Posts byTim Rattray

Reviews

Brandnew Boy Review

Brandnew Boy could have been great on a traditional gaming platform with tactile controls. Trying to be innovative by having players control Rookie, the main character, through a series of taps and swipes seriously hampers this brawler’s playability. It’s unfortunate, as Brandnew Boy looks so beautiful. (more…)

Reviews

Lume Review

When we saw Lume’s cardboard cutout visual style, we were instantly drawn into its unique world, and we weren’t the only ones; the game was an IGF finalist for best art direction. Unfortunately, the experience doesn’t last long, as the game ends almost as soon as it begins. (more…)

Reviews

Mass Effect Infiltrator Review

Mass Effect can’t catch a break on iOS. EA’s first attempt to bring the massive space RPG to handhelds, Mass Effect Galaxy, was such a disaster that the publisher actually pulled it from the App Store. But as the saying goes, first is the worst and second is the best. With IronMonkey Studios (the developers of Dead Space on iOS) behind it, Mass Effect Infiltrator must be awesome, right?

Wrong. Very, very wrong. (more…)

Reviews

Beat Sneak Bandit Review

Simogo may be fairly new on the development scene, but they’ve already made a name for themselves with games like Bumpy Road and Kosmo Spin. As odd as both of those games are, Beat Sneak Bandit takes the insanity to a whole new level. It has an offbeat concept, requiring you to tap in time with the music to move through puzzles. There’s really nothing else quite like it on the App Store. (more…)

Reviews

Ice Rage Review

Mountain Sheep, the developers behind iOS classics Minigore and Bike Baron, are at it again with Ice Rage. This bite-sized hockey game sports their signature art style and simplicity but takes the simplicity part too far, making Ice Rage a game you’ll quickly lose interest in. (more…)

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Raid Leader Review

Serious MMO players, especially those who play World of Warcraft, know the glory of taking down a huge boss in a raid. As the name suggests, Raid Leader takes this concept and applies it to top-down real-time gameplay. It’s an intriguing concept, but the execution is downright frustrating at times. (more…)

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Ragdoll Blaster 3 Review

For Backflip Studios, the evolution of the Ragdoll Blaster series is a clear marker of their progressive success. The first game featured simple pen-and-paper visuals, the second had a much more original steampunk look, and now the third has full-on 3D models. However, one thing has been consistent: quality level design. In the latest iteration of the series, this remains mostly true. (more…)

Reviews

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Review

Shu Takumi is a brilliant man. You may know him as the mind behind Ace Attorney, the series of quirky lawyer games where you must prove a client innocent against improbable odds. His most recent work, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2010. This gem won Handheld Game of the Year awards from many major websites, and now Ghost Trick has found its way onto the App Store, where it’s better than ever. (more…)

Reviews

Dungeon Crawlers Review

We love a good genre mash-up, so the prospect of Dungeon Crawlers– replace a dungeon crawling RPG’s fast-paced action with tactical strategy– was extremely enticing to us. The biggest hurdle for such a mash-up is retaining the elements of dungeon crawling that make it so satisfying, like loot drops and randomization. Dungeon Crawlers doesn’t quite do this, but the gameplay is strong enough that it remains a good game. (more…)

Reviews

Bit-1 Review

Challenge platformers have seen a major resurgence ever since Super Meat Boy rose to popularity. iOS has seen many excellent incarnations of the subgenre, such as League of Evil and Mos Speedrun. On the other side of the spectrum are the attempts that fall far from the mark, Bit-1 being a prime example. The game lacks the speed, clever level design and tight controls that make challenge platformers so rewarding. (more…)

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Windosill iPad Review

Games have tried to be ‘art’ ever since the medium was created, but few take the task as seriously as Windosill. This logic puzzler is akin to scrolling through an interactive abstract mosaic, and it’s an absolute thrill ride. (more…)

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Gua-Le-Ni iPad Review

Ever heard of a Ti-ster? What about a Wart-dor-tle? What, not even a Rhi-mel? In Gua-Le-Ni (or: The Horrendous Parade) you’re tasked with cataloging these and other rare crossbred animals before they move out of sight. (more…)

Reviews

Super Crate Box Review

Back in October, Angry Mob Games released Muffin Knight. While we found it to be worth checking out, there was no denying that the developer had ripped the concept for that game right out of Vlambeer’s PC cult hit Super Crate Box. Thus, Vlambeer decided to release an iOS version of the original. Unfortunately, control problems and a lack of content compared to its imitator make it the less desirable choice. (more…)

Reviews

Swingworm Review

One of the great aspects of iOS gaming is that developers are constantly finding innovative ways to twist conventional genres to use the unique properties of touch-based controls. Oftentimes we wonder just how many more ideas developers can up with. According to 10tons, developers of Swingworm, the well isn’t dry yet. (more…)

Reviews

Paper Toss 2.0 Review

Paper Toss 2.0 is actually the third entry into the popular series about throwing crumpled up pieces of paper into a trashcan. It’s the official sport of bored office peons worldwide, and who can blame them? You can get sucked into this activity for hours before you notice it’s time to get back to work. Playing on your phone just means less mess and less of a chance that your boss will get angry. (more…)

Reviews

Dungeon Hunter 3 Review

While it has a ‘3’ in its name, Dungeon Hunter 3 has almost no relation to its predecessors. While the first and second Dungeon Hunter games had lengthy stories and loot-driven dungeon crawling, this iteration scraps everything that made those games click in exchange for a wave-based arena hack-‘n-slash. It’s unfortunate, as the grinding nature of the new formula mixes with a freemium model that makes it incredibly tough to progress without spending money. This game isn’t worthy of the Dungeon Hunter name. (more…)

Reviews

Sleepy Jack Review

When you close your eyes at night, do you dream of space travel? What about space travel in a giant mech using rocket launchers and giant crab claws to crush puffer fish, squid kings, and raging cacti, all while speeding down the inside of a tube-like highway? Jack does, and it’s beautiful. This tunnel runner/shmup mash-up is amongst the best in both genres. (more…)

Reviews

Battle Bears Royale Review

Thus far, we’ve enjoyed most of what the iOS-born Battle Bears series has had to offer. The offbeat war between Oliver and his crew and the cute, evil huggables always offers up some laughs. Battle Bears Royale takes the characters you’ve come to love and their crazy arsenal of artillery into a new realm: online. Unfortunately, this time around the action isn’t so grand. (more…)

Reviews

Bejeweled Blitz Review

Bejeweled recently saw two simultaneous releases: Bejweled, which features three different modes for a dollar, and Bejeweled Blitz, a freemium game with one mode in which you have a minute to score as many points as you can by matching gems. If you’re turned away from the long, drawn out nature of the original Bejeweled, then Blitz is for you. (more…)

Reviews

Extraction: Project Outbreak Review

Extraction: Project Outbreak is about the blandest name that this game could have been given, and the screenshots don’t help. At first glance, the game looks like just another top-down shooter with generic infected enemies. However, Extraction is the type of game you need to play to understand how unique it is. It mixes a simple one-finger control scheme with deep gameplay to provide a tactical experience without all the screen clutter. (more…)

Reviews

Chrono Trigger Review

Chrono Trigger will need no introduction to most of the old-school gamers in our readership. The classic RPG about saving the world through time-travel is a true timeless classic that is regarded to this day as one of the greatest videogames of all time. This port brings iOS gamers same great game we’ve loved for years, but some port-related drawbacks make it feel rusty like Robo. (more…)

    Mecho Wars: Desert Ashes Preview

    Remember Mecho Wars, the oddball turn-based strategy game from developer Luc Bernard? In December, Mecho Wars is finally getting a sequel with Mecho Wars: Desert Ashes, and we have exclusive new details about what you can expect. (more…)

    Reviews

    Advena Review

    It’s hard not to get tired of Korean RPGs. Most suffer from a poor translation of a generic story and play the same as the many other Korean mobile RPGs on the market. To this end, the spark that we once found in Gamevil’s Zenonia and Hybrid series no longer persists. And unfortunately, Advena doesn’t help to reignite that flame. (more…)

    Reviews

    Scribblenauts Remix Review

    If you’ve followed DS gaming, chances are you’re at least familiar with Scribblenauts. 5th Cell’s ‘write anything’ concept ending up spawning two games that garnered quite a loyal following. Scribblenauts Remix serves as a ‘greatest hits’ for the series, and newcomers shouldn’t think twice about purchasing it. (more…)

    Reviews

    Block Breaker 3 Unlimited Review

    Almost all of us have played a brick breaker game at some point. One comes preloaded on just about every phone and mp3 player ever released. The sad truth is that most of them aren’t all that fun; in fact, many are downright boring. Gameloft’s Block Breaker 3 Unlimited attempts to breathe new life into the genre. Does it break the new ground, or does it put us to sleep like the others? (more…)

    Reviews

    1-bit Ninja Review

    1-bit Ninja is like a bad sequel to a great movie: You want to love it, but no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t. Not only that, but the screenshots show the best parts of the game– the retro visuals– while the game itself leaves something to be desired. (more…)

    Reviews

    Cargo Runners iPad Review

    Trouble Brothers Jeff McCord and Stephen Shippert are no strangers to making board games. They’ve been in this business a long time, and know a thing or two about how to make traditional board games just as exciting as modern video games. Cargo Runners is their latest effort at bringing old-school style to the digital era, and while it lacks a single-player component, it’s still one of the best iPad board games on the App Store. (more…)

    Reviews

    Street Fighter IV Volt Review

    Few franchises have been milked as much as Street Fighter. To date, Street Fighter 4 has had two re-releases on consoles, and that’s not including various other versions of the game on arcades, handhelds, and mobile phones. Like it or not, this strategy has worked well for Capcom. Street Fighter 4 Volt is Capcom’s attempt to double-dip on iOS and, with the App Store’s solid update ecosystem, it feels a bit unnecessary. (more…)

    Reviews

    D.A.R.K. Review

    Don’t you hate it when a game is going great, until you’re greeted with a ‘more content in the next update’ message? We’ve all experienced this before, and it always feels like a slap in the face. D.A.R.K., for all its fun dual-stick shooting action, is no different. (more…)

    Reviews

    Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Review

    Sega often gets flack for constantly releasing new Sonic games, but Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing did a good job of ‘righting some wrongs’ when it was released on consoles to positive reviews last year. Now, on Sonic’s 20th birthday, we have an iOS version that simply blows away any other iOS kart racer. This is more of the Sega we like to see. (more…)

    Reviews

    TriZen Review

    Despite the tranquil title, playing Little White Bear Studios’ ‘Zen’ series of puzzlers puts us in a mood that’s quite the opposite of total calm– but that’s not a bad thing. Solving the puzzles in TriZen, the latest game in the series, is anything but simple. (more…)

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    Final Fantasy III Review

    Old-school RPGs show their age more than most game genres, even when they’re re-released with a facelift. Final Fantasy III is a prime example of this, as it truly does feel like an RPG of yore with a complete visual overhaul. However, this doesn’t mean that Final Fantasy fanatics won’t love it any less. (more…)

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    Undead Island Review

    Platformer combat is tough to do right. Undead Island is an example of a game that doesn’t find a proportionate mix of style and depth for it to work right. What we’re left with is a short and repetitive 16 level romp across an island sprawling with alien-like zombies. (more…)

    Reviews

    Wave – Against Every Beat! Review

    Even though it sounds like the name of a music game, Wave – Against Every Beat! is a standard top-down shooter. You control a ship and shoot waves of enemies that fly onto the screen. There are multiple types of enemies, some of which try to avoid your bullets or shoot back at you, but you’ll mostly deal with a standard enemy that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. That’s not to say Wave has nothing going for it. (more…)

    Reviews

    The Moron Test Review

    We’ll start off by saying that, yes, we know this review is nearly two years late. Yes, many of you have already decided whether or not to buy this app, as it has been sitting pretty near the top of the paid apps list ever since launch. And yes, you likely just want this game to go away by now. However, since we just got around to checking it out, here’s our review of this clever test game. (more…)

    Reviews

    Hogtide Review

    Cowboys can range from heroic figures fighting for liberation to gun-slingin’, down and dirty rapscallions who storm into town, get drunk, and steal young ladies. The cowboy in Hogtide is very much in the latter camp. However, it seems that personality had a quicker trigger finger than gameplay in this rush through the Wild West. (more…)

    Reviews

    Hot Springs Story Review

    Last year we gave high praise to Game Dev Story. In fact, we loved the ‘create your own videogame company’ simulator so much that we gave it our Game of the Month award for October and placed it at #14 on our Top 50 iPhone Games of 2010. Now Kairosoft has released a follow-up, Hot Springs Story, which applies the same awesome pixel art, user interface, and concepts to a spa setting. It’s fantastic, and even better than Game Dev Story, except for the steam-bathing old ladies. (more…)

    Reviews

    RoboSockets Review

    If our planet were hit by a devastating meteor, we might enlist robots to help us rebuild. The inhabitants of RoboPlanet, however, want us to help rebuild their robots. After our time with RoboSockets, we decided this noble cause is one worth taking up. (more…)

      Under The Radar: February 26, 2011

      This week has been defined by overnight success story Tiny Wings, which came out of nowhere and took Angry Birds‘s crown as top paid app. It’s stories like this that remind us that indie games are the lifeblood of the App Store. In this week’s Under The Radar, we bring you five other recently released indie games that are also worth a look. (more…)

      Reviews

      Tiny Wings Review

      Tiny Wings is what iOS gaming is about. The controls are easy to pick up, the graphics are crisp and colorful, and the addictive gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Plus, the concept of a bird with short wings using hills to launch itself into the air is absolutely adorable. There is a reason this game has risen to popularity overnight: it’s one of the best pick-up-and-play games you’ll find on the App Store, bar none. (more…)

      Reviews

      Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas HD iPad Review

      You may look at the name of this game (which we will be abbreviating to PvNvZvP for sanity’s sake) and think, ‘WOW! Ninjas, pirates, zombies, AND pandas in one game? That’s everything an iOS gamer could want!’ We don’t blame you for this reaction, as it differs little from our own. However, don’t hit that purchase button until you read our review. The epic game you might be expecting is nowhere in sight. (more…)

        Under The Radar: February 19, 2011

        Back for more, are ya? This week’s Under The Radar is packed to the brim, so get your reading spectacles on and a warm cup of joe. Without further ado, let’s dive into some of this week’s indie games. (more…)