10 New App Store Games To Watch [June 7 – 13]

As always there were a bunch of games released for the iPhone / iPad this week.  However, I wouldn’t exactly call it a stellar week for notable releases.  Of course the big news was the release of Guitar Hero for iPhone, something people have been waiting for ever since Tap Tap Revenge hit the streets.  Personally I don’t get the appeal, but to each their own.  Interestingly enough, this very week we also saw the release of Slash’s Arcade Rocker, a competitor to both Guitar Hero and Tap Tap Revenge.  It appears that this game has been pulled from the U.S. Store, however.  The company that released Slash’s Arcade Rocker has also released a generically named Arcade Rocker as well.  Confused yet?  I know I am.

Guitar Hero – Sadly, I probably need more of an introduction to this game than most of you reading this will, because I’ve never played a single iteration of the Guitar Hero franchise before.  Basically, though, the idea is that you “play along” with the songs, and the more accurately you tap, strum and slide to the music, the better your score.  The game allows you to fully customize the in-game 3D avatar to give you a complete personalized experience as you work your way to the top.  The initial offering comes with six songs ranging from “We Are The Champions” to “Seven Nation Army”, and more music is available via in-app purchasing.

Guitar Hero Activision Publishing, Inc., Guitar Hero – $2.99

PAC-Match Party – What better way to throw Pac-Man a 30th birthday party than to give him his very own match 3 game?  You must gobble up presents, cake and fruit while trying to keep the ghosts under control so they don’t overrun the board.  Power ups include removing entire rows or columns at once, removing all of a particular type of item, or ultimately being able to unleash Pac-Man himself on the board to chomp away at the pieces.  If you don’t like the way the board looks tilt your device 90 degrees to get a different perspective on the situation.  I’m not completely sold on this one yet, but toss in a modern rendition of the old Pac-Man theme and we might have something here.

PAC-Match Party Namco Networks America Inc., PAC-Match Party – $1.99

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter – This is like Jurassic Park for the aggressive folks.  Work your way through 5 different environments and 15 types of dinosaurs with the aid of 1 of 6 weapons.  In Hunting mode you’ll have to use your skill to find and bring down these massive beasts.  For the real thrill seeker there’s Survival mode, where the dinosaurs come to you and it will take all of your wits to keep them at bay before you become dinner.  The game promises some pretty intense AI, and the graphics look really sharp.  If you ask me this sounds a whole lot more entertaining than hunting deer.

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter Tatem Games, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter – $4.99

Zombie Wonderland – I don’t think a week goes by without another Zombie themed game showing up in the App Store.  This game takes a little more comedic bent to the genre, as you are required to mop up any zombie guts that get spilled inside the premises that you are trying to protect.  You’ll fight across four locales including Aunt Lilly’s house and Jake’s Garage, and you’ll get bigger weapons and even then chance to upgrade your mop for those pervasive zombie stains.  The graphics are cute, and in typical zombie movie fashion Chuck always has something to say as he’s blasting the head off of a zombie.

Zombie Wonderland Chillingo Ltd, Zombie Wonderland – $0.99

Puppet War:FPS – You really have to wonder if Jim Henson ever had this nightmare.  You’re stuck on the set of a kid’s TV show, and all the puppets have gone mad.  Now it’s up to you to stop them.  The puppets have various skills such as throwing chickens and self destructing, but you’re not helpless either.  With everything from a lightning sword to a plunger crossbow you’ll be equipped for all your puppet exterminating needs.  Render all this in 3D and throw in a destructible environment, and it sounds like a winner to me.

Puppet War:FPS Twindigo, Puppet War:FPS – $1.99

Foosball HD – I’m not much of a foosball fan, but Illusion Labs is known for putting out quality games, so I figure this should be no exception.  The game uses OpenGL for graphics, so the simulated table top looks pretty decent, and it promises authentic sound effects.  I always though the best sound effects came from the players ridiculing each other while they’re playing, but I’m pretty sure that’s not simulated.  You can play against the computer, but the game also supports two player mode on the same device, one of the beauties of having a bigger surface area like the iPad does.  The description says you can even play 2 on 2, but I’m thinking you need to have some pretty close gaming friends for that to happen.

Foosball HD Seller: Illusion Labs AB , Foosball HD – $2.99

Underground 3D Rollercoaster Rush – I know you’re thinking “what’s the big deal, haven’t they made a bazillion of these already?”  And, like Halloween movies, you’d be right.  However, this one looks to add something new to the mix.  In addition to classic mode where you race through tracks trying your best not to lose all your cars, there’s a new mode where you get one car (that looks like a dune buggy with six wheels) and you must try and find the shortest route for completing the track.  Either way this is a series that’s managed to hold up it’s end of the deal over several iterations, I don’t expect this one to be any different.

Underground 3D Rollercoaster Rush Digital Chocolate, Inc., Underground 3D Rollercoaster Rush – $4.99

Twin Blades HD – I told you this was a slow week for new releases.  I singled this iPad upgrade out because one of the best things about this game to begin with was the graphics.  I can’t imagine how much better they look in an iPad specific version.  If you like side scrolling zombie elimination games with a slick presentation, I highly suggest you check this one out.  The one thing I could see being a concern, however, is the fact that you have to shake the device to get free of zombies that get close enough to grab you.  Is the iPad an easy enough device to shake?

Twin Blades HD BULKYPIX, Twin Blades HD – $4.99

Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH! – I’ve always felt that the platform genre was a bit lacking on the iDevice, so it’s always good to see a new one out.  Shadow Candy is based off of a comic strip and comes in two flavors – iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad native.  I think this is one that might have been served better as a universal binary, but it still looks interesting.  The graphics are cute and colorful, and the description boasts 21 courses across 7 worlds.  Plus you get intense ninja action and gumbombs – who doesn’t want to put their lives on the line for gumbombs?  And if you’re a music freak when it comes to games (like I am) the description claims that there are an impressive 10 unique tracks to listen to.  This one has both my eye and ear.

Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH! POWapp, Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH! – $1.99
Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH! HD POWapp, Shadow Candy: SUGAR RUSH! HD – $1.99

Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer – The Gamebook Adventures are quite entertaining, and while there may not be much difference mechanics wise between the two, once you’ve played one you’ll be itching to get more volumes to read through.  The illustrations are top notch, the storytelling is wonderful, and given the format there’s actually quite a bit of combat.  The only down side to this series is that there are no lite versions, and they come at a price tag of $4.99.  Granted that’s still cheaper than buying the equivalent book, even in soft cover, but that’s starting to get into “expensive” territory for iPhone apps.  Still, in my opinion the Gamebooks are worth every penny of the cost. You can also check out our review of the first Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes.

Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the  Necromancer Tin Man Games, Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer – $4.99

As always, we encourage you to comment on this post with any new games that came out last week that you thought were especially interesting.  I’m curious about this week in particular – were the new releases as mundane as I’m making them out to be, or did I miss something?

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