1885 Published Reviews
Knights of San FranciscoiOS
It may not be Skyrim, but I like Knights of San Francisco for what it is. It's surprisingly stylish and sleek for a text-based game, and it presents a propulsive story despite being something you button-through one sentence at a time. I wish it felt a little less like a combat-funnel at times, but otherwise Knights of San Francisco is a strangely satisfying adventure.
Fallen of the RoundiOS
Fallen of the Round is a fantastic blend of roguelike and auto-chess mechanics, and its complete lack of modern game features somewhat adds to its mystique. I do wish there was a little more variety and depth to dig into, but for the asking price I'm more than content with what's here.
Tender might not be a "convenient" game to play, but its simulated aspects raise the stakes and emotional investment to a degree that makes it hard not to buy-in to its fictional setup. This, along with its writing, is what allows a game about talking with bat people on a dating planet make me titter with excitement and feel the sting of rejection simply through sending and receiving fake texts. It probably shouldn't work as well as it does, but there's something magical here with Tender: Creature Comforts.
Day Repeat DayiOS
Day Repeat Day starts with a bang, but then proceeds to devolve into the same tiring grind it's examining. Its narrative hooks definitely give it more edge and interest than other match-three games out there, but the lack of payoff on its story threads makes it a somewhat disappointing adventure.
Cards! – MonkeyBox 2iOS
I didn't have much confidence heading into Cards! after feeling disappointed with Polarized!, but this second experiment from TheCodingMonkeys is a surprising success. It takes a lot of the headaches that come from trial-and-error gameplay and turns them into fun surprises, all while keeping things focused, fast, and easy.
Northgard is a really satisfying strategy experience, but I kind of wish I didn't play it for the first time on iOS. Some aspects of the game really sing here, but Northgard definitely works better over dedicated play sessions on what I assume is a better performing interface on PC.
A Game of Thrones: Board GameiOS
I get what A Game of Thrones: Board Game is going for, but its concept doesn't translate to video game form very well, not to mention this attempt at it is deeply flawed. This is to say: even when the game does (hopefully) get patched, A Game of Thrones: Board Game still doesn't feel like a great addition for your digital board game library.
League of Legends: Wild RiftiOS
MOBAs aren't easy to get into, but League of Legends: Wild Rift makes it easier than it's ever been. Riot Games somehow managed to make its flagship game streamlined and accessible all while maintaining the depth and nuance that keeps League of Legends matches interesting even after hundreds of hours of playing. Even without the full cast or a breadth of modes, Wild Rift is clearly the new king of mobile MOBAs.
Say No! MoreiOS
Say No! More is a lovely game that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, even though it's all about telling people no. The message it shares is a valuable one to keep in mind now more than ever, and I'm so glad it's available on such a convenient platform so that everyone can enjoy it.
Card Hog is a well made card-based roguelike. Nothing about its mechanics will surprise you too much, but it offers up a satisfying amount of depth and variety, particularly considering the asking price. Just know that you'll have to invest a bit in it each time you play to unlock its full potential.
The lack of feedback in Beat Workers is a fairly significant flaw, but the core of the game is bursting with really inventive ideas that make it gripping in ways that other rhythm games wish they could be. This makes Beat Workers well worth checking out, even if it means you'll have to pause play sessions to recalibrate the game every so often.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is not the strongest title by Kaigan Games, but it's certainly better than their most recent efforts. A guided experience led mostly by a pre-established fictional universe takes a lot of the mystery out of searching through this lost phone, but it manages to do enough character work to keep you invested in seeing it through.
Unruly Heroes has the polish, personality, and performance of a top-tier platformer despite the things working against it. Its core design also works particularly well on mobile, where the game is ten times less expensive than it is elsewhere. Simply put, this is a no-brainer. Get this game.
If it weren't for my deep reverence of Dungeon of the Endless, I'd dismiss Apogee outright. This release is buggy and has some pretty significant control problems. That said, I've fought my way through several clears and can't wait to do more, because at its core Dungeon of the Endless is still an incredible game.
The magic of Giant Dancing Plushies doesn't come from its challenge or level design, but rather in the freedom it grants you. You can throw any music at it and it creates a fun little challenge set to the beat of it. This makes it well worth the price of admission, currencies and all.
Everything Blind Drive sets out to do on paper sounds great. Ironically, everything about its visual design also really sells the game as a slick and accessible arcade game. Unfortunately though, there are too many issues with the game's audio that either feel technically problematic or simply like the wrong way to circumvent a design limitation. As a result, the whole thing doesn't come together in a way that feels satisfying.
Dinkigolf is a well-designed arcade golf game. It has some wacky level design, but maintains a simple, skill-based set of mechanics that make it easy to learn, yet difficult to master.
Bending light is super fun in Lyxo, but trying to bend the controls to your will is decidedly less so. This isn't such a huge deal so long as the current challenge you're facing doesn't have too many arbitrary gimmicks layered on top of it. This is to say that the early stages of Lyxo are compelling thanks to the freedom granted to you, but the further you get into the game, the more time you spend on fighting with it.
Wordsmyth - A Daily Word GameiOS
Wordsmyth's chill approach to word puzzling is enjoyable mostly thanks to the cozy environment it creates. There's nothing particularly special about its puzzles, but the way it lets you focus on them provides a respite from the sea of games trying to overwhelm you with content.
Inked's fatal flaw is its pursuit of too many tired ideas. I don't need every indie puzzler to try and make me feel bad, especially when these attempts are stretched across filler challenges that distract from the good parts of the game. Inked: A Tale of Love would be a better experience if it abandoned all of its tropey fluff, even though it would probably be a third as long as its already brief playtime.
Five Dates does a good job of capturing the excitement and uncertainty of going out on dates, which is exactly what it set out to do. It could do more to expand what relationship exploration looks like, but what it chooses to focus on it excels at. Like other FMV games, Five Dates feels awkward, stilted, and a little hokey at times, but all of that feels at home in a game about trying to form a deep connection with someone over a video call.
Street Masters is a radical concept for a board game that definitely gets bogged down by its own bulk. The digital version of the game definitely helps streamline play by automatically enforcing certain rules and performing upkeep, but it still has a steep learning curve. Despite these issues, Street Masters managed to charm me by hitting all the right nostalgia notes, so I can't help but giving it some bonus points for that.
Battlecruisers may be lacking somewhat in looks and challenge, but it's got more substance than a lot of other "free" games without any kind of monetization or engagement hooks whatsoever. With this in mind, it's easy to recommend to anyone looking for a new strategy experience on their tablet.
I wish Thunderbox Entertainment had taken all of their love for sci-fi camp and applied it to a game that feels more satisfying. At its core, The Captain is Dead is a game driven by chance. I get why you have to do something like that for a board game but, in digital spaces, far more compelling things can (and have) been done with games that have almost the exact same setup.
Pink is a fittingly bold entry in Bart Bonte's color-inspired puzzle series. Its more confident and stylish presentation compliments the solid foundation of entire series better than the previous installments, making it a worthwhile pickup for both fans and newcomers alike.