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It only takes two fingers to pull off tricks like a pro in Touchgrind BMX 2, out now on iOS

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
It only takes two fingers to pull off tricks like a pro in Touchgrind BMX 2, out now on iOS

Illusion Lab's Touchgrind BMX was a unique arcade sports game for mobile, combining jumps and tricks with a control scheme designed to suit touchscreens. Seven years later, Touchgrind BMX 2 brings a whole array of new courses, improved graphics, and those classic dual-finger controls to iOS. Mechanically, Touchgrind BMX 2 will be familiar to fans of the first; placing two fingers on the handlebars and frame, you can guide your bicycle's turns and swipe to pull of various moves when you leap off ramps. Starting with a dirt course, the sequel's tracks soont take you to desert, forest, rooftop tracks and more, complete with a number of skill-testing challenges asking you to perform specifc t…

Construct the skyscraper of your dreams in building sim Project Highrise, now available on iOS

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
Construct the skyscraper of your dreams in building sim Project Highrise, now available on iOS

Inspired by the likes of SimTower, Project Highrise is a new building management game ported to mobile after a release on PC in 2016. Rather than a hospital, prison, or railway, here you're constructing towering skyscrapers, balancing design, money, and tenet needs to make a successful building. Starting at ground level, you must place elevators, offices, structures like generators and maintenance sectors, and decide what kind of highrise you want to design. A business office? An apartment building? A multi-level mall? A combination of those? You can't just consider the layout of your building, but also plan for the needs of the people living and working within; building a trash and…

Hidden Gem of the Week: A Dark Room / The Ensign

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: A Dark Room / The Ensign

At a glance, you might expect A Dark Room to be another text adventure, and it certainly seems like one at the start. But don't be fooled by its mysteriously minimalist beginngin.  A Dark Room is a gradually unfolding piece of game design, blending elements of interactive fiction, management, RPGs, and roguelikes in a unique experience. Starting with nothing but a campfire to keep aflame,  A Dark Room soon introduces you to a stranger in the forest and from there, it begins to unfurl into something much grander. Your simple camfire grows into a village, and your simple UI morphs with additional choices to order newcomers to gather resources, go hunting, and so on. Soon your grow…

Atmospheric detective game Jenny LeClue receives new gameplay trailer, headed to mobile this year

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
Atmospheric detective game Jenny LeClue receives new gameplay trailer, headed to mobile this year

The titular child detective and her mysterious atmosheric town has been teasing adventure game fans for years, and Jenny LeClue's latest PAX trailer reveals new gameplay and 2018 release timeframe for this upcoming detective game. In the small town of Arthurton, Jenny's mother is accused of murder, and it's up to you to uncover the truth. But as you dig deeper into the accusation, Jenny LeClue unfolds into a grander narrative touching elements of horror and science fiction, with your choices affected the outcome of the story. Exploring the town - from the graveyard to town square, police station to the surrounding woods, mines and weird bunkers - you meet new characters to question,…

The Mooseman brings a folklore-inspired adventure to iOS and Android next week

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
The Mooseman brings a folklore-inspired adventure to iOS and Android next week

A skull-masked figure moving through a misty woods is perhaps The Mooseman's most striking imagery, in this unique story-driven game releasing for the App Store and Google Play on April 17th. As the titular figure, you wander a dark forest, shrouded in mist and shadow, looking beyond the veil into other realms. Inspired by Finnish folklore, your journey takes through the spirit world and other locations found deep within the woodlands, as you solve riddles, unlock abilities to reach the mysterious Upper World, and discover the secrets of the forest. The Mooseman's minimalistic aesthetic brings its otherworldly environments to life with vivid contrasts between the darkened woods and the g…

Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle releases on Android this Friday

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle releases on Android this Friday

Slayaway Camp was a sliding block puzzler themed after the tropes of the slasher horror genre, featuring a masked killer and stylized gore as you figured how out to navigate tight maps. Now the developers are bringing a new horror movie-themed puzzle game to Android (and iOS worldwide, following an US release earlier this year) with Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle.  As you might guess by the title, Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is inspired by the classic movie series, featuring over a hundred puzzles with you in control of the hockey-masked Jason and hunting victims in locations around Camp Crystal Lake and beyond. Mechanically, you move Jason with swipes that slide his hul…

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

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of April 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 goes hands-on with the puzzle platformer Paper Anne, where instead of leaping around the environment, you manipulate the environment itself. The video highlights the early levels and a number of the game's Wonderland-themed mechanics.  Over on Pocket Gamer, Jessica Famularo previews the upcoming port of Killing Time At Lightspeed, a visual novel that explores a lonely and poignant sci-fi narrative about passengers on a spaceship traveling at lightspeed receiving and sending messages to Earth. Unfortunatel…

Sling Ming is a swinging sci-fi story-driven puzzler headed to iOS and Android

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Sling Ming is a swinging sci-fi story-driven puzzler headed to iOS and Android

Exploring an alien planet looks to be a charmingly fun affair in the upcoming Sling Ming, an "on-rails" adventure following a brave traveler through the mysterious environments of another world by way of oxygen pipelines. Each of the game's fifty-plus stage is a gauntlet of enemies, hazards, and puzzle elements navigated by dragging nodes to alter your path, as your titular hero swings along the pipes; timing your movement between nodes with the arc of her swing is as important as where you place nodes, letting you collect coins or dodge projectiles with your back-and-forth motions. As the narrative moves from the sunny exteriors to the deadly caverns and alien ruins within, Sling Ming in…

Hang-glide with skill in colorful arcade game Ava Airborne, out now on iOS

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Hang-glide with skill in colorful arcade game Ava Airborne, out now on iOS

Laser Dog has been releasing clever arcade games on the App Store since their 2013 debut Puk, and the hang-gliding Ava Airborne looks like a welcome addition to their library with its release on iOS. As the titular Ava, you ride the winds through a hazarous sky, weaving through hoops, around killer ballons and floating barriers, deadly windmills and lasers, among other obstacles. SImple controls allow you to loop and dive with ease, gaining altutude to rise above traps or diving to gain speed; as you master the controls, you're able to collect more point ballons and unlock special contraption customizations, ranging from bottle rockets to biplane wings, while friendly companions offer a a…

Throwing a ball into a box becomes an surreal challenge in puzzler sequel Trick Shot 2

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Throwing a ball into a box becomes an surreal challenge in puzzler sequel Trick Shot 2

Trick Shot was 2015's clever physics-based puzzler, created by the lead designer of Monument Valley and revolving a simple premise of launching a ball into a box. This sequel gives that challenge a stylish upgrade, with both a uniquely surreal modern art aesthetic and imagining new mechanics to wring from that seemingly simple concept. Trick Shot 2 is both a familiar and different prospect; mechanically, the gameplay remains the same as you drag on the screen to slingshot a ball across each stage, bouncing and rolling into a difficult-to-reach box. Early stages may require merely some precision and a graceful arc, but soon bank shots off barriers, bounches through portals and off trampoli…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Prune

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

Prune is one of those games that can easily stand alongside titles like Monument Valley, The Room, Framed, as unique puzzle games designed both to be accessible withoit being too easy and to be feel well-suited as an experience on mobile througn clever touch controls. Prune's core concept is an appealing one: grow a tree, lead it to the light and watch its flowers bloom. Swiping on the screen lets you perform the titular action, slicing away branches to steer the growing tree towards the sunlight, within narrow passages, and around obstacles. Prune's simple to grasp design doesn't preclude it from challenge though. Red spheres threaten to infect your tree, powerful winds blend branches, g…

Minimalist puzzler Bloki brings spatial challenges to iOS and Android when it releases next month

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Minimalist puzzler Bloki brings spatial challenges to iOS and Android when it releases next month

Blocki looks to be an intriguing absract puzzle game slated for release on mobile in May, presenting block stacking and molding mechanics in its recent teaser trailer. Your goal is to build a structure from different colored blocks, twisting and turning, shrink and expanding the shape to create a design that connects with a formation of like-colored prisms. Flipping into position and then shifting blocks around looks to be a unique challenge compared to similar games, and future stages will add to the difficulty with color-switching tiles and obstactles to deal with. While the mechanics look like they might be tricky to grasp, Blocki promises to be a game in the zen pacing category of puz…

Guide a trio of critters through forest puzzles in Woodways, available on iOS and Android

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Guide a trio of critters through forest puzzles in Woodways, available on iOS and Android

A duck, fox, and buffalo meet in the forest...that isn't the start of a joke but the concept of new puzzler Woodways, currently offering cutesy yet challenging spatial brainteasers on iOS and Android. Mechanically, Woodways will feel familiar if you've played games like Quell, Yankai's Peak, and other Sokoban-inspired games; here, you manuever an animal trio with swipes, all three moving in sync in an attempt to reach waiting exit tiles. That alone would allow for cleverly-designed challenges as you navigate past teleporting wormholes, slippery ice patches, and boulder barriers, but Woodways adds another mechanic into the mix: each animal has a unique attribute that affects where and how…

Charming puzzle adventure Ittle Dew 2 is headed to iOS and Android

News By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Charming puzzle adventure Ittle Dew 2 is headed to iOS and Android

2013's Ittle Dew brought a whimscal puzzle-focused approach to a Zelda-style formula, and now, through a recent Twitter post, developer Ludosity has revealed that its sequel is finally coming soon to mobile. Ittle Dew 2 retains the same exploration and puzzle focus of the first game, but drops the titular Ittle on a new island with new mechanics, challenges, and secrets to uncover.  Aggressive enemies and bosses test your combat skills, while your weapons double as puzzle solving tools in the game's many dungeons and puzzle rooms. As you solve its trick brain teasers and travel between the island's regions, Ittle Dew 2's story of escape unfolds through quirky inhabitants an…

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

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of March 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 provides some hands-on impressions of the recently released Candleman,  particularly praising its atmospheric visuals and somewhat eerie world, clever design, and unique concept. Over on Pocket Gamer, the staff interviews developer Pablo León-Asuero about his unusual matching-action hybrid Evergrow, discussing the origins of he game's design, the process of developing Evergrow, and the new Zen mode and mini-game challenges coming to the game in the 1.2 update. And finally, Campbell Bird on 148Apps…