Monthly Archive: February 2012

2D Multiplayer Crafting Game – Deepworld (Trailer)

Around Thanksgiving last year, Deepworld, a new massively-multiplayer 2D crafting game, was announced to the world.  Even though only 2 screen shots were revealed at the time, it was more than enough to pique my interest.  Now 3 months after its announcement, the first gameplay trailer has been released. Gameplay seems similar to that of Junk Jack in many respects, but the appeal of the game is completely different. The style, like the devs said is more steampunky, and it creates a sort of dark and grungy atmosphere. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the screens yet, they are posted below. Have a look at the trailer and head over to the Deepworld forums if you want to get ready for the beta. We’ll be watching for more news!

‘Tweetland Review’ – Twitter integration taken to the next level

Tweetland is a nifty app that integrates tweets from users of the popular social network into a smashing, car racing game.

The game puts you in control of a car racing past crazy traffic to try to get to the finish line.  Pretty simple, right? Wrong, as users on twitter tweet various buzz words the app translates that into game world obstacles you have to avoid. For example during one of my runs @rap_musicnews tweeted a tweet that involved the word “Meteor”. Sure enough a meteor crashed down in front of my vehicle and I was forced to swerve out of the way. With each level new buzz words are introduced making each level more and more hectic. After each level you can see the tweets that caused you so much trouble and even follow the users that tweeted them if your alright with the fact that they just made you fail the level. You get either a bronze, silver or gold medal for each level and you can rack up more points by crashing into the traffic you are trying to pass.  There are 24 levels and many promised updates supposedly coming soon. 
Controls: 3.5/5
The game utilizes one joystick in the bottom left of the screen which serves its purpose well enough. The reason it does not receive a higher score because at points it really infuriates me. I really can’t really put my finger on why I dislike it but it may be because of how floaty it is.
Content: 4/5
There are 24 levels already included along with a last level that will certainly test your reflexes. They are working on creating a iPad version as well as implementing Gamecenter into the game. Also they will be adding new buzz words along with new levels. 
Overall: 4/5
This is certainly one of the most unique games to hit the iOS platform and is fun as well. Great to play on a rainy day or on the bus. Certainly an easy buy at the low price of $1.99. 

Dreamrunner Looks Stunning

We recently caught wind of a new style of endless runner. Unlike the scores of endless runners on the App Store, Dreamrunner will feature character progression and a deep story line.  Follow Nito, a mysterious ninja-like runner, and unveil the truth behind the run.
Apparently, Dreamrunner has been in the works for a while now, and it got its start over 6 months ago in the form of Gyro Balls. From the looks of the screen shots and gameplay footage, Dreamrunner is shaping up well and shouldn’t be too far off from release.  In fact, the beta should be starting up in the next few days so go ahead and sign up for it here.  Until we get more info enjoy the screen shots and video!

‘League of Evil 2’ Review – Agent is Back in HD

Last February, in collaboration with Woblyware, Ravenous
Games ported over what came to be known as one of the best action platformers
on the App Store. This game is a perfect blend of speed-running, wall-jumping, head-smashing, and death. This game is League of Evil. Now, a year after the original’s iOS debut, Agent is back and more badass than ever.  League of Evil 2 is the sequel to die for, and I can’t stop playing it.
Gameplay 5/5
If you have never played League of Evil before, here is the low down.  League of Evil is probably the king of iOS platformer gameplay.  Super-tight controls allow you to pull off the sickest acrobatic moves that you have ever seen.  Double-jump your way across spike pits, dodge bullets, slide down walls, run though laser beams, and most important of all…punch some evil scientists in the head! League of Evil 2 combines all of these things so well that it is just too hard to find any faults in terms of gameplay.  Boss Battles also make an appearance in League of Evil 2 making the gameplay more action packed than ever.
Controls 5/5

I have always said that controls are the most important aspect of any platformer.  Fortunately, League of Evil has award winning controls to go along with its awesome gameplay.  You shouldn’t have any reason to blame League of Evil’s controls for the countless deaths that you are sure to experience.  Touch controls on iOS have come a long way since the advent of the App Store, and at the moment I am comfortable saying that the touch controls of League of Evil work better than the computer controls.  The controls are simple enough; you have left and right arrows from running along with jump and attack buttons. This control scheme proved itself in the first League of Evil, and it works just as well, if not better, in the sequel.
Content 5/5

Over 100 levels across 5 different worlds. 100 is a big number, and even though the first batch of levels won’t take you long to complete it only gets harder from there. You have multiple goals in each level: kill the scientist, beat the goal time, and collect the briefcase. It isn’t too difficult to do just one task at a time, but to get a “perfect run” you need to accomplish all of the tasks in the same run. These challenges will cause much hair loss, but they definitely keep you coming back for more.  As you progress through each of the 5 environments, you unlock a matching costume.  The new outfits for Agent not only switch up the game’s style but also allow you to customize to your liking.  Also, the addition of boss battles switches up the game play a bit, forcing you to focus on the action rather than the platforming.
Graphics 5/5

I don’t even know what to say about the graphics. The move from pixel art to ‘super-crisp 2D glory’ might have lost Ravenous Games a few fans, but I’m sure it gained them a hell of a lot more.  I am a huge pixel art fan, but I am in love with the new League of Evil art. Definitely a big standing ovation to BulletProof Outlaws for taking the time to perfect the artwork.

Overall 5/5

Surprise surprise, our very own Game of the Year from 2011 returns in HD form and it has me hooked once again.  I must say that League of Evil 2 has everything you could ask for from an iOS platformer, and it is difficult to find any faults.  If there is anything to wish for, I can only ask for more levels, more costumes, and maybe control customization (for the picky ones). Oh yeah, and did I mention that there are 2 difficulty settings available? Yes, it just gets better and better. Do yourself a favor and pick up League of Evil 2 while it is still on sale for $0.99. It’ll go up to $2.99 soon.
***Some people have run into issues with game saves. I haven’t had any yet on iPhone 4 :) Let’s hope Derek gets on it!***

‘AwesomeLand’ Review: Bringing Awesome Back

The App Store is full of awesome platformers. Sure we haven’t seen an official Mario port yet, but you can’t help but think that we are getting closer and closer to finding another classic.

Graphics 4/5

At first glance, you’ll be taken aback by the eerie similarities between the badass biker in front of you and the plumber who never fixed a pipe. In terms of artwork/composition Awesomeland is unique because it uses photorealistic graphics to create a retro, pixel-style feeling. The bright colors of the alien base brings about thoughts of hippies and rainbows, but this is only a good thing. The contrast this creates with the chracter and the story is simply hilarious and it adds a ton of personality to the game.

Controls 3/5

Controls are the cornerstone of every platformer. Awesomeland has only virutal controls, but these work well enough to quell any desire for other control schemes. The only complaint that I have is that the UI is very unappealing. Generic menu pop-ups and bland control buttons detract from the retro feel of the game. (The menu windows look like they are from the iOS Settings app). Apart from that the controls work smoothly enough. Although the jump button is a bit small, I haven’t run into any problems yet.

Gameplay 5/5

Awesomeland shines with its truly retro-style gameplay. Stomp on bad guys and bricks alike to smash them into bits. Run and jump your way through each level and reach a boss at the end of each world. If this all seems a bit Mario-like to you, you are absolutely right. As a parody of retro games of the past, Awesomeland does an amazing job of putting our favorite parts of games like Mario in humorous light. No princess to rescue here, it’s time to get your motorcycle back. The abrupt transition from deserts and islands to an acidic alien base also adds to the random humor of the game. To add a little depth, extra-life heads and power boosting drumsticks are scattered around the levels (these act like one-ups and mushrooms). All in all, gameplay makes Awesomeland awesome.

Content 3/5

Platformers are often judged by length alone, and Awesomeland is not exactly lengthy. With 30 fairly short levels spread across 5 worlds, you won’t spend long playing through the entire game but you sure will enjoy your time. We can only hope that more levels will be added in future updates.

Overall 3.5/5

Awesomeland is a great platformer for iOS. Although there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, I give the devs a big thumbs up for taking at stab at some retro-gaming humor. If you’ve been waiting for a good laugh and want to have some retro-platforming fun, grab Awesomeland for only $0.99.

‘Bean’s Quest’ Review

Bean’s Quest
In ‘Bean’s Quest’, a delightful platformer by Kumobius, you play as Emilio, who has been transformed into a Mexican Jumping Bean and his girlfriend and pets taken away by a dark wizard. The game was originally released in mid-July with just eight levels, but has since been continuously updated by the developers to now include fifty levels. The latest update added 23 new levels and finished the story. Bean’s Quest mixes around between traditional platforming elements and a truly unique and creative execution.
 iPhone Screenshot 1
Gameplay/Controls: 4.5/5
The controls are very simple in ‘Bean’s Quest’: touch the left side of the screen to move left and the right side to go right. This is combined with the fact that you are constantly jumping, so you have to time your movements accordingly. The controls work flawlessly, though for those heavily accustomed to normal platformers, the jumping mechanic will take time to get used to. The gameplay and controls work perfectly together in creating a truly unique experience. Different gameplay elements, like enemies, giant wheel-like objects, and tiny blocks help you along the way, even causing some levels to feel like a mix between physics puzzlers and platformers. ‘Bean’s Quest’ is a very fun and enjoyable game, bringing wildly new elements to a somewhat-standardized genre.

iPhone Screenshot 5

Graphics/Music: 4.5/5

 The graphics feel very fitting as well, with a nifty semi-pixelized look. It feels like the perfect blend between retro and modernized graphics. The game looks how you’d want it to by playing it: retro streaked with a cool, new-age flair to it. Different worlds have different looks, giving a nice change-of-pace between them.  The music feels as great as I could imagine, with a chiptune-like soundtrack mixed with the Spanish flair fitting of a Mexican Jumping Bean. Each world also has a separate music number. As a whole, ‘Bean’s Quest’ presents itself in a method pleasing to both the eyes and ears.

iPhone Screenshot 2

Content/Variety: 5/5
 If I were reviewing this game before any updates, the game would definitely be lacking in this category. But thanks to major updates, it’s grown in size to become a powerhouse in terms of content. Each level has three very difficult goals: collect all the gems, find your pet Axolotl, and try to do it within the par jump, bouncing as few times as possible. Each of these will take you several tries to achieve, adding a lot of replay value to the mix. Plus there are Game Center Leaderboards for each world as well as 33 achievements to collect. To complete the game alone will take awhile, but to accomplish all three goals for every level will last you a long time in terms of playing time. There’s also a lot of variety, with five definedly different worlds and an epic boss battle finale. Worlds feel a lot different too, with different enemies, obstacles, and more in each world. As far as content and variety goes, ‘Bean’s Quest’ brings you a lot of both, giving a game one could play for hours and not get bored with.
Overall: 4.5/5
 Grab your sombrero and start jumping, because this platformer is definitely one of the most creative takes on virtual controls. Hop to it and buy this wonderful gem.

Bean’s Quest (is currently on sale from $2.99 to $0.99 in celebration of its most recent, content doubling update)

Download from the App Store

Interview with Ravenous Games

Recently we got a chance to chat with Derek from Ravenous Games. Yes, this is the “team” that brought us Cave Run, and the iOS version of League of Evil. I was thrown off by the fact that Derek is running a one-man operation at Ravenous Games, and that makes his work that much more incredible. Enjoy the read!

– Tell us a bit about the Ravenous team.
 How did you guys get together?

Ravenous Games is
currently a one man indie operation. I work alongside other indie teams and
sub-contract as necessary.


Wait, so it’s just you at Ravenous Games? I thought for sure you had a team put together. So what did you do before entering the iOS scene? 

Just me :)
I’ve always moonlighted doing game development but before doing it full-time I was a web developer.

– Where did the idea for League of Evil come
from? Can you lay down the story line?

Woblyware is
responsible for creating the original League of Evil. Ravenous Games came along
and pretty much did a straight port of the Flash game and helped build some iOS
exclusive content with no real direction for the story. For League of Evil 2,
BulletProof Outlaws came up with a GREAT story line and illustrated a whole
bunch of comic book pages. The game actually feels much more rewarding knowing
there is a plot backing it.


The one-man army thing kinda fubared my question. But that is really cool. How did you team up with Woblyware to port League of Evil in the first place?


When we finished our game Cave Run and started looking for another game to port over to iOS we came across League of Evil online and contacted the authors.

– In the original League of Evil, some of the
goal times were a pretty hard to beat.  How are those times decided upon?

Woblyware and Ravenous
played tested the levels and did our best to estimate a good average level
time. For League of Evil 2, we actually averaged beta testers level times and
perform some analytics on the save game files to help determine a difficulty
curve. The results is much better progression during the chapters and more
reasonable level times.

– What made you guys decide to drop the big
pixels and go with a more HD look? Are you guys targeting the same audience in
League of Evil 2 as in the original?

We are looking to
cater to a wider audience this time around with League of Evil 2. We know we
won’t be able to please everyone but we are thrilled with the new look!
Hopefully the original fans will appreciate it as well. We know we will lose
the hardcore pixel-junkie fans for the sequel but gameplay is king and League
of Evil 2 is still has the same great gameplay (and controls) as the original.
We took extra care to make sure it plays as well as the first game but honestly
believe this game is superior in every way possible.

– Judging from the
screen shots, Bulletproof Outlaws has done an amazing job with the HD overhaul.
 How did you guys pair up for this project?

Jeff and I have worked
on projects in the past. He’s an incredible artist and did a fantastic job with
the art on League of Evil 2.

– Finally, what’s next
for Ravenous Games? Will the League of Evil series continue, or are you guys
going to move on to a new game altogether?

plan on putting a couple updates out for League of Evil 2. We also have a
couple more pixel games coming courtesy of Woblyware. As for League of Evil, we
will determine based on League of Evil 2’s success whether a third game is
something we should consider!

A million thanks to Derek at Ravenous Games for taking the time to chat with us! We hope you all enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for our review of League of Evil 2 coming in the next few days!

‘Async Corp.’ Review

Sometimes, even the greatest of games don’t gather much
attention. They can win awards, but since they aren’t Angry Birds, it goes by
unnoticed. Well, here’s a game that’s a powerhouse. With a nomination from IGF
as the Best Mobile Game, you know that Async Corp. by Powerhead Games is a game
to be checked out.

Async Corp. is a puzzle game, and it is probably one of the easiest-to-learn puzzle games I’ve
picked up. You’ve got two separate sets of 4×6 or blocks, each set containing a
range of three different colors. Your goal is to create any square or
rectangle, called “packets”, by picking one block from each side, which causes
them to swap. However, if the swap doesn’t create a packet, then the swap
doesn’t happen. You’re also able to add onto previously made packets. In order
to score points, you simply tap a packet, causing it to disappear and new
blocks to fall in. You’ll earn bonus points if you create two packets at the
same time, called a “sync”, and a grand amount of points should you fill an entire
4×6 array with one packet, called an “async.”
The simplicity of the game, yet the utter genius idea to
create two separate sets of blocks is what makes Async Corp. so great. Any
ordinary game would have one large array, but not this game. You’re looking at
two sides of the screen and working a multitasking skill, since you’ve got to
keep track of both sets of blocks. It’s a game that works splendidly, and
depending on the mode you choose, you can relax and think your way through, or
you can opt for a high-speed matching adrenaline rush.
I’ve always been a sucker for creative themes, and Async
Corp is just that. You’re presented as an employee working on a computer: you
enter the game with a log-in, you’ve got an inbox for your messages, etc. Not
only that, but the packets each have a face, and therefore they’ve got a
personality. They might whistle, or they may sneeze; these little additions add
charm to what is already a great game.
Also, the interface is extremely easy to maneuver; you may
take a second to understand the system, but once you get it, you’ve got it.
Async Corp. has a easy-to-follow tutorial and a menu system that works.

Async Corp. opts for a basic 3-color design (pink, yellow,
and blue), with more color schemes unlockable as you play. The graphics are
crisp and they work well, but there’s nothing that pops out from its simple,
but clean design.

I’ve never fallen in love with a game’s puzzle theme as much
as I did with Async Corp.’s; it’s better than Tetris’s theme. It’s upbeat and
makes you smile, and you can’t help but move along with it. With that, the
sound design itself is great also.

Async Corp. boasts four different modes: Quota, Async,
Zoning, and Freeplay. Quota is the classic game, where you score points while
attempting to keep a quota number of packets in a certain time, which becomes a healthy challenge as you enter the later levels. Async is
exactly what it means: you create asyncs, or filled an entire array with one
large packet. Zoning is more unique: your job is to fill a bar by clearing packets;
however the bar continuously goes down. There is no game over, but trying to
fill up that bar is a difficult task in itself. Finally, freeplay is a
do-whatever-you-want mode.
With all these modes with probably one of the best puzzle
experiences I’ve had, this game should last. By last, I mean, it’s never coming
off your iOS device.

Do I need to say more? Fantastic puzzler, fantastic art and
design, and fantastic replay value. Async Corp. is a masterpiece.
Gameplay: 5/5

Presentation: 5/5

Graphics: 3.5/5

Sound: 4.5/5

Replay: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

‘Ignite’ Condensing From Steam to iOS

Ignite, an arcade racing game from indie developer Nemesys Games, made its debut on Steam last October. Just days ago, Nemesys announced that they are hard at work porting the game to iOS! Judging from the looks of the screen shots that are available the game is an absolute beauty.

The Steam version of Ignite sports basic racing game features like a ton of tracks and cars, various locations, and multiple game modes, but it shakes things up a bit with a unique scoring system.  Wreckage and destruction are encourage here, along with style.
There aren’t too many details available yet, but we’ll be sure to cover them as we get them.  Trust me when I say that Nemesys is making steady headway with the porting. In less than a month, they have gotten the game into a playable state on iOS. We should have more screen shots and footage soon so stay tuned!

TAS Promo Code Giveaway!

Other than Groundhog Day, there isn’t much of an occasion, but we are holding a huge promo code giveaway anyway! So far we have several awesome games for you guys. You asked for them, now you have them. Here’s our current list of prizes:


Ice Rage – courtesy: Mountain Sheep
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land – courtesy: Red Wasp Design (Universal)
Super Crate Box – courtesy: Vlambeer (Universal)
Blot – courtesy: Majestic Software (Universal)
Puzzlejuice – courtesy: Colaboratory (Universal)

So now you’re probably wondering, “well how do I get in on this thing?”. It’s simple. Just tweet and retweet this post as many times as you can all this week and next. Let us know your Twitter name by commenting below. Also, head over to our Facebook page and like us! You never know, we might give you double entries. This contest will keep going until the codes run out, so spread the word! The more people we have participating, the more codes you get. First round of drawings will be this Friday so get your entries in.