10+ New App Store Games To Watch [Dec. 13 - 19]

I thought the last roundup was crazy for new releases, but this past week was probably the largest I’ve seen for new games since I’ve started this weekly 10 to Watch article, and there were at least twice as many new games as the biggest prior week.  That made it all the more difficult to decide what to talk about, since I knew a lot of these games have been in the spotlight since before their release.  As always, I think I’ve come up with a decent cross section of games to mention, and since my choices are so many and it’s Christmas week I thought I’d even throw in a couple of extra ones for your reading pleasure.  As such I think I’ll keep the intro short and sweet, and just let you discover the games as you read through the rest of the article.

NOM: Billion Year Timequest – I think it’s safe to say that Gamevil is one of the leaders in the indie movement on iOS devices, and this looks to be another notch on their widening belt of hits.  You play NOM, and you must travel through time to conquer 37 stages, including 6 bosses, in order to rescue your girl.  You’ll use a combination of screen rotation and touch to navigate NOM around the perils, you’ll need to collect relics and snacks to build NOM up and give him use of special effects.  A wacky storyline and retro LED style graphics insure that this isn’t your average platform game.  Move over Marty McFly, there’s a new time traveler in town.

NOM: Billion Year Timequest GAMEVIL, NOM: Billion Year Timequest, 17.5 MB – $1.99

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 – It’s time to go to war again on your iPhone, this time in the world of Bad Company from Electronic Arts.  The game features 14 single player missions across such varied terrain as jungles, deserts and arctic snow.  You’ll feel the intense thrill of close quarters combat, but also get the chance to wreak havoc behind the controls of a helicopter or tank.  When not behind tons of steel there will be 14 different weapons for you to choose from.  3 different control schemes let you customize the battle for your comfort, while WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth let you take the war to your friends for some 4 player competitions.

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY™ 2 EA, BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY™ 2, 242 MB – $0.99

CAUSE OF DEATH: Can You Catch The Killer? – If you’ve ever wanted to step into the shoes of your favorite CSI or Law & Order detective, this might be your perfect chance.  In Cause Of Death you’ll take on the role of various crime fighters as you investigate crime scenes, talk to witnesses, and try to determine “who did it”.  You have to watch your step, though, as the wrong move or line of questioning could have dire consequences.  The storyline you’ll reel you in and keep you intrigued until the last moment, and various endings will give you the opportunity to play the case multiple times.  And, just like your favorite cop show, a new episode will arrive each week free for your perusal.

CAUSE OF DEATH: Can You Catch The Killer? EA, CAUSE OF DEATH: Can You Catch The Killer?, 19.8 MB – $0.99

Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time – As a computer junkie and a pretty decent Sci-Fi fan I should probably be ashamed to admit that I know very little about Doctor Who.  Thankfully the good Doctor has quite a following, however, as evidenced by the new game The Mazes Of Time.  You are a Time Lord, and together with your human companion Amy Pond you must rescue an innocent family that has been hurtled into history.  The game will require you to solve over 100 puzzles as you journey to seven unique locations across the time continuum.  Both the Doctor and Amy will be needed to solve different puzzles, and a mastery of the strengths and weaknesses of various opponents such as the Daleks will be necessary as well.  The visuals look pretty slick, and authentic music from the show should make fans feel right at home.  For those like me who have become increasingly addicted, there are even Open Feint and Game Center achievements to be earned.

Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time BBC, Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time, 97.9 MB – $3.99
Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time HD BBC, Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time HD, 90.3 MB – $4.99

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 – This was a big week for EA.  I’m not a big fan of one-on-one fighters, but anyone that grew up on games when the Mortal Kombat games were released at least knew of them.  They held the distinction of using digitized actors for sprites instead of hand drawn characters, but more importantly, they were known for their brutal fatality moves.  The iPhone conversion brings 13 klassic warriors to the fray in eye-popping retina display graphics.  In Arcade mode you’ll compete across 10 arenas, while in multiplayer mode you can compete with your friends via WiFi or Bluetooth.  If you’ve ever wanted to experience the phenomenon that made “fatality” a household word, now’s your chance.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat™ 3 EA, Ultimate Mortal Kombat™ 3, 171 MB – $6.99

World of Goo – This is a construction game, but the building blocks are little balls of goo.  As you progress through the game you’ll uncover different species of goo that have unique abilities.  The one thing you can always count on is that they are living, breathing, talking entities that like to build things.  You drag them around the screen to build bridges, cannonballs or tongues – whatever is required to complete a level.  Each level has been hand crafted to be unique and challenging, and many will introduce new puzzle elements for you to master.  Online leader boards allow you to compete to see who can build the tallest tower of goo.  The one question is – are you up for the challenge?

World of Goo 2D BOY, World of Goo, 75.5 MB – $9.99

Shadow Guardian – I’ve read in several places where this game is being compared to Uncharted (PS3), and while I’m not personally familiar with the game, I’d say that between screen shots and what I’ve read, that might be a fair comparison.  Either way this looks like Resident Evil style game play with some puzzle solving thrown in, so it should be fun.  The Indiana Jones inspired story is a bonus as well.  Where combat is concerned you’ll get to use a variety of different weapons to neutralize the enemies, and when that doesn’t work you can engage in melee combat.  Depending on how deep and well thought out the story is, this could be the pinnacle of iOS action adventure gaming.

Shadow Guardian Gameloft, Shadow Guardian, 536 MB – $6.99
Shadow Guardian HD Gameloft, Shadow Guardian HD, 372 MB – $9.99

Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD – A lot of good looking RPGs came out two weeks ago, but I have a feeling they left one of the best for last with last week’s release of Aralon.  This hotly anticipated RPG gives you an immersive, dynamic 3D environment that allows for over 30 hours of game play.  A full day and night cycle will give you the feeling that time is passing in the game world, and things like swimming, fishing and building campfires will give you the feeling that you really are on a wilderness adventure.  You’ll have the chance to acquire 8 different types of mounts, as well as pets and henchmen to help you on your quests.  You can play as one of three races including trolls, which is a choice you don’t often see in computer RPGs.  Your characters are fully customizable both visually and statistically, with 4 different classes and a unique skill tree for each class.  If you’re any sort of RPG fan, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to make Aralon part of your collection.

Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD Crescent Moon, Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD (TMA Review) – $6.99

The 7th Guest – Along with Myst (TMA Review), The 7th Guest was one of the premiere adventure gaming titles of the 90s.  Interestingly enough, it’s really more of a puzzle game with a story thrown in simply to connect the various puzzles.  You travel from room to room in a creepy mansion, solving puzzles and revealing the mysteries of the house and its bizarre owner, Old Man Stauf.  The thing that might frustrate newcomers, however, is that part of solving the game is figuring out how to play the game in the first place.  This certainly won’t be your everyday casual puzzle game.  One of the game’s strong points was its incredible graphics, and the iPhone port promises enhanced visuals, which should be rather exciting.  The game also features an award-winning soundtrack, and we all know a creepy game needs a spooky soundtrack.  There are even full-motion video sequences for those that remember such things from the prime of 90s gaming innovations.

The 7th Guest Trilobyte Games, The 7th Guest, 623 MB – $2.99
The 7th Guest for iPad Trilobyte Games, The 7th Guest for iPad, 623 MB – $5.99

Max Adventure – Ask any shareware nerd from the early 90s what they played, and you’d find very few that didn’t respond with “Commander Keen”.  Sadly we don’t see the little boy on a pogo stick around much any more, but it looks like there might be a replacement in the form of Max from Imangi Studio’s latest outing, Max Adventure.  Earth has been invaded, all the parents have been kidnapped, and it’s up to you to fix the situation.  This new dual stick shooter offers both a story mode for people that like objectives and an endless mode for those that just want to blast until they can’t blast any more.  Game Center integration provides high score tables and achievements, and universal support allows you to play the game on the small screen or reasonably bigger screen, depending on your personal preference.  I don’t think there are any pogo sticks to be had, but I’m sure there’s always room for a sequel!

Max Adventure Imangi Studios, Max Adventure, 25.6 MB – $0.99

Red Nova – Red Nova is a dual stick shooter without the dual sticks.  It actually uses a dynamic touch control scheme so that the intense action doesn’t overwhelm you when you suddenly suffer from “button slip”.  Additionally, the iPhone can be used as a wireless controller for the iPad (and the game is universal, so you only need one copy for both devices).  The game has 3 different types of playable ships, 4 unique power ups and 7 enemy variants, and I’m sure with some financial encouragement the developer would be willing to expand on these offerings.  Red Nova does support Retina Display graphics, and when the going gets tough the tough automatically zoom in to make things easier on you.  Game Center integration provides online leaderboards, and hopefully with an update at some point will add achievements as well.

Red Nova Colin Walsh, Red Nova, 18.9 MB – $0.99

Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD – Since this is in effect the “Christmas Edition” I would have liked to talk about more holiday offerings, but to be perfectly honest, most of them looked like rehashes of last year’s fare.  At least Elves Inc brings something different to the table be adding the line drawing element to a Christmas game.  Your job is to help the elves get the presents onto Santa’s sleigh without doing a head-on into each other.  There are 4 different types of elves with various speed and “carrying capacity” modifiers, and you’ll play through 30 levels across three different locations.  The graphics look bright and cheery, as one might expect from a Christmas game, and hopefully the tunes will reflect the overall spirit as well.

Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD G5 Entertainment, Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD - $1.99

That was just a tasty sample 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:

Next Article[Updated] App Store Sales Roundup – Christmas Edition