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

As always, this week’s roundup is an interesting collection of games from a broad spectrum of genres.  In the “we need another remake” corner is Tapper World Tour, the return of the famous drink slinging bartender.  This time he’s brought along his daughter and has decided to take us to several locations around the world.  Winning the coveted “first time for a franchise” award is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard, an original installment of the series for your iPhone.  Now you can be stealthy wherever you go.  If you prefer the “is this a necessary license” category there’s Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie, a familiar game with a new protagonist that’s starring in his own feature film this summer.  Finally, the “is it a rip-off or not” prize goes to Pilot Winds, the game that could conceivably dethrone Tiny Wings in the distance flying category.

Eternal Throne – Omni-G Software was a pretty big player in the 3D arena on the Pocket PC (though I must say I was not a real big fan of their products).  They’ve slowly been transitioning some of their work over to the iPhone, and their latest offering is a 3D RPG called Eternal Throne.  This game has some pretty stiff competition already, given the likes of Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD (TMA Review), Infinity Blade (TMA Review) and others, but it’s also at the cheaper end of the spectrum for such games.  It also comes out of the gate as a universal offering, so you can enjoy it on your iPhone or iPad.  The story is fairly typical fantasy fare – what RPG story isn’t any more – but the game has seven chapters, which could mean lots of game play if fully fleshed out.  I’m guessing the combat is real time, and the graphics actually look pretty decent.  This may not be the next best RPG, but it certainly has the makings of a nice second stringer.

Eternal Throne OmniG Software, Eternal Throne, – $2.99

Tapper World Tour – The remakes keep on coming, though I’m a bit surprised to see this one released by Warner Brothers.  In Tapper World Tour we get a humorous perspective on the world of serving drinks.  You’ll tackle 100 levels of drink slinging across 11 different bars as you try and keep all the patrons happy and eventually appease them right out of your establishment.  This reboot has several nifty enhancements like choice of characters, multiple types of drinks and power ups.  There are even some mini-games to help break up the action a bit and an endless mode for those who have conquered or could care less about the story.  The most intriguing aspect to me is that the visuals were designed by Don Bluth’s animation studio.  If you recognize the name then you suddenly got very excited, I’m sure.  The game naturally has Game Center integration, and even though there is a version specifically for the iPad, this one will run on an iPad with scaled graphics.

Tapper World Tour Warner Bros., Tapper World Tour, 150 MB – $0.99
Tapper World Tour HD Warner Bros., Tapper World Tour HD, 152 MB – $1.99

Pilot Winds – It was inevitable that we’d see games that played like Tiny Wings not long after Tiny Wings hit it big.  It was also not surprising that the “they ripped Tiny Wings off” followed by the “but Tiny Wings ripped xxx off” arguments started right after Pilot Winds hit the App Store.  Personally, I say if it’s obvious that one game isn’t a direct rip of the other, who cares?  Anyway, in this case you play a penguin, but the general idea is still to try and get as far as you can by weighing yourself down on the downward slopes and letting up on the upward slopes.  The game has an unlockable character, several unlockable game modes and many achievements to earn.  Pilot Winds is universal, so you can play it on the small screen or slightly bigger screen as your resources allow.  The game is free to play with ad support, but buying any of the IAP packages will get rid of the ads.  Now the real question is if the game play is as addictive as that of Tiny Wings.  No reason you can’t find out for yourself.

Pilot Winds Two Lives Left, Pilot Winds, 9.4 MB – Free

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard – I’ve never experienced the series myself, but from what I understand it’s one of the best single player squad based tactical games around, and now it’s available on your iPhone.  While some of the levels may seem familiar to those who have played the original game, Shadow Vanguard is an original title designed exclusively for iOS devices.  You can play the game solo controlling three characters at once, or you can play with up to two friends in local or online co-op mode.  There are even 5 unique maps for playing multiplayer against the best squad leaders from around the world.  Hi tech gadgets help you defeat the enemies, and in solo mode you can use your comrades to cover you or smoke out a room with grenades before you enter.  The visuals look pretty stunning, and this could very well be the premiere game of it’s type on the App Store right now.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six®: Shadow Vanguard Gameloft, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard, 479 MB – $6.99

Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie – Let the cross-promotional licensing begin.  I suppose for a lot of you this is a “well, if it had to be somewhere, why not here” type of deal, but I’m really not a big fan of Doodle Jump.  However, I’m sure this will be quite popular, as it is basically Doodle Jump with an Easter theme, the most significant difference being that you actually play the Easter Bunny’s son instead of Doodle.  I do like the fact that you unlock a new level each day until the movie’s release, but otherwise I’m not really sure what this game has to offer that any other jump game doesn’t have.  It will be interesting to see if people latch onto this simply because it’s made by the creators of Doodle Jump, if they want it because of its tie-in to Hop, or if they really don’t care much about it at all.  Are this and Angry Birds Rio starting a trend of cheap promotional ploys, or will this be a short lived experiment?

Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie Lima Sky, Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie, 16.9 MB – Free

Mission Europa Standard Ed. HD – This is described as a combination FPS and RPG, though I’m not sure how that distinguishes itself from a first person RPG with real time combat.  Either way, it’s always nice to see another entry in the sci-fi realm of RPGs, as the focus still seems to lean heavily towards fantasy themes.  The game has two editions; the standard edition is $6 less than the collector’s edition, and the most significant difference seems to be that the collector’s edition comes bundled with 5 episodes containing over 50 hours of game play.  It would be nice to know how many episodes come with the standard edition.  The stats are pretty impressive: 180 monster types, including 50 bosses; 170 missions to explore; 300 fully voiced cut-scenes.  Mission Europa sounds like quite the epic.  There is also a multi-player battle arena, though apparently that was still in beta as of the game’s initial release.  The graphics are supposedly state of the art, so I’m hoping the screen shots just don’t do them justice.  If the game really is as fully featured as the developers claim, the collector’s edition might just be worth checking out.  The main barrier to entry of these dungeons, however, will most likely be the $10 price tag.

Mission Europa Standard Ed. HD (3D,FPS,ACTION & RPG) Banshee Soft, Mission Europa Standard Ed. HD, 171 MB – $3.99
Mission Europa Collector's Ed. HD (3D,FPS,Action & RPG) Banshee Soft, Mission Europa Collector’s Ed. HD, 171 MB – $9.99

Puzzle Planets – I’m not sure if this is the best timing given all that’s going on in Japan at the moment, but this game actually sounds pretty cool.  You connect the gaming pieces – herein called tectonic plates – and smash them together to create the surface of a planet.  Then you have to protect that surface so that funky alien life forms can grow.  There are 15 planets spread across three galaxies, and you can collect 45 different alien life forms.  You can even challenge your friends via Facebook Connect.  They even make claims that you might learn something, so could this be one of those “hidden” educational games like Carmen Sandiego?

Puzzle Planets National Geographic Society, Puzzle Planets, 16.5 MB – $1.99

Burn the Rope HD – Burn The Rope is one of my favorite iPhone puzzle games, and I’d be all over the iPad version if I had an iPad.  Burn the Rope is sort of an anti-Zen Bound: instead of using rope to enhance images, you take images made out of rope and burn them until there is nothing left.  The trick is that the flames must always burn upward, which means you’ll be doing a good bit of rotating on your device.  This played reasonably well on the iPhone, and I’d be interested to see how comfortable it is continually turning a bigger device like the iPad.  The game has 112 levels, and the three tiered ranking system (bronze, silver and gold) is sure to keep you busy for a while.  This is a great family game as well, as long as your kids are old enough to grasp the mechanics.  If you want a unique puzzle game for your iPad, this is a great choice.

Burn the Rope HD Big Blue Bubble, Burn the Rope HD, 42.7 MB – $4.99

Overkill – Are you ready for the ultimate shooting gallery game?  Overkill is like those cool shooting games you find in the arcades, just without the gun peripheral.  Unlike those games, however, you aren’t locked down to one weapon.  There are 12 guns to choose from, each of which can be upgraded in 5 areas to make the ultimate killing machine.  There are 80 normal waves and 4 bonus Hell waves of bad guys to kill over 4 locations, and you earn money for every victim that falls to your weapons.  You can also earn Overkill Medals to drastically reduce the amount of money that upgrades cost.  However, OMs aren’t easy to come by unless you either want to download additional applications or shell out some IAP cash.  Still, a little bit of effort might be worthwhile, as those upgrades will help you win 84 achievements and rise in the ranks over 9 different leaderboards.  The game is currently free, and I’ve enjoyed the little bit of time I’ve had to spend with it so far.

Overkill Craneballs Studios, Overkill, 73.4 MB – Free

Get Outta My Galaxy! – All you wanted was some peace and quiet, but those pesky Wikus had to come and mess everything up.  In this 3D action game you have to travel through four solar systems in your quest to get rid of the Wikus.  Along the way you’ll meet and slap the silly out of several different alien life forms.  You can collect wacky power ups to help you in your quest, and the description does mention puzzle elements, though that aspect unfortunately isn’t expounded upon.  What I find most intriguing about Get Outta My Galaxy is its claim to support the entire range of iPhone and iPod Touch hardware.  Of course you must heed the warnings about performance degradation, but it’s still nice to know that some developers are looking out for those who haven’t been able to upgrade for one reason or another.

Get Outta My Galaxy! Ookoohko Oy, Get Outta My Galaxy!, 36.7 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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