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Disney Heroes: Battle Mode review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 22nd, 2018
Our rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar :: DEAD DISNEY
Disney Heroes is a bad cash-in game that fails to demonstrate the creativity or charm of Disney movies.
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Axe.io review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 3rd, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: AXE EM UP
.io games are a bit played out, but Axe.io has just enough variety to stand out.
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Dungeon Hunter Champions review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 2nd, 2018
Our rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar :: MORE STORE THAN GAME
If Gameloft focused more on making games than monetization schemes, things like Dungeon Hunter Champions would be worth playing.
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Paladins Strike review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 30th, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STRIKES A BALANCE
Paladins Strike is an interesting hybrid of hero shooter and MOBA.
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Loot boxes, free to play, and wait timers: Do mobile gamers have it worse than console gamers?

Posted by Harry Slater on April 30th, 2018

There's been a lot of buzz about loot boxes in console games over the past few months. Apparently they're bad, and they're killing creativity. Which sort of leads to the following question - have mobile gamers got it worse than traditional gamers?

After all, loot boxes, gacha mechanics, and wait timers have been prevalent in mobile gaming for years now. They're the rule, rather than the exception, but they're also one of the main sticks that critics of mobile gaming use to beat us with. But are mobile games really the worst of the worst, and are their players really getting the raw end of the deal?


Free to play?

Free to play games have been ubiquitous on the App Store for a good long while now. If you’re looking to make it to the pinnacle of the top grossing charts, and you’re not Minecraft, then you’re going to need to make your game free to play. And you’re going to have to spend exorbitant amounts on advertising to get people playing.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is garbage, and here's why

But unlike console games, there’s no initial outlay here. Sure you’re spending some time and bandwidth getting the game, but it’s not like you’re throwing down $60 to get something, only to find that some of the content is behind a paywall. In that way, you can sort of justify the anger console gamers have been dealing with recently.

On the flip side of that though, the free to play games on the App Store are, in a way, not really for gamers. Sure there are a few exceptions, but for the most part they’re casual or midcore experiences. They might woo you for a while with bright colors and ever-increasing numbers, but you’re unlikely to buy into them if you’re not of a certain persuasion.

Instead, some of the very best experiences on mobile are premium. Games like The Room series, Monument Valley, and Framed. Some of them might have paid-for DLC, but they’re not guarding the finest cuts for those who are willing to reach into their pockets. The breadth of styles and genres on mobile means that there is, quite literally, something for everyone, even if it’s sometimes hard to find.


The big releases

While the majority of console games come out towards the end of the year, in order to capitalize on the holiday rush, there’s a steady stream of amazing experiences coming to mobile - often on a weekly basis.

But there’s a flip side to that too. Any of the really big games that come to console either come to mobile in a massively altered form, or just don’t make it onto the App Store at all. That said, mainstream gaming has become something of a wasteland in terms of innovation in recent years, beset by sequels, remakes, and games that if they came out on mobile would get slated as clones.


The verdict

There’s pros and cons to both mobile and non-mobile gaming, but it’s fair to say that while mobile has dealt with a lot of the problems that are besetting AAA games, it’s also managed to circumnavigate them pretty well. Discovery is still an issue for a lot of premium titles, but they’re there, and sites like 148Apps are going to point you in the right direction.

At the same time, there are definitely a lot more games on the App Store that you could point to as being, not evil, but certainly designed to get the most money out of players. But then, these are products, created so the people behind them can earn cash, so that’s hardly a surprise.

In the end, the variety that mobile gaming offers means there’s always going to be more space for innovation than there is in the console sphere. You’re not going to see Clash of Clans on Xbox anytime soon, but the AAA manufacturers are looking at the massive amounts of money a handful of mobile developers are making and trying to move into a similar space.

Do mobile gamers have it worse? No, not at all. But if the history of mobile gaming is anything to go by, there’s a very good chance that console players are going to be hit by ideas much worse than loot boxes in the not-too-distant future.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below

Beast Brawlers review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 23rd, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: BURDENSOME BRAWLER
Beast Brawlers maps Clash Royale’s progression system onto a less interesting, less polished experience.
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AZ Rockets review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 12th, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
This arcade looks really nice, but that’s about it.
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Swarm Simulator: Evolution guide - How to play like a good little drone

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 4th, 2018

We all love a good idle game from time to time, don’t we? Good thing there are new and good ones coming out all the time, like Swarm Simulator: Evolution. In this game, you breed humble Drones to gather meat and eventually harness that power to do all kinds of crazy things like travel through time and evolve to higher forms of being. In order to get to these late-game points though, you need to be a good little drone and manage your colony optimally. Here’s exactly how to do that:

Adjust your quantities

Swarm Simulator is all about using your gathered meat and hatched Drones to purchase all kinds of other bugs, like Queens, Locusts, and more. If you want to truly maximize your purchasing potential though, you shouldn’t just buy as much of any one bug or item at every opportunity.

Although the game offers by default to spend all of your gathered resources on buying as much of any one thing as possible, this isn’t always the best idea. To avoid this, you can the purple button in the bottom left of the screen to adjust your quantities. Doing this can allow you to purchase the bugs you need while keeping any resources you need to bank in tact.

Honkai Impact 3rd guide - What you need to know to get a head start in this anime brawler

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 30th, 2018

Want a new beat em’ up on mobile? Look no further than Honkai Impact 3rd. This gorgeous anime brawler involves building teams of powerful Valkyries to take down some vicious, futuristic foes. If this sounds like you’re cup of tea, check out this guide to help get you started out on the right foot.

Know your enemy

Honkai Impact 3rd is kind of like Fire Emblem games in that there’s three types of heroes and enemies, with each type being strong or weak against another. In the case of Honkai, Mecha types are strong against Creature types, Creature types are strong against Psychic types, and Psychic types are strong against Mecha types.

In the heat of a battle, it might be hard to recognize enemies by type at first, but if you pay close attention, each enemy has a distinct color scheme that tells you their type. Use that to your advantage to make sure you’re using the right Valkyries against the right foes.

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor guide - Beginner's tips that are integral to success

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 30th, 2018

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is a new free-to-play multiplayer role-playing game that can be overwhelming. It combines a lot of systems from different kinds of games and lumps them in with the fourth-wall breaking world of Sword Art Online. Lukcy for you, we’ve banged our heads against Integral Factor’s systems and discovered a pretty good road map for getting you started. See below:

Re-rolling 101

The first thing you need to know about Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is that it’s a gatcha-style game. Also known as a game with “loot boxes,” Integral Factor relies on players spending a premium currency to get a chance at unlocking powerful, rare items. Luckily, Integral Factor provides players with a generous amount of premium currency to spend right away, so if you don’t like what you unlock from the start, you can re-roll, meaning you delete the game, re-download it, and try again. It may be a little time consuming, but it can let you get the items you want without having to spend money.

Armello guide - How to make sense of the madness

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 29th, 2018
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A SOLID BOARD GAME :: Read Review »

Armello is a richly detailed and complex board game that layers on a ton mechanics and victory conditions such that no two games are alike. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the game uses dice rolls, card draws, and other chance-based systems to determine outcomes. When you first start playing Armello, you might think the key to winning is simply getting lucky, but that’s where you’d be mistaken. Check out some of these tips to help you make the randomness work for you.

Pick the right character

There’s quite a few different characters in Armello, but each of them have their own unique stats and abilities. When playing, you should look to play as characters that help you achieve the goals you tend to pursue in any given match.

Do you usually find yourself dueling other characters? Choose Thane for his high combat stats and his ability to pierce armor with burned sword cards. If you prefer messing with your opponents in subtler ways? Perhaps play as Mercurio to steal their gold. If you’re not sure who to play as just yet, you can also opt to play as Amber while you try to figure things out, as she’s a decent all-around character.

Monster Merge Guide - How to Make Your Monsters Work For You

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 8th, 2018

Merge Monsters can be a fun little time-waster, but there’s certainly a right way to make sure this idle game works efficiently for you. Check out these tips to help you going.

Mines matter more than monsters

There are two main components of Merge Monsters: Your monsters and the pieces of land they gather resources from (aka mines). To maximize currency, make sure you place your monsters at your highest level mines. No matter what level a monster is, it will always gather the most potential resources at the highest level mine. Don’t worry about spreading your monsters out across different mines or anything like that. Just focus on your top tier mines.

The Sims Mobile Guide - How to Live the Life Without Breaking the Bank

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 7th, 2018

The Sims Mobile is a decent mobile game that feels mostly like other Simstitles, but mixed with free-to-play management mechanics of something like Kendall and Kylie. For those unfamiliar with these kinds of games, it basically means you’ll be contending with a lot of timers and have to plot things out strategically if you want to progress at a reasonable pace in the game without paying. Here are some tips for how to do exactly that:

Get as many Sims as possible

In The Sims Mobile, you can take control of multiple Sims at once and have them live whatever kind of life you want them to have. Over the course of having your Sims do things like go to work or get in relationships, you’ll earn rewards, complete quests, and get extra goodies and unlockables. In order to get more of these things, your Sims have to do more stuff, and if you have more Sims, you can do more stuff. Try to prioritize getting as many Sims as possible before moving on to buying much of anything else.

Dice Soccer City Guide - How to Roll Over the Competition

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 5th, 2018

Dice City Soccer is a game that’s all about taking chances and rolling the dice. It’s not just a matter of luck though. Check out these tips to help you roll past the competition:

Team work makes the dream work

The basic idea of Dice City Soccer’s matches is that the team who rolls a higher set of three dice pushes down the field toward their opponent’s goal. With that in mind, it might seem like picking players that have a high probability of rolling high numbers is your best bet every time, but this strategy has its limits. Instead, it’s generally more effective to pair players that work well together so you can take advantage of abilities that can modify your rolls and your opponent’s rolls. Try pairing up players that activate abilities on the same numbers, and you’ll see your team working better than just rolling high numbers.

Disc Drivin’ 2 review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on February 1st, 2018
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TURN BY TURN
Disc Drivin’ has a few flaws, but it’s also one of the most original racing games out there.
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