Search Results for: label/Retro/index.html

Number of Results: 36

Review Rewind: Super Drill Panic

Along with Bonpeach’s wonderful arcade title, Explodables, exactly one year ago we also reviewed a great game from a little development company known as Orange Pixel. You might have heard of them. Their title, Super Drill Panic, was released as a FREE game, with ads. There was no IAP for removing ads, but soon after, Super Drill Panic was updated to a paid game, removing the ads, and giving everyone who downloaded the game for FREE, the full paid version. SDP has only received 2 updates since it’s original release, but luckily, it’s not really a game that needed any major updates, and is still one awesome score-chasing arcade game. If you have yet to pick it up, it’s, as you might imagine coming from the amazing OrangePixel Studio, definitely a must own game. 
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.0.
Super Drill Panic is the new retro arcade game from Orange Pixel, the developers of the awesome Meganoid and Time Chaos. In Super Drill Panic, you’ll make your way through 30 Levels along with two Endless Arcade Levels, while collecting coins, to upgrade items in the shop, hammers to smash through platforms, treasure chests that hold letters (spelling out DRILL once you collect all of them in a world), hourglasses that give you some breathing room, key cards that let you open doors, and glasses that make you invisible, all while trying to escape from a huge boulder trying to crush you or the jail bars from coming down on you. 
Orange Pixel caught the attention of many gamers when they released the great platform game, Meganoid. This time, they have stuck with the retro graphics, but tried something new. Super Drill Panic is free. That’s right, free. It has ads, but you can’t complain when you’re not paying anything to play this great game. And it is one great game.
Aside from the awesome retro graphics, you’re given two control options, tilting, and virtual buttons, right on the bottom right side, and left on the bottom left side. I prefer the buttons, as most tilting games get on my nerves, but here, you can make quick turns more easily, and it just plays better while using the button setup. 
Throughout the 30 levels, you’ll encounter 6 different environments, along with 2 more in the arcade modes. Each environment has different colors, and different obstacles, but the goal is always the same. Make it to the bottom of the level without loosing all your lives while collecting as much as you can.
In the shop, you’ll be able to upgrade your hammer, to smash through more platforms, your time, which pauses the boulder longer when you pick up the hourglass, your running shoes, which makes you run faster, another time, which pauses jail, burglar vision, which lets you stay undetected longer, and your key tech, which lets you open more doors.
There’s two different characters available to play with, the female is unlocked after beating the first 15 levels. Each has a different set of worlds to go through, different shops, and different arcade levels. With the male character, you try to make it through caves while stealing the treasure and avoiding the boulder, kind of like a vertical version of hook champ, minus the hook, while with the female you try to escape the building after breaking into a vault, avoiding the bars coming down on you. 
There’s plenty of challenge, as getting a high ranking at the end of each level is pretty decently hard to accomplish. The graphics are Orange Pixel Retro goodness, sounds, music, it all feels like an old-school Nintendo game, filled with action. I do, however, wish that I could get rid of the ad bar on the top of the screen, even if it was with an IAP, as I do feel this game is worth a buck or two. The arcade levels do add quite a bit to the replay value, but once you upgrade all your items, the replay value goes down quite a bit. For free though, it’s an amazing game, and highly recommended.
**Note: Super Drill Panic is now priced at $1.99

Review Rewind: ChocoRun

ChocoRun holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first games that I got into so much that I started talking to the developer, Alejandro, on a semi-regular basis. I also felt the need to tell everyone in the world about how great this Super Meat Boy-esque, tough-as-nails platformer was. Since its release it’s gone through a major graphical overhaul, and received an easy difficulty mode, as well as other tweaks and additions. It’s also been ripped off a couple of time by unscrupulous developers. I’ve also received a special Chocoplushe, hand-made by the developer, and reserved for players who managed to complete the game. Anyway, more than a year later, and ChocoRun can still be found on both my iPod and my iPad. It’s one of the toughest platformers around, has some awesome level design and is a blast to play. If you missed out on it the first time around, or just didn’t happen to hear about it until now, it’s definitely a game platformer fans do NOT want to miss out on. 
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 2.0.
Super Meat Boy is one of my favorite platformers of all time, so with the clones hitting the AppStore lately, you’d think I’d be a pretty happy camper. But not really. For the most part, there’s filled with horrible controls and floaty physics. But when I first saw ChocoRun, I couldn’t help but get excited. The original build of the game was awesome, and the one touch control to jump worked perfectly. Now, ChocoRun has been totally re-vamped in a new graphical style, has more levels, and an added Easy Mode, as well as unlockable characters. So what better time to review it then now?
This platformer from Alejandro Jimenez Vilarroya hit the AppStore about two months ago, and proved that it was the SMB clone for the iOS that everyone needed to get. Top notch level design, along with great physics, easy, but precise one touch charge and jump controls, and clean graphics helped spur an instant fan following. Over the last two months Alejandro teamed up with a new graphics designer, and the flashy new update has hit iOS devices around the world, and the graphics in the updated version of ChocoRun are awesome. There has been increased detail in the objects and platforms that were already in the game, and the backgrounds were completely enhanced to fit the new graphical style. Also, being retina supported and Universal gives us the opportunity to see all these graphical updates in HD, the way they were meant to be seen. The animations are outstanding, each and every razor blade looks amazing while it’s spinning or flying through the air right at your cute little head. Choco now spins while jumping in the air as well, which also adds to the great look and feel of the game. 
The controls work like they always did, press anywhere on the screen to charge your jump, and let go to perform the jump, hold on the screen while in the air, and let go when you touch a wall in order to wall jump, but now we’ve been given a charge meter that circles Choco while you’re pressing on the screen, letting you know how high and far he’ll go when you let go. This addition helps immensely with being able to pull off those tougher jumps and more tricky areas. The game is still just as frustrating as it ever was though. The death counter at the main menu keeps track of how many times you’ve died while playing the game. Right now, my counter is at 3,342, so you can expect to see your character explode from hitting spikes or razor blades quite a bit. But with unlimited lives, you can also expect to always want to play just one more life, and then realize that an hour has passed.
Level designs in the new update are just as great as the previous build’s levels, maybe even better, and more thought out. It’s very clear that loads of beta testing has gone on, and that each level was tweaked and edited to make them all just right. The game now has 50 great levels, which will keep you busy for weeks. Another great addition to the update is the new Easy Mode. Choco is given 3 lives to waste in each level before re-starting here, along with a cute little pink bow. If you’re having a hard time unlocking the next set of levels, Easy Mode is always there to help out. 
So, with all this said, ChocoRun is definitely one of my favorite iOS platformers, and very easily the best Super Meat Boy clone in the AppStore. With The original SMB developers saying that they wouldn’t port SMB to the iOS device because the virtual controls wouldn’t work, Alejandro Vilarroya has given us a Super Meat Boy clone, not with virtual controls, but with controls that work extremely well on a touch screen. It’s highly recommended to all platformer fans, as well as fans of very frustrating and difficult games. This one will keep you glued to your iPod screen, as well as screaming and banging your head against the wall. For $0.99, it’s a great deal. 
**ChocoRun is still priced at $0.99

Rocket Riot (Codeglue + Chillingo) – $2.99

We’ve said before that we absolutely love just about all of the ports that have found their way to the AppStore. One of them that happened to slip under our reviewing radar was released back in 2009 on XBLA. After making its way to Windows Phone 7, it was eventually ported over to the iOS late last year. Getting an 8.5 on IGN, as well as being an Editor’s Choice, and receiving an 80% on Game Rankings, I was really excited when I first saw the trailer, after hearing that it was coming to the AppStore. Rocket Riot, developed by Codeglue, a Dutch development company who had previously released titles for the Pocket PC, J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), Nokia, generic Smartphones, as well as previous iOS titles, had also had their hands in Toki Tori, the fantastic puzzle platformer, and had a good 8 years of game development under their belts at the time (now, almost 10). 
Published by Chillingo, Rocket Riot got quite a bit of attention, but still remains a sort of hidden gem of the AppStore, with it’s best position on the AppStore charts at #16, in the Neatherlands, and then fading away into the backlog of lost and forgotten iOS games about a month after it’s release. 
Not to say that Rocket Riot is a game that’s worth forgetting. It was released mid-November of 2011, basically right before the craziness of the December AppStore, when just about every game went on sale, and developers scurried to get their games released before the 2 week shut-down Apple has at the end of the year. Unless you’re a major company and have a game that’s extremely hyped up, chances are your game is going to basically tank if you release it around this time. 
Now, to the game. Rocket Riot is a sort of dual-stick shooter that’s built up like a sort of arena-type platformer (along the lines of Scorched Monster, BlibBlob, Bloo Kid, and to a lesser extent, Super Crate Box, Muffin Knight and Spellsword). You’ll control one of hundreds of available characters, which you can unlock as you progress throughout the game, as you chase after the evil pirate Blockbeard. The controls might take a little getting use to, with a sort of invisible joystick for movement on the left side of the screen, and an invisible tap-n-drag control for shooting your projectiles on the right. Firing works very well, however, being able to swipe frantically in the direction you want to shoot your missile launcher feels natural, and is a perfect fit for the game. 
There are two other control schemes available, with the joystick option, you still need to drag on the left side of the screen to move, but to fire, you can just hold down on the screen, moving the joystick to the right around to auto-fire in that direction. The last control scheme uses the iDevice’s tilt option to move, while utilizing the default swipe to shoot controls for firing your weapon. The controls do work well enough, though I would have preferred an actual static joystick for movement. 
There’s 48 story mode levels, each with their own completion objectives, usually just killing a set amount of enemies that randomly appear throughout the stage, but also thrown into the mix are levels that have you find a football, and bring it back to the uprights at the other end of the stage, given objects which you’ll need to destroy before being taken out by the level’s enemies, boss battles, and more, making for a nice variety of gameplay throughout the campaign. Also included is an Extra Levels Mode, which contains 6 especially challenging stages with either ‘kill every enemy’ or ‘destroy this object’ objectives. 
As you start blasting away at the environments, which are all completely destructible, various power-up boxes will appear randomly, before the environment starts rebuilding itself. These items can either boost up your shot, change your shot, give you extra defense, or be a total pain in the butt. Ranging from super big missiles, to shooting various sports balls and from missiles that drop straight down to a ‘bang’ flag that does absolutely no damage at all, and more, learning what boxes to pick up and which ones to avoid is extremely important, especially when trying to ‘3 Rocket’ (rockets are in place of stars for the level rankings, dependant on how long it takes you, how many shots you fire and how much of the environment you destroy) each stage. 
The graphics stand out as being a highlight of the game. 8-bit stylized pixels are put together in a 2.5D-like environment, with a modern look. It’s something I’ve yet to see done in an iOS game, or any other console game for that matter. The animations for explosions fill the screen with small pixels, making for some very hectic feeling gameplay. The music and sound effects also add to this quite a bit, giving the game a great arcade look and feel. 
GameCenter is supported, including 9 separate leader boards; Total Points, Pirate Levels, Warehouse Levels, Army Levels, Chips Levels, Mansion Levels, Lab Levels, Space Levels and Bonus Levels, along with 12 achievements, which will take even the most hardcore gamers quite a while to unlock (Shoot every type of enemy at least once, shoot 20 enemies in 60 seconds, get 50 long shots, destroy 1,000,000 blocks and more). With it’s content, polish, and the incredibly entertaining gameplay, it feels perfectly priced at $2.99. Being Universal helps out with that as well. Granted, it is a Chillingo publication, and from the long period of games that haven’t been updated since their release, it’s still a great game, with no bugs that I’ve come across, and basically endless replay value, especially if you want to try and better your times in the extra levels, or compete for better scores on the leaderboards. Rocket Riot is definitely a hidden gem that you’ll want to snag if you’re a fan of Dual-Stick Shooters, Arcade/Arena Score Chasing titles, or a fan of XBLA ports (I know you’re out there! I’m one of you…). 

Review Rewind: Mos Speedrun

One of our favorite speedrun platformers has to be Physmo’s Mos Speedrun. The graphics, controls, physics, soundtrack, music, challenge and difficulty are all, for lack of a better word, perfect. Since it’s release back in April of 2011, Mos Speedrun has received 7 updates, adding more content, more enemies, more costumes, video recording and uploading to YouTube, and more, making it a prime contender for best Speedrun Platformer on the iOS, next to League of Evil. If you’ve yet to pick up Mos, didn’t have an iDevice back when it was released, or just missed out on it, it’s one game every platformer fan needs to own. Snagging the spolight for our third Review Rewind title, Mos Speedrun is still on our devices, and will never be taken off. It’s a great game that we’ll keep coming back to time and time again when we’re looking for a great platforming challenge. 
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.5.
Running. When your pudgy like most adolescent kids these days the sound of that very word strikes fear into your little cheeseburger-loving heart.  Fortunately for you this game encaptures the fun that isn’t running and wont make you sweat at all. The gameplay is quite simple, your goal is to run to the goal in the fastest time possible while trying to be speedy around obstacles and enemies.  
Quick reflexes are the name of the game here but with time even the most pitifully uncoordinated player will be able to play like a pro.  The first level is the of course the adjustment level where you get used to the controls and the nuances of the game. After that you are basically on your own to explore and finish all of the levels. Each level is unlocked once you complete the prior level regardless of whatever you scored on it.  In each of the levels there are a variety of different paths that you can take some of which net you more or less coins that influence your endgame score.  Through a process of trial and error you begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t and how you can begin to improve your time and score.  
The reason I am really enjoying this game is due to that factor of replayability.  No matter how well I finish a level I am always intrigued enough to try it again and try to shave a few seconds off for bragging rights on the leaderboards.  At the end of each level you score badges on the various things you did. For example if you found the hidden skull in each level you get a badge, you finish inside the time limit you get a badge as well.  I usually don’t enjoy games that have a in-game timer but I’m okay with it in this orientation because speed is this games middle name and being able to see the amount of time your wasting trying to find the skull and increase your panic level.  After you die in a level (which will happen often believe me) you are sent back to the start where you can watch as a ghost of your previous attempt runs alongside or ahead of your current effort to not die. You have the option to turn off the ghost respawning and the type of control you use in the blatantly obvious option menu. 
Another nifty feature in the option menu is the fact you can change your characters look from there.  The costumes include a ninja, the atypical purple jogging suit, and a bee.  There are 5 worlds in all and to unlock the next one you need to earn a certain number of badges in the previous level. Overall this a extremely addicting game that has you shaving off the seconds in the pursuit of a better score to boast about.  With tons of replayablility and hidden objects you will always find new content in Mos Speedrun.  I give it a 5/5.

Review Rewind: Bloo Kid

Our second Review Rewind spotlights the great little retro platformer Bloo Kid. Developed by Eiswuxe, Bloo Kid started off as an Android title, but found it’s way over to the AppStore, and I, for one, and definitely glad that it did. With a great challenge and 84 levels, it’s still a game that can be found on my iPod, and that I occasionally play whenever I’ve got a couple minutes to spare. The bite-sized levels make for great jump-in-and-play-for-a-minute gameplay, but it still provides enough challenge that you can sit there and all of a sudden realize that a good hour has gone by. Old-school fans, and platformer fans looking for another under-rated gem need look no further. Bloo Kid is where it’s at. 
**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.0.
Bloo Kid is the first game for the iOS by Eiswuxe. It’s a platformer, soit’s a risky first game, but Eiswuxe has pulled it off almost flawlessly. You play as Bloo Kid, who is trying to rescue his girlfriend from the evil Wizard. You’re given 60 levels through 5 different worlds. Each level is the size of the screen, so don’t expect any side-scrolling goodness. But to avoid clutter, the developer has made it so that enemies spawn in different places of the levels, giving you waves of enemies to defeat before you complete the level. In each level, you can get 3 stars. One star for beating the level, another for collecting the star that shows up at the end of the level, and lastly, for making it through the level without taking any damage. 
With platformers, controls and physics are huge. If you can’t nail those, then your game will pretty much tank. Eiswuxe has done an amazing job here making the physics and controls work great. The controls are nice and tight, you don’t need to lift your thumb up to change directions, and the jump button is very responsive, and how high you jump is directly related to how long you hold on the jump button. The buttons are also placed very well, and are just the right size. The physics are great. The game doesn’t feel floaty or weighed down at all, which is always very nice to see. It makes the game feel like a game that’s meant to be played instead of a game that’s meant to be fiddled with, struggling with the controls the whole way through. 
World 1 stars out pretty bland, but it’s designed for you to get a real grasp on the levels and how the game works. Eiswuxe decided to make the first world available in the lite version, which might have been a mistake, because most of the interesting gameplay comes after the first world. World 2 gets more difficult, and way more interesting, as you’re faced with enemies that throw objects at you, more platforms that move and take you to other parts of the level, bouncing spikes that you need to avoid, dashing enemies, enemies that you need to jump on in order to make it to other parts of the level, and enemies that need to be jumped on more than once in order to kill them. 
From here on, there’s not too many new enemies, but you will facemore and different ones as you progress. The level design as you go along gets better and better as well, and level design in a one-screen platformer is very important. But just like the controls and physics, Eiswuxe has pulled it off almost flawlessly. There are a couple of areas that it’s impossible to jump over spikes without an enemy being there, and a couple levels where the star is placed in an area where you’d need to jump on the last enemy in order to get there before the star shows up. You are given 5 hearts in each level, but having the stages set up this way just adds to the difficulty, and if you’re really worried about getting 3 stars on each of the 60 levels, this adds to the re-playability of the game. 
At the end of each world, you’re faced by a boss, who takes 6 hits to kill. Each of the bosses has a special attack that you’ll need to figure out in order to survive the battle. Also, at the beginning of each world, you’re given a little clip of your girlfriend being taken to the next area where you’ll be playing. The animations in Bloo Kid are done very well, even when you stop running your character starts to take deep breaths. It’s got a cute factor to it, but it’s a game with difficulty for sure. Especially if you’re trying to get all the stars. Making it through some of the levels without taking damage might take you multiple tries, but each time you screw up, you’re going to end up cussing yourself, and not the controls or game. The retro graphics are fitting, as it’s a game that reminds me of older NES games with it’s frustration level, and difficulty, and that just draws me to it even more. 
For their first game in the AppStore, Eiswuxe has shown that even though they’re new, they can make a professional game with top notch controls and physics, along with wonderful level design. You can check out the lite version in the AppStore, but it only contains the first world, which isn’t a very good representation of the entire game. I almost skipped out on this one because of the lite version, and it would have been a mistake on my end. But the lite version will give you a feel for the game, and let you check out the controls, physics, and first world level design for yourself. I’m giving Bloo Kid 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to all platformer fans. It could be a 5/5 game if it had online leaderboards, achievements, and some power-ups thrown in, but it’s definitely a game that you will play all the way through, and then most likely end up going back to just to try and get most or all of the stars. For $0.99, it’s a wonderful game. 

Bitless [Nicholas Rapp] – $0.99

One of my favorite genres of video games happens to be platformers. Luckily for me, there’s loads of great titles available in the AppStore. One of my favorites has always been ChocoRun; A hard as nails, Super Meat Boy influenced game with one touch controls for jumping. Since it’s release, there hasn’t been another title even remotely similar. Until now. Bitless, developed by Nicholas Rapp, is a touch-to-jump, hard as nails, retro platformer that will drive you insane and keep you addicted at the same time. What more could you ask for in a platformer? Well, other than tight controls, awesome level design, sweet bosses, and some badass chip tune music… which, fortunately, can all be found in Bitless as well. Excited yet?
Bitless contains 50 levels spread across 4 worlds, and includes 3 bosses. Starting off, the game is simple enough. Your little character moves on his own, and to jump, you just need to tap the screen. Holding down longer results in a longer/higher jump. If you hit an edge, your character will change directions on his own. However, even with this very simple gameplay, it leaves a lot of possibilities open for some very challenging segments and levels. 
As you progress through the game, you’re gradually introduced to new gameplay elements; pits, wall jumps, wall sliding, static enemies, moving enemies, small platforms, ect. Each time you die, you’re confronted with a large eye in the lower corner spouting condescending bits at you; Splat, Death, Balls, Really?, Delicious, Ha Ha Ha, LOLZ, and more. You’re also told that each time you die, the enemies grow stronger, though this is really just a mind-game, as with each time you die, you get more frustrated, and the enemies have more power over your aggression. Each time you die, it’s added to your counter, as well as the world-wide counter, and the leaderboard. Checking out the boards will show you how many levels gamers have completed, as well as how many deaths, and believe me, some of these death numbers are insane. 
The retro graphics and animations in Bitless are fantastic. The backgrounds contain images which kind of look like platforms, but not really. They mix in very well with the actual levels, and give it a sort of 2.5D look, which is great. The animations for movement are fairly simple, but keep with the sort of minimal graphic look of the game. The music and effects are also top notch, mixing in a very well produced chip tune soundtrack, and throwing in some great sounds. 
What really stands out is the level design. It’s very clear that each level has been crafted and tested, hundreds of times, to make sure that the game doesn’t contain any missing tiles, and that the jumps are perfectly spaced apart. The segments of wall jumping mixed in with the dodging of the evil eyes, disappearing platforms sections, endless pits, eyes that chase after you, eye shooting boss eyes, and much, much more is all put together so well that it creates one hell of a challenge, and one extremely entertaining, and almost sadistic gameplay experience. 
Being Universal and priced at $0.99, Bitless is a game that EVERY platformer fan needs to pick up. GameCenter integration is not included, but will be in a future update. However, the game contains it’s own worldwide leaderboards, and pretty large list of achievements. The difficulty might be a little too high for a lot of players, but if you’re up for a challenge, Bitless will definitely provide it. It’s easily of the best platformers I’ve played on the iOS, and one of the most difficult I’ve played on any platform. I really can’t wait to see what Nicholas Rapp will bring to the table with his next releases. 

Kid Vector [Uncade] – $1.99

Back when I first got my 2nd generation iPod Touch, platformers were pretty hard to find. There really only seemed to be a couple decent ones available for the iOS at the time. Since then, the genre has grown and grown, and kept growing into the massive collection it currently is. Now, with well over 50 platformers on my iPod alone, the only hard thing to find is which game I want to play. Luckily, this week, Virginia based developer, Uncade, released his third platform game, Kid Vector. 
Like Uncade’s last platformer release, Blast Ball (now named Blast Soccer), Kid Vector uses beautiful retro graphics to enhance the gameplay. Personally, I loved the graphics in Blast Ball, but with Kid Vector, the backgrounds are all animated, adding to the look, as well as the feel of the game, and bringing an extra level of polish to the whole package. 
One (of very few) shortcoming of Kid Vector is the length. Containing only 15 levels, chances are you’ll finish the game relatively quick. However, even that can provide a decent challenge, and when  you bring into account the 3 badges that each of the 15 levels has, you’ve got yourself one hell of an old-school challenge to complete. 
Each level contains a certain amount of coins, as well as 1 hidden star. Collecting all of the coins gives you the Coin Badge, while finding the star will get you the Star Badge. Each level also has a time limit which you can try and complete the level by in order to get the Time Badge. Now, don’t get the wrong idea, just because there’s time limits does not mean that Kid Vector contains bite-sized levels. The levels are actually pretty big. Big enough to have a checkpoint, and time limits around 50 seconds. 
The level design for Kid Vector is fantastic. With the crazy amount of hazards (spikes on the ground and the ceiling, falling spikes, flame throwers, laser blasters, large caterpillars, UFO beams and much more!) placed perfectly, and moving as well as disappearing platforms, and the animated backgrounds adding to the whole layout as well as challenge, it’s one of the most well designed iOS platformers I’ve had the pleasure of playing, and I’ve played just about every single one of them. 
Priced at $1.99, being Universal, including different placement of the buttons for the larger iPad screen (though you’re unable to move the buttons), and GameCenter integration with 7 achievements, Kid Vector is a great buy, especially if you’re a fan of old-school platformers. The 3 badges for each level do add to the challenge, and the replay value, but once you complete that, there’s really nothing to come back for. GameCenter leaderboards for each of the 3 world’s total times, or including a scoring system for score-chasing would have been a huge plus. Though, with Uncade’s previous releases getting some fairly big updates, fully rounding out his previous titles, there’s a pretty good chance that Kid Vector will only be improved as time goes on. As it is now though, there’s quite a bit of gameplay to keep even hardcore platform veterans busy for hours as the challenge more than makes up for the lack of leaderboards and the shortness of the game. Uncade has definitely pushed the bar for iOS retro platformers with slick graphics, awesome music, fabulous level design, and a crazy amount of hazards. Kid Vector is one title you should not pass up. 

Hanger [A Small Game] – $1.99

One of my favorite iOS games has got to be Hook Champ. The amount of content, the gameplay, the mechanics, controls, items, everything is just fantastic. But since, there hasn’t really been a game that comes close to the type of gameplay without feeling dull, stiff, or just no fun. Sweden based A Small Game’s most recent iOS title, Hanger, has changed that all around, matching gameplay reminiscent of the Hook titles, with the feeling of Karoshi. 
Hanger is a game which has you controlling characters who are trying to use a rope to fling themselves through various environments, some seeming extremely strange, to get to the end of the stage while loosing the fewest amount of body parts they can. That’s right, legs, arms, torsos and loads of blood will go flying all over the stage while your characters are Tarzaning it through the levels. 
There are two gameplay modes in Hanger, Levels, which is kind of a Story Mode, with little clip scenes at the beginning of each world, and Endless Mode, which, you guessed it, has you flinging your character as far as you can before they’re nothing more than an arm and head, or fall to their doom. Right now, there are only two worlds and 30 levels in Level Mode, but each level has a possible 3 star rating, which depends on how many ropes you use, the number of body parts you loose, and how many gems you can collect while going through the level. The base score is 50,000, and for each rope you use, 500 points is deducted, while each body part you loose deducts 1,000 points. The gems that you collect give you 200 points each, so you can either try and make your way through the stage by using the least amount of ropes, going quick, and praying to god that you don’t smack into a wall or whatever other strange object the environment is made out of, or you can go slow, and collect all of the gems, giving you a bigger bonus score at the end of the stage, or you can do a little bit of both, it’s really up to you. 
The graphics are retro inspired, with stickman people, and very interesting backgrounds, all effecting the level’s names; for instance, in the level, ‘Party’, you’ll come across bottles of Champaign, laughing heads, fancy hands, and more, while the level titled ‘Forest’ will have you swinging from trees. Now, I’m not usually a fan of rag doll physics, but here, the physics in Hanger, are fantastic. Flinging your rag doll stick figure, always having a name, which is, by the way, a great addition to the game, through each of the levels looks and feels fantastic. A Small Game’s developers nailed the physics portion of Hanger. The controls are also spot on, with left/right arrows and a rope button, which you’ll press to detach your rope, and again to shoot your rope out. 
Right now, priced at $0.99, it’s a fantastic buy. The price will go up soon to $1.99, which is still, a great price for this game. More worlds for Level Mode are in the works, but with Endless Mode, there’s loads of gameplay, as well as replayability. Also adding to the replay value, GameCenter’s 15 achievements and 6 different leaderboards, one for each Level Mode World’s total score, as well as one for each of the 4 separate Endless Mode levels. A couple things I would love to see added is an HD build, or an update to make the iPhone version Universal, as well as an option to move the controls around to where you’d like them on the screen; especially if the game becomes Universal or HD, as on the iPad, the buttons are kind of far inward. But still, I’ve been having a blast with Hanger, and really, can not recommend it enough, especially for fans of Hook Champ, Karoshi, and score-chasing games. I can see Hanger easily becoming a classic iOS game. 
If you’re still interested, but on the fence, you can check out the Flash Version at NotDoppler.

Bug Hunt 8-Bit [Dom n’ Tom] – $0.99

Old-school retro score-chasing arcade games have quite a following, especially in the iOS world. With so many older gamers coming back to the scene, finding out that they can enjoy quick gameplay sessions on their phone, it’s not really a surprise that there’s so many of these games available in the AppStore. Dom n’ Tom’s Bug Hunt 8-Bit is a prime example. 

The main goal of the game is to eat as many bugs as you can, getting the highest score possible. With bugs going back and forth across the screen, and mixed in with bees, which kill your character, it’s simple, quick gaming. Controlling your character is easy, just place your finger on the screen, and drag left and right to move your little frog, and swipe up and down to move his tongue. Once you have plenty of bugs stuck on your frogs tongue, drag it back down so that he can eat them, and get the points. Sadly, this is the only control setup, no virtual buttons for those of you who are comfortable with them.
There are 7 levels, kind of set up like Tetris’s levels. Each progressive level will give you more bunches of bugs, at a faster speed. While you’re playing, your level will increase as you catch more bugs, but you can choose to start at a specific level if you like. The background colors change as you play, but there are no real different environments. 
Unfortunately, this is all the game has to offer. Yes, it’s simple, yes, it has great retro graphics, and yes, it has the potential to become very addictive. But with only one gameplay mode, no power-ups, only 3 different bugs, and the biggest disappointment, no online leader boards, there’s not really much there to pull you back to the game after you play it a couple of times. 

Bug Hunt 8-Bit is great for those little spaces of time when you have a minute or two to waste, and being Universal and priced at $0.99, it’s not bad if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re hoping for something that will totally draw you in, and have you coming back to compete for high-scores, it’s lacking. Released last year, and not receiving one update, it’s not looking like that will change, but hopefully more attention is given to this little game with tons of potential so that Dom n’ Tom maybe get the push they need to take advantage of it. 

Chrono & Cash [OrangePixel] – $1.99

Arena based platformers for the iOS are really hitting their stride. But, as you can very well imagine, OrangePixel, the AppStore Retro-GODS, newest game, Chrono & Cash, doesn’t just sit back on the bleachers with the rest of the so-so titles in the genre; it’s out there, playing ball as best it can with the rest of the heavy hitters, with love for the game clearly visible in it’s eyes. And I think that’s enough of the baseball  talk. 
OrangePixel’s previous releases, Meganoid, Stardash, INC, they all fantastic platforming games. Easily some of the best in the genre for the iDevice. So already, the bar is set fairly high for Chrono & Cash. If you keep in mind some of the other games within the genre; Spellsword, Muffin Knight, RodLand, Snowy, Superstar Chefs, Blast Ball… then standing out of the crowd is not done easily. But OrangePixel’s developers definitely know what it takes to create unique and original games even in genres that are swarming with titles. 
Chrono & Cash has you playing as a robber who needs to collect as many items as he can before being caught. As you collect these items, you’ll be able to achieve objectives, which ups your multiplier (up to 5X ATM, with more objectives coming in future updates), and unlock other playable characters from very well known retro inspired iOS games (Cavorite, Commander Pixman, Scorched Monster, and more). Also adding to the already fairly high challenge, after collecting an item that’s got a white outline around it, another item will light up with the same outline. If you can collect all of the items in order of how they light up, you’ll get an end of level bonus. If you can get this bonus consecutively, the bonus points double (giving you the potential to grab 4,000 extra points every 3 levels). If that’s not enough, you’re able to rotate your device and play in portrait mode, which makes each of the levels platform and item placement different, almost like playing a separate version of the game.
Like most other OrangePixel releases, the controls in Chrono & Cash are adjustable, being able to separate how close or far away the left/right buttons are, and also has Joypad and iCade support. The game’s graphics are also done in the fantastic retro style that OrangePixel has become known for, and includes a great chip tune soundtrack. With all of these features, the game feels and plays like a true retro/old-school arcade title. 
Priced at $1.99, being Universal, and having GameCenter support with 2 leaderboards (one for Arcade Mode, and one for Landscape Mode), and endless replayability, it’s a great addition to the Arena Platformer genre, and to the AppStore in general. If you’re a fan of OP’s previous games, buying this one is a no-brainer, but if you’re new to OrangePixel, Chrono & Cash a great place to start. The difficulty level isn’t as hardcore as their previous games, and the gameplay is more accessible to the casual gamer.