Posts Tagged free to play

NASCAR Manager Review

NASCAR Manager Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A freemium build of a premium title, NASCAR Manager is still as lackluster as it was before, failing to capture the excitement of racing.

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Frontline Commando 2 Review

Frontline Commando 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Frontline Commando 2 is deep and well-made, but expect to spend money to do well.

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Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall Review

Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
An eery soundtrack, high-fidelity voices, and strong art-style make Nancy Drew: Ghost Of Thornton Hall an experience worthy of one's headphones.

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Tanuki Forest Review

Tanuki Forest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
With plenty of charm and not many reasons for cynicism, Tanuki Forest is a delightful change of pace for the Endless Runner.

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Geek Resort Review

Geek Resort Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Geek Resort is a tycoon-style park creation title with an overall fun art-style; it's simply let down on its reliance of in-app purchases to drive its gameplay, and a few obvious bugs.

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Sky Tribes Review

Sky Tribes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sky Tribes is a cute free-to-play PvP game that boasts some interesting ideas, but it moves very slowly unless players are willing to pay up.

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Lunatic Clay Review

Lunatic Clay Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
True to the classic, Lunatic Clay uses retro visuals and an art-style to match to reincarnate one of the most-known arcade games of the 80s for the touchscreen.

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Disco Zoo Review

Disco Zoo Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Disco Zoo provides more NimbleBit-style simulation fun, even if NimbleBit only published the game!

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Calculords Review

Calculords Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By combining math and more traditional collectible card game mechanics, Calculords has stumbled upon a winning formula.

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scroogeAh, the Great App Store Pricing Debate. For years people have been arguing over the cost of mobile games. What constitutes “too much?” Where’s the line when it comes to free-to-play monetization techniques? Should developers have deep discounts and temporary giveaways? Should consumers simply expect everything to go on sale and wait accordingly?

The recent Dungeon Keeper debacle is a good example of this. Gamers and critics alike have railed against it for using various monetization techniques and associating itself with the classic PC strategy series, and many point to it as an unpleasant indication of where the video game industry (especially mobile) is headed. It’s an issue that’s almost as complicated as the initial Freemium vs. Premium debate; so let’s take a closer look at everything and try to make sense of it all.


Continue reading Pricing Games on the App Store – Premium isn’t Dead, Freemium is Here to Stay, and it’s Everybody’s Fault »

Deadman’s Cross

Deadman’s Cross

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Deadman's Cross fuses a zombie-driven FPS with card-based battle gameplay. It's just a shame that some of this play is automated and needs a persistent internet connection.

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Perloo Review

Perloo Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Perloo commands both time and a certain level of intrinsic logic. Provided one has both, it is highly rewarding. However, be prepared to cry at the hard bits.

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Excalibur Review

Excalibur Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Excalibur's promise as a free-to-play action RPG is evident, and it's use of IAPs are also surprisingly non-invasive. Unfortunately, it offers little of value over other action RPGs.

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Second Chance Heroes Review

Second Chance Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A mixture of imaginative design and traditional twin-stick shooting, Second Chance Heroes is an enjoyable romp indeed.

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Dungelot 2 Review

Dungelot 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This casual roguelike manages to improve on its successor in a lot of smart ways while translating itself into a free-to-play business model.

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Only One Review

Only One Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Only One’s controls can be problematic at times, but there’s no denying the constant pull of “just one more.”

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Stop Review

Stop Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Guess words quickly based upon a randomly assigned letter and a bunch of categories in this fun and competitive word game.

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Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Review

Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Create words to attack monsters and enjoy becoming stronger and stronger.

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War in Space Review

War in Space Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
War in Space is a retro Tower Defense game with some issues but a charm of its own.

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Marvel Run Jump Smash! Review

Marvel Run Jump Smash! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The name proves to be the most exciting thing about this fairly underwhelming Endless Runner.

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Dungeon Keeper Review

Dungeon Keeper Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Dungeon Keeper’s iOS outing is most definitely not the PC classic we all remember, but as a regular old freemium game it’s actually quite enjoyable.

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Tales of Phantasia Review

Tales of Phantasia Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The storyline is excellent, and the voice-acting spot-on, but Tales of Phantasia is unbelievably let down by its free-to-play model and terrible controls.

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Motocross Meltdown Review

Motocross Meltdown Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Briefly fun yet ultimately very shallow, Motocross Meltdown is heavy on the grinding and light on the developing gameplay.

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Zez Review

Zez Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Entertaining without being overwhelming, Zez offers limitless hours of combo-breaking action in a marvelous match-3 puzzler.

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NBA Rush Review

NBA Rush Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Adding NBA players to a fairly unremarkable Endless Runner proves to be quite unexciting.

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Castaway Paradise was first mentioned to me as Animal Crossing but for iPhone, though I played the iPad version because I’m a rebel. And really, that just about nails it on the head – except Stolen Couch Games have done what Nintendo has yet to do, and that is make it free-to-play. Castaway Paradise is currently soft-launched in the tropical paradise of Canada, and I take it for a spin in this edition of It Came From Canada!

Players control a person who washes up on shore, and finds themselves in a land of fellow castaways who washed up on shore. However, no one really seems to be all that set on getting home – there’s an entire village that’s popped up, even with a mail delivery boat! So, the player is made to build a new life here, because who knows; maybe this is all the dream of the Wind Fish and leaving would be disastrous.

CastawayParadise-8So players then just do tasks for the various residents, like building fences and harvesting crops. The early missions are structured to introduce players to the things they need to know to live their island experience and to see more of the village. Menial tasks to earn currency to buy more supplies and customizations is the name of the game here.

Players have the ability to customize the look of their dwelling and of their character, but the intro to the game provides one moment regarding this that needs to change. See, the game starts off with the player being just a walking glob of seaweed washed ashore, immediately forced to do chores by Viktoria, one of the villagers. Then, for some reason, she asks which binary gender the player is. This choice is the sole determining factor in how the player first appears: typically male or female.

CastawayParadise-1This is incongruent with the customization options provided, because male characters can wear dresses and traditionally feminine hairstyles without anyone saying anything about it. The character’s gender doesn’t seem to play much of a role, so why is it the very first thing that players are asked to choose as far as customization goes? Why not instead let players determine their initial design based on how they want to look from a set of basic customizations, and make gender an entirely irrelevant factor in how the player wishes to present themselves in this world?

While the free-to-play elements perhaps take away some of the innocence of Animal Crossing, where everything must be earned, there’s also no Mr. Resetti here – so, win some lose some. Time will tell if this is successful, or if this is the Pepsi to Animal Crossing‘s Coke – or if it’s just store-brand cola.


Small Fry Review

Small Fry Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Innovation isn't its strong point, but Small Fry is still an entertaining Endless Swimmer starring a cute fish.

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Kiwi Dash Review

Kiwi Dash Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Though Kiwi Dash is an altogether solid endless runner, it also manages to be the most frustrating game in the world.

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Tap & Blast Review

Tap & Blast Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tap & Blast's barrel blasting gameplay and unique cartoon art style are just some of its good points. It's controls are not half bad, but could do with some tweaking.

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Heroes of Steel Review

Heroes of Steel Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Explore cavernous depths in this free-to-play, traditional turn-based strategy game.

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