iOS Roundup: The FOB Edition

Once you get tired of supporting microtransaction-laden, freemium, pay2win, exploitative games that are bringing down the entire industry and turning everyone into filthy casuals, try these complete, pay-once-and-get-the-whole-experience games instead. If you have enough money after buying all your FOBs, of course.

Lara Croft GO

  • Cost: $4.99
  • Exploitation Rating: 2 FOBs out of 5

Square-Enix’s second game in their board-game-inspired GO series follows Lara Croft as she explores the ruins, fights off baddies, and collects treasures. It turns out that Tomb Raider actually translates very well to a turn-based format and it controls surprisingly well. The only controls are swiping to move and tapping an enemy to perform a ranged attack if you have an appropriate weapon, although it could be a little clearer that you can do the latter. Enemies are shaded white if you’re in range to target them with a ranged attack, which can be a bit hard to see in some of the environments.

Here's a random screenshot taken from the game's iTunes page.
Here’s a random screenshot taken from the game’s iTunes page.

What I like most about the game is that it’s designed in a way that you don’t need tutorials, because every new obstacle is introduced in a way that you can safely observe how they move and how Lara can bypass them. Once you’ve been properly introduced to the obstacle, the game then challenges you to solve various puzzles, using what you observed the first time. It’s a clever design that isn’t really seen too much these days.

Dungeon of the Endless

  • Cost: $4.99
  • Exploitation Rating: N/A

This is a rogue-like tower defense hybrid, according to the developers, Amplitude Studios. Unfortunately, this game requires an iPad 3 or newer, which I don’t have. But people I trust have spoken of it very highly, so well, here it is. Here’s a random screenshot:

Looks pretty good, right?
Looks pretty good, right?


  • Cost: Free
  • Exploitation Rating: 1 FOB out of 5

Alphabear: Word Puzzle Game is a cute little word game featuring adorable little bears that will help you increase your vocabulary. You can bring up to three bears, with each bear having it’s own way to help you gain points. For example, the Fore Bear gives you bonus points for 4-letter words, and the Easy Bear gives you bonus points each time you use E, A, S, or Y. If you use all the letters on one side of a bear, it expands; larger bears are worth more points at the end of the game. If you don’t use a letter, though, it’s worth fewer and fewer points, and if the value drops to 0, it turns into a rock, which blocks the growth of your bears. Try to avoid that.

The best part of the game, though, is the Mad Libs-style rewards screen, where the bears say weird things based on the words you scored during the game.

Galactic Keep

  • Cost: $3.99
  • Exploitation Rating: 0 FOBs out of 5

I haven’t had time to play this game yet, but people I trust have spoken very highly of it, so well, here it is.

Take a bold step into the world of GALACTIC KEEP, a science fiction RPG adventure game the likes of which you have never played before! NOTE: Requires iPhone 4s, iPad 2 or iPod Touch 4th gen and later.
– The iTunes page description

And again, here’s a random screenshot:

Looks pretty good, right?
Looks pretty good, right?