All posts by Campbell Bird
It's no secret that Genshin Impact's gacha system is designed to make you want to spend money. You absolutely don't need to do this, though. Since launch, I've been enjoying the game without spending a dime (I should also say I'm not part of any of miHoYo's content creator programs that deal out free currency to content creators).
I've managed to do this all while building out a roster with all the characters I want. How, you might ask? Well, the short answer is math, a pessimistic attitude, and discerning taste. You can also read on below to understand exactly what I mean by this.
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.
For this installment, I decided to go back to a more turn-based title. Fights in Tight Spaces just hit Steam in early access and is a turn-based card game where you manage the choreography of intense fighting set pieces that wouldn't feel out of place in films like John Wick or The Bourne Identity. You do this by playing cards that execute moves on your turn that allow you to manage your spacing while dishing out a ton of pain on multiple bad guys that accost you in tattoo parlors, narrow alleyways, and other cramped environments.
In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.
Over a year into the Apple Arcade experiment, I’m adjusting my approach to these rankings to make it a bit less cumbersome to update and read. For the most part, this means the number of updates on previously released games will decrease, and the text below each entry will be kept to a brief-yet-accurate justification for its positioning.
This has less to do with the pace of Apple Arcade releases and more to do with the fact that the general quality of games on the service simply isn’t what it should be. In the time that one release comes to the service, multiple high quality games hit the App Store that you don’t have to pay monthly upkeep for. Unless something drastic changes with the service, my opinion on it probably won’t change much.
Anyway, on with the ranking updates:
Game ranking updates for 2/22:
This is part 6 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:
126. Hot Lava
What if someone turned the old childhood "ground is lava" game and turned it into a video game? That’s what Hot Lava is. It’s a sort of parkour-like platformer where you try to race through levels hopping on objects that somehow aren’t being melted by the lava underneath it.
I’d love to have a platformer on Apple Arcade focused around time trials, provided it wasn’t a first-person game. First-person platforming rarely feels good because it’s always so hard to tell where your feet are. Same is true here with Hot Lava, plus the game defaults to a goofy motion-based control scheme that asks you to wave your phone or tablet around to look. All of this feels better once you change some settings (ideally to play with a controller), but even then, Hot Lava doesn’t feel as good to control as it should.
It's Lantern Rite season in Genshin Impact! The latest update to the game adds a whole bunch of new stuff to see and do to commemorate this in-game holiday, which is presumably a reflection of Chinese New Year. Celebrated primarily in Liyue Harbor, the bustling merchant city has transformed into a festive market where merchants sell their wares to raise funds for the construction of Xiao Lanterns.
As part of this celebration, game designer Ruijin has set up her game, Theater Mechanicus, in the harbor, which you can spend Xiao Lanterns to play to earn sweet rewards while playing a cool tower defense mode in the process. Check out some video above to see how the mode works, and read on below to learn what you should know about Theater Mechanicus, including some tips on how to make you a Mechanicus Master.
With the 1.3 update to Genshin Impact, another world boss has made its way into Teyvat. The Primo Geovishap is a hulking beast that has some unique tricks up its sleeve. Read on below to get the full picture of this new boss and how you can make sure you're in fighting shape to defeat it.
Go Rally is a great little arcade racing game that dropped onto mobile devices back in 2016. Since its release though, it fell somewhat into disrepair, with no widescreen support and audio bugs that prevent the game from making any sound at all. This version of the game has since been removed from the App Store, though anyone who purchased it can re-download it to play.
This week, Inputwish released a brand-new version of Go Rally that makes it work flawlessly on iOS once again. The most notable thing about this release is the support for wider screened devices. Otherwise, it's basically the same exact game, which is fine, because it's still one of the absolute best driving driving games on mobile. Check out what it looks like in action--as well as how it compares to the older version of the game--in the video above.