10 New App Store Games To Watch [Aug 2 – 8]

This week’s biggest story is probably a little iPad game called Splinter Cell Conviction HD.  I haven’t actually engaged in the adventures of Sam Fisher on any device yet, but rumor has it that the series is pretty popular!  If you’re into stealth action games, this is the one to try.  For the nostalgic folks there’s The Manhole, a title that’s more of an interactive, exploration based storybook than a true game.  This hails from a time where Macs were desktop only and didn’t have an “I” in front of their name.  Keep in mind that the primary target here is kids, so unless you have some history with the game or some children you might want to look elsewhere.  If you’re on that never ending quest to find the best ball rolling game you might want to give Dark Nebula – Episode 2 a try, as it looks to up the ante on the first episode in every way.  A few other games came out as well, so I’m pretty sure there’s something for all tastes like usual.

Splinter Cell Conviction™ HD – If you’re into stealth action games, this probably needs no introduction.  Sam Fisher has been around for quite some time on video game consoles, and after a successful leap to the iPhone he’s making his way to the big screen again via the iPad.  You’ll need to explore 11 levels across 8 locations including the White House and a special Potomac River location exclusive to the iDevice.  Cool stealth techniques include “Mark & Execute”, which allows you to label several targets for attack at one time, and “Last Known Position”, which lets you know the last place the enemies thought you were at.  You can even sneak up on an enemy and kill them with one hit if you’re careful.  Additional features include the ability to interrogate the enemy for information, and an on-rails high speed boat chase.  The graphics look incredible, and knowing Gameloft the controls are probably pretty decent as well.

Splinter Cell Convictionâ„¢ HD Gameloft S.A., Splinter Cell Convictionâ„¢ HD, 522 MB – $9.99

The Manhole – I’ve spent very little time using a Mac over the years, but I do remember this game.  It was created by the folks who came up with the pioneering game Myst, but it couldn’t be further from the style of Myst in game play.  It’s basically an interactive storybook world that encourages exploration rather than problem solving.  This port is actually based on the Masterpiece Edition, which was a remastered version that came out some time after the original.  The graphics look pretty amazing, and the description promises 30 musical compositions as well as scads of original sounds and voices.  I have a feeling this is mostly going to appeal to the kids, however.  Even for the casual gamers in the iDevice bunch this sounds a little too passive to be of much interest.  It should be a welcome addition to those nostalgic about their former Mac experiences, though.

The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition Cyan Worlds, The Manhole: Masterpiece Edition, 66.2 MB – $1.99

Dark Nebula – Episode Two – The Dark Nebula series is the next evolution of labyrinth games.  You guide a ball by tilting the device, but instead of tight passageways in a dungeon like surrounding you’ll navigate through sprawling environments that range from jungles to barren wastelands.  All the while you’ll have to avoid traps, open doors and generally make sure you don’t fall off the path.  The game sports 25 new enemies and obstacles, but best of all there is now combat so you can let those bad guys know what’s what.  The graphics look really sharp, and we’re told that there’s a cinematic musical score.  If this is actually better than episode 1 then we’re all in for a real treat.

Dark Nebula - Episode Two 1337 Game Design, Dark Nebula – Episode Two, 77.5 MB – $0.99

Victory Day – Bootant has decided to enter the side scrolling shooter fray with its latest App Store submission, Victory Day.  You take on the role of Ivan Suhov, and you must conquer 12 levels of Nazis, including the now prerequisite zombies.  The game includes two different game play modes, awesome bosses (even a robot tank), and plenty of weapons with which to cause some mayhem.  The visuals have that classic cutesy Bootant look to them, which is just fine with me.  As long as there’s a sufficient amount of game play packed into each of the 12 levels this should be another fine entry in the Bootant lineup.

Victory Day Anton Butsev , Victory Day, 24.7 MB – $1.99

Captain’s Fury – This looks like a nice little action game with attitude.  You get the chance to pilot a battleship, and you have to take on hordes of enemies through 10 levels that are ultimately divided into 40 stages.  You’ll fight aircraft carriers, bombers, helicopters and huge robots, and even get to engage in some hair-raising boss battles.  The best part, though, is as you gain experience from battle you’ll get to upgrade your ship using a dynamic point system that I feel a lot more games should adopt.  Adjust certain stats to particular levels, and if it doesn’t work for you, take the points back and allocate them somewhere else.  A lot of the graphics seem a bit tiny, but the detail looks good and it does give a more epic feel to the combat as you get more landscape and obstacles on screen at once.  It’s nice to see a game focused around battleships that’s not actually a Battleship clone.

Captain's Fury Shanghai Chang-Yi Technology, Captain’s Fury, 57.5 MB – $1.99
Captain's Fury HD Shanghai Chang-Yi Technology, Captain’s Fury HD, 111 MB – $3.99

Chop Chop Soccer – The Chop Chop universe expands again with its latest iDevice installment, this time taking on the wide world of soccer.  The graphics seem to be of the same or even slightly better quality than Chop Chop Tennis, which means it looks pretty good.  You get your choice of 12 teams, 4 difficulty levels, 4 tournaments and 4 different stadiums, so there’s plenty of variety.  There are two things that I find rather interesting about the game play, however.  First of all, you only have 3 players per team (excluding the goalie).  Second, there are no virtual joysticks or buttons of any sort!  Everything is done via dragging your finger around the screen or swiping.  It will be interesting to see how well received this control scheme is, because while the virtual joystick concept hasn’t always been a hit, this seems like the kind of game that would benefit from it.

Chop Chop Soccer Gamerizon, Chop Chop Soccer, 26.8 MB – $0.99
Chop Chop Soccer HD Gamerizon, Chop Chop Soccer HD, 53.3 MB – $1.99

Meow Meow Happy Fight – This is one of those games that makes you wonder what the developers were thinking when they came up with it, yet at the same time looks intriguing enough to try.  You’ll fight your way through 24 levels of crazy creatures to ultimately do battle with the Happy Cat, who has come from the future to destroy Tokyo.  Along the way you’ll collect 12 different power ups which include several unique weapons, and you’ll also gather happy items.  Eventually you’ll unlock different characters and get the chance to choose between up to 15 different characters to play as.  The game looks to have some wacky graphics, promises high quality audio and sound effects, and even lets you listen to your own music if you want to.  Already promised updates include even more characters to unlock, more parts of Tokyo to play in, and another game mode.  Could this be the next great dual stick shooter?

Meow Meow Happy Fight Big Pixel Studios, Meow Meow Happy Fight, 54.0 MB – $0.99

A Vampire Romance HD – To those who are not familiar with the hidden objects genre, most of these offerings probably look the same.  The truth is, however, that these games have been getting more and more complex over the past couple of years.  Interestingly enough, A Vampire Romance looks to be a bit more standard in terms of game play, basically offering the standard “find the objects” scenes interlaced with some mini games.  The thing that stands out to me, however, is the fact that you can play the game as either of the two main characters, giving you twice the story for your money.  The fact that this is on the iPad should hopefully alleviate some of the interface issues as well, since objects will be bigger and easier to select.  The different locales look striking as well.

A Vampire Romance HD Anuman, A Vampire Romance HD, 53.1 MB – $4.99

Droplitz Delight – The sequel to the award winning Droplitz, this game will have you spinning around in circles in no time.  The concept is simple – get the droplitz safely from the top to the bottom of the screen.  To do this you create pathways by turning the various playing pieces on the board.  With multiple entry and exit points on the board you’ll always have to be cognizant of where the droplitz are so you don’t kill one droplit just to save another.  The graphics look cute and hopefully the music and sound effects will compliment the atmosphere.  Game modes include classic, free play and target mode, so there’s plenty to keep you busy.  You’ll also need to work diligently to achieve the elusive Uranium trophies.

Droplitz Delight RealNetworks, Inc., Droplitz Delight, 3.2 MB – $1.99

Snake Galaxy HD – I guess at one time the “snake” game, with the simple concept of continually eating and growing longer until you ran into yourself or something else, was pretty popular.  I was never a big fan, and I really haven’t cared for most of the iPhone attempts that have claimed to be the “best version” of the game for the iDevice.  Along came Snake Galaxy and proved that almost any concept can be made fun when put into the right hands.  Now the game is available for the iPad, and it’s yet another reason I want to get my hands on one.  The big difference between Snake Galaxy and other snake games is the 3D levels, and this is one case where it makes an incredible amount of difference.  The graphics are wonderful, the music is great, and the game is just plain fun to play.  I don’t know if there’s anything new to the iPad version, but even if it’s the iPhone Snake Galaxy on a bigger screen, it should still be worthy of your time.

Snake Galaxy HD BULKYPIX, Snake Galaxy HD, 32.7 MB – $4.99
Snake Galaxy DIG-DOG, Snake Galaxy, 32.9 MB – $2.99

And here are some other notable releases that you should keep you occupied for hours on end:

That wraps up another week of games to watch for your iDevice of choice.  As always, if you’ve played something that came out in the past week that you feel is worthy of note, please let us know in the comments section of this post.

Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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