What can be said about An Alien with A Magnet by Rejected Games? Well for starters, you play as Cop O’Malley, a centaur police officer who solves crimes in downtown Venice using only his wit and his-I’m kidding of course, you play as an adorable little alien, who yes, is in possession of a magnet and is using it help traverse the galaxy and find his way home.
Gameplay is simple to pick up and learn with single touch controls. When in range of a planet on the stage, tapping the screen will latch onto its gravitational field and spin you around the planet, releasing it will send the alien off in that direction. It’s easy to learn, but very difficult to master, especially in later stages where timing becomes everything, and a single misstep can have you flying straight into an asteroid field.
Two teaspoons of blood, a dash of murder, a pinch of zombie vegetables, and a whopping sixteen cups of beard. Is this the recipe for the world’s worst casserole, or perhaps a clumsy culinary themed metaphor to lead into the review of Bloody Harry by FDG Entertainment and Lopen’s Games? One could argue that it’s both, but to make it easier to move on, let us assume the latter.
Bloody Harry is a callback to classic beat ‘em titles that have become fairly popular on iOS devices over the past few years. Players control Harry, a chef who while preparing a nice meal, discovers that his vegetables have grown sentience and become horrific carnivorous monsters so he must now take to the streets and smash them down to mush (now don’t you feel better about your biggest cooking mishap being that you can’t find the nutmeg?)
One of the first things players will notice about Hungry Oni by Futuretro Studios is that he’s so cute, and I have the sudden urge to put him in a panda costume! The second thing they will notice is that the game has a very loose interpretation of what a fruit is, but to keep things nice and convenient for this review, fruit will be used here in the same context as in the game I.E. anything this cute little guy can scarf down is a fruit.
Hungry Oni is a very simple game in both concept and control. The Oni stands under a tree that will be one of four colors (red, yellow, blue, or green). Fruit of various colors will fall from the tree in rows, and players use their finger to guide Oni left or right to eat fruit that matches the current tree color. Eating a fruit of a different color will cause you to lose one of three lives, and eating a rainbow leaf will cause the tree to change color. Each row has a blank space in it so you can always simply let a row of fruit fall if none of your color is available. Standing between two fruits of the same color will allow you to eat both simultaneously to rack up combos and score more points.
Back in October of 2011, Level-5 announced an iOS spin-off to their popular Professor Layton series entitled Layton Brothers: Mystery Room that starred the son of the well known titular character for the franchise. The game itself was eventually released on the Japanese app store in September of 2012.
Gua-Le-Ni by Double Jungle is one of those games where first I raise an eyebrow, then I try it out, and then before I know it it’s three in the morning and I realize I need to charge my iPod. While that may seem like a non-sequitur, Gua-Le-Ni was actually released back in 2011 as an iPad exclusive title, but the developers have gotten it set up universally now, so this review is to inform you all that now you too can be a budding taxonomist in this horrendous parade without an iPad.
Robots, fire, coins, robots, bouncing, robots, and robots. These are a few of the things you can expect to run into when you pick up SlamBots, the latest endless arena title from Retro Dreamer. Unlike a lot of bouncing titles that have players constantly trying to reach new heights, SlamBots has your character in a small arena with only a couple platforms and respawning enemies.
The controls are simple enough, the character will automatically bounce around the stage, while players tilt the device to guide them left or right, and holding the screen will execute a slam that when used on enemies will award more points to your cumulative score. Holding down the slam too long will overload your character and end your run, so be sure to keep an eye on the recharging power bar when using it. The overall controls are very fluid and the tilt mechanic adds a great sense of immersion to the experience.
After reviewing Penny Arcade’s On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 last year, I was left with some disappointment. Zeboyd had already made two fantastic games so I had extremely high hopes. Unfortunately, a repetitive battle system and bland music dampened my enjoyment of the title. Doubt was on my mind as I entered in the series finale.
The story picks up right where 3 left off with Tycho destroying Yog- Modaign and destroying the world. With everyone scattered, the protagonists set off on one final journey to destroy the final god of Underhell.
So lately I’ve been skulking around the app store, trying to find a good bare bones title. Something hip, or perhaps a bit of a rib tickler. And the good news is that I believe I’ve found that in Mansion Run, a bonefied title from Underground Pixel. More good news is that I’m going to stop making skeleton puns. People don’t seem to find them humerus.
So Mansion Run is another contender in the endless runner genre, with the trick this time around being that as your character flees from ghosts through this haunted mansion, players swipe up and down to change floors in order to avoid crashing into possessed furniture. You can be hit up to four times before the game comes to an end. The gameplay is simple, and overall enjoyable.
One of the most frequent problems that iOS games run into is that they create a system that relies on buttons and joysticks with a console that offers neither of these amenities. Now several games have done this right, but I’ve often found that the best thing to do is rather than try to turn the system into a standard controller, take advantage of the devices mechanics to create an interesting and engaging system. Combo Crew by The Game Bakers have managed to do just that by creating a classic beat ‘em up style arcade game that is controlled entirely by the swipes and taps that we’re all familiar with.
The premise of the game is simple enough to explain. Mr. Boss wants to take down the world’s three toughest fighters so he invites them to his enormous tower under false pretenses in order to test their mettle and eventually defeat them after they conquer several floors filled with various baddies. I don’t want to go into too much detail on this because you can just watch the game’s opening cutscene and listen to the narrator who explains it way better than I do, and with a much more awesome voice filled with the nostalgia of a Saturday morning cartoon.
The short and sweet review of Dust: An Elysian Tail is that it’s incredible. Our very own Bryan Emerson gave it a pretty shining review when it was originally released on the Xbox 360. Just under a year later, it is now available on Steam. Far more than a simple port, it features boundless improvements to both the general interface and the visual presentation.
In my own personal experiences with iOS gaming, there are three things that I have come to love: Nautical themes, a quirky lovable protagonist, and the always enjoyed options of hats. Well thanks to Mr. Crab by Illusion Labs, all of my criteria are met on the surface, which just leaves the ever present question, is it fun?
The game is a fast paced climb the tower/maze game. Mr. Crab will constantly scuttle along the cylindrical tower, bumping into walls will cause him to turn around, and tapping the screen will allow him to jump. On his way to the top of the tower, players are tasked with picking up all the little crabs that are hidden throughout the level, and these are essential for gaining three stars on each stage. And that’s really about it as far as the basics go. There are enemies that will knock Mr. Crab down a level in the tower that can be taken care of with a jump to the head, and there are portals that will drop rolling obstacles in your direction. Honestly, this gives the game a very nice classic feel to it that harkens back to the days when we had Jumpman jumping over barrels thrown by a renegade ape.