10 New App Store Games To Watch [May 24 – 30]
The first couple days of this week were a bit slow for new releases, and the all of a sudden the folks over at the App Store approval center must have finally woken up. If you’re into action / stealth games you’ve got Splinter Cell Conviction from Gameloft. Fancy yourself a bit of a retro gamer? Check out the updated classic that started the franchise with Prince of Persia® Retro. How about a mad game of kart racing? The App Store has that covered as well with Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. Don’t quite have the budget for Splinter Cell or Crash? There are always some solid smaller titles like Pirate’s Treasure and Assault Squadron. Complete roundup after the gap!
Splinter Cell Conviction – Step into the shoes of Sam Fisher, a secret agent gone rouge to recover his daughter from a corrupt agency. The rules are now yours to make, and you’ll run, jump and fight your way through 11 levels to decide how best to write the rulebook. You can interrogate enemies to gain information, sneak up behind the bad guys for a one hit kill, or use a feature called Mark & Execute to select multiple villains and take them out all at once. The gorgeous 3D visuals will suck you in and the intense, non-stop action will draw you back for more.
Gameloft, Splinter Cell Conviction™ – $9.99
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 – The boys are back in this sequel to the popular racer Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D. Select one of 10 characters and race across 12 unique tracks. Collect power ups and weapons to bolster yourself and stop your opponents. Play against wacky computer AI or get with up to three friends to play one of three different game modes over the internet. Colorful 3D graphics bring out the personalities of the nutty cast and almost make you forget that we’ll never see a version of Mario Kart on an iDevice.
Activision Publishing, Inc., Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 – $9.99
Prince of Persia® Retro – If you’re a fan of the original than you already know all about this. If not, this is the 2D legend that started the franchise. It’s known for being extremely challenging, and they certainly didn’t water it down for this port. The graphics are slick, the audio sounds like it was lifted from the original, and the control scheme seems to have added a level of difficulty on top of the already intense nature of the game. If you are familiar with the source you should find this to be a nice trip down memory lane, but newcomers could have a hard time finding the appeal. On the plus side, it’s currently 99 cents and it’s a universal binary (meaning it’ll work on all iDevices, including the iPad without pixelation).
Ubisoft, Prince of Persia® Retro – $0.99
Phoenix Wright – Phoenix Wright is a popular series that spans the GBA (in Japan only) and the Nintendo DS worldwide. The iPhone version collects all 5 of the GBA cases into one game, so this should be a real treat for those who don’t speak Japanese or have not had the privilege of playing the GBA games. It’s sort of like Law & Order meets anime, and allows you to partake in both the evidence gathering and the trials. In-depth characters, lots of things to investigate and a slick presentation should make this another hit in the Wright franchise.
CAPCOM, Phoenix Wright – $4.99
KNIGHT RIDER – I don’t know about you, but I always thought it would be cool to have a talking car. Controlling one in a video game may not be quite the same experience, but it’s still cool. With oil slicks and turbo boosts it sounds a bit like a Spy Hunter knock off, but I can’t think of a better way to clone one of the greatest top down car games than by using one of the best sci-fi car licenses. And, for the nostalgia buff, they’ve even included clips from the show that can be unlocked by achieving certain goals. The graphics look pretty sharp, and the music is pulled straight from the theme of the show. Now all we need is voiceover work from William Daniels, the voice of K.I.T.T.
Hudson, KNIGHT RIDER – $4.99
Assault Squadron – Yeah, it’s another scrolling shooter, but you really can’t have too many of those as far as I’m concerned. Assault Squadron gives you the best of both worlds, as there are both horizontal and vertical scrolling levels. Choose from several different customizable ships with unique stats and load them up with deadly weaponry. For the purpose-oriented folks there’s a story mode, or for the Steven Segal / Jean Claude VanDamme fans there is a pure arcade mode. Some slick visuals are complimented by a soundtrack licensed from artist Psygone. This one really should be a blast.
Chillingo Ltd, Assault Squadron – $2.99
Azada– Azada is a port of one of the hundreds of products that Big Fish Games has in their PC collection, and on the PC side it’s one of the more interesting games that I’ve played from their stash. It’s sort of like Myst, where the puzzles take precedence over the story, but for me Azada is a much more interesting game. The puzzles are mini-game style affairs, and usually don’t take too long to get through. At the same time, there’s a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed one. There are over 40 unique puzzles, including 5 “master” puzzles and some “escape the room” sequences to throw some variety in the mix. This is a great game for those who like the balance of story vs. puzzle to weigh heavily on the puzzle side.
Big Fish Games, Inc, Azada – $4.99
Might & Magic Heroes Kingdomss – I’ll admit this is of limited scope right now, since it’s an iPad game that’s only available in certain regions (the U.S. not being one of them), but I bring it up because I am a big fan of the Might & Magic franchise, both RPG and strategy. This is basically an MMO client that allows you to build up a kingdom using a strategy style interface derived from the Heroes Of Might & Magic side of the franchise. Once you’ve grown strong you’ll be able to align with other players to try and conquer the world – and I imagine eventually turn on your friends to own everything yourself. There are few MMOs that have tempted me over time, but this is definitely one of them.
Ubisoft, Might & Magic Heroes Kingdoms, Free
Pirate’s Treasure – Since I’ve had my iPod Touch dual stick shooters have become one of my favorite styles of game play, and Chillingo has published some hum-dingers (iDracula, Minigore, and Guerrilla Bob, to name a few). It looks like they have no intentions of stopping either, witnessed by the release of their newest published title, Pirate’s Treasure. Explore Treasure Island as you seek out the riches of the Grim Reaper himself. The game promises RPG like elements as you build up your character’s skills over time. And from the video promo it looks like you get to ride some giant octopus creature as one of your power ups. How cool is that?
Chillingo Ltd, Pirate’s Treasure – $1.99
Masquerade Deluxe – This is an update to a really old adventure game. How do I know it’s old? Well, the iTunes description tells me, but also because it uses text input instead of a graphical interface. That’s okay, though, because they’ve at least updated the visuals, and they even added a couple of new locations to the iPhone release. These text input games can be a bit hard to maneuver around on the iDevice, but it’s free, so you don’t lose anything for trying. It’s compatible with the iPad, which should provide easier text entry. Maybe they’ll make an iPad native version some day.
Jompe71, Masquerade Deluxe – Free
And if you can’t get more of the roundup, here are a few more games that should keep you occupied (coincidentally all iPad/HD games):
- Dimension Technics Kft., Alpine Crawler HD – Free
- Revolution Software, Broken Sword: Director’s Cut HD – $7.99
- Agharta Studio, 1112 episode 02 HD – $7.99
- BULKYPIX, Saving Private Sheep HD – $3.99
- Electronic Arts, BOGGLE for iPad – $4.99
- G5 Entrtainment AB, Mahjong Artifacts HD – $4.99
Well, that’s my list for the week. If there are any games you felt deserved special attention this week, please feel free to add your comments to this thread. It’s always good to know what our readers enjoy.