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Home » Latest Features

Hidden Gem of the Week: Blackbox

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 3 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Blackbox

Blackbox's unassuming first impressions presents the player with a black background and colored squares,  but as you begin to explore its puzzles, Blackbox reveals itself to be something unique special: a puzzle games where none of its challenges are solved by interacting with the screen, but instead with every other sensor and function on your phone.. Other games like The Room have used touch controls to let player tactilely manipulate  with items and puzzle boxes, but this game's clever twist turns the phone itself into a puzzle box, where experimenting with its different switches and features is how you discover solutions. Rotating your device, interacting with volume buttons…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 19th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 19th

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 goes hands-on with the recently released Construction Simulator 2, showing off the involved machinery handling and construction-based challenges. from digging foundations with an excavator to loading flatbeds with mechanical arms. Over on Pocket Gamer, Harry Slater provides several tips and tricks for card-based battler Lost In The Dungeon, that can help you master the game's challenging encounters and survive longer by prioritizing, knowing when to retreat, and more Tre Lawrence on Android Rundown reviews th…

Colorful puzzler Nano Golf is Nitrome's newest release on iOS and Android

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 4 weeks ago
Colorful puzzler Nano Golf is Nitrome's newest release on iOS and Android

Nitrome's bread and butter has always been its quirky interesting puzzlers and arcade games, and their newly published game Nano Golf looks to continue that trend. With each course being a tight mini-puzzle and with only a limited number of strokes, this golf puzzler brings varied physics-based golf challenges to iOS and Android. Nano Golf's vivid pixel art courses start off relatively simply, not much different than commom mini golf stages with hills and windmills. But then speed boosting areas get introduced, with myriad other mechanics to follow, from golf carts chasing behind your ball to portals and switches and ghost copies of your ball and spikes and much more. While you might be a…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Perfect Paths

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 4 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Perfect Paths

If you've played the (sadly no longer available) port of SpaceChem or the rail-drawing puzzler Trainyard, Perfect Paths may feel familiar despite its potential confusing UI and mechanics. Much like those, this is a methodical logic-based puzzle game, challenging you to splice together nodes amid limited space. At its most basic level, your goal is actually quite simple. All you have to do is move the colored blocks onto the similar-colored tiles on the grid. This is a game of step-by-step planning, of counting turns and meticulously setting up your commands and paths. It's the kind of game where, once you know how all the elements work together, you could succeed on your first try if you…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 12th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 12th

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 cute yet challenging platformer Reed, covering the iOS port after its Android release last year and praising the title for its familiar but well-crafted gameplay. Over on Pocket Gamer, Jon Mundy covers the recently released puzzler Projekt, a collection of minimalist spatial challenges where you construct spaces in 3D space so their shadows match designs when viewed from specific angles. Jon describes it as a calm, cleverly-designed puzzle game hampered by some imprecise controls. Tre Lawrence on…

Hidden Gem of the Week: SPL-T

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: SPL-T

Simogo's games - from Year Walk to text-twisting Device 6 - are defined by how they use the touch interface to deliver unique narrative experiences. At a glance, the high score-chasing nature of SPL-T doesn't appear to be a Simogo title, but as you learn its rules, the game reveals itself to be as unique as any of their other games. Your first attempt at SPL-T is likely to be confusing; its gameplay seems as simple as its minimal appearance. The core concept to understand as that you earn points by splitting the screen into halved blocks. These halves alternate between horizontal and vertical splits, and by dividing an area into four or more equally-sized blocks, they become marked with a…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 5th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 1 week ago

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 provides his impressions of the challenging precision platformer Temple of Spikes, discussing its masochistic level design, various abilities you gain, and controls. Over on Pocket Gamer, Clement Renaudin checks out the cooperative city-builder Pixel Plex (out now on iOS) and it’s uniquely multiplayer-focused designs, including mayor elections every two days. Tre Lawrence on Android Rundown reviews the new fighter Tekken, particularly praising its detailed 3D graphics and controls well suited for touchs…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Toast Time

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 1 week ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Toast Time

Beneath Toast Time’s absurd premise of toast-shooting warrior against time-stealing inter-dimensional enemies lies a hectic arcade game with controls and action designed to suit mobile perfectly. Reminiscent of Super Crate Box, Toast Time’s action revolves around a pool of different weapon types, tight arenas, and projectile-changing crates to grab. One touch controls combat and movent, as each shot fired propels in the opposite direction; these simple mechanics allow for varied scenarios as walls, platforms, and special items like jump pads get added to the arenas and forcing you to make more precise shots. You could fire randomly, but for the best scores, you’ll need t…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 26th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 26th

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 physics-puzzler Part Time UFO, praising its perfect-for-mobile design, intuitive controls, and addicting gameplay. Over on Pocket Gamer, Harry Slater presents a patented Harry’s hot take arguing that the best way to create a faithful Harry Potter game is through the magic of FMV. Tre Lawrence on Android Rundown writes a retrospective on the Android port of Sonic CD, revisiting its unique time travel mechanic and great soundtrack, although its controls may not match the quality…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Knotmania

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 2 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Knotmania

The zen puzzler is somewhat rare on mobile. Often many of the more minimalist games that avoid timers or other pressure still revolve around mechanics that can be challenging or tricky. The figurine winding of Zenbound and the silhouette construction of Shadowmatic fall into the category of simple, calmly paced puzzlers and so does this week’s hidden gem Knotmania. Rather than untying ropes or threads, Knotmania takes a more quirky approach: untangling living creatures, a twisted knot of squirming textured worms. Begin tugging and dragging and, as expected, they resist and twist away, moving in slow graceful movements as if through water or in zero gravity. With both a single worm o…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 19th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 19th

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 provides his impressions of Alto’s Odyssey, praising its mesmerizing sense of place and aesthetic, the addicting flow of its mechanics, and the engaging evolution of the first game’s design. For Pocket Gamer, Jon Mundy provides a list of worthy titles for the player looking for Metal Gear Solid-style gameplay on the go, if the recent Metal Gear Survive isn’t sating that niche. The long range assassinations of Hitman: Sniper, the camera-hacking sleuthing of Republique, and several others make…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Dark Echo

Feature By Christian Valentin, 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Dark Echo

Many horror games rely on jump scares and creepy atmosphere, but the stealth/horror/puzzle hybrid Dark Echo takes a different approach, instead conjuring horror from the unknown and unseen, through minimalist visuals and immersive audio. While other mobile games like Papa Sangre and The Nightjar have delivered gameplay through sound, Dark Echo melds visuals with sound; every level starts out with a black screen, your white footprints the only color amid the surrounding dark. Move forward and lines emanate in all directions, the sound of your footsteps visualized, bouncing off the walls and revealing the environment. Without sound, you are blind. Your goal is simply to find the exit. Howev…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 12th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 5 months ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of February 12th

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 plays a round of the Chinese release for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile; the graphics may not be as detailed as its PC and consoles cousins, but it looks like the tension and action of its gameplay has made the transition. For Pocket Gamer, the App Army provides a wide range of impressions for the recent release Purrfect Date, a visual novel with a feline twist. Amusement, confusion, disappointment, and other reactions make for quite a divisive response. Tre Lawrence on Android Rundown offers a ve…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Five Card Quest

Feature By Christian Valentin, 5 months ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Five Card Quest

Developer Rocketcat is best known for their popular RPG and action roguelike releases Mage Gauntlet, Wayward Souls, and Death Road To Canada, but amid their larger titles lies a smaller and intriguing outlier of a game, the turn-based minimalist roguelike Five Card Quest. Selecting a trio of warriors from powerful Priest, the dagger-wielding Rogue, and more, you  battle room-by-room through grid-based dungeons. The focus here are those battles, an interesting blend of card game and lane-based strategy; tour party is one side of the screen, enemies on the other, spread out across three lanes. From each warrior’s deck, you choose abilities and attacks, all revolving around the ta…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Euclidea

Feature By Christian Valentin, 5 months, 1 week ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Euclidea

Math-based puzzlers tend to revolve around computation and sums, but Euclidea isn't like most games in that niche; rather than numbers, geometry is the focus, constructing figures and shapes with minimalist tools and within a minimalist aesthetic. Euclidea starts out simple, easing you into its collection of geometric brainteasers by teaching how to create line segments, select points, draw circles. And then gradually, the challenge begins to increase, as you use intersecting circles to create equilateral triangles and perfectly bisect lines. But the game isn't completely merciless. As you master the simpler tasks like deducing parallet lines, Euclidea provides tools that automatica…