more…)


                        Star Command Review

                        All of you space-loving Star Trek fans that always wanted to run your own spaceship, lean forward, because Star Command may be the fix you’re looking for. As a game given life from a successful Kickstarter campaign two years ago, Star Command has finally arrived, albeit nearly a year and a half later than originally promised. The past is the past, but the game is finally here. We dive in to explore whether the wait was worth it. (more…)


                        Real Racing 3 Review

                        The Real Racing franchise has been a tentpole fixture on iOS since the platform’s inception. With a bounty of licensed cars shredding up the most realistic tracks and vistas, we have always come away extremely satisfied with the end product. Real Racing 3 is the latest edition, and it’s published by Electronic Arts for the first time. With EA’s strong performance with their free-to-play model across games like The Simpsons Tapped Out and The Sims FreePlay, we’re not shocked Real Racing 3 is following suit. With a feature set that promises to be the biggest simulation racer to date on iOS, we anxiously checked under the hood of Real Racing 3. (more…)


                        Baseball Superstars 2013 Review

                        Like clockwork, a new year ushers in a new spin on Baseball Superstars, the preeminent baseball franchise on iOS. Known for its unique take on combining cute anime-style presentation with deep RPG elements, the series has amazed us by finding new ways to stay engaging over the years. Baseball Superstars 2013 makes some some noteworthy changes this time around, but we’re not so sure if those changes were for the better. (more…)


                        NBA 2K13 Review

                        NBA 2K is the top brand for basketball gamers all over the globe. The attention to detail in the gameplay systems, signature style of players, and authentic touches to create a true simulation experience are but a few reasons why the franchise is beloved. The series first arrived on iOS last year with a solid mobile version, but NBA 2K13 looks to take things up a notch to create the most full-featured simulation experience out there. Does 2K succeed? We break it down like a Kobe Bryant crossover and spin move combination. (more…)


                        NFL Pro 2013 Review

                        Every fall, football fanatics across the country have a nice bounce in their step in anticipation of the season. Whether you are a fan of a frontrunner like the Packers or a suffering Raiders fan, everyone has an optimism that this season is going to be special. On iOS, we have had a few years of football from EA Sports and Gameloft. The games have been okay, but we are still waiting for that stellar effort that gets it right. NFL Pro 2013 has arrived and unlike prior editions, this year’s model is free to play. Does it deliver the top notch experience we have been waiting for? We hit the gridiron to find out. (more…)

                          iPhone 5 Review: A Gamer’s Perspective

                          After spending some time with the new iPhone 5 this weekend, it’s not hyperbole to state that this thing is a certified monster. From a design perspective, it’s impossible not to notice the decreased weight and slimmer profile of the new phone. The body redesign makes the also beautiful design of the 4S feel fat and stubby in comparison. (more…)


                          Bad Hotel Review

                          Tower defense is one genre that has traditionally worked well on iOS for a number of years. Whereas many genres beg for traditional controls, touch screen interfaces are arguably the best way to manipulate tower defense games. There is a certain intuition that comes along with using your finger to place your units and defenses over using a 10+ button controller. Bad Hotel is a unique twist on conventions, but does it do enough different to warrant a spot next to Fieldrunners and Plants vs. Zombies on your home screen? (more…)


                          Soccer Superstars 2012 Review

                          Gamevil is one of the most respected developers on iOS. Very rarely do they put out content that doesn’t radiate depth, thought, and their Korean culture. Most known for their RPGS and fantasy simulation sports games, their latest product has arrived in Soccer Superstars 2012. Our last look at this series was nearly two years ago with Soccer Superstars, and we’re curious to see how the progression has continued since then. (more…)

                            FIFA 13 Hands-On Preview

                            Whether Americans want to acknowledge it or not, the biggest sport in the world is soccer. Whenever EA Sports drops a new FIFA title, it’s a big deal, a worldwide event. Naturally, we were curious to see how FIFA 13 on iOS was coming along. With a Fall release, the development window is closing soon. Check out our impressions from the E3 build shown behind closed doors. (more…)


                            Rock(s) Rider Review

                            Wildin’ out on dirt bike time trials in abandoned warehouses was made famous by Trials HD, a classic Xbox Live Arcade game that was extremely refreshing in a crowd of also-rans. Besides its fantastic graphics, the controls and online connectivity made it a mainstay for many. There’s a large bevy of racing games on iOS, but there hasn’t been anything like Trials HD, until now. Rock(s) Rider is a new extreme racer that unapologetically grabs cues from Trials HD. Does Rock(s) Rider sit on the same ramp as the game that inspired it? (more…)

                              Asphalt 7: Heat Hands-On Preview

                              The Asphalt series has been chugging away on iOS for a long time now. Every year, a bigger and badder version of the game hits the App Store with aims of taking the checkered flag. Asphalt 7: Heat is no exception. Targeting a June release, Gameloft is hoping fans appreciate their strategy of amping things up another level. After spending some quality time with the game, fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy what is being served up. (more…)

                                The Amazing Spider-Man Hands-On Preview with Video

                                A new Spider-Man reboot launches this Summer, and as you’d expect, our friends at Gameloft are preparing to launch a matching tie-in to coincide with the film’s debut. The Amazing Spider-Man is a huge departure from what we have seen on iOS thus far. The reason? Open-world action baby! Read on for more impressions from our hands-on straight from the E3 show floor. (more…)

                                  Need for Speed: Most Wanted Hands-On Preview

                                  Earlier today, we were able to check out the progress of Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the newest mobile racer from EA. Much like its traditional console brethren, this iOS racer returns to the premise that has you avoiding the cops while beating out your rivals. While Need for Speed: Most Wanted is still several months away, we were very impressed with what we saw in its incomplete state. (more…)

                                    Opinion: A Skeptical Look at Kickstarter

                                    Over the past few months, a fascinating conversation has taken place about Kickstarter’s potential to reshape how games are funded. There some important reasons why you should care and share your voice. Game developers are collecting millions of dollars on Kickstarter, but shouldn’t we be cautious when sending our money to fund an incredibly ambitious project with a distant delivery date? (more…)


                                    iOOTP Baseball 2012 Edition Review

                                    The sight of fans proudly cheering, hot dogs being scarfed down, and cold beer flowing in the spring can only mean one thing: baseball is back! Fans of America’s pastime have been well served on the iOS platform with some amazing games that have covered the simulation, fantasy, and micromanagement angles. The iOS baseball management simulation was adequately covered for the first time last year with iOOTP Baseball 2011, a redesigned port of the popular Out of the Park Baseball franchise on PC and Mac. iOOTP Baseball 2012 takes a second crack at nailing the management experience on iOS and the results are astonishing. (more…)


                                    Draw Something By OMGPOP Review

                                    Asynchronous multiplayer in social games has undeniably found its groove on iOS devices. It seems like every month there is some new flavor that the community tends to gravitate towards. One month our phones are getting hammered by Words with Friends requests, the next it’s Family Feud & Friends, and so on. Draw Something By OMGPOP appears to be the latest social craze that is finding a growing audience, and we wanted to see if the hype is justified. (more…)


                                    Baseball Superstars 2012 Review

                                    For several years now, Baseball Superstars has stood as the standard in not only baseball games, but for all sports games on the iOS platform. Gamevil never seems to let its foot off the gas pedal, and each new version brings new layers of depth and function to steal hours of our time again and again. Academics and smart folks say that a look at the past is the biggest predictor of the future, and in the case of Baseball Superstars 2012, we couldn’t agree more. (more…)


                                    Charadium II Review

                                    Nearly two years ago, we gave a lot of love to a simple and elegantly designed game called Charadium. It was a perfect blend of Pictionary and Charades that offered an addictive and enjoyable experience on many levels. Now a shiny new version has hit the App Store to warm the hearts of social gamers everywhere, so we gave Charadium II a spin to explore what’s new and different this time around. (more…)


                                    NBA: King of the Court Review

                                    Hoops fanatics everywhere have been feeling a bit salty these days. The beautiful game of basketball was being hijacked by a financial conflict between millionaires and billionaires. We found it hard to empathize with either group, but we are happy they ultimately found compromise to deliver us NBA action on Christmas Day. One silver lining about the labor lockout is that NBA licensed sports titles have arrived on schedule. We were curious to review an augmented spin on basketball action with NBA: King of the Court. (more…)


                                    Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond Review

                                    Nearly two years ago, an adventure game from Big Fish Games really shocked us with how awesome it was. Nick Chase: A Detective Story did an amazing job of bringing interesting gameplay, inspired presentation, and a page-flipping story to iOS gamers. Since the original game’s release, Big Fish Games has been one of iOS’s most active developers, bringing dozens of titles to the App Store. Now that they’ve released a second adventure starring Nick Chase, the question is whether it lives up to the original. (more…)


                                    Madden NFL 12 Review

                                    What a tumultuous summer it has been for NFL fans. For months, we’ve watched a contentious lockout that seriously threatened to take away the sport we’re fanatical about. With literally billions of dollars in yearly revenue on the line, we knew there would be a resolution, but we came perilously close to missing games. Thankfully, Madden football is a constant that we don’t have to wonder about. Lockout or not, the game hits at the end of August every year. Coming off of two years of consistent growth on the iOS platform, the big question is whether everything can come together to offer the best mobile version of Madden ever. (more…)


                                    Feed Me Oil Review

                                    Chillingo is getting darn good at figuring out the right type of snackable games that’ll resonate with the iOS audience. Granted, they have published hundreds of title, including some of the mainstays at the top of the charts, like Angry Birds. The new hotness that’s getting a lot of attention is Feed Me Oil. Is it deserving of the hype? Read on to find out’¦ (more…)


                                    The Heist Review

                                    Every so often, there’s a game that completely blindsides you. We’ve seen and played literally hundreds of puzzle games spanning all types of themes, gimmicks, and mechanics. Some are classics, while many are boilerplate retreads. Without beating around the bush, The Heist is an instant classic. (more…)


                                    TNA Wrestling Impact Review

                                    Any legitimate wrestling fan knows why it’s important for TNA Wrestling to release a good sports entertainment product. With the buyout of WCW by WWE owner Vince McMahon, the industry is almost a monopoly. At the height of the fierce competition between WCW and WWE in the ’90s, fans enjoyed some the best drama in years. We saw the creation of the NWO, Hogan turning heel, Stone Cold Steve Austin getting over on Bret Hart, and the “Attitude” era that finally stopped treating fans like idiots by pretending wrestling was real. TNA is the spiritual successor of WCW, and TNA Wrestling Impact marks the brand’s debut on the iOS platform. (more…)


                                    Vampire Rush Review

                                    Hack-‘n-slash and tower defense are two of the most popular game types on iOS. With the pros and cons of touchscreen gaming, these types of games fit the platform very well. The developers of Vampire Rush have taken a calculated risk by merging these genres into something different. The game combines a variety of conventions that iOS gamers are used to, but the thoughtful execution and cohesiveness of the experience impressed us at every angle. (more…)


                                    Woozzle Review

                                    Coming up with a new and original puzzler for the iOS platform is no easy task. Nearly every type of style has been done numerous times over. Relevant to that reality, putting out a product that has staying power atop the charts is roughly akin to winning the lottery. Sure it can happen, but it’s not likely. Woozzle is an interesting puzzle game that takes some unique turns to establish its own identity. (more…)


                                    Chalk n’ Talk Review

                                    Social gaming is tailor made for the iOS platform. Most of the devices are essentially always online, completely mobile, and easily connected through one of several community platforms. Gamevil, one of the premier iOS developers of role-playing and sports games, is taking a stab at social gaming with Chalk n’ Talk, their take on Pictionary. (more…)


                                    WWE Superstar Slingshot Review

                                    Once the Angry Birds phenomenon took off, it didn’t take long before a slew of clones came along to attempt cashing in from the avalanche of dollars coming in. We’ve seen angry fruit, angry pigs, and even angry trucks and skulls all jousting for your hard earned dollar. But the most surprising of the clones comes is WWE Superstar Slingshot. That’s right, the Angry Birds formula has been adapted to the squared-circle. Read to find out if this casual game scores via decisive pin fall. (more…)


                                    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 Review

                                    Tiger Woods PGA Golf has been the gold standard in virtual golf for many years. Featuring the sport’s most recognizable player and a fine balance on simulation mixed with some arcade flourishes, the series has amassed a loyal following. In the iOS space, Tiger Woods PGA Golf faces some stiff competition courtesy of the excellent Real Golf series from Gameloft. It’s fitting, considering that Tiger Woods has been challenged more than ever coming off of his personal issues. Read on to find out if Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 will be wearing the proverbial green jacket at the end of the day. (more…)


                                    Turbo Grannies Review

                                    On the merit of such an ingenious title alone, Turbo Grannies demanded our attention. We were very curious about whether Swedish development house Imperial Game Studio could pair the game’s name with an equally awesome gaming experience. Want to take a guess on whether they were successful? After applying some Bengay to your index finger, click the link to find out. (more…)


                                    Mission Europa Collector’s Edition HD Review

                                    To loot or not to loot, that is the question. Dungeon crawlers that put an emphasis on collecting items are only as cool as the loot itself. While the best example of this genre on iOS is Dungeon Hunter, it’s also a shameless rip-off of Blizzard’s Diablo series. Mission Europa, from developer Banshee Soft, takes the hack-n-slash convention and attempts some interesting approaches to truly make something unique. Does it succeed, or does it die on the proverbial vine? (more…)


                                    Fight Night Champion by EA Sports Review

                                    While boxing’s popularity has greatly diminished in the past decade due to the rise of Mixed Martial Arts, there’s still a lot of love for the resilient combat sport. EA Sport’s Fight Night series has traditionally done a great job of marrying the sport’s legendary figures with today’s champions and prospects. Fight Night Champion is no different, and it marks the first time the proud franchise has come to the iOS platform. Time to ring the bell and find out if this prospect should have realistic championship aspirations. (more…)


                                    Squeezy Review

                                    Finding the magic formula to be the ‘it’ casual game is the Holy Grail all iOS developers are searching for. For every Cut the Rope there are hundreds of misfires and clones that miss the mark entirely. Squeezy, sadly, seems to be one of those misfires due to its terrible controls. (more…)


                                    NBA Elite 11 Review

                                    Console side, NBA Elite 11 is easily the most disappointing high-profile flop in recent memory from EA Sports. Positioned as a complete rebranding effort away from NBA Live and designed to take back market share from 2K, NBA Elite 11 represented hope for a new approach to basketball videogames. They gave players total control over everything, and this was supposed to bring skill to all aspects of the game, from dribble moves and defense tactics to offensive proficiency. (more…)