Last year's FIFA 13 from EA Sports delivered an excellent simulation of the world's most popular sport, albeit one that essentially translated the home console versions to a touch screen using virtual buttons. Still, considering the warm reception and strong sales, you might expect more of the same from this fall's FIFA 14 on iPhone and iPad. Surprisingly, that's not the case. Sure, FIFA 14 is notably bulked up, offering more leagues, teams, players, and features than ever before, but the biggest change comes from its significantly overhauled gameplay approach.
Console-like action games don't always make the most graceful of transitions to iOS devices, and English developer Ninja Theory certainly knows the console side of the genre, having designed such well-regarded affairs as DmC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Luckily, the studio's first touch screen effort doesn't try to shoehorn a controller-based experience onto iPhones and iPads, instead delivering a streamlined, free-to-play take on a beat-'em-up brawler.
Most of the focus at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was on the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, but E3's a big show, and games for other platforms — including iOS and (to a lesser extent) Mac — played a big role as well. In fact, more iOS games than usual joined the mix this year, with major publishers like Konami, Ubisoft, and Square Enix getting in on the action. It was a lot to take in, but here's the best of what we saw.
Seemingly designed as a 2D side-scrolling homage to Minecraft – albeit thankfully livelier in tone – Terraria has amassed millions of fans on PC and consoles with its open-ended exploration and adventuring, and now 505 Games plans to bring the full experience to iOS with a few tweaks. We played an early build on iPad at the E3 gaming expo this week in Los Angeles, and had a chance to see how the core game translates to a touch interface.
Gameloft's Modern Combat first-person shooter series does its best Call of Duty impression year in and year out, but while it might seem like obvious mimicry, there's really nothing that comes close in the genre on the App Store – certainly not when it comes to the series' excellent online multiplayer action. Last fall's Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour also delivered the strongest single-player campaign to date, and our hands-on time with the forthcoming Modern Combat 5 makes it seem like it'll only continue that trend.
Crossovers aren't all that uncommon in video games, but they're rarely as satisfying as we want them to be. Sure, it's fun to see Iron Man tussle with Street Fighter's Chun-Li, or watch Mario trade blows with Sonic the Hedgehog, but what would happen if characters from disparate realities just sat down and, y'know, talked? The Poker Night games might be the only ones to answer this question, and the second one has made a pretty slick transition to iOS.
Shovel Knight — a side-scrolling, retro-styled action game that successfully earned more than $300,000 on Kickstarter back in April — is on its way to Mac. The development team at Yacht Club Games is currently hard at work on the title, preparing it for a tentative holiday 2013 release, but company “captain” Sean Velasco took some time out of his hectic schedule to tell us why we’re gonna dig this whimsical, retro-inspired adventure.
The App Store is a wonderland of diverse gaming goodness, including deeply absorbing role-playing and strategy games, gripping narrative experiences, and titles that let you build up a character and skills over a large stretch of time. But for many of us, the games we turn to the most are the ones that offer immediate, short-term thrills – the games we can play for a few minutes at a time with minimal hassle, but which are entertaining and engrossing enough to play for much longer when desired. For those needs, we present the 25 best quick-hit games for iPhone and iPod touch, all of which let you play a game, level, race, or round in a few minutes or less. When you need to fill a short stretch of your day, these are the games you'll want.
Ask any game critic to name the most important or influential games of the past decade, and odds are they’ll bring up Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. First released for Xbox and PC in 2003 (and again for Mac the following year), KOTOR instantly became one of the most revered games of its generation, delivering a sprawling, original role-playing epic set thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars films. It helped raise the bar for player choice in RPGs and bolstered fans’ flagging faith in Star Wars — and now, 10 years later, it’s fully playable on iPad.
Strategy-game developer Firaxis has made a couple of small but impressive forays into iOS territory this year with turn-based titles Haunted Hollow and Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol, but it’s poised to go a lot bigger this summer. Specifically, it’s bringing its 2012 strategy blockbuster, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (which debuted on Mac in April), to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch — and we’ve had a chance to take it for a spin.