iOS

Florence Review

It’s been a long time since an iOS game really captured me. There are plenty oft titles that will make due with keeping you occupied at the dentist or sitting on an airplane. Every now and again I’ll find myself playing games like Bloons TD 5, Plants vs Zombies or Peggle. But I play them just to pass time, not engage in. And yet a week ago I bought Florence after hearing a friend talk about it and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.

Florence Review

Crashlands

It is a quality title that gets a lot of core elements right, and its bigger problems (such as the interface and controls) can theoretically be fixed with a patch. By the time that you reach hour fifteen in the campaign though, those problems will weigh heavily and test your tolerance for repetitive gameplay. It is easy to appreciate the effort and creativity that went into this title, but it is probably one that you will want to tackle in thirty or sixty minute spurts.

Crashlands

Jet Car Stunts

Jet Car Stunts is not a bad game. The visuals, while a little sparse and bland on a big screen, are still crisp and vibrant. The gameplay, while loose, can be very enjoyable. The biggest problem (glitches and camera problems notwithstanding) is that it seems like the wrong game was remade. JCS would be a fine game if a far superior version hadn’t already existed since 2013. It’s a shame that JCS2 wasn’t remade or its improvements and expansions somehow included in the remake. As it stands, Jet Car Stunts is a slightly glitchy port of a mediocre game.

Jet Car Stunts

Broken Age Act I

Between its story, flavorful presentation, and adequate point-and-click gameplay, there is a lot to like with this episode of Broken Age. It has the makings of a classic. If it fulfills its potential, we may speak of it in ten years with the same reverence of which we speak other Tim Shafer classics like Psychonauts and Grim Fandango.

Broken Age Act I

Star Horizon

Star Horizon is an on-rails shooter that looks great on the iPad and offers one of the better control schemes I've come across in a touchscreen game, but its shallow and breezy action fall flat before its brief campaign ends. While it can be entertaining enough for that first run, the lack of effort required from you makes the prospect of coming back for more a distant one.

Star Horizon

Dying: Sinner Escape

Long story short, Dying: Sinner Escape is not the bright and shining adventure its publisher makes it out to be.

Dying: Sinner Escape

Droidscape Basilica

Droidscape Basilica is an impressive first outing for developer Kyttaro Games. It has its share of problems and pitfalls but overall it’s a solid iOS game that will suck up your time should you get hooked on it. While the its aesthetic appeal is a bit lacking Droidscape makes up for its shortcomings with unique gameplay and a fun combination of gameplay mechanics that, while odd at first glance, go together quite well in execution.

Droidscape Basilica

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Episode 2: The Wise Monkey

Cognition: an Erica Reed Thriller – Episode 2: The Wise Monkey is a solid step forward for this promising mystery series, even though the technical issues on the iPad are a bit of a drag. The point-and-click gameplay does feel somewhat outdated, but it is devoid of the pixel hunts and illogical hilarity that has ruined past games of the genre. The unpredictable story is very good, and the writing is solid, albeit not perfect. This episode is a quality experience, and since Episode 3 is also out on the PC, the story is worth investing yourself in.

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Episode 2: The Wise Monkey

Deus Ex: The Fall

Deus Ex: The Fall is a very ambitious game that pays off in some significant ways but fails in some fairly key areas. While the game might be fun to explore and look at, the actual action of the game just feels clunky and sometimes just plain broken. For hardcore fans looking for just a little taste of some new Deus Ex action, The Fall might be worth checking out but if these issues are enough to keep you away then you are probably right to just wait for the next proper sequel. Deus Ex is an amazing concept for a game and I’m willing to accept this as a stepping stone to a proper sequel but if this is all we ever get then I will be thoroughly disappointed.

Deus Ex: The Fall

Scurvy Scallywags

Scurvy Scallywags is on my front page where it will stay for quite a while. I keep returning to it if I find myself with a few minutes to spare. It’s perfect for those quick gaming bursts and is enjoyable for long periods as well. Scurvy Scallywags is $1.99 on the apps store and is definitely worth the asking price. It brings some unique twists to the match-3 genre that can easily reel you back in.

Scurvy Scallywags

Star Command

Star Command is a very unique iOS experience that I hope to see a lot more of in the future. The biggest problem I have with this game compared to FTL is that you aren’t going to see a lot of variety in your play experiences because, unlike FTL, there is a full story here that takes about four hours to run through so you’re pretty much tied to the same path every time you play with very little branching. Most of your variety comes with the fact that every battle won’t play out the same and always remains fun, and when you finish the game you are given the option to start over with a new game plus that’s much harder (but with a more powerful ship), or to continue with your crew onto more side missions with more variety. While the story does cut into the ability to have more stuff in the game, it’s a much appreciated addition and it’s something that works in the games favor, especially since it’s a fun story to play through as well. It’s worth noting that Star Command was a Kickstarter game, and there are still things that were listed on the Kickstarter page that aren’t in the game yet (there is even a “contraband” option on your crew members that just says "coming soon") but even with what is here, Star Command is worth checking out and is a hell of a good time.

Star Command

Iron Man 3: The Official Game

Iron Man 3 was an interesting approach to a movie licensed game and while it certainly has quite a few faults it also does quite a few things right. The thing to take note of is that this is a free game on iOS and for free it is definitely worth your time to at least check out. The game is flashy and can be pretty addicting while pushing you to your limits. It’s by no means a perfect game, but it’s not bad either.

Iron Man 3: The Official Game

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice is the most successful attempt at a fighting game on a cellular device that I have seen, but it certainly has its downsides. Simply, the game can get boring very quickly because of the simplicity of the controls and just the sheer volume of fights that are available to you. There are just too many battles in the game and if you tried to marathon the content you will get burned out very quickly, and because the fights are all three-on-three they can go fairly long.

Injustice: Gods Among Us