Monthly Archive: August 2011

Space Ship Ion – 1.99 (iniGames)

Space Ship Ion is a space shoot-em-up from iniGames. I should mention that shmups are some of my favorite games, ever, and that I’ve got a bullet hell group on Touch Arcade, so it might sound like I’m spoiled when I review this game, because, well, I’m use to playing some of the best bullet hell and shmup games out there.

Now, in SSI, the game relies heavily on the story and weapons shop instead of insane bullet patterns and over-loading you with enemies, which, with an AppStore full of great shmups, is a pretty risky move, but it works well here. The story is well written, and it unfolds pretty nicely. Not to say that there’s not enough action in Space Ship Ion to keep even hardened shmup fans happy, because playing on Very Hard difficulty will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole game.
The weapon store also adds quite a bit to the game, as you can buy and equip weapons, holding 6 guns plus a shield on your ship. Items can be bought with points that you collect while going through the game, so there’s no IAPs to worry about. I was, however, hoping for some more interesting weapons. There are a few, but with a game that’s main selling points are the story and shop, I really think the developer could have thrown in quite a bit more weaponry, and definitely more than one shield. There are, however, 2 weapons that unlock when you complete Normal and Hard Modes, and all weapons upgrade while collecting red orbs in the game.
The controls are nice, and the game kind of plays like Super Laser, because you’ve got a missile lock in front of your ship that you’ll constantly be trying to hit enemies with. The controls that are given are relative touch that works along-side tilt controls. If you don’t touch the screen for a couple seconds, the tilt controls take over. There’s also a double tap that you can use to drop a nuke, but this only works if you lift your finger off the screen first. Doubled with the tilt controls, this can cause a lot of un-necessary deaths, having your ship fly up to the top or bottom of the screen while trying to nuke a cluster of enemies.
Online leaderboards are not enabled, so the scoring mechanics are kind of lost within the game, but there are medals to unlock, adding a little bit of extra challenge to the game. The graphics in SSI are good, but not in retina display. That’s generally not a deal-breaker with most shmup fans, as there’s very few retina supported shmups in the AppStore. There’s 22 different enemies, and 8 different bosses, each needing a different strategy to deal with and defeat. The bosses animations and attacks are very well thought out, and should keep you on your toes no matter what difficulty you play on.
In the end, SSI is a decent shmup with a nice story and one of the very few shmups in the AppStore that has a shop. It is a well made shooter that should give any fan of the genre plenty of gameplay, especially for the $1.99 price-tag. Hopefully in the future some online services will be offered, and the shop will be expanded, but as it is now, it is definitely worth checking out. I know I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more games from iniGames in the future as well, because they’ve certainly managed to make their mark in the AppStore.
I’m giving Space Ship Ion a score of 4 out of 5.

Silverfish, $1.99 (By Chaotic Box) (iPhone or iPad)

   Today I am reviewing a game that got a lot of praise but sales weren’t up to its quality, and I don’t know why. As one man developer Frank Condello made a masterpiece called Silverfish, and after some fans asked (and begged) for the game to be enhanced with the iPad screen size, he released Silverfish MAX. Maybe it looked like a Tilt to Live clone with awesome looks, and I don’t blame you if you think that, I thought it at the very beginning, but I can assure you that Silverfish is a different beast.

   Silverfish is starred by one those ugly insects the are found in basements and such dark places. But here, it’s beautiful, as it’s made in a shiny and flashy neon visual style that just pours quality all done in Retina Display. Every single aspect of this visual feast is wrapped in neon perfection: the enemies are varied and very detailed, our main character is gorgeous and the enviroment is as good at the rest of the visual package. The games music fits very well the action, and oh man you got some action ahead, as this in one the most frantic experiences I’ve had, ever.

   You control Silverfish by swiping in the direction you want to go or with a D-pad, but you can only move in the four cardinal directions in the battlefield: up, down, left and right. Thats right, like Pac-Man, but in an open warzone, where you can move anywhere… but then, there are neon monsters, and unlike Tilt to Live, here you have health bar, called POW bar and can sustain some enemies collisions, but then again, that is a bad thing to do if you want to crush them. 
   Theres four completely different modes in this game and on each of them you have different gameplay and great depth, because as you do your slaugther, new and bigger enemies slowly appears on the battelfield, and they tend to try and overwhelm you all the time. And each mode has its own mix of enemies, so it makes each mode unique in objective and enemie patterns. That’s right, each enemy has its own pattern, and there is a lot of different foes. Trying to guess the pattern of particular enemies (they usually come together, like a band, to kill you with their superior numbers) while reaching the next pod is really challenging, So you will be surfing the screen constanlty avoiding enemies and reaching Power Pods, and for that controls should work well, and they are indeed very responsive, both controls options available. Perfect… now onto the modes:

   -Haste: You start with 1 life and full POW bar with three vigor powers (tap the screen for a huge blast, this comes very handy and it refills while scoring higher and higher). Your objetive is to collect Power Pods, when you reach it, your POW bar refills completely and you enter in a killing frenzy mode where you kill any enemie you touch, but it doesn’t last long, and when it expires (Silverfish starts to blink to tell you it’s finishing) and have to carefully reach the next power pod evading all enemies while trying to reach it. Over and over. 

   -Scavenger: Same as the Haste mode, but here when you reach the power pod, it explodes, killing enemies nearby and you have to collect what they leave behind, Proton, to recharge your pow and stay alive as long as possible. Its the endurance mode. [Image] 

   -Onslaught: You start with 4 lives and 3 bombs. Hit an enemy and loose a life. If you collect Protons (the stuff you leave behind) you multiply your score, and there’s no power pow bar here. Bonus lives are awarded when reaching certain high scores. The game ends when you run out of lives. This is for the scoring adventurer.
   -Reaper: Reaper is like Haste, but more forgiving. You start with 1 life and 50% POW, with 3 time shocks (slows enemies down for a little bit). POW drains over time so have to continually collect pods to survive. When you reach Max POW, you become invulnerable and can eat enemies to get bonuses to multiply your score. 

   So as you can see there’s quite a bit of different gameplay in each of them, one for each necessity you have. Gameplay is a lot like pac-man, but brought into the new age. Its also like Tilt to Live, but with a lot of variations to have a different experience. If you didn’t like TtL because of the tilting, I really recommend you grab this game, it’s a similar concept but with on screen controls. Its fun, challenging, and best of all, good. Replayability is very high, all modes are awesome, theres GameCenter integration with Leaderboards and plenty of achievements to make this game last even longer. So go ahead, and if you like what it has to offer, buy it. It’s really good, so good it’s the second app I have on my iPhone and also, this one will never be deleted.

iPhone version: 

iPad version: 

Haste mode:
Official Video:

Riot Rings – 0.99 (Cervo Media)

Riot Rings is a new Zuma-type bubble popper from Cervo Media GMBH. In it, you’ll match up groups of 3 or more different animal bubbles to clear out multiple rings thought over 100 levels and 3 different gameplay modes. Right off the bat, I want to say that Riot Rings is now my favorite Zuma type game, knocking The Temple Zumas out of the #1 spot. Cervo Media has taken the bubble popper game, and expanded it in a pretty original way. Instead of trying to clear out the bubbles before they get to the end point, you try and clear out the bubbles before the key on one end, and lock on the other end of the ring touch each other. To make it even more interesting, animals are flung into the rack from the outsides of the screen along with the animals that you fling into the rack from the middle of the screen.

The controls are pretty much like every other Zuma-type game out there, where you touch where you want your bubble to go. And like all other Zuma-type games out there, this is easier said that done. There’s various twists and turns in the rings that give you some pretty awkward angles to shoot at.
Also, sometimes there’s inner and outer rings, causing you to sometimes wait for one ring to pass before you can hit an outer ring, or you will have a ring around your shooting area, with more rings on other parts of the screen, or even sometimes shake, constantly move, speed up, or shrink in completely, causing you to miss your target, or even worse, causing the key and lock to come together. There are, however, power-ups, which can help out big time. There’s a power-ups ranging from pieces of chicken that clear out big sections of the racks, to needles which can slow down the movement. These, put together with bosses, stones, and really so many different mechanics, that I can’t name or describe them all, makes Riot Rings easily one of the most interesting and fun Zuma-type games available in the AppStore.
The graphics are top notch, very polished, and retina display supported. The clouds hovering above some parts of the screen add a lot to the feel of the game, as do the great animal sounds. The controls are very tight and responsive, there’s GameCenter leaderboards, 3 star time-based rankings to try and snag, and re-playable levels along with Endless and Zen Modes to play after you’re done with the Campaign.
Riot Rings is great for all ages, and even my wife has started to obsess over it, and there’s 3 available profiles so that multiple gamers can play on one device. I can not say one bad thing about this game. It’s done extremely well, adds a lot of gameplay mechanics to the tired Zuma-like gameplay, and you’re bound to see something new every time you play. For $0.99, it’s a steal. The iPad version is $2.99, which is still a great price for all the content and gameplay you’ll get out of this game. I really can not recommend it enough, even if bubble popping isn’t your thing, this game is sure to show you a great time, and give you tons of hours of entertainment.
I’m giving Riot Rings 5 out of 5 stars, with a huge recommendation to pick it up as soon as you can.

Zombie Slaughter – 0.99 (Tapkee Games)

Zombie Slaughter is a new swiping action game from Tapkee Games. In it, you will fight wave after wave of zombies. You’re given 3 difficulties, Easy, Medium, and Hard. On Medium and Hard Modes, you’ll need to figure out strategies to take out the hordes of zombies in order to beat the game, but in Easy mode, you can pretty much just learn the movements, and how to play the game without too much of a challenge.
There is no story in the game, and very little environmental change. As you progress through the levels of 3 waves each, the platforms you can jump on will grow, but apart from that, you won’t see much different between the levels. There’s 1 health pick-up for each wave you’ll go through, and once you reach level 2, you’ll be able to pick up a sword and slice away at the zombies for a limited amount of swipes. This lack of story, or extra modes can put some people off of the game, especially since there’s no online leaderboards, achievements, and actually, no scoring system at all.

This lack of content could very well be the downfall of the game. Which is sad, because Tapkee Games has built up a very decent base for a game. The rag doll physics work extremely well with the animations, and gravity + swipe physics of the game, and the random zombie spawning leads to different types of gameplay with each and every game. But it’s plat former aspect also makes me wish that the developer would have added some virtual buttons along with the current swipe controls, and Zombie Slaughter could also use some power-ups and maybe even a shop. If all of this was added, Tapkee Games would have one hell of a game on their hands.
The lack of content can be overlooked by the amazing, addictive, action-filled gameplay, but not for too long. The developer has realized this, and has mentioned on the Touch Arcade Forums that he will be adding more content, different environments, achievements, item-drops and more weapons, as well as an endless mode.
The game, right now, is $0.99, the perfect price for a “let’s check it out” kind of attitude, and it is worth checking out. The developer has given me 5 promo codes to share with our readers, so if you’re slightly interested in the game, and are one of the first to be reading this review, you can try and snag one of ‘em;


I am looking forward to future updates, and hope that this game gets more content. As it is now, I’m going to give it a rating of 2.5/5, but it has the potential to be a 4 or even 5 star game if the developer keeps working on it like he’s promised. Here’s hoping this game doesn’t fall into the huge bundle of games that have been forgotten by developers over the years.


Zen Wars- 1.99 (

Zen Wars is based off a old arcade classic called Rampart which featured multi-phase tower defense gameplay. There are 3 different phases to every one turn you get in the game regardless of the mode.  The first, the combat stage is where the player has about 15 seconds to fire on the opposing forces defenses and troops. Then you can rebuild your ramparts and walls to beef up your derisory.  The final stage is where you can place down cannons in the available enclosed space.  Now the catch is that you cant just put your defenses down wherever you want you have different shapes that are offered up each rebuilding period that you have to fit together to encircle your fortress. In your territory you can have up to three fortress which one of which you have to have completely encircled.
The game comes packed with 3 different modes including a campaign mode.  In the campaign mode you are put in the middle of  certain scenarios that you have to overcome.  Then in the survival mode 4 of those levels in the main campaign are available for unlimited play.  Then comes the coup de grace the multiplayer mode.  A total of 3 players can battle it up over Gamecenter trying to be the last one standing. A interesting feature is that voice chat is included so you can chat with people and make alliances in order to get farther in the round. For example if you want to win a round you can team up with another guy so your chances of winning are improved.  Then after hes dead and out you can disband from the team and test your might against your former allie.  Its definitely alot more fun against real people but the campaign mode is still good for practicing and developing your strategy’s for online.
Overall this is a great strategy game that is very fun to play and one of the most in depth strategy games for the ipod platform.  I highly recommend this game, 4.5/5 stars!

Tonight is a very good night for iOS gaming

   Tonight, for iOS gaming, is the best day of the week. Wednesdays is the day new games emerge in the AppStore, first in New Zealand, then slowly in the rest of the world as the sun shines above more and more land. And tonight is one of those nights but it feels more special because there are really great games coming out:

EDGE Extended (Mobigame): We loved the first one, and here is guaranteed to find plenty of new challenges. Offers 44 levels plus 3 more in you collect ALL prysms in the game. I already have it and it feels better than the original in every way, something i thought that was impossible due to the quality the original has. There is no video at the time, just some screenshots. The game costs $0.99 and will be avaiable tonight at 12:01. Expect a review soon.
You can check it out on iTunes for screenshots and more info: 

Contre Jour (Mokus/Chillingo): The game seems amazing from the multiple videos we have seen, and i hope gameplay is as good as it looks. Three chapters featuring sixty unique levels, as well as one hundred and eighty collectable lights will keep us entertained. Looking foward to play it tonight, I been waiting for this a long time… for only 99 cents. Expect a review soon… iTunes link:

Infinity Field for iPhone (Chillingo): A dual stick shooter featuring amazing graphics and solid gameplay. The game offers plenty of content: A story mode and 6 more modes to keep you entertained. I have a feeling that this one will be very good, and will be reviewing it very soon. Also 99 cents, avaiable tonight:

Spy Mouse (Firemint/EA): A line-drawing game where you have to evade cats while trying to get cheese across 70+ deviously challenging levels. Go in circles around your feline foes using all manner of zany gadgets, gizmos and power-ups. The game looks good, might check it out, after all its from the dev of the Real Rancing games and EA, so it speaks quality. This is the least appealing but i will eventually play it in my iDevice, so expect a review. Its 99 cents. iTunes:

Sprinkle: Water splashing fire fighting fun! (Mediocre AB): Feed Me Oil fans beware, there is a new game for you! Using a water cannon mounted on a crane, players must adjust the height and angle of the cannon to fight fires, move obstacles, spin wheels and activate traps in this challenging water-physics based puzzler The game features 46 levels, 22 of them are available from the start, you can unlock the remaining 24 levels by scoring 5 Drops (stars) on the first 22 levels, or unlock them with IAP (this unlocks all previous levels as well). Looks good and sure there will be a review waiting for you in the coming days. 99 cents. iTunes:

Swatter Hit HD Plus- 0.99 (Dumadu Games)

I’m pretty sure that everyone’s familiar with mosquitoes. They’re those pesky little insects that annoy us while we’re outside in the summer. All we do is swat at them the entire time. Well, now it’s time for revenge. In Dumadu Games latest game Swatter Hit HD Plus [$0.99(iPad Only)] you can finally get your revenge on the mosquitoes. The game has a very simple objective, that is to swat the mosquitoes. The only control you need is your finger. Just tap wherever you see a mosquito to kill it. If you miss killing a mosquito it returns later, but this time it gradually grows bigger which

makes it even more difficult in killing it. You can earn 50 bonus points by killing the mosquito with a coil around it. You’re probably thinking that “this game is too easy” well it’s not. As in every game there’s something that makes the game more challenging. At any moment a spider can drop down. If you hit the spider you automatically get 50 points deducted from your score. If you hit the mosquito on a rocket then it’s instantly game over. There’s also a danger bar that increases if you don’t kill them. If that fills up then it is game over. That’s pretty much all there is to this game. I did find ads on the main menu when I booted it up just like the last Dumadu Game that I reviewed on the site. I haven’t seen it since though. I also noticed there’s a Game Center glitch. I only got a score of about 2,000 but it registered as over a 1,000,000,000 points on Game Center. Overall I found this game extremely fun and it’s a very good cheap time waster for your iPad. My final rating is 4 out of 5 stars. You can go pick up Swatter Hit HD Plus for your iPad for only $0.99 here. I couldn’t find any gameplay footage or any trailer online so I’m just going to attach a photo of the Game Center glitch so you can all bask in the glory of my billion points! :)

Mighty Fin – 0.99 (Launching Pad Games)

Mighty Fin is a new arcade game from Launching Pad Games. In it, you’ll control a fish named Fin by tapping to dive, and letting go to fly up in the air. The further you dive down, the higher up in the air you’ll go, all the while collecting bubbles, and costume pieces, while avoiding obstacles, sharks, lobsters, and more. There’s 16 levels that change up each time you play them, meaning that you’ll never play the exact same level twice.

The gameplay is a lot like Tiny Wings, which means that yes, this game is great for everyone, from hardcore gamers to casual gamers, and everyone in-between. With 16 levels, each randomly generated, you also get Survival and Endless Modes with each one of them, meaning that there’s essentially endless replay value with Mighty Fin, and that’s always a great selling point. Each of the levels has scores for bronze, silver and gold medals, and a bubble path for you to try and follow, along with gold bubbles that help boost your score, and 60 different costumes to find and unlock so you can dress Fin up throughout the game.
The graphics in Mighty Fin are outstanding. Very polished, and very cute. Along with great animations for each object and life-form, the whole world of Fin is one that’s very vibrant and colorful, and pops with retina supported devices. The controls are tight and very responsive, and along with the physics, it makes for a game full of great arcade type action and you’ll never experience accidental deaths at the hands of the game.
The endless and survival modes for the beginning of the game can be quite easy, but don’t let that turn you off from the modes, because once you unlock some of the later levels, you’ll have your hands full trying to climb your way up the 24 GameCenter leaderboards. There are, however, no achievements, which is strange, because this game could have quite a few challenges that would be great if added to an achievement list.
The latest update for Mighty Fin was HUGE, doubling the size of the game. This gives me loads of hope for the future of Fin, especially if the developers keep adding content like this. It has certainly become a game that every gamer should have, joining the ranks of Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, Cut The Rope and Fruit Ninja, which is quite the achievement for any company. Being Universal, priced only at a buck, and full of content and endless replayability, it’s definitely worth more than you’ll pay for it.

I’m giving Mighty Fin a score of 5/5, and it’s really a game that’s recommended to everyone.

Hungribles Giveaway!

Are you ready for this! It’s giveaway time over here at TheAppShack. Today the first 2 lucky readers can snatch a code for Hungribles [$1.99 (Universal)]. I previously reviewed this game on the site before which you can read my review here. We loved this game in our review! The two codes are right below this paragraph. Hurry up and get a copy before it’s too late!



Couldn’t snag a copy? Then check out our Twitter where we’ll be giving away more soon! Go follow us @TheAppShack to be the first to know when we giveaway the rest of the codes that we have left.


Draw Slasher: The Quest – 2.99 (Mass Creation)

Draw Slasher: The Quest is a new side scrolling slice-em-up from Mass Creation. In it, you’ll take the awesome monkey, Hanzo, from Draw Slasher: Dark Ninja Vs. Pirate Monkey Zombies on a quest to defeat the evil demon lord that has attacked your village, and kidnapped your family and master. Along with the Quest Mode, Mass Creation has also included Challenges, Endless Modes, and Online Multiplayer.

Draw Slasher: The Quest is a huge step up from the first Draw Slasher game, giving us a stamina bar under our health bar that drains as we draw slashes on the screen. This allows for more slashes at once, and coupled with a quicker moving Hanzo, really adds to the amount of carnage you can dish out quickly. This makes the gameplay a lot better than the first Draw Slasher game, because if you remember, you could only have one slash on the screen at a time, and Hanzo wasn’t the quickest moving animal out there.
In Quest Mode, you’ll go through 6 stages of bloody mayhem, tracking down the demon that burnt your village and kidnapped your family and friends. Each of the stages has a boss battle, and an ability that you unlock after defeating the boss. These abilities are all upgradeable with experience points that you gain while slicing up monkeys and collecting the red orbs that are randomly spit out of the bodies of your enemies. You can also upgrade your health and stamina bars, each upgrade helping you a little more in your quest to save your loved ones. Mass Creation has also added quite a few new types of zombies. A Chef, slicer monkey, little zombie monkeys, interesting bosses, and ghosts of zombies, each needing different techniques to take out.
The Challenge Mode is filled with 25 different challenges, all unlocked from the moment you start up the game. Not having to finish one challenge to move onto the next is awesome. You’re also able to keep your upgrades from the Quest Mode, making Challenge Mode even more interesting as you progress in the game. Each challenge is different, and will test your slashing skills, and help you master new techniques. Getting 3 stars in each challenge will be quite a task, one that only the most skilled zombie slashers will be able to accomplish.
Survival, or Endless Mode, is set-up just like Dark Ninja Vs. Pirate Monkey Zombies. You’re given 3 options, Tower, Waves, or Hardcore, each having different scoring mechanics, and in Hardcore Mode, you’re given only your base health and stamina, making it extremely difficult. These modes where a great deal of time will be spent after you complete the Quest Mode, especially if you’re interested in climbing online leaderboards, as each mode has it’s own board in GameCenter. Online play is comprised of Survival and Competitive play. Here, finding a match with GameCenter’s Auto-Match can be kind of difficult, as there’s not usually people online waiting to play. But if you have friends on GameCenter who have Draw Slasher: The Quest, playing against them will be loads of fun.
The graphics are awesome. Slicing up the bosses in Quest Mode is pretty graphic, as each final blow is done in a sort of clip mode, where you trace lines on the screen, then watch as blood flies everywhere, and their limbs fall off. Throughout the game, the screen is almost always full of zombies, which means the screen is almost always full of blood and the zombie’s body parts. The animations are also very well done here, adding immensely to the atmosphere of the game. It’s also Universal, meaning retina and HD supported, so you’ll be able to see all the blood and gore the way it’s meant to be seen. Music and effects are pretty much the same from Mass Creations first Draw Slasher game, but I’m not complaining because they fit the game perfectly. The controls are also flawless, making gameplay very simple to understand and master. There’s two control options, a tap setting and virtual buttons, able to be set in the right or left bottom corners. With the Survival and Online Modes, along with 4 online leader boards, and 44 GameCenter achievements, there’s pretty much endless replayability. This is a top notch title easily worth the $3 asking price.
I’m giving Draw Slasher: The Quest a score of 5/5, and can easily strongly recommend it to adventure and action fans. Gamers who loved the first Draw Slasher game will love The Quest even more.