Download Alien With A Magnet on iTunes!

This one touch puzzle platformer ramps up the difficulty and will toss you into a world fille dwith more than 45 levels along with a time trial gameplay mode. Loads of opportunities for increasing your score and shaving milliseconds off of your best times along with GameCenter support add loads of replayability to this one. Don't miss it!

Download Whril The Squirrel on iTunes!

Whirl The Squirrel has lost all of his precious THINGS to his 'nenemies. It's up to you to race through 18 wonderfully designed levels in this speed-run, racing platformer. Perfect for fans of Sonic the Hedgehog!

Download Evilot on iTunes!

An interesting Lane-Defense title from Syrenaica Development. Help Count Dolfus defend his treasure against the onslaught of knights and adventurers who are trying to steal it away from him. Only $0.99 in the AppStore!

Download Kinetic Damage on iTunes!

Easily one of the best fighting games on the iOS, Kinetic Damage presents an amount of depth that's rarely seen within the genre. Fans and newcomers alike should jump on this one ASAP!

Download Best Park In The Universe on iTunes!

Check out a brawler specifically designed for the touchscreens from Heavy Boat Games and Cartoon Network! 3 worlds, 15 levels and some intense action staring Mordecai and Rigby from CN's Regular Show! Be sure and grab this great little beat-em-up!

Download Liberation Maiden on iTunes!

From Level-5 and Grasshopper, the action packed mech shooter; Liberation Maiden is now available on the iOS! With improved graphics and controls, this is definitely one to dive in to.

Download Eve of Impact on iTunes!

One of the best Missile Defense games available, with awesome graphics, sweet gameplay, and now it's Universal! Check it out!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Glow Worm (AngryOrange) - $0.99

Action Puzzlers have really found their place on the iOS. With titles like Robo5, Gears, Dark Nebula, Edge, Squirmee, Swingworm and loads more, developers have really taken advantage of the touch screen, and accelerometer capabilities of the iDevice, and at the same time, given us extremely entertaining and challenging gameplay. Angry Orange’s Glow Worm is one of the newest additions to the Action Puzzler genre, meshing together a nice challenge with arcade type gameplay, and toping it off with great graphics and tight, simple controls.

The goal in Glow Worm is to get all of the bacteria into your molecular orb. Doing this will not be an easy task, as you’ll need to avoid all of the hazards, make it through tough situations, and make sure that your glow worm does not run out of energy. As you guide more and more bacteria into your orb, you will gain little bits of energy for your glow worm, but not enough to be making mistakes around every corner.
In most levels, you’ll have to maneuver the bacteria around rotating X Cells, and avoid touching the Red Cells, which destroy the bacteria on contact. To clear a level, you need to guide every bacteria to the molecular orb. Missing one, like having one bacteria touch a red cell, or leaving it out in the open, or running out of energy will result in a failed level, though this doesn‘t become apparent until you actually complete what you can of the level, and nothing happens. Having no leeway with how many bacteria you need to collect to move on from level to level can get pretty frustrating, but that’s where the challenge comes in. However, there is almost always a pretty thin line between all out frustrating, and challenging. In the levels where the rotating X Cells cause the bacteria on both sides of the level to move on their own towards red cells, giving you hardly any time to collect them before they’re destroyed can seem a little unfair, but if you’re quick, it’s definitely possible to complete. Thankfully, Angry Orange has done a very good job walking the line of challenging while keeping the game fair.

To collect the bacteria, you’ll need to place your finger on the glow worm, and drag where you want to move to. Once you’re in position, tapping on the worm will cause it to turn into a magnet of sorts, drawing all the bacteria that’s within range close to it. Here is where the energy of the glow worm comes into play. You only use energy when the glow worm is acting like a magnet, so you’ll need to activate it, and then quickly turn this ability off, having the bacteria use the inertia to keep moving in the desired direction. If you keep the glow worm’s magnetism activated while dragging the bacteria all the way to the orb, you’ll run out of energy very quickly.

Right now, Glow Worm is $0.99, and Universal. There is no GameCenter or OpenFeint support, and no in-game achievements. There’s also only 18 levels, and with the strict level progression guidelines, there’s no star ranking system like in most puzzlers, leaving little to no room for replay value. But the graphics are nice and crisp, the BGM is great, and fit’s the feel of the environments, while the gameplay is challenging enough to keep you busy for a while. If you’re easily frustrated by puzzlers, Glow Worm is probably a game you’ll want to stay away from, but if you’re looking for a challenge, and don’t mind low replayabilty, and no online support, it’s a game that’s worth checking out.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gravity Fleet (Coffee Powered Machine) - $0.99

Physics based puzzlers have pretty much gone overboard in the AppStore, with at least 2 or 3 being released every week, and that’s not counting the massive amount released by unknown developers. Because of this, it’s obviously pretty hard to find a title within the genre that will keep your attention beyond looking at the screen shots. Coffee Powered Machine, a two person development group based out of Argentina, took a risky chance having their first iOS release fit into the already cramped physics puzzler genre, but with Gravity Fleet, C.P.M. introduced enough fresh mechanics to keep players hooked from beginning to end.

Gravity Fleet places you in space, going up against invading aliens. You’re able to use the gravity of nearby planets, and sometimes their moons, to fire an array of different missiles at the invaders. There are 8 different worlds, each with 10 levels, and as with almost every other iOS game, a 3 star ranking for each of the 80 levels. Depending on how many missiles you use and how much health each of the planets have when you destroy the last enemy, your score will rise, and the stars are given to you based on your final score.
With each of the stars that you collect, you’re given 5 coins which you can spend in the shop. You can also earn coins by destroying more than one enemy at a time, and you are also given coins by the game when it wants you to buy something in the shop, or a power-up to use in a certain situation. There are consumables which can help you quite a bit if you’re stuck, like a “Gravity Visualizator” which shows you the path your missile will take based on the planet’s gravitational pull, shields for planets, extra missiles, and “Precise Sight”, which will show you exactly where your missile will land. These consumables are priced fairly reasonably, and you can also gain them in-game with random item drops when destroying enemies.
There are also permanent items which you can purchase; different ships, which are only cosmetic, and different assistants, all of which have a special perk like a 20% more chance to drop items, 20% larger explosions, 30% extra health for your planets, and more. As you guessed, you can also buy coins with real money through IAPs, but these are not needed to complete the game, and are there for a quick speedup through the game, to make the game easier, or better yet, to support the developers.

What makes the game stand out is the missiles that you’re given. You start off with regular missiles, and from there, move up to missiles that have larger explosions, split into smaller missiles, lasers that cut through enemies, missiles that bounce off of objects and enemies, and even missiles that implode, sucking everything around it towards the explosion. To add to the difficulty, some planets have a moon, or moons, which rotate around the planets at a decent speed, as well as having some enemies which move instead of staying stationary. As well as having planets that can be destroyed, each of the planets has different gravitational pulls effecting how your missiles will arc around them, and there’s even black holes in some levels, sucking missiles away into oblivion.

Right now, Gravity Fleet is definitely worth the $0.99 price tag if you’re a fan of physics puzzlers. Being Universal helps quite a bit too. However, there is no GameCenter or OpenFeint support at the moment, but the developers are planning on adding GameCenter support along with new ships, new assistants, achievements, and of course, new levels. Coffee Powered Machine has definitely done a great job with their first iOS release, and will definitely be put on my list of developers to keep an eye on in the future.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SZC: Beyond Dead released for iPad!

Last month Monster Robot Studios released their Metroidvania title, SZC: Beyond Dead. Since it's release, Monster Robot Studios has made quite a few major changes with the game based on player feedback, and the result is a Metroidvania title that's immersive, engaging, and fun, though slightly hampered by the long loading times for the Map and Pause menu brought on by the game's engine - GameSalad. Hopefully the loading issues will be fixed with the new version of GS, but even with the loading times, Beyond Dead is a nice action platformer worth checking out.

SZC: Beyond Dead got an HD iPad release yesterday, and now you can play the game in native resolution on the 'big screen'. The changes brought on since Version 1.0 have been included, making it easy to control, but on the iPad, the game plays in Portrait Mode, which might sound weird for a platformer, but once you start it up, and see the HUD layout, you'll see why making the game play in Portrait Mode was such a great idea.

The Map and pause menu items, like switching weapons, and viewing your mission objectives, take up the top half of the screen, while the lower half of the screen is set up like the game is on the iPhone. So the iPad version is not hampered by the long loading times to check out the map or pause menu, which is a HUGE plus. If you've got an iPad, the HD version of Beyond Dead is definitely a Metroidvania title you should check out.

'Retro Racing' Review

Retro Racing-What's in a Name? Everything.

Mysteriously, on March 23rd, Retro Racing was randomly pulled from the app store. Now, after a glitch-up on Apple's side was corrected, it's back on the app store and available for everyone again. In a nutshell, Retro Racing is, as one could assume from the name, a nostalgia-inducing racing game. Developed by Mr. Qwak, also known as the makers of All Terrain Racing and Nitro, two classic Amiga racers, it brings to the table a nice experience of retro fun, but not without a few flaws.

iPhone Screenshot 1

In Retro Racing, the controls are fairly simple: tap on the forward arrow to go forward and the sideways ones to go sideways (sometimes called turning.) If when playing this game you can't understand that, even after the tutorial, and you aren't a cat, I will personally write a letter of apology to your pride. Anyhow, the controls work alright, but they feel very cramped, mainly on iPhones or iPod Touches (on the iPad it's much better.) One nice option would be an 'auto-gas with left and right arrows on the sides' control scheme or a landscape mode, both of which might help ease the controls' weaknesses. Still, the current controls just don't seem good enough most of the time. At times they work decently, but the sensitivity sometimes can be hard to judge even then, leading to crashes in-game. Most of the time though, they work fairly well, but they don't provide the best possible execution consistently.

iPhone Screenshot 4

As the name implies, Retro Racing employs retro-styled graphics. While they're not stunning, they get the job done perfectly well. It also plays great and is very enjoyable. As you could guess, the goal is to race through each level as fast as you can and to get first place. There are leaderboards for every track, fitting the style and pace of the game. There's also a nifty two-player mode which pits you against another opponent (one-device only), which works very well and is really fun as well, even on the smaller iPhone. This is available for both iPhone and iPad after the recent update. Each race also has a variety of "power-ups" that boost your stats, plus nitro boosts as well. These make the game fun and fresher at its lower moments. While its still a stereotypical racing game in many aspects, it creates a fun-filled nostalgic game.

iPhone Screenshot 3

Level Design
The highlight of the game, though, lies in its nifty level design. In most racing games, the level's just the track and where it turns. That's not the case in 'Retro Racing'. Each level is packed with a good amount of power-ups, extra paths, and more that make each level fresh and fun. False turns, cones, walls, and other cars all stand in the way of you and the finish line. The most enjoyable part of the game is how much the level design plays a part into the game. A nitro power-up could propel you into first place. Crashing into cones could lose you a position, while turning on a false turn could destroy your shot at taking the checkered flag. The level never feels unjustly made; even the frustrating moments make me want to play more. Each level feels carefully made to be the best it can be, and in turn propels the game

iPhone Screenshot 5

The weakest point in the game, however, lies in its balancing. If you ever want to achieve a score anywhere high in the leaderboards you have to purchase an extra $.99 car pack, which unlocks the final three cars, meaning that if you care about that type of thing, you will be wanting to buy the iAP, which seems missing in tact and unfair. The game feels somewhat balanced in its 'campaign', with the basic cars (and very rewarding when you win) but would get too easy with the iAP cars since their stats are over twice as high as the best of the basic cars. Plus, all the basic cars are unlocked from the get-go, meaning there's no sense of progression there, besides levels. Often times that's simply not enough, which can lead the game down some dire straits.

Retro Racing is a nice game weakened by so-so controls and imperfect balancing. However, if you're a fan of the 'retro' or of the 'racing' then these problems are easily overcome by the sweet level design and fun gameplay, providing a very fun approach to the racing genre.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Grinsia (Kemco) - $8.99


It’s pretty rare to see a development team release high quality RPGs one after the other. Square Enix is definitely in that list, but with iOS titles, Kemco is right on their heals. Releasing Symphony of Eternity, Alphadia, Eve of the Genesis and Fantasy Chronicle all within the last year, Kemco has made their mark on the Turn Based RPG scene, and now we can add Grinsia to that list of top notch titles that they’re building up.

This time around, you’ll start off playing as a 3 member family; Grieg, father, Milka, daughter, and the son, which you’re able to name at the beginning of the game. For those of you who have played Kemco’s other releases, Grinsia might not be as depthy as you might like. The characters HP and MP goes up with each leveling up, which is done with experience gained through battles. You are able to equip your characters with one weapon, one piece of armor, and two accessories. The accessories are all varied from pieces that bring up your defense or attack, to items that can raise the critical hit rate by 10%, or raise a characters speed, luck, or protect against certain magical spells.
Compared to Kemco’s previous releases, Grinsia does not require much, if any at all, grinding, which is a big plus. The game is driven by the story, and, without any side quests, everything that you wind up doing directly effects the progression of the plot. However, in order to progress throughout the game, you will need to do a lot of exploration, and go through a lot of conversation with townsfolk. It’s almost never directly apparent who you’re going to need to talk to, so you will spend quite a bit of time getting to know people in every place that you visit.

There’s also a day and night system for the game. Some sections will be impossible to pass unless it’s nighttime in the game, while others require the sun to be out. You are also given choices with your character, depending on how you’d like to play, being the ‘good’ guy, or the ‘bad’ guy, each having it’s own strengths and weaknesses, effecting what items you get, and how you make it through certain parts of the game. This sometimes can change the outcome of things, like if a certain character joins your party, but no ‘wrong’ answer will ever get you stuck. This definitely adds a great layer of immersion with the gameplay.
As for combat, like other T-B-RPGs, there is an ‘auto’ button, which makes your characters automatically attack the enemies, without using spells, or items. But this time around, if you decide to use the auto button more than a couple times in a row, you’ll end up killing off your characters pretty quickly. The combat isn’t really challenging compared to some other RPGs, but you will need to pay attention, and mix things up in order to make your way from point A to point B.
To make things a little easier while traveling, each town and ‘dungeon’ area has their own portal. Once activated, you can teleport yourself from one place to another in a flash. This makes moving from place to place, and even across continents a breeze. Another big plus for this mechanic is that you really don’t need to grind through battles, so you can’t really use the teleportation too much, as there’s always enough battles to keep your levels high enough to make it through the game.

Like all of Kemco’s other releases, Grinsia’s story, translation, and music are all top notch. The story is very well written, while the translation to English is almost perfect, having only minor mistakes here and there. The music is in the same league as old-school Final Fantasy games, adding to the feeling and immersion that the story and characters build up by themselves.
Graphically, Grinsia isn’t really different from Kemco’s previous efforts, with the retro inspired graphics being very polished, and the character models during dialogue looking great. Grinsia has loads of different environments, including port town, inland towns, castles, dungeons, caves, forests, underground hideaways, temples, and more, giving the game quite a bit of variety with it’s environments.
After the release of Fantasy Chronicle, I didn’t think Kemco would ever be able to out-do themselves. However, Grinsia, while not as depthy with the equip or combat systems, is probably the most polished, and well rounded RPG that they’ve ported over to the English AppStore. Right now, it’s on sale for $4.99, and will soon go up to it’s regular price of a well deserved $8.99. Though there’s really nothing negative that can be said about the game as a whole, it is worth pointing out that I, as well as some other players have experienced lag, and frame rate issues, as well as crashes. Kemco has said that they are working on this as fast as they can, so hopefully we’ll get a fix for whatever is causing this as soon as possible. However, out of everyone I’ve talked to, and out of all of the reviews in the US AppStore, combined, only about 10% of players have experienced problems like these, so there’s a very good chance that most of you have nothing to worry about. Now, like all of Kemco’s past RPG releases, Grinsia is ending up as a highly recommended game, and is being put on my personal ‘Best Games of 2012’ list. If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s definitely a game that you should have on your device.

::After posting this review, a user in the US AppStore posted a fix for the lag and framerate issues. If you enable OpenFeint while playing, you shouldn't experience any lag at all. Apparently, if you're not signed into OF, the game keeps trying to access your OF data, which is what is causing the lag and slowdown. I've checked this on both a 4th Generation iPod Touch, and an iPad 2, both having no slowdown issues at all with OpenFeint enabled.::


Friday, March 23, 2012

Orange Pixel's Stardash Gets It's Final 10 Flipped Levels

Orange Pixel's retro GameBoy styled game, Stardash, has just received it's last and final update (barring any unforeseen issues that may arise with future iOS versions), bringing the last 10 Flip Mode levels to World 5.

Orange Pixel has, over time, become an App Shack favorite when it comes to retro platforming titles, each of which receiving stellar scores in our reviews. If you're a fan of the genre, their releases; Meganoid, INC, and of course, Stardash, are must have games (not to mention their arcade faller, Super Drill Panic, and the retro side-scrolling SHMUP, Neoteria - both also very highly recommended).

Along with the last 10 levels of Stardash, you can also check out the Original Soundtrack (OST), arranged by Ken "Coda" Snyder, on the Orange Pixel Bandcamp site, or play the tracks below using the Bandcamp player.

These final 10 levels are a great ending to the game, and as it's finalized, most of you might feel a little upset knowing that no more content will be added to the game. But Orange Pixel has said on the Touch Arcade Forums that they are now starting work on Super Stardash! So hopefully we'll be able to have the sequel on our devices by the end of the year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flick Rocket (Binary Square)

Binary Square

Retro arcade games have always remained fairly popular with old-school gamers throughout the years. But since the AppStore launched, it seems like they’re making a pretty big come-back. Most likely it’s because of the cheap prices iOS games have, but it’s also because there’s a lot of 20 and 30 year olds who are getting back into gaming because they can now fit in time to play games by having a phone/portable device that’s able to always be with them. Binary Square is definitely a development group that’s taking advantage of this, and giving iOS gamers high quality old-school-like arcade games. Flick Rocket fits right into that category.

The goal in Flick Rocket is to protect your city from the onslaught of aliens by flicking your rockets up at their ships and projectiles. Once they blow up all of the buildings in the city you’re defending, it’s game over. Sounds simple enough, eh? And it is, really just that simple, and it’s in this simplicity that the game shines. It‘s addictive old-school arcade gameplay that’s easy to understand, and takes a while to really master. Knowing where and when exactly to send your rockets will take practice, but once you finally get it, it just clicks, and feels great.
There’s also some great power-ups which really help out once you get to know what does what. There’s a shield which protects your buildings, a time-stopper, which freezes everything on the screen, extra buildings, and rockets that bounce off the edges of the screen. Along with this, some enemy ships also drop letters. If you collect them all, spelling out EXTRA, you’ll be able to play through a bonus stage.
Now, all of this is great, and fits right in with the old-school type of arcade gameplay. But the simplicity could also turn some people off. You do swipe, and a lot, over and over again, and with gamers being flooded with fully immersive deepthy games, there are some people who are sure to get bored with it fairly quickly.

There’s two modes in Flick Rocket, Arcade and Campaign. Right now, there’s only 3 different cities that you can try and defend, with 7 more ‘in development’. In Campaign Mode, you’re able to pick which city you’d like to defend, and play through wave after wave until all 10 buildings are destroyed. Each city has it’s own type of enemy. With Tokyo, you’re put up against Space Invaders type enemies, with line after line needing to be destroyed. Paris has you go up against a centipede type enemy, which breaks in half, and turns into more enemies every time you hit it with a rocket, and LA has you destroying asteroids before they hit your buildings, with each asteroid breaking into smaller asteroids. In Arcade Mode you’ll go from town to town, destroying all the enemies you can, and keeping as many buildings protected as you can, until all your buildings are gone, feeling pretty much like a survival mode.

It’s supported by GameCenter, having leaderboards for all 3 Campaign cities, and another for Arcade Mode, but there are no achievements. If you’re looking for something with lots of depth, or are sick of games that have a bunch of ‘coming soon’ levels, or just plain don’t like old-school arcade gameplay, you’d be better off skipping this one. But with Flick Rockets being Universal, priced at $0.99, having a pretty nice scoring system with great power-ups, offering a lot of challenge, and replay value with GC leaderboards, it’s a fantastic retro title that’ll give you the same feelings you use to have while going down to the arcade or bowling ally back in the 80’s or early 90’s, wasting time away quarter after quarter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On The Wind Looks Beautiful

Have you ever wanted to be the wind? In a few weeks you'll get your chance with Dont Step On The Cracks' 'On The Wind'. From what we know, On The Wind will be a sort of survival runner where your goal is to try to keep a group of leaves drifting in the air. The game will be sporting some awesome, crisp and stylish artwork with calm 'windy' music to go with it. Apart from the fantastic visual appeal, the gameplay in On The Wind will be driven by the struggle to "survive" through each season. Leaves will be plentiful in the spring, but in the winter it will be difficult to get by. In terms of controls, it will be a simple, one-touch and drag to direct the wind.
On The Wind is looking really good so far. Randomly generated worlds should keep the game fresh each time you play, and GameCenter integration means loads of achievements and competitive leaderboards. Be looking for On The Wind in the next few weeks. Until then, check out the complete feature list along with the trailer and a handful of screenshots on Don't Step On The Cracks' official website.

On The Wind Features:
- Full retina graphics for the new iPad
- Simple and intuitive ‘one touch’ controls
- Relaxing play with the soothing sound of the wind, or challenge yourself to beat your friends
- Beautiful world that’s generated as you play so it’s different every time
- Game Center enabled with lots of tricky achievements, and leader boards to challenge your friends
- Universal app, buy once and play on your iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Interview With Rodeo Games

It's been quiet here at the App Shack, but that is the sign of a long and arduous week. Thankfully there has been a break in the onslaught, and we are back with an exciting interview with Rodeo Games (the brains behind the Hunters series). With Hunters 2 releasing this week, hopefully this article gets you excited for the game if you aren't already. Watch for our review soon.
Initials stand for Ben Murch, Adam Clixby and Richard Brooks.

- Tell us a bit about the Rodeo Games team.  How did the four of you get together?
BM: We were all friends before Rodeo formed. Laurent was my next door neighbour when I first moved to Guildford. Adam, Rich and I all worked together at Codemasters. Then two things happened. Firstly, the App Store appeared, which empowered people like us to make and publish the games we wanted. Secondly, Laurent and I got stranded in Vegas for an extra week when the whole volcano ash cloud thing happened. In between all the gambling and drinking, we outlined what to do and hit the ground running with Adam and Rich when we got back!

- We all know that the migration into outer space is coming sooner or later. Is the story line of Hunters really what you guys envision of the distant future?
BM: I really hope not! The Hunters universe is pretty bleak. A sort of morally bankrupt place where killing people is seen as a means to get paid! Private corporations running things though, that seems more believable. You can already see the current world going that way a little now, and you can imagine someone like Branson landing on Mars and claiming it in the name of Virgin.

- In Hunters Episode 1, one of the hunters was named "Atticus". Have you guys read "To Kill A Mockingbird"? Is that where the name came from?
BM: Haha, good spot! It was originally in there for a joke, because that Hunter had 100% accuracy when we were testing the game. Then we just got attached to the name. It seems to fit for some reason.

- The artwork in Hunters Episode 1 is absolutely gorgeous, but it seems limited by the top-down camera angle. What made you guys decide to avoid a more up close and personal view?
RB: From a technical point of view, using a top-down camera allows us to do a lot to make the game look as good as it does.  It means we can keep the fidelity of the graphics really high.
BM: Yes, our choice of viewing angle is mostly based on the nature of the game. Top down is the most effective for turn based strategy. The whole up close and personal view could be cool for kill-cams, but the amount of work we’d have to do to get it in the game wouldn’t be worth the payoff!

- How are you guys expanding on the original Hunters in Episode 2? Will we see a return of the contract system?
AC: Absolutely.  The daily contract system is something we really liked about the first game - and something we got a lot of positive feedback about.  By getting a new set of contracts each day, you really want to keep coming back - it keeps the game feeling fresh.
Something else we’ve included in Hunters 2 after a lot of requests is a ‘hardcore’ mode in which your hunters are permanently removed from the game if they are killed on a mission.  It makes for some very tense (and cowardly) play!
BM: We’ve also totally revamped the talents system. It’s now more dynamic and personalised than before. Each hunter has access to general talents and two specialist trees. Figuring out which combinations work for your style of play is really cool.

- What do you guys have planned for after Hunters 2? Will there be a third installment?
BM: We do have something really really awesome lined up, but we can’t talk about it just yet.

We give all of our thanks to Rodeo Games for taking the time to chat with us. Best of luck to them in all of their future pursuits.

I'm excited for Hunters 2, if for some reason you still aren't excited go ahead and pick up the free to play Hunters Episode 1 and get up to speed. It's going to be a big week for releases and Hunters 2 isn't a title that you will want to miss. Oh, and check out the awesome teaser trailer below.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Night Releases - Chaos Rings II, MotoHeroz and more!

There's a great variety of games coming out tonight including some from prized developers Square Enix and Ubisoft. As you probably know all of these games will be coming out around 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in the U.S. or much earlier depending on if you live in the eastern hemisphere such as New Zealand where the games are first available. Links included in the article lead to the app in the NZ market not the U.S. one.

Pretty decent roundup tonight eh? Leave a comment down below on which ones you would like to see us review for you. Happy Pi Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Last year, a new-comer to the iOS gaming world, Pavel Tsarev gave gamers one of the best Asteroid-Crawler-Dual-Stick-Action-Adventure games to ever grace the iDevice. I was lucky enough to help out with spreading the word early on, but sadly, the game did not get noticed by too many people. Even with a freebie give-away late last year, iDaTank is still pretty unknown in the iOS gaming world.

And now you are lucky enough to be able to snag this amazing hidden gem of a game for free. If you're interested in knowing more about the game, you can check out The App Shack's iDaTank Review (it also happens to be the very first game I ever reviewed for TAS, woohoo!), and watch the trailer below. Hopefully iDaTank will grab you like it grabbed me, and make you want to tell everyone you know about the game.

Thursday, March 8, 2012



Last year, we were fortunate enough to be able to review a fantastic tap-arcade game, Explodables. It was the first release from iOS new-comer, Mark Peach. Even though it's one of the best tap based arcade games available in the AppStore, it didn't get much attention. Sadly, like so many great games, it was pushed down under a slew of sales and high-profile games. But since it's release, Mr. Peach has given the game quite a bit of attention with updates, fixes and additions, sticking with it, even though sales were pretty much non-existent. It's hard to not respect that kind of commitment these days with quite a few developers either abandoning, removing so that they can re-release as a freemium game, throwing ads into their paid game, or just pulling a game all together if sales aren't where they want them to be.

Well, now, with Mark awaiting the birth of his son, who was due to see this miraculous world on the 29th of February, he has decided to make Explodables FREE, either until the most recent update goes live in the AppStore, or his son is born, whichever happens first.

So make sure you don't miss this opportunity to snag one of the few games to get a perfect 5 out of 5 stars here on The App Shack. It's definitely a game that's worth checking out. Maybe let your friends know, and help out a developer with an amazing game, both deserving of loads of support from the iOS community.

SZC: Beyond Dead - Update + Promo Codes!


Last month, Monster Robot Studios released their Metroid inspired action platformer, SZC: Beyond Dead. It got mixed reviews, but one of the biggest issues gamers seemed to have with the game was the controls.
Since then, MRS has done some major re-working, and this morning, Version 1.0.1 of Beyond Dead hit the AppStore. And it makes a huge difference in the gameplay.

Here's what's included in the 1.0.1 Update;

Duel Joysticks - You can now aim in all directions, enabling you to run one way while shooting in another.

1 Hit Kill Shots for Level 1 Zombies. This lets you clear out groups of enemies fairly quickly, instead of needing to run away from them while pumping round after round into the group.

The camera moves more smoothly, improved loading times, and other small fixes have also been added. Not to mention, the awesome new icon!

With this update, players can now make their way through the First Episode of Beyond Dead without getting too frustrated. The loading times for the Map and Pause Menu are still kind of long, and in a game like this, it's essential that bringing up the map is quick and easy. Hopefully when GameSalad updates its engine in the next couple months, it will fix these loading times significantly. But at least you can make it through the game without struggling with the controls.

It's very clear that Monster Robot Studios is committed to making Beyond Dead the most enjoyable experience they can, listening to player's feedback, and optimizing the game as much as possible given their tools. Granted, it will probably never be seen as the essential Metroid like game for the iOS, but it's definitely one that's worth getting if you're a fan of the Metroidvania genre.
As long as we're on the subject of getting the game - Monster Robot Studios has been kind enough to give us 5 Promo Codes for Beyond Dead.


There's also a contest going on in the Touch Arcade Forums, if you weren't lucky enough to snag one of the 5 codes listed, where you can try and come up with a name for one of the bosses in Beyond Dead and win a Promo Code for the game. If you get one, you can also write up a review for the game in iTunes, and have a chance to win a $10 iTunes Gift Card! Check it out here -

**All pictures taken from the Monster Robot Studio's website**