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Overkill 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Tre Lawrence on March 5th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COVERED
Cover system gameplay in the third-person.
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The SHADOWGUN Enhanced Anniversary Edition is Now Available

Posted by Jessica Fisher on June 16th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

After four years and six highly acclaimed games, MADFINGER Games celebrates their fourth anniversary by releasing an Enhanced Edition update for SHADOWGUN.

Not only have the already impressive graphics have been retooled for better optimization on older devices, but MADFINGER Games has also improved the handling, added cloud backup for your games, and created four more levels to continue the story of John Slade and his hunt for Dr. Edgar Simon. The game now supports iOS 7 and iPhone 5c/iPhone 5s. With all these upgrades, you won’t want to pass it up.

SHADOWGUN is available in the App Store for $4.99

Craneballs Reveals Overkill 3 - and it's a Third-Person Shooter

Posted by Rob Rich on June 6th, 2014

The Overkill games have been pretty darn popular, so a third official release (not counting Overkill Mafia because it's not really a part of the main series) isn't too much of a shock. What is a bit of a shock is the fact that Craneballs is dropping the first-person perspective in favor of an all-new third-person approach.

A new perspective isn't the only big change, either. It's also going to be a cover shooter with interactive cutscenes and "a greater level of variability." With ten environments, 50+ levels, and all those guns it certainly seems possible.

Overkill 3 will be releasing in the Summer/Fall of this year and will be free-to-play.

First bits of game info:

* Change to TPS to showcase the character and armor/gun upgrades directly in the game
* Boss battles - against drones, robots & vehicles
* Machine gun nest missions for pure "letting of steam"
* Night missions - they look great thanks to Unity with its lighting possibilites
* Plenty of guns and sophisticated gun upgrading (not entirely unexpected from an Overkill title)

Meltdown Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 18th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: GRINDY-FOCUSED SHOOTING
With a focus on grinding to gain new skills, Meltdown might offer gradual rewards but it's too samey to truly grip.
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Action Mobile Games Sets Sights on Co-op with 2013: Infected Wars

Posted by Rob Rich on July 26th, 2013

Whenever zombies and/or mutants have overrun the Earth, iOS gamers are always more than happy to take to the streets and start blasting. However, they haven't had many opportunities to do so with friends. That's why James Petty, president of Action Mobile Games, and the rest of the development team have been working on 2013: Infected Wars. They're hoping to push the limits of what iOS gamers have come to expect from their action games, and James was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions about their soon-to-be-released project.

148Apps: What made you decide to create a co-op action game as opposed to a more typical single player affair?
James Petty (JP): There were a few reasons for that. One, it has never been done before on mobile so I wanted us to do something new and fun to try and stand out. Two, I thought it would be really well received by the community since playing multiplayer is always more fun. Three, because it is so difficult to pull off; my hope was Apple would feature us in the App Store at release.

148Apps: I was also wondering just how big the environments might be. Are there multiple paths to explore?
JP: They are not as big as some of the huge PC or console hits that many of us are familiar with. There are different paths you can take to some extent but we had to be creative to allow for the large number of creatures spawned at any given time. I wanted to make sure the player felt like the world was covered with infected. Most people probably don't notice, but on mobile each unique creature takes a ton of resources which is why many games with higher end graphics will cap them at 3 or so. This wouldn't work at all if we wanted to create hordes of enemies. So we were able to optimize the Unreal Engine to such an extent that we can have around 10 at any given time and have some amazing graphics to boot. With our custom spawn system you often don't even notice the cap as we can have another enemy spawn as soon as one dies to really give you the feeling of an enemy 'horde'.

148Apps: It looks like there’s a good mix of classes available (Field Support, Marine, Sniper, Sapper). Do you find that some compliment others better, and was it tough to balance them out?
JP: Yes, this was extremely tough to balance out. It would have been easy to just get rid of the classes and have a bunch of weapons but I think that removes some of the depth you can achieve when you get to choose a strategy and see if it works. The field support in my opinion is the easiest class to master, and I suggest this for any player who isn't as experienced with mobile gaming. The sniper and Sapper are the most challenging and work better in multiplayer.

148Apps: What sort of persistent character progression can we expect in 2013: Infected Wars? Do the characters actually learn skills or become more powerful, or is it more of a rank-based system that unlocks new gear?
JP: There is no gear unlocking in 2013: Infected Wars; instead, the more money you earn from killing infected and the less you die the more money you have. However each class gets benefits with certain weapon types, and as you level up the weapons in that class become more affordable. You also get unique bonuses for each class but there isn't a special move per say. The game is designed to offer fun replayability and you are meant to die. If you challenge players and they realize a mistake is going to cause them to die, lose weapons, and then have to try a mission again it really ups the intensity. I believe the mobile gaming community is really wanting a challenge and I stand 100% by 2013: Infected Wars being the most challenging mobile shooter that will be in the App Store.

148Apps: What would you consider to be 2013: Infected Wars’ most significant feature?
JP: Definitely the fact we have a true full co-op campaign with a ton of content and true hordes of zombies and other infected to kill. And larger than life bosses that actually move around. This has never been done on mobile before and I really hope the community enjoys it. In fact we are already working on our first new content update before the game even hits the App Store.

We'd like to thank James again for taking the time to answer our questions. If you're anxious to get your co-op mutant blasting on, keep an eye out. 2013: Infected Wars should be hitting the App Store within the next couple of weeks and set you back $6.99. Expect a full review from 148Apps when it does!

MetalWars3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 19th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: AN IMPERFECT MECH
MetalWars3 is a great improvement over its predecessors but it's still got a ways to go.
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Small Impact Games Needs Your Help Bringing Giant Robots to the App Store with M3CH

Posted by Rob Rich on March 6th, 2013

I freaking love mech games. It’s just a shame that this is a largely ignored genre on the App Store. Or at least it was, until Small Impact Games took it upon themselves to show it some love.

M3CH looks to be the answer to iOS mech combat fans’ prayers. Of course showing a little love yourself on the developer’s Kickstarter page might speed things up a bit. It evokes a similar feeling to other gritty/semi-realistic mech piloting titles and sports some pretty impressive production values. I had to pry myself away to ask M3CH’s animator, James Rowbotham, about Small Impact Games’ baby.

Were there any particularly major influences in the design of M3CH's world? I know it's not exactly the same but I'm getting a pretty strong Steel Battalion vibe from it.

At the time 3D iOS games exploded, we were playing a very mixed bag of games but fortunately they were all with the same genre, Mechs! We just loved the direction the iOS store was heading, it was screaming for a game with user-friendly touch-screen controls but with the in depth details you get in our favourite mech games.

Surprisingly however, Killzone 2 was a big inspiration in terms of AI and cover based action. What some mech games lack is the use of buildings as cover and enemy’s that work together to out flank you, something we saw that had been untapped in the genre (a lot of open spaces/terrain), so we looked at the great AI in Killzone and their behaviour and found a way to work it into our game.

You folks have done a bang-up job with the control scheme. Was it the product of rigorous testing and polishing or did you know right from the start how you wanted to handle it?

The aim with M3CH since the beginning has been to try and create an iOS game that doesn't feel like it’s an iOS game, and more like a console experience. Touchscreen controls are notorious for being hard to use and something that we really wanted to nail. We went through a lot of different iterations to get to where we are now; having both shoot buttons on one side, holding down shoot instead of the auto toggle system, putting the shoot buttons on the thumbsticks and a lot more. We are keeping open minded about it and although we are getting later into development if we have an idea for an even better control set then we will be sure to test it out!

Were there any mech designs you wanted to include that ended up being scrapped?

There are quite a few that didn't make it into the game (we already have 40 different mechs in the game). At the moment we have a mix of legs styles such as reversed legs in the game but [an] animalistic style is something we are keen on in terms of animation and how the mechs behave.

What exactly are your plans for the multiplayer?

We are hitting some technical limitations which means it most likely be 1-on-1 to start with. We would love to get a larger number of players battling at the same time (8v8 is the dream!), especially where the winning players get new weapons unlocked and credits to spend. At the moment its deathmatch style gameplay but we have plans set for objective based multiplayer.

Are you allowed to talk pricing?
It’s still early days but we are hoping for around the £1.99 [$2.99] price range. One thing we are certain of however is that we don't want pushy monetization and in-app purchasing interrupting your gameplay experience, all mechs and weapons are attainable without too much grinding and we reward dedicated hard working players with big payouts.

How about a release date?
As for a released date, a lot of that depends on the kickstarter campaign, if we are successful then we are aiming for an April release this year.

Mad Merx: Nemesis Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 1st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEEDS MORE TRAINING
Mad Merx: Nemesis takes a while to ramp up and suffers from some fairly problematic latency issues, but it still has its moments. On occasion.
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Respawnables Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on December 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LOCK
It tends to either be too easy or too hard, with little to no in-between, but that doesn't mean Respawnables isn't also tons of fun.
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Link: Holy Shield Becomes Journey to Hell, Dev Diary Video Released

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 24th, 2012

DogBox Studio and Bulkypix's upcoming third-person shooter, Project: Holy Shield has gotten a name upgrade. Now titled Journey To Hell, the game's original tagline, it's looking to be a pretty sweet game with plenty of gritty, comic-book style visuals and an original soundtrack. It's due in November. The developers have also released a dev diary video onto YouTube, where you can see all the cool game creation going on. Check it out:

This November, discover Journey to Hell, a post-apocalyptic TPS with incredible 3D graphics and gripping content. Seven maps, each with their own special atmosphere, plus a unique “real-time render” sound engine developed by AudioGaming and a soundtrack composed especially for the game are only a few of Journey to Hell’s many cool features.

Playing as Gabriel and Rachel, two members of the secret organization Holy Shield, you’ll behead, dismember and disembowel daemons as varied as they are terrifying! When the carnage is over, they’ll surely beat a hasty return to the festering darkness from whence they came.

With plenty of clichés and elements of parody, Project: Holy Shield pays tribute to the genre of big guns, kick-ass heroes and bloodthirsty daemons.

Prior the game's release in the App Store, DogBox has opened its studio doors via a behind-the-scenes "making of the game" video:

Trigger Fist Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dale Culp on August 15th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: INTENSE
Featuring intense action, excellent graphics and fantastic controls, Trigger Fist is a third-person shooter done right.
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Urban Crime Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dan Lee on January 19th, 2012
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: GANGSTA
Survive a gang war and take control of the city.
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M.U.S.E. Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 23rd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Lab Rats Studio
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar


M.U.S.E. is the newest 3rd person cover shooter to hit iOS. Players control an operative of the organization M.U.S.E. who is out to destroy the evil Psychosis, who killed his family, or something. The story is mostly irrelevant, and disappointing because it has nothing to do with the band Muse, which would make for an interesting plot for a game, or a fantastic tie-in to their next album.

The gameplay is fairly standard fare for the genre with some combo elements built-in. Players shoot to kill enemies with a pistol, secondary weapon with limited ammo but greater power such as an assault rifle, and grenades. Players have an adrenaline meter, which when charged up, helps increase the combo multiplier and gives enemies and destructible objects a noticeable outline. Players can earn or purchase credits which go toward upgrades of either the protagonist or of his weapons. The combo-based combat gives it a different feel from a game like Shadowgun, and emphasizes efficiency. THe variety of destructible objects helps to bring variety to combat, as well.

The combat is just otherwise kind of uninspiring beyond that. It's never really all that fun or interesting, even compared to a game like Shadowgun which was in itself uninspiring at times due to its closeness to Gears of War. It just never feels fun to play, and is typically more frustrating than anything. The controls hurt this as well - the auto-aim goes from being necessary to frustrating in split-seconds. Spending money on upgrades feels necessary from the outset, which is not a good look for a game that's $5.99. As well, the visuals are just not all that impressive, even on the iPad 2, but that may just be me being spoiled by Unreal games like Infinity Blade 2 and Epoch.

I understand the desire to make games that try to emulate console-style gameplay on iOS, but they usually wind up falling flat because they're not particularly a good fit for the platform. It's just that M.U.S.E. feels flat even for iOS, like if there's a really good game here, it's still ways off from being fully realized. There are other, better, 3rd party shooters to check out before this one.

Desert Zombie Last Stand Review

By Rob Rich on December 6th, 2011
Desert Zombie Last Stand is actually quite the fun third-person shooter involving waves of zombies. Which makes the horrific and constant framerate dips all the more frustrating.
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Shadowgun Review

By Carter Dotson on September 28th, 2011
Shadowgun is a console-style third-person shooter that puts players in cover-based combat against a variety of foes, with some of the best graphics ever seen on mobile platforms.
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