All posts by Landon Ostraff

Contra: Evolution Review

If you grew up in the NES era, Contra is probably a game that’s near and dear to your heart. Personally, I put hours and hours into the shooter. I have fond memories of playing with a friend, entering the Konami code for extra lives, and then struggling our way through the game, even when we had over 90 lives on our side. Konami recently teamed up with PunchBox Studios (the team behind Pocket Climber) to bring an HD remake of the original Contra to iOS. Read More…

LIMBO Game Review

Limbo hit Xbox Live Arcade almost three years ago. I picked it up on launch day and it sucked me right in. Gorgeous artwork, a mysterious atmosphere, and brutal trial-and-error gameplay kept me engrossed until I had completed it in one sitting. Like many players, I fell in love with the game and recommended it to anybody with an Xbox 360. Limbo has since sold over 3 million copies and has been ported to many other platforms, now including iOS! Read More…

Iesabel Review – A Competent Hack n’ Slash RPG Offers Enough Depth and Diversity

When it comes to mobile gaming, hack n’ slash RPGs are nothing new, especially those of the dungeon-crawling variety. For years now, Gameloft have dominated the genre on tablets and iDevices with its Dungeon Hunter series. Its third iteration, a free-to-play arena-based RPG saw the franchise stumble before Dungeon Hunter 4 launched this year, reclaiming its former glory. Though accessible and carrying hours of content, not even the platform’s most refined dungeon crawler has reached the heights or popularity of PC substitutes such as Diablo or even Torchlight. Read More…

Eternity Warriors 3 Review – Incredibly Good

I have a hard time getting excited about games from Glu. They are notorious for being packed full of everything bad about free-to-play: ads, timers, energy bars, and lots of in-app purchases. That said, their action RPG series, Eternity Warriors, seems to be the exception to this rule. While the first two installments in the series certainly made use of in-app purchases, they were full-fledged games with great visuals and exciting gameplay. You weren’t ever limited from playing as much as you wanted and it never felt like you needed the in-app purchases to succeed. The series has just received its third annual installment — Eternity Warriors 3 — and it looks and plays better than ever before. Read More…

Fates Forever Review – Best MOBA on Mobile

Hammer & Chisel is a new development studio founded by Jason Citron, the same guy who created OpenFeint to bring achievements and leaderboards to mobile before Apple and Google ever did. Hammer & Chisel has a fascinating dedication to bringing meticulously crafted hardcore games to tablets. Their first effort is Fates Forever — a beautiful MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) built from the ground up to be a tablet exclusive. The team at Hammer & Chisel is tiny but packed full of talent and industry experience. Their dedication to their craft is obvious within moments of launching Fates Forever, which is shaping up to be something truly special, indeed. Read More…

Heroes of Dragon Age Review – When a Hardcore RPG Series Gets the Free-to-Play Treatment

Heroes of Dragon Age is a weird game. It’s loaded with fan service in the form of characters and events pulled directly from the Dragon Age games and novels. Then, you spend some time with it and discover it plays just like all the other free-to-play collectible card games on the market (given, Heroes uses 3D models instead of cards). Sure, fans of the series will eat up the lore and be thrilled to use their favorite characters — but can that possibly hold up a liberal application of super-casual, free-to-play game mechanics? Dragon Age is a hardcore RPG series, after all.  Read More…

Angry Birds Go! Review – Eggs and Bacon Kart Racing

There’s no denying that Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon. It spans seven main games (all with tons of downloads) and has had various partnerships with the likes of Google Chrome, Microsoft Bing, Star Wars, Rio (the 2011 animated film), Wonderful Pistachios, Cheetos, Coca-Cola, and many more. Heck, this is a brand that started as an iPhone game and now has its own clothing, toys, board games, candy, TV show and more. There’s even an official theme park and feature film on the way. Basically everybody and their mother know how to fling angry birds at naughty green pigs. Seriously — my mom added Angry Birds to her rotation of Backgammon and FreeCell a year or two ago and she’s three-starred just about every level she can get her hands on. Read More…

First Look: Ention Wars – Pokemon Meets Clash of Clans

Developer Den Francis has just released its App Store debut, Ention Wars. It’s a multiplayer defensive strategy game (read: Clash of Clans clone) with a pretty cool twist: there are 45 monsters (called Entions) to collect and train. Each monster has access to four unique skills and can be used offensively or defensively. Players can defend their bases or raid other player’s bases with practically limitless combinations of different Entions, which provides great strategic depth. Read More…