Posts Tagged horror
Another Week of Expert App Reviews
At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you’ll like and the ones you’ll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little extra something special. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
I’m always a little skeptical when it comes to horror games, especially those in the survival horror sub-genre. That said, In Fear I Trust was one of those games that certainly caught my eye – not just for its outstanding visuals, but because it looked and sounded highly intriguing. A man finds himself waking up in a creepy abandoned facility deep in the heart of Soviet Russia. He can’t remember who he is or how he got there, just that something rather unsettling has been going on. Designed with the Unreal Engine for iOS, the game delivers an imaginative story over a number of episodes. And fortunately, the first two are filled with enough content to indulge oneself in until the release of the later episodes. –Lucy Ingram
I have to admit, until recently I never really ventured into the world of Reddit. I’m not a huge fan of the site interface, and for some reason it never really occurred to me to seek out an app for my phone. This has possibly all changed with the introduction of Redd; a Reddit client made especially for those who want to avoid the clutter and chaos of the main website. And one that is perfect for those who, like me, just want to use the dip-in/dip-out approach. The remarkably clean and simple looking interface is the first thing one will notice as they load the app. A sea of whitespace highlighted with a touch of red – it’s easy on the eyes, and a breeze to navigate. The typeface is fairly easy to read despite its light and thin demeanor, and its ability to filter the posts from the tabs at the bottom make it practically effortless to handle. –Lucy Ingram
It is impossible to reflect back on the annals of RPG history without hitting on the classic Baldur’s Gate franchise. Fourteen years after the release of Baldur’s Gate II, Overhaul Games have stepped in and given the second iteration in the series a fresh coat of paint. Can an iOS port of such a beloved title ever live up to the expectations of the nostalgic PC gaming audience? The answer to that question is not as straightforward as one might assume. –Blake Grundman
Scribe is a new utility for the iPhone that gives users the ability to copy data snippets from their Mac to their iOS device without the need for a Wi-Fi connection. It uses the Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) profile supported by most of Apple’s current-generation devices and Mac systems to send small snippets of text, URLs, and small photos over the air to one’s iOS clipboard. Using Scribe for the iPhone is as simple as making sure the Bluetooth setting is activated. This can be achieved by heading to Settings > Bluetooth > On. Users will then need the Scribe menu bar client. This is sold separately and available on the Mac App Store for $2.99. They will also need to ensure that they have a supported Mac. Scribe currently supports the Macbook Air (2011 or newer), Macbook Pro (2012 or newer), iMac (Late 2012 or newer), Mac Mini (2011 or newer), Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer), iPhone 4S or newer), iPad (3rd generation or newer), iPad Mini (all generations) and iPod Touch (5th generation or newer).
Recently over winter break I discovered that one of our truly favorite developers, Busythings, had developed a new app for iPad named Snowball Shootout. Downloading this app was an absolute no-brainer as a free application, but I soon forgot that I had added this to our device. It was my son who discovered it, instantly understanding that this was a new game from one of his favorite developers as their style is utterly recognizable, even from the small thumbnail image seen on the iPad. Snowball Shootout has quickly become a new favorite game of my boy’s, as he has reached a new low in asking me to leave the iPad in his bed so he can play this new game immediately upon waking – a request I denied. There is a lot going on that my son really enjoys with this game, incorporating some elements seen in Angry Birds such as a sling shot that needs to be manned, here used to shoot snowballs at the blob-like Pink Men that are seen hiding in trees or popping out of igloos. Controls are simple as one controls both the strength and angle of each shots with the drag of a finger allowing snowballs to be lined up in an exact manner, which I prefer to “pullback and pray” gameplay of Angry Birds. –Amy Solomon
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Little Galaxy is a story of hope. It’s about dreams, resourcefulness… and moon boots. It tells the tale of a scientist who believes that sky isn’t a limit in his quest to jump from celestial body to celestial body. And the game developers, smitten with the inspirational story but unable to help improve the moon boots, do the next best thing: they create this game. Thankfully. –Tre Lawrence
Galaxy Factions takes the CoC clone genre to space. With lotsa lasers and guns does it have an edge over its sword sporting brethren? Galaxy Factions sets the player up with a command center, a transport ship and little else. As is common with this genre, Galaxy Factions is all about constructing a base, mining resources and taking the fight to pirates and rival mining bases in single player or to other players in multiplayer. –Allan Curtis
Ever since getting their hands on the Monopoly license, EA has punched out a good number of Monopoly licensed games on the mobile platform. Games like Monopoly Slots and Monopoly Hotels take the iconic board game and expand upon it or mash it up with other styles of games. As cool as that might sound, it isn’t all its cracked up to be sometimes. In the case of these titles, more often than not, they come off as cheap marketing gimmicks, using the popular Monopoly name to garner more players and possibly more money. Monopoly Bingo, of course, is yet another one of those games, feeling more like a desperate attempt to push an otherwise freemium Bingo game, than putting out a quality product. EA has been so hot and cold this year with their free to play lineups; FIFA 14 and Plants vs Zombies 2 knocking it out of the park, while other titles floundering. Monopoly Bingo attempts to spin the age old game of Bingo with one of Hasbro’s most popular board games, hoping to create something new and interesting. However, this attempt faltered short, instead creating a Bingo game with achievements, leveling and a backdrop that is supposedly based around Monopoly. –Mike Deneen
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer reviewed Atomic Fusion and Hopeless, picked the best Roguelikes on the App Store, wrote a huge guide for Hoplite, reported on the Very Big Indie Pitch in London, and chose the best iOS and Android games of the week. It’s all right here!
Another collection of interactive Poe stories is making the rounds. Best not read them alone in the dark.
Read The Full Review »
It’s hard to say exactly when it happened, but Halloween has undisputedly crept up on us to become a big league holiday. The kind where preparations begin over a month in advance, with horror movie marathons, costume discussions, and decorations. With that in mind, it would be a grave mistake to go in ill-prepared, so we’re here to do our part to help ring in the festivities. Here are four spooky games that will have horror-lovers shambling on over to the App Store and coffin’ up their dough.
Perhaps not the most obvious pick at first, The Room makes up for a lack of blood and gore with an ample amount of atmospheric tension. What starts off as Myst-like series of interlocking, symbol-filled puzzles soon emerges as an implied storyline filled with spine-tingling mystery. Much goes unsaid, but plumbing the depths of the unknown backed by eerie music box chimes is a meticulous thrill all its own.
From one nontypical experience to the next, Papa Sangre is a video game with no…video? Tasked with saving the soul of a loved one, players will take a frequently terrifying first-person audio journey through the palace of the titular demon. With an elegant interface and gripping story, Papa Sangre is a truly unique title that speaks to the power of sensory deprivation. The horrifying, horrifying power.
Released: 2010-12-18 :: Category: Games
The Walking Dead
For a game filled with zombies, The Walking Dead’s horror derives almost entirely from the heart-breaking failings of humankind. Telltell Games has earned a mausoleum full of critical praise for its serialized interpretation of Robert Kirman’s graphic graphic novel, which uses the point and click adventure genre to force players to make tough, lasting decisions about life, death, and the brainless hereafter. All episodes can be purchased from within the app, so start this gripping tale right now.
Released: 2012-07-26 :: Category: Games
As far as mobile horror goes, this one may be an oldie, but it’s most definitely a goodie. One of the best, in fact. Not only is it a faithful translation of Visceral Games’ flagship survival horror series to the small screen, but this version may just be scarier. In a dark room, with headphones in, the game’s brilliant tension between all-out action and edge-of-the-seat inaction is brought to the forefront, all backed by a methodical, shriek-worthy soundtrack. Player beware: Necromorphs may induce device dropping. (iPhone version also available.)
A mining operation on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, has gone quiet. A team is sent to investigate and gets shot down in short order. Players control the lone survivor as he teams up with the facility’s computer in order to piece it all together and hopefully get home intact. A task made all the more difficult by the horrific cyber-zombie-demon-monsters that used to be the miners. It’s the kind of story we’ve seen in Sci-Fi horror before (Virus and Moontrap are just two examples I can think of), but it lends itself incredibly well to the interactive medium.
Mission Europa (specifically the quintessential Collector’s version) is an odd duck of a RPG. It takes place entirely in first-person, utilizes both melee and ranged combat, features skills and summons that are akin to magic, contains tons of “lewts,” offers a crafting system, and has a pretty creepy atmosphere despite looking like it was rendered in crayon. Most of the time players will be wandering through the blood-stained halls, searching for a hidden item or hunting for a boss, all while fighting their way past the repurposed crew and other monstrosities. All the while finding and refining the abilities and gear that suits them best.
How does it Compare?
Because Mission Europa is an amalgamation of a number of different game types, it’s a bit like a lot of things. The gear collection, refining, and crafting is reminiscent of classics and contemporaries like Diablo or even Borderlands. The first-person combat is similar to an older Bethesda title, say like Oblivion. Meanwhile the oppressive atmosphere and disturbingly dark tones bring cult classic System Shock 2 to mind. The amazing thing is that it incorporates all these concepts, but it does them well, and even cohesively.
I could picture Mission Europa running on a PC quite easily, and it’s got the wealth of content (loot drops, crafting, creepy story, multiplayer, etc) most PC gamers crave. It would be right at home on Steam, too. Who knows? Maybe with a little push Banshee Soft might submit it to Greenlight and put my claims to the ultimate test.
*NOTE: “Console-quality” refers to the quality of the experience, not just the graphics. This is about the depth of gameplay, content, and in some cases how accurately it portrays the ideals of its console counterpart.*
Summer may mean sunshine, blue skies and good times for most, but not for Dracula. The Prince of Darkness hates daylight, of course, but now Facebook, Twitter, and other social media have made it impossible for Drac to stay out of the limelight as well. Now, his coffin has been discovered, and it’s up to you to defend it from the hordes of oddballs out to make a name for themselves.
Vampire Season is a new iOS game from developers 6waves and Brainz, and it’s due to hit the App Store on June 28th. The game will be familiar to anyone who has played a tower defense game before, but Vampire Season twists up the action by having players defend an unusual point of contention – Big Dracula himself – with a varied assortment of ghouls and zombies. And what are they protecting Dracula from? Isn’t it obvious? Interior decorators! Seriously….plus lots of other conventional and unconventional enemies as well. In-app purchases and upgrades are available, but game currency is also generated in game as you complete levels.
Look for the horror to be unleashed in just a few weeks.
Gameplay looks similar to recent hit, Temple Run. The player controls the runner by tilting the iOS device left and right to avoid obstacles and jumps by tapping the left side of the screen. In addition, the running character is carrying another female character that can fire her gun at incoming monsters by tapping the right side of the screen.
The game has some high quality 3-D graphics but the developers claim that it will work on some older devices such as the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1. According to comments on YouTube from the developers, it uses the Unity game engine. Also, the pricing isn’t fixed but it “won’t be too expensive.”
The storyline is supposedly inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. There’s a glimpse of a huge monster bursting out of a large building at the end of the trailer attached below.
I’ve never really been “into” Escape games, but I have dabbled. It’s not that I dislike them, it’s just that I generally prefer my adventure/puzzle games to involve more character interaction and humor (i.e. of the LucasArts variety). The desolate environments for these kinds of games are somewhat of a downer for me, so I have to really be in a particular mood to want to play one.
Ellie – Help me out… please has put a Japanese horror spin on the fairly universal formula, adding an unsettling atmosphere to the isolation and loneliness that keeps the tension high throughout. It’s a bit graphic, a little disturbing and bound to get the heart beating faster. This is not a game I’d suggest playing before bedtime, no sir.
But creepy atmosphere and personal doubts about the innocence of the trapped girl aside, what makes Ellie stand out is its interesting use of in-app purchases. An “extra room” can be purchased for players who want to keep enjoying the disturbing story and world, naturally. However, unlike many “free” games it’s not ad supported nor does it lock users out until they pay for the full version. Instead, it allows users to unlock hints with real money at $1 apiece. It’s an interesting idea that might not work out all that well once people start posting said hints online, but it’s nice to see companies trying out new ideas when it comes to freemium pay structures.
Some may scoff at the idea of paying for answers to a couple of puzzles, but in all honesty some of these puzzles are very, very hard. That one with the drawers, especially. Sure it’s possible to jump online and try to look up the answers, but I expect a good many players might be too involved in their game to interrupt it like that. I think it might be easier for some to just bite the bullet and spend the buck so they can move on. And I think the folks at Ateam Inc are thinking that, too.
Only time will tell us if their idea works, but if it does it may well open up new possibilities for freemium games. I’m quite curious to see how this all works out.
Released: 2011-08-02 :: Category: Games
Great comic book writer/artists, it seems, deserve their very own storefront. So following this rule, IDW Publishing has created another in their series of iVerse-powered storefront comic book apps (including licensed properties such as G.I. Joe, Star Trek and Transformers, along with IDW’s own IDW Comics app), but the twist this time is that the store isn’t built around a property or license. It’s built around a creator.
Ben Templesmith’s work has graced comics including 30 Days of Night, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who as well as his own creations such as Singularity 7, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse and Welcome to Hoxford. Now, fans and newcomers who want easy access to Templesmith’s comics work can find it in one repository – the free to download Comics universal app for iPhone and iPad.
The app comes with three free comics up front, plus the ability to download (for $0.99 to $1.99 a piece) over 30 other original comics by Templesmith. More will be added as the writer/artist’s catalogue continues to expand.
IDW and Templesmith are forging new ground with this app, drawing attention to the writer/artist rather than the publisher. How long before more creator-focused apps begin appearing on the App Store? Anyone up for a Jack Kirby app?
Just in time for the big Splatterhouse remake scheduled to land on game consoles November 23, Namco has announced that an iPhone remake of the original game will land on the iPhone and iPod Touch November 18. The iOS version will not be a port of the new game launching on consoles, but rather a remake of the original Splatterhouse arcade game launched back in 1988. Prepare to lead Rick through West Mansion in search of his lost love as though it was the very first time.
Namco is promising six weapons to use against Hell’s minions across the span of seven stages. The game will also include a new Splatter Rush Mode where players try and hold their ground for as long as possible against wave after wave of monsters.
Splatterhouse was once considered a rather controversial title due to the amount of violence, blood and gore which seemed to constantly overwhelm the game screen. Nowadays the game’s pixelated and simplistic depiction of decapitation may seem tame, but we’re sure that the console editions launching the week after the iPhone edition will rekindle that debate.
Though Splatterhouse wasn’t warmly received by critics back when it originally launched, it seems like a perfect iOS game. The simple combat and short levels should translate nicely to a touchscreen, and the retro visuals likely won’t be much of a strain on the iPhone’s battery. All-in-all, seems like a pretty nice fit.
As mentioned before the game launches on November 18, and will retail for $2.99. It’ll be a nice warm-up for those excited for the console release or who just really want to revisit a game they may have forgotten about over the past couple decades. Besides, who doesn’t love a dude in a hockey mask wielding a machete?
With Halloween coming, it is once again time to find the creepiest games of the year. Last years list included some great apps, but by now we all need something new to play in the middle of the night. The following list makes up the creepiest of 2010… well, except for the last one. Enjoy!
Soul is, without a doubt, the scariest maze game that I’ve ever played, and possibly the scariest game period. The game starts you as a soul coming out of a dead body in a mortuary, faintly illuminating your path through the worlds creepiest, filthiest hand drawn environments. It’ll scare the bejeebers out of you for sure.
Unfortunately the game is plagued with an extremely unforgiving accelerometer based control system, and could really use an autosave feature. I hate recommending the “easy” setting, but I would definitely consider starting on it in Soul.
The whole experience is so horrifying and pretty though that I don’t feel too bad putting up with a few flaws. If you really want to be scared, Soul will deliver.
It definitely has its flaws, such as the mucky controls, slightly ugly looking characters, iffy path finding, and repetitive floor plans, but boy is it creepy. Put on a pair of headphones and you’ll be jumping out of your seat more often than just about any other iOS game out there.
Prisoner 84 starts with you in solitary confinement in an offshore prison (with extremely limited lighting) where everyone is mysteriously dead… or undead. You have to fight your way out of the prison, literally blowing the flesh off of bad guys to find your way. The whole this is quite disturbing, and as far as small screen gaming goes, this one might be as scary as it gets.
Released: 2010-07-15 :: Category: Games
Aftermath may not be as scary as some of the other games on the list, but it’s an extremely well crafted dual stick, zombie killing shooter. The real killer here is the morbid atmosphere. Maps are filled with muck and grime, rain is constantly falling, and everything is dark. So dark in fact that your combat is based on finding the enemies with your flashlight.
The only major flaw of the game, in my opinion, is its lack of depth. If it had more levels/if the levels were longer, I’d be extremely happy… er, scared.
Released: 2010-03-16 :: Category: Games
Texting of the Bread
Now if you really want to talk about scary, try going up against ravenous armies of gingerbread zombies armed only with a milk gun.
If you’ve ever played Typing of the Dead on any of the various platforms that it was on, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting with Texting of the Bread. Simply text as fast as you can to defeat the evil gingerbread zombies. It’s fun, educational (in a texting sort of way… you never know, maybe they’ll teach it in school one day), and might possibly scare those with severe gluten allergies.
Special Mention – Hysteria Project 2 – Hysteria Project 2 has yet to be released (as of Oct. 5), but it looks to continue the extreme creepiness that the first one brought. Assuming it’s close to the same game, prepare for a creepy, fully cinematic horror game that has you frantically running from an unknown man with a hatchet. The original was one of the creepiest games of ’09, so I’m sure the sequel would’ve found itself on the list if it were out in time.