The seemingly endless Cooking Mama franchise arrives on Apple Arcade in all its mildly surreal glory, which as usual has you preparing authentic meals from raw ingredients. All the chopping, stirring, sieving, and rolling is ideally suited to touchscreen play, its frenetic action reminiscent of the brevity and insanity of the WarioWare games, even if this isn’t anywhere near as inventive.
The great open world RPG Dysmantle and a version of FTL with a Cthulhu theme are included in GameCentral’s regular look at the finest mobile games. The physics-based meat-throwing game Bacon, created this month by App Store veteran Phillip Stollenmayer, has been upgraded with a real-world reward for players who complete all of its levels. The latest releases include the sophisticated puzzler Loco Looper, the bold Archero ripoff Guns & Dungeons, and Dysmantle, a PC port with the scale and openness rarely seen in mobile.
In Gun & Dungeons you steer your hero around enclosed rooms, avoiding enemies and incoming ordnance, releasing your thumb to return fire. At the end of each room you collect gold and power-ups before moving on to the next wave. If that sounds almost identical to Archero, that’s because this is in fact a slightly second rate rip-off of that game, substituting a gun for Archero’s bow and arrow, but keeping everything else, from gameplay to power-ups, exactly the same.
There does come a point where frustration sets in, the randomly assigned ingredients making it hard to predict exactly what you’re cooking, which makes filling in the last few pages of the game’s cookery book an unnecessary chore, but for a bit of knockabout kitchen-centric fun, its first few hours remain highly entertaining.
It has a sparse interface that doesn’t depict the battle itself, instead comprising a set of energy bars and healing spells, each of which has different features, working on one or more party members over different periods of time. Incremental games are tough to review, because their lifespans are long and progress deliberately slow, but early signs are positive, and its developer has been dropping frequent balance updates based on player feedback. Free to download games often get a bad rap for being more like ‘experiences’ than games, the sparkly rewards, blings, and power-ups accruing with little or no player skill.
The level of plagiarism is astonishing, although apparently not actually illegal given the game’s presence on both the Google Play and App Stores, but for anyone yearning for a barely perceptible twist on Archero, this will absolutely scratch that itch. Be the healer. Lowlife is now available for the iPhone in the App Store https://t.co/4nxhgz86gf pic.twitter.com/uxZiUgo2zI— Lowlife (@LowlifeGame) July 2, 2022