If you’re a fan of Turn-Based Strategy titles, chances are, you’ve played a couple Final Fantasy titles in your gaming career. If you’ve become a fan of these titles over the years, or have been since the beginning, seeing Square Enix take advantage of the AppStore and iOS devices, releasing multiple FF titles for the platform is something of a miracle. If you told me that FF Tactics, or even FF 1, 2, or 3 would be available on my phone by the time I was 30, I probably would have gone into shock.
However, with the current price points, relative to other titles in the AppStore Square Enix has shown us that is has some balls. This also most likely means that if you have any of these titles, you’re either a hardcore Final Fantasy fan, a super hardcore RPG fan, or just have to have console ports on your iDevice. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that. I myself have every FF iOS title, along with other Square titles. But this time around, Final Fantasy Dimensions’ release price is going to be set at $28.99, a hefty price, even for Square, especially considering Dimensions was originally a mobile release back in 2010, which also isn’t necessarily a bad thing; look at Chaos Rings, a mobile only title. Though it does look like it was made with RPG Maker, along with sprites from FF IV, and a set-up like The After Years, which isn’t too much of a surprise considering the team that made The After Years is the same team that made Dimensions.
Things are looking up, though, the game will initially be free, allowing players to go through the prologue before deciding if they want to pay for either single chapters, with the first chapter priced at $2.99, and chapters two through 4 priced at $9.99 each. The $28.99 price tag is reserved for the full game unlock, saving you a couple bucks.
There’s also a fairly deep Job Ability System, as well as an Active Time Battle System, making it more reminiscent of console FF titles. If Square managed to pull this off just right, it could very well be worth the $30, and then some, though I don’t expect many gamers will actually bite on the full game unlock. I guess we’ll find out just how great this originally Japan-only mobile game really is once it hits the AppStore tonight.
Lonely Few’s first iOS release, Brainsss, has its fair share of issues when it was first released. We highlighted a couple of them in our review back in May; No zooming out and no specific grouping were among the biggest. However, the Lonely Few developers have been hard at work making Brainsss better since its initial release, and late last night, it hit the AppStore and we were able to check it out.
Take a look at this impressive list of new tweaks and features included in Version 1.5;
>20 Unlockable Heroes
>Unique action RTS gameplay
>2 game modes (Casual/Strategy)
>Multiple Zoom levels though simple pinch interface
>New iPad 3 retina GUI
>Left Handed support
>Top-down view mode available for the RTS players
>Group Save and Recall via the new Grouping toolbar
>Game Speed can be set to 3 settings (Slower, Normal and Faster)
>Improved and more responsive controls
>Optimized levels for dramatically faster loading
>Brainsss Bucks now appear as random drops from humans
>Extensive new help system
>20 Unlockable Comics
>Improved Zombie A.I.
>Crazy Golf Carts!!
Yup, every issue we had with the game, along with some we didn’t, have been tweaked, improved or added, greatly increasing both the playability and entertainment. Lonely Few has done a fantastic job making Brainsss one of the best Casual RTS titles available in the AppStore. If you’d like to know more, you can check out our review (though, you might want to keep in mind that it was written before Version 1.5), and check out the new Version 1.5 Trailer that was just posted up on YouTube. If you’re either a hardcore RTS fan, or just new to the genre, Brainsss is definitely a title worth checking out, and with this recent update, it looks like Lonely Few is definitely a development group worth supporting.
You zombie fanatics out there probably already know this, but Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game has just received Episode 2. That’s right, it’s not available for purchase via IAP for $4.99. Picking up 3 months after Episode 1 came to it’s gripping conclusion, we’ll now be able to see how the choices we made in Episode 1 are going to effect the rest of the game. If Telltale pulled this one off like we think they did, we’re in for one hell of a gameplay experience throughout the rest of the episodes.
For those of you who haven’t already, feel free to check out our review of Episode 1, and find out if this Point-n-Click Adventure title is up your ally. Even if you’re not a big fan of P-n-C titles, you might want to think about getting this one. It’s definitely not just your average adventure title, and Telltale Games has done an OUTSTANDING job creating an atmosphere and characters that fit with the tone and feeling of the comics by Robert Kirkman.
You can also check out the trailer below for some in-game footage to see how the gameplay works out on the touch-screen. If you’ve already got the PC/MAC version of the game, it’s exactly the same, so, no surprises there. But it’s great having this ported over to the iDevice. The touch-screen has always felt like a perfect fit for this genre of games, and The Walking Dead: The Game is a fantastic example of that. Once we finally have time to check out Episode 2, we’ll make sure and give you some more detailed impressions.
**NOTE: For those of you waiting for our Walking Dead Episode 2 Review, we were just able to finally download the Episode this morning due to some server overloading issues with Telltale. We hope you understand, and we’ll make sure and get this reviewed ASAP.
Action RPG’s can be found all over the AppStore. For a while, it seemed like they were out-releasing physics puzzlers. But now that the insane amount of releases has dropped off, seeing only a couple a month these days, a lot of gamers are back to anticipating the next release for the genre.
For those of you who missed out on this one the first time around, or didn’t have a chance to catch it on one of it’s numerous sales since it’s release, FDG’s fantastic Zelda-esque Adventure title, Across Age, has just been dropped from $5, down to $1! Across Age is easily one of my favorite Action RPG titles available for the iDevice, and one of very few that I’ve actually played through from beginning to end more than once.
All 3 versions of the game are available; Across Age, Across Age DX and Across Age HD. The original Across Age is built specifically for the iPod Touch and iPhone, while the DX build is also for the iPod Touch and iPhone, but includes ‘Pixel Perfect HD Graphics’, being the first JRPG that supported iPhone 4 Retina support. There are also more dungeons, more bosses, more gameplay, an improved battle system and HD cut-scenes. The HD build is exactly like the DX version, but is the only version built for the iPad.
The game contains about 15 hours of gameplay, a great plot, some fairly difficult puzzles and 2 characters which you can switch between while playing, which helps out while in battle, as well as when trying to figure out the game’s multiple puzzles. If you’re a fan of the genre, and don’t have Across Age yet, it’s definitely a title you NEED to pick up. If you’re not really a fan of Action RPGs, Across Age is still a title you should check out, as it’s one of the top Action RPGs available in the AppStore, and now, priced at $0.99, it’s the perfect time to check it out. If you want to know more, feel free to watch the trailers below!
Fishlab’s amazing 3D Sci-Fi Adventure title, Galaxy On Fire 2 HD, has just dropped in price from $9.99 down to $0.99! And if that weren’t enough, if you happened to own the SD version of the game before picking up the HD build, you can re-install the SD version on the same device as the HD version, and the Valkyrie Expansion Pack will be unlocked for FREE. That’s right, FREE!!! Once it’s unlocked, you can delete the SD version, and the Valkyrie Expansion will still be unlocked.
If you’ve yet to experience this amazing game, it was one of the first console quality titles to hit the AppStore. Originally released back in 2010, fans of the first Galaxy On Fire (which is still available for FREE), ate it up, and newcomers to the series couldn’t believe their eyes. After the hardware explosion for the iDevice, Fishlabs eventually released an HD build of GOF2, with enhanced retina visuals (and now, with support for the new retina iPad screen!).
GOF2 has a 10 hour campaign, spread across 20 different star systems, with loads of various planets. 100+ Space Stations, 30+ ships, story-driven, mission-based or sandbox gameplay, over 170 different items in their great trading system and loads more, just to give you an idea of how big the game is, and that’s not including the Valkyrie Expansion, which again, if you have both SD and HD builds, you can get unlocked FOR FREE!. Don’t miss out on this fantastic deal!
**Note: Due to a problem with Apple, GOF2 HD has been going back and forth between $0.99 and $9.99 all day. If you see it priced at $9.99, you can gift the game to yourself, and it will only charge you $0.99, or you can wait for about 30 minutes, and the price should drop back down to $0.99.
DotEmu’s next release, Raiden Legacy, a collection of 4 different Raiden games; Raiden, Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters II and Raiden Fighters Jet, has just received a new gameplay video, this time, shown being played with the iCade! Check it out;
Raiden Legacy should hit the AppStore this fall, and is also going to be available for the Android! We’ll keep sharing news with you as it hits the net, and, of course, will be giving you a review of the game once it’s finally released, but right now, Raiden Legacy is one of our most anticipated games at the moment, as the Raiden series is one our favorite old-school shmups here at TAS. We can’t wait to have it available for play at any time, anywhere. And judging from DotEmu’s previous shmup release, Blazing Star, Raiden Legacy should be one hell of a port.
It’s no secret that here at The App Shack, we’re HUGE OrangePixel fans. Though we enjoy some games more than others, there’s no denying that the OrangePixel developers are masters of retro platforming. So there’s no surprise that we get extremely excited whenever we hear some news about a new OP title. This time, they’re reaching back to their Run’N’Gun title, INC, for inspiration, and giving us Gunslugs, described by OP as a ‘chaotic, run’n’gun, rogue-like inspired action game’. Sounds good, no?
OrangePixel has also just uploaded another video for the game early this morning, check it out;
Granted, Gunslugs is still in it’s beta stages, but it’s already looking like one hell of a great game. Not only does it look incredible, but Gunslugs will also be the very first OrangePixel game to include procedurally generated levels, making each and every game different. Not only that, but you’re only given one life (which is where the ‘rogue-like inspiration’ comes from) to take out as many enemies as you can.
As you might have guessed, we’ll share more information as it becomes available throughout the development process, and you can expect to see Gunslugs hit the AppStore before the end of the year! We seriously can’t wait!
Omni Systems Limited first iOS title, a port of the 2009 PC title, Eufloria, is a perfect match for the iDevice’s touch screen. Unfortunately, the game was only available for the iPad. That is, until today. Omni Systems second update for Eufloria is a big one. Not only did the HD version go Universal, but for the lower end iPod and iPhone devices, an iPhone build was also released.
There were also quite a few tweaks and improvements including iCloud support Retina Display for the new iPad and more, check it out;
>Universal Build: iPhone 4+ supported
>Game session in progress saved (it nearly killed us, but we did it!)
>iPad Retina support
>View Achievements option added
>Significant speed improvements
>iPad 1 stability improved (we still recommend rebooting your iPad if you have issues)
>Super seedlings not used for planting or terraforming if regular seeds available
>Hint system improved
>Game Center Groups supported: Achievements shared between Universal and iPhone only apps
>Tree planting, terraforming and other asteroid visual improvements
>L8 and L12 difficulty reduced, other minor level tweaks
>Tree, flower and laser pod attributes updated when terraformed
>Fixed rare overlapping tree count on asteroid panel
>Fixed rare tree cap issue
>Fixed rare level won/lost detection bugs
>Rewritten and improved level scripts
>Improved in-game text display handling
>Many other fixes and optimisations
For those of you who haven’t been able to play, or just haven’t bought it yet, Eufloria is a fantastic Real-Time Strategy title with beautiful graphics, a deep Story Mode with 25 levels and two difficulty settings; Relaxed and Challenging, along with 8 Skirmish Arenas, and an incredibly awesome & challenging Dark Mater Mode. There’s also GameCenter integration with 20 achievements.
Eufloria’s control system is a perfect fit for the touch screen, has a fantastic ambient soundtrack, which you can check out below, and loads of replay value. It’s easily one of my top 3 favorite RTS titles available in the AppStore, and now, everyone with an iPod Touch or iPhone can experience this mind-blowing game!
There have been quite a few additions to the Speedrun Platformer genre in the AppStore over the last year and a half; Leage of Evil, Mos Speedrun, Commander Pixman, Meganoid, Stardash, Little Acorns and more have provided some great challenges for the more hardcore platform gamers. Well, this Wednesday, casual gamers will be invited to take part in the fun as well, with the release of BeaverTap Game’s Mikey Shorts, a casual speedrun platformer that doesn’t have insanely strict times, but still provides a challenge for the more hardcore players. I was lucky enough to help beta test this fantastic game, checking out every little nook and cranny, and believe me when I say I haven’t had this much fun with speedrun platformer since I got into Mos Speedrun. We were also lucky enough to be able to pull the duo away from their busy lives for a couple minutes and ask them a couple questions about this supremely awesome title.
Now, I don’t really know the details behind it all, but I do know that the two of you met on Touch Arcade while battling it out on OpenFeint and GameCenter for top scores in Hook Champ and Mos Speedrun. Are there other titles that brought you two together? When did you two start really talking about starting up BeaverTap Games?
We were both invited to beta test for Rocketcat Games in early 2010. While competing against each other in Super Quickhook, we started communicating via email and found that we were both interested in making an iOS game at some point. By the end of the year, we finally got around to making it a reality.
How long did it take you two to create Mikey Shorts, your first foray into the iOS development scene?
We’ve been working on the game in our spare time for over a year and a half, but we really stepped it up in the months before release.
Mikey Shorts is another great addition to the Speedrun Platformer Genre. However, having more lax times for the levels opens the game up to a more casual audiance. What made you two, being the hardcore speedrun mongers that you are, decide to drift away from the strict time limit challenge that most games within the genre have?
We love competing with other people more than just passing a level. We wanted to give every player a chance to do well in the game and show them that earning three stars on a level isn’t impossible. For the more experienced players, trying to rank high on the leaderboards should provide an extra challenge.
Are there any games that directly influenced Mikey Shorts, and are there any development teams that influence how the two of you have decided to build up and run BeaverTap Games?
We were influenced by classic console platformers, but we also looked at some of our favorite 2D platformers such as Hook Champ, Super Quickhook, Mos Speedrun, and League of Evil. We’re following the lead of a lot of developers that communicate with their players and are open to feedback.
Like other genres, there are a lot of different aspects that are incredibly important when creating a platformer; Controls, physics, level design, inertia, ect… is there any one thing that really gave you two a hard time, drove you crazy or that you guys found especially challenging while you were developing Mikey Shorts?
The controls pretty much make or break a platformer on a touch screen device. We spent a lot of time fine tuning the button placement to make sure the majority of players feel comfortable from the start. We also allow the player to customize the placement of the buttons.
It’s pretty clear that the two of you take iOS gaming very seriously. Is the iDevice your main gaming platform, or do you guys prefer playing console games?
With so many great games, we both consider iOS our gaming platform of choice.
What engine did you guys decide to use to create Mikey Shorts, and why did you decide to go this route?
We chose to use the cocos2d framework because of the community support. There are a lot of tutorials and friendly people willing to help out developers. We use the Box2D physics engine because it’s well documented and used in many cocos2d tutorials.
Now that you’ve got one game release under the belt of BeaverTap Games, what’s in store for the future? Are you guys already kicking around some more ideas for your next game, or are you going to primarily focus on expanding Mikey Shorts for the time being? Do you think there’s any chance iOS gamers will see a Mikey Shorts 2 in the future?
We’re going to focus on trying to make Mikey Shorts even better with updates. Then we’ll continue Mikey’s adventure in a sequel!
Again, we would like to thank BeaverTap Games for taking the time to answer these questions, and we can not wait to check out the final build of Mikey Shorts this Wednesday night. You know we’ll be posting up a review of the game this Thursday, so if you want to know more about Mikey Shorts, make sure you check back then for a full, in-depth review of the game. You can also check out the trailer below, as well as head on over to the BeaverTap Official Site!
DotEmu has provided iOS gamers with quite a few awesome titles; R-Type, Avenging Spirit, Another World, Earth Defense Force, Nicky Boom, and more, and of course, their two most recent releases, done with SNK Playmore – Metal Slug 3 and Blazing Star. With all of these titles ported over to the iDevice, I often find myself wondering what DotEmu is going to bring to the iOS next. Well, yesterday, I found out that I didn’t have to wonder anymore. DotEmu announced that they’re bringing one of the greatest SHMUPS ever to the iOS, Raiden. Not only are they porting Raiden, but also 3 of it’s sequels; Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters II and Raiden Fighters Jet, all in one complete package named Raiden Legacy.
Unfortunately, DotEmu didn’t give us a release date, but we do know that it’s coming THIS FALL. If you’d like to keep up on the info, you can always check back here at The App Shack, and you can also like the Official Raiden Facebook Page.
Like their most recent ports, we’re guessing that you can expect iCade, Universal and GameCenter support, as well as customizable controls, and will feature the same mind-blowing gameplay and graphics that made Raiden so famous in an extremely silky smooth 60 Frames-Per-Second. Of course, these are all just speculations, and we won’t know for sure until either closer to the release date, or after the game is released. But needless to say, we’re so psyched that more classic games are getting the superb DotEmu treatment, and we’re definitely hoping to see even more ports in the future.
You can check out some gameplay footage below from all 4 of the Raiden titles that will be included in the Legacy package.