10 New App Store Games To Watch [Feb. 14 – 20]

It feels like it’s 1985 again with this week’s lead-in, Back To The Future Ep. 1 HD (yeah, you thought I was going to mention that silly RTS first, didn’t you?)  I was a huge fan of the series that spawned this adventure game, and the inclusion of Christopher Lloyd to reprise his role as Doc Brown is just icing on the cake.  Oh, and I suppose there’s that Starfront: Collision that’s been making some waves as well, huh?  If you’re into RTS games, this is probably THE iPhone game to get right now.  On the other hand, if you like your games a bit more simple and lighthearted, you’d do well to check out Zombie Runaway or Pixel Pig, a couple of casual games that could bring out the juvenile in all of us.

Back to the Future Ep 1 HD – There’s no question that Telltale Games knows the value of a property – their stable includes Sam & Max, Monkey Island Tales, Wallace & Gromit and the recently announced revitalization of the King’s Quest series.  Who better, then, to handle the comeback of one of the most beloved time travelling stories of the past 30 years?  You take on the role of Marty McFly as he must travel back in time to save Doc Brown’s future.  The story will be released in 5 episodes, much like previous Telltale adventure games.  The tale was written in collaboration with Bob Gale, co-writer of the famed silver screen trilogy, so it should be faithful to the source material.  I believe Christopher Lloyd did the voiceover work for Doc Brown as well, so there’s another bonus.  I just hope we actually see the future installments of this tale, since it appears that the other episodic content that Telltale has released on the iPad has gone stagnant.

Back to the Future Ep 1 HD Telltale, Back to the Future Ep 1 HD, 203 MB – $6.99

Infinight – You wake up one morning, you’re memory is gone, and you just can’t seem to get a handle on the light.  Welcome to Infinight, the game that will challenge your puzzle solving skills and mastery of the darkness.  Story mode has 50 levels that provide a total of 122 tapes for you to collect, each revealing a part of the story.  If you’re not so into the narrative you can play the game in freeplay mode, just try to discover all the nuances the darkness has to hold.  If you’re really feeling up to it you can challenge your friends to multi-player mode via Game Center.  Simple controls, novel game play mechanics and stunning artwork will suck you in, and the various game play modes will have you coming back for more.

Infinight: A Thrilling Light-Based Platformer with Multiplayer! LambdaMu, Infinight, 35.3 MB – $0.99

Bomberman Dojo – Amidst all the speculation involving the closing of the U.S. branch of Hudson Soft, there was some question as to what would happen to their iPhone software.  Judging by the release of two new Bomberman games in the last two weeks, I’d say their iOS adventures are alive and well.  Bomberman Dojo looks to take the series back to its roots, where you wander around rooms dropping bombs and blowing stuff up to get rid of your enemies.  You also have the ability to create your own levels that can be uploaded to a server and shared with friends and folks all around the world.  The game supports Game Center and OpenFeint so you can compete for high scores as well.  One thing I find conspicuously missing is a multi-player mode, but maybe that will come in an update.

Bomberman Dojo Hudson, Bomberman Dojo, 10.1 MB – $2.99

Bugs Wars – Chillingo has decided to tackle one of the most “fit for the iPhone” type genres there is: the shooting gallery game.  In this case you’re shooting alien bugs, and you’ll take on wave after wave of them to defend the poor, defenseless humans.  There are even some larger than life boss battles to contend with.  And if you think dual stick shooters have all the fun, wait until you get a load of the cool weapons selection you can unlock.  The game play is simple, the graphics are slick, and special items will help ease your… I mean their… pain.  Bugs Wars supports both Game Center and Crystal for leaderboards and achievements, so you can find out how your alien bug hunting skills measure up to your friends’.  Maybe one day you’ll even be ready for the MIB…

Bugs Wars Chillingo, Bugs Wars, 64.6 MB – $1.99

Soap Opera Dash – It looks like the fine realm of “Dash” games has expanded into the real life drama that is the world of Soap Operas.  You’ll trade in the familiar restaurant setting for the behind the scenes chaos of putting together your own television show, As The Burger Turns.  Make sure the stars get primped, the scripts get delivered and the sets get constructed.  You’ll have 30 levels of dramatic fun in which to prove you are the best producer / director around.  Do you have what it takes to make the next big hit, or will your production be the evening’s trash can filler?

Soap Opera Dash PlayFirst, Soap Opera Dash, 71.7 MB – $2.99

Pixel Pig – When I first saw screen shots for Peggle (TMA Review) and read the description, I didn’t quite get the allure.  Then I actually played the game, and it was pretty cool.  Here we have Peggle with a somewhat controllable, flatulent pig, and as disturbing as that should sound, it actually has me intrigued.  The fact that there are special items to collect and food to eat is cool.  The ability to upgrade your pig seems pretty neat, and the fact that the upgrade system is integrated with Game Center achievements is a dual bonus.  There are 40 levels with the initial release, and given the structure of the game I wouldn’t imagine that it would be too hard to offer level packs, either just for the fun of it or as IAP.  Overall, this sounds like it could be some nice competition in a genre that’s basically been dominated by Peggle.

Pixel Pig SGL, Pixel Pig, 35.9 MB – $0.99
Pixel Pig HD SGL, Pixel Pig HD, 38.5 MB – $0.99

Zombie Runaway – Conceptually this game feels a lot like Dead Runner, taking the “keep on running” game into the first / third person perspective.  Zombie Runaway focuses on humor, however, and does a great job of capitalizing on Saturday morning cartoon antics.  You play a zombie running through a graveyard, and your goal is to keep going until you’ve run into too many gravestones.  Power ups will let you temporarily desecrate the stones, however, at which point you’ll want to eliminate as many as you can.  You can also unlock special trinkets for your zombie to wear that will give him certain bonuses.  The visuals are great, the sound is amusing, and even a few of the names on the tombstones that finally defeat you are actually kind of funny.  I’ve actually had the opportunity to try this one, and if you like “perpetual running” games, you really should rise to the undead occasion on this one.

Zombie Runaway Com2uS, Zombie Runaway, 15.0 MB – $0.99

The Blocks Cometh By Halfbot – Okay, this game is as interesting for the controversy as for the game itself.  For those that might be unaware, the game was released to the App Store earlier this year, but oddly enough it was NOT by the folks that developed the original Flash version of the game.  That has now been rectified, as you’ll note by the “by Halfbot” qualifier in the game’s title.  This is a “climb as high as you can” game, but in this case the level is falling at you while you’re climbing (ala The Incident).  The visuals have a nice 8-bit look to them, and there’s a guest appearance by the League of Evil’s very own 8-bit champion.  You can also unlock 4 other characters to play as.  Both OpenFeint and Game Center are supported, and future updates will include more characters and achievements.

The Blocks Cometh By Halfbot Halfbot, The Blocks Cometh By Halfbot, 12.8 MB – $0.99

Romance of Rome – So far I haven’t really been disappointed with any of G5’s iPhone ports, so I don’t expect any less from Romance Of Rome.  The ancient Roman setting is a nice change of pace.  I’m also curious about the ability to buy accessories and “win love and worship” of Roman citizens.  I wonder if these are just gimmicks or if they will actually affect the game play in any way.  There are 30 levels spread across 17 different locations, and the game supports Game Center so that you can earn over 2 dozen trophies.  You’ll get to interact with other Roman citizens who need your help and in exchange will help you reach your goal.  Now the real question is, if you just start randomly clicking on the hidden object screens, will you get thrown to the lions?

Romance of Rome G5 Entertainment, Romance of Rome, 96.7 MB – $4.99
Romance of Rome HD G5 Entertainment, Romance of Rome HD, 106 MB – $6.99

Starfront: Collision – Gameloft has garnered some criticism lately for doing nothing more than “bringing other people’s games to the iPhone”.  My take on the situation is, if the other companies won’t take the plunge, and Gameloft’s games are good, who cares?  If Sacred Odyssey was Gameloft’s Zelda, than this is their Starcraft.  Starfront is a real time strategy game set on the planet Sinistral.  You can play the 20 mission solo campaign, or engage in real time combat against up to three live opponents in multi-player mode.  There are 5 multi-player maps to keep you occupied, though ironically there are only 3 races to choose from (guess you can’t argue “I saw that race first”).  All the RTS mainstays such as resource gathering and building construction are present, and just like with Sacred Odyssey you can try the game first and unlock the full experience through IAP, so there’s no need to uninstall the demo and install the full version.

Starfront: Collisionâ„¢ Gameloft, Starfront: Collision, 679 MB – Free

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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