Out Now: ‘The Talos Principle’, Dragon Hills 2′, ‘Into the Dead 2’, ‘Beyond Oasis’, ‘Taichi Panda 3’, ‘San Giorli’, ‘cmplt’, ‘Train Bandit’, ‘Blocksy’ and More

It’s that time of week where we round up the best new iPhone and iPad game releases of the past 7 days. While it’s not a big week in terms of number of games, it’s quite high up there in terms of quality. With the semi-surprise release of The Talos Principle, along with the release of The Witness a few weeks ago, we are plenty covered in terms of atmospheric, graphically impressive first-person puzzle adventures. We are GOOD. Dragon Hills 2 is a sequel to a favorite of mine that looks bigger and better in every way, as is Into the Dead 2. And finally Sega Forever has blessed us with the reissue of classic 16-bit RPG Beyond Oasis. And plenty more too, so check out the full list of games below and let us know in the comments which games you’ve got your eye on.


Beyond Oasis Classic

iTunes Description

The sprawling, lavish, action RPG (Beyond Oasis // The Story of Thor) is now available on mobile! Play free and rediscover SEGA’s timeless adventure.

Embark on a timeless journey of discovery and adventure in one of SEGA’s most epic action RPGs. Summon elemental spirits with the power of a magical ‘Armlet’ to battle an ancient evil that has risen in your land. From mountain fortresses to the dark shadow lands, danger and adventure await at every turn…

Beyond Oasis joins the ever-increasing line-up of ‘SEGA Forever’, a treasure trove of free SEGA console classics brought to life on mobile for the first time!

Forum Thread: Beyond Oasis (by SEGA)

Blocksy: Aim & Shoot

iTunes Description

Test yourself in Blocksy – highly strategic puzzle game with an arcade twist.

The goal of Blocksy is to hold back the cubes from overtaking the whole screen. To do that, you just need to destroy a whole lot of them! Think hard and strategize to get the biggest score!

Forum Thread: Blocksy: Aim & Shoot (By CLM)

Bounce House

iTunes Description

Test your skills on the world’s longest bouncy Bounce House gauntlet! It’s so long it never ends!

Launch into a reckless run of slamming, bouncing, candy collecting, obstacle dodging, block dislodging FUN!… Just watch out for the Castle Master…

How far can you bounce?!

Forum Thread: Bounce House (by Twice Different)


iTunes Description

Can you g_ess what’s missing?

· · ·

125 handcrafted pixel puzzles.

Forum Thread: cmplt (By Philipp Stollenmayer)

Dragon Hills 2

iTunes Description

Here we go again! Meet our fearless girl, a few years later!

Zombies! …Why??? …Dragons!…What???
Cowboys, armored mechs and spaceships! Say Whaaaaaaaat?!
So many questions… No time for answers now, guys. The zombie apocalypse is already here! Hurry up! Hop on your machine dragon and fight to save humanity!

Slide down the hills jumping into and out of the ground, crashing and destroying everything on your way in this action-packed adventure. Discover thrilling and magical lands filled with zombies, giants, dragons and tons of surprises.

Forum Thread: Dragon Hills 2 (By Rebel Twins)

Home Street

iTunes Description

Want a virtual simulator and home decoration game rolled into one? Build your dream house on Home Street!

Supersolid brings you a brand-new Home Decoration and Life Sim Game where you can build your dream home, be who you want to be, and bring it all to life in a town built on friendship! Live in a city of your own design with a character that reflects your style. Enjoy your virtual neighborhood and make friends with players from around the world in Home Street!

Forum Thread: Home Street (by Supersolid Ltd)


iTunes Description

INFINIROOM is a unique take on the runner genre – pitting you in a single, constantly changing room.

Play as 4 different characters with individual abilities to overcome and survive the longest you can against various traps and obstacles.

Forum Thread: INFINIROOM (by Lonebot)

Into the Dead 2

iTunes Description

Journey through the zombie apocalypse in a race to save your family. Arm yourself with an arsenal of powerful weapons and do whatever it takes to survive. Maim, mow down, and massacre the Dead – anything to keep moving! In a world where no one is safe, how far will you go to make it out alive?

Forum Thread: Into the Dead 2 (by PikPok)

L Pop!

iTunes Description

L Pop is a casual puzzle game from Jambav.
In the world of L Pop, you will place your next colored-bubble on the board just like the Knight (horse) in the game of chess makes its next move.
(Now you know why we said we drew inspiration from the game of chess, for L Pop!)
You can continue to place the bubbles on the board until you run out of options.
Match three or more bubbles to Pop them!
The more bubbles you Pop, higher the score and more the jems you get.
Collect ’em all! These jems help you use some interesting life-saving powerups later in the game!

Forum Thread: L Pop! (by Jambav, Inc)

Lionheart: Dark Moon

iTunes Description

Pick up and play this brand new mobile RPG with stunning graphics and animation! Build your powerful army of heroes from a wide variety of amazing characters and beasts! Fight through strategic and story-driven battles as you collect pets, gems and potions to defeat the Shard of Whispers and drive away the Darkness!

Return to the beautiful, fascinating and dangerous world of Lionheart in Dark Moon!

Every hero has their story.
Collect them all and unleash their power as you fight your way to victory!

Forum Thread: Lionheart: Dark Moon (by Emerald City Games)

My Oasis – Relaxing Sanctuary

iTunes Description

Taking a break can be difficult when there are so much things to do, and you have so little time to spend for yourself. My Oasis is a game app created for people who needs a break from life.

My Oasis is not a game that focuses its purpose on the gameplay and it contains no content that can remotely stress you out. Just let your oasis gradually expands while you Interact with the life in a relaxing atmosphere. It will calm your mind before you know it.

Forum Thread: My Oasis – Relaxing Sanctuary (by Buff Studio)

Ninja Dive

iTunes Description

Ninja Dive is a super fun Arcade Game.

Your Ninja is lost and needs to find land!
Dive underwater to search, but avoid those pipes when you resurface for air! They’re deadly!

• Touch, Hold and Release to Dive.

Forum Thread: NINJA DIVE (By Aaro Arts)

Our Ways

iTunes Description

Our Ways is an experience-based puzzle game about exploring relationship. Using two fingers, control the two color dots to move, approach and meet. Each level represents a relationship. Experience and overcome different situations like ‘Obstacles’, ‘Uncontrollable’, ‘Lost’, etc.

Each individual like me or you is different, so as every relationship. In Our Ways, the result of each level depends on how far and how many steps the two color dots took. Just as our relationships, there is no perfect one, no right or wrong. It only depends how we see them. Play and get your own results!

Forum Thread: Our Ways (by Rolling Pig Studio)

The Pirate: Plague of the Dead

iTunes Description

The Pirate: Plague of the Dead is a sandbox game, letting you see what it’s like to be the fiercest pirate captain to ever hoist the Jolly Roger! Assume the role of legendary pirate captain John Rackham, and use arcane voodoo magic to raise the Flying Gang from the dead. Together, the members of this historical band of pirates will face the terrifying Inquisitor.

Each of the resurrected captains has unique skills, which improve your ship’s statistics, ensure more gold, give advantage in battle or even let you summon the mighty Kraken!

Featuring an open world without loading screens, dynamic day and night cycle and weather system, it offers each gamer an unforgettable experience. Plague of the Dead is a new installment of The Pirate series, following the hit game Caribbean Hunt, which met with a great reception and gained a steady following.

Forum Thread: The Pirate: Plague of the Dead (by Teresa Dymek)

Portal Storm AR

iTunes Description

Tear open a portal in your reality to find and destroy the alien invaders!

* Unique reality warping technology!
* Fast arcade action.
* Use AR to battle in the real world.
* Simple and fun to and play.
* Compete on Game Centre leaderboards.

Forum Thread: Portal Storm AR (by MadeOfDinosaurs)

The Quest – Hero of Lukomorye 2

iTunes Description

The Quest – Hero of Lukomorye II is an expansion to The Quest, a beautifully hand-drawn open world role playing game with old school grid-based movement and turn based combat.

After enabling the expansion, you can explore new areas and adventures. However, if you don’t have The Quest, you can also play the expansion as a standalone game.

You are an agent in the service of Tzar Yaromir. Lukomorye is still not free. You must face new challenges to help your friends, the Tzar and his royal family, combat the warlike Savir invaders. You’ll encounter exotic scenarios, like steppes patrolled by wolves an underwater abyss and an eerie mushroom kingdom. You’ll have the opportunity to become a member of the Order of the Sword, if you qualify. You’ll have your faithful sidekick, Agent Kolobok, to accompany you. You may go mad in Argimon’s Mad Dwarves’ Castle, so heed any hints there carefully.

Forum Thread: The Quest – Hero of Lukomorye2 (By Redshift/Zarista)

San Giorli

iTunes Description

San Giorli, an ungoverned region situated between three galaxies, has become an interstellar dark city thanks to the garbage discarded from the three galaxies that attracted a bunch of scavengers. This is where the protagonist grew up, and he decided to come back after his long interstellar expedition. All you need to do is to help the protagonist find out the reason why San Giorli has become uncharted and rejuvenate the city.

It is a game that requires both your hand skill and thinking. You have to control the protagonist to orbit the spacecraft, analyse the circuits and traps ahead, connect or disconnect the plugs, remove obstacles and rejuvenate San Giorli, in order to move forward.

Forum Thread: San Giorli (By Tencent Mobile)

Seeing Stars

iTunes Description

Looking for a game with dazzling graphics and classic arcade excitement? Then connect the stars and protect your planet in Seeing Stars!
No pay-to-win schemes. No viral gimmicks. Just timeless fun that will test out your skills.

• Move quickly as you defend the Earth from a fast and fiery meteor
• Build infinite and unique constellations
• Share your galaxy with friends
• Old school gameplay is fun for all ages
• See how you stack up on the leaderboard

Forum Thread: Seeing Stars (by Blue Footed Newbie)

Sheep Goes Right

iTunes Description

Sheepy crosses a dangerous path filled with evil spikes and more.
Guide Sheepy through 100 levels of spike-disliking mayhem, as you try to get to the other side.

A simple enough game, with a wonderful art style, but with some fiendishly difficult jumps along the way.
How far can you get?

Forum Thread: Sheep Goes Right (by James Gamble)

Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter

iTunes Description

Before the world was populated with taichi masters, there existed two dragons borne from the sun and moon. Together they breathed life into the continent, and existed in harmony for ages before pride overtook the darkness. Now evil forces are plotting for control of the world, and a war is brewing. Do you have the taichi skills that it takes to save all living things from total destruction?

Download 2017’s most anticipated MMORPG, a fantasy adventure with top graphics and an epic thrilling story! Choose your faction, develop your skills, and command a fleet of mounts for total control of the land and sky. Sieze your destiny in Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter.

Forum Thread: Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter (By Snail Games)

The Talos Principle

iTunes Description

As if awakening from a deep sleep, the player finds himself in a strange world of ancient ruins and advanced technology. Tasked by his creator with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles, he must decide whether to have faith or to ask the difficult questions: Who am I? What is my purpose?

With the innovative tap-to-move control system that immediately feels natural, an engaging story and challenging puzzles The Talos Principle is a full-fledged game with over 20 hours of content and entertainment, be it a short challenge for the brain or an entire afternoon filled with exploration and excitement. To round the experience out – the combination of Metal API and the cutting-edge Serious Engine ensures jaw-dropping graphics and amazing performance on iOS devices.

Forum Thread: The Talos Principle (By Devolver Digital)

Tazer Run

iTunes Description

Prisoners have escaped from the Central Jail. You only have one weapon: your Tazer & the company of your loyal dog to catch all the baddies and put them back into prison.
Perfect mix of fun, accurate timing and speed tazing with mind-blowing art and amusing soundtrack.

At its core this is game in which you have to use your Tazer to electrify all the baddies who have escaped from the prison. You need to show great timing and aiming skills if you want to master the game and protect the city from the escaped prisoners.

Forum Thread: Tazer Run (by Kierun Studios)

Toy Attack

iTunes Description

Build your own toy robot and pit it against the robots made by other people! Win powerful parts to enhance your robot further. Become the best, the strongest, the fastest, or the cutest robot in the world!

Engage in realistic battles with a real-time physics engine. Let your creativity run wild in designing the perfect robot. Outsmart your opponents, unlock loot boxes for rare items, and live in a futuristic sci-fi world!

Forum Thread: Toy Attack (By Animoca Brands)

Train Bandit

iTunes Description


Looks to be a showdown atop a train. This will be your last fight.
Good luck, Train Bandit.


Train Bandit is a simple score attack game. The Law will attack you from both sides. Your weapon is your thumbs. You’ll use them to kick the living crap out of the law. React quickly by attacking the correct direction. React…or you’re dead.

Forum Thread: Train Bandit (By Rusty Moyher)

Undead Breakout

iTunes Description

In Undead Breakout, you must use the pathways and thoroughfares in the ruins of a resort town, Paris and New York City to move survivors to escape points (indicated by a gold star). Each level provides a variety of challenges in which you have to move the gold survivors around the board like pieces on a game board, avoiding the zombies that will try to overtake the survivors and the spreading infection. Each zombie and each survivor type has different characteristics that impact their movement and movement speed. To aid survivors, some missions incorporate police officers or soldiers who can protect the survivors. The soldiers can create a protected spot by holding zombies back a space. Police officers can be used sacrificially to kill one zombie they encounter although the officer will die in the process. Think strategically to reach each goal and survive the undead masses.

Forum Thread: Undead Breakout (by Magitech Corporation)


‘Box Cat’ Developer’s Twitchy Arcade Game ‘Train Bandit’ Releasing October 12th

Indie developer Rusty Moyher and his studio Wild Rooster have announced the release date of the twitchy arcade game Train Bandit which is now set to arrive next week on October 12th. Developed during the 2017 Train Jam, Train Bandit is one of those left/right twitch games somewhat similar to Timberman and its ilk that has you playing as the titular bandit hopping back and forth between train cars taking out “The Law” that’s trying to bring you down. Here’s the brand new launch trailer for Train Bandit so you can see it in action.

We were able to check out a work-in-progress version of Train Bandit during GDC this past March, literally days after it had been conceived and built, and while it was originally pegged for a release in April Rusty has taken the additional time to polish up the experience for mobile. In addition it will be launching on Steam and Xbox One on the same day it arrives for iOS. That extra time has gone into adding additional enemy types as well as unlockable bandits and leaderboards to compete on. I’m crazy about these types of twitch high scoring games so I’ll be looking forward to checking out Train Bandit next week.


Classic Reload: ‘Beat Sneak Bandit’

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the Classic Reload, the regular feature where we time our walk to the tick of the clock. In each installment of this series, we take a look at a game from the App Store’s past to see how it’s holding up in the here and now. It’s a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Your only guide on this journey is me, an observer from your own time, taking the form of a hologram that only you can see and hear. I try to pick a balanced selection of games, but if you have something you really want to see, don’t be shy! You can leave a comment below with suggestions and I’ll add them to the master list for future consideration. The schedule is done quite far in advance, so you might not see them soon, but it never hurts to try.

Simogo is a developer that has taken two forms in its history. One form, perhaps the more well-known these days, is that of a creator of clever, thoughtful, and inventive works of interactive fiction. This is the Simogo who brought us Year Walk [$ 0.99], Device 6 [$ 0.99], and The Sailor’s Dream [$ 0.99]. But before that Simogo, there was another Simogo. An equally clever Simogo, but one with a very different focus. This was a Simogo that had a knack for arcade-style experiences, brightly colored bits of child-friendly, adult-approved entertainment. This Simogo was just as tenacious about exploring the things that mobile devices were uniquely well-suited for, but in the context of zippy action games rather than ponderous adventure games. It was this Simogo that brought us Kosmo Spin [$ 0.99], Bumpy Road [$ 0.99], and Beat Sneak Bandit [$ 0.99].

Beat Sneak Bandit also has two forms. On the surface, it’s a relatively player-friendly rhythm game that asks you to make your way to a big clock in each of its 40 (+16) stages. There are many obstacles along the way, but it’s rarely very difficult to cover the route from your character to the goal. Keeping the beat is essential for moving forward, but messing up that basic element won’t hurt you too much. Even if it becomes too tricky, the game will step in and ask if you want to go ahead to the next stage at no cost or penalty. But the big clocks are not the only collectibles in each stage, and if you ever want to see those plus-sixteen stages I threw in the parentheses at the beginning of this paragraph, you’re going to have to face the other form of Beat Sneak Bandit. It’s not a pretty form, but if you can come to grips with it you’ll feel like you’ve successfully danced with the devil.

The game was announced mere months before its release in February of 2012. These were different times for the App Store, its adorable puppy phase when successful developers tended to see their paid game sales go up with each new release. Simogo was coming off of a pair of popular titles, so they didn’t need to do quite as much convincing for the next game. That allowed them to keep the lid on it until they were good and ready to show the game off. Interestingly, the idea for the game had been kicking around since the very start of the company. Originally, it was going to be an auto-runner with rhythm-based moves to help you avoid obstacles. That probably sounds a lot like Bit.Trip Run, which released a few months after Kosmo Spin. I’d imagine that would have been enough to put them off their original idea even if they hadn’t already discarded it.

The second go at the game concept came when Simogo started focusing on the project after the release of Bumpy Road. In this version of the game, the Bandit would make his way automatically through the stages. Your role was to swipe against the beat to open doors and activate switches in order to create a safe route. Unfortunately, it was a bit too complicated, so the team went back to the drawing board to try to find a way to simplify things. In the end, they drew elements from both concepts to create just the mixture that they had been looking for. Well, almost. There was one gameplay idea they ended up nixing that would have you tapping in beat to move right and backbeat to move left. That was too difficult for those who aren’t musically-inclined, so after a lot of debate among the developers, they ended up cutting backbeat-based actions out of the game entirely.

It was almost certainly the right call. Beat Sneak Bandit is a pretty tricky game as it is if you have difficulty keeping rhythm. Having to recognize and go along with backbeats would have made it nearly impossible for that sort of person. I know, because I am that sort of person. But my belief that it was the right call goes beyond my simple selfish desire to be able to play the game. No, I think it was the right call because the fact that the Bandit can only move in the direction he’s facing is an integral part of the puzzle design, perhaps the element that makes the game work the most. While I’m confident Simogo could have designed compelling levels either way, I firmly believe this made for the better game. It probably goes without saying, but I think it also made for a game with wider appeal.

I suppose this is as good a place as any to explain what the game actually is, though. In Beat Sneak Bandit you play as a benevolent thief of sorts who breaks into an evil Duke’s mansion to steal back all the clocks that he stole from the innocent townspeople. You do this with the help of a masked frog, of course. Each of the game’s 40 (again, +16) stages consists of a single screen that has four levels connected in various ways. On each level rests a small clock, and somewhere in the stage sits a big one. All you have to do to move to the next stage is to get your hands on that big clock. Collecting the smaller ones is the real challenge, and not one without rewards. For every ten that you collect, you’ll open up one special, super-hard bonus level. These levels are played in silhouette, and while they’re extremely difficult, I’d imagine anyone who can collect all of those mini-clocks will appreciate the challenge.

The Bandit has a huge list of moves. Well, no, he actually just has one. He can step forward. I guess two if you count turning around when he hits a wall. Three if we count answering the phone for some tips from his froggy friend? The point is, all you really need to do is tap with good timing. A tap that matches the music’s beat will move the Bandit one step forward. Tapping off-beat just gets you a little red flash, with the Bandit not moving at all. This is very undesirable, depending on where you are standing. On top of that, any uncollected clocks in the row you’re in will be destroyed if you make a mistake. The Bandit can only turn around when he hits a wall or some other solid obstacle. Is a guard’s butt solid? I suppose it must be. This would not be a great problem were it not for the fact that our Bandit friend can only climb (and indeed, must climb) stairs that head up in the direction he’s facing. There’s a certain finesse involved even in the basic action of navigating an empty stage.

Naturally, not many of the stages are empty. In fact, as you make your way through the game, you’ll find the designs getting to the point where there are few safe places to stand. Gimmicks like trapdoors, gates, teleporters, switches, and even a time-stopping device can help or hurt your efforts to make your way to the clocks. Less friendly are the spotlights, guards, and drones that can put a quick end to your attempt if they catch you. When you look at it on paper, that’s not a whole lot of things to worry about, but the way Simogo combines these simple obstacles can make for some really nasty sequences. All of these bits and bobs are moving along to the beat, usually in a shorter loop than you would expect. One of the most essential things to do in Beat Sneak Bandit, apart from hitting the basic beat reliably, is to carefully examine this loop and search for a way through.

It’s a really fun game, and replaying it is almost as enjoyable as the first time through. The only low point of the game, in my opinion, is the final boss battle. It’s a bit different from every other stage. You need to take apart the Duke’s machine piece by piece using bombs and springboards. This involves running back and forth underneath the machine, where the Duke attempts to crush you with a row of pistons. Conceptually, it’s fine. Neat, really. It’s just that it drags on too long, and if you make a mistake at any point, you’ve got to do the whole mess over again from scratch. It’s the rhythm game equivalent of an HP sponge, and I’ve never been overly fond of those types. It’s only a small slice of the game, relatively speaking, but it does make things close out on a sour note.

Beat Sneak Bandit has nearly a flawless presentation. The music is both varied and terrific, and the visuals are stylish and, as a result, virtually timeless. While you really can’t fully enjoy the game without sound, the developers even thought to put a little visual aid for those who have trouble keeping the beat without some kind of feedback. It’s hard to believe this game didn’t need any updates for more than half a decade. Simogo only recently had to return to it to add 64-bit support. Naturally, while they were at that job they also spiffed up everything else. The game has never looked better, and if you told me it came out last week, I’d believe you. I’m happy Simogo came to the rescue on this game and the rest of their library, and I only hope that they will be there again should the need arise.

That’s just my take on Beat Sneak Bandit, though. What do you all think? Please leave your comments below telling me your thoughts on the game and any other memories you might have of it. Also, if you’re game for joining in on a game, the RPG Reload Play-Along of Bastion is still going strong in the forums. Come on by and say hello, we don’t bite. Well, most of us don’t. As for me, I’ll be back next week with the next part of our RPG Reload Glossary series on the history of action-RPGs. Thanks for reading!

Next Week’s Reload: The RPG Reload Glossary