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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:

Kingdom Rush Vengeance Update Guide 2 - What you need to know about The Frozen Nightmare

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 10th, 2019

Kingdom Rush: Vengeance just got updated once again to add more content to the game. This addition, called The Frozen Nightmare, adds three new levels, five new enemies, two new heroes, and some new achievements.

Overall, it’s not a huge amount of additional content, but it is free, so it’s hard to complain about. In case you’re thinking about whether it’s worth buying or re-downloading Kingdom Rush Vengeance to check out The Frozen Nightmare, here’s everything you need to know about it.

A weird, Flappy Bird spin-off might just be the best mobile fighting game out there

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 6th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Back in 2014—during the height of Flappy Bird ‘s popularity—I would not have believed anyone if they said that five years later there’d be a fighting game released based on it. Here we are now, though: It’s 2019, Flappy Fighter exists, and it also just so happens to be the most competent mobile fighter there is.

Last week, Flappy Fighter dropped on the App Store, and it’s been quickly gaining attention. This is for good reason. The game is an homage to Street Fighter that uses Flappy Bird for its character design, and—within seconds of booting it up—you can tell it’s made with a lot of love and attention to detail.

The best superhero game on mobile

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 4th, 2019

I don't know if you know this, but superheroes are Kind of A Big Deal. Every other week it feels like a new Marvel movie is coming out and the hype train for each release is undeniable. Just look at how the upcoming Avengers: Endgame broke sales records and sales sites at the same time within hours of tickets going on sale earlier this week.

I’m not here to talk movies though. That’s not what this site is about. Alongside releases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU, if you're so inclined) are a plethora of the media tie-ins, not the least of which are mobile games, and I’m writing this to tell you that yes, indeed, there’s a fantastic superhero game that trumps all others, and you should all be playing it if you want your superhero fix. The only thing is, it's probably not a game you'd suspect.

There may be some decent Marvel mobile games out there. Heck, some might even be considered “good.” That said, the absolute best superhero game on iOS actually has no affiliation with Marvel, DC, or any other actual comic book publisher. Do you know where I'm going with this?

Apple Arcade's future depends on how Apple answers a few key questions

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 26th, 2019

Apple made a lot of waves from its special event this week. The announcement of Apple Arcade in particular, a subscription service that will deliver access to over 100 premium games starting this fall, sounds like a potential new step forward for gaming on mobile.

As great as this might sound though, there are lots of things Apple didn’t talk about as it relates to this new service. A lot of what Apple said yesterday may sound exciting, but I have my doubts about the service given what wasn’t covered in their presentation. There’s just too many unknowns, and—given Apple’s track record on games—I’m not sure Apple Arcade will seem all that great when we get the answers.

See below for some of the biggest mysteries looming over the announcement and my thoughts on why their absence has me worried about this service.

When Good Games Go Bad

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 27th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SLEEPER HIT :: Read Review »

Back in August, a little game called Radiant One came out. It was a solid adventure game with great visuals and a story that hit me harder than I was expecting. I wasn’t in love with it, but I enjoyed my time with it a great deal. So much so that I gave it a nice four star rating and recommended it to friends who were looking for something new to play.

In the intervening months between Radiant One’s release and now, a lot has changed. For starters, the game has a new chapter, which is odd mostly because--in my playthrough of Radiant One--I was not aware this game was going to have multiple chapters. The game was short, yes, but nothing about it remotely suggested that the game would include a new or continuing storyline beyond what was in the initial package.

Upon hearing new stuff got added to this great game, I got excited and re-downloaded it. I wanted to see what else Radiant One might have up its sleeves. Would it be a continuation of Daniel’s adventures with lucid dreaming? Would it be more like an anthology? I could see things going in one of quite a few different directions, but if any of them were like the game’s base package, I was ready for it.

Stardew Valley on iOS is Far From Perfect, But It Will Likely Get Better

Posted by Campbell Bird on October 26th, 2018
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

There was lots of hubbub this week when everyone learned that Stardew Valley, one of the most successful indie games ever, was making its way to mobile devices. In a time where Nintendo is putting out gacha games, other mobile devs are settling into sub-optimal monetization schemes to keep themselves profitable, and the right games are getting increasingly hard to find on mobile storefronts, hearing that ConcernedApe's acclaimed farming game felt like glimmer of hope for the platform.

After putting some time into Stardew Valley, I've come to the conclusion that's all it is: a glimmer. To be clear, the iOS release of Stardew totally seems like a great game that brings all the same farming stuff to do to your phone or tablet, but these days that's not really all it takes to make a great mobile game. In fact, the current state of Stardew Valley on iOS feels like a compromised experience, making it probably not worth picking up unless you simply want to support the premium games market on the App Store or want to wait until it gets more support. Here's why:

Sometimes Shameless Clones Are Good (Kind Of)

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 14th, 2018
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

For the past few weeks, I’ve been playing a little game called Royal Booty Quest. Is it a good game? No, not really. It’s got really shoddy visuals, a UI that breaks easily, no sound, and missing text values all over the place.

The only reason I’ve been sticking with it is because it's a clone of Slay the Spire, a deckbuilding roguelike that generated some strong buzz when it hit early access late last year. In it, you pick a hero to enter a dungeon to fight enemies in card-based combat. As you get further into the dungeon, you get opportunities to finely hone your deck as the enemies around you get stronger and try to survive. If you die, you start all over again.

Into The Breach Would Be Perfect For Mobile

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 1st, 2018

If you ask just about anyone to name their absolute “must-buy” mobile games, FTL is bound to be on that list. With an awesome premise, tons of replayability, and a tough-as-nails roguelike sensibility, it’s a game you can fire up at any time just about anywhere and have a good time. With the release of Subset Games’s follow up title, Into The Breach, this week, a lot of people have been wondering if this game has the same potential to be a smash hit on mobile, and the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why:

It’s great

The first thing you might want to know about Into The Breach is that—as a follow up to FTL—it pretty much completely lives up to the hype. It’s a tightly designed roguelike where you control a team of mecha as they try to defend humanity. For a quick comparison, it feels like someone took Pacific Rim and jammed it into a tiny tactical map that looks like Advance Wars but plays a bit more like Invisible Inc., where all of your hits will land, but you have to plan them out carefully to make sure you don’t die or inflict too many human casualties in the process.

On top of that, it has a ton of unlockables, bonus missions, upgrades, and the same great difficulty curve that keeps you on the edge of your seat constantly while playing. As long as a port job of Into The Breach brings the game to mobile more-or-less intact, there’s no need to worry about whether it’s worth a purchase.

It fits

As an experiment, I went ahead and tried a couple ways to shoehorn Into The Breach onto my iPad just to see what it would be like, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even without any port work to make Into The Breach’s controls work for touch, the game works surprisingly well. It's also a game that constantly saves your progress, which makes it easy to pick up and put down on a whim. Finally—and perhaps most importantly—Into The Breach’s bite-sized tactics maps fit amazingly well on a mobile screen. Don’t believe me? Check out the screenshot below of the game running on an iPad display. Even in this compromised, windowed mode, everything about the game's UI is clean and easy to read.

The App Store could use another essential release right about now

FTL came out on mobile about four years ago, and since then there have been a few games here and there that seem like they should stay permanently installed on your home screen, but not many, especially recently. Although there are no current plans for Into The Breach to come to mobile, it would be a huge hit, particularly if it struck during an App Store lull like the one we’re currently in.

You don’t need to be playing Asphalt 9: Legends, and here’s why

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 27th, 2018

Big news dropped this week as Gameloft announced they’ve soft launched Asphalt 9: Legends in the Philippines. This has caused quite a stir primarily because the Asphalt games are among some of the best-looking racing games on the App Store. Heck, you might have already started looking at screenshots and are wondering if you should make a Philippines App Store account just to check it out for yourself. Well, if you are, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t, and here’s why:

3D Touch could be a game-changer, but it’s not there yet

Posted by Jennifer Allen on September 29th, 2015

Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just what’s going to wow us about this upgrade. It turns out that so far, there’s a ton of untapped potential. [Editor's Note: I see what you did there...]

You see, the iPhone 6s’ potentially coolest feature is 3D Touch. Sensing how much pressure you apply to your iPhone’s screen could, in theory, revolutionize things in a way that we haven’t seen since the advent of touch screens. It’s distinctly early days, though.

This is particularly evident when you bear in mind there’s only really one game with 3D Touch support at the moment. That happens to be AG Drive which kind of makes sense for a game that embraces the future quite so readily. Playing a lot like WipeOut, 3D Touch does make quite a difference.

I found that by pressing down a little harder I could accelerate faster, as well as brake more quickly. It’s not as awe-inspiring as you’d hope, being more of a subtle tweak than anything right now, but it’s a great insight into what could happen next in gaming. It’s freshened up an experience that I thought I’d had my fill of.

Various apps are gradually embracing 3D Touch’s "Peek and Pop" - Apple’s term for being able to preview content by holding down on a link or button. For instance, doing this to Dropbox’s icon allows you to perform various quick actions, while Instagram lets you see thumbnail previews. It is a little tetchy though, so expect to change your settings so that 3D Touch recognises ‘light’ touches, otherwise it might not work correctly for you.

Stock Apps allow you to do things like preview messages or website links, saving you valuable time and being all-around a little cooler than before.

None of this is a game changer. Yet. But I can see it going that way. Imagine an Angry Birds game where how hard you press down on the reticule affects how violently the bird is thrown? Or an FPS game’s machine gun firing more rapidly because of how hard you "squeeze" the trigger.

The potential is pretty cool, and while for now it might seem gimmicky, it could make all the difference in making our games feel more tactile. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

Bust-A-Move Islands: Mourning the Loss of a Fairly Average Freemium Game

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 13th, 2015

Why Final Fantasy VII for iOS Might Not be so Great After All

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 17th, 2015

If you’ve bothered to look at my profile on here, first of all, why are you that interested? Second of all, you’ll note that I stated that Final Fantasy VII (and Goldeneye) were ‘life-changing’ for me. Ok, so there’s a certain amount of hyperbole there, but those two games ensured I went from "Hey, games are quite fun when I've got nothing better to do" to "I love everything about them and they’re very important to me." That’s a double-edged sword to one’s productivity levels, but hey, look what I’m doing right now.

As a big mobile gaming fan and a big Final Fantasy VII fan, I should be excited about it coming to iOS, right? Well, not so much.

Why Having Native Apps on the Apple Watch is a Big Deal

Posted by Rob Rich on June 9th, 2015

Yesterday’s WWDC was full of all sorts of interesting announcements for all sorts of Apple-related operating systems. A lot of really impressive stuff is in the works, but the most significant change for the Apple Watch has got to be allowing for native apps (i.e. apps that are installed directly on the watch rather than piggybacking over from the iPhone).

How Does the Apple Watch Ranks As a News Reading Device?

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 2nd, 2015

If you’re like me, you’re a little hooked on knowing what’s going on in the world. I’ve been on nights out and still slightly drunkenly gazed at the TV in the bar because I’ve wanted to see what the breaking news was. Yeah, I know. It turns out that the Apple Watch might be the ideal device for news hounds such as me. While it’s yet to provide a perfect news reading experience, there are a few great ways of gaining some insight on your wrist.