Author Archives: Shaun Musgrave


The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy 5'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

Musgravian Musings - 'Pokemon: Magikarp Jump' is a Crash Course in the Cruel Nature of Mortality

Hello everyone, and welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time around, I'm looking at the latest Pokemon game, Pokemon: Magikarp Jump [Free]. It's more entertaining than you might think, and a lot of that comes down to its contrasting tones. Let's take a closer look at this bizarre game...




Five years is a pretty solid chunk of time, but it sometimes feels like the blink of an eye. Around five years ago, Taito released RayForce [$4.99] and RayStorm [$7.99] on iOS. They're the first two parts of a trilogy of shoot-em-ups that concluded with RayCrisis in 1998. When our own Jared Nelson wrote up the news of RayStorm's release, he expressed hope that Taito would see way to releasing the third game sometime down the road. Well, Past Jared, we are truly down the road now. Not only is RayCrisis on its way to mobile platforms this summer, but Taito is also gussying up the first two games to bring them up to modern spec, starting with the original game, RayForce...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...

Much to the consternation of some long-time fans of the series, the recent Fire Emblem games have placed a strong emphasis on marriage. It's such a popular feature that it was a little odd when Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] launched without any signs of the popular relationship system included. The latest event for the game doesn't really do anything about that, but if it's a Fire Emblem waifu you want, then a Fire Emblem waifu you shall have...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Onirim', 'Fallout Shelter', 'Nimian Legends: BrightRidge', 'Disney Magic Kingdoms', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the most noteworthy updates of the last seven days. New, old, premium, and free-to-play: there's a little bit of everything in this week's top updates. Of course, you can keep an eye out for them yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Look, I warned you yesterday there would be another one. And here we are. A few more stragglers have come in, offering some keen discounts for the holiday weekend. Sure, many of these are in the regular holiday sale rotation, but there's at least a couple that are new to the whole thing. So let's have a look and see what's in the happy bag of low-priced goodies today, shall we? As before, I'll link reviews where we have them available so that you can get some additional information...

RPG Reload File 103 - 'Fairune'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we know the trees are a lie. In each installment, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it stands the test of time. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Being the disembodied voice that tells you where to go, I try to choose a balanced plate of games to feature. If there's a game you really want to see, though, don't be shy! You can let me know in the comments below, by posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

Trusty JRPG publisher Kemco's been trying to spread its wings a little bit of late, trying out new developers and gameplay variations after years of serving up the same old. They haven't quite given up on the old formula yet, though. Developer EXE-Create is still by Kemco's side, cranking out their serviceable brand of JRPG joy every couple of months or so. Onigo Hunter [$4.99] is the latest offering, and it's more or less the usual fare for Kemco. It tries to do a few new things but was obviously constrained by the resources available, making for an experience that is likely to be a little too familiar to mobile RPG fans...

"More sales? More? Shaun, I only have so much money," you cry. But your pleas are for naught, my friends. You can't stop the sales. I can't stop the sales. No one can stop the sales. Well, I guess Tim Cook could stop the sales. But almost no one can stop the sales. As a dutiful documentarian of such things, I'm once again bringing you a list of notable sales you might want to check out. As before, I will add links to reviews where we have them available so you can get more information on each game...

Hey hey, it's time to make some crazy money, are you ready? Here we go! Those are the words that lit a fire in the hearts of many an arcade gamer and Dreamcast owner back in the day thanks to SEGA's Crazy Taxi [Free]. One of SEGA's last big worldwide arcade hits, the game was one of the Dreamcast's best sellers and among the first SEGA games to go multiplatform after the company's exit from the hardware business. Over the years, it's been re-released on just about every platform out there, including iOS and Android. To add another trophy to its shelf, it's also one of very few non-Sonic premium games to survive SEGA's big cull of titles around the release of iOS 9. SEGA clearly likes keeping the game around...

Yesterday, we noticed that a bunch of games dropped to the price of $0.99 for what is most likely a Memorial Day sale. Well, there are a whole bunch of other games that have also gone on sale, though not necessarily for $0.99. I figured I'd mop up the best of the bunch that I could find and present them to you here in a nice, easy-to-click list. Nudge nudge, wink wink, friends. All kidding aside, there are some really great games on sale for up to half off of their regular price, so make sure you check them out...

Hey there, friends! I have a question for you all. Do you like shooting lasers at things in space? I'm going to assume you do because if you don't, you are dead to me. At least, the me that is writing this article, hoping this is very salient to your interests. Phew, I'm rambling here. It's just that Subdivision Infinity [$4.99] from Crescent Moon Games has hit the App Store a touch early and I'm very excited about that. It's even having one of those launch sale things, so you can get it for 40% off what will be its eventual regular price...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Mikey Jumps', 'Crash Club', 'Neo Monsters', 'SimCity BuildIt', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Is it just me, or did last week feel really long? Well, whatever your relative association with the movement of time, I've got a bag of updates for you to check out while you have your morning cup of whatevs. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

Let's face it: when it comes to strategy/tactical RPGs, iOS gamers have got it pretty good. Setting aside the occasional great port we get from PCs or consoles, there are also plenty of quality original games in the genre. The only catch is that they tend to be a little rudimentary in their presentation. Bucking that trend is the Demon's Rise series, which offers up accessible yet deep strategy gameplay with surprisingly high-quality production values. The games aren't much for story, but if you enjoy the mechanics of games like Final Fantasy Tactics or X-COM, you'll want to check out Demon's Rise [$0.99] or its sequel, Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99]. At the moment, you can grab the latter game for its lowest price yet...

Musgravian Musings - 'Ghouls 'n Ghosts Mobile' and 'Arkanoid vs Space Invaders'

Well, I suppose this went well enough the first time to give it another go. Welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some short, non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time, I'm looking at two new releases that draw on old favorites. From Capcom, we've got their mobile version of the 1988 arcade classic Ghouls 'n Ghosts [$1.99]. From Taito, by way of their parent company Square Enix, a game that is both the latest Arkanoid and the latest Space Invaders, Arkanoid vs Space Invaders [$3.99]...

RPG Reload Glossary - The New Millennium of Tactical RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we maintain a healthy fear of Etna. Last month, we took a look at the early history of the tactical RPG genre followed by its blossoming in the 1990s. It was an important time for the genre, as the vague concepts of the 1980s were finally drawn together into a functional set of genre guidelines. While the genre really started to take off in Japan, things went a different way in the West. Besides occasional hits like X-COM, Western game developers were largely focused on a considerably more popular sister genre, the real-time strategy game. This gap would only become wider as time went on. This month, we're taking a look at some of the significant tactical RPGs of the 2000s, as the Japanese variation of the genre rode a massive wave of popularity worldwide off the back of Final Fantasy Tactics...

Gamevil's been part of the mobile gaming scene for pretty much as long as there has been a mobile gaming scene, and part of the reason for that is their ability to read the market and adjust accordingly. They've gone from flip-phone sports games and hack-and-slash action-RPGs to puzzle-RPGs, Adventure Time tie-ins, and gorgeous social RPGs. Though they favor a free-to-play model these days, they always put a lot of effort into delivering a polished experience. As a result, they're one of the more prolific social RPG publishers of today. One of their other strengths is in finding good development partners to work with, and the latest team they've hooked up with is Singta...

Oh, you thought your wallet was safe for another week? Well, Bandai Namco and Behold Studios have some other plans for your precious pocket money. After what feels like 10,000 years, Chroma Squad [$4.99] has finally made its way to the App Store. From the developers of the popular Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG based on the Super Sentai/Power Rangers-style teams of heroes in color-coded spandex...

'To The Moon' Review - When the Moon Hits Your Eye

To The Moon [$4.99] is an experience that depends almost entirely on the way its story unravels, and the exceptional music backing it. Spoiling the story, any bit of it, beyond the premise would be doing any potential player a tremendous disservice. And while I can offer up all kinds of praise for the audio, it's not as though that's easy to convey through text. So what should I write here? Let's start with this: To The Moon is an amazing journey through the memories of a man who has reached the end of his life, and as long as you don't mind the fact that the gameplay doesn't involve much more than walking around and clicking on things, you really ought to play this...