It’s a no-brainer purchase if you’ve liked any of Brough’s previous games, of course. But if that’s you, then you’ve probably already bought it, haven’t you? If, however, you bounced off one of his games before for any reason other than the art, you might want to give this one a glance. There’s a concerted effort here to try to reach out to a slightly different set of tastes, and if you give it a chance to get its claws into you, you may end up finding this to be the gateway to a brighter, Broughier world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
On the whole, it is a delightfully well-made game that is far, far too kind to its players. If it had an asking price instead of an optional in-app purchase, it would be worth it; as it is, it’s a steal. Think I’m wrong? Go download it, play it for a few days, then come tell me. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
There are countless visual novels devoted to dating a bunch of very busty women, but few that turn that trope onto its head; Dream Daddy does that through objectifying men. Not in a mean way, or even an overly-sexual way – instead, Dream Daddy makes virtual dating wholesome and punny. It shows the importance of community and friendship, especially for a single parent. It’s not so much about the dating as it is exploring new interests through new people. I’m so appreciative of the experience.
Worse Than DeathiOS
Regardless of my personal struggles with stealth gameplay, Worse Than Death is an incredible experience of love, life, and the past that haunts Holly. She’s the type of heroine you cheer for whenever she succeeds, and that you truly feel bad for when something goes wrong. The simple gameplay enhances the narrative by not overpowering it, and the use of auditory cues really is amazing. Simply put, Worse Than Death more than lives up to my expectations for it, and I already look forward to my next playthrough.
Minit is a game perfectly suited to mobile platforms and portables in general with its literal minute long gameplay segments. You can always get in a run or two while waiting for someone in a cafe or on the bus. While I am disappointed with the lack of full controller support and how some aspects have not transitioned well to touch controls, Minit is still a must play title. It is such a brilliant concept that takes a gameplay style that works well but keeps things super fresh at all times. If you’ve not played Minit on any other platform yet, the iOS version is absolutely worth the asking price. Do yourself a favour and get the soundtrack as well.
All in all, Ordia is a hell of a game. It’s absolutely gorgeous, the animations are buttery smooth, and the sound effects and haptic feedback are incredibly satisfying. So satisfying, in fact, that if you aren’t actively paying attention, you don’t even notice them. It sounds counterintuitive, but you don’t want your sound effects to shout too loudly or they’ll become distracting. Apple was right––it’s a great game, and well worth the time invested.
Dawn of IslesAndroid
This is the kind of game I was desperately searching for when World of Warcraft started to grow stale for me in the mid-2000s. Knowing it’s playable on something that fits in my pocket makes me feel old yet thankful. The only thing that managed to tear me away from Dawn of Isles was my emulator crashing on a load screen after 6 hours of flawless gameplay. That has to mean something for a mobile game.
Infectonator 3: ApocalypseiOS
Then again, almost perfect ain’t that shabby. There’s a very good chance you’re not looking for another zombie game for your phone or tablet, now or perhaps ever. But Infectonator 3: Apocalypse is good enough for you to cast aside your many preconceived notions and give it a shot, because trying to end humanity is actually a lot more fun than you might think.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's TrapiOS
Overall, you absolutely need to play this game if you’re a fan of platformers and enjoy premium experiences on mobile. Playdigious did a lovely job with the port and it is perfect if you have an MFi controller. If you don’t, the touch screen controls are definitely not a fantastic way to play this because of how it controls in general. If you want to play this on touch, make sure to spend some time customising the controls through button sizes and positions because it doesn’t feel great on the iPhone 7 to me and is much better with touch on iPad.
I’m not used to a mobile game, even a free-to-play one, that feels so limited in terms of play time (the one egg every 20 minutes thing). The collectibles trickle in, and it will take weeks to get them all – a good thing for F2P titles, keeping players coming back. I expect NomNoms is either the type of game to grab you, or something someone would pick up and delete almost immediately.
On the whole, Magnibox is pretty great. It sets out to deliver a charming platform puzzler experience, and it more than accomplishes that goal. It has a premium feeling, a relaxed pace, smooth controls, and so very, very many unique levels. While it could do a better job with its difficulty curve and introducing new mechanics, and while I have a special dislike of the swipe controls on iPads, the gameplay and unique feel more than make up for such minor issues. At its price point, Magnibox is well worth picking up.
The Gardens BetweeniOS
The end of the game may be the end of being neighbors, but it doesn’t mean the end of being friends. Arina and Frendt evolve over time together, from kiddie pools to exploring drains. My friends and I preferred to explore the local cemetery, which seems bleak in retrospect. Anyway, they will keep evolving as they are apart, and in my mind they remain friends through the trials of tribulations of growing up and into adulthood.
There’s a wealth of content, always a faster route or something that could be done slightly better, wonderful graphics and a charming soundtrack, and it just got partial MFi support! While it isn’t perfect, and while I would not recommend it to casual players or folks who do not handle frustration well, those looking for a more hardcore experience will certainly find it in Daggerhood.
I feel the need to personally thank the developer, Nyamyam, for creating Astrologaster. I learned a lot from it, and now want to talk about it with everyone I know because I’ll seem so smart, knowing all about this obscure British man from the 16th century. Not only that, but the game is an experience in its own right, with the madrigals and artwork creating something wonderfully unique. I cannot rave about it enough.
This is exactly the kind of porting we need more of on iOS. Instead of just taking a console or PC game and assuming a virtual cursor can be replaced with touch, Feral did a fantastic job with the interface and retained everything that made Tropico a fun experience in the first place. Just be ready to pay proper attention to the tutorial as it helps a ton for someone who hasn’t played a Tropico game before.
Forget Me not: Organic GardeniOS
In the end, Forget Me Not: My Organic Garden is a delightfully active addition to the tapping genre, bringing it into the premium game world instead of setting it adrift amongst throngs of free-to-play titles. The artwork is the superstar, absolutely darling and always intriguing. The story is a bit light, but there’s nothing wrong with that when the purpose is to work in a garden.
Revue Starlight Re LIVEiOS
It’s an exciting prospect that will mean a whole lot more to someone who’s already invested in the franchise. As you’d expect from any similar idol game, the continued allure of this particular time sink is going to ride on how it satisfies each player’s burning desire to be closer to their chosen “waifu".
While I enjoyed playing the game as a whole, I found the best experience was in choosing a random race and playing on expert, although that resulted in quite a few losses. While it does have flaws, they are few and easily overlooked. Solar Settlers is an easy recommendation, and one I make whole-heartedly.
OCO isn’t going to give Animal Crossing a run for its temper-quelling money or replace that book of slightly damp sudoku puzzles by the john, but leaving it on your phone’s multitasking list for a quick poke while waiting for the kettle to boil isn’t such a stretch. Each level is presented as a bite-sized chunk that’s easy to swallow, and the only thing that might get in the way of the VCR-style Play button moving you to the next stage is a 30-second ad for a clicker game that is a much bigger waste of time than any of OCO’s gloriously addictive and intelligent puzzles.
Dungeon Warfare 2iOS
For a more strategy-focused, traditional tower defense, Dungeon Warfare 2 hits it out of the park. It is hard, it is unique, it has great level design, and it has a ton of replayability. For players interested in scratching the itch left by Kingdom Rush: Vengeance, those looking for a more premium experience, or those who recall with fondness lane-based tower defenses, this is a steal. For folks who aren’t interested in planning and thinking out the best way to approach a level, or who find the whole dungeon aesthetic to be a turn off, maybe look elsewhere.
Rolando: Royal EditioniOS
Rolando: Royal Edition is a rare example of a game that feels truly timeless, making it an easy recommendation to any gamer, regardless of their past relationship with the series. With the likes of Apple Arcade on the horizon, there’s still a long way to go in the turbulent tale that is iOS gaming. However, Rolando: Royal Edition ensures that HandCircus’s opus will go down as more than just a forgotten footnote in the depths of TouchArcade’s archives, but instead a significant part of the App Store’s incredible legacy. Welcome back, Rolando – we’ve missed you.
Photographs - Puzzle StoriesiOS
When I think about it, Photographs seems like it’s everything, narratively, that is lacking in 10000000 and You Must Build A Boat. Gone are the frenzied decisions, often thoughtless motions, replaced with a shorter game with arguably less replay, but a narrative and structure that will allow for it to linger in your mind longer than the other two. The term “video game" doesn’t feel right when Photographs is more than that: it truly is a haunting experience of human nature and compassion, depression and connection.
The game unfolds in entertaining and challenging ways that I can’t share in great depth (again, I would be spoiling a lot of the fun if I did so), but I will say that what starts as a simple card game becomes a story-creation engine that includes summoning alien gods, sacrificing friends and foes alike, founding cults, and much more. Just be prepared to discover this world as you go along, as long as you don’t mind losing your sanity (thankfully only in terms of the game) along the way.
This War Of Mine: Stories – Father’s PromiseiOS
It is a welcome reminder that war isn’t all about the soldiers on the frontlines, that it has a heavy impact on citizens living in war zones. Father’s Promise, for lack of a better term, is a promising addition to the This War Of Mine line-up, and I’m already looking forward to more tears if/when the second episode (The Last Broadcast) comes to mobile platforms.
As it stands, Cure Hunters is really a game for folks who want that retro platformer feel, or a challenging roguelite, but don’t necessarily want to pay for a ported oldie or a new game. For everyone else, the monetisation strategy will be a big red flag. Whether it’s worth downloading despite that… well, that’s up to personal preference and what you’re willing to tolerate.