This minimalist puzzler’s name is styled as LYNE, but we’re having none of it. Uppercase suggests someone’s getting all shouty, but Lyne (as we’re calling the game) is as reserved as they come. Lyne’s all about forming pathways between like-colored shapes positioned on a grid — you’re essentially joining the dots, but are restricted to 90- and 45-degree angles. As you work on each puzzle, abstract noises pleasingly chirp away in the background, confirming every connection like a panpipe-playing robot.
True Axis made all the right changes for the sequel to the 2009 hit driving game Jet Car Stunts, with a big visual upgrade, loads of new levels and play modes, a third difficulty level, and intuitive player creation tools added to an almost identical core experience of racing against the clock and navigating insane courses. Jet Car Stunts 2 pushes the challenge factor a bit far at times, but it’s a fine improvement on its predecessor and a fiendishly awesome game in its own right.
For all of its strengths, Fightback is a game that feels tuned to reward in-app purchases more than strategy or skill. Ninja Theory, the studio behind the '80s-tinged brawler, is known for big console projects like last year’s Devil May Cry reboot and 2010’s Enslaved: Journey to the West. Those games were great — underrated, even — which is why Fightback’s shortcomings come as such a surprise.
Sega’s first attempt to mine the Mario Kart formula worked out rather well on iOS with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, though it already looks a bit weathered by time (especially without iPhone 5+ widescreen support). Luckily, console sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed has now likewise made the leap to the App Store, expanding the arcade-style approach with the addition of flight and boating segments across an array of colorful tracks inspired by classic Sega properties. It’s once more an entertaining concoction, though slow-paced progression and paid power-ups slightly diminish the effect of this mobile port.
First released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas still ranks among the biggest, most ambitious, and most impressive games ever made. With an open game world that spans three distinct cities and miles of open countryside in between, it tells a story that starts with petty gang wars in a facsimile of early '90s L.A., and eventually balloons to include government conspiracies, jetpacks, and massive casino heists that lead to absurd wealth. The idea that it's now playable on our phones is a little mind-blowing — and yet here it is, without visible sacrifice or compromise, looking, sounding, and playing just like we remember. Well, almost.
The years haven’t always been so kind to Rayman. After a series of popular games in the late '90s, Michel Ancel’s limbless hero spent the better part of a decade on Ubisoft's backburner, ceding the limelight to the publisher's other blockbuster franchises. Rayman Origins — originally released for consoles in 2011 — is finally available for Mac via Feral Interactive, however, and it's a spectacular return to form. In brief, Rayman Origins is one of the best side-scrolling platform games of the past several years.
The world of The Walking Dead is brutal and tragic, and not just because it's swarming with zombies. Half the survivors are remorseless bandits, and the other half are paranoid and distrustful because of the first half. Everything goes wrong, good people die in agonizing ways, and something horrific and sad waits around seemingly every corner. It's certainly no place for a child—so of course, that's the role Season Two of Telltale's acclaimed adventure series casts you into.
Three years and an equal number of follow-ups after the original game took the App Store by storm, ZeptoLab has finally gotten around to releasing a proper sequel to Cut the Rope. Expectedly, it’s the most notable shift in design and mechanics seen in any of the later entries, due to one major alteration: Instead of adorable green creature Om Nom waiting patiently to receive the candy you’ll typically maneuver his way through various physics-centric puzzles, he can now be shifted and manipulated around the screen to solve the myriad conundrums you’ll encounter in the 100+ stages. That’s not exactly a subtle tweak to the formula, but what’s surprising is how little it seems to alter the tried-and-true sensation of playing the series’ single-screen puzzles.
Four years after an uneven iOS debut with Ridge Racer Accelerated, Namco Bandai’s long-running drift-racing series returns to mobile in fine form. Ridge Racer Slipstream offers little that we haven’t seen in recent handheld and console offerings, but it handles well, looks great, and packs just enough features to keep you on board for the whole hog. Online, arcade, and career modes all earn credits needed to buy and upgrade cars to keep pace as the competition gears up, while series icon Reiko reprises her role as announcer.
Chaos is the defining element of Colossatron: Massive World Threat, the latest iOS original from Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride creator Halfbrick. At any given moment, your gargantuan, snake-like, robotic alien creature could span a couple dozen weaponized segments in length while a barrage of tanks, helicopters, and flying drones assault it from all sides — and that’s all wrapped within a delightfully cheesy local newscast design, with the anchor and on-scene reporter chatting while bits of info pop up on the display. It makes for an undeniably lively experience, and one that becomes more interesting as you really grasp the color-matching mechanics that drive the mayhem. But that chaos comes at an odd contrast to the game’s design and scope, which feel curiously restrained — as if this were a slick first draft that hadn’t yet been fully fleshed out.