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Who Wore it Best? The Counting Dead vs. AdVenture Capitalist

Posted by Jordan Minor on February 27th, 2015

Like it or not, the "clicker" genre, popularized by cute distractions like Candy Box and Cookie Clicker, seems like it's here to stay. So Who Wore it Best? takes a look at two recent examples: The Counting Dead and AdVenture Capitalist.

AdVenture Capitalist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on February 26th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: DAS KAPITAL
An inadvertent Marxist manifesto.
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Little Alchemist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jade Walker on December 11th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: LITTLE WAITING... WAITING...
Little Alchemist is a really fun freemium card game that suffers from typical freemium issues.
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Warbot Assault Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on September 9th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: REAL STEEL
Like its giant robots, Warbot Assault is big and beautiful, but also hollow.
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Epic Skater Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on August 11th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ENDLESS SKATER
Though it might be light on content, Epic Skater shows how an endless side-scrolling skating game should be done.
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It Came From Canada: Epic Skater

Posted by Jordan Minor on July 24th, 2014

For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there's all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals, Epic Skater makes things a lot simpler by handling all that pesky “moving” business. We check out this upcoming endless runner - or skater, rather - in this edition of It Came From Canada!

Epic Skater always starts with its kid hero bursting out of a dusty old classroom to go skate in the big city. But from there, the game randomly strings together its environments to create a slightly different experience each time. Certain sections will become familiar, but changing the order keeps players on their toes, and their toes on the board. The different backdrops are also lovingly detailed, whether it’s the giant “Epicwood” sign or the various restaurants players skate by after emerging from the sewers. And it’s all brought to life in a colorful, fast-paced, 3D cartoon world.

As an endless runner, the only goal is to make it as far as possible without stumbling over an obstacle. But what’s the fun in that? The real goal is to get as high a score as possible using the game’s fairly robust, Tony Hawk-style trick system. Swiping or holding down on the screen in various ways will trigger all kinds of unique flips, spins, and jumps. Players can chain moves together through manuals, or if their timing is really precise, hop right onto a grind rail in the background. The game gets quicker the longer it goes on, and soon players will be leaping over massive gaps at breakneck speeds. They might even start to worry for the kid - especially after watching some of the gnarly failure animations.

Between runs players can use the coins they’ve gathered to upgrade their board, or buy boosters at the start of each round. With real money they can also buy energy drinks to continue a failed run without losing any points. But as far as freemium elements go, that’s pretty inoffensive. Plus, by paying attention to the achievement system players can earn most of the experience they need to take their skater to the next level without crutches.

Currently, Epic Skater is only available in countries like New Zealand as part of its soft launch phase. But expect it to shred its way onto App Stores everywhere soon.

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Tiny Dice Dungeon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 13th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PUSH YOUR LUCK
Players must weigh risk vs. reward in this dice-based free-to-play dungeon-crawler.
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Emerald City Games Releases Lionheart Tactics, an Exciting New Turn-Based Tactical RPG

Posted by Stephen Hall on March 6th, 2014

In partnership with Kongregate, Emerald City Games has released its exciting new strategy-based tactical RPG entitled Lionheart Tactics. The game takes you into turn-based battle, putting you in command of over 15 different classes, and requires you to use your wits to "take advantage of the terrain and your enemy's weaknesses."

The game allows you to train up to 30 of your own heroes, slowly but surely upgrading their equipment and trainable skills. Emerald City Games boasts that Lionheart Tactics is not just an action packed battle game, but includes a "rich, and sometimes witty" story as well. The game features beautiful 3D graphics, but if you want a better idea of what Lionheart Tactics is you should probably just watch the trailer below; you'll see why Kongregate partnered with Emerald City to make this game happen.

You can grab Lionheart Tactics for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch today on the App Store for free, and be on the lookout for out official review.

Sheep Happens Offers Humerous Endless Running While Trekking Through Ancient Greek

Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 27th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Sheep Happens! Kongregate's second mobile game brings endless running to ancient Greece where players move their way around runners, obstacles, and falling sheep. Players deal with lots of "sheep" as they play, but they'll be able to collect coins to spend in the shop where they can upgrade gear and buy other cool "sheep!"

Sheep Happens is said to be humorous while offering multiple missions and challenges, so hopefully it's pretty entertaining as a free-to-play title and not just full of "sheep!" [Editor's Note: That's enough of that sheep.]

Escape Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 23rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Incredible Ape
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

Notable Flash games site Kongregate has launched their first published title for mobile, Escape. Developed by Incredible Ape, this game can be most easily described as a cross-between the wall-jumping gameplay of NinJump or Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, with the retro art aesthetic and unforgiving difficulty of Semi Secret's Gravity Hook HD. Players control a ninja who must escape from the pit it finds itself in by rapidly jumping between walls, and staying above the laser that is coming up to try and vaporize it. Also, the walls have spikes on them, because what is a task without some obstacles in the way?

Escape's pixel art is simple but looks great on high-resolution screens. The chiptune soundtrack fits well, being fast-paced and high-intensity, a great fit for this game. The sessions are very short, lasting only a few seconds before death, due to the challenge, which means that a high score is typically not far away. The game's fast pace and ability to jump faster when perfectly timed leads to an interesting dilemma for players: risk sudden death by trying to ascend quickly, or take it slow-ish, knowing that one wrong move might be the end? It's an interesting amount of strategy for such a fast-paced game.

Yet, this mid-game strategization comes with a curious subtlety to the jumping controls that I don't quite know if it works that well given how fast the game goes. Holding down longer causes the player to jump higher, and tapping quickly causes a shorter jump. It just seems too difficult in the environment of the game to determine just how precise of a jump must be used in order to not die.

On iOS, the game doesn't use Game Center at all, it uses a Kongregate login solely for high scores and achievements. I understand that they published the game, and I wouldn't have a problem if it was alongside Game Center integration, but to leave it out for their proprietary network is not fair to iOS gamers. As well, is there any reason why an in-app web view couldn't have been used instead of kicking out to Safari to view leaderboards and achievements on the Kongregate website?

Escape is a fun, challenging diversion for the retro-minded endless jumping fan. Try out the Flash-based web version first, and enjoy the mechanic that sadly didn't translate to mobile: hitting the escape key to jump.