Friday, 15 December 2017

Ports, Ports and More Ports - The TouchArcade Show #334

On this week's episode we kick the show off with a bit of a bummer talking about Simogo leaving mobile, pick things up talking about the new App Store preorder system, and a whole bunch of other news before moving on to talking about the avalanche of great games we reviewed this week. All the games we talk about are actually in this post plus Dead 2048 which we talk about here.

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we're talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you're logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-334.mp3, 64MB



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2yFCRsd

Blazing Beaks Is A Twin-Stick Shooter Of Birds With Big Guns

ss_1ec0c6fd31c32925d624e22d5b1c8fe4b85e89e2.1920x1080.jpg

Mutants are mucking about, biting people and generally leaving a mess as they tend to do, and adorable birds are having NONE OF THAT in roguelite twin-stick shooter Blazing Beaks, a game that arms fowl with firearms.

One to two people can go through the game's story mode, each with their own cute bird and unique gun to deal with all kinds of creepy critters and other weird beasts. As players work through maps filled with gross beasts, they'll steadily find new artifacts that change up their abilities, shots, and stats. There's also plenty of secrets to be found across the game's maps, so curious mallards may find some neat new tools to deal with their gruesome foes.

If the birds get a little irritated with one another over their journey, they can also stop to shoot each other in the four-player Tournament Mode. Here, they can blast each other in Deathmatch, fight with a single-use spear, deal with random weapons, or scrap with one another across several other modes. All things that cute bird lovers want, right?

Blazing Beaks is available now for $9.99 on Steam Early Access. For more information on the game and developer Applava, you can head to the developer's site, the game's site, or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.



from IndieGames.com http://ift.tt/2olfV1e

Blazing Beaks Is A Twin-Stick Shooter Of Birds With Big Guns

ss_1ec0c6fd31c32925d624e22d5b1c8fe4b85e89e2.1920x1080.jpg

Mutants are mucking about, biting people and generally leaving a mess as they tend to do, and adorable birds are having NONE OF THAT in roguelite twin-stick shooter Blazing Beaks, a game that arms fowl with firearms.

One to two people can go through the game's story mode, each with their own cute bird and unique gun to deal with all kinds of creepy critters and other weird beasts. As players work through maps filled with gross beasts, they'll steadily find new artifacts that change up their abilities, shots, and stats. There's also plenty of secrets to be found across the game's maps, so curious mallards may find some neat new tools to deal with their gruesome foes.

If the birds get a little irritated with one another over their journey, they can also stop to shoot each other in the four-player Tournament Mode. Here, they can blast each other in Deathmatch, fight with a single-use spear, deal with random weapons, or scrap with one another across several other modes. All things that cute bird lovers want, right?

Blazing Beaks is available now for $9.99 on Steam Early Access. For more information on the game and developer Applava, you can head to the developer's site, the game's site, or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.



from IndieGames.com http://ift.tt/2olfV1e

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Gorogoa'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Gorogoa

Gorogoa [$4.99] is the passion project of artist and game designer Jason Roberts that has been in the works for more than 5 years, and with Annapurna Interactive stepping in to publish the game it finally launched on iOS this week along with versions for desktop and Nintendo Switch. It's always tough when games take so long to release, especially when they make such a splash at their initial unveiling as Gorogoa did back in 2012. The uniqueness of the concept and the wonderful illustrated artwork really got people excited back then. But would they still be excited so many years later? After finally being able to play the finished product, in my opinion it was more than worth the wait.

We lay out the details of Gorogoa in our full 5 star review, so I won't go too in-depth here but be sure to give that a read if you haven't done so yet. In short, Gorogoa is a blend of point-and-click style adventure game mixed with… tile-sliding picture puzzles, I guess? It's tough to describe. You have four spots for picture panels on the screen at all times. Each individual panel will reveal a scene which you can interact with in various ways, either by zooming into different parts of the scene, opening doors or manipulating items, and so forth.

In addition, some scenes can be split into layers, so for example there might be a picture showing a doorway into a room and you can take that top layer of the scene with just the doorway and move it to a different scene, in which the doorway will then lead to something different. In addition to the mixing and matching you can do with certain scenes, you can also put scenes together on the grid to form a larger picture, much like you'd do in those classic tile-sliding puzzle games. Like I said, it's tough to explain but this uniqueness is what makes Gorogoa so special. Do yourself a favor and watch the embedded trailer below, it'll instantly make more sense than my blathering.

While the quality and inventiveness of Gorogoa is the main attraction, I also wanted to highlight what a fantastic touchscreen experience the iOS version is. Obviously a game like this sings on the larger screen of an iPad, but I was also really impressed with how the developers were able to make it work on the much smaller iPhone. You can play in portrait or landscape and it will adjust on the fly when you rotate your device, and it's especially pleasing to play with one hand in portrait orientation as you poke and prod at each little scene, slowly unraveling the solution to the puzzle. A quick double-tap on any panel will enlarge it on the iPhone too, and as crazy as it might sound I think I prefer playing this way to playing on a larger iPad.

I can't overstate just how much Gorogoa has been blowing my mind. From within just the first few minutes I was in love, and although not the longest experience ever it's definitely one worth taking for gamers of all persuasions. In case you were unaware, this week saw a staggering amount of high-profile games released, most of them full premium experiences, and we reviewed as many as we could. It's weeks like this that make choosing one game for Game of the Week so tough, but it should speak to the high quality and brilliance of Gorogoa that in the face of so many huge new games there was no doubt that this would be my pick. It's truly special.



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TouchArcade Needs Your Help to Survive: Here's All the Ways You Can Support Us (Some for Free!)

Two years ago now we launched our Patreon and since then while support from our community has been encouraging, we're still only half way to our goal to get back to firing on all cylinders. As you've likely noticed, there haven't been any new names on the site since Brad Nicholson left quite some time ago, as we're largely treading water trying to stay alive on the incredibly limited resources we have. I personally think third party editorial outlets like TouchArcade are very important to the health of online ecosystems like the App Store, and I believe we provide a significant value to our readers and iOS developers every day. All we're asking for is a value for value exchange, and if you feel you derive any value from reading TouchArcade (or anything from the TouchArcade community), please support our efforts to continue doing what we're doing. Here's all the ways you can do that:

Advertising

If you're an iOS developer looking to raise awareness of your game, advertising on sites like TouchArcade is a great way to reach a hyper-targeted audience of iOS gamers and industry influencers who view the site multiple times a day. We offer options ranging from sponsoring our podcast, advertising on our forums, or even completely re-skinning the site. Apple's editorial featuring games team constantly visits TouchArcade, along with (obviously) our whole staff, so having well-placed ads on a site like TouchArcade can be exponentially more effective at getting word out about your game than paying a PR person (likely way more money) to send us emails. For more information, contact our ad sales manager at ads@toucharcade.com.

Supporting Us on Patreon

Patreon is our primary funding source these days. If you're unfamiliar, you're able to more or less "subscribe" to creators (like us) whose content you value. We offer several different tiers of support, which grant things like cosmetic rewards on our forums, as well as access to a Patreon-only chat channel on our Discord server. All Patreon backers also get a video version of our podcast. Developers who support us on Patreon on the "Indie Developer" tier and above get access to a developer chat on on Discord for direct access to TouchArcade staff (and other developers), along with other developer-exclusive content like a business insights email newsletter, event reports, and more. We're also in the process of working with a few different highly relevant companies for exclusive discounts for Patreon backers, although nothing has been finalized just yet.

Overall, a good way to look at our Patreon is to think of TouchArcade as a magazine you'd subscribe to. If you used to pick up a copy of GamePro every month for five bucks (back when magazines only cost five bucks), kick us $5 instead. We provide way more content than print magazines ever could, in an infinitely more timely manner. If you'd like to support the site for more than that because we've saved you money over the years by helping you avoid bad games or by highlighting games you wanted when they were on sale... Even better! The way we look at it is that there's nothing more valuable than time, and we work well over a full time schedule to try and save YOU time by not having to sort through the crap on the App Store. If we've provided value to you in any of these ways, please consider giving back to us with your support.

Amazon Prime Members Can Subscribe to Us on Twitch for Free

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you get way more benefits than fast shipping that you might not even be aware of. One of those perks is Twitch Prime. Once you link up your Amazon account with Twitch, aside from a bunch of random gaming-related freebies, you'll also be able to subscribe to one Twitch channel per month for free. We hope you use that free subscription on our Twitch channel. Something to keep in mind with these free Twitch subscriptions is they do not auto-renew. You'll need to manually re-subscribe every month, so if you'd like to go one tiny step further for us, set a recurring reminder on your iPhone's calendar to remember to do this.

Subscribe on Twitch and/or Cheer with Bits

If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you can still subscribe to our Twitch channel, it just costs $4.99. Something to keep in mind with this is the Twitch revenue share is 50/50, so if you just want to support the site and don't really specifically care about Twitch, your dollars go way farther over on Patreon as they take significantly smaller payment processing fees. But, hey, if you just love Twitch and want the perks that come with a subscriber, rock on.

Twitch Bits Donation

Another thing you can do on Twitch to help us out is cheer us with Bits. It's a new thing Twitch recently added that let you more or less "tip" the active streamer with a Twitch-exclusive currency that gets added to our account which Twitch eventually pays out on. Much like subscriptions, the revenue share on Twitch Bits isn't great, but you can get them for free if you're willing to view some ads on Twitch. Cheering is pretty fun while streaming as there's a whole lot of fanfare when Bits come in, they get added to a tip cup, and Twitch chat gets all excited.

Shop on Amazon Through Our Affiliate Link

If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, visiting the easy to remember URL http://ift.tt/2pHr7VS and clicking through our link gives us credit as the referral for everything you buy. Amazon then gives us a very tiny percentage of the sale, which they'd otherwise just keep for themselves. They have widely varying commission rates, but everything (short of just buying cash gift cards) awards us something.

Amazon Pantry items are among the highest commissions Amazon pays, so if buy a lot of non-perishables and other home goods on Amazon, clicking our link first would be amazing- It also helps keep the joke alive that TouchArcade is in part supported by toilet paper sales since mobile gamers spend a lot of time playing on the toilet.

One-Time Contributions via PayPal

One thing a lot of people have asked us for is the ability to do one-time payments via PayPal. As part of setting up everything to make our Twitch channel work, we also have a more user-friendly way to do one-time payments. Click here, fill out the form, and it'll toss you over to PayPal to complete your payment. All of your PayPal information remains confidential, so we'll really only know what you fill out on the one-time contribution page. If you want to cover PayPal fees, there's a checkbox for that too. One thing to keep in mind with this is that since this whole thing is built with Twitch in mind, it's outside of all the automated stuff we've built for Patreon. If you don't care about those rewards, rock on. Additionally, if we're streaming when you donate, it'll automatically read your note on stream.

Whitelist TouchArcade on Your Ad Blockers

I know this is a ultra-touchy subject for some people, but if you use an ad blocker, please whitelist the TouchArcade domain. We (to the detriment of our own success) run the site with minimal ads which are manually screened to avoid anything that spawns pop-ups, auto-plays sound, or anything else annoying. We respect our readers, and while we'd be doing tons better if we had full-screen and totally irritating interstitials, I think all that does is encourage more people to block your ads. If you just block everything because you assume all sites these days have in-your-face ads, just try whitelisting us. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And, hell, if you really want to block our ads, just kick us a few bucks in one of these other ways and we'll be square.

Tell Your Friends and/or Share Our Stories on Social Media

If you love TouchArcade, but really just aren't interested in supporting the site financially, you can still do us a solid via word of mouth. If a friend of yours just got a new iPhone, recommend they check out TouchArcade to find some great games to download. Additionally, we go out of our way to produce great long-form content which typically doesn't generate that much search traffic. For instance, Shaun's amazing RPG Reload series, which I think is some of the best content we publish, are among the worst performing articles on the site. If you read something here that you find insightful, or otherwise interesting, please take a moment to encourage your friends to check it out on Twitter or Facebook. You might think one share doesn't mean much, but we can clearly tell the difference in site analytics.

Thanks for Reading

As always, thanks so much to everyone who has supported us over the years. You're the main reason we're still around, and we hope to keep doing what we've been doing for years to come. Hitting our original Patreon goals would allow us to hire more writers, attend more events, refresh the site, and potentially even explore options with our iOS app. We've managed to successfully fight against the tide of needing to run SEO-bait listicles, get involved in sponsored content, and all the other gnarly things web sites are doing to stay alive all because of you.

Thanks everybody!



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2BiFiUx

This Week On Xbox: December 15, 2017

Here we go…the latest episode of This Week On Xbox.

Remember, you can watch the interactive version of This Week on Xbox from the Community section of the Xbox One dashboard in Canada, the UK and the US or watch it on the Xbox YouTube channel (This Week on Xbox Playlist).

Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think of the show.



from Xbox Live's Major Nelson http://ift.tt/2ATwyat

Circuits Is Now Available For Xbox One

Content: Circuits 
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Simple in concept, but very challenging and rewarding, Circuits is a musical puzzle game that requires careful listening to complete each level. The goal of Circuits: to piece together the different parts of a song. Sounds easy, but maybe it’s not… As we love music, we wanted to make a game that gives the player an insight into how music is created and makes listening the core part of the experience. Packed with beautifully designed minimal graphics, to not disturb the focus of the game, and 25 different songs for the player to reconstruct.

Purchase Circuits for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: Digital Tentacle
Publisher: Digital Tentacle
Website: Circuits
Twitter: @DigitalTentacle



from Xbox Live's Major Nelson http://ift.tt/2Bi0fi0

Thanks to Our Sponsors for Supporting TouchArcade: DTA Mobile, Player Auctions, Appodeal and PineNeedle Digital

While we're primarily supported by a mixture of Patreon, Twitch subscriptions and Amazon referrals these days, site sponsors go a long way in making up for the funding shortfalls of our Patreon never reaching its goal. To show our appreciation, we are now publishing these posts thanking our sponsors each week- Both to give them a little extra visibility and hopefully to get readers who love TouchArcade to give their games a look to similarly support their efforts in allowing us to continue to provide everyone with awesome third party mobile games editorial which the App Store ecosystem badly needs.

DTA Mobile is sponsoring TouchArcade this week for their 3D tower defense game Alien Demons TD [Free]. It's also available on Android. Totally free to play, with things you can buy in game, and... Seems really cool. It seems like there was such a long period of time where everything was tower defense, making these games really seem fresh again. Definitely give it a look.

http://ift.tt/2jkcWnb

Another sponsor this week in the sidebar is Player Auctions, I've been using them for years to buy digital stuff in games like gold for World of Warcraft and similar. Well, they've branched out into accounts for mobile games and you can buy a top-tier Clash of Clans base. I've had nothing but good experiences with them.

For developers out there, give Appodeal a look. They've been running ads in our sidebar for a really long time now, and what they provide is a platform for intelligently serving ads using one SDK which connects to over 35 different ad networks. While I've never used it myself, I've heard horror stories from developers on what a nightmare it can be juggling all the different ad networks to display ads in game. Appodeal simplifies all that, giving you more time to work on your game instead of figuring out how to implement one more ad network. Additionally, their service is totally free to use.

Also sponsoring TouchArcade this week is PineNeedle Digital for their game PickleRun []. If you're the kind of person who is still shouting, "I'm Pickle Rick!!!" to anyone you see, this game will be right up your alley. It's an endless runner where you play as a pickle, seeing how far you can go while avoiding all sorts of obstacles- Some that make sense, and others that are delightfully absurd. It's also totally free.

Thanks a ton to our sponsors this week, as well as all of our community members who continue to support us. Combined, you all allow us to keep doing what we're doing. If there's any developers, publishers, or folks from third party services that might appeal to iOS developers who are curious about sponsorship opportunities here at TouchArcade, reach out to our ad sales manager, Marianne, at ads@toucharcade.com. We have a lot of different options which can fit any budget.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2BtkKuS

Dota 2 Update - December 15th, 2017

- Ping sounds are now 3D spatialized relative to your camera position.

from Steam RSS News Feed http://ift.tt/2zg7EiO

Pikachu Gets A Villainous Makeover With These New Secret Team Pokémon Plushies

News: Pikachu Gets A Villainous Makeover With These New Secret Team Pokémon Plushies

Because being bad doesn't mean you can't be cute



from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates http://ift.tt/2AUTUMw

Cinematic Adventure 'Life is Strange' Has a New Lite Version to Try Before You Buy

Developer Dontnod's critically-acclaimed interactive narrative adventure Life is Strange [$2.99] made a semi-surprise appearance on the App Store on Wednesday. I say semi-surprise because the game's iOS version was outed by way of Apple's new pre-order system that was rolled out this past Monday, but prior to that, I don't think we had any idea this one was destined for mobile. I'm glad it made its way over though, as Life is Strange is the type of experience that should translate really well to mobile. That said, while we loved the game in our review, there are a few control niggles and some performance issues due to the demanding nature of the game, so potential players may be curious to know how well the game runs on their device before plunking down the cash. Well, good news for them as today Life is Strange Lite [Free] has launched on the App Store.

The lite version of Life is Strange allows you to play through the beginning part of the first episode of the game, right up to where main protagonist Max discovers her ability to rewind time. It's not a terribly long experience, but it should be enough to let you know how the game works controls- and performance-wise, and give you an idea of the game's main mechanics to see if they're to your liking. Strangely, this lite version does not allow you to upgrade to the full game or purchase any of the further episodes from within the app, so if you do end up liking what you play you'll have to download the paid version of the game and play through that beginning part again. Not a huge deal, just kind of weird. So if you've had interest in Life is Strange but haven't quite decided to pull the trigger yet, give the free lite version a spin.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2jZBEHt

'Clash of Clans' Clan Games Coming Soon

Clash of Clans [Free] update is coming soon, and this one is adding a new feature called Clan Games. Supercell has been teasing the Clan Games over the last few days, but a recent blog post gave us a bit more info on what to expect, although Supercell is still leaving it up to players to speculate at this point. Rumor has it, the blog post details, that Clan members will have to work together in the Games to complete challenges, and these challenges will reward players with new treasures. The Challenges range from multiplayer attacks in Home Village to Versus Battles in Builder Base, and—as expected—any points gained go towards a shared Clan Point Pool.

As is usually the case with Clash of Clans updates, we are also getting some balance changes. The Golem's HP is going up will the Lava Hounds' and the Giant's, the Miner's Housing Space will go up to 6 per troop, the Barbarian King and Archer Queen will have 5 more levels now to a max of level 50, the effect that prevents healing while receiving damage from Inferno Towers has been removed, as well as a few more changes. You can read them all here. What do you think of the Clan Games? A welcome addition?



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2AApjzG

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 12/19/2017

Dive into layer after layer of VR madness with Accounting+, brought to you by Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland and Crows Crows Crows designer William Pugh.

Accounting+ features instruments made out of human remains, dark secrets, demonic summons, and an angry Tree Guy. I will be honest when I admit that I don’t understand what this game is about. I encourage you to play it instead of reading this text.

For a full list of new games out next week on PlayStation, read on. And enjoy The Drop!

The Drop

New Releases: Week of December 19, 2017
36 Fragments of Midnight
PS4 — Digital

36 Fragments of Midnight

In this procedurally generated platforer, you have to avoid deadly lasers, circular saws, and spikes to collect all the Fragments and get their greatest gift. Do you have what it takes to collect them all?

3D Billiards
PS4 — Digital

3D Billiards

With 3D Billiards you can enjoy the ultimate billiards and pool experience in the comfort of your own home! Step up to the virtual table and show what you can do with a cue!

Accounting +
PS VR — Digital

Accounting Plus

Accounting returns to its roots with Accounting+, a nightmare adventure comedy made by Crows Crows Crows and designed with Squanch Games! It’s got the guy who voiced Rick and Morty — for real this time!

Cat Interstellar
PS4 — Digital

Cat Interstellar

Cat Interstellar is a short story-driven science fiction game about humanity’s attempt to terraform Mars. Play as a DOG V4 drone, a newly activated maintenance bot who is assisting in the terraforming effort.

Defunct
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/21)

Defunct

Defunct is an indie adventure game with a focus on flow, speed, and an engaging world. You are a broken robot that accidentally falls out of a giant cargo ship onto a post-human Earth, now inhabited by robots. You have to get back to your ship before it’s too late!

Dustoff Heli Rescue 2
PS4 — Digital

Dustoff Heli Rescue

Jump into the hot seat of a combat helicopter and fly behind enemy lines under heavy fire as you search and rescue hostages!

Gunhouse
PS Vita — Digital

Gunhouse

Gunhouse is part puzzle, part active tower defense, as you make big combos to launch a hail of bullets and special attacks at the alien invaders who would like nothing better than to consume your delicious orphan friends.

Hammerwatch
PS4 — Digital

Hammerwatch

The highly acclaimed hack & slash Hammerwatch is finally here! Kill hordes of enemies with varied looks and features through unique environments with traps, hidden secrets, and puzzles.

Rollercoaster Legends
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/21)

Roller Coaster Legends

Transport yourself to the land of Greek mythology on a RollerCoaster ride you’ll never forget.

Tiny Metal
PS4 — Digital (Out 12/21)

Tiny Metal

Outfight the enemy with your own army of foot soldiers, tanks, helicopters, tactical vehicles, and fighter jets. Capture rival territories and extend your military power over the sprawling map of Zipang.

Ultrawings
PS VR — Digital

Ultrawings

Ultrawings is the first aerial-themed, open-world game where you’ll pilot multiple aircraft to complete a variety of missions across an island-themed world.

VirtuGo
PS4 — Digital

VirtuGo

VirtuGo is a classic puzzle game. Colored tiles come at you nonstop, and you must put them on your carrying platform and arrange them as best you can on a 5×5 grid. Have fun!

VR Apocalypse
PS VR — Digital

VR Apocalypse

As a contractor for NextGen Games in 2027, it’s your job to pilot a remote telepresence drone via your trusted VR headset. Fortunately, work has picked up due to an alien invasion. The United Nations has hired the firm to secure the planet, and rid it of alien infestation. The fate of the world is in your hands.

Xenon Valkyrie +
PS Vita — Digital

Xenon Valkyrie

Xenon Valkyrie is a rogue-lite platformer game with RPG elements in which you must fight to the deepest part of a moon and halt the plans of a wicked witch.

PlayStation Music Logo

  • Eminem – Revival
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – John Williams
  • Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass (Original Game Soundtrack) – Johan Söderqvist and Patrik Andrén

PlayStation Video Logo

  • American Made

The information above is subject to change without notice.



from PlayStation.Blog http://ift.tt/2ABJ8H1

Best iOS Games Review Recap: 'Gorogoa', 'Fez Pocket Edition', 'Life is Strange', 'Oddworld: New n Tasy', 'Ace Attorney Investigations' and 'Inside'

The weeks leading up to the annual holiday iTunes Connect freeze are always pretty wild, but they've been snowballing over the years to being these unbelievable onslaughts of new high profile games being sprayed on to the App Store. We had all hands on deck this week to review as many of them as we could, and along with all the other news of the week it's possible you might have missed some of 'em. Here's a quick recap:

5 Stars:

Gorogoa

Gorogoa, $4.99 - Review - With its sense of artistic cohesion and its inventiveness, Gorogoa impressed me as few other puzzle games have, and I can't see any player who enjoys puzzle games even a bit not enjoying it. It might not be the longest game in App Store history, but it also doesn't overstay its welcome, which can be an issue with story-heavy puzzle games. Gorogoa really is a gem of a game that belongs on most people's devices and one that will cast its magic on you as soon as you start playing. ...Read More

4.5 Stars:

FEZ Pocket Edition

FEZ Pocket Edition, $4.99 - Review - Fez is a very good game, and I love how the player never really faces any consequences for failure. It goes a long way in creating an experience that's fun from beginning to end, instead of being loaded with frustration because you ran out of continues and missed a jump. The virtual controls are basically in line with most other games that have reasonably decent virtual button configurations, but the "real" way to play Fez is with an MFi controller.

Whether you pair a controller, or wrestle with virtual buttons, as long as you're actually playing Fez, you'll be in for a great time. ...Read More

Life Is Strange

Life Is Strange, $2.99 - Review - Since this is the first episode, Dontnod did a great job with making me hate the episodic format upon release. The first episode literally had me craving for more and the wait for episode 2 was unbearable. You won’t need to worry about that because Episodes 2 and 3 are available right now via in app purchase with the remaining episodes launching early next year. I hope the visual issues and some performance issues are ironed out because this could end up being the best way to experience Life is Strange. The lack of proper controller support is baffling because this exists on multiple consoles. Out of all the point and click adventure experiences available today, Life is Strange is my favourite by a long shot. I hope this does well for Square Enix so they can port Life is Strange: Before the Storm as well. ...Read More

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, $7.99 - Review - Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! is a faithful port of an excellent classic remake. If you game with an MFi controller, it's a ridiculously easy title to recommend. In the absence of that option, you need only ask yourself how well you can cope with what is a relatively complex layout of virtual buttons. If nothing else, the controls are better here than they were in the other mobile Oddworld titles. If you were okay with those games, you'll be more than fine here. If not, you may want to skip this one. But I really do suggest giving them a solid go. The game is fantastic, and if you have to spend a little time adjusting to the controls to experience it, you'll still find the effort worth it in the end. ...Read More

4 Stars:

Ace Attorney INVESTIGATIONS

Ace Attorney INVESTIGATIONS, Free - Review - Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is a little different from the usual Ace Attorney game, but it carries a similar feel and quality that should please fans of the other games. The mobile version is sensibly improved from the original Nintendo DS release, as well. Adventure game fans would do well to give this game a look. As with other Ace Attorney games, it's a bit of a long haul, with over 20 hours of play required to reach the ending, but you won't notice the time passing by for a pretty good portion of that. ...Read More

Playdead's INSIDE

Playdead's INSIDE, Free - Review - I probably would've scored Inside quite a bit lower had the port not be so unbelievably well done. I started playing it on my iPad, and it occurred to me that I should check and see if it's iPhone X optimized. I downloaded the game on my iPhone, and not only is it in full iPhone X widescreen, but it just automagically loaded my save game from my iPad on the first launch without me needing to do anything. This kind of cross-compataibility and iCloud syncing magic is the exact kind of future I want to be living in. Developers bringing their games to the App Store from other platforms should take a good long look at Inside.

If you enjoyed Limbo (or similar trial and error puzzle games), chances are you didn't even need this review to smash the buy button- You'll really dig Inside. However, if you're like me and aren't really into the obtuseness of it all, there's a lot to like about it but I'm not sure I'd consider the game a must-have. ...Read More



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Video: Game dev lessons learned in making co-op board game Burgle Bros

"Board games are software that run on people," says game designer Tim Fowers in his GDC 2017 Board Game Design Day talk about the design and development of his co-op heist board game Burgle Bros. ...



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