Monument Valley 2 is a monumental achievement [Review]

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Monument Valley 2 review
Are you ready for a return to Monument Valley?
Photo: Luke Dormehl/Cult of Mac

When I interviewed the creators of smash hit puzzle game Monument Valley back in 2014, producer Dan Gray told me, “Already we’re having people ask us when Monument Valley 2 comes out, which is pretty crazy.”

Well, ask and ye shall receive — albeit three long years later. Arriving as a surprise release on iOS this month, Monument Valley 2 brings more of the M.C. Escher-inspired puzzle action that fans have been craving since the original game arrived in the App Store.

How does it fare? Put it this way: If you loved the original, you should fire up Apple Pay right now and set aside a few hours for more of the same.

Defend the planet with indie music in Loud on Planet X [Reviews]

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Blast aliens while you dance a little on Planet X.
Blast aliens while you dance a little on Planet X.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been smashing aliens with multiple eyes for a good while now, and the fantastic indie-flavored soundtrack of Loud on Planet X has invaded my brain.

A mashup of rhythm games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero with lane-based tower defense games like Plants vs. Zombies, Loud on Planet X will scratch that music game itch, getting you to tap your way to victory while getting to play as your favorite indie band, like Tegan and Sara, CHVRCHES, Lights, Purity Ring, and Little Dragon, just to name a few.

Grayout filters word puzzles through a broken mind

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Graybox
Have fun sorting all of this out.
Photo: Neven Mrgan

Every once in a while, a game hits the App Store that contains such a bizarre concept that it only makes sense once you start playing it. And sometimes, that’s a good thing, but usually, it isn’t so much. Luckily, Grayout, a text-based game from developer Neven Mrgan, falls firmly into the first category.

The problem is that the mechanic that plays out across Grayout‘s 90-plus screens makes it incredibly difficult to describe. But we’re professionals here, so let’s give it a try.

Jump Legends is a wildly difficult side-scroller with a twist [Reviews]

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jump-legends - 3
Yes, another frustrating game that'll keep you coming back.
Photo: Fabled Realm

Jump Legends is a new adventure game for iOS with something very interesting going for it. Your character is an adventurer that’s traveling and jumping through various obstacles to collect different rewards and treasures.

Ultimately, your only responsibility in the entire game is to simply tap so your character jumps as needed. In Jump Legends, this proves extremely challenging because your journey changes every single time you lose.

5 iOS games that’ll make you leap to the App Store [Reviews]

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Best new iOS games February 2016
Which new iOS games made the cut this month?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Today is February 29, which is always a little confusing. It’s cool that we get an extra day in the year (kinda), but we aren’t ever sure what to do with it. Do we keep acting like it’s crappy February, or should we get even more anxious for halfway-decent March? And why haven’t we filed our taxes yet?

We don’t know, but if you’re looking for a way to spend your Leap Day, here are some of the best iOS games from the past month.

Stack blocks to save the galaxy’s cutest robot in clever Atomi

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Atomi
The day I don't want to help a cute robot is the day I stop living.
Photo: Studio Baikin

If you can look Atomi‘s super-cute robot hero in his single, perfectly round eye and say that you don’t want to help him get home, then you may be a monster. I’m sorry you had to hear it from me.

Atomi needs to gather atoms to repair his busted spaceship, but he has a few things in his way. Specifically, he can’t climb or jump, and some of those things he needs are on very tall platforms. But that’s where you come in. And the time you spend getting the little ‘bot where he needs to be is both fun and charming as it sounds.

The 10 best new Mac games of 2015

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Simply the best.
Simply the best.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015 Mac games aren’t as numerous as iOS games, but they tend to be a bit more expensive, making impulse purchases a rare thing. How do you know which ones to spend your money on?

If you’re looking to stuff your stocking with the finest of games for our favorite platform, look no further. We play them all so you don’t have to, and we tell you which are the best ones to grab.

These are Cult of Mac’s picks for best new Mac games of 2015.

Bloodborne offers the most fun you can have being terrible

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Bloodborne
It's not, you know, pretty pretty, but Bloodborne's grim Gothic setting does have its charms. Photo: Sony

Bloodborne’s village of Yharnam is a dangerous place. It’s full of werewolves, trolls, giant pigs and a host of other terrible beasts that want to kill you. And they can. And they will. But that’s all part of the fun.

Yharnam is a towering, Gothic, often claustrophobic place with buildings piled on buildings and dead ends everywhere. It isn’t a vacation spot, and it isn’t here to make you happy. It exists to give those who venture within exactly what they deserve, for good or ill. The village rewards those who take their time, study their enemies, and plan their moves carefully. And it punishes those who rush or are otherwise careless.

If you want to survive Bloodborne, you must be careful and learn everything you can about both your own and the monsters’ capabilities. This might take a while, but it’s a game in which progress really feels like progress, and you have nobody to blame for failure but yourself.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 squishes action and horror into a game sandwich

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Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Hey, Barry's back! Photo: Capcom

The Resident Evil franchise has suffered a bit of an identity crisis in recent years, straying from its survival-horror roots toward something considerably more action-based. The latest entry, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, tries to have it both ways by splitting its four-chapter tale between two storylines. One features two frantic survivors struggling for resources, and the other has you playing as a heavily armed man of action.

It seems like mixing these two extremes would end up diluting them both, but somehow developer Capcom managed to take the best of both play styles and create something distinctive, harrowing and still damned scary.