As promised yesterday, Koality Games has released their new arcade boxing game Prizefighters [Free] on the App Store. It arrived too late to make it into our weekly roundup of new iOS games, but given the sheer amount of huge games that arrived on mobile this week, I’m sure Prizefighters didn’t mind having a little bit of breathing room. In case you’ve missed our previous coverage, Prizefighters is a boxing game with arcade-style mechanics inspired by classics such as Punch Out! but with a more simulation-style character and career progression system. Check out the official trailer.
As I’ve commented before, Prizefighters has an ingenious control system that basically lets anyone play the way that’s most comfortable to them. Not only that but the game is perfectly playable with just one hand in portrait mode, and it also supports landscape mode and will auto-rotate on command. It’s fun in either orientation and I absolutely love when games include this functionality. I have a long way to go in my Prizefighters career, but so far I’m completely in love with this game and I think any fan of boxing games will have a great time with this one. It’s free to download and play with the only IAP being extra coins for speeding up progression, so there’s no reason not to take this one for a spin and don’t forget to see what folks in our forums are saying about it too.
With the holidays in full swing, there’s hopefully going to be a lot of time off work lazing around the house. With all of that free time, it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up on some mobile games that you might have missed out on earlier this year. Let’s take a look at some of the best mobile games to play while you’re lazing around on the couch this holiday season.
When Life is Strange [$ 2.99] was originally announced back in 2014, it immediately shot to the top of my list of anticipated releases for 2015. Since then, I’ve played it multiple times across various platforms but had been constantly puzzled at the lack of an iOS version given the genre. I thought Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment would’ve seen the value in putting their new adventure release on a platform where Telltale Games has seen success. Fast forward to today and we finally have Life is Strange on iOS and the port is mostly great.
Set in the fictional Arcadia Bay, you play as Max Caulfield in this adventure. Max is a high school student at Blackwell Academy and the story begins with her having a nightmare. This nightmare sets the pace for what is about to happen over the next few episodes but she has no idea yet. After waking up, you get your first glimpse at school life and are introduced to how interactions work here. I love the pencil and marker animated look the UI has here. In fact the tone of the full experience reminds me of a good indie film with some aspects borrowed from TV shows like The O.C. and Scrubs. Some of the dialogue is cringeworthy and I love it. After the opening section Max discovers her gift in a particular incident. You can rewind time and this plays a big part of the story.
Rewinding time isn’t just a way to redo decisions but a way to alter the story for the better or in some cases worse. There are some basic point and click adventure game puzzles here and some of them even require you to see a situation play out badly before using the time rewind to set things straight. I love how it affects dialogue letting you get a glimpse at all possible outcomes. Another great thing you will notice about Life is Strange is that decisions will actually make a big difference in the story as episodes go by. These aren’t just added for show.
Photography plays a big part of the experience as well. Max can use her camera at certain locations to take optional photographs. These act as collectibles here. Some of them are pretty obvious initially but there are some super obscure ones. I don’t want to spoil the locations or the photographs but I had to use a guide back when this originally released to get 2 of the optional photos. I encourage everyone to explore as much as possible because the locations here are very well done. Even the hallway has so many nice touches when it comes to small things like graffiti and flyers stuck on the walls.
I mentioned indie films before and this feel extends to the visuals as well. Dontnod’s visual direction here is stunning. There are obviously a few low resolution textures given this is a console port even on the iPad Pro I played on but the combination of the great lighting and the lovely art results in something memorable and great looking. On comparing it to the PS4 version I played before, characters have some low resolution assets but the overall feel is the same. It has been great replaying this on the iPad and iPhone. The only real complaint I have for visuals is the lack of proper lip sync. This was fixed to some extent through updates but it still isn’t great.
Music and voice acting are definitely the highlight of the experience here. The use of licensed music for the opening credits as you walk through the hallway is fantastic. This game reminded me how much I enjoy the use of licensed music in games when done well. While the tracks from Syd Matters and Jose Gonzalez are great, the icing on the cake is Jonathan Morali’s score. On its own, it could easily be the score for a film like Juno.
While the lip sync has some issues, the voice acting itself is great. Hannah Telle and Ashly Burch did fantastic with their roles here and it was hilarious listening to some of the cringey dialogue for the first time in over a year as I replayed this again.
Outside of the small visual issues, the iOS port has a few problems. For one, controller support is basically non existent. Pairing my Steel Series Nimbus and switching the controls in game to a Joystick control resulted in the controller only working for movement using the left analogue stick. Nothing else worked. Thankfully the touch controls are great but take some time to get used to. Moving in and out of rooms or moving to a new area resulted in some slowdown on my iPad Air 2 but the iPad Pro 9.7 could handle everything almost perfectly. Life is Strange supports seamless iCloud sync which I took full advantage of while playing on the iPhone 7. Another thing to note is Life is Strange runs full screen on both iPhone and iPad. There are black bars for cutscenes on iPad though since those were originally widescreen on the target hardware it launched on. The in game journal also has black bars on iPad since they couldn’t be bothered to redo the art for it for the iPad 4:3 screen.
Since this is the first episode, Dontnod did a great job with making me hate the episodic format upon release. The first episode literally had me craving for more and the wait for episode 2 was unbearable. You won’t need to worry about that because Episodes 2 and 3 are available right now via in app purchase with the remaining episodes launching early next year. I hope the visual issues and some performance issues are ironed out because this could end up being the best way to experience Life is Strange. The lack of proper controller support is baffling because this exists on multiple consoles. Out of all the point and click adventure experiences available today, Life is Strange is my favourite by a long shot. I hope this does well for Square Enix so they can port Life is Strange: Before the Storm as well.
Now available in 54 countries worldwide, Lineage 2: Revolution is continuing its global quest to be the most popular mobile MMORPG by launching a jam-packed end of year update. Complete with many subtle tweaks to help improve users’ online experience as well as two new modes, now there’s even more reasons to keep on adventuring.
If real-time 50v50 clashes between clans is your thing, Lineage 2: Revolution’s new Fortress Siege mode has got you covered. The new game mode will take place every Friday from 20:30 – 21:00 PST from this point onwards, so you’ll need to be quick to get in, do battle, and reap the many rewards you can acquire regardless of winning or losing.
The time has almost come.Star Wars: The Last Jedifinally hits theaters in the cinematic event that might be bigger than Christmas. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at the best–and only the best–Star Warsmobile games to date.