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Should you play Genshin Impact? - Here's what you need to know

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

Last week, the massively anticipated Genshin Impact released, and now it seems to be the only game anyone's talking about. There's a good reason for this, or rather several. It looks great, it's free, and it actually follows through as an experience that takes meaningful inspiration from Breath of the Wild.

In case you're looking at Genshin Impact from the outside wondering if it's all it's cracked up to be, you're in the right place. The short answer is yes, but here's some more things that might inform whether you should dive into the game.

A Year of Apple Arcade: The Good, The Bad, and The Future

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 22nd, 2020

Apple Arcade has persisted for just over a year at this point, and although that means I've been busy ranking and re-ranking every game on the service for just about as long, I haven't done much reflection on the service as a whole.

If you want the short version, I think Apple has done a decent job at providing a wide variety of titles on its service, and their near-weekly new releases and title updates give you a reason to dive back into the service on a regular basis. That said, the dedication to keeping Arcade feeling fresh alone doesn't quite justify the cost of subscribing, and it seems like Apple has to put in some more work if they want this service to flourish.

Steam Link Spotlight - Hades

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 21st, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was on Disco Elysium. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.

For this installment, I took a look at Hades, the latest title from Supergiant Games, which just left early access as an official release. Supergiant Games has a history of making games that all feel distinct from one another, but Hades feels like somewhat of a harkening back to their first release, Bastion. This is to say it's fast-paced, combat heavy action rpg, and it plays surprisingly well using a touch screen.

Steam Link Spotlight - Disco Elysium

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 8th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was Signs of the Sojourner Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.

For this entry, I dove into Disco Elysium, an open world role playing game where you play as a detective who has just woken up from an epic hangover, and is now tasked with attempting to solve a murder while trying to piece together his own whereabouts and life. What sets this game apart from other role playing games though is that it shies away from combat and instead relies on dialog-based interactions between characters, which works mostly because the game is very well written and full of detailed and lively characters.

Golf on Mars "review"

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 23rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad


Golf on Mars is a minimalist golf game and the follow up to Desert Golfing. In it, you traverse a seemingly unending Martian landscape by hitting a golf ball from hole to hole using the tried-and-true pull-and-release touch control scheme popularized by Angry Birds. But there are no birds here, much less any that explode. Nor are there powerups, enemies, menus, or even levels. It's just you, the ball, the holes, and the seemingly endless Martian landscape for you to navigate. Oh, and there's a counter at the top that's tracking your total stroke count, too.

Using your phone in a protest

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 1st, 2020

I can't write about games today. There is a struggle happening in the streets right now and it needs everyone's attention. Here's some good info on how you can use your iOS device safely amidst a protest.

Know your rights

If law enforcement attempts to seize your phone and search through it, you have no obligation to unlock the phone for them. Police only have the right to seize your device if they place you under arrest, have probable cause, or a warrant. Regardless of how the seizure takes place though, they are not then entitled to the information on it.

Steam Link Spotlight - Signs of the Sojourner

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 29th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was XCOM: Chimera Squad. Read about how it plays using Steam Link's new mouse and keyboard support over here.

For this entry, I took a look at a fascinating game about communication. Signs of the Sojourner by Echodog Games examines how traveling and connecting with other people can change you in the process. While this has been explored in plenty of other games and media before, what's remarkable about Signs of the Sojourner is how it translates this message so elegantly through simple card game mechanics.

The Ultimate iPad Setup

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 29th, 2020

iPads are awesome. We all know this. But an iPad all on its own can sometimes just feel like a big, unwieldy phone that sits in some corner, only to be dusted off when you need a way to watch Netflix on a flight.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. With a little additional investment, you can kit out your tablet so that it can serve as your primary computer both for productivity and entertainment purposes.

How do I know this? Well, I’ve been an iPad owner for years, and have written the vast majority of everything I’ve ever posted to this site using one. With all of this in mind, I’ve put together a handy little guide on things to pick up (or skip) when looking to make your iPad the absolute best it can be for everything.

For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be speaking about items generally, as your wants and needs around said items might shift depending on which model of iPad you have. I’ll also be sharing my personal favorite picks, but those are all based on how well they work with an iPad Pro 11 (2018), as it's my current iPad of choice.

Steam Link Spotlight - XCOM: Chimera Squad

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 23rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was In Other Waters. Read about how it's a great mobile experience over here.

This week, we're going to do something a little different. To commemorate the Steam Link's recent update to support mouse and keyboard functionalty, we wanted to test out a game that could take advantage of this and still play great over a stream to a mobile device. This brings us to XCOM: Chimera Squad, the latest title in Firaxis's celebrated strategy franchise.

Steam Link Spotlight - In Other Waters

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 15th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link. Our last entry was Might is Right. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience over here.

Practically every previous game we've covered using Steam Link has heavily featured turn-based combat, but In Other Waters by Jump Over the Age is different. This game is an undersea exploration mission where you try to learn more about the alien planet you're on and why you--a seemingly sentient AI diving suit--exist.

Hearthstone's latest update is a bit of a snoozefest

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: PERFECTLY (WAR)CRAFTED :: Read Review »

Back in May last year, I wrote about how Hearthstone felt like it was trying to reach more casual players with the release of The Dalaran Heist—a single-player expansion that focused less on theorycrafting the perfect deck and more on experimentation and play. A lot has happened in the game since then, including the release of a new game mode that seeks to capitalize on the popularity of auto chess games like Dota Underlords.

I wouldn’t say any of these updates have made Hearthstone any friendlier or more accessible as The Dalaran Heist did, but they have given players different ways to engage with the game’s cards in new and neat ways. Keeping all of this in mind, I was pretty excited to hear that another single-player expansion was coming to Hearthstone. But—now that it’s finally here—Hearthstone’s latest update, entitled Galakrond’s Awakening, feels like a return to basics for Blizzard in a way that feels a bit disappointing.

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).

Steam Link Spotlight - Might Is Right

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 3rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link. Our last entry was Sin Slayers. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience over here.

Much like the last entry, this week’s spotlight is on a combat-focused rpg I didn’t know much about going into. Might is Right has a really old-school feel. You have a main character that you use to wander over a map to complete quests, which usually revolve around fighting parties of enemies.

Game of the Year 2019

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 23rd, 2019

2019 has been one of the weirdest years in mobile gaming yet. With Apple Arcade emerging alongside other game subscription services like GameClub and Playond, it feels a bit like the wild west again. I’m not exactly blown away with any of these services so far, but it’s nice to see folks attempt to create spaces on the App Store for quality games to thrive.

Speaking of quality games, I played quite a few of them this year. By a rough count (I try to keep a list every year), I ended up playing over 350 mobile games in 2019. I wish it was a little harder to cull that huge list down to ten favorites, but it honestly wasn’t. The ten games you see below are my favorite games from 2019 by a country mile.