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Category Archives: TA Plays

As of this week, we'll be 291 episodes into our podcast. It's hard to believe we've been doing it weekly for over five years now. I think that makes us the longest running mobile games podcast out there! In the last few weeks, we've been refining the video version of our podcast which is the same audio as our normal podcast, except you can see the games we're playing and the things we're reacting to in real time. Here's a teaser of this week's episode:..

As I mentioned with Merchants & Mercenaries earlier, I really love these hyper-concentrated strategy experiences on iOS. Element falls directly in line with that, but with gameplay that feels like an interstellar lightweight version of Civilization mashed up with an RTS, or something similar. Element is deep into the category of games that are hard to explain, but will make total sense in a few seconds of watching video. Check out how quickly things come together:..

We got a nice look at Ticket to Earth back at GDC, and while the game seems real similar to what we saw before, it's super rad to see it with another near-year of development time on it. If this is the first you've heard of it, imagine something like Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99] combined with... *dramatic pause* Dungeon Raid [$0.99]. I am super excited for this, check it out:..

The second space shooter I saw at PAX Australia after Flingship was Thwart Geo [Free], which is more traditionally what you might think of a modern Astroids-like shooter. Instead of being endless, it's level-based with a whole heap of power ups to explode and skins to unlock. Take a look:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Flingship'

November 10th, 2016 6:45 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays

A lot of space games seem to rely on an Astroids-like inertia system for moving around, where a lot of the time you're thinking of how you're going to make your next calculated thruster blast. Not the case in Flingship [Free], a surprisingly frantic arcade space game that sends your ship rocketing towards whatever direction you swipe. It's simple, but there's a ton of game modes that add a bunch of variety:..

PAX Australia 2016: 'Harvest'

November 10th, 2016 6:15 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, PAX Australia, TA Plays

What do you get when you combine farming, runners, and r/OSHA? Apparently, Harvest [Free] is the answer. In the game, you're running from a massive combine through a corn field, fighting to stay alive, which is a totally realistic setting as someone who has spent a lot of time on actual corn farms. Anyway, once you finally get run over by the combine, you're able to tweak out your actual farm in a bunch of interesting ways. The premise doesn't make a ton of sense, but it's still pretty dang fun. Check it out:..

SMG's One More series got a whole lot more rad with the sorta recently released One More Jump [Free]. If you haven't played it, it's a single button jumping game that's a neat spin on all the"impossible" platformer genre. (And if you're not into that one, check out One More Bounce [Free] or One More Dash [Free]) Well, they've got a bunch of updates that have been released since launch and are still coming. Check it out:..

By 2016, it seems like every game that can have some kind of tap and drag sling shot-y mechanic has been done, except for gallery shooters. Well, Barking Irons [$0.99] solves that problem and in the process actually provides a mechanic for one-handed play that works surprisingly well for this kind of game. So, if you're the kind of person always on the hunt for more single hand portrait mode games, give this a look:..

Qinoto is an abstract puzzle game with a really fascinating mechanic where puzzles are solved by folding the art which makes up the scene you're looking at to form another image. It reminds me of if you took those Mad Magazine fold-ins where you fold a page of the magazine up to reveal something else, but blown out into an actual game. Like a lot of puzzle games, it'll make way more sense when you see it in motion:..

In 2016, I feel like it's really rare to see a tower defense game of any kind that makes you say to yourself, "Huh, that's neat." That's not really a slam on the genre or anything as much as it feels like every possible iteration has been done before. The upcoming Chika Invasion mixes things up in an interesting way I'm not sure I've seen before, and if I have, it's been a while. Well, the neat spin Chika Invasion has is that you're place your towers in 3D, which means instead of just being on a path they can also be on walls and similar. Take a look:..

Among the many things I dig about mobile, it's how developers have come up with more and more clever ways to compress what feel like "full" gameplay experiences into something you could realistically play between subway stops. I love games like Civilization, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan and other similar games, but playing one of those has you really committing to a decently long gameplay session (or, incredibly long, in the case of Civ). Merchants & Mercenaries takes a lot of those same flavors, but combine them into a easily digestible mobile experience. Check it out:..

The internet was on fire this morning when it was revealed that Unity developer Erik Roystan Ross posted a playable version of Super Mario 64 HD built in unity that runs inside your browser, provided you've got the Unity plugin installed, of course. It's a bit of a tech demo to showcase his Unity tool Super Character Controller which is a collection of functions that make animating characters easier. How easy? Well, easy enough to throw together the first level of Super Mario 64...

Gunbrick [$2.99] came out a while ago, and while we reviewed it and discussed it a couple times on the podcast, it's really one of those games that are better to see in motion. The game mechanic revolves around rotating your Gunbrick to solve puzzles where your gun (and sometimes blast shield) are in the right location. Also, I like recording video of puzzle games because it immortalizes you looking really dumb:..

While Angry Birds might be totally out of style these days, it's nuts to go back and look at how much content has been added to these games over the years. Still available for a buck, Angry Birds Seasons [Free] offers a ridiculous value proposition. When it was first released it was just a silly spinoff with holiday themed Angry Birds levels. In 2015, it's like having the whole Encyclopedia Britannica set dumped on your doorstep, only Angry Birds level packs instead of books. ..

Whenever we ask what games we should do video of, there's always a chorus of people who always say Minecraft Pocket Edition [$6.99]. I've got no idea why, as recording video of us playing Minecraft is a sure-fire way to make me and Jared look really stupid. So, whatever, we'll embrace it. We're kicking off a video series not just on how to play Minecraft PE, but how to play Minecraft PE badly. There's an endless array of servers out there for us to join, with an even more diverse range of mods running on them. We're going to hop around like the TV show Sliders...

I now have two distinctly different groups of fighting games in my life: Games where you can play as a character named "Butt" and games where you cannot play as a character named "Butt." Garou: Mark of the Wolves [$3.99] is in the first group. Jared and I get online together and go through a couple multiplayer fights, but ultimately end up having weird Game Center issues. So, I pick up the pieces, and my Butt proceeds ahead to get rocked in single player...

I feel like ever since CSR Racing [Free] hit it big, all sorts of developers have tried to come up with the next cool thing in the one-button free to play racing game world. Typically, these sorts of games have you hitting the screen to shift, but MMX Racing [Free] mixes things up and instead has you controlling how your truck handles jumps. It doesn't sound like much, but it makes a big difference. We spend a lot of the video explaining why:..

Shadowmatic [$2.99] came out a while ago, but it's one of those games that's kind of difficult to describe but makes total sense as soon as you see it in motion. It's like the crazy child of Zen Bound [$2.99] and Blueprint 3D but with shadows. We give it a spin, but this video comes with the standard puzzle game caveat: These levels only have one solution, so watching us solve them can be a major spoiler. We only do the first few levels though, so, it's not that big of a spoiler for the overall game-..

Today we've got a fresh install of Halfbrick's Monster Dash [Free] to check out the recently released Ghostbusters content. You actually have to play the game for a little bit before you can drop $2.99 on the new Ghostbusters characters, so we do that and talk a bit about the history of the game in the process:..

We sat down with developer Mike Meade in between a commercial break for The Mikey Shorts Fun Show over a bowl of Mikey Munch to play the latest release from Beaver Tap Games, Radical [Free]. It's another one of those see how long you can survive avoidance high scoring game with ads, which you probably already have a dozen of on your phone. Each of them has their own little twist, which always makes them at least worth trying out, especially since they're all so small and take mere seconds to download. Here's what Radical looks like in motion:..

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