Skulls of the Shogun, a game about a recently slain samurai fighting his way though the afterlife, is nothing if not slow. Its bright palette, bawdy humor, and straightforward concepts suggest an easy, breezy turn-based strategy game, but large maps, limited moves per turn, and cutthroat enemy armies combine to make skirmishes feel long and drawn-out. Don’t mistake “slow” for “meticulous” or “tedious,” though, as Skulls of the Shogun is neither, opting instead for a series of tense, chaotic, down-to-the-last-man tête-à-têtes.
Back in the early '90s, the fighting game was king and arcades were consumed by a three-way battle between Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and the games created by SNK for its Neo-Geo system. Samurai Shodown was one of the latter, and its combination of samurai-movie tropes, gratuitous bloodshed, and weapons-based fighting immediately made it a fan favorite. Out of its numerous sequels, Samurai Shodown II has long been regarded to be one of the best 2D fighters of all time — and now, for better or worse, it's fully playable on iOS.
Sure, there are tons of leveling up games where you repeat a similar task through increasing complexity and those are fun and all, but if you're looking for a bit more excitement in your daily gaming routine, check out these price drops. Whether you're fighting off hordes of zombies, putting the smack down on Deathstroke, or getting the knack of Expelliarmus, your pulse will be pounding.
Welcome to our weekly gaming column. Every Tuesday, we march through the mediocre multiplayers, sift through the sordid sporting titles, and pound through the petty platformers to find the best, most interesting iOS gaming gems.
This week, we've got Modern Conflict, Osmos, Tap Birds, Samurai: Way of the Warrior, and Crystal Defenders.