10 New App Store Games To Watch [Aug 30 - Sep 5]

This week was a double home run for iPhone gamers, and I’m not sure which item is bigger news.  The fan favorite, I’m sure, is Mirror’s Edge (TMA Review), the long awaited “running with a purpose” game from Electronic Arts.  On the flip side is my personal interest of the week, Spider-man: Total Mayhem from Gameloft, a game that takes place in the Ultimate Spiderman universe and looks like it could be one of the best outings for the webbed wall crawler to date.  For budding space traders there’s Star Shipping Inc, the latest entry in the growing field of buy low, sell high space games to arrive on the iPhone.  Finally, RPG fans are in for a real treat with Rimelands: Hammer Of Thor (TMA Review), brought to you from the fine developers that created Ravensword (TMA Review).  Sadly there is no intriguing zombie related news this week, though I did finally get to try Zombie Infection from Gameloft, and I definitely recommend it.

Mirror’s Edge™ – Walls, ramps, zip lines and rooftops will be your playground in this parquor inspired action game from Electronic Arts.  You play the part of Faith Connors, and underground “runner” that must stop the threat of a deadly virus in an Orwellian future.  There are 14 levels of running, sliding and zipping interspersed with intense hand to hand combat.  The stunning graphics were envisioned with iPhone 4’s retina display in mind, so be prepared for a treat if you happen to have one of these devices.  A myriad of sound effects and a pulsating soundtrack help bring the world of Mirror’s Edge to life.  If you’ve got the hardware to support it, this sounds like one you don’t want to miss.

Mirror's Edge™ Electronic Arts, Mirror’s Edge™ (TMA Review), 100 MB – $4.99
Mirror's Edge™ for iPad Electronic Arts, Mirror’s Edge™ for iPad, 110 MB – $9.99

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem – What’s there to say?  New York is once again in trouble, and it’s up to everyone’s favorite web head to fix the situation.  A mutated Venom symbiote has been unleashed on the Big Apple, and now Spider-man has to race against time through 12 levels of pulse pounding action to thwart the menace, which won’t be easy since he also has to face off against 6 of his deadliest villains – Sandman, Rhino, Electro, Dr. Octopus, the Green Goblin and the original Venom himself.  And trust me, the Ultimate universe villains aren’t nearly as nice as the ones from the regular continuity.  The graphics as a whole look great, but the characterizations of the villains look incredible.  Assuming this controls anything like the hit Playstation games, this should rank among the best Spider-man games to date.

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem Gameloft, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, 467 MB – $6.99

Puzzle Agent – I’ll admit this intrigues me more for its weirdness than anything.  You play an agent from the U.S. Department of Puzzle Research, sent to investigate the Scoggins Eraser Co.  What follows sounds like a slightly twisted story held together by a series of mind bending puzzles.  In other words, a game like Professor Layton or The Jim and Frank Mysteries – The Blood River Files.  Since this project is spearheaded by the folks who have recently revived the Sam & Max franchise, I’m sure they are more than a little familiar with oddness.  Add to that a detective who chews gum to get hints, the promise of gnomes, and some sweet looking stylistic artwork from indie comic artist Graham Annable, and I think I smell a quirky sleeper hit.

Puzzle Agent Telltale Games, Puzzle Agent, 33.7 MB – $4.99
Puzzle Agent HD Telltale Games, Puzzle Agent HD, 56.0 MB – $6.99

Might & Card – This game looks like a cross between Heroes Of Might & Magic (see Palm Heroes) and Carcassonne.  You take the part of a medieval monarch, and it’s up to you to try and conquer the land while competing against 1 to 3 other players.  You’ll send out aids to explore and expand your territory, capturing buildings and monsters to use for your bidding.  Future expansion packs will provide more building types and other new features to enhance the game play.  The graphics look pretty decent, and you can never go wrong with medieval European style music.  There’s also an iPad version, though sadly it’s not a universal binary.  Still, Caracassonne style game play with monsters sounds pretty cool to me.

Might & Card Original Force, Might & Card, 5.9 MB – $0.99
Might and Card Golden Original Force, Might and Card Golden, 12.6 MB – $4.99

Star Shipping Inc. – Ever since playing Space Trader on my PocketPC I’ve been fascinated with the whole “cargo trading” subgenre of space games, but I’ve yet to find one on the iPhone that I can really sink my teeth into.  Could Star Shipping Inc. be the one?  It certainly looks slick enough, with a fully featured but not overwhelming interface.  The game is turn based, so I can take my time to plot the proper course of action without worrying about an impatient homing missile up my tail.  There is combat with Pirates, Bandits and Monster – oh my!  Plenty of events will keep you busy between cargo drops, and achievements and rankings will give you incentive to keep playing.  Best of all it seems like the developers might actually have a sense of humor, seeing as they felt it necessary to reference one of the all time great sci-fi series – Space Quest.

Star Shipping Inc. Corbomite LTD, Star Shipping Inc., 39.7 MB – $2.99

Tap Zoo – With all the “WeThis” and “SimThat”, the one thing the iPhone has been lacking is a good zoo simulation – until now.  Tap Zoo lets you take an island with one animal and turn it into a world class zoo.  Buy, breed and unlock 50 different types of animals.  Add restaurants and attractions to keep the patrons interested.  Hire rangers to care for the animals and keep everything in tip top shape.  The graphics look cute and with any luck it will have some decent music.  The best part is that the game is free, though there are IAP of various quantities of stars and coins (I assume these are for buying attractions and animals).

Tap Zoo Street View Labs, Tap Zoo, 10.6 MB – Free

PAC-CHAIN – Well, the folks at Namco are at it again.  I admit that I was a doubter of their recent PAC-Man match 3 effort, which ended up being a pretty decent game. PAC-CHAIN is one of those games where you click on three or more of the same color object to make them go away, with the idea being that you don’t want any particular column to rise to the top of the screen.  There’s a little pac-man you can fling around the screen, and when it eats a pellet all the ghosts on the screen go blue temporarily, which obviously makes for easy cleanup.  Personally, it seems to me like they’re just trying to abuse the property at this point, but only time will tell.  Sadly, for you iPhone / iPod touch users that were jumping at the bit for this, it’s an iPad only excursion at this point.

PAC-CHAIN Namco, PAC-CHAIN, 20.0 MB – $4.99

One Day Project – This isn’t the first time something like this has been done, but I like the idea.  The developers got together and spent 24 hours a game on three different games, which are all included in the ODP bundle.  They really don’t describe the different games on iTunes, but it doesn’t matter a whole lot because the package is free.  What I really like about the concept, however, is that they are monitoring how many people play each game (hopefully with your permission), and at some point will take the most played game and turn it into a One Week Project.  Really, then, this is on the list more for where it’s headed then where it’s already at.

One Day Project Justinas Vilimas, One Day Project, 13.3 MB – Free

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor – By now you’ve probably read all the reviews anyway, but in case you’re still skeptical let me tell you that this is one to watch.  The story is intriguing, and nicely developed between NPCs you encounter, visions you have and books you find laying around.  The combat is a nice combination of old school computer RPG and traditional pen and paper play where you actually get to see (and potentially manipulate) your die rolls.  You get to build up your character through three different skill trees, and you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.  You even have the ability to build your own equipment provided you find the proper blueprints, and you acquire the resources for that by breaking down items you find on your travels.  The graphics are pretty decent, and it’s nice having a fleshed out world that’s not all fairies and dragons.  This is the first in a planned series, and hopefully future installments will focus on different aspects of the world.

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor Crescent Moon, Rimelands: Hammer of Thor (TMA Review) – $4.99

Assault Commando – This looks like a modern day update to the classic Commando from Capcom, which would be just fine with me.  Set strategy aside as you mow down everything in sight deep in the South American jungle.  Use a variety of weapons and even commandeer different types of vehicles in order to accomplish your task.  3 difficulty levels should make the game accessible to veterans and newcomers alike, and OpenFeint leader boards will let you challenge your friends to see who is the ultimate commando.  The graphics are rendered in 3D and look pretty sharp, and there are promises of a high quality soundtrack.  If you’re looking for some mindless, destructive fun in between all your thought provoking games, this just might be the relief you’re looking for.

Assault Commando 3D Magic Kft., Assault Commando, 24.9 MB – $1.99

And here are some other notable releases that you may be interested in:

Another week, another list of games for your consideration.  As always, if there’s something you’ve played that came out last week that you think should be mentioned here, please feel free to leave a comment on this thread.

Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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