July 29, 2012

Fieldrunners 2 by Subatomic Studios

(5/5) Fieldrunners 2 for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is the long-awaited sequel to what was once the most popular tower defense game on iOS, Fieldrunners. Fieldrunners 2 feels like the original Fieldrunners, but with improved graphics, new towers, more levels, and a new level select screen. The enemies are the same, with some new additions. The tunes, just like the first game's, are catchy and sound great. Each level can be played in either easy, normal, or heroic mode, each one providing one, two, or three stars based on the difficulty level chosen. Stars unlock new towers, which allows you to chose which 5 weapons to use for a level. In between each level, you can use coins (earned in-game) to purchase items that can help you, such as time-rewinds, land mines, etc. Fieldrunners 2 is a large improvement from the first game in the series, and is definitely a good game to purchase if you enjoyed the first, or like tower defense games. Fieldrunners 2 is available on the app store for $2.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/fieldrunners-2/id527358348?mt=8

July 26, 2012

Rat Fishing by Miniclip.com

(4.4/5) Rat Fishing for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a puzzle game that is unique. You must lure rats into pits, mines, etc. in order to kill them. Every time you kill a rat you receive a coin, which can be used to buy hints, skip levels, and unlock worlds. You have a certain amount of cheese balls that you can use in a level. The puzzles require you to occasionally allow one rat to eat the cheese, but kill another one that was lured to the same piece. Eventually, all rats must die. There are multiple worlds to play through, and each world has ten levels. Rat Fishing has  cartoonish graphics, which is nothing new for Miniclip's games. The music is composed by a xylophone and a flute-like instrument on the menu screens, but the actual levels have only background sounds (like waves crashing). Rat Fishing is an interesting puzzle game, and it's worth checking out on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/rat-fishing/id531073963?mt=8

MANOS - The Hands of Fate by FreakZone Games

(4.8/5) MANOS - The Hands of Fate for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazing retro action/platformer game. You play as Mike, the head of a family. You must traverse through deserts, inns, caves, etc. and defeat the small boss at the end of every stage. You start with 5 lives, and each time you run out of health or fall off a cliff, you lose one. Once you lose all of your lives, you start back at stage one. That's right, if you lose all of your lives, you don't start at the beginning of the stage, but at the beginning of the entire game. This is a turn-off, but luckily MANOS is amazing enough to make me want to keep trying. MANOS's graphics are stunning. As a person who adores pixel art, MANOS amazed me. The art is most likely the best of its kind on iOS. The chiptunes remind me of games such as Link's Awakening, an amazing (and old) Game Boy game. As for the controls, it's quite simple. Two arrows for movement, a button for jumping, and a button for shooting. There are a variety of guns to use in the game, my personal favorite being the shotgun. Occasionally, during the game, you will find hands. These hands can contain hearts that restore health or gems that give you points. In order to receive these items, you must shoot the hands. Some hands will flash multiple colors. These special hands are the titular "Hands of Fate". If touched, they increase your health by one hit. MANOS - The Hands of Fate is my current favorite retro action platformer, with great graphics and sound, that I can recommend to anyone. MANOS - The Hands of Fate is available on the app store for $1.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/manos-the-hands-of-fate/id538802870?ls=1&mt=8

Shellrazer by Slick Entertainment

(4.9/5) Shellrazer for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is a simply epic game. You play as a giant turtle that has gunman, blacksmiths, wizards, etc. mounted on its shell. How cool is that? The premise is simple: your girlfriend was kidnapped by goblins, along with some men. Free the men, and they will help you in any way they possibly can to free your girlfriend. There are a lot of levels, along with unlockable units that have unique ways of demolishing wave after wave of enemies. Shellrazer's controls are quite simple. Slide away rom a tower to aim and attack. When you lift your finger, all attacking will stop. If you tap and hold directly on the turtle, you will speed up, and collect some extra coins. Coins can be spent on upgrading units, power-ups, or consumable items. These items will give you an advantage on the battlefield by destroying large amounts of enemies, healing towers, making your units invincible, etc.. Shellrazer is comparable to GlitchSoft's Destructopus. The graphics are very smooth, and look great even on older devices. The levels are well-designed, but they get difficult very quickly- even on easy mode. The rock-type music sounds great and fits extremely well with the entire game.  Overall, Shellrazer is a great game with a unique premise, enjoyable gameplay, and a ton of action. Shellrazer is very easy to recommend, available for $2.99 on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/id512290900

July 21, 2012

Great Big War Game by Rubicon

(5/5) Great Big War Game is the successor to Rubicon's previous strategy game, Great Little War Game. In Great Big War Game (I'll call it GBWG for the rest of this review), you lead an army to war. You must defend your own base and your units while trudging on towards the enemy headquarters. The dialogue between levels is humorous, and explains most of the story. GBWG can be played in two different ways- solo campaign or multiplayer (either online or pass-and-play). Each unit has special abilities and attack ranges. The attack power, health, etc. can be upgraded using "battle points", which can be earned in-game or through in-app purchases. During one turn, your battle units can move around and attack. Some units, like the engineers and the scouts, have no weapons. They must be defended by battle units, or they will perish quickly during the enemy's turn. The engineer units have the special ability to capture buildings, oil derricks, and vehicles. Oil derricks give you coins at the beginning of every turn, which allows you to purchase units from captured barracks. GBWG has great graphics. The levels are detailed and are laid out well. The tunes in the game sound as if they were performed by a military marching band, which was most likely the composer's goal. Overall, Great Big War Game is a great strategy game that you should definitely download and play for $2.99 on the app store. http://itunes.apple.com/app/great-big-war-game/id508002149?mt=8

July 20, 2012

Pocket Minions by SiuYiu Limited

(2.3/5) Pocket Minions is a management game comparable to NimbleBit's Tiny Tower. You must manage a tower by collecting goods and services from hired workers, while keeping resident minions happy. The minions are kept happy by hiring maids to clean toilets, light furnaces, etc. Pocket Minions can be slightly overwhelming, as you must make sure to collect gold and goods, while keeping everyone happy and expanding your tower. Gold and goods can be purchased with in-app purchases (IAP). This leads to a major problem. You pay to get the app, but in the second level, it it becomes nearly impossible to proceed without purchasing some of the aforementioned IAP. This is what really ruins the game, as it's like paying an entrance fee and having to pay again and again. One your tower reaches a certain number of floors, you will be able to move on to another tower, and have the opportunity to have a fresh start.The graphics are good, and the rooms are quite detailed. Pocket Minions is a good medieval-themed game, and is worth checking out if you like management games. However, I would stay away unless you are willing to pay for IAP in order to advance in the game. Pocket Minions is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/pocket-minions/id490609532?mt=8

Mad Cows by Everplay Interactive

(3.9/5) Mad Cows for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, is the exact opposite of an original game. The single-player mode is almost exactly the same as the mega-popular Angry Birds, with differences only in level design and graphics. The multiplayer mode is the main point of Mad Cows. You can play against friends and try to destroy the most blocks and gnomes for points. Every time you take your turn in a multiplayer match, you spin a "slot machine" and choose one of three farm animals to launch. The animals available to use are a cow, a chicken that explodes and rises, a rabbit that splits into three, a ram that can speed up in mid-air, a pig that causes death through walls and other barriers, and sheep that can disappear. The graphics are bright and colorful, which is good for setting a cheerful mood. Mad Cows has good typical "farm" music that plays in the background. Overall, Mad Cows is a clone of Angry Birds that adds one new feature to the mix-multiplayer mode. Mad Cows is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/mad-cows/id499064176?mt=8

July 2, 2012

Unstoppable Fist by Ragtag Studio LLC

(4.7/5) Unstoppable Fist for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an endless killing game. You play as Fist, an extraterrestrial fighter sent to save Earth from demonic animals. You must tap on the sides of the screen in order to kill bats, armadillos, piranhas, etc. Unstoppable Fists's controls need some improvement. They are very precise, but you must tap exactly on a spot or nothing will occur. Enemies are defeated by attacking using three buttons on each side. You can use them for power attacks, punches and kicks, and also attacks that hurt both sides. The onslaught of enemies coming at you from either side are either easy to destroy, a bit harder, or extremely hard. The music,which is amazing, is available on the Unstoppable Fist Bandcamp .The graphics seem great in my opinion, but it may just be because I love pixel art (you may not). Unstoppable Fist is great for both quick 5-minute and longer sessions. Unstoppable Fist can be yours now for only $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unstoppable-fist/id432009086?ls=1&mt=8/

July 1, 2012

Squids Wild West by The Game Bakers

(5/5) Squids Wild West for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed Squids. You can have any of the squids from the original game on your team, along with many more new characters with unique looks and personalities. The unlockable and purchasable hats change your squids' looks and statistics. During the game, you will be able to read through the story while watching a sideshow of pictures depicting what the words tell. Each level either has you killing enemies or reaching a certain place. The characters are controlled by pulling back on their tentacles and launching them forward or backward. Enemies are defeated by launching into them until they die. You can use a character's special ability in many different ways, depending on the type of ability. Some abilities require you to tap on an enemy to shoot, and some require you to tap on a blue circle to cause a shockwave on the ground. Squids Wild West has great music, just like the first game. The graphics are exactly like the original Squids, 2D worlds and semi-3D characters. There are many worlds and levels, with more promised in future updates.  Squids Wild West is a sequel done right. Everything good from the original was improved upon, and the game has a great storyline that is easy to follow. Squids Wild West is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/squids-wild-west/id522145076?mt=8

Sketchman by Miniclip.com

(4.8/5) Sketchman for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is an amazingly addictive endless runner. Although the genre has been overdone and has become extremely old, I enjoyed Sketchman. You play as a mysterious character who is running from (or towards) something. While running, you must shoot at enemies and avoid obstacles (mines, spikes, etc.). The graphics are the same doodle-type that are used in many other games, but some of the characters "pop out" of the paper. There are two on-screen buttons: "fire" and "jump". They are both self-explanatory (and very responsive). The upgrades in-game cost a lot of virtual coins, which are sparse. This is obviously to promote the in-app-purchases, which shouldn't be needed in a paid game. Despite this, Sketchman is a good endless runner that managed to keep me occupied during my vacation. Sketchman is available on the app store for $0.99. http://itunes.apple.com/app/sketchman/id501943783?mt=8