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Campbell Bird

Reviews Editor | 148Apps

Campbell has been writing about games for the majority of his adult life and made the jump into covering mobile games in 2013. He is always on Twitter when he's not playing games.

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Game Center: namestolen

The 5 Best Mobile Ports

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 14th, 2021

Ports or coversions of games from one platform to another can be quite tricky. This is especially true when porting games to phones and tablets, as these titles have to be designed with workable touch controls and account for smaller screen sizes.

It’s rare these days for a console or PC game to grace the App Store in a totally unplayable state, but it can be hard to find games that make their transition to mobile look easy. It’s even rarer when a mobile port comes out and it’s just so dang slick it feels better than it did on its original platform, but these games exist. Here are five of them:

Genshin Impact - Lost Riches Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 13th, 2021

As the Albedo banner and freshness of the new Dragonspine region begin to wane, a new event rears its head in Genshin Impact that promises an extremely rare reward. This event, known as Lost Riches, has you playing treasure hunter, collecting Iron Coins all across Teyvat which you can then exchange in a special shop for Primogems, Mora, and--believe it or not--your own pet Seelie.

Distract Yourself With These Great Mobile Games on Sale Right Now

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 13th, 2021

There’s a lot going on right now, and I don’t really feel like trying to write some kind of pithy intro for it. All I’ll say is lots of people have been coming together and helping each other in small ways, and I’m choosing to focus on that as I try to stay safe myself.

One of the ways folks are trying to help are by making their games more affordable, or even free, during this time. Check out my top picks below of some great mobile titles that have gone on sale recently:

Games marked with an asterisk(*) denote that the entire developer/publisher’s catalog is discounted, despite the fact that all of their games may not be listed here.

Genshin Impact - Combat Tips

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 5th, 2021


Genshin Impact isn't a terribly difficult game, but its enemies get tougher the longer you play it and as your world level increases. This makes sense as a progression system, but it can also create gnarly difficulty spikes that are hard to overcome, particularly if you play the game without spending any money.

The immediate response to heightened challenge should be to grind out whatever you need to increase your fighting strength, whether that be via weapon enhancements, character ascensions, or talent leveling. Sometimes this grind isn't all that rewarding, though, and it might not fully compensate for all the problems you're facing in combat. With that in mind, we're putting together tips and tricks all focused around Genshin Impact's combat, for those situations where grinding is not enough. Read on to sharpen your combat skills.

148Apps Game of the Year 2020

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 31st, 2020

Every year, I always honor my favorite mobile games by highlighting some of my favorites. For this year, I'd like to try to do more than just say "hey, these games are fun." So, with some inspiration from other Game of the Year honors from around the web, I've assembled a few categories of video game honorifics to bestow on the mobile games that most deserve it.

In the coming days, be sure to check in to see nominees and winners picked from this list as we count down the final days of the horrid year known as 2020.

Genshin Impact - Where to find that last Crimson Agate

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 30th, 2020

Genshin Impact's Dragonspine event, The Chalk Prince and The Dragon, is well under way, giving players a ton of challenges to complete for some amazing rewards, including brand-new weapons, upgrade materials, and the ever-crucial Mora.

Many of the activities associated with this event simply unlock over time, but there are rewards related to the Frostbearing Tree (which needs to be fed Crimson Agate to level up, much like the Statues of the Seven scattered across the rest of Teyvat). From this tree, you can earn Fates, a new namecard, and more.

Genshin Impact - 1.2 Update Overview (Dragonspine)

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 29th, 2020

Anyone who talks to me about games knows that I haven't been able to shut up about Genshin Impact since its launch this past fall. It's a game with a lot of faults--namely its predatory monetization scheme--but it also provides a vast (and interesting!) open world, a novel and nuanced combat system, and a surprisingly compelling story, all of which you can experience without spending a dime.

Since my initial burst of playing in September, though, my excitement to log in every day was beginning to wane. New events and characters were nice new additions, but they weren't entirely well-conceived or received. That is, until miHoYo pushed their 1.2 update which unveiled a new region of Teyvat: Dragonspine Mountain.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 12.22]

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 22nd, 2020

In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.

Patch Notes:

Patch notes have been removed and have been replaced with (NEW) designation for the games most recently added or updated on this list.

UPDATE:As the pace of Apple Arcade has slowed, old games will also be re-evaluated based on reader feedback and content updates. Recently re-evaluated titles will be designated with (UPDATE) next to the title name.

Game ranking updates for 12/22:

Games marked with an asterisk(*) are games that suffer in rank due to technical problems.

All current rankings are listed below. More titles will be added frequently until the list is complete.

Here's what Star Wars KOTOR II looks like on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 18th, 2020
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic II just released on the App Store, and it's not exactly pretty. To be fair, this is over 15 years old, so bringing it to mobile likely has its challenges. That said, the second installment in the Knights of the Old Republic series comes to iOS with a janky control scheme and some bugs that disrupt combat.

Check out the video above where I get through the first real challenge of the game: fighting the mining droids on Peragus. In it, you'll see some struggles with movement, collision issues with combat maneuvering, and even a strange bug that locks your character in place after combat.

From there, you can pass over shelling out $9.99 for this game and pick something else up. This is not the port you're looking for.

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on December 17th, 2020
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: THIS AINT NO GAME
This lovingly-crafted meta adventure tells a silly but charming story about games for people who love them.
Read The Full Review »

Genshin Impact - How to beat Oceanid

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 14th, 2020

The end game of Genshin Impact largely revolves around spending resin to take on world bosses and clear domain challenges. These fights grant amazing rewards like rare artifacts and ascension materials for weapons and adventurers, but obviously only if you're up for the challenge.

Of all the world bosses in Genshin Impact, by far the most difficult is Oceanid. This hydro boss spawns waves of enemies and unleashes powerful elemental explosions, all while your field of battle submerges underwater. It's intense, and--at times--downright brutal, but if you have any hydro adventurers like Mona, Tartaglia (Childe), Xinqiu, or Barbara, you need to defeat this boss to ascend them. Read on below for some tips on how to make the Oceanid fight a little more manageable.

Orwell's Animal Farm review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on December 11th, 2020
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FARMING THE FORMULA
Orwell’s Animal Farm may look different, but feels all too familiar.
Read The Full Review »

Genshin Impact Guide - What to do When You Feel Stuck

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 10th, 2020

To keep its open world challenging, Genshin Impact increases the strength of its enemies as you advance your Adventure Rank. The only somewhat troublesome thing about this system though is that it isn't dependent on the power of your adventurers. Your Adventure Rank advances for pretty much doing anything, even if those things don't directly make your team stronger. As a result, you can find yourself in a situation where your World Level bumps up suddenly to create a pretty tough difficulty spike to overcome.

In this situation, Genshin Impact can become frustrating, but there are ways out of it. It also should be a relatively quick fix, provided you've been careful about your currencies and have some to spare. Read on to learn more about what to do if you hit a World Level that suddenly feels overwhelming.

Genshin Impact - Finding the fairness in a fundamentally unfair game

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 7th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »


Update: Shortly before this piece was posted, miHoYo released an official response to the community feedback around Zhongli. You can read it here.


The official statement acknowledges the feedback and some specific bugs with Zhongli’s abilities , but makes no promises about fundamentally changing the character beyond that. As a result, the contents of this post remain relevant to the current community conversation around Genshin Impact.

There's no getting around the fact that gacha games are predatory. Their entire design is contingent upon luring as many people as possible into an experience that will tempt them to spend money over and over again. This makes Genshin Impact--despite all of its other positive qualities--a predatory game, but is it too predatory? Does such a distinction matter? And, if so, who gets to draw the line of demarcation?

These are the kinds of questions that have risen to the top of the Genshin Impact community over the past week, ever since a new banner event allowed players to feed the in-game slot machine for a new playable character: Zhongli. In the lead up to his release, players awaited anxiously, poring over his teaser trailer, investigating leaked footage, and analyzing his strength based on his importance to Genshin Impact's story, only to face disappointment once they finally got their hands on him.

The Complex review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on December 4th, 2020
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NOT SO COMPLEX
The Complex is a formulaic FMV adventure that would be more enjoyable if not for some significant design flaws.
Read The Full Review »