Posts byShawn Leonard

Reviews

The Saboteur Review

Long ago, gamers everywhere were anticipating a promising open world game from Pandemic Studios called The Saboteur. Set in Nazi-dominated France, the game starred a protagonist hell-bent on revenge for the death of his friend. An interesting premise for sure, but unfortunately the game never reached its potential, and the guys at Pandemic were shut down the nanosecond the game was completed. While the console versions garnered mixed reviews, we were cautiously optimistic that a different developer and the iPhone platform could deliver a good game. Sadly, this version turned out to be horribly bad. (more…)

Reviews

Mirror’s Edge for iPad Review

As we continue our coverage of the first round of launch apps on the iPad, there’s a very strong case that Electronic Arts is bringing it harder than any other developer. With an amazing port of Command & Conquer: Red Alert and a brilliant new version of Scrabble using slick interoperability between iPads and iPhones, it’s very exciting to see some early returns on using such a large touchscreen. Of EA’s launch titles on the iPad, Mirror’s Edge is the biggest and most interesting surprise. (more…)

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Reviews

Six-String Review

If there’s one genre that has been tapped in virtually every way possible on the iPhone, it’d have to be music/rhythm. We’ve seen awesome stuff from Tapulous with its Tap Tap Revenge series along with other stellar efforts from huge brands like Rock Band. While there’s some slight variation in gameplay mechanics among the heavy hitters, if you’ve played one you’ve essentially played them all. Clearly, this space is competitive, and having new approach is a necessity to break in. Enter Six-String, a rhythmic guitar game that is a satisfying mix of familiar and new elements. (more…)

Reviews

Dawn of Discovery – Harbor Review

Last year, Ubisoft put out a new real-time strategy game called Dawn of Discovery that somewhat flew under the radar. With the main SKU leading on the PC along with some down-sampled ports on the Wii and DS, critics and consumers alike gave it a favorable reception. Hoping to continue developing the brand’s exposure, the team at BlueByte put together an original game for the iPhone dubbed Dawn of Discovery – Harbor. Epic name aside, read on to find out if this is a discovery you should make. (more…)

Previews

Assault Squadron Hands-On Preview

There’s a reason why the Assault Squadron trailer made the cut as one of our featured videos last week. Not only does this shooter sport a serious visual package, but the scale and density being hinted at seem extremely promising. Looking like a supercharged update of Gradius, Assault Squadron seems to have all the ingredients to be something special. Fresh off of spending our weekend plowing through a preview build, it’s time to share our hands-on impressions. (more…)

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Previews

Sketch Nation Shooter Hands-On Preview and Video

Should you think 2D shooters has been executed in every possible way, Engineous Games wants you to think again. Sketch Nation Shooter isn’t about having you play a predetermined set of levels created by the developers. Sure, that element is there, but the crux of this experience is based on providing users the playground to deliver their own visions and sharing them with the world. (more…)

Previews

Zombie Escape Hands-On Preview

Ever wonder what you’d get if you took the hugely popular air traffic controller-themed games and sprinkled them with a little survival horror? Not sure what that’d look like? Based on our time with it, Viqua Games may have found an interesting niché to settle in with their upcoming title, Zombie Escape. (more…)

Previews

The Hero Hands-On Preview

According to the Apple naysayers, the App Store is so full of crap that good games have no shot at being successful. Fortunately, there are studios like Finland-based Traplight Games that don’t subscribe to that pessimistic point of view. (more…)

Previews

Ragdoll Blaster 2 Hands-On Preview

One of the recent cult classics on iPhone was a unique effort from the team at Backflip Studios, called Ragdoll Blaster. Ragdoll Blaster took an amazing physics engine and created an engaging title that threaded the line between being a shooter and a puzzler. Though Ragdoll Blaster was excellent in virtually every aspect, its most impressive accomplishment was delivering dozens upon dozens of imaginative puzzles to conquer. With Ragdoll Blaster 2, that legacy aims to be faithfully recreated and expanded upon. From what we’ve played, it seems to live up to its predecessor. (more…)

Reviews

Cheap Shot: Makeout Mania

As we approach another commercialized holiday, it’s important to reflect on the things that matter. Things like why we’re so smitten with the iPhone and its ability to wow us on a daily basis. It’s only on this platform that a little labor of love like Makeout Mania can viably exist and be relevant. Read on to see if this game gets to second base or goes home without any action. (more…)

Reviews

2360: Battle for Cydonia Review

Developers taking chances is something that we’ll always respect. Sometimes, things work out and these games inspire a whole new set of clones. When games fail to perfectly execute a new concept, lessons are learned that the whole development community can benefit from. In the case of 2360: Battle for Cydonia, it’s a full-on assault to break new ground. In it, you’ll find a mix of the mechanics and gameplay structures from shooters, role-playing adventures, and real-time strategy. Does it all mesh together successfully or does it end up being an unnecessarily complex disappointment? (more…)

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Reviews

Charadium Review

Innovation is a word that’s loosely thrown around by some to describe anything even a wee bit off the beaten path. As a consequence, when a game is truly deserving of being labeled innovative, its impact is a little diminished. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen to Charadium, because its premise is unlike anything else out there. It’s a marriage of Charades and Pictionary powered by Ngmoco’s solid Plus+ social network. If you’re all about social gaming and community interaction, get ready to dive into this genius game. (more…)

Reviews

Pik’s Revenge Review

When Apple announced the arrival of in-game purchases to help usher in true episodic gaming for the iPhone, there was a mixed reaction. Developers loved it because it could serve as a means to break the $9.99 ceiling, while gamers were understandably jaded from rip-off DLC scenarios on traditional consoles. While the jury is still out on how in-game purchases will affect the App Store long-term, it’s great to see indie games like Pik’s Revenge take an episodic approach while focusing on great content and value. With a new episode added recently, there’s now enough game here to warrant a full review. (more…)

Previews

Pro Zombie Soccer Hands-On Preview

It’s always interesting to see how iPhone developers figure out ways to differentiate their games from the rest of the pack. Some developers rely on crazy names, others bet on gimmicky mechanics, while everyone is trying to hit a homer with slick presentation values. Sometimes, a marriage of two completely different subjects makes for a surprisingly good game. In this case, soccer and swarms of zombies combine to create Pro Zombie Soccer. (more…)

Reviews

The Simpsons Arcade Review

For over 20 years, we’ve come to know Homer J. Simpson and love him as the head of Fox’s most famous and enduring family, The Simpsons. Homer is many things, including lazy, stupid, and dangerously overweight. But despite his flaws, Homer has proven to be a man who is inherently goodhearted and usually does the right thing. (more…)

Reviews

Shaun White Snowboarding: Origins Review

Snowboarding has come a long way. Once considered a niche extreme sport that was filled with fearless thrill-seekers rather than real athletes, snowboarding is finally getting the attention it deserves. The rise in popularity is fueled by many factors, but there has been one transcendent figure who has been the face of American snowboarding for several years. Shaun White, Carrot-Top’s long lost brother, is snowboarding’s version of Tony Hawk. Like that king of skateboarding, Shaun White has his own gaming franchise too. While the reception of the console versions has been mixed, Shaun White Snowboarding: Origins tries to deliver an iPhone snowboarding experience that’s worthy of its name. (more…)

Previews

Need For Speed: Shift Hands-On Preview

When we originally heard that the latest game in the Need For Speed franchise was coming to the iPhone, we were pumped for a couple of reasons. One, Need For Speed: Shift was a great kick in the pants that the brand really needed on traditional consoles. Besides bringing that trademark style and speed you’d expect, there were several simulation ingredients that gave the game a more measured and less extreme feel. (more…)

Reviews

Super Monkey Ball 2 Review

The original Super Monkey Ball holds a special place in the history of the iPhone as a gaming platform. At launch, it was a recognizable game that was positioned as a showpiece for Apple’s new device. As a franchise born on the Nintendo Gamecube back in 2000, there have been numerous variations of the game founded on the addictive maze-like racer. (more…)

Reviews

Cliffed Review

We’re all familiar with the extraordinary turn-based game Star Hogs, launched earlier this summer to an unsuspecting public. Not only was the core game excellent, but the online multiplayer was really innovative stuff back then. As a result, IUGO became a developer we definitely needed to keep an eye on. The new project, Cliffed, isn’t anything turn-based, but it’s an interesting fusion of racing and platforming action that’s unique enough to potentially spawn a wave of imitators. (more…)

Reviews

MiniSquadron Review

If there’s anything we’ve learned this year across all forms of gaming both big and small, it’s that we love ourselves some shooters. Whether you look at the record-smashing success of Modern Warfare 2 on traditional platforms or the breadth and depth of shooters on portables, consumers appear to have an insatiable thirst for the next great shooter. (more…)

Reviews

The Settlers Review

It’s clear to see that the Real Time Strategy genre is heating up in a major way as of late. You’ve seen extensive coverage here on a variety of solid games like Uniwar, Quantum Collapse, and Command & Conquer Red Alert to name a few. Thanks to Gameloft, another RTS franchise with a rich PC lineage has come to the iPhone. While many people will be discovering The Settlers for the first time here, there’s a huge fan-base that’ll be interested to see how faithful this game is to the franchise. (more…)

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