The latest installment of indie studio Gaijin Games' beloved Bit.Trip series returns to the persistent side-scrolling action of 2011's Bit.Trip Runner. But beyond its super-long title, Bit.Trip Presents...Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a pleasantly fresh experience, relying on the strengths of its predecessor while simultaneously morphing into a game accessible to nearly anyone. Yes, Runner2 is at times incredibly frustrating — but only if you want it to be that way.
Slot machines, RPG combat, zombies, and quirky comics? Yes please! King Cashing 2 is a mishmash of oddities that go surprisingly well together, though the inspiration for throwing all these disparate elements into the same pot is a bit of a head scratcher. This addictive, if somewhat short sequel builds on and improves the original formula with more battle options and a fresh new presentation, but having played the first game isn't a prerequisite to properly enjoying this amusing timewaster.
Thanks in no small part to the perpetual success of Angry Birds, the puzzle game has mutated its own amazingly popular block-breaking sub-genre. Not content to simply ape the competition, Toy Story: Smash It! takes that concept into three-dimensional space, and in doing so makes for one of the best games of its kind on iOS devices. It's a simple concept that makes great use of a familiar property: Buzz Lightyear lobs balls at toy block play sets in Andy’s room, attempting to knock over all of the squeak-toy aliens in as few throws as possible.
Shaking up the classic hard-boiled detective story formula with a supernatural twist, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller's gritty adventure game yarn about a psychic FBI agent makes a bold attempt to set itself apart from the status quo. Colorful language and violent encounters punctuate this tightly wound murder mystery geared towards more mature players, but while Episode 1: The Hangman has some pretty intense high points, it gets bogged down by dull stretches and technical issues.
As it stands, 2013 isn't looking like a particularly stellar year for games based on the Aliens franchise. Alien vs. Predator: Evolution is not quite the high-profile disaster that Aliens: Colonial Marines was on other platforms, as it does a valiant job of creating a longer-form brawler for iPhone and iPad – but the game is sadly plagued with consistent crashes and occasionally infuriating mechanics. Somewhere under the problems, there may be a really enjoyable title here. But without some polish, Evolution will remain a mediocre allusion to a beloved old PC game.
Former National Football League linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer witnessed the attachment of professional athletes to video games during his playing days, and now he's the president and co-founder of OverDog, a startup that aims to connect star players and their fans by letting them play online games togehter, all via an iOS app.
Set to launch to the public later this year, OverDog today launched a Kickstarter campaign that will help fund the endeavor while also allowing eager fans to take part in a closed beta period this April. We recently spoke with Hillenmeyer and OverDog co-founder and president Steve Berneman to learn about the service and how they plan to deliver unique and streamlined off-the-field player interactions.
It's surely difficult to craft the follow-up to the most spectacular iOS racing game ever produced, and doubly so when ditching a price point for a divisive free-to-play model. Electronic Arts attempts both with the anticipated Real Racing 3, and largely succeeds on both fronts, delivering a hugely impressive free racer. You've never played a free mobile racer that's half as robust or refined as Real Racing 3. Building upon the fantastic previous iteration, the game pumps even more gloss and detail into its simulation, providing a great sensation of speed and realism as you blast through real-world tracks in licensed super cars.
Gun Bros 2 is Glu Mobile’s latest take on the twin-stick shooter formula, which maintains much of the same action-packed approach as the original while adding new elements. Unfortunately, nearly everything added here has sullied the Gun Bros experience, and feels misdirected and actively anti-consumer. In the game, you'll make your way through arena-style levels filled with oncoming waves of enemies, which you can dispatch using the two virtual sticks that respectively let you move and fire weapons.
After so many licensed properties have received the LEGO treatment in recent years, it's easy to blow them off and assume a new game won't bring anything different to the table. But in the case of LEGO The Lord of the Rings, developer Traveller's Tales has crafted something of a culmination of its efforts over the years. Yes, there's still some serious familiarity in the gameplay, but the journey to Mordor with Frodo and company is also the top digital LEGO experience to date.
The App Store isn’t suffering from a dearth of puzzle games, so some rely on illustrated hooks or stories to draw players in. Sporos, on the other hand, presents a simple, no-frills presentation that puts the emphasis solely on the puzzles themselves. Placing the sporos pieces on a hex grid lights up the surrounding cells in patterns of straight lines, based on different configurations found on the pieces’ faces. Once you’ve lit up the entire board, you’ve completed the puzzle. This concept is easy enough to grasp, but the challenge quickly builds as the beehive patterns grow more complex corridors and the “Experimental” stages introduce arrow cells that divert the lines.