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Home » Articles and Reviews by 'Ananth Shastri'

11 radical replays that highlight Terraria’s variety

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 7 months ago
11 radical replays that highlight Terraria’s variety

Though it’s often hailed as a two-dimensional Minecraft, it would be unjust to call Terraria a clone. Among other factors, its focus on combat differentiates this game from its voxel-based cousin. And despite the presence of a few rough edges - namely, the frequently floaty controls - Terraria’s spin on the survival sandbox genre is thoroughly enjoyable. Terraria’s generally high entertainment value can be attributed to the variety in its gameplay, a feature easily demonstrated by the following clips. And as always, whether you’re a pixel artist or a slime-slaughterer, feel free to post your own feats in the comments. The stars certainly weren’t aligned for th…

8 gorgeous goals from Tiki Taka Soccer

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 7 months ago
8 gorgeous goals from Tiki Taka Soccer

There are a whole bunch of soccer games on the App Store, but not all of them are as well-suited to touchscreen devices as Tiki Taka Soccer is. This surprisingly deep title dodges the clunkiness of a virtual joypad by incorporating a swipe-and-tap control scheme, which works pretty well. And though micro-transactions can get bothersome, recent balancing patches have done a lot to make them less necessary. Ultimately Tiki Taka Soccer’s a game of moments: curve shots, headers, and long-distance goals all feel brilliant to execute, and are just as enjoyable to watch. I’ve found ample proof of that last statement; if you're inclined to add more, do so in the comments. If that happe…

10 diabolically difficult replays from Geometry Dash

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 8 months ago
10 diabolically difficult replays from Geometry Dash

Although our fascination with tough games dates back to the origins of gaming itself, there’s been a “difficulty renaissance” of late - just look at Super Hexagon, Pivvot, and Impossible Road, all of which are painfully challenging. But Geometry Dash takes the sub-genre one step further: it includes a level editor, which - rather predictably - has spawned madness. When coupled with the inventive brutality of its players, Geometry Dash’s rhythm-based auto-scrolling really comes into its own, as demonstrated by the following runs. If you've got the chops to top these, post your own replays in the comments. The music is awesome, but you probably won’t hear much o…

7 cranium-crashing clashes from Drive Ahead!

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 8 months ago
7 cranium-crashing clashes from Drive Ahead!

Although Rocket League’s vehicular antics have re-popularized the car-sports genre, acrobatics and automobiles can't really be called an uncommon pairing. On the contrary, developers have always exulted in combining motor vehicles with completely unrealistic physics engines - a trend which is gleefully continued on iOS by Drive Ahead! Featuring gladiatorial car-combat and single-screen multiplayer, Drive Ahead! more than merits a download, and it’s entirely free to boot. Use the replays below as an impetus to pick it up; or, if you’ve already done so, just revel in the spine-snappage instead. As usual, your own videos are more than welcome in the comments. It’s alwa…

8 exhilarating escapades from Snuggle Truck

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 9 months ago
8 exhilarating escapades from Snuggle Truck

Snuggle Truck is a memorable iOS game, and not just because of its cutesy physics-based gameplay - it was actually one of the first high-profile apps to fall afoul of Apple’s review board. The reason? Snuggle Truck was once known as Smuggle Truck, and formerly involved trafficking illegal immigrants across the border. Yay, political controversy! Well, regardless of whether you’re transporting stuffed animals or, uh, live animals, one fact can’t be denied: this game is darn good fun. Here’s a few clips that’ll prove that point; and as usual, there’s space for your own exploits in the comments. Catching Fuzzies I Catching Fuzzies II Dude! My CPU just…

9 singularly scintillating solutions from Brain Dots

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 9 months ago
9 singularly scintillating solutions from Brain Dots

At first glance, Brain Dots will probably remind you of a thousand other games - you know, the ones that require you to guide a rolling object into a goal, typically with a limited supply of materials. But appearances can be misleading; and while Brain Dots shares a few elements with the aforementioned apps, it’s far more unique and complex than you’d expect. If you still need convincing, check out the videos below, as they showcase the very best of Brain Dots’ counterweight-based gameplay. And if you’ve got the urge to share, go ahead and post your own achievements in the comments. Trying is for losers. What you don’t see are the countless failures leading…

8 epic and entertaining exploits from Krashlander

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 9 months ago
8 epic and entertaining exploits from Krashlander

Krashlander's a weird one to write about - its controls are awkward and unpredictable, but the game itself is quite enjoyable to watch. In fact, while the unreliability of its mechanisms often makes playing Krashlander an exercise in frustration, said lack of control actually enhances the visual aspect. Most victories happen accidentally, and failures are just as amusing. That's why I've chosen a few of Krashlander's most unintentional triumphs - and spine-shattering disasters, of course - for this week's feature. Feel free to offer your own exploits in the comments; just don't claim you did anything on purpose, you fibber. 'Snow problem, just ski-ep trying! Physics-based gameplay? Yeah…

7 sometimes skillful runs from Crossy Road

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 9 months ago
7 sometimes skillful runs from Crossy Road

Although some would argue otherwise, it’s not as though all free-to-play titles are terrible; it’s just that the vast majority do terrible things with the monetisation that means they turn out stinking worse than a dead skunk covered in rotten eggs. Thankfully, Crossy Road does not belong to that highly malodorous category, and is blessedly devoid of paywalls, timers, or ludicrous $100 in-app purchases. It also doesn’t hurt that Crossy Road is strong in both the visual and gameplay departments, making it an entertaining choice for replay-watching - a quality which is amply demonstrated in the videos below. As always, go ahead and post your own in the comments. I’ve…

8 Utterly (Un)Realistic Runs from Dubai Drift 2

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 10 months ago
8 Utterly (Un)Realistic Runs from Dubai Drift 2

Frankly, Dubai Drift should have been called Cars on Ice from the start - the way in which its vehicles slip and slide resembles nothing so much as a figure skater going for the gold. But since realism is unnecessary when a game’s this fun, I wholly encourage forgetting about gravity, friction, and everything else that can obstruct one’s path to the perfect drift. So here’s a showcase of what the very best can do with the tools Dubai Drift provides - namely, an alternate universe in which the laws of physics do not exist. As usual, post your own exploits below, but only if they’re spectacular. In real life, pickup trucks do spinny front wheelies all the time! In…

6 iOS standouts that do touchscreen controls right

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 10 months ago
6 iOS standouts that do touchscreen controls right

While some may have a higher level of tolerance for virtual joysticks than I do, it’s hard to deny that the responsiveness and solidity of something like the 3DS’s Circle Pad make it far superior to any touchscreen facsimile. But that’s not to say that the iPhone can’t rival Nintendo’s handheld as a portable game console - by tailoring their control schemes to the strengths and weaknesses of Apple’s miniature marvel, the following titles prove otherwise. 1. Kero Blaster - Although this gem’s controls seem traditional at first, the game benefits greatly from one significant innovation: your weapons are mapped to a swipe-based slider instead of a set…

8 hilarious hijinks from Hill Climb Racing

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 2 years, 11 months ago
8 hilarious hijinks from Hill Climb Racing

As far as free iOS games go, it doesn’t get much better than Hill Climb Racing. Ever since its release way back in November of 2012, this title’s been updated fairly consistently, with frequent additions (mainly new vehicles and tracks) to spice up the gameplay. But not even near-monthly updates can keep a fundamentally bad game on its feet - the action has to be good to begin with, and HCR’s physics-based motoring delivers in spades. Of course, two and a half years of bouncing along in HCR has bestowed some players with remarkable driving skills. I’ve already posted eight of the game’s most entertaining exploits below, but feel free to offer your own runs in t…

11 Pako: Car Chase Simulator feats that defy duplication

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 3 years ago
11 Pako: Car Chase Simulator feats that defy duplication

Pako: Car Chase Simulator is the epitome of what I look for in a mobile game: colorful and clean visuals, simple controls, an uncluttered interface, and immediately satisfying gameplay. But what really differentiates this one from the rest is its key driving mechanic: the strategic use of drifting to maneuver past cars and environmental hazards alike. It’s hard to accurately explain Pako’s vehicular glory with words alone, so I’ve chosen a series of videos that showcase the title’s drift-based action. If you’ve a fancy to supplement the videos on this list, feel free to do so in the comments. Put on your paranoia hats, everyone - it’s a symbol for the ri…

12 stupefying shots from Super Stickman Golf 2 in honor of the upcoming sequel

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 3 years ago
12 stupefying shots from Super Stickman Golf 2 in honor of the upcoming sequel

Last month at GDC 2015, our friends at PocketGamer took a first look at the upcoming Super Stickman Golf 3, which is being developed by iOS stalwart Noodlecake Studios. New features include updated 2.5D graphics, wind (it’ll be a breeze to handle!), and a fully-featured level editor that’ll even let you tweak gravity. That’s a weighty addition for sure. To remind you of the strengths of the Stickman Golf series, here’s a taste of what the fantastic second installment has to offer. And remember, if you’ve hit a hole-in-one that’s second to none, post a link in the comments. Pure golfing skill. And probably also many retries. Which one is cooler, this…

7 Top Gear: Race the Stig runs that reach Jeremy Clarkson levels of insanity

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 3 years ago
7 Top Gear: Race the Stig runs that reach Jeremy Clarkson levels of insanity

Ah, good old J.C. One minute he’s waxing eloquent about motoring, and in the next he's punching producers, telling off political heavyweights, and making racially insensitive jokes. It's almost as if he tries to attract attention through controversy... Anyway, Race the Stig is a fun little endless runner in the same vein as Subway Surfers, and features a selection of iconic vehicles from the show. To give you an idea of how it plays, I’ve chosen 7 replays, and then, for a bit of spice, paired them with equally crazy things Clarkson might do some day. Enjoy! 1. Jeremy Clarkson refuses to say “bless you” after a sneeze 2. Jeremy Clarkson rants against the Welsh langu…

11 stupendous Bike Baron stunts that'll have you itching to hit the asphalt

Feature By Ananth Shastri, 3 years ago
11 stupendous Bike Baron stunts that'll have you itching to hit the asphalt

Although the premise of making some poor sap tackle physics-based challenges on a motorbike is hardly original, it's this writer's opinion that Bike Baron does it best on iOS. So let's all honor the 3 year and 5 month anniversary of this delightful game by taking a look at some of its most entertaining stunts and, of course, morbidly hilarious failures. If you've spun out more spectacularly, post your exploits down below. It’s a gourd thing he didn’t squash those pumpkins He calabashed that level so hard it... okay the gourd puns will stop Erm... I don't think children are in Baron’s future Good thing he landed that backflip... just kidding And Baron sets a ne…