Monthly Archive: December 2011

Wind Up Robots – 0.99 (Soma Games)

As I said in our review for the Bulkypix title, Funny Hell, base defense games have gained quite a bit of fans in the AppStore. The iDevice is a prefect platform for the genre, and almost all of them do well in the AppStore, because the genre has such a dedicated following. However, it’s hard to find one that brings something new and original to the table. Here’s where Soma Games (developers of Bok Choy Boy and a favorite of mine, G: Into The Rain) picks up at with their release of Wind Up Robots, a base defense game with a fantastic story, loads of polish, an awesome upgrade system, and great gameplay. You’ll control various robots that have been built by Jack, the grandfather of a young boy named Zach. These robots are used to vanquish the darkness that dwells within the world. You’ll use them to guard Zach of the evil that’s trying to get at him while he sleeps.

In order to do this, you’ll need to equip your robot box with the robots that you want to use for the stage. As you progress through the game, more robots are added to your arsenal. Once you have your set-up, and start the level, each of the robots are shown at the bottom of the screen. To select them, all you need to do is tap on them, and then tap on where you want them to go on the bed where Zach’s sleeping. While you do this, evil creatures will start spawning at the end of the bed, and will be making their way towards you. If you end up placing your robots on the edges of the bed, you might just miss the evil creatures walking in the middle, so it’s best to have them placed more towards the head of the bed, at least at first. With this lay-out, you risk not being able to defeat the creatures before they run into Zach’s head, taking away his “Z’s”. So in the beginning of the game, there is quite a bit of risk/reward, and strategy in where you place your robots. After a couple levels, you can start using the shop to upgrade your robots with the coins that are picked up as you defeat enemies in-game. Here, you can increase their attack, defense, speed, and more, making it easier to place them in various places around the bed, not needing to risk them passing you and running directly into Zach. The money you collect, as well as the upgrades you purchase also carry over to a new game, which is awesome. If the game becomes too difficult, starting over can drastically decrease the challenge depending on how upgraded your robots are. This comes in handy, especially when younger kids are playing.
On top of the Story Mode, there is also a Quick Play Mode, in which you’re able to play through each of the levels which you’ve already been to in the Story Mode, as well as a Survival Level for each of the 4 rooms that you’ll be playing in. This helps bring the replay value up significantly.
The graphics and animations in Wind Up Robots are incredibly well done. They create an atmosphere that totally immerses gamers in to the gameplay. Considering the monsters only come out at night, you will be playing in dark rooms throughout the game, but because of this, the robots bight colors, and the light given off by them while taking care of the creatures, really stands out in a fantastic way. It’s not so dark that you are unable to see the objects found throughout the rooms, which is great, because they really give you the feeling that this is a house with a young boy living in it. Really, the game’s graphics and animations remind me of Disney movies, Toy Story in particular. The music is also a great addition to the atmosphere of the game, bringing the entire gameplay experience around, full-circle, making it an incredibly smooth, polished, fun game to get yourself wrapped up in.
For $0.99, and the game being Universal, it’s a fantastic buy. GameCenter is included, with 4 leaderboards for the Quick Play Survival Levels, adding even more replay value to the game. There are also 22 achievements to try and unlock, which also throws quite a bit of replay value at ya. The gameplay is suited for both adults, and kids, though it can get pretty challenging, which is where the carried over upgrades comes into play. If you’re a fan of base-defense games, and are looking for something new and original, Wind Up Robots is a perfect title to pick up. Soma Games has done an incredibly good job, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the future, both with updates for Wind Up Robots, and for future games they might end up releasing!

Loads of Updates, and Notable Sales and Freebies!

November+December. It’s probably the busiest couple of months for the gaming industry, especially the AppStore. An INSANE amount of sales, freebies, updates, and let’s not forget some of the best releases of the year. Here are a few updates that have been recently released, all of which are for games that are worth checking out if you don’t have them already. So… here we go!

What’s New in Version 1.1.0?

– New exciting survival mode!
– A new batch of achievements!

What’s New in Version 1.0.7?

*** Most Notable Changes and Improvements in v1.0.7 ***

– Ship and weapon balance changes! Many players have noted that building lots of missile frigates provided a much larger benefit than building larger ships. Ships have been adjusted to bring these more in-line, allowing greater variety in strategic thinking. Please see the forums for a full list of changes.

– Lots of user requested new features!
* Colonists in transit between planets of different star systems now appear as “transporting” icons on the destination planet
* Defending spies now have a change of reporting enemy spy activity in your empire.
* When an item built is reported in the sitrep, the next item in queue for that planet is also listed in the sitrep
* Weapon and system listing in the ship designer are now sorted such that newer technologies are at the top of the list
* Combat at a system now prevents the planets at that system from transporting colonists off of those world. If you want to engage in scorched earth tactics, you will need to do that before your opponent reaches your colony.
* Added “clear all” and “upgrade all” buttons to the race and ship designer
* Added a cancel button to the research dialog

– Lots of bug fixes!

What’s New in Version 1.4?

Special Christmas Update:

• 2 Brand New Levels: SantaVille and Beanstalk
• New character: Yeti
• New Game Mode: Emperor

Plus many other tweaks:

• The SantaVille level introduces a new Capture the Flag mode, while the Beanstalk adds a new endless jumper mode
• You can now unlock any level at anytime
• You can switch to any of the game modes at anytime, to fully complete each one of them
• You can compare your scores to your Game Center friends, right on the loading screen
• Chinese localization
• Bull and Panda character fixes
• Achievements fixes
• plus many more

What’s New in Version 1.1?

* Added unlockable score multipliers – the more you play, the higher your possible score!
* Score combos now continue into and out of power ups – earn more points than ever!
* A new powerup – fly a fighter jet!
* New & colorful characters
* Play your own music from your iPhone
* Twitter support
* Bug fixes & art cleanup

What’s New in Version 1.2?

√ Power Boosts are here! Become Invincible and bounce off of hazards, turn on your Magnetic Field and suck in all the nearby scrap, activate your Force Field Breaker and short-circuit barriers with the slightest touch, or turn on Bonus Scrap and gain twice as much scrap every time you collect.

√ Stuck? Want some inspiration? Help is here. We’ve linked every level to a video walk-through recorded by one of our best players. Watch and learn, then play like the best.

√ Other minor game improvements and fixes.

What’s New in Version 1.5?

Universal iPad/iPhone support.

What’s New in Version 2.0?

* ROAD WARS MULTIPLAYER: Experience the complete multiplayer campaign. Unlock cars and weapons by destroying your opponents. Advance your career. Claim the crown.
* FRIENDS PLAY: Round up your friends on your own Friends Game Channel. Use auto match and never get lost.
* BATTLE MODIFIERS: Turn the odds in your favor. Use Shotgun Blues to make your auto machine gun shoot shotgun shells, or start your race using nitros with Quick Start.
* WAR PAINT: Unique paint job for Shrieker and Vagabond that brings these cars’ performance to a whole new level!
* NEW RANK SYSTEM: From Roadkill to Battle-Hardened Captain, track your progress more accurately than ever before on your way to becoming the Adversary. Carry your shield with pride!

And much, much more in this ENORMOUS Death Rally update!

What’s New in Version 1.1.0?

– ‘The Wraithmaster’ mini-campaign. Includes an exciting new game mode, new enemies and additional content.
– An additional weapon for the Captain. The ‘Dual Pistols’.
– A new ‘Star Rating’ system for all missions. Can you achieve the elusive ‘Five Star Rating’ on hard mode?
– 4 new music tracks to listen to while you battle.
– Drastically improved performance on all supported devices.
– Faster games with quick enemy moves and no more battle report between turns.
– Many more features and fixes.

What’s New in Version 1.5?

– Fix of the stars unlock in level 4;
– Fix of the unlock of one Hell mode achievement;
– Fix of the name appearing below the icon;
– Fixed game icon;
– Speed improvements.

What’s New in Version 1.0.4?

* Hold to break option
* New cold dirt block
* New cobblestone texture
* New clay look and sound
* New mob: chicken
* New mob: birds
* New mob: boar
* New mob: medium spider
* New mob: huge spider
* New mob: huge skull
* New mob: mother slime
* New mob: white rabbit
* New mob: snail
* New mob: bear
* New drops for every mob
* New Meat loots, everything can be cooked now
* Healing Potions
* Mithril Sword
* Consumable items cannot be consumed at maximum health anymore
* Mobs can now spawn according to depth
* Mobs now should properly spawn according to their min/max light values allowed
* Christmas balls that can be placed on spruce trees
* Wrapped box with Christmas goodies around the world!
* New rare componible treasure
* Climbable spiderwebs
* Christmas tree statue
* Snow balls that can be crafted into snow blocks or used as half blocks to decorate
* Snow blocks and snow bricks
* Cold biome
* Spruce trees (can be replanted like normal trees)
* Planting and regrowing of trees/cacti
* Restored stars for damage (blood was unnecessary and quite cruel!)
* Back layer correctly checks the tool that is used to break blocks
* Bone ladders and bone bridges
* Bone torch and purple goo torch
* Durability bars on some items that were unnecessary are not present anymore
* Version number in the title screen
* It’s now possible to hold craft button to keep crafting items
* Automatic version check to warn if an update is available
* Trapdoors
* Tapping a reachable addon will open inventory
* Fixed a bug that allowed items to be placed in X of inventory
* Fixed minor glitches with climbable vines
* Fixed crashes around the edges of the map
* Fixed crash while destroying ladders at the top of the world
* Fixed crash while placing items at the top/bottom of the world
* Fixed crash while opening inventory at the top/bottom of the world
* Inverted position of map button and craftbook button
* Restored timer for throwing items to an higher value
* Added reinforced door
* Changed wood chest craft
* Changed wood door craft
* Apple grows also on blue leaves
* Wood doors now have a chance to break when used

What’s New in Version 1.4?

+ New material allows you to turn objects into breakable ice!
+ 5 brand new ice levels!
+ Bug fixes.

+ IAP: Christmas themed Santa characters added!


-=Dead Space/EA — $6.99 -> $0.99
-=Galaxy On Fire 2/Fishlabs — $9.99 -> $4.99


Funny Hell – 2.99 (Bulkypix + Fazen)

Real time base defense games have generated quite a following in the iOS gaming world. Cartoon Wars was my, and probably a whole lot of other’s, first foray into this genre. Even though there’s not a whole lot of variety throughout the genre, they really seem to sell well, and are almost always fairly addicting. I recently was able to get my hands on Funny Hell, developed by Fazen and published by the ever popular Bulkypix.

Like others in the genre, Funny Hell has you sending out various characters to battle the enemy. However, in Funny Hell, you’re given a mission or two at the beginning of each stage, which does set it slightly apart from other titles. The first 10 of 50 levels, that are split up across 5 different worlds, each leading you closer to the center of ’hell’, and each having an available 3 ‘skull‘ ranking, are set up like tutorial levels, adding another character to the line-up, and getting you acquainted with the enemies, and gameplay in general. Most of these levels are completed when you send out a certain number of characters, or kill a certain amount of enemies. After this, the gameplay picks up fairly quickly, with the first real stage’s mission having you survive for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which, believe it or not, can prove to be quite the challenge, not often, but sometimes to a frustrating extent. There are more of these mission type levels as you progress throughout the game, having you save up a certain amount of coinage, or kill a certain amount of one type of enemy. It does add some extra strategy behind the already fairly strategic gameplay. Each of your characters has a certain ability, generally either shooting a projectile, or having a strong attack. There are some which both fire projectiles and melee attack, but cost more as well. You will need to go through some trial and error figuring out which enemies require which units to be sent out to ensure the most possible damage is done, but once you figure it out, deciding when on the battle field they should come into contact with each other also becomes part of the strategy. You’re able to build an offensive attacking stone type character on the side of your base, which tosses projectiles out, but only within a certain range. If you’re having trouble with some enemies, sometimes waiting for them to make it down towards your base so that you can also attack with that stone character is the best course of action. It makes for some challenging, and entertaining gameplay.
There is no upgrade store, which is kind of upsetting, but as you progress through the game,
Funny Hell is controlled like most other base defense titles, tapping on the units you want to send out, which are located at the bottom of the screen, and swiping anywhere else on the screen to scroll left and right. There are also coins which pop up randomly as you are battling, and they bounce along the ground, disappearing fairly quickly, and are picked up by tapping on them. This might become a problem for some gamers, because as the coins are bouncing, sometimes in the heat of the moment, you can wind up trying to tap on a coin, and end up tapping on a unit to be sent out since they are directly beneath the bouncing coins, and when it happens, it can be incredibly frustrating.
The graphics and animations are fantastic. Graphics-wise, the game is fairly cartoony, and very vibrant with loads of color. The character and enemy designs are done very well, and fit the extremely vibrant cartoon looking environments to a “T”. The animations for attacking, movement, falling objects, coins bouncing around, death, they’re all fantastic, really adding quite a bit to the entertainment. The BGM that’s included with the game brings it all together to create one hell of a great base defense game.
Funny Hell is definitely a release that deserves it’s $2.99 price tag, and then some. Being universal, and coupled with incredible replay value, emphasized by the addition of GameCenter leaderboards for Coins, Killed Monsters, and Skulls, along with an incredible 60 achievements to try and unlock. There’s quite a bit of challenge here, especially if you go ahead and try and grab 3 skull rankings on each stage. Having missions for each of the stages does bring some originality to the game, which is great to see within the base defense genre. It looks like December is a great month for Bulkypix publications. Fazen has created an extremely polished, and well produced title, and I can’t wait to see what they bring iOS gamers in the future!

Crazy Bomber – 0.99 (Joytouch)

Bomberman is one of my all time favorite games. I can remember staying up all night at my best friends house when I was about 8, taking turns playing Bomberman on the NES. Luckily, buying back bits and pieces of your childhood is extremely easy these days, especially within the AppStore. If you can’t find a game you sunk weeks, months, or even years into as a child, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find a game almost exactly like it. Here is where JayTouch Network’s game, Crazy Bomber, comes in to play. Though there isn’t a shortage of Bomberman and Bomberman influenced games in the AppStore, it’s definitely not a game that has been cloned to death, and finding a game influenced by an old favorite can sometimes prove to be an extremely great thing as it might include loads of new mechanics and gameplay ideas expanded from the original it’s influenced by.

Starting up Crazy Bomber, there are two different gameplay types; Story Mode, and Battle Mode. Story Mode includes 60 levels spread across 3 different environments; Jungle, Graveyard, Glacier, and then each having a more difficult set of levels, so really, there’s 6 different worlds. Each stage has a 3 star ranking available, and is based on score. Getting 3 stars can be pretty challenging as well, most of the time requiring multiple play-thoughs. There are also 4 different characters you can choose to play with; Vampire, Zombie, Wizard, and Knight, none of which have any special abilities, and are only there for purely aesthetic purposes, but I will admit that it’s nice being able to pick between different characters.
Once you start playing, you’ll notice that it’s basically just like Bomberman, though it also expands on the gameplay. You’ll need to place bombs to destroy enemies and level objects, like trees, shrubs, and boxes. Blowing up these objects, trees, boxes, ect, will almost always provide extra bombs, though there are some speed power-ups and coins scattered throughout as well. At the beginning of each level, you are only able to place one bomb at a time, but as you collect bombs throughout the level, you’ll be able to place two, three, or more bombs at a time. As you collect bombs, the strength of each explosion will increase, making it easier to take out enemies across the screen. You are also able to link bombs together, placing one in the path of another’s explosion causes a domino like effect. As you progress through the game, you’ll come across crate moving puzzles, conveyor belts, and even boss fights at the end of each world.
The Battle Mode is unlockable as you progress through the game, but there is no indication as to what unlocks it. Whether it be how many stars you‘ve collected, or after completing world 3, it will unlock about half-way through the game. Battle Mode is a local ‘multiplayer’ type gameplay mode, putting you against upto 3 other AI opponents. It does add to the gameplay, but feels a bit hollow
There is a shop accessible from the level select screen, which lets you purchase health potions as well as remote detonated bombs, which you can buy with the coins earned in-game. There are no IAPs, which is always nice, so no worries about the game difficulty being geared towards getting more money out of you.
Controls in the game are simple, and work very well. A joystick for movement, a button for placement of a bomb, and health and timed bombs are available along the right side of the screen. The movement is tight and responsive, and bombs snap to position, so placing a bomb exactly where you want is very easy, even when moving around quickly.
The graphics in Crazy Bomber are very polished, with each of the levels having wonderful design. The character models and animations are impressive, as are the explosions of each of the different types of bombs. Movement is extremely smooth, with no lag or drops in frame-rate even with multiple explosions going off at once. It would be nice to see some attack animations for when you run into enemies, instead of just seeing your character flash a bit, but not having any attacking animations for the enemies isn‘t necessarily anything that takes away from the gameplay. The HUD is a little messy. The different types of bombs, as well as how many of them you have, how much gold you’ve got, the number of enemies killed out of how many are in the level, as well as how many trees are left to blow up, your score, the pause button, and a picture of your character above the health are all thrown in along the top of your screen. Being able to tell exactly how many bombs you have can sometimes be frustrating. Aside from this, the amount of detail in the levels, objects like trees, bushes, enemies, and everything else is very professionally done.
For $0.99, Crazy Bomber is a fantastic Bomberman influenced game. There’s plenty of content, loads of replayability with the 3 star rankings, which is increased by the inclusion of the GameCenter leaderboard. However, there are no achievements, which is something I’m sure a lot of gamers would love to see added in the future. One thing that the developers have said is coming in a future update is multiplayer. This is where the game will really take off, as to have a real Bomberman type experience, it’s a feature that is desperately needed. Hopefully it’ll be added soon, but until then, there is plenty of gameplay to keep you busy. Crazy Bomber is definitely a game that Bomberman fans as well as arcade junkies should pick up.

Arrow of Time – 1.99 (Puya Dadgar)

The Unreal Engine has considerably opened up the world of iOS gaming since it’s introduction late last year. Games taking advantage of the engine generally have incredible graphics and fantastic gameplay. Dungeon Defenders, Infinity Blade, Dark Meadow, Gyro13, these are titles that truly take advantage of what Unreal can do on the iDevice. However, there are a few titles that really do not grab onto everything that Unreal has to offer. Sadly, Puya Dadgar’s title, Arrow of Time is one of these titles.

First off, the graphics in Arrow of Time are done fairly well, however, the animations are really clunky, and not very impressive. Most of the time, it looks like characters are sliding along the ground while running or walking, and it looks like multiple frames have been left out of most of the animations.
Control-wise, you’re able to move with a joystick, aim by swiping on the screen, shoot your weapon by tapping the fire button in the lower right corner. Here’s where it gets pretty uncomfortable. To jump, you’ll need to flick your device either to the left or to the right, and to do an avoidance roll, you need to flick your device forward, or towards yourself.
The collision detection is also something that needs to be worked on quite a bit, as it makes the game extremely frustrating, and almost unplayable. In the second level of the game, you’re required to jump up and grab onto a part of a wall, then pull yourself up. While grabbing onto the wall is done automatically, running up to the wall, and then quickly flicking your device to the left or right will make your character jump up and grab it. Here’s where the collision detection comes in. Half the time, the game will automatically move your character to the left or right, rotating them, having them holding on to air. Your character can get stuck like this, not being able to flick the device again to pull yourself up, or use the joystick or dodge flicks to make your character let go of the wall, forcing you to re-start the stage from the beginning. About 40% of the time, your character will go straight into the wall, getting stuck as well, with no way to get them out, again, forcing you to restart the level. There are some cases in which your character will go into the wall, but still be able to climb up with a left/right flick of your device, and some times the act is done the way it’s supposed to be done. In short, you’ll be able to pull this off about 1 out of 7 or so times, and with level 2 requiring you to do this three times, it’s almost impossible to make it through the stage. There are other sections where collision detection gets to be VERY frustrating, like in stage 1, when you’re supposed to protect a girl, but somehow the enemies swords are able to reach through you, and about 4 times the length of the sword to kill the woman, requiring you to start over. I think you get the point.
There are various cut-scenes throughout the game, which are not terribly voice-acted, but there is no option to skip, and no pause button, so you’ll need to set aside a certain amount of time when you have no chance of being bothered. Some of the cut-scenes give you information which you’ll need in order to progress through the game, so they can be fairly important.
Summed up, Arrow of Time is a game that still needs a lot of work. It feels like a demo or beta version of what could eventually wind up being a decent game. Considering the game was made by two people over a period of 3 months, it’s not incredibly bad. However, the game shows that it was made by two people who worked on it only for 3 months. Priced at $1.99, it’s one of the cheapest Unreal powered games you can get in the AppStore, and the game is Universal. There is no GameCenter or OpenFeint integration, but the game doesn’t really call out for it. Basically, if you’re dying for a 3rd person action adventure game, Arrow of Time might be worth picking up. It does have 8 ratings in the US AppStore, 7 of them are 5 star ratings, however, if you read them, most of them sound like they are from friends or people that might know the developers. Hopefully, Puya Dadgar has plans of working on the game, and fixing as many issues as they can in future updates, but as it is now, it’s a very frustrating experience.

Space Tripper goes on sale for $0.99!

After 3 and a half years, and a crazy amount of work, effort and dedication that very few of us will ever experience, PomPom and TrueAxis gave iOS gamers one of the most amazing titles to ever hit the AppStore. Ever. Space Tripper is an arena based shooter with 4 levels of difficulty across 14 levels. There’s also endless Score Attack and Challenge Modes, with each of the 14 levels available for the Score Attack Mode, and 4 different Challenges. After playing pretty much nothing but Space Tripper for weeks after getting it, it climbed the charts of my own personal favorites list, clawing and scratching it’s way to the top, eventually finding the #1 spot on my ‘Best of 2011’ list, and shortly after, winding up as my #1 favorite iOS game EVER.
If you haven’t checked out this amazing game yet, make sure you grab it, and tell everyone you know about it!! Help get this game the attention it rightfully deserves!

M.U.S.E. Official Trailer Released!

The awesome upcoming arcade-style, third-person shooter by Lab Rats Studio is launching on December 22nd.  If you haven’t checked out our interview with Lab Rats Studio, be sure to check it out here. Ayopa Games, who will be publishing M.U.S.E., has just released a new trailer. Check it out in full HD.

Our full review of M.U.S.E. will be up within days, so make sure to come back and get all the details about this epic shooter. If you want more info, check out Lab Rats Studios site and Ayopa Games site.  Mark December 22nd on your calendars.

More December Updates, Freebies, and Sales along with news about Wizard Ops!

Alrighty, to start things off today, I got an e-mail from Justin, a developer of Wizard Ops, a 3rd person rail shooter, letting me know about their up-coming update, and it’s a fairly big one.
Version 1.2 will include one new level, “Deep Woods” in which you’ll search and destroy the deadly contraptions created by the factory, three, that’s right, THREE difficulty modes, with Easy being the original difficulty, being able to take 10 hits before you die, and having unlimited respawns. Medium difficulty; you can take 3 hits before you die, and you only get 5 respawns, and Hard difficulty; One shot kills you and you only get 3 respawns. So those of you who thought that Wizard Ops was a bit too easy, get ready to get your bullet dodging game on! There’s also going to be three new leaderboards for each level, split up between the three difficulties. The leaderboards that are already included in Version 1.1 will stay the same, but be renamed “Easy”. They have also included GameCenter Achievements, 10 of them, and have plans on adding more in the future.
They were also kind enough to send over a screenshot of the new level, lookin mighty nice if you ask me;
If you haven’t picked up Wizard Ops yet, we highly recommend that you do. This update is… well… FRIGGIN AWESOME! If you’d like to find out more about the game, you can head over to our review, and see just what the game has in store for you, or you can go head and check out the developer’s website, there’s quite a bit of info and content there, so even if you read our review, you might want to check out the site anyway.
The Version 1.2 update has already been submitted, and is waiting for approval from Apple. We’ll be posting when the update goes live, as usual, so check back, or keep an eye on your update notifications, because it should hit the store soon.
You can download Wizard Ops from the iTunes store by clicking here;


Version 1.2

*A FREE holiday-themed update for all our fans!*

• 5 new levels• A free holiday skin for Chicken Mama• Crates have been replaced by presents• Snow has fallen and covered all the levels• Various level tweaks

Version 1.0.2

Localization for the Appstore description.

Platforms bug fix.New IconTransparent Controles

Version 1.22

Warning: Reports of a “choppy framerate” bug on iPad, especially iPad1. We’ve found the bug and submitted a new update to fix it, but it may take some time to hit the App Store

*** iPad display bugs fixed Universal support for iPad and all iOS devices! Flip Screen option in the Settings menu! The View Map panel in the pause menu how has indicators showing how many notes/books you’ve found in the current level, and whether all monsters have been cleared! Spell changes! Silence has been merged into Time Circle to create a single all-powerful buffing spell, Sword Fury and the elemental summon spells have been improved, and the less useful Lucky and Shield spells have been removed from the random spell drops, though you can still obtain a Shield by collecting hearts or overflowing spells! Several weapons have been given new, upgraded effects and updated description text. Make sure to check them out, some were completely changed. Rabbit’s Foot now increases the hat drop rate by five times. Ring of the Zealot now resurrects you, once, at half health with a Sword Fury buff applied to you. Reviving after being defeated now grants a free spell. Save file! You can export or import your save data (in save.dat) via iTunes File Sharing to copy your unlocked items and experience points to your other devices! This also allows backing up saves to your PC. Many level tweaks! Additional urns added to most levels. Backtrack-blocking doors removed for most levels. Many overly long levels were shortened a bit and/or had more urns added. This should improve the pacing of Story Mode. Various bugfixes, including some achievement bugs and dialog typos.

Version 1.3

bug fix

SpaceShip directional operationlanguage localization: English

Version 1.11

New Christmas land with reindeers and snowmen,

New Christmas hats, New game name

Version 1.02

Major Changes

RAVENMARK is now Universal and will run on the iPad natively! RAVENMARK will now autosave at the start of every Command Phase, and at the start of every dialogue scene. The game will also autosave when you exit from a battle to the Main Menu. The Continue button in the Main Menu will continue the last autosaved game. The speed of the splash animations (during combat) is now adjustable in the Options menu. The splash animations can also be turned off, such that only damage and buff/debuff effects will be denoted after each combat instance.UI Changes When the terrain grid is visible, it will clearly indicate all tiles which the player’s own Elements have been commanded to occupy due to Move and Wheeling commands. When an AI-controlled Formation is selected, a new toggle is now available to switch between either displaying their movement range or displaying their attack range; the attack range will show the maximum threshold for attacking without moving, as well as attacking after a move.Gameplay Changes Players may now give an order to Move an Element or Formation into tiles either already occupied or blocked by their own units.Bug Fixes and Optimizations Fixed an issue where the information panel for AI-controlled units would sometimes not display. Fixed the radial menu scale not being updated properly when centering on a unit from a zoom that is larger than the default. Fixed dialogue errors in the cutscenes for Ravenhood mission 5, and the bug where the characters were assigned incorrect dialogue at the end of Ravenhood mission 6. In Ravenhood missions 4 and 5, certain buildings will no longer be erroneously drawn on top of units at certain locations. More aggressively reduce memory usage and increase FPS across the game.

**We should also mention that Ravenmark’s price will go up with every major content update from here on out. So if you’re interested in the game, now would be the BEST time to snag it!**

Action RPG
[Ian MacLarty]
Casual Arcade
[Telltale Inc]
Action Puzzle Platformer
[Level Eight AB]
Monster Truck Destruction
[Pixel and Texel]
Action RPG
Action RPG
[Livio Morganti]
Casual Arcade/Base Defense
[Warner Bros.]
Casual Puzzler
$4.99 -> $0.99
Action Puzzle Platformer
$2.99 -> 0.99
[Rodeo Games]
Strategy RPG
$4.99 -> $0.99
[Rodeo Games]
Strategy RPG
$6.99 -> $0.99
[Bad Monkee]
$4.99 -> $0.99
[Bad Monkee]
$4.99 -> $0.99

Tap the Bomb – 0.99 (Parogames Limited)

Parogames first release, Parodise, a casual arcade slicer with one hell of a story, completely hooked me from the first time I played it. The amount of work that went into the story, as well as the crazy amount of content, different modes, great graphics, polish, and how insanely fun it was to play made me a fan of the developers very quickly. So when I heard about Parogames second release, Tap the Bomb, I was incredibly excited to check it out.

Tap the Bomb is set-up like Fruit Ninja, except with TtB, you’ll need to avoid the fruit, and tap the bombs. Who woulda thunk it, huh? Bombs and fruits are tossed up, down, and in from the sides of the screen, and it’s up to you to destroy all of the bombs. There are great scoring opportunities, with bonuses for critical hits (perfect hits), multi-tapping (tapping on more than one bomb at a time), and chain combos (tapping on a bomb that explodes, hitting another bomb and making it explode as well). With your points, you’re able to buy upgrades from the shop, which, in turn, will help produce higher scores. There’s also achievements that, when completed, you can cash in for more points to spend in the shop.
In the shop, you’re able to increase the amount of points that you’re given for your bonuses, like how many points you’re given on top of your original multi-tap bonus, and so on. There’s also an upgrade for how often rockets fly by on the screen. These rockets cause huge explosions, and if tapped at just the right time, can set off a huge chain combo. The last item in the shop is a health pack, this allows for a one time use health booster, giving you back one of the 3 hearts you’ll start each game with. The prices for items in the shop are not outrageous by any means, and even more surprising; there are NO IAPs. So you won’t have to worry about being nickel and dimed to death just to get on to the GameCenter leaderboards. Speaking of that, there is one GC board, which displays your highest score, along with 11 achievements, all adding to the already high replay value of this high-score based arcade tapper.
Now, with Parogames first title, Parodise, the story was a fairly important aspect of the game, however, here with Tap the Bomb, it’s not so much. There is a ‘Dumpedia’ in the main menu, which gives you the plot of the game, telling you why you’re blowing up these different bombs, background on each of the different bombs, as well as the fruit, the special rocket, and info on some characters from their game, Parodise, and what roll they play in why you’re blowing up bombs. It is a very nice addition to the game, and to the whole original Parodise story, but having a cut-scenes or something like comic strip sequiences after you have a 1,000+ point game, or after maxing out certain upgrades, would have been an awesome addition. I was hoping for more story elements in Tap the Bomb after Parodise had a story for every day that you were there slashing objects, but the lack of it shouldn’t distract from how great this game is.
Also included in Parodise were plenty of different modes that you could unlock while progressing through the game. Sadly, in Tap the Bomb, there is only one mode. This does bring the replay value down a bit, but not too much. Hopefully more gameplay content will be added in future updates. Especially with similar games having 4 or 5 different gameplay modes, it’ll be hard to compete with them, even with the inclusion of a story and ‘Dumpedia’.
The graphics and animations are top-notch, the gameplay is challenging and tons of fun, the store is a great addition, story elements are fantastic, and the scoring system is great. Add on the fact that Tap the Bomb is Universal, and only $0.99, and you’ve got a casual arcade game that’s very easy to recommend. Parogames puts a crazy amount of work and polish into their titles, it’s hard not to want to support them. They listen very carefully to every players comments and impressions, and deserve way more attention than they’ve gotten in the past. Hopefully Tap the Bomb does well in the AppStore, as I’d love to see more games from them in the future.

Space Frontier Price Drop from $3.99 down to $0.99 – 12-14 (Wednesday)

Digitalfrog’s sci-fi simulation adventure game, Space Frontier is dropping in price tomorrow from $3.99 down to $0.99! This Universal space sim is one of the best, if not the best sci-fi simulation title available in the AppStore. Top-notch graphics, animations, music, sounds, controls, and gameplay all come together perfectly to create an experience great for new comers as well as hardcore fans of the genre.

Space Frontier features;

*More than twenty unique building types

*Countless tasks and objectives to complete to keep your colonies going strong

*Thirty planets, each with their own mysteries
*Forty goal-oriented stages to put your skills to the test
*A huge variety of futuristic technology at your disposal
*Numerous quests and original challenges
*Story-line driven, cinematic soundtrack, and engaging graphics

Space Frontier is one of few titles that has received a 5 out of 5 star rating in our reviews here on The App Shack, if you’re curious to read more about what this Digitalfrog title is about, feel free to check out our review, and see if it’s something that’s up your ally. But really, for a buck, it’s gonna be one steal of a game that will most likely end up taking all of your free-time away from you.