10 New App Store Games To Watch [Oct. 25 - 31]

What an interesting week this was.  Being Halloween week there was naturally an influx of zombie games.  However, the big news came in the revitalization of a 10 year old Dreamcast game – ChuChu Rocket.  This puzzle game is available for all iDevices, sports plenty of game play modes, and allows you to play 4 players on the same device if you own an iPad.  If you’re into galaxy spanning crusades then Fishlabs has you covered with Galaxy on Fire 2, the sequel to their popular 3D shooter / simulation game Galaxy On Fire 3D.  Gun Bros is one of the latest dual stick shooters to hit iOS devices, and it’s unique 2 player game system allows you to wrack up experience even when you’re not actually playing the game.  And, if you haven’t gotten enough of the Duke Nukem wanna-be Barry Steakfries there’s Age of Zombies, the “re-imagining” of their popular 2D sprinter Monster Dash.

Gun Bros – This is a dual stick shooter, so it already has a +1 in the win column.  Next is the fact that it’s free, so we’ll give that a +2.  Throw in some insanely powerful guns (and I’m not just talking about the characters), cool armor, and lots of explosive stuff, and the win column just went off the charts.  Here’s where it gets really interesting, however.  The game focuses around 2 brothers, which naturally means it can be a two player cooperative game.  If you’re on Game Center, you can form “brotherhoods”, and actually earn experience even if you’re not playing the game!  How’s that for teamwork?  The graphics look sweet, the action sounds awesome, and planned updates will give you an expanded world to destroy.  Oh, and did I mention it was free?

Gun Bros Glu Games, Gun Bros, 67.6 MB – Free

ChuChu Rocket! – I have a Dreamcast, and I’m one to generally follow the gaming scene as closely as I can, but I must admit I don’t recall ever reading about this one.  Hopefully I’ll get to reverse my ignorance soon, however, as the game is now available for both the iPhone and iPad, and it’s been creating quite a buzz even before it was released.  Your task is to help the ChuChus get to their rocket ships to escape the evil KapuKapus, and you’ll have 145 levels to prove your mettle.  The game has several different modes of play, including 1-4 player battle royal over Bluetooth and wi-fi.  If you have an iPad, you can even play with everyone using the same device.  I get the feeling this is somewhat of a cult classic, and I can’t wait to find out why it’s achieved that status.

ChuChu Rocket! SEGA, ChuChu Rocket!, 13.72MB – $4.99

ChuChu Rocket! HD SEGA, ChuChu Rocket! HD, 16.76MB – $6.99

Galaxy on Fire 2 – This hotly anticipated sequel to Galaxy On Fire 3D sounds like it dwarfs its predecessor in every way.  The game takes place 35 years after the original, and it’s up to you to help Keith T. Maxwell stop an alien menace that will have you traipsing across 20 different solar systems and visiting 100 space stations.  Follow the story for 10+ hours of interstellar adventure, or wander off on your own to mine asteroids, trade ore and supplies, and even work as a pirate or mercenary to earn some money.  You’ll have access to more than 30 styles of ship and be able to complete a variety of different missions.  The 3D world is completely immersive, and a technology called Action Freeze will let you take screen shots from any angle and post them to Facebook for all your friends to see.  If ever you wanted to feel like part of an epic space opera, here’s your chance.

Galaxy on Fire 2™ FISHLABS, Galaxy on Fire 2™, 108 MB – $6.99

Age of Zombies – From the creators of Fruit Ninja and Monster Dash comes Age Of Zombies, the continuing saga of Barry Steakfries.  I can’t imagine what could go wrong with taking the fast paced action of Monster Dash, turning it into a dual stick shooter and rendering the graphics in a perspective along the lines of Minigore or iDracula.  The addition of non-monster type adversaries like cavemen and ninjas sounds cool, and who wouldn’t want the help of a zombie T-Rex from time to time?  Game Center leaderboards and achievements will keep you coming back for more, and the ability to play on both your iPhone and iPad with one purchase means you’ll never be without the time traveling wise-cracking Barry.

Age of Zombies™ Halfbrick, Age of Zombies™, 18.2 MB – $2.99

WackyLands Boss – This amusing little title from Chillingo gives you the chance to see a generic fantasy adventure from the other side of the fence as you take on the roll of the game’s final boss.  Customize your creature with a variety of weapons and accessories, and take it for a rampage across the countryside.  Destroy castles, crush innocents, and best of all take out that annoying handsome prince so he can’t save the day.  As you progress through the game your creature will evolve and gain new powers.  You can even compare your skills with others around the global via Crystal’s leaderboard system.  Now all the game needs is a vs. mode so you can really check how your boss creature rates against someone else’s.

WackyLands Boss Chillingo, WackyLands Boss, 19.8 MB – $0.99

Spooky Jump – Now I know you took one look at the screen shot and thought “why did he include this?”  To be honest, I’m not sure if this game is going to be very good or not.  There are plenty of “jump as high as you can” games already on the iPhone, and I don’t think any have really had the success of Doodle Jump.  But this is more about a potential sign of things to come.  This game is developed by the same folks that made Sketch Nation Shooter, and it’s actually designed using their next “Sketch Nation” product, Sketch Nation Jump.  What’s interesting about Jump, however, is that games you develop with the engine can actually be packaged as apps and sold on the App Store!  I don’t know how the whole process will work or how long Apple will tolerate it, but I definitely think this constitutes as “one to watch”.

Spooky Jump Engineous Games, Spooky Jump, 7.64MB – $0.99

Worms 2: Armageddon – I used to love playing Worms on the PC.  There’s something oddly satisfying about seeing a little worm whip out a rocket launcher to unleash some damage.  I never thought the style of game play translated very well to mobile devices, but I think the iPad could change all that.  For those not familiar with the series, game play is much like Scorched Earth (or iShoot to relate it to iDevice players).  Instead of tanks you have worms, and you get to use some of the most outrageous weapons in strategy gaming, including banana clusters and exploding sheep.  It appears that the game sticks to tradition, which means you’ll be treated to whimsical visuals, comical audio, and downright crazy game play.  There are plenty of game play modes to keep you busy, and you can play multi-player via Bluetooth or WiFi.  If you’re a fan of this style of game or new to the genre, Worms should be a top contender for your time.

Worms 2: Armageddon Team17, Worms 2: Armageddon, 184 MB – $4.99

Pirate’s Code – Take to the high seas with this game that combines the life of a pirate with match 3 goodness.  Play the game offline to experience a gripping storyline that will test your pirate skills.  For a more riveting experience you can play the game online, and conquer different enemies for tantalizing loot that’s based on your physical location.  You’ll get the chance to buy more powerful ships and upgrade your equipment, all in the hopes of finding the pieces of an ancient map to recover the legendary treasure.  Game Center integration provides achievements and the ability to interface with your Friends List.  The game is free, so why not start your adventure today?

Pirate's Code Seed Studio, Pirate’s Code, 61.11MB – Free

Painkiller: Purgatory HD – From the folks who brought us Duke Nukem 3D SE comes Painkiller, an iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch port of “PC Games’ BEST SHOOTER of the year”.  Interestingly enough, however, the game appears to be available only on the iPad right now.  Either way the game promises giant boss battles and over-the-top weapons, so it sounds like fun to me.  There are 4 levels of difficulty including Trauma, which hopefully lives up to its brutal name.  For the iOS conversion 20 achievements were added to give you something besides game completion to work towards.  Assuming the graphics have something nifty to offer, this should be a nice addition to any FPS gamers’ collection.

Note: Painkiller: Purgatory HD was officially released on the App Store on March 10, 2011.

Painkiller Purgatory HD Chillingo, Painkiller Purgatory HD, 60.8 MB – $7.99

Hotel Dash – Coming fresh off of my interview with PlayFirst GM Chris Williams (see here) is Hotel Dash, the latest time management game in the Dash series.  You might have guessed that this entry takes place in a hotel, and if you’re at all familiar with time management games you should feel right at home (or at home away from home).  One thing unique to this installment of the franchise is that the screen is oriented in portrait mode instead of landscape.  You’ll have several hotels to renovate, including a haunted mansion style building.  The graphics remain true to the series, with enough detail to look good yet enough simplicity so as not to be overwhelming.  The controls are as responsive as always, and the action gets just as frantic after a while.  This is certainly another success story in the Dash franchise.

Hotel Dash PlayFirst, Hotel Dash, 60.52MB – $2.99

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable ones:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store.  As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post.

Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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