Search Results for: label/Multiplayer/index.html

Number of Results: 13

N.O.V.A. 3 [Gameloft] – $6.99

One of the most successful development studios to ever hit the AppStore is, without a doubt, Gameloft. With over 100 iOS titles, and a $164 MILLION revenue, it’s hard to dispute that. Whether you hate or love em, they know what they’re doing, and have created some amazing titles. One of their most well-known and loved series has to be N.O.V.A. (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance), releasing the 3rd title in the series earlier this year, this ‘Halo-Clone’ is one of the most popular games in the AppStore. The first N.O.V.A. won IGN’s Best Action Game of the Year, won Pocket Gamer’s Gold Award, and was praised by just about every review site known to the iOS gaming community. A year later, N.O.V.A. 2 – The Hero Rises Again, again won Pocket Gamer’s Gold Award, and was praised even more than the first. A year and a half after N.O.V.A. 2 hit, it was again time for Kal Warden to battle it out, this time, on Earth, in N.O.V.A. 3. 
Like the previous N.O.V.A. titles, N.O.V.A. 3 has both a single player campaign mode, as well as a multiplayer mode (both online and local wi-fi). The single player story mode contains 10 huge levels with about 6-8 hours of gameplay. Like the previous titles, the difficulty ramps up as you progress through the game at a pretty constant and manageable rate. Unfortunately, there are no separate difficulty settings like the previous 2 titles, though some might prefer this; you either can or can not beat the single player campaign, and beating it gives more a sense of completion, because you’ve gone through the exact same thing as everyone else. 
So, you might be asking yourself; ‘That’s nice and all, but is there anything in the way of rewards if I completely kick the games butt?’ Gameloft has thought of that too. N.O.V.A. 3 contains an in-game store, where you’re able to spend currency to procure some pretty unique weapons. At the end of each level, you’re rewarded with this currency depending on how well you preformed throughout the stage. This is a great addition, even though you’re also able to purchase the currency through IAPs, the reward for doing good is there. 
Now, what will really suck away most of your time is the online Multiplayer Mode. This time around, you’re able to have up to 12 players, which, for the iOS, is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, there are only 6 maps, but hopefully, like N.O.V.A. 2, more maps will be added in future updates. You are able to choose between 6 different gameplay modes; Free-For-All, Team Deathmatch, Freeze Tag, Capture The Flag, Capture The Point and InstaGib. You’re also able to set time and kill limits as well. Another aspect that makes the Multiplayer Mode great is that, for the first time, multiple players can jump into the same vehicle, allowing for loads of destruction. 
Not into Online gameplay? Not to worry. N.O.V.A. 3, carrying on with the N.O.V.A. story, has got to be the best title in the series. The graphics have had a pretty big step up from the last two, and the game plays more like an actual console game. I was very impressed on several occasions while making my way through the game, and was even reminded of F.E.A.R. 3 more than once (maybe this had to do with the slow-motion sections, I’m not sure). It’s definitely one of the very few First-Person-Shooters on the iOS that’s going to be a blast playing through a second, or even third time. The animations are also a huge step up from the last two, with fantastic explosions, smooth movement, and nice death scenes. 
Chances are, if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ve already picked this up. But on the off chance that you haven’t, you need to. N.O.V.A. 3 could very well be the best FPS available for the iDevice. Even though there are some issues, a lot of the Multiplayer problems have been fixed via the latest update (Version 1.0.1). There are pretty long loading times, though this is very understandable once you see what the game was loading, and there is some occasional slowdown during hectic gameplay, though nothing game-breaking, it’s worth noting. The online features do have some occasional lag, which results in players jumping around on screen, and some pretty nasty hit detection, but again, this is only occasional, and is not game-breaking. Like most online multiplayer games, there are issues to be worked out, as not every iDevice with every OS can be tested on, and things like how old your device is, how used it is, how much space you have, and your internet connection can all play parts in how a game runs on your device. But even with all of this being said; N.O.V.A. 3 is a blast, will only get better, and is highly recommended. Gameloft has once again provided a very well rounded FPS adventure. One that’s definitely worth experiencing. 

Super Mole Escape [Grumpyface + Adult Swim] – $0.99

Grumpyface Studios is easily one of my favorite dev teams working on iOS games today. Their previous games, Robot Unicorn Attack, Wispin and Bring Me Sandwiches! are some of the most unique and original titles within their respective genres, and are 3 games that I will NEVER delete from my iDevice. Well, last night, Grumpyface released another title, again, published by Adult Swim, who really can’t seem to do any wrong these days, called Super Mole Escape, an Endless Digger game that has you controlling a mole digging through layers and layers of the earth, trying to escape the fuzz. 
Super Mole Escape  has two separate modes; Single Player and Versus. In Single Player Mode, you’re able to choose between two different moles when you start out, a male and a female, both with different stats; The male has equal Speed, Acceleration and Strength, while the female has less Strength and boosted Acceleration. There are also 5 other moles which you’ll be able to unlock as you gain gems while playing the game. In Verses Mode, you’re able to match up either randomly, or with select friends through GameCenter to play side by side. Both modes are essentially the same; control your mole while trying to reach the furthest distance you can before being caught by the police. Once you are caught by the police, you’re given an option to bribe the judge for 1,000 gems, or take your chance and spin the wheel, where you can either earn extra gems, get a second chance, or get boosters for your next game. In Verses Mode, whoever is caught first looses. There are no second chances given in Verses Mode. 
Aside from the Versus Mode, where the game really shines is in it’s gameplay mechanics. Endless diving games are certainly nothing new within the AppStore, but Super Mole Escape happens to very gracefully out-shine all of them. As you make your way through various environments of the ground below, you’ll be able to collect gems and power-ups. The gems play two rolls in the game; One, collect them to unlock more moles, upgrade your mole’s stats and purchase one-time-use boosters in the shop. Two, to boost. Every time you collect a whole string of gems, your mole will get a speed boost. The more strings you collect, the faster your mole will go, each string giving them an even stronger boost of speed. You’re also able to plow through rocks, enemies and some hazards, which would normally severely slow you down, in the blink of an eye, opening up more power-ups, gems, and special gems to collect. Special Gems are scattered throughout the game. Big and shiny, they’re very hard to miss, but are usually placed in spots that require quick thinking, or a boost of speed in order to collect. But once you collect 3 of them, you’ll get a special Super Boost, which will throw you far ahead of the cop, or your opponent, if you’re playing in Versus Mode. 
There are multiple power-ups to collect as you make your way through the ground; Hammers, which can smash through rocks, as well as smash enemies that have a mission to slow you down, Diggers, which you can ride for a very nice speed boost, plowing through most everything in your path, Rockets, which you can shoot at your enemies, blast through walls with, or shoot at your opponent if playing Versus Mode, Shields, which allow you to take 2 hits without slowing you down, and a Magnet, which draws gems to you. These power-ups are scattered throughout the world in crates. To break them open, you simply need to dig through them. Once you do, an icon with the power-up you’ve collected will sit at either the bottom or the side of the screen (depending on your control scheme), able for use whenever you’re ready. 
Other than rocks, loads of hazards will try and slow you down as you try and escape. Mushrooms which bounce you back a bit, dinosaur skeletons which will chomp down on you, worms, Eskimos, hot lava, spikes, flash freeze devices, and more, will all try and throw a wrench in your escape plans. As you progress, and get deeper and deeper, the hazards become more abundant, and packed together, making the game more and more challenging the further you dig. The separate environments each house their own hazards, and this variety really keeps the game fresh, as you never know which environment is going to come next, or what is around the next set of rocks. 
There are two control schemes; Tilt and Touch. Tilt is pretty self-explanatory, while the Touch Controls let you drag your finger anywhere on the screen to move your mole. Both control options have sensitivity settings, which really helps out, especially when using the Touch Controls on an iPad. It’s great being able to pick your choice of controls, and set it to be as tight or loose as you like so that you can play the game to the best of your abilities. 
Priced at $0.99, being Universal, containing GameCenter leaderboards for Furthest Distance, Total Distance, and most Verses Games Won, as well as having 22 hard to unlock achievements, and 35 in-game objectives which you can do to earn extra gems. There are IAPs, but you can unlock and upgrade everything without purchasing any additional gems, but they are there if you would like to unlock everything right away, or show some extra support to the developers. Grumpyface has made an extremely solid Endless Diving game, one that definitely leaves the rest of the genre in the dust, and sets a new standard for future Endless Diving games to follow. 

Blade of Darkness [Zealm] – $1.99

With the recent release of Pocket Heroes re-igniting my love for D&D parties, and bringing back memories of playing Diablo back in the late 90’s, I’ve been on a sort of quest of my own. To find all the Diabloesque and Fantasy Card games for the iOS that I can. Low and behold, one of the first titles I came across, and just can’t get enough of; Blade of Darkness – an open-world 3D RPG/hack-n-slash game developed by Zealm (developers of Monster Fight, Zombies Runner and Angry Zombie Ninja Vs. Vegetables). 
Blade of Darkness starts out with a pretty impressive cutscene giving you a bit of backstory; seems darkness overtook the land after a meteor shower rained down from the skies. Zombies and other undead creatures started to appear everywhere, and the darkness slowly spread. This land is appropriately named ‘Shadowland’. On the edge of Shadowland lies ‘Sanctuary‘; a campsite set up where a small patch of sunlight hit’s the ground. It’s here that you’ll begin your journey. 
Actually, I guess I should say ‘it’s here where you’ll figure out what you’re supposed to be doing throughout the rest of the game.’ The tutorial is made up of 3 pop-ups. One telling you that the joystick in the lower left corner is for movement, another saying that the icon to the right is for jumping, and that to talk to people, you walk up to them and tap on them. Trust me, you won’t forget. Every time you come back to Sanctuary, you’ll need to go through the ‘tutorial’ before you get started again. From here on out, you’re on your own.
After figuring out that people in town with a “!” above their heads have a quest to send you on, you can try and figure out how to get out of Sanctuary. Turns out there’s a pathway right behind where you start from that leads out to two different warp areas, and from here, now you can start your journey. Your first task requires that you go to the East to find the wife of a wizard at camp. It seems they were separated, and he needs you to find her. Unfortunately, leaving the campsite will only take you South, through cemeteries, dungeons, and other dark lands which are full of undead creatures. Directions aren’t really accurate, and there will be quite a bit of exploring involved. 
The battle system is in real time, and is kind of reminiscent of CrimsonHeart. If you just run into a pack of enemies slinging your sword around, you’ll find yourself in trouble fairly quickly. Standing back and luring a couple of enemies towards you, and watching how they attack and block will be a valuable asset to learn early on in the game. Running around to the back of enemies helps you avoid their shields, and can give you some massive hits. Of course, not all of the enemies require this tactic. There are some that will just stand there while you walk right up to them and bash their heads in. It’s all part of the combat system dance. I guess. Once you start killing enemies, they’ll start dropping gold and other items, and you can get your loot on. Figuring out how to pick items up is another task that you’ll need to figure out on your own. I’ll help you out; Tapping on the item inside the window that pops up will put it in your equipment pack.
Don’t get me wrong. Once you figure everything in Blade of Darkness out, it’s really a fun game. But sticking with it through all of the figuring it out will be taxing, and currently priced at $0.99, there are going to be some people who just give up, and delete the game. But if you’re willing to stick it out, and not afraid to learn basically the whole UI on your own, the hack-n-slash, loot driven, Diablo reminiscent gameplay can be very rewarding. Finding those rare items, and beating the hell out of hundreds of enemies is great fun. You’re also able to play in CO-OP mode, which has the game controlling another hero along side you, Multiplayer Mode, where you can host or join another game, as well as an Arena Mode where you can battle other players online. Lets just hope that Zealm sells enough copies to be driven to keep the updates coming, because if they do, Blade of Darkness could turn into one hell of a Diabloesque title, and maybe even one of the top loot driven games on the iOS. 

Le Havre [Codito Development] – $4.99

Like Point & Click titles, Board games seem to be a complete fit the iOS device. Perfect for the touch screen UI, multiplayer capabilities and none of the setting up, putting away, or deck/piece/board maintenance. One of the most recent board games to hit the AppStore is Codito Development’s (the same company that brought Tikal, Tigris & Euphrates, Ra and Medici to the iOS) Le Havre (The Harbor). The popular board game, released in 2008, that has you controlling the development of the town, Le Havre.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing this 2009 International Gamers Award winner, you’re in for a real treat. Le Havre has you building up as much wealth as you can over the course of 18 turns by constructing buildings, owning ships, and bringing in goods through the harbor. The tutorial is very well designed, and easy to understand, giving you the full scope of the game’s mechanics your first time through. There’s also an option to keep hints on while you’re playing, just in case you need a little extra help through your first couple of games. It’s fairly complex, and includes a bit of depth, but once you get the hang of it, it actually becomes pretty simple, and you’ll probably wonder why it took you so long to figure everything out.
There are two gameplay modes available, Local, which you’re able to set up with up to 4 AI opponents as well as other players via pass n play type gameplay, and Online Multiplayer through GameCenter. You’re able to set these modes up in one of two different ways; Short Game and Long Game. In a short game, you’re given 12 rounds, each round containing 3 turns, and are given a couple of building supplies to get you started. This mode is best for newcomers to the game, while a long game includes 18 rounds, and you are not given any building materials to start out with.
Using your basic building materials; wood, clay and iron, you’ll be able to use the buildings that the town has already built in order to create them. For instance, the town has built the Construction Rirm. You can use the Construction Firm to build up to 3 buildings per turn. Once you build these buildings, you own them. The buildings that you’ll build will help you create more food (which is required every round to feed your workers/employees), more complex building materials, like bricks and iron, and more. Also, with each building you own, your wealth goes up. 
Using the dock, you’re able to collect materials and food, used to feed your workers and build. Starting a long game can take a couple of turns to get into as you collect your materials. You’ll also always need to make sure you take a turn or two to either collect food, or turn food into more processed food, which in-turn feeds more of your workers. Feeding your workers is a huge part of the game. If you can’t afford to feed your workers, you’ll be required to take a very costly loan from the bank, and that can pretty much damage your chances of winning. 
Le Havre is, by far, one of the most impressive board games I’ve had the pleasure of playing on the iOS. The graphics, user interface, and just the mechanics of it all create an incredibly immersive, and very entertaining gameplay experience. Priced at $4.99 and being Universal, if you’re a fan of board games, Le Havre is one that you need to own. GameCenter leaderboards for wins, total wealth, and more, it’s one game that will take you a while to master, but is incredibly enjoyable throughout the entire learning process, and even more-so after you finally figure out the best ways to become the wealthiest man in all of Le Havre. Codito Development just can’t seem to do any wrong. 

Spy Vs. Spy [Robots and Pencils] – $1.99

Remakes of old classics, as well as ports of old-school titles happen to be something I find very hard to resist, and in the AppStore, there’s more than just a few of these titles available. The most recent one to hit my device is Spy Vs. Spy, originally developed by First Star Software in 1984 for the Atari, Commodore 64, and Apple II computers and ported over to numerous platforms, this time around, has been remade by the fairly new Canadian development studio, Robots And Pencils. 
One thing that absolutely love about this version of Spy Vs. Spy is that it includes the original Atari version alongside the remake, and you can change to the retro version before starting any level simply by hitting ‘Retro’ on the level select screen! Now, Spy Vs. Spy is a blast to play, especially when you’ve got another player. I can still remember staying at a friends house when I was a kid, up all night playing this game. And you guessed it; this iOS version of Spy Vs. Spy includes both Local (through Bluetooth) as well as Online (through GameCenter) Multiplayer. 
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing Spy Vs. Spy, it’s an old-school arcade type title that has you playing as one of the Spy characters trying to collect 4 different items that are hidden inside of different rooms. While you’re doing this, the other Spy character is also trying to find these 4 different items. Included, of course, are various traps which you can set up in order to spoil the other players progress. These include water buckets on top of doors, hidden bombs and guns attached to strings on doors and more. 
There’s a couple of ways you can play Spy Vs. Spy. As you make your way through each collection of rooms, you can either search for the briefcase, which lets you hold all of the items at once, or, you can search through all of the rooms, looking for each item one at a time, and then figure out where to hide it until you’ve found all 4 items, either way, you do need to find the briefcase before exiting the level, but this way, you’re able to trap wherever it is that you’re hiding your items, and you don’t run the risk of running into the other Spy with all of the items on you. Once you enter the room where the other Spy is, you drop all of the items that you’re holding and they go into the nearest hiding spot. Then you either need to get out of the room as quickly as possible, or fight, and beat up, the other Spy so that you can leave with all of the items that you‘ve both collected. There’s also a third option; you can sit in the room with the exit door, and wait for the other Spy to collect each of the 4 items, and then beat them up when they enter. Doing this is risky, and isn’t recommended unless you have no other choice. There’s also an added search going on along-side the search for the 4 items; looking for stars. Each level has a possible 3 star ranking, and however many stars you find in each level is what your ranking will be. All of the stars and items can be seen on your map, which is readily accessible in a slide-out menu with all of your traps. 
All of this sounds well and good, especially if you’re playing in a multiplayer mode. It can be hours and hours of fun. However, there is one big stand out issue with this version of the game; the controls. Instead of using a typical old-school type lay-out, with a d-pad and buttons, Spy Vs. Spy has a floating d-pad, which is very hard to control, and buttons that appear at the top of the screen when you’re face to face, fighting the other Spy. In order to look behind objects, a tap anywhere on the screen does it. It is usable, but unfortunately, the movement controls still need some tightening up, and the buttons at the top of the screen for fighting are kind of awkwardly placed. Hopefully this is quickly fixed in an update, because other than this, it’s fantastic having this old-school hide-and-seek game on our phones/tablets, especially with the online multiplayer. 
Specially priced at $0.99 for launch (originally $1.99), it’s a great buy, and is definitely worth picking up, if nothing else, for the nostalgia value. GameCenter is supported, with leaderboards for each of the 24 levels as well as a board for how many total wins for multiplayer mode, and 29 achievements. The developers are listening to player feedback, and I have a lot of faith that the controls will be handled, but at the moment, it’s kind of hit or miss. Some people can get use to the controls, while others have been rage-deleting the game after getting fed up with them. For $0.99, it’s definitely worth finding out which group you fit into, and if you’re the second, at least you’ll have the game, and be ready to play it once the control issues are dealt with. 

Jewels With Buddies [Stofle Designs] – FREE

A couple of months ago, I wouldn’t have really called myself an online multiplayer fan. But with all of the great MP games being released lately, I’ve definitely been turned into one. Now, being a pretty big fan of Match-3 games, and with this new-found enjoyment of online gameplay, Stofle Designs Jewels with Buddies has wound up in my current rotation of games that I play every day. Battling it out against another player, trying to get the best combined score for 3 rounds of match-3 mayhem is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
Once you register, or connect to your Facebook profile, you’re able to start games with friends from yoru contacts list, find a random buddy, have a rematch with someone you’ve already played, search for a username, or have a pass-n-play session with a friend on the same device. 
As you play, you’ll earn coins. These are used to pick power-up animals who are able to help you out throughout your game, and also to take spins on the slots. Each animal has a different ability, and is charged up by making certain types of matches while you play. For instance, the Panda Bear eats a whole row of gems and is charged up when you make white matches, while the Elephant destroys half of the board, and is recharged by matching purple gems, and so on. 

The scoring system is definitely a plus. With each match you make, you earn points, and if there’s a coin inside one of the gems, you’ll gain coins as well. But if you keep making matches quickly, the amount of points you’ll earn will keep rising. There are also multipliers randomly found on the gems which increase as time counts down. If you tap the gems with a multiplier before making a match with them, the multiplier will be applied to that match. 
You’re given 3 rounds, each being 60 seconds long, to earn as many points as you can. After each round, your score is sent to the other player, and then you wait for them to play a round and send it back. I haven’t ever had this much fun with a match-3 MP game. Witch Wars and Matching With Friends both seemed way too unbalanced, and pushed towards IAP, and Syntax Match, while decent, is a little too difficult when it comes to quickly finding matches because of the tiles used. Don’t get me wrong, there are IAPs included in Jewels with Friends, and if you want the best animal power-ups every time you play, you’ll probably need to purchase some coins, but with the coins earned at a decent rate, and being able to choose some of the better animals every 3 or so games, even without purchasing IAPs, it’s very well balanced, and doesn’t feel like you’re constantly being pushed towards the IAPs, which is becoming more and more rare with free games. 
So, if you’re looking for an online asynchronous match 3 title, you should definitely check out Jewels with Friends. Even though there’s no extra modes, and no single player gameplay, what is there is done very well, and priced at FREE, there’s really no reason not to give it a try. It’s definitely a title that’ll wind up staying on my device for quite some time. 

Great Big War Game [Rubicon] – $2.99

One of the biggest titles in iOS Turn-Based Strategy games, ironically enough named Great Little War Game, has finally come out with the sequel, Great Big War Game, and this time, Rubicon isn’t messing around. Including 50 single player campaign missions, a whole slew of skirmish maps, Pass & Play gameplay, and probably the biggest feature; Asynchronous Online Multiplayer. Great BIG War Game, indeed. 
For those of you familiar with GLWG, Great Big War Game is basically more of the same. But those those of you who love GLWG, that is in no way a bad thing. At all. Great Big War Game picks up where the updates for GLWG left off, with more war advancing escapades from the General, Jenkins, and this time, a new female character, Candy. You’re also outfitted with more units, more vehicles, and, in general, just a whole lot more. For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to experience the great gameplay of GLWG in the past, Great Big War Game is a turn-based strategy game that has you going up against the enemy, running a muck in turn-based warfare. It’s gameplay is simple enough that newcomers to the genre can dive right in, but gets complex enough that hardcore fans of TBS gameplay will still have a challenge. And now, with Online MP, you’ll be able to have even more endless replay value, with players of all skill types. 
Now, along with the 50 Single Player Campaign stages, Skirmish Mode and Online MP Mode both have quite a few maps to play with. The game comes with 15 Maps, and has 3 more Map Packs available for purchase through IAP. Each of the Map Packs costs $1.99, and including a little something special. The War Chest Pack gives you 15 maps, and 150 Battle Points, which are points that you can earn in-game to permanently upgrade your troops for Campaign Mode, and clear the Fog of War. Map Pack 1 gives you 20 maps, and a new vehicle type, a flame shooting tank, while Map Pack 2 gives you another 20 maps, and a medic who can heal all your troops on the field. Rubicon has already stated that more maps will be added to these Map Packs, so if you purchase them now, you’ll get even more maps for free in future updates. I guess now would be a good time to mention that Rubicon’s support for Great Little War Game has been outstanding, and they have added quite a few maps to that game over the course of it’s time on the AppStore as well, so this isn’t just another empty promise from a developer who’s support has been questionable in the past, or a new-comer to the scene, who promises content, and then later on down the road says that sales we’re adequate to keep the updates coming (which is understandable, but always disappointing). 
The Online Multiplayer is handled through Rubicon’s own servers, and even though some might prefer GameCenter, this allows for cross-platform play. That’s right. You can play GBWG online on your iPad against a friend who’s playing on an Android. Soon enough, GBWG will be available for the PC, Mac, as well as the BBPlaybook, which means that there’s the potential of hundreds of thousands of players available for online play. What makes it even better, is that you don’t exactly need to know anyone in order to add friends to your list. Once you type in a name, for example, Paul, all of the gamers who have started their online name with ‘Paul’ will be listed and available to add to your friends list. So even those of you dying to play online, but who don’t know anyone, can still have a fairly good chance of finding online players. Surprisingly enough, I also haven’t run into any issues with the online play. There’s almost always bugs and issues which developers couldn’t have caught during the Beta Testing, but Rubicon has obviously put a lot of time and effort into squashing all the bugs and getting rid of all the issues they possibly could, which is basically unheard of with iOS MP titles. 
The controls in GBWG are great, and really, some of the best I’ve seen in a strategy title on the iOS. To move your units, you tap on them, and then tap on where you want to move them to, and the same goes for vehicles, while scrolling the map is done with a one finger drag, and zooming in and out is done by pinching and pulling. To see where your units can attack, you just need to hold down on the unit in question. Your typical TBS controls, I guess. But what makes them stand out is that I’ve never had an instance where my character didn’t move to a location right next to where I wanted it to, I’ve also never had a character shoot an enemy target I wasn’t targeting, and the units have never moved while selected, and while I’ve been dragging the map around. Responsive controls remove a lot of un-necessary frustration from games, and here, they’re very smooth and very responsive. 
The graphics are a bit cartoony, but the animations are great. The explosions, taking aim and firing, getting hit, running around the maps, it’s all animated beautifully, and even though it is a little cartoony, the game becomes very immersive because of how great it looks and plays. The music and sound effects are also top notch, with some typical war time music, and units calling out ‘On point!’ ‘Bag ‘em & tag ‘em!’ ‘You need me?’ and more, it’s easy to get sucked into their world of obeying orders, and doing what you can for your side in order to win. 
With Great Big War Game priced at $2.99, and being Universal, it’s a great buy. There’s loads of content with your original purchase, and even more available if you’re wanting to throw a couple more bucks down, and Rubicon is a fantastic developer who has shown awesome support for their previous games, which makes it easy to want to support them in return. The endless play offers up the possibility of GBWG never being removed from your device, and as a sequel of one of the best TBS titles in iOS gaming, that possibility is multiplied by the great gameplay. Rubicon has definitely done it again, and I can’t wait to get knee deep into the online play, and get to learn all of the maps. If you’re a fan of the genre, GBWG is definitely a game you NEED to own. Finding another Strategy game with the amount of charm and astounding gameplay on the iOS is near impossible. 

Pocket Heroes [F5 + Ayopa] – $0.99

Online Multiplayer fans should be in heaven right now, especially when it comes to Asynchronous play. Last week, the releases of Outwitters and Summoner Wars (and Left2Die for the non-async MP gameplay), and now this week, with the release of Ayopa and F5’s Pocket Heroes, an RPG title with Roguelike influenced gameplay has hit the virtual shelves, and servers are loaded!
Starting it up, I was pretty surprised to see that Pocket Heroes has no single player campaign. Not that I was expecting it, but I’ve never had the privilege of playing an Asynchronous MP only RPG title, but with the versatility of the iDevice, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of these MP-async titles popping up. 
You’re able to start a game with up to 3 other players through either your GameCenter friend’s list, or through e-mail. With 4 different classes to choose from, you’re able to put together quite a team. Once you actually start the game, your first quest is a fairly simple one, and acts more like a tutorial phase. You’ll learn how to target enemies, how to move, where you can move to, and how the upgrade system works.

 Upgrading is done automatically, your stats increase with each level you gain, but you’re able to work your way down through the skill tree, getting a skill point which you can spend on an extra ability every other level upgrade. As you take out enemies, they’ll drop loot; coins and items. You are able to pick up items which you can’t equip, and drop them around your friends, so item hunting usually benefits all players involved. After each quest, of which there are 10 in each game, you’ll meet at a tavern. Here, you’re able to purchase items from the shop with the coins you’ve collected, and get ready for your next quest. 
If you aren’t lucky enough to have any friends who own the game, and can’t strategize before-hand, there is a chat area at the top of the screen which lets you co-ordinate attacks, and let the other players know what you’re doing, or what you hope they’ll do. This is also really nice for letting other gamers know if you’ll be gone for a while, or when you’ll be back. It’s really a nice little addition. Right now, as with most MP games that hit the stores, there are quite a few issues and bugs that couldn’t have been found during the beta testing. Some issues that I’ve run into; When I first started the app, I registered my name as ‘Syntheticvoid’ and couldn’t connect to the server. Thankfully, the developers at F5 were kind enough to help me out, look through their server log, and see that I had a capital letter in my name. Turns out I needed to register with ‘syntheticvoid’ in order to connect to the servers. Right now, there’s no random match-making, which could be a real deal-breaker for quite a few gamers. Denying and deleting games is not an option, so you have the potential to wind up with loads of unfinished, or un-joined games in your game log. There’s also no randomized quests. Even though the level generation is randomized, the 10 quests that you’ll go on in each game will always be the same. 
With F5 being great right now at working with players and trying to make Pocket Heroes the best Async-MP RPG title it can be, and Ayopa being the publisher, with every single game under their belt having been updated quickly, and consistently, I have complete faith that Pocket Heroes will reach it’s true potential soon enough. Priced at $0.99, it’s easy to take the plunge, and experience gameplay that’s reminiscent of a Dungeon’s & Dragons session with friends. But if you’re hoping this is a full-fledged Action or Turn-Based RPG with hundreds of quests to do online, you’ll be pretty upset with the game. There are plenty of other titles that let you join in a world that’s pre-constructed and always alive. But if you’re looking for a close game with friends, Pocket Heroes is just the game you’re looking for, and it can only get better over time.

Bounty Racer [The Quadsphere] – $1.99

The Quadsphere has been one of my favorite development teams since I got a 2nd gen Touch. Their awesome shmup, Icarus-X has always been one of my favorites, and FMX Riders is a great Motocross Racer. But after not really hearing anything from them for a while, I was surprised when their newest release, Bounty Racer, hit the AppStore. 
For those of you who have FMX Riders, you’ll be familiar with the menu setup and UI. It’s almost exactly the same. You have the option to flip the screen, which is great considering the game starts up-side-down, but unfortunately, this still leaves everything like pop-up notifications and GameCenter pop-ups at the bottom of the screen, which means that they wind up covering the controls, and can result in accidental game exits. 
The control set-up is also exactly the same, you can choose between auto and manual acceleration, as well as tilt, stick and button control schemes, with a tilt sensitivity option thrown in for good measure. The tilt controls work very well, as does the stick, though I prefer the button set-up, especially when playing on the iPad. Drifting is done easily by pressing the brake button while you’re turning. This, along with getting air from jumps and by using the environment, fills up your nitro gauge. Once it’s filled, you’re able to press the nitro button, and boost ahead. You’re also able to stack your boosts, which is fantastic. 
There are 3 gameplay modes to choose from; Single Player, Bounties and Multiplayer. The Single Player Mode gives you 4 separate leagues which you can choose from, Rookie, Pro, Master and Elite, though Rookie is the only league which is unlocked at first, and as you progress through the game, earning stars in each race, you’ll unlock the harder leagues. In each league, there are 6 tracks with 3 different types of races in each; Race, which is your typical race against 5 other AI characters, Collect, which gives you 60 seconds to collect as many stars on the track as you can. This is the only mode which you do not need to follow the typical track layout, and do not need to cross the finish line. Your only goal is to find and collect all the stars you can in 1 minute. Elimination is the last type of race, and this is your typical elimination mode. You’ll need to race the other AI characters, and try to never be in last place when you cross the finish line, or else the race is over. Each track has 9 available stars, with 3 for each type of race. 
In Bounty Mode, you’ll be able to race against other GameCenter players, trying to get the best time you can in each league’s track. Multiplayer is handled with GameCenter, and has auto-matching as well as the option to match up through your GC friend’s list. It allows up to 4 players to race each-other, and is probably where most of your time will be spent, after playing enough of the Single Player Mode to buy one bad-ass car in each league. Each race lets you save a replay, and you can also upload these replays directly to YouTube from inside the app, which is a great feature. I actually wish more games would allow for this to be done.
Every race has the potential to give you quite a few coins, and you can use these coins to purchase more karts. However, you’re only able to purchase karts which are available for that league, but this also means that as you progress through the game, better karts with better stats will become available to you. There are IAPs available for extra coins, but the pricing for the karts is great, needing to only go through about 5 races to get the best racer available in that league, but you can also buy a better-than-your-default-kart after the first race, so long as you come in first place. So basically, the IAP coins are there to help support the developers, if you so choose to. 
There are some additions which would have made the game a bit better, being able to hold it’s head high next to the top Kart Racers in the AppStore; Having a mini-map, or progression bar in the HUD would have been a fantastic addition. There have been so many times while playing when I wanted to know where the other racers were, or how close they were to me. I know there’s nitro boosters, but also having some sort of power-up or special item system would have made the game awesome, though it probably would have made it seem a little too kart racer-ish, I guess you could say, this is a Kart Racer, and without it, the gameplay just doesn’t seem as action-packed. 
Now, even though the player UI and menus are basically recycled from FMX Riders, there are quite a few iOS developers which do this, and it doesn’t really bother me. However, if it does bother you, you might want to keep that in mind when thinking about purchasing Bounty Racer. Being Universal and priced at $1.99, it’s a fantastic deal. There’s endless replay value, a wide array of karts, some great level design, very polished graphics, though not many animations or extra effects, like dirt, snow or water flying up, it’s still a very well made Kart Racer, with some great gameplay. If you liked FMX Riders, Bounty Racer is a game you’ll enjoy just as much, if not more so. The Bounty Mode does add some pretty competitive gameplay, and being able to upload your replays directly to YouTube is awesome, but if you’re looking for another Sonic type Racer, this isn’t really going to appease you. But if you’re a fan of the genre, this is definitely a great game to have in your collection. 

‘Reckless Racing 2’ Review: Curse You Cletus!!

Polarbit and Pixelbite are back with the sequel to one of the greatest racing games of all time. Back when the first Reckless Racing burst onto the App Store, we all fell in the love with the ease and beauty of drifting around corners. Although the sequel loses some of its power sliding glory, it more than makes up for it in every other aspect.

Content 5/5

This is where Reckless Racing 2 shines. For one thing, you will never get bored of playing this game. There are 4 game modes available, including Career, Arcade, Single Event, and Multiplayer. As compete in races, you earn money to spend at the shop. Apart from the variety of game modes, the shop is outstanding. There are more cars than you could ever fit in someone’s garage, and the upgrade system goes deeper than any other racing game on the App Store. On top of that, for small cost you can switch up your style by repainting your car, tinting the windshield, and even changing your rims.

Gameplay 3/5

Gameplay in RR2 varies somewhat with each game mode, but for the most part it feels the same throughout.  The basic gist is that you race laps around these crazy courses that are full of obstacles and try to finish in first place. In Career mode, you compete in various Cups (ie. Reckless Cup, Roadrunner Cup) that consist of 3-6 events each. In total, there are 12 cups which makes for around 50 races in one career.  Races come in three types; Race, Hot Lap, and Eliminator.  Although there is nothing groundbreaking here, the different race types help to bring some replay value to the game.  In Arcade mode, you compete is various single event challenges. Single Event mode is sort of a practice mode where you can choose one of the 3 race types and try to get your best times.  The real key stone in the game is the Multiplayer mode.  The way Multiplayer works is you hop into a lobby and you choose to either host your own room or join someone else’s.  You can easily compete with your friends or with anyone in the world who is playing Reckless Racing 2.  Multiplayer is available for all of the game modes, so go wild with the competition in whatever form you like.

Controls 3/5

If you’ve played the original Reckless Racing, you are familiar with the ease at which you could power slide around corners. My favorite control scheme in the original had to be the full wheel because it gave me the most control over the car.  However, in RR2 things feel a bit different.  On the bright side, there are 5 different control schemes to choose from, ranging from on-screen buttons, to steering wheels, to plain tilt.  The way that the controls can be customized to your comfort is great, and this aspect helps you enjoy the game in its full glory.  Unfortunately, despite the custimazability, for me some of the control schemes just didn’t work as expected.  My biggest disappointment has to be that the full wheel isn’t what it used to be.  For the most part, the wheel options were just too twitchy for me and it was difficult to travel in a straight line.  Despite that fact, the on-screen button option works perfectly and I haven’t seen the need to use any other set-up.

Overall 4/5

Reckless Racing 2 is everything you could ask for in a sequel, plus some.  Despite its setbacks, it’s nearly impossible to not enjoy your time on the track.  Gorgeous visuals, easy to use controls, and tons of content make this the best racing game on the App Store.  Race your way to the top (cliche right?) of the leaderboards and build up your dream car collection. At the premium price of $4.99 I heartily recommend Reckless Racing 2.