Recommended games in Two-Stick Shooters
Badland 2 takes everything to love about Badland and turns it up to 11
Sequels can be an tough business. Similar to the way it’s hard for a band to have a hit with their second album, the second game in a franchise is usually really tough. There are so many things in play at that point — number one being the stress of the expectation others have to produce another hit. But in this case, the sequel turned out to be really amazing. Badland 2 takes everything that’s so awesome about Badland and makes it even more awesome without the game losing any of it’s super sincere originality.
The key difference in Badland 2 is the control scheme. The original was one touch — touch anywhere on the screen to flap the wings, rise up, and move forward. This version adds the ability to go left or right by touching on the left or right of the screen. This increases possibilities in the game to allow mazes that snake around rather than being a pretty much up/down affair. Other new features include different obstacles and new challenges that all fit well in the style of the game.
Badland was one of the most original and amazing games released in the history of mobile games. If you enjoyed the original’s art style and challenging gameplay, you will love Badland 2.
Posted December 17, 2015 by Jeff Scott
Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy is "a quiet gem" - 4/5 from Pocket Tactics
Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, published by Slitherine, has ships. A gritty, granular turn-based smorgasbord of ships. Having jumped from PC to iPad, one of 2015’s better strategies has arrived intact.
Star Hammer touts a hefty sixty-odd mission campaign beyond its skirmish component. Single player offers a few temporary twists in branching sorties. While these are minor divergences to encourage repeat playthroughs, the campaign is straightforward and offers a decent upward difficulty swing. Introductory operations have players shunting small fleets about, completing entry-level objectives like protecting salvage operations and fending off scant Nautilid marauders to blood their ships and gain fleet experience. Command points are awarded for completed missions, thereafter used to bring more hardware into the vacuum. By the later stages of the game, it’s a case of musing over fleet composition; what vessels to bring out and who to leave on the bench.
Posted December 15, 2015 via Pocket Tactics
Football Manager Touch 2016 gets top marks at Touch Arcade
Despite the 3D engine disappointment, the game still stands as the king of manager games on iOS and an extremely-easy recommendation to anyone even remotely interested in sports. The game’s depth is probably incomparable to anything on the App Store, its replayability probably unmatched too, and the entertainment it offers ranks up with the best gaming experiences I’ve had on any platform. SI has put a lot of work to make the game play better on tablet, and it shows as it’s definitely the most tablet-friendly manager game to date.
While the game will entertain every player who enjoys deep management games, it truly shines when you actually know football and follow it. Why? Because there’s a sense of vindication when playing FMT 2016 that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten from another game. When that no-name player you got into your digital team at the beginning of the year ends up becoming a big signing for a real-life big team merely a few months later, then you can proudly say “I called it.” Outside the ‘moral satisfaction’ that such moments bring, they also show the game’s realism in terms of player representation, another reason why playing this game and watching the real sport end up merging together in a fabulous amalgam of sports entertainment.
Posted December 15, 2015 via Touch Arcade
"Easy to Love" - A Good Snowman is Hard gets perfect 5/5 from Gamezebo
Oh my gosh this game. This game.
If you dilute it down to its most basic elements, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is basically sokoban – a very common sort of puzzle game that has you pushing blocks around various environments. I remember having a similar kind of game on my very first cell phone, which at the time was impressive because it had a color display and a built-in camera. So yes, sokoban is a classic puzzle genre that I’ve always enjoyed quite a bit.
Posted December 15, 2015 via Gamezebo
Pocket Troops is a 'bite-sized war game' - 4/5 from Gamezebo
Pocket Troops is the sort of bite-sized war game that makes for a good fit on a mobile platform. It’s involved enough to keep your attention, but hands-off enough that you don’t really feel like you have to hover over it at all times. Plus the tiny, angry army dudes are adorable!
As simple as it is and as little direct interaction as there might be, I do think Pocket Troops is pretty enjoyable. It’s ideal for playing a few minutes at a time, whenever you have a spare moment and the desire to. And I do loves me some soldier training and upgrading. But it’s definitely not going to blow anyone away with its strategic depth.
Posted December 14, 2015 via Gamezebo
Icycle: On Thin Ice from 2013 Updated -- Now even more amazing
(Editor’s Note: Icycle, one of the best games of 2013 has been updated with a new chapter including 7 new locations.)
Are you familiar with the works of a man named Saul Bass? During the ’70s and ’80s he was one of the most iconic graphic-designers/artists the nation had ever seen. His surreal and spacey style graced movie posters, corporate logos, and even movies themselves which included the title sequence for Hitchcock’s Psycho. He has been imitated, revered, and homaged endlessly over the years (check out the title sequence for the Spielberg movie Catch me if You Can for an idea) and it’s not hyperbole to say that he’s one of the most influential artists of the modern era.
The only knock I have against Icycle, and it’s a minor one, is that the controls are a tad too floaty. Dennis just kind of casually moves along the landscape and his jumps tend to not be precise enough to achieve the razor-edge timing that a lot of the levels require. In certain levels Dennis uses an umbrella to glide himself through the obstacles and it’s easy to accidentally activate the umbrella instead of jumping or vice-versa as they’re both controlled by the same button. It’s far from a deal breaker, and with enough practice you can get a handle on things, but in a game that requires such accuracy, the almost laissez-faire nature of the controls can be a bit annoying.
Icycle is unlike anything I’ve experienced in a long time. I could go on and on about the game, but the bottom line is that if you’re looking for a stand-out mobile game which will defy your expectations at every turn, then Icycle is the game for you.
Posted December 14, 2015 by Erik Carlson
Air Attack 2
AirAttack 2 is the game that’s so nice I wrote about twice. It really is that good. It’s still crazy sometimes to think about getting a game of this quality for a couple of dollars, as it could easily sell for ten or twenty times that on a handheld like the 3DS or Vita. While free to play and disposable gaming are common in the mobile world, every once in a while titles like AirAttack 2 come along and make you remember why you love mobile gaming in the first place.
Posted December 14, 2015 via Touch Arcade
The World Ends With You: Solo Remix Updated for iOS 9 (finally)
When the original The World Ends With You came out for the Nintendo DS in 2008, it quickly earned its place as one of the best role-playing games on the platform. The game was made by Square Enix, but it’s a far cry from their traditional fare of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The setting, story, and combat system make the game more modern and streamlined. And now it’s on iOS.
Naturally, the iOS port removes one of the screens from the equation, but they’ve done such a great job of putting the game on a single touchscreen that you’d never know anything was missing. The setting is a modern-day Japanese city, so the characters have cell phones and walk through streets crowded with modern people with modern problems. Cars and construction equipment populate the fighting areas, and store fronts and urban art play roles in the story.
This is a deep, meaty RPG that can easily eat up dozens of hours of your time. As Square Enix has been known to do, they’re is charging a lot for the game, but it’s well worth the cost. If it’s still too much for you to swallow, you can always wait for a sale. But for serious RPG fans, The World Ends With You is a definite Must Have.
Posted December 14, 2015 by Chris Reed