10 New App Store Games To Watch [Nov. 29 – Dec. 5]

The force is starting to be strong with the Star Wars universe again, as we’re seeing quite a number of games based on the popular sci-fi mythos grace the iPhone screen. This week’s release is Imperial Academy, and while it’s probably just a reskin of Ngmoco’s Eliminate, I’d personally rather play as a Storm Trooper in training than some generic space guy. Action-RPG fans have a lot to be excited about, including Com2us’ latest release Queen’s Crown.  4 weapon classes, 6 spell trees and a gem enhancement system make for some compelling anime hack ‘n slash.  If you’re addicted to Minecraft but sad that you can’t take it on the go, you might want to give Eden – World Builder a try.  And, for those who need gadgets to go with their gadgets there’s AR.Pursuit, a helicopter chase game that requires two players and also mandates that you each have an AR.Drone, a remote controlled helicopter that uses the iPhone as the controller.

Star Wars: Imperial Academy – So what if this is basically a skinned version of Eliminate?  The important thing is that you get to be a Storm Trooper in the Star Wars universe.  Next to a Sith Lord or Boba Fett clone, this is probably the coolest “class” of bad guy in the epic sci-fi soap opera.  You’ll get to don some familiar garb and engage in 4 player death matches in such locales as Cloud City, Hoth and Tatooine.  Will you be relegated to the likes of Sand Trooper, or do you have what it takes to become part of the elite Royal Guard?  Your mastery of several types of weaponry, as well as both close quarters and long distance combat will determine your ultimate ranking.  If you have a fourth generation device you can enjoy all this mayhem in shiny retina display graphics, but no matter what you’re using, you’ll need an internet connection (and you might need a plus+ account as well).

Star Wars: Imperial Academy ngmoco, Star Wars: Imperial Academy, 191 MB – Free

Eden – World Builder – Apparently big boys need their building blocks too, and Eden helps fulfill the desire by bringing Minecraft style game play to the iPhone.  You can explore, build and destroy beautiful worlds comprised of thousands of blocks.  Use dozens of different brick types to reshape nature or create man made wonders.  Explosives and fire will help you remove what you don’t want in your world.  Taking advantage of integrated community tools, you can share your creations with others and explore their lands as well.  Eden is optimized for 3G and newer devices, but more important in the fact that you must be running iOS 3.2 or greater.

Eden - World Builder Kingly Games, Eden – World Builder, 7.3 MB – $0.99

Restaurant Mania – It was probably just a matter of time before the freemium social games infiltrated the time management segment of restaurant management, but the big surprise here is that this game isn’t published by one of the “big players”.  You’ll use 100s of different decorations to make your restaurant unique and learn dozens of recipes to keep your patrons coming back.  You can even hire your friends to be waiters and waitresses.  Better yet, the restaurant can earn you money even when you aren’t actively playing the game.  Restaurant Mania is Game Center enabled for leaderboards and achievements, and naturally you can share your successes on Facebook.  The developer is promising weekly updates as well, so expect a lot of creative stores.

Restaurant Mania rockifone.com, Restaurant Mania, 30.9 MB – Free

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 – The trend towards original adventure games rather than ports continues, and it sounds like it’s heading in the right direction (see our review).  In this twist on the standard fairy tale you play a kidnapped princess who decides to take matters into her own hands and orchestrate her own escape.  The developers promise a “hilarious tale of mystery, deceit, and psychopathic furry animals”, which pretty much sounds like everything you need for a great adventure game.  If that’s not enough you’ll get to wield a crowbar, fight or belittle NPCs, and match wits with a talking horse that has a god complex.  The interface has been designed specifically for the iDevice, so the game play experience should be smooth.  If all goes well this will be the first in a series, so we’ll have more amusing adventures to look forward to.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 Launching Pad, Scarlett and the Spark of Life (TMA Review) – $2.99

King of Trindor! – If there’s one thing appearing on the App Store these days as frequently as Facebook converts its MMORPGs.  What’s interesting is that the game comes from Trinity Interactive, the Filmation of the iPhone world, best known for making cheap imitations of other App Store games.  In typical fantasy fashion you’ll build up your country’s strength, train your army, and ally with other players to take out the competition.  Intuitive resource gathering will give you everything you need to buy supplies, and loads of unique weapons, equipment and attack units will fortify your army.  A sophisticated noble ranking / title system will help you gauge how well you’re doing in the land of Trindor.  With all the MMORPGs that already exist for the iPhone, I’ll be curious to see if some of these smaller ones are able to survive.

King of Trindor! Triniti Interactive, King of Trindor!, 6.8 MB – Free

Game Giveaway – This has got to be one of the most intriguing “free game” concepts I’ve run across yet.  Instead of simply selecting the games they like or waiting for developers to come to them, the folks behind Game Giveaway ask you which games you’d like to see for free.  Then they basically go out and plead with the developers to make their games free for a day or more.  Of course with all the free game websites that already exist I’m not sure how successful or necessary this service will be, but it is nice to see that they’re not just going to sit around and wait for developers to come to them.  It’s always nice to see services that ask for end user input as well.  I guess the best way to see Game Giveaway succeed is to download it and start requesting games.

Game Giveaway Imagination Research Labs, Game Giveaway, 7.5 MB – Free

Buccaneer Blitz – This looks like one of those “strategy lite” games where you have two teams trying to capture a map full of bases.  In this case the bases are islands and the troops are ships.  Even though the game has more of a high seas flavor to it you can build up mana that allows you to cast spells on the enemy or give your ships a speed boost.  You can even intervene by using a catapult to take out enemy ships.  Where this game excels over most of its contemporaries is that it allows for multiple human players via WiFi, Internet and Bluetooth.  This could be one of the best Galcon style games yet.

Buccaneer Blitz Namco, Buccaneer Blitz, 16.4 MB – $2.99

AR.Pursuit – There’s really not a whole lot to the game.  It’s two player, with one person being the hunter and trying to shoot down the other person.  The longer the prey survives without being shot, the higher the score.  Once the prey is shot down the players reverse their roles.  What makes this game interesting, however, is that it is the first multi-player game for the AR.Drone, a remote controlled helicopter that uses the iPhone for its controller.  The real curiosity here is whether AR.Drone and its resulting software will become the ROB of the iPhone world, or will the whole system actually become something more?

AR.Pursuit Parrot SA, AR.Pursuit, 25.6 MB – $2.99

Queen’s Crown – Here’s another story of a damsel not quite in distress.  This time she’s lost a whole kingdom to some nasty demons and has to fight to reclaim it.  You’ll get the opportunity to switch between 4 different weapon types, and each can be leveled up and upgraded independently.  You’ll also have six magical skills to help you fight.  To truly customize the game, however, you’ll need to acquire gems and materials that let you uniquely alter your weapons or even create your own.  This is becoming a popular trend in action-RPGs, and Queen’s Crown does a decent job of implementing their system.  The game also does a good job of giving interesting looks to commonly used fantasy creatures.  Game Center and Facebook will keep you connected with the rest of the world to see who can do the best job of saving the kingdom.  I’ve had the opportunity to play this one, and I think it has a good chance of giving Zenonia a run for its money.

Queen's Crown Com2uS, Queen’s Crown, 19.5 MB – $4.99

Feed Al – This happens to be brought to you by the same people that developed Finger Physics, and it seems like it might be the stepchild of said game and Cut The Rope.  Al is an alien that needs feeding, and his delicacy of choice is stars, which apparently we have aplenty on earth (seems Al never took an astronomy class).  To collect the stars for Al you’ll use a device of his called the “Collector”, and I’m sure there will be some physics involved as well.  You score points while playing the game, which eventually translate into boosts, or as we in the “to the point” department like to call them, cheats.  When you get stuck on a level you can use a boost to work your way out of a jam.  Feed Al also incorporates something called PlacePlay, which is a local leaderboard system that can apparently be established via a particular location such as work or a favorite coffee shop.  Challenge friends in your immediate area to see who is the best Al feeder.  And, since the levels are randomly generated, you’ll never run out of new ways to gather stars for the hungry alien.

Feed Al: A Finger Physics Odyssey PressOK, Feed Al: A Finger Physics Odyssey, 8.5 MB – $0.99

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

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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