Nightclub City Review: Nightclub City brings the long-overdue addition of music to social gaming.

May 12, 2010

The most impressive thing about Nightclub City, at first glance, is that it is not recognizably a clone of anything. A lot of its features aren’t too uncommon for social games (with one exception), Nightclub City packages them together in an entirely new way. As the name implies, Nightclub City is a game about running a virtual nightclub that’s got the potential to become much deeper than most of its Facebook competitors. As you improve your club’s luxury and popularity levels, you’ll begin attracting more lucrative types of customers.

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MLB Power Pros Touch 2010 Review: MLB Power Pros Touch 2010

May 11, 2010

One of the longest-standing franchises in video game baseball, the popular Japanese Power Pros series has yet to really find traction in the west. Originally debuting in North America in 2007 (but much, much earlier in Japan) the games have received critical praise, but it’s done little to make them a household name. Now in its second year on the iPhone, Power Pros has acquired licensing rights for Major League Baseball, making it the first game on the iPhone that will let you step into the batter’s box of your favourite team.

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Chisel Review: We dig up a satisfying experience in our review of Chisel

May 11, 2010

Combining elements of Qix, Dig Dug and Super Mario Galaxy is no easy feat, yet that’s exactly what Nitrome’s latest game Chisel accomplishes with finesse. We take command of a drill-headed robot named Chiseller as he drills planets in half over and over again and love every minute of it.

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Skate It Review: Skate or Die DOA. We review (and don't recommend you) Skate It.

May 11, 2010

How does a mainstream title look when squished carelessly onto the iPhone? A lot like a bug under a microscope. You need to squint to make out the details, though you'll probably cringe first; you fiddle with some awkward controls; and you try to do your homework without tearing your hair out. Skate It appears to be an App Store port of the Nintendo DS and Wii version of EA's excellent Skate. But it's much less straightforward than you would think. The skateboarding title only goes to show that making an effective iPhone game takes more than slapping tilt and swipe functionality onto an existing game. This should have been rethought from the ground up.

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Iron Horse Review: Ride the rails in our review of Iron Horse

May 10, 2010

It turns out for most of my life I've been hooking up trains the wrong way. I've been spending all this time hooking them up with phrases and clauses they way they do it down in Conjunction Junction. According to Appstar Games, however, I could've skipped over all that learning mess and just tapped my finger to get the job done. If Conjunction Junction taught us to hook up trains with words, can The Iron Horse hook us up with fun?

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BugBits Review: BugBits is a gorgeous action strategy debut is far from buggy

May 10, 2010

Bugs are nasty little critters, but they can also get pretty nasty with each other when the need arises. Squabbling over resources and mounting tensions between rival hives leads to war in BugBits, a real-time strategy game revolving around the insect world and the need to gather nectar to stay alive. Sending out troops to forage for precious nectar, defending your hive from attack, rescuing captured comrades, and mounting assaults on your own on enemy hives grows into an absorbing cycle of fun.

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Chaos Rings Review: Chaos Rings

May 8, 2010

When it comes to role-playing games on the iPhone, titles tend to feature production values that mimic the era of the SNES and Sega Genesis. That said, it's not surprising that Square-Enix is pushing the genre forward to the next level, given the company's history with producing critically-praised and groundbreaking RPGs. The recently-released Chaos Rings proves that not only is the iPhone capable of delivering a modern Final Fantasy-like game experience, but it can do so beautifully.

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Puzzle Bots Review: Our Puzzle Bots review reveals an adventure game filled with clever puzzles and robotic fun.

May 7, 2010

Who wouldn't want an adorable little robot of their own? Thankfully, Dr. Hugo's Factory for Making Robots is here to help. The company makes cute little mechanical companions of all sorts, from robotic mermaids to walking flamethrowers. But something is not quite right with Dr. Hugo, so the robots take it upon themselves to find out just what's going on. In Wadjet Eye's Puzzle Bots you'll get to control a gang of five robots as they search the factory, solving puzzles and getting into trouble. The result is an incredibly charming adventure, packed with plenty of humor and some deviously clever puzzles.

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Backyard Monsters Review: Backyard Monsters may be the most polished strategy game available for Facebook.

May 7, 2010

Facebook games thrive on the simplest gameplay conceits. Most of Zynga’s oeuvre amounts to clicking tiles. Text RPGs are simple stat-raising exercises. Action games usually involve repeating a single, often silly, action. A game like Backyard Monsters seems completely anomalous in this environment, offering a blend of grand strategy and monster breeding. You can be attacked by wild monsters or, once you’ve reached a certain point, other players. You can also attack other players yourself. That’s a pretty far cry from Café World.

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Ninjatown: Trees of Doom Review: Survival gameplay grows up in our review of Ninjatown: Trees of Doom

May 6, 2010

The survival genre has provided iPhone gamers with great fun over the past few years. Whether we’re talking about early releases like Doodle Jump or Canabalt or recent successes like Superfall and Above, traversing great distances until you just can’t go any further has become a staple experience on the iPhone. But while all of these games are precious, they’re also incredibly simple. Success is dependent less on skill and more on luck. Come across the wrong obstacle or miss the right platform and its game over. But what if the survival genre could be something more? What if it could be built on challenging gameplay instead of luck and repetition?

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