After boxer Manny Pacquiao was robbed of the WBO Welterweight title on June 9 by two judges who must not have been watching the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, I wanted to see Pacquiao redeemed. Because he doesn’t fight on my command, I settled for playing Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound on the iOS. This boxing game is presented in third-person with the camera behind Pacquiao featuring boring fight mechanics, an upgrade path that isn’t fun, and a ridiculous story.
Capcom recently brought Marvel vs. Capcom 2 to the iOS, and I tried it out on my iPhone. In case you don’t know, this is a fighting game featuring characters from Marvel and from Capcom. It was originally released in arcades and on Dreamcast and has since been ported to many other systems. The iOS doesn’t usually do well with games that require buttons, and fighting games really do. I was cautiously optimistic because Capcom’s Street Fighter IV did decently on the iOS. Unfortunately, I was let down by Marvel vs. Capcom 2… However, it seems like Capcom just wanted to cash in on hype for the Avengers film. At $4.99 on the App Store, I recommend you pass on this one.
Beat Hazard Ultra is an awesome Steam game turned iOS title that has found a way to eat at my time even when I’m not at my computer. Published by Cold Beam Games, it’s a “twin stick shooter” without the sticks. Beat Hazard Ultra features procedurally-generated levels based on your own music. I loved the Steam version but was doubtful about the iOS version. However, I was proven wrong when I tried it and was amazed!
I can’t stop playing Draw Something. It’s far too addicting. Created by omgpop, which was later purchased by Zynga, Draw Something tasks you with drawing things for others to guess and guessing what others draw. You can have multiple games going at the same time, allowing you to maximize your drawing fun. At the start of each turn, you watch your partner guess your last drawing. Then you guess his or her drawing. Finally, you draw something for your partner again!
The Hunger Games is quite popular lately, so it seems like a great time to review the new iOS game, Hunger Games: Girl on Fire. First it was a book, then it was a movie, and now it’s what the publisher is calling a “teaser game.” Published by Lions Gate Films, Inc. and developed by the creator of Canabalt, it’s a simple game with lots of polish. The character runs forward constantly, and you swipe to jump and tap to shoot!
It’s no surprise that there’s a game now that The Hunger Games has become such a phenomenon. It started as a trilogy of teen novels that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re about the Hunger Games – an event in which the government puts a group of kids into an arena, forcing them to fight to the death. More abstractly, the books are about social status, class wars, government’s role, control, independence, manipulation, and love. As movies usually do, The Hunger Games movie lost some of the character development of the novel and focussed on visual action scenes. The film also shows many great scenes not seen in the book and does a terrific job. How does the game hold up to the novels and film? Excellently.
Hatchi is a virtual pet game for the iOS created by Portable Pixels. It’s very much like a classic Tamagotchi. In fact, if you’ve ever used one, you’ll know exactly how to use Hatchi. It has very simple graphics and sound by intention to feel like the older virtual pets. You take care of your Hatchi, let it evolve over time, keep it satisfied, and then release it!
JAZZ: Trump’s Journey is a new platformer provided to me by BulkyPix and Egg Ball. When you think platformer, you think saving the princess, collecting coins, grabbing rings, and getting emeralds, right? In the future you’ll be thinking playing jazz trumpet. Trump’s Journey tells the story of Trump as he struggles to make it as a musician in 1920’s New Orleans. The game was inspired by the life of Louis Armstrong and is definitely a lot of fun.
After putting some time into SRRN Games’ RPG, ASH II: Shadows, provided to me by Konami, I can definitely say I’m impressed. ASH II has the classic RPG style and feel combined with rich graphics and 2D sprites. The game features some of the normal goals – find dungeons on the overworld, explore, talk to NPCs, and battle enemies. Its writing is it’s strongest part, but I’ll go into more detail on that later. I should note that ASH II: Shadows is the sequel to ASH, which I did not play. The game starts in medias res with players following what I assumed to be an antagonist. I might have known more about what was happening had I played the original, but the story was immediately engaging regardless. I didn’t have any problems. In fact, it makes me want to go back and play the original too!
Fun RPG, humorous dialogue, great dialogue system that allows you to go backwards if you missed a line… fun game!
When Brain Blast Games offered me a horror title, Curio, to review for the iPhone, I was intrigued. Horror? I don’t see that very often on the iOS. Then I tried it, and after less than a minute, I found myself mumbling, “what the heck?” Okay, it was a little more colorful than that. I think that question sums up the game, and I mean that in a good way! While I wouldn’t exactly say it’s scary in the sense that it would cause me to jump, it’s definitely horror-themed and creepy and would be sure to scare a younger audience. It’s odd, and more so, it’s unsettling. It’s a running title in which you go for a high score, and I like it!
Recently Bulkypix provided me Funny Hell to review for all of you! It’s a light-hearted, simple strategy game featuring side-scrolling action. Your army marches right. The enemy army matches left. Where they meet, the armies clash! It’s simple to play with short levels and various types of goals. In addition, it’s definitely a different look at hell than normal!
WHOT! Free is a card game available for free by nKanika! I played it on the iOS, but it’s also available for Android and Facebook. Before I go into any details, let me tell you a little about the game. First, it’s fun, and I like it. (Uh oh, I gave away the ending of the review!) It’s only single-player for now, but multiplayer is coming soon according to the press release. It’s very fun yet simple and has multiple difficulties for those looking for more of a challenge.
THE aMAZEing Labyrinth is a lot of fun. I just feel bad that I missed the original board game! With complete single-player and multiplayer modes, it offers a wide-variety of gameplay. Pass-and-play style multiplayer is rare and much appreciated as well! Not all of my friends have iPhones, and when they do, they rarely have the same games as me. With THE aMAZEing Labyrinth, this isn’t a problem. The game is $3.99 for the iPhone version and $5.99 for the HD, iPad version. I think it would be more appropriately priced lower, but board game fans shouldn’t let the price deter them. If you like board games, you should give it a try!
Girl with a Heart of (yes, that’s the whole title), provided to me by Bent Spoon Games, is a wonderful new game that I had the pleasure of playing recently. I played it on the iPhone, but it’s available for $2.99 on iOS and Android and for $5.99 on Mac and PC. It’s an interactive narrative telling a fantastic story. No one playing it will stumped. No one will find themselves thinking he or she isn’t good enough. The main character in the game must overcome challenges, but the player can simply experience the story. Despite a couple small, technical problems, it’s a great game!
Crazy Escape, provided to me by Bulkypix and KoolFing, is a fun new action and puzzle game for iOS. It’s also a path drawing game, although that honestly didn’t even enter my mind until I sat down to write this review. It features an odd story too; you control penguins driving an off-road vehicle. (Of course. What else would they drive?) Your goal is to drive around, rescuing sheep from wolves. Why are penguins even involved? Who cares!
Frogger Decades for iOS, provided to me by Konami, celebrates Frogger’s 30th anniversary. At its core, it features the same idea that Frogger has always had. However, it adds many things, iterating on the classic in a respectful way. I like where they took it.
SQUIDS is a fun new game for iOS provided to me by The Game Bakers. It just hit the App Store (early!) last night and will be available on Android soon. SQUIDS is a colorful strategy game featuring cartoon-like graphics. When black slime enters the underwater kingdom and begins corrupting, a team of heroes must band together. Of course, these heroes are squids. What else would they be? Combining turn-based strategy, light RPG, and touchscreen controls, SQUIDS is a welcome addition to mobile gaming.
When I read that Shadowgun for iOS was a console-quality game, I was skeptical. However, after Madfinger Games provided the game to me, I was very impressed. Shadowgun is a third-person shooter that looks to be inspired by Gears of War. It uses the Unity development platform, usually used in web-based applications. It looks stunning is an experience you wouldn’t expect to get from an iOS game! I entered expecting exaggerations yet was so impressed that I promptly ran to show my friends.
After seeing Off-Road Drive two years in a row at 1C Company’s annual preview event, Another Night in Moscow, they finally provided me with a copy of the game. Even though I had already tried the game, I was very impressed. You’re not going to find a better off-road truck racing simulator than Off-Road Drive. With a wide variety of trucks and locations, lots of control over your vehicles, and even the ability to leave real ruts in the mud, this game is a blast.
Recently I had the privilege to receive the deluxe edition of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad from Tripwire Interactive. Running on the Unreal Engine 3, it’s a World War II first-person shooter focusing on a realistic take on the war. As the title suggests, Heroes of Stalingrad is centered around the Battle of Stalingrad, July 1942 through February 1943. You can play as either the Russians or the Germans in both single-player and multiplayer. While there is a single-player campaign, the game really shines in multiplayer where there is online stat tracking and the ability to rank up to be a Hero! Despite a few problems and a less than stellar single-player campaign, it’s a great multiplayer shooter and really scratched an itch I’ve been having for a World War II first-person shooter!
Burn It All – Journey to the Sun is a new iOS game that’s bound to be a huge hit! After Bulkypix provided it to me last week, I’ve spent a lot of time playing and enjoying it. It’s currently $0.99 on the App Store, and it’s fantastic. I think we’ll see it on a lot of phones in the future! It’s fun, you can jump into and play it in one minute chunks, and you can sink a lot of time into it if you want. You can try to get through levels quickly or you can try to make perfect runs. It features a simple concept but builds on this concept throughout the game.
Glowfish, provided to me by MumboJumbo, is a gorgeous, underwater exploration game for the iOS. It somehow manages to be relaxing yet challenging at the same time. On a platform filled with a wide-range of games, Glowfish is a real gem. The game tasks you with rescuing your girlfriend, Coralline, from the evil Dr. You’ll set off to reunite with her, finding friends along the way to help.
Glowfish is beautiful and has a fun sense of scale. Defeating enemies makes you bigger, and bigger enemies require you to be the same size to defeat them. Yes, I’ve seen that before, but it makes for a great game.
Groove Coaster was released on the iOS last week, and I’ve had trouble staying away with it. Following in the footsteps of Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Groove Coaster is Taito’s newest offering. At only $2.99 it delivers a fantastic music experience that I highly recommend.
I just wish the soundtrack wasn’t $9.99. I want it, but I don’t want to pay $9.99!
The Asskickers is a fun throwback to older, more difficult beat ’em ups. It has a great art style and fun story. Unfortunately, the game is plagued by problems and glitches. A demo is available on the official site as is the full retail version for $8.99, a price that seems a bit too high even if the game was problem-free. However, I do recommend that fans of the genre looking for a challenge try the demo. If it runs without any of the glitches, that price becomes a lot more reasonable!
Allied Star Police, developed by PopCap’s 4th & battery, is an RTS / defense game. You send waves of units along a straight path to battle the enemy’s units. What makes it so special? It was designed by nine-year-old Owain through the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the iOS.
I don’t normally review free games on Game Boyz (because I’m unpaid, I choose to review games that would normally cost money), but I decided to make an exception for this one.
Supreme Ruler: Cold War is more simulator and less game, showing users an in-depth simulation and welcoming them to see what effects their actions would have. Unfortunately, frequently there’s little way to know what most actions would ultimately do.
Kard Combat by Hothead Games is a new strategy card game for the iOS. What first made me especially interested in the game was that it was co-created by Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering as well as countless other strategic card games. Kard Combat didn’t disappoint. There is a lot of strategy involved, and it’s very fun!
Recently Capcom provided me with their latest Street Fighter iOS title, Street Fighter IV: Volt. Capcom has always iterated on its Street Fighter franchise, and the iOS platform is no exception. The big feature of Volt is online multiplayer! …if you already own the original, it simply comes down to whether you want to pay the asking price to play online. If you’re a competitive player or if you just like some human interaction, it’s worth it, but if you play mostly for the single player, you might not want to upgrade. That said, if you don’t already own Street Fighter IV on your iOS device, I think you should ignore the original even if you only like playing solo and jump straight to Volt. Street Fighter IV: Volt is the best fighting experience on iOS
I spent some great quality time with a new game provided to me by Hothead that I’d like to tell you all about! Cell Bound, their new iOS game, mixes up an old formula to create a fantastic new game. Colored bubbles are shot across the screen, and you’re tasked with connecting five of the same color to pop them. Don’t let them stack up off the screen or it’s game over. Does that sound familiar? Well, Cell Bound is a bit different than what you probably have in mind, because the bubbles come from all sides in a circle!
Circular Puzzle Bubble? Yeah, it’s pretty fun and only $0.99!