10 New App Store Games To Watch [Feb. 7 - 13]

This week’s “New App Store Games to Watch” list felt kind of like the first week of the new year.  There weren’t a lot of heavy hitters releasing games, though there should be enough new faces out there that you’ll find something of interest for your iDevice. The biggest name in the roundup belongs, of course, to NBA JAM [TMA Review], one of the most successful and popular arcade games ever. If you grew up on a steady diet of this 2-on-2 hardwood action, this EA release has likely found a way to your iPhone’s springboard already. Other titles featured within include Chocolate Tycoon, Carnivores: Ice Age and Sky Combat. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the complete roundup…

NBA JAM [TMA Review] – You’ll find that I don’t talk about sports games much, mainly because I don’t play them much and wouldn’t necessarily know what’s good or bad when it comes to the content.  However, NBA Jam was one of the few sports games I really got into when I had my SEGA Genesis, and I’m quite pleased to see that they’ve developed an iPhone native version of the game, instead of just making it another in their emulated collection.  The nice thing about the series is that it was able to maintain a balance between good game play and outrageous moves.  Just wait until you get a taste of some of the dunks you can perform!  You’ll get to play as icons from all the official teams, and you’ll even get some players that are exclusive to the iPhone.  Play the game in campaign mode to win the championship, or just play a quick game of 2 on 2.  The best part of the whole experience, however, is the play by play announcer, who has returned to actually record some new phrases for this iteration.  It’s time for you to be “on fire” with one of the coolest basketball games around. .

NBA JAM by EA SPORTS™ Electronic Arts, NBA JAM by EA SPORTS, 262 MB – $4.99

Warcode – Part of my goal with 10 To Watch is to point out games that use the iOS devices in new and interesting ways, and I think Warcode qualifies.  Warcode is a strategy game, though turn based or real time is not obvious from the description.  You get your competitors through Game Center, but where the game becomes interesting is in how you get your supplies.  Using your device’s camera you must scan barcodes off of anything you can get your hands on.  Each barcode becomes a unique warrior or piece of equipment.  Unfortunately auto-focus capability is required, which means only 3GS and 4G iPhones are supported at this point.  The game is free to try, and you can unlock the use of advanced soldiers and gear via IAP.  The main thing that looks to be really lacking at this point is the visuals, but there appears to be an update in the works to correct that.

Warcode Önders et Gonas, Warcode, 2.2 MB – Free

Buddy Rush – I’m not real big on Facebook, and consequently not much of a fan of Facebook games.  However, this one kind of intrigues me.  It looks like a fairly standard 3D dungeon crawl with cute 3D graphics.  However, the difference in Buddy Rush is that you can play with your friends’ characters without them having to play!  Create your own character, and then select a buddy or two from your friends’ lineups to go adventuring with you.  Your friends’ characters will earn experience for going on the trip with you, and then they can do the same for you when you’re offline.  One thing I don’t see mentioned, however, is whether or not you can die if someone else has you tagging along.  That would be a bit of a bummer.  Keep in mind that this is just an interface to a Facebook game, so you must have a Facebook account in order to play.

Buddy Rush ® Company 100, Buddy Rush, 52.4 MB – $0.99

Centipede Ultra / Missile Command Ultra – These are actually two separate games, but there isn’t a lot to them.  Both are updates to old favorites (depending on your point of view).  Centipede is a fun little game about destroying bugs in a garden, while Missile Command involves protecting cities from a barrage of enemy missiles.  Centipede Ultra introduces 9 brand new power ups to help blast the insect hordes, while Missile Command Ultra adds multi-touch support to make destroying the enemy even more fun.  Both games have been given visual updates as well, though I’m not sure I like the look of Centipede Ultra quite so much.  What’s potentially more important than the games themselves, however, is if Atari has plans for updating and releasing more of their back stock.  If so we could be in for some real treats.

Centipede Ultra Atari, Centipede Ultra, 10.0 MB – $0.99
Missile Command Ultra Atari, Missile Command Ultra, 8.6 MB – $0.99

Chocolate Tycoon – In what I believe to be a first for the company, Com2us has ventured into the realm of time management games.  If you’re going to cover that ground, I can’t think of a better subject than chocolate to sink your teeth into.  You’ll design your own confections and try to win over the hearts of the people and king of Choco Choco village.  You can also breed Chokis, which are creatures that produce chocolate when fed ingredients.  What wild concoctions can you come up with?  Unlike normal time management games, however, here you’ll get to wander around town to buy things you need and sell your goods.  You can even invest in shops that you think will benefit you, and when you’re done working at the end of the day you can go out and have a night life.  There are definitely some interesting twists to this sweet time management sim.

Chocolate Tycoon Com2uS  Chocolate Tycoon, 18.0 MB – $2.99

Carnivores: Ice Age – There have been plenty of deer hunting games, and even some more exotic simulations like African Safaris, but Tatem Games has taken hunting back to its roots in a big way with the Carnivores titles.  In Ice Age, the second game of the series, you’ll get the chance to explore various frozen tundra as you try and take out some prehistoric game.  Unlike your average deer hunting experience, however, this prey likes to strike back.  You select which map you wish to explore, choose the creatures you want to hunt, and equip yourself with the finest your money can buy.  Then you’ll get plunged into the heart of the action, with only your wits and a limited supply of rounds to save the day.  Much like its predecessor, this game is tough if you’re not used to first person type experiences (or not very good at them).  The visuals are pretty stunning, and there’s even an interactive trophy room for you to marvel at your accomplishments.  So what’s next for the series: hunting the Flintstones?

Carnivores: Ice Age Tatem Games, Carnivores: Ice Age, 59.9 MB – $0.99

Sky Combat – This looks like a pretty standard vertical scrolling shooter affair, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing.  There are 30 different types of enemies and 8 bosses to keep you busy, which I’m going to assume translates to 8 levels of game play.  With 3 difficulty settings, that should be enough to keep most gamers busy for a while.  What I think is cool is that you get to trade off between a helicopter, boat and humvee during your travels.  Not too many 2D scrollers let you switch up vehicles like that these days.  The screen shots look pretty nice, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the advanced visual effects described in the iTunes spiel will really come through when you see this game in motion.  The game provides four different control methods, so you should find something that’s comfortable for you.  There have been some pretty decent scrolling shooters on the iPhone, but not many great ones, so hopefully this will be the next.

Sky Combat Chillingo, Sky Combat, 14.9 MB – $0.99

Disoriented! – While I’m not sure that 360 degree gravitational control is as innovative as the PR folks for Disoriented might make it out to be, it’s still a cool technique that’s not utilized as much as it should be.  In addition to simply turning your world around to accomplish your goals, you’ll have the added challenges of collecting all the objects in a level and getting to the exit within a certain time frame.  There are 60 levels and 3 difficulty settings to choose from, and future updates will include more levels, potentially even ones designed by you!  I’ve had mixed reactions to level designers in other games, so I’m curious as to what exactly Slide and Draw technology entails.  The way I look at it, though, any game that offers penguins as an obstacle can’t be all that bad.

Disoriented! Vortex Games, Disoriented!, 45.6 MB – $0.99

Sticky – This puzzle platform game gives you the power of goo to control.  You simply flick the lovable orange pile of goop around the screen to try and destroy all the nasty sludge enemies.  Some will take multiple hits, others will attempt to thwart you by turning into stone, and a few might even be cold as ice.  Thankfully you’ll be able to collect power ups to thwart these and any other evils you happen upon.  The game is integrated with Crystal and Game Center so there will be achievements to earn and scores to compare.  Clickgamer has a pretty good knack for finding semi-casual gems like this, so I would expect good things from Sticky.

Sticky Clickgamer.com, Sticky, 37.2 MB – $0.99

The Bachelor: The Videogame – This should almost be filed under the category of “really?”.  I guess they felt that some people aren’t embarrassed enough by the fact that they actually watch the show, so why not make a game out of it?  Thankfully it’s as realistic as possible, actually featuring the likenesses of the various bachelors and bachelorettes throughout the years.  At least that means we can hope for updates to come out as each new season rambles on.  What I do find interesting is that rather than playing the lead, you actually take on the role of one of the contestants, and vie for your true love’s heart by playing 23 different mini-games.  I’m not sure of this game’s longevity given the amount of quality games that exist, but I found the whole concept amusing enough that I thought I needed to share it with you.  Please don’t be angry with me for this one.

The Bachelor™: The Videogame Ludia, The Bachelor: The Videogame, 169 MB – $2.99
The Bachelor™ HD: The Videogame Ludia, The Bachelor HD: The Videogame, 212 MB – $4.99

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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