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Home » Latest Features

Hidden Gem of the Week: Super Arc Light

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 days ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Super Arc Light

Super Arc Light's premise couldn't be more simple: there's a base in the center of the screen, there's a single turret guarding the entrance's perimeter, and there's an endless wave of geometric enemies approaching. It's a formula as old as Space Invaders, presented here in a slick minimalist style, colorful rounds contrasting against the stark black-and-white battleground. There are no extra modes to unlock, no alternate difficulties, nothing to upgrade. Super Arc Light is pure distilled shmup action. Your turret automatically travels around the base's circular entrance; holding down slows time and fires, while letting go reverses the direction of your rotation. Once you get a feel for t…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of July 9th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 week ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of July 9th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour does a hands-on preview of the new puzzler The Eyes of Ara. A port of a 2016 PC game, Eyes of Ara is reminiscent of The Room 3, presenting you with a mysterious mansion to explore and solve tactile puzzles.  Over on Pocket Gamer, Kieran Robertson previews the upcoming Holedown, the next arcade game from the creator of Twofold Inc and Rymdkapsel. A new variant of the brick-breaker, Holedown challenges you to ricochet balls off numbered tetromino pieces, each bounce subtracted from the piece's number.&…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of July 2nd

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of July 2nd

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews Rally Legends, a challenging rally racer that puts your time trial skills to the test. Every second counts as you drift around corners and manage your handling over off-road courses. Over on Pocket Gamer, Emily Snowden provides details on the latest update for platformer Storm In A Teacup. This whimiscal platformer has been re-mastered with a new visual style and improved controls, while mainaining the charming adventure that charmed players back in 2011. Finally on 148Apps, Harry Slater lists some of…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Hexa Turn

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 weeks, 2 days ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Hexa Turn

Hexa Turn is a minimalist logic puzzler, placing your barrier-construction abiltiies againsit a predictable AI and tricky level configurations. As a concept, Hexa Turn is quite simple: a triangle relentlessly travels the hexagon grid turn-by-turn, taking the shortest possible route towards squares on the grid. It's your job to prevent that by filling in hexagons to create barriers, blocking off the triangle's path and redirecting its approach, until you've trapped it with no viable moves forward. That's easier said than done when once Hexa Turn starts adding multiple squares to protect and larger grids for the triangle to move across. Even without the mechanics that come later, Hexa Turn…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 25th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 25th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the latest Bloons game, the long-running tower defense series. Bloons TD6 is described as your traditional TD-style game that, despite its colorful assortment of animal defenders and bright environments, doesn't do much to evolve or twist the family genre in interesting ways.  Over on Pocket Gamer, Harry Slater provides useful hints for how to improve in the recently released Card Quest. The list of tips for this card-based RPG reminds players to make sure they understand the intricacies of their…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Blockwick 2

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 weeks, 2 days ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Blockwick 2

Blockwick 2 is a clever puzzler that takes the familiar block-sliding gameplay and wrings myriad mechanics and clever challenges from that design. Every stage in Blockick presents the same challenge: manuever like-colored blocks around tight levels so they all connect in a single group. That task might be simple, perhaps even solvable through trial and error, but it's the additional objectives and mechanics that elevate Blockwick 2 to something special. Each stage has special runes hidden on the ground, presenting you with the extra challenge of discovering the specific solution that covers all the markings with the blocks. Those elements alone would make Blockwick 2 a difficult puzzler,…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 18th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 18th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the colorful musical auto-runner Muse Dash. Blending the rhythmic fun of the music game with the reflex-testing action of the runner, Muse Dash is praised as a fun test of hand-eye coordination. Over on Pocket Gamer, Emily Sowden assembles a number of reader impressions of the recent RPG Evoland 2, a game that takes players on a journey through the history of the genre. The overall consensus praises the game's unique variety and humor, but state that the controls could be more responsive at times. Fin…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Puzzlepops!

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Puzzlepops!

 At a glance, Puzzlepops might be quick to dismiss. It seems much too sweet and charming to be a tricky and challenging puzzle game. But while it may be all familiar concepts and puzzle design, Puzzlepops delivers a bevy of satisfyingly difficult and clever brain-teasers. Along a structure of nodes and path, you need to maneuver candy pieces into the properly colored and sized spots. That last part - size - is crucial, as like candies can combine into larger chunks. On these increasingly claustrophobic grids, where space is a premium and there are different candy types clogging up paths, figuring how and where candies need to be so they can meld never ceases to a challenging aspect o…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 11th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 11th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the challenging and atmosphere Feist. Featuring "spikes, physics, and grisly deaths" in spades, the games is praised for its unique take on familiar ideas, clever mechanics and level design from a simple set of controls, and reflex-testing challenges that also turn each combat encounter into a fast-paced puzzle. Over on Pocket Gamer, Jon Mundy takes a look at the companion app God of War: Mimir's Vision, which is most useful as a lore comendium for players to delve into. If you're intrigued by the…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Manowar

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 1 week ago

Blend a swaying ship, cannons, and a colorful assortment of cannonballs together and you'd get the tricky and satisfying puzzle game that is Manowar. Trailer Each level of Manowar is the cutaway of a drifting ship filled with various platforms, barriers, and cannonballs, lined with cannons. The goal is simple: tilt the ship in the right ways that maneuver the cannonballs into the properly cannons and fire them into the surrounding ocean. The twist is that each time you fire a cannon also results in the remaining cannonballs to bounce into the air; this mechanical quirk lets you bounce cannonballs between platforms or even into position balacing atop other cannonballs. Then direction-spe…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 4th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 1 week ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 4th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the bullet hell shoot-em-up Blazefury, that makes its own mark by mixing the shmup style with the idle tapper genre. While not immediately compelling, the vibrant aesthetic and upgrading mechanics make Blazefury surprisingly enjoyable as a unique shooter. Over on Pocket Gamer, Emily Sowden provides a rundown of the games that won at Apple Design Awards, the eclectic group of winners including the desert snowboarding Alto's Odyysey, touching romance Florence, artful puzzler Frost, grim platformer I…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Yellow & Red

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Yellow & Red

Bart Bonte's library of games is one of weird, quirky, tacitle puzzles, often with a focus on experimentation to discover rules and solutions. His two color-themed games Yellow and Red fit this design perfectly, offering myriad mininalist challenges. Both games feature 50 stages, all aesthetically themed as a black background overlaid by a puzzle in the games' corresponding color. Your goal is to fill the screen with a single color, but how you accomplish this goal is what makes Yellow and Red such enjoyable experiences. Every stage features a distinct rule, to be discovered and understand, to solve a puzzle; through experimental taps and swipes and observation, soon that rule or pattern…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 28th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 28th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour covers the puzzle adventure Faraway 3: Arctic Escape, a game reminiscent of the tactile brain-teasers such as The Room and The Witness. Concluding the Faraway trilogy, Faraway 3 is simpler than both aforementioned games but its switch-and-tile-manipulating puzzles are praised as being satisfying and fun to solve. Over on Pocket Gamer, Susan Arendt explores the tough decisions in the zombie apocalypse strategy game Rebuild 3, discussing how the game's systems blends the humanity and struggles of the members of…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Barrier X

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Barrier X

Barrier X puts you in control of a vessel rocketing through an endless expanse at insane velocities, as white barriers appear with alarming speed. The ground beneath your craft turns orange as a visual warning of an upcoming barrier, giving you just enough of a warning to shift right or left and evade destruction by mere moments. It's breathless relentless action, as barriers fly past, barely a blur as you rocket onward. Survive for 15 seconds, and your reward is to go faster, an increase in speed. 30 seconds, and you unlock a new level, while 60 seconds masters that level, a true test of reflexes and reaction. Barrier's slick polished design and wonderful sense of speed would be enough t…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 21st

Feature By Christian Valentin, 1 month, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 21st

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews Zero/Sum, the comedic b-movie math game about finding the cure for cancer from math terrorists. The so-bad-it's-fun cutscenes, increasingly complex mechanics, and additional modes make Zero/Sum an enjoyable and well-designed puzzler that doesn't take itself seriously. Over on Pocket Gamer, reader comments provide an overview of the unique puzzler Homo Machina, praising its steampunk portrayal of the human body, surprisingly brain-teasing puzzles, and plethora of little details and animations. Finally on&nb…