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Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on October 19th, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: OUT OF THIS WORLD
Halcyon 6 draws inspiration from strategy classics in all the right ways.
Read The Full Review »

Codex of Victory review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on June 19th, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HEX-COM
This strategy game has a couple rough spots, but is otherwise a unique blend of cool mechanics.
Read The Full Review »

Xenoraid review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on January 31st, 2017
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SLOW LIFTOFF
This space shooter starts a little slow, but eventually ramps up to be an intense and fun experience.
Read The Full Review »

Steamworld Heist review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on November 10th, 2016
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STEAMY STRATEGY
This robot-riddled strategy game is equal parts charming and challenging.
Read The Full Review »

Invisible, Inc. review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Campbell Bird on October 11th, 2016
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: EXCELLENT ESPIONAGE
Klei's excellent tactical espionage game snuck onto mobile without being too compromised.
Read The Full Review »

2K is Celebrating Spring With Some Pretty Big Discounts on Some Even Bigger Games

Posted by Rob Rich on March 25th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BELLATOR IN MACHINA :: Read Review »

Today might not be the first day of spring - although you would think it's still the middle of winter with the snow we've been getting in NYC - but 2K is still celebrating the changing of the seasons with a pretty impressive sale.

There aren't all that many price drops to go around, but I think the quality makes up for the lack in quantity. Or just XCOM. Just XCOM being on sale is enoguh. The rest is gravy.

Here's what you can get, and for how much:

Does anything on that list tickle your fancy? Personally I'd jump on XCOM if I didn't already own it (like three times over).

Game of the Year 2014 - 148Apps Staff Picks

Posted by Rob Rich on December 18th, 2014

The end of 2014 is almost here, which can only mean one thing.

Okay it can mean a lot of things, but in this specific context it means Game of the Year lists!

Which is why the 148Apps staff have all picked their favorites from the past year. And why we've put them all into one handy list for you all to enjoy. It's a nice list, too. Lots of variety and even a few free downloads that are worth checking out. So give it a look, and if you agree (or even if you disagree) please chime in below!



Puzzle to the Center of the Earth



Puzzle to the Center of the Earth feels like a breath of fresh air compared to most everything else I played this year. It's a fair free-to-play puzzle game that encourages and rewards patience in all of the best ways and none of the bad. It's also a platformer that requires forethought and strategy rather than reflexes.

Unlike other mobile games like it, Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is not pushing players to make huge combos or speed-run through levels. Instead they can take their time planning out the best courses through a cave, much like an actual spelunker might (albeit with the power to carve out paths by magically matching blocks). It's a super well made game that isn't scared to have players get lost in its levels for a good while, which makes it unique as a puzzle game. For a mobile title, it strikes a fantastic balance of being engrossing, replayable, rewarding, and light enough for playing on the go, all of which lend to it being my favorite mobile game of 2014. - [Campbell Bird]

Hitman GO



When I heard that an original Hitman game would be coming to iOS, like plenty of other people I couldn't wait to cheese wire a guy to death while disguised as a security guard before popping another target in the face with my silenced pistol, all while waiting for a bus. When Hitman GO was released, many were initially disappointed to find that wasn't the case. However, after playing what is a deceptively simple and infectious game of strategy for a short time, many (including myself) were hooked.

Hitman GO looks like the board game you wish your family would play at Christmas (put away the Cluedo box, grandma) with its sheen and minimalistic graphics that just ooze class akin to the suit Agent 47 is known for. Combine that with accessible gameplay that calls for multiple play-throughs thanks to the variety of challenges available, forcing players to tackle levels in different ways, and you have a winner in Hitman GO. It's a game that should be on everyone's hit list - [Lee Hamelet]

This Week at 148Apps: November 10-14, 2014

Posted by Chris Kirby on November 17th, 2014

Apps Are Us


How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.


GoatPunks

GoatPunks is kind of a hard game to wrap your mind around, but let’s try anyway. Players control a goat (naturally) competing for domination on a mountain full of other player-controlled goats. They can earn a few points by knocking opponents off of their perch or collecting rabbits that pop up and grant various abilities. But the real jackpot comes from making it to the top and staying there until the end. However, heavy are the horns that wear the crown, and although top players can try to defend their position by raining thunder and fire on their foes below, get usurped and they’ll tumble all the way back to the bottom where they started. With all of that nonsense, GoatPunks has the potential to be a silly fun multiplayer party game, but the execution is lacking – or maybe it’s just on the wrong platform. The game encourages the quick tactical thinking and local good-natured trash talk of something like Super Smash Bros. but dragging around the goat from block to block feels sluggish and indirect, while silent online matches against strangers are alien and lifeless since it’s hard to tell if anyone even knows what’s going on. Reaching the top of the mountain only to get bumped off at the last minute should be this huge, dramatic reversal, but instead it just becomes an endless series of anticlimaxes set to music that sounds suspiciously “borrowed.” --Jordan Minor


XCOM: Enemy Within

Enemy Unknown was (and still is) a fantastic reimagining of one of the greatest PC strategy games of all time. But Enemy Within is better. This new iteration isn’t a sequel, but rather a kind of rerelease with extra content. However, it’s not simply a few new maps and some new hair styles. Enemy Within boasts a lot more additions than just maps – although it does have those, too. There’s a new human faction to fight against that goes by the name of Exalt, and they exist purely to muck-up your operation. In order to deal with them, you’ll need to send one of your agents to infiltrate several of their numerous cells – then send an extraction squad in after them to collect vital information. Once you’ve completed enough of these missions, you should be able to narrow down the location of the radical faction’s HQ and can shut them down for good. But be warned: Exalt has access to many the same goodies that your own soldiers do, which means you’ll need to change up your tactics. --Rob Rich


Candy Crush Soda Saga

Had your fix of Candy Crush Saga and you’re still desperate for more? Well, Candy Crush Soda Saga will be perfect for you then, as it’s a lot like the previous game. It offers up a few new game modes to try out, but ultimately it’s more match-3 gaming done well – albeit with plenty of opportunities for monetization. As before, you’ll be matching candies to gain points and work towards the next stage. There are bottles of fizzy drinks, too. Hence the name, and the new mode: Soda. Soda involves matching up bottles with candies in order to release purple soda up the screen, eventually freeing some candy bears. The same method of playing might apply, but the fact you have a slightly different aim does make a difference. --Jennifer Allen


Super Secret Service

Super Secret Service makes a great candidate. From its first speech to election night it says and does all the right things. But like most politicians, it can’t keep every fantastic promise it makes, and by the time the next voting day comes around it probably won’t deserve a second term. If all of those metaphors didn’t make it obvious enough, Super Secret Service is rather political. Specifically, the game is about protecting the President of the United States using an endless supply of expendable secret service agents, each with their own names and birthdays. Reactionary radicals and hoodlums in hockey masks are trying to throw things at the POTUS and ruin his big speech, so by tapping the screen, agents will leap in to take the bullet. --Jordan Minor


This Is My Car: Mechanics for Kids

This is My Car – Mechanics for Kids allows children a chance to peak under the hood of a car as they scroll their vehicle through different stations, allowing them to peel back the exterior and interior layers of their car that include technical information delivered in a well thought-out manner that they will appreciate. As my son – now six years old – becomes older, his questions about the way things work such as the engine of a car or its brakes become more and more complex. Although my husband and I feel capable of explaining such concepts, I appreciate being able to use this app as a tool to explain in detail the inner workings of vehicles – now with visuals that my son can easily follow. --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:

AndroidRundown

Dragon Quest

If you’re in to old school RPGs and you haven’t played the first Dragon Quest, then you’re in for a treat. Ah, the first Dragon Quest. Although I did not play it when I was young, I did manage to pick the game up later on. And as a RPG lover (especially turn-based ones), I loved what I saw and played. Now I that game is out on Android (for a very cheap price, I might add), I is time for everyone to relieve one of the classic and leading RPGs of all time. Well, if you’ve got the time, that is. --Wesley Akkerman


Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece

I really, really wanna get down to the nitty-gritty with this one: what’s up with the Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece? Yes… it’s sleek, as the retail unit Jabra sent us shows: different shades of grey with orange accents, gently-sized at 2.57 x 0.61 x 0.95 inches and 0.28 ounces. Coverable micro-USB port, bluetooth 4.0, NFC and A2DP support, plus retail packaging that also contains micro-USB, earhooks and eargels. There is a dedicated button for Google Now, as well as an answer/redial button incorporated towards the rear and LED. Pairing it with a device is easy and intuitive after the requisite pre-charge. --Tre Lawrence


Circle

If you still can’t get enough of Flappy Bird clones, then here’s another one for ya. When it comes to games that look and feel like Flappy Bird… Well, you got a lot of choice. When you look back at the game, it is actually quite unbelievable what that game did. It did not only make one guy very rich (by mistake?), but it also gave life to a new genre, we’ve called the ‘one button gameplay’ here on Android Rundown. If you can’t can enough of those games, here is another one. --Wesley Akkerman

This week was all about the guides, as Pocket Gamer laid out the steps to complete sci-fi adventure Space Age, comic book puzzler Framed, and those awesome new levels for Monument Valley. All that, plus XCOM, Anki Drive, and iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6, right here.

And finally: What is AppSpy? Is it a website about video games? Is it a state of mind? Is it an energy beverage? It's all those things (except that last one), and we'd love for you to come pay us a visit. This week we've been talking about playable Angry Birds cakes, that new Borderlands game, and endless amounts of golf.

XCOM: Enemy Within Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 13th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BELLATOR IN MACHINA
The definitive XCOM experience (not counting a certain PC mod) has officially made the trip to mobile - and it’s still exceedingly fantastic.
Read The Full Review »

Continue the Fight - XCOM: Enemy Within Comes to the App Store Tomorrow

Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 12th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: VIGILO CONFIDO :: Read Review »

Todat 2K and Firaxis Games have announced the iOS version of their fantastic alien-blasting strategy game, XCOM: Enemy Within. This enhanced edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown comes with a ton of new content including new gear, story, classes, maps, and gameplay.

Now you can add new facilities to your base, such as the slightly creepy Genetics Lab that allows you to mess around with your soldiers' biology and the Cybernetics Lab where you can convert your soldiers into giant mechanical supermen. You're going to need them, too. The alien forces have a new ally amongst the humans. A shadowy organization called EXALT is working against humanity - you'll want to infiltrate their inner workings and take them down before they have us all bowing to our new alien overlords.

Enemy Within also has new multiplayer maps, units, and abilities. Gang up on those aliens in one-on-one, turn-based matches.

Unfortunately the app is only compatible with iPad 3, iPad mini 2, iPhone 5 and up. It WILL NOT be able to run on earlier generations of iOS hardware.

You'll be able to download XCOM: Enemy Within from the App Store for $12.99 tomorrow.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Now Available for Half-Price

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 29th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: VIGILO CONFIDO :: Read Review »

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the beefy turn-based strategy game brought to mobile from its initial PC and console release with just about everything intact, is on sale now for $9.99. This is cheaper than the game's current price on Steam ($29.99), so it's a real comparative bargain. As well, the Android launch clocked in $9.99 without any indicators that it was a sale price, so this may be a permanent price drop for the game, and quite possibly one of the best values on mobile.

If you need to know more about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, our 148Apps Goes Deep series of articles on the game is well worth catching up on.

Game Insight Releases First Video of its Upcoming Strategy Game X-Mercs: Invasion

Posted by Tre Lawrence on March 28th, 2014

Game Insight has released the first gameplay clip of X-Mercs: Invasion.

The game itself is about managing a military group, and - according to the release from Game Insight - players will be able to build a team of professional fighters, study alien tech, and use their research to turn the invaders’ formidable weapons against them.

The developer promises more updates as X-Mercs: Invasion is readied for iPads.

148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - Why Core Gaming Had a Great Year on Mobile

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 26th, 2013

It's easy to look at mobile and see it as a wasteland for content; particularly with all the casual, free-to-play games, and especially the ones that seem to de-emphasize actual gameplay in favor of stronger monetization. That's only if you're not paying attention. Serious, core games - some even free-to-play - had a great year on iOS.

Oceanhorn was hyped for a good reason: it was beautiful and ambitious. That ambition didn't entirely pay off in my opinion, but for the game to have succeeded financially is a huge step forward for gaming on mobile.

It also felt like the barriers between mobile and PC/console games started to blur a bit. Frozen Synapse, Mode 7's highly acclaimed PC strategy game, landed on iPad at last. Limbo received an excellent port. Leviathan: Warships brought cross-platform online play - and the best trailer of the year. Space Hulk was not perfect, but it made for an exceptional transition.

But perhaps few did it as spectacularly as XCOM: Enemy Unknown. That game proved that it was possible to take a massive console and PC title - a fantastic modern take on one of the greatest strategy games of all time - and put it on mobile without losing any of the experience. Firaxis also absolutely stuck the landing with Sid Meier's Ace Patrol and its Pacific Skies followup; original games that went to PC later.

148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up - High Quality iOS Ports

Posted by Rob Rich on December 26th, 2013

As 2013 starts to wind down, people naturally begin to reflect. That and anticipate 2014, but that’s another set of words entirely. Anyway, as I began to think back on the year one major theme kept popping into my head: the increased power of mobile hardware and the way it’s been used to create some truly impressive adaptations of games from other platforms.

What’s really blown me away about all this is just how faithful these ports have been. In some cases concessions had to be made with the UI or the graphical details, but a good many of these games are nigh indistinguishable from their console/PC counterparts. Heck, some of them actually fare better than the originals!

So with this in mind, we present you with our list of notable iOS ports from 2013 (and maybe a few that came out earlier because they’re just that awesome).

XCOM: Enemy Unknown


It’s hard to kick-off a list like this without XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Simply hearing that one of 2012’s best strategy games was bound for iOS was exciting enough. However, this was no rush-job or some bare-bones freemium cash grab. Firaxis somehow managed to shrink the game down with only a few extremely minor changes (i.e. slightly less detailed visuals, fewer maps overall, and fewer soldier customization options). The flip-side to that is the inclusion of touch controls that were a perfect fit for the gameplay.

148Apps 2013 Holiday Shopping Guide for Gamers

Posted by Rob Rich on December 12th, 2013

The week is almost over, and the holidays are that much closer, but those gifts won't find/buy/wrap/give themselves now will they? Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.

Other 148Apps Holiday Gift Guides: for [Heath Nuts] [Socializers] [Creative Types] [Power Users]

Today’s guide centers around iOS gamers. These are the folks who love their portable games and spend most of their morning commute matching pieces of candy or fighting immortal titans. If you’d like to make the gamer(s) in your life have an overall more pleasant and convenient gaming experience, or simply get them some really cool stuff to play, check out our list below for some ideas.

MOGA Ace Power Gamepad


The MOGA Ace Power Gamepad ($99 - iPhone/iPod Touch) has several distinct advantages over the other controllers in this list: it’s collapsible so it’s easy to carry while still acting as an extension of the iOS device, it’s the first official MFi gamepad for iOS devices, it uses dual analog sticks in addition to buttons and a D-pad, and it comes with its own battery that will help to extend the amount of time iOS gamers can play things while away from home - or at least a charger. The noticeable downsides are that it’s rather heavy thanks to the internal battery, and it doesn’t support portrait orientation. [Our Review]

While you're considering the MOGA Ace Power Gamepad, you should probably also think about software to go with it. I'd recommend Oceanhorn ($8.99 - Universal), Dead Trigger 2 (Free - Universal), and Silverfish ($1.99 - iPhone) since all three are not only good games in their own right but also confirmed to be compatible. I'm sure there are plenty of other games out there that will work with it as well, but if you're trying to put some sort of package together it would probably be best to stick with what you know will work.

MOTO TC Rally


There’s also the option to mix things up and use and iOS device as the controller for something else, rather than attaching a physical controller to it - hence the MOTO TC Rally ($99 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch). This is more than just a RC car with an iOS controller: the free app used to control it adds quite a few gaming elements to the physical racing. Users can race their friends and cause virtual damage -that actually affects performance- through special impact sensors, use power-ups, customize their car’s performance and more.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3


The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit ($349 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is another great option for those looking to venture a little off the beaten path. I mean it lets users basically build whatever the want, then control it with their iPhone or iPad. How cool is that? It's got the universal LEGO appeal, the remote control angle, and taps into those creative juices for potentially limitless amounts of fun. [Our Review]

iKit NuCharge Battery Case for iPhone 5


The iKit NuCharge Battery Case ($89 - iPhone) is certainly something to consider for the iPhone 5 or 5s gamers in your life. The lightweight case doesn't block any ports, and it allows users to recharge their phone on the go. Perfect for lengthy trips or holiday visits with relatives where someone (not naming any names here) inevitably forgets to bring their charging cable. [Our Review]

What games go best with a phone-charging battery case? Battery hogs. There are a fair number of them out there and they can usually be picked out by their super-pretty graphics. A couple of great-looking (and just plain great) games you might want to consider are Warhammer Quest ($4.99 - Universal) and, of course, Infinity Blade III ($6.99 - Universal). However, XCOM: Enemy Unknown ($19.99 - Universal) is by far the biggest battery-muncher and would definitely benefit from something like the iKit NuCharge case.

Mophie Juice Pack Pro


The Mophie Juice Pack Pro ($129 - iPhone) may not be the most elegant-looking case, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in functionality. This is one very durable charging case that will keep batteries going longer and protect the phone from minor splash, dust, and more serious impact hazards. It's a good fit for camping trips or gamers who are particularly brutal with their devices. [Our Review]

The Mophie Juice Pack is another charging case, sure, but it's also quite durable. So it should be able to stand up to a little punishment when you toss your phone across the room after a particularly rough game of Tilt to Live 2 ($2.99 - Universal) or Pivvot ($2.99 - Universal), and will let World War II turn-based airplane strategy buffs like our own Andrew Stevens keep playing Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies ($4.99 - Universal) through just about any harsh weather conditions.

Ultimate Ears Mini Boom


Doubtless we all know at least one audiophile, and the Ultimate Ears Mini Boom speaker ($99 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is definitely something to consider for them. It's easy to connect to any device via bluetooth, is durable, a good size for travel, and produces some impressive sounds even by itself. It's a great way to enhance anyone's iOS gaming experience. [Our Review]

Of course if you're looking to get some nice speakers, you may want a game or two to go with it that put the enhanced sound to good use. I'd recommend The Last Door - Chapter 2: Memories ($1.99 - iPad) for those who love a good scare as it's a ridiculously creepy game without any audio enhancement whatsoever, so you can imagine what some high-quality speakers will do to it. Home ($2.99 - Universal) is another excellent choice for the same reason. LEGO Lord of the Rings ($4.99 - Universal) is another good option because, come on, who doesn't want to hear that epic score and the official movie dialogue on something more substantial than their iPhone/iPad speaker?

Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated game ideas.