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Category: First Looks »

Diablo: Immortal Closed Alpha First Impressions

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 23rd, 2021

This week, we finally got our hands on Diablo: Immortal. While it's still in a closed alpha state, the game feels quite a bit like a fully-fledged Diablo experience, though obviously with some free-to-play hooks thrown in. Check out some footage of the game just as those hooks kick in to get a sense of what Blizzard and NetEase seem to be planning for Diablo's eventual emergence onto the App Store.

PSA: Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus has some issues

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 22nd, 2021
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Bulwark Studios just brought turn-based strategy title Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus to the App Store, but I would probably wait before you buy it. Although it seems like a really cool blend of tactics game mechanics, this iOS version has a soft-locking problem, which you can see in the video above.

Mitoza is surreal adventure toy you can get for free

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 5th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The folks behind the Rusty Lake games have just put a new title onto the App Store. Second Maze, Rusty Lake's collaborative publishing brand, has just brought this 10 year old adventure game from Gal Mamalya to mobile. The best part about all of this is thatMitoza is completely free.

Here's what the re-release of Go Rally looks like on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 4th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad


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.

Here's what Titan Quest: Legendary Edition looks like compared to Titan Quest HD on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 3rd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Titan Quest: Legendary Edition just dropped on the App Store, and it's maybe the third or fourth time the game has been re-released on mobile. This one promises to be the "best" in the sense that it includes all DLC for free and a few bug fixes. There are also promises of things like controller support coming in the future.

Here's what SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated looks like on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 22nd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated came out this week on iOS, and it seems like a pretty solid platformer with a Banjo-Kazooie-style collection-based progression system. You play as SpongeBob, obviously, as he tries to clean up Bikini Bottom after his nemesis Plankton unleashes disobedient robots all over the town.

Here's everything you need to know about XCOM 2 Collection ahead of release

Posted by Campbell Bird on November 3rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONDENSED COMMANDER :: Read Review »

Later this week, the XCOM 2 Collection will finally make its way to iOS. XCOM: Enemy Within has long been a high watermark of strategic depth on mobile, but the game has gotten quite long in the tooth. Feral Interactive's work on XCOM 2 Collection looks to change that by providing a mobile experience that feels fresh and modern to the second entry of Firaxis's reimagined XCOM series.

All that said, porting XCOM 2 Collection is no easy task. Check the video above to see a full video of a mission in the game running on an iPad Pro 11" (2018), and read on below for what you need to know about XCOM 2 Collection ahead of release.

Everything you need to know about Catalyst Black

Posted by Campbell Bird on August 13th, 2020

Super Evil Megacorp, the minds behind long-standing mobile MOBA Vainglory, are back with a new game called Catalyst Black. This new title is a team-based shooter that focuses on equippable loot, and although it isn't out yet, the game recently became available to a select few folks during their early access period.

This early access, termed the "Secret Service" by the developers, is a limited form of the game that doesn't include all of the polish you might expect from an official release, but it does give a good sense of what Catalyst Black will be when it eventually hits the App Store. We were able to snag a spot in the Secret Service and are ready to spill everything we know about the game. Read on below to find out more, including how you might be able to join us online sooner rather than later.

Everything you need to know about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 5th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Out of nowhere, Konami decided to remind everyone that they used to make video games by releasing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for iOS this week. Widely celebrated as one of the greatest games of the 32-bit era, Symphony of the Night basically solidified the gameplay formula for “Metroidvania”-style games.

Because this release came as a surprise, I haven’t had the chance to put the time in for a full-on review, but here are some things you should know about this mobile version of Symphony of the Night.

The Alliance update to Out There: Omega Edition makes it as playable as ever

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 24th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A LITTLE LOST (IN SPACE) :: Read Review »

Out There is an old go-to recommendation for a lot of mobile stalwarts, but I could never really get into it. This sci-fi survival game that blended elements of interactive fiction and roguelike mechanics just felt a little off-balance and a little too random for my liking. After being out for six years though, Out There has gone through some changes. The latest of which is a content update entitled “The Alliance” that looked just interesting enough for me to try and pick up the game all over again.

Shadowgun War Games Closed Beta Impressions

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 23rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ALL’S FAIR IN WAR GAMES :: Read Review »

Shadowgun: War Games is an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter that’s essentially just an Overwatch knock-off. There are hero characters with special abilities, and you compete in 5-v-5 game modes where the goal is to use superior team tactics to win the day.

Depending on who you are, this might sound exciting, but given my time with the closed beta for the game, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Although War Games looks nice and pretty, it doesn’t feel that different from other mobile shooters that have already tried the same thing (i.e. Modern Combat Versus).

Hands-On with the Pocket City December Update

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 9th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PREMIUM BUT NOT PERFECT :: Read Review »

At the end of last month, Codebrew Games announced an update coming to their popular city-builder, Pocket City some time this month. In this update is the promise of expanding your city out into other regions, enacting policies, and more. The full info on the update—as well as a link to sign up to test these new features—can be found here.

I’ve spent the last week or so testing out this new content for Pocket City, and it makes for an undeniably better game. That said, I wasn’t super impressed with Pocket City when it first released, and this update doesn’t suddenly change my entire impression of the game. It’s still got some rules that feel too restrictive, but it finally allows you to build public transit that makes sense, which was one of my primary grievances with the original version of the game.

Something to note about this new update to Pocket City is that it doesn’t provide much to new players. To start enacting policies or expanding between regions, you have to level up your city to at least level 28, which takes some doing. Even when you get there, it doesn’t feel like it shifts the gameplay too much. In fact, after I got the ability to pass policies to improve my city, I routinely forgot to actually do it because my city was cruising along just fine without their benefits in play.

If you’re eyeing this update to Pocket City as a way to really deepen the experience of playing it, I think you’ll be disappointed. That said, this December update—whenever it drops—improves the base game and adds a couple more layers to Pocket City that make it more interesting than it was previously.

Flappy Royale is an incredibly clever take on the Battle Royale genre

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 1st, 2019

I spent the better part of my weekend playing Flappy Royale. I didn’t necessarily want to. I just felt like I had to. It’s a hypnotic experience that’s way too easy to just keep playing.

Flappy Royale is the brainchild of Orta Therox, Em Lazer-Walker, and Zach Gage. It's a very simple idea: Take the the rules of Battle Royale games (e.g. PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends) and apply them to Flappy Bird. 100 players play as birds that jump out of a bus. From there, they must fly between as many pipes as possible until one player is deemed the champion.

The game controls pretty much exactly like Flappy Bird did back in 2013. The only real differences are the hopping out of the bus (presumably inspired by the Fortnite Battle Bus) and 99 ghost birds flapping on screen with you, all competing for the number one spot.

This latter element—the ability to see other players play while you do—is the secret sauce that makes Flappy Royale such a tantalizing challenge. You can always see your competition flapping alongside you, and you want beat all of them. If you can’t do that, maybe you settle for getting a top 50 finish before diving in again to see if you can do better.

Although it’s not officially released, anyone can go and download the beta release of the game here. In this early state though, the game is already quite popular. Here are some stats Orta Therox shared about the game over the weekend:





2 million games of Flappy Royale is really impressive, especially considering it populates each of those games with 100 players. Where it starts feeling downright magical is when you consider that all of these matches start pretty much instantly.

The way Flappy Royale eliminates any sort of queue times for matches is ingenious, and probably another big reason for the game’s stickiness. Instead of filling matches with bots or waiting for 100 live players to play a level at once, the game pits you against the ghost data of the last 99 players who played the level before you. In other words, you’re always playing against other people, but you don’t have to wait for them to log in for you to do so.

Right now, Flappy Royale really feels like it has huge potential. It successfully distills the most thrilling aspects of Battle Royale into a really tight mobile package. A lot of this has to do with how quick and easy it is to play ten rounds without blinking, so here’s to hoping the game doesn’t get too bloated with extra features or monetization schemes before it officially releases.

Marvel Super War Beta Impressions

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 10th, 2019

Marvel Super War is the latest MOBA from Netease, but it’s not something you can just go and download on the App Store now. The game is in a closed beta, meaning you have to download it from a special link here and the developers are still ironing out some kinks before officially releasing the game to mobile players everywhere.

I’ve spent a decent amount of time with Marvel Super War over the past week, and I let me say, it’s not half bad. This is to say that it’s really neat to play as heroes and villains like Thor and Magneto, but this game feels a little too... familiar.

Steam Link App - Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 16th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link has finally released for iOS! That’s right, you can play your epic backlog of PC games on the go now. Well… sort of.

While the Steam Link app was announced seemingly ages ago, it only got actual approval for release last night. Check out the video above to see what it looks like in action, and be sure to ignore my amateur Into the Breach skills. For some more detailed written impressions, see below: