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Home » Latest Features

The pay-to-pay problem: An IAP too far

Feature By James Gilmour, 7 hours, 57 minutes ago
The pay-to-pay problem: An IAP too far

After dealing with the cooldown timer-packed abomination that was Rollercoaster Tycoon 4, I decided that it was time to address an issue that has been bothering me for a while. We're starting to see more and more premium mobile games appearing with free-to-play-style timers and energy systems secreted in their menus. Despite charging a flat fee up front, hese games will still throw up artificial barriers - and even lock you out altogether - unless you buy in-app purchases. The way I see it, this transparently unscrupulous practise - which I'm labelling "pay-to-pay" - is bang out of order. Here's why:…


Watch Wizards of the Coast walk us through Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

Feature By Peter Willington, 1 day, 8 hours ago
Watch Wizards of the Coast walk us through Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

Recently, I headed on over to Uxbridge in the UK to call on Hasbro and check out how CCG behemoth Magic 2015 is progressing. Dan Barrett, the EU Social Media & Community Manager at Wizards of the Coast, was on-hand to give me a walkthrough of the first proper match in the new game, and to highlight what we'll see when the game launches this summer. He also explained a few of the basics of the game, showed off some of the new cards you can expect to wield during battles, and talked about much more besides. Take a look, and let us know if you're a fan of Magic: The Gathering in the comments.…


The Boom Beach Diary - Week 2

Feature By Peter Willington, 2 days, 12 hours ago
The Boom Beach Diary - Week 2

I'm into my second week of The Boom Beach Diary, in which I've been documenting my recent progress through the game. Since episode one, I've been upgrading my base and changing up my layout based on the excellent guidance I've been receiving from you via the comments here on AppSpy, on YouTube, and on The Boom Beach Community. This week, I show off all my hard work, nab another Resource Base, and highlight my next big challenge: bettering my battle strategies. Have yourself a watch of this week's entry in The Boom Beach Diary below, then chuck any pearls of wisdom you might have in the comments.…


AppSpy Plays: FTL: Faster Than Light live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

Feature By James Gilmour, 5 days, 8 hours ago
AppSpy Plays: FTL: Faster Than Light live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

The end of the week is finally upon us. Our plans to start the evening include cosy slippers, a warm cup of hot chocolate and, of course, a nice bit of streaming. Each week we play recent App Store releases we believe will be a spot of fun, so today we’re going to start playing fiendishly popular starship roguelike FTL: Faster Than Light over on the AppSpy Twitch channel. If you haven’t yet seen or played the iPad version, but have heard people rambling on about how swish it is, come watch us invariably run out of fuel, get attacked, and have our entire crew die from suffocation. As per usual, feel free to ask us any questions you have, offer advice, say hello, or just fill ou…


Eye on the App Store: Crazy Taxi: City Rush, Trials Frontier, and more

Feature By James Gilmour, 1 week ago
Eye on the App Store: Crazy Taxi: City Rush, Trials Frontier, and more

It's Wednesday again, which means it's nearly time for another instalment of Eye on the App Store, our weekly round-up of the week's upcoming App Store releases. First up is Crazy Taxi: City Rush, a new free-to-play Crazy Taxi game from the fellows behind Sonic Jump and Sonic Dash. It’s just been soft-launched in Canada, with the worldwide release due for a bit closer to summer. Trials Frontier, meanwhile, is the latest incarnation of the the physics-based motorcycle game series that sees you trying very hard to not fall over yet doing so regardless. We’ll also be covering Robots Love Ice Cream, SideSwype, and give you some news about Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff…


AppSpy Plays: The Wolf Among Us – Part 2 live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

Feature By Glen Fox, 1 week, 1 day ago
AppSpy Plays: The Wolf Among Us – Part 2 live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

Later today we'll be streaming the second part of our playthrough of The Wolf Among Us. We'll pick up right where we left off in part one, so head on over to our Twitch channel (or watch via the player below) at 5pm BST / 9am PDT / 12pm EDT to join us. The Wolf Among Us is Telltale's most recent point-and-click video game adaptation of a popular franchise. This one is a prequel to the popular graphic novel series, Fables, in which you play as "Bigby" – A.K.A. the Big Bad Wolf. You can expect to meet colourful versions of well-known characters from children's fables, such as Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast. We intend to cover the entire series as each…


AppSpy Plays: HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft (Twitch catch-up)

Feature By Peter Willington, 1 week, 2 days ago
AppSpy Plays: HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft (Twitch catch-up)

HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft is without a doubt one of the most hyped games to be hitting iPad and iPhone in the next few months. Since AppSpy is all fancy and pro and that, we've nabbed a copy of the soft-launched version, and went hands-on with it live on our Twitch channel. If you missed the show when it went out, or you fancy watching it again, you can re-watch it on the AppSpy Twitch channel, or on our YouTube channel, or directly below this block of text. Make sure you don't miss out next stream this coming Tuesday 8th April at 5pm BST / 9am PDT / 12pm EDT, when we'll be continuing our playthrough of The Wolf Among Us. Click the Follow button on Twitch or Twitter, or Like us on F…


The Boom Beach Diary - Week 1

Feature By Peter Willington, 1 week, 2 days ago
The Boom Beach Diary - Week 1

I've been playing Supercell's Clash of Clans follow-up Boom Beach for some time now, expanding my base and conquering enemy islands ever since the game was soft launched. Now that the game is available to everyone, and the community around it is growing rapidly, I decided to put together a series of video diaries to document my continued progress. We kick things off at a fairly respectable Level 17, which is several hours into the game. However, I'm not happy with my Home Base layout, and I'm constantly running out of the Wood resource, so I definitely need to make some improvements. Take a look at the diary below, and throw any advice you have in the comments...…


AppSpy Plays: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

Feature By James Gilmour, 1 week, 5 days ago
AppSpy Plays: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft live on Twitch (5pm BST | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT)

Whether you’re tired out from a tough week or planning to party the night away, there’s only one way to start your Friday evening / morning properly: over at the AppSpy Twitch channel. Today, we’ll be playing Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the developer's latest entry in the tongue-tangling genre that is the free-to-play digital collectable card game. The iPad version has been soft-launched in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, so you can come have a sneak peek before it hits the rest of the world. A word of warning though: the in-game accents aren't for the faint-hearted. To make sure you don’t miss out on us taking out magic-wielding maniacs wi…


Eye on the App Store: FTL, Monument Valley, UFHO2, Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, Word Explorer (Twitch catch-up)

Feature By Peter Willington, 1 week, 6 days ago
Eye on the App Store: FTL, Monument Valley, UFHO2, Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, Word Explorer (Twitch catch-up)

If you weren't around for our live stream yesterday evening, don't worry -  we have you covered. We went hands-on with hardcore spaceship sim FTL: Faster Than Light, the mind-bendingly beautiful Monument Valley, and the intriguing hex-puzzler UFHO2. We also found time to squeeze in a quick re-cap of the first act of Joe Dever's Lone Wolf (in preparation for the second), and James showed off his "mad word skillz" in Word Explorer. It's a jam-packed episode of Eye on the App Store, so if you didn't see it live then go watch it on Twitch (and hit Follow so you don't miss another show), or below via our YouTube channel. Don't miss our next stream this coming Friday 4th April, where we'l…


AppSpy Plays: The Wolf Among Us - Part 1 (Twitch catch-up)

Feature By James Gilmour, 2 weeks ago
AppSpy Plays: The Wolf Among Us - Part 1 (Twitch catch-up)

With our Twitch channel output ramping up, you may have missed out on our playthrough of the first part of The Wolf Among Us yesterday. Fortunately, we have wrapped it up in a neat little video package, which you’ll find below. Developed by Telltale, the folks behind The Walking Dead’s game adaptation, this tale has also sprung out of a comic book franchise: the lesser-known, but equally loved, Fables. The story takes place before the Fables’ outset, and uses The Walking Dead’s cel-shaded graphical stylings and moody lighting to recreate the look and feel of the comic. Expect slightly off the wall versions of Toad of Toad Hall, Snow White, Red Riding Hood and,…


Monument Valley | Hands-On

Feature By James Gilmour, 2 weeks ago
Monument Valley | Hands-On

Monument Valley, the latest game from Whale Trail developer ustwo, is due to land on the App Store at midnight tonight. And if you like clever puzzles and oodles of atmosphere, you should consider adding it to your wishlist. This game is a far cry from the endless-runner antics of Whale Trail. In fact, the team behind Monument Valley's precise, architectural puzzles appear to have spent the last few months staring at Escher lithographs, rather than watching Free Willy. It's a game which plays with perspective and perception, forcing you to attack each maze as both a 2D and a 3D puzzle. You push and drag platforms to bridge gaps, and even twist and turn the tower itself to create impossible…


Tiny Space Adventure | Hands-On

Feature By James Gilmour, 2 weeks, 2 days ago
Tiny Space Adventure | Hands-On

You know that bit in Scooby Doo cartoons where the gang rushs between doors in a long corridor, entering one room and emerging from another, seemingly disconnected door further down the hallway? Well, that's a bit like how it felt to play new sci-fi puzzler Tiny Space Adventure. You take control of an astronaut who must navigate a series of doors to reach an exit. Along the way, you have to avoid getting frazzled laser barriers, or spotted by robot sentries. As you're popping in and out of identical-looking black doors, you need a decent memory and a good mind for pattern recognition to be successful. Which probably explains the trouble I had reaching the end of some of the levels. Check…


CLARC | Hands-On

Feature By James Gilmour, 2 weeks, 5 days ago
CLARC | Hands-On

One game stood out when I blasted through the week's new releases on Twitch yesterday. It wasn't the WipEout-inspired Flashout 2, nor Clash of Clans successor Boom Beach. No, the game that captured my attention was an unassuming but charismatic offering called CLARC. It's an isometric puzzler in which you navigate an adorable maintenance robot through a series of corridors. Along the way you'll manipulate blocks with an anti-gravity beam, make friends with a missile, and try to power-up a robot disco.  The visuals are lovely, the controls are tight, and there's a robot disco.  Still not sold? Check out our hands-on video below to see CLARC in action.…


God of Light | Hands-On

Feature By James Gilmour, 1 month, 2 weeks ago
God of Light | Hands-On

I've noticed a distinct illumination theme running through this week's new App Store releases.  First we had Primal Flame with its match-sparking mechanic, and now we have the God of Light shining its reflected beams into our eyes. This pretty puzzler is all about boucing a ray of light off mirrors, in order to redirect the beam through a series of gems, and towards a goal. Not only is God of Light easy on the eyes, it also comes with a suitably moody soundtrack from noteable trip-hop artist Unkle.  Check out how I got on with God of Light in the hands-on video below.…