10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 12 – 18]
This week was almost a better one for iPad releases / ports than iPhone offerings, but there were still some solid looking titles on both fronts. For you tower defense fans comes one of the biggest science fiction licenses in the world – Star Wars: Battle For Hoth. I personally can think of some better uses for the property (where’s our iPhone version of Pod racing?), but I will admit that the thought of fighting AT-ATs is always intriguing. If you like scrolling shooters then you’re in for a treat, as one of my favorites in this genre has finally received a full version. Air Attack puts you in some serious 3D shmup combat, including taking on a pretty defensive castle. If you’re looking for a game with some unique play mechanics, check out Spider: Bryce Manor HD. The iPhone version was great, so I’d expect nothing less from the iPad port.
Star Wars: Battle for Hoth – I’m not a big fan of defense style games, and in one sense I’m a bit disappointed that they’d take one of the few redeeming parts of The Empire Strikes Back and place it in this setting. However, there’s a good chance this could be the game to redeem both my view of the tower defense genre and my opinion of part V of the seminal space serial that is Star Wars. You take control of the rebel forces, and in typical TD style you’ll place infantry units, gun towers, snow speeders and more along the paths that lead to the Echo Base power generator. You’ll be up against a tough crew consisting of such menacing devices as AT-STs and the big daddy of them all, the AT-AT. The visuals look pretty impressive, and if all goes well I’m sure the sounds will feel like they were ripped right from the movie. Hopefully this will be another step in the right direction for the Star Wars franchise on the iPhone.
THQ, Inc., Star Wars: Battle for Hoth – $2.99
Spider: Bryce Manor HD – This is one of those rare instances where I’d be more than willing to pay for a second copy of this game so I could play it through on another device. Spider was an excellent game on the iPhone, and I’d expect nothing less from the iPad version. The graphics are wonderful – there’s something so cool about watching a spider tackle a hornet in mid-air and slam it into the ground. The music is incredibly well done and sounds like actual full fledged songs instead of 20 second looped clips. The controls work really nice and actually make it fun to build a web. The most intriguing part about the iPad version, however, is multi-player mode. Spinning webs with a friend seems like it would be extremely fun. I just need to get an iPad and a friend now.
AirAttack – I previewed this based on the free Lite version some time ago, and it’s so good to see that the full game is finally out. The only real negative I had to say about the lite version was, well, that it wasn’t the full version! The graphics are incredible, the music is very nicely orchestrated, and the game play is incredibly solid. There’s nothing particularly different about Air Attack versus other scrolling shooters, but the mechanics are solid and I love dropping bombs on things to get money. A lot of scenery was destructible in the lite copy, and the developers promised even more in the full version. The best part of the game, though, was the fact that you not only fight enemy aircraft and such, but you even get to take on deadly buildings! Even in Air Attack lite, you get to go head to head with a menacing castle in 360 degrees. How cool is that?
Prisoner 84 – I never realized how many game genres I wasn’t a big fan of until I started reviewing games, but first / third person shooters is definitely one of the most popular. Every once in a while a game in this category intrigues me, however, and Prisoner 84 is one of those games. Maybe it’s because you play a psychotic inmate (I presume a killer). Maybe it’s because you’re escaping from a maximum security prison. Maybe it’s because of the promised combination of action and fiendish puzzles. Who knows? I just think this is going to be one of those titles that actually stands out in its genre. The graphics don’t look to shabby either, especially for a game that supposedly runs on older devices sporting any OS from 2.2.1 on up.
Gaz West, Prisoner 84 – $2.99
Defense of the Oasis – This is a strategy / puzzle hybrid that has apparently won several awards on other platforms. I do like the idea that you’re limited in the number of turns you have to build up your kingdom – 85 to be exact. You also start a level with your empire shrouded in fog, so you have to uncover all the good stuff before you can build it up. And, since your number of moves is so limited, an individual game should be relatively short, which makes it perfect for on the go playing. There’s even a campaign mode if you want to string a bunch of short challenges into a cohesive whole. The graphics aren’t eye-popingly gorgeous, but the probably don’t need to be for a game like this. While I’m by no means against long, complex strategy games, ones that are more geared towards short interludes are nice for a portable device.
Mind Control Software, Inc., Defense of the Oasis – $4.99
Zombie Infection HD – Or as we gamers like to call it – Resident Evil from another company. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the game looks really sharp. And, if it controls anything like the iPhone version of RE: 4, I’d certainly be up for another zombie hunting adventure. The game has 12 levels of zombie pounding action, including a trip to a zoo. You’ll get to play between two characters – an ex-marine and a report – as you unravel the secrets of the infection and its creator. You can even finish the zombies off with cruel and unusual fatalities if you hit the provided action button at the right moment. There’s even an iPhone Version if you don’t happen to have an iPad yet.
Stack & Deploy – This interesting looking title is a combination of a collectible card game (CCG) and a real time strategy game (RTS). It appears that you collect the cards in order to build your ships, which you then launch against your opponent in a real time war. Support cards will allow you to do things like take over your enemy’s ships or create a black hole. The game allows you to play against computer AI or real opponents via local WiFi. The developer promises updates on a regular basis that will include new galaxies and more cards. Hopefully an update at some point will also include internet multi-player, but even without it Stack & Deploy sounds pretty full featured, and best of all it’s free!
Vinit Agarwal, Stack & Deploy – Free
Master of Alchemy HD – From the publishing powerhouse that is Chillingo comes the latest iPad puzzler Master Of Alchemy. This is a particle physics engine based puzzle game that requires you to use your mastery of the elements to transform objects from one element to another, and even between solid, liquid and gaseous states. There are 60 levels to conquer, and a tale that spans them all which focuses around 6 central characters. Are you up for the brain bending challenges that lie ahead?
Chillingo Ltd, Master of Alchemy HD – $4.99
Banzai Rabbit HD – This is the tale of two scientists, a rabbit and a flea, told with comic book style cut sequences and Frogger-like action levels. You control Banzai Rabbit, and you must rescue all the innocent bystanders on each level before they get transformed by the evil scientist’s menacing gas. Game play is like Frogger where you must leap through oncoming traffic and a host of other things (trains, subs and more) to get to the victims. As you reach each victim the screen will flip 180 degrees and you’ll have to go back through the level to get the next victim. Power ups allow you to do things like slow time, and there are achievements for things like making it through a level without backtracking. The graphics even look good on the iPhone, so I’d imagine the iPad visuals are stunning. Overall this is an excellent update to the age old Frogger formula.
Castlevania Puzzle: Encore Of The Night (TMA first look)– I’m cheating a bit here, because this technically isn’t available worldwide yet, but it’s Castlevania, so I’m willing to make an exception. Like most long term fans I’m a bit disappointed that this isn’t a traditional installment of the long running series, but I’m still very intrigued. The game involves collecting objects, learning spells and combating Dracula’s minions, just like any good Castlevania game. The story is even grounded in the backdrop of Symphony Of The Night, regarded by many as the best Castlevania has to offer. What’s different, however, is that combat is accomplished via match 3 like gameplay (think Super Street Fighter turbo). I’ll definitely be digging into this one more once it’s available in the U.S. Here’s the link to game on European App Stores.
Konami, Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night (EU) – £2.99
And here are several other notable App Store releases, some of which are iPad ports:
- Glu Games, Build-a-Lot 2: Town of the Year – $4.99
- QubicGames Sp. z o.o., My Little Restaurant – $2.99
- Meng Lin, Territory War – $1.99
- RatRod Studio, Drift Mania Championship – $0.99
- Triniti Interactive Limited, Bowman War (iPad)- $0.99
- Chillingo Ltd , Inkvaders HD – $2.99
- Alessandro Andriani, Omino for iPad – Free
- Chillingo, The Jim & Frank Mysteries HD – $2.99
- TAITO Corporation, SPACE INVADERS HD – $4.99
There you have it – another week of the latest and greatest iPhone and iPad games. As always, if you ran across something that came out last week which you think deserves the spotlight, feel free to reply to this post and let us know. Until next week.
Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup: