10 New App Store Games To Watch [Mar. 28 – April 3]
Turn based zombie slaying, racing with big guns and location based gang wars are where it’s at this week. Tactical Soldier – Undead Uprising (TMA Review) turns zombie hunting into a thinking man’s game, which makes it different than just about any other undead simulation around. Death Rally brings the big guns back to overhead track racing, and you’ll get to go head to head with the likes of Duke Nukem (while he’s waiting Forever for his own game again). For the rebellious socialite there’s Mob Empire, a game that lets you check in to real world locations to use as your territorial bases of operation as you conquer the world.
Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising– I’m pretty sure we’ve run through the gamut of high octane, action packed shooter fests involving guns and zombies. Thankfully Tactical Soldier takes it down a few notches and gives us what is basically X-Com meets the undead. You take control of a group of 3 soldiers trying to figure out why a secret army base has been overrun by legions of the undead. Each unit will earn experience points and level up. Weapons can be selected based on play style, and enemies will leave power ups to make your soldiers more potent. A 3D world and ambient sound system bring the story to life, while game center integration with achievements gives you motivation for coming back. There are also content updates already in the works.
Knighturn – If you just flipped through the screen shots on this one you’d probably be as unimpressed as I was. On the other hand, the numbers seem to indicate that there might be something worth looking into here. The game is turn based strategy set in a medieval world, with a story full of intrigue, conspiracy and romance. There are more than 35 hours of game play that span 50 scenarios across 4 different landscapes. There are 40 different character classes available for units, and 58 character skills to be had between them. Surviving units can be carried between scenarios, and can be built up to level 15. There are also more than 500 items that can be equipped throughout the game, whether it be weapons, armor or other trinkets. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty comprehensive strategy game to me.
Mangobile, Knighturn, 2.6 MB – $3.99
SlotRush – I’ve tried a couple of different slot car racing games on my iPhone, and truthfully haven’t been wowed by any of them yet. This one is for the iPad (and Mac if you’re one of THOSE people), and I’m not 100% sure that it would be the one to “rocks my world” yet either, but there are a couple of things the game has going for it. There are 15 tracks available, which is a decent number, but there are also 15 cars to choose from. The game can be played against computer AI or against another player. What’s really nice, though, is that the game can be played using a free iPhone app as the controller! This apparently works for both the iPad and Mac versions, which is really nice. This works for both single and multiplayer modes, so if you have a buddy with an iPhone and you don’t want to get too close you can prop the iPad up on a stand and both sit back with your iPhones to control the action. Hopefully updates will bring new tracks, though I think 15 cars is probably a big enough selection.
Big Time Gangsta– Glu’s latest freemium title looks to combine GTA with Advance Wars to form what could be an interesting street gang game. You select from 7 different gangster types to build your crew, and then you take on the rivals in winner takes all battles. Whether it’s wheeling and dealing or shoot first and ask questions later, you’ll need to do whatever it takes to get to the top. You’ll start out small, but your goal is to take over the city a block at a time. Just to prove you’re the best you’ll be able to earn Gangsta achievements on Game Center. Do you have what it takes to be a kingpin of crime?
Glu, Big Time Gangsta, 84.9 MB – Free
Death Rally – I’m a huge fan of top down racing games, and the one thing I generally critique about such games that don’t have them is the lack of weaponry. Well guess what Death Rally has in abundance? Not to mention the fact that the graphics look gorgeous. The game initially offers a huge single player mode where you can unlock and upgrade cars and weaponry. Future releases will include multiplayer modes, which should be a blast. In the mean time you can race against the likes of Duke Nukem and John Gore, so hopefully there will be some smart-aleck comments involved (if not, there’s another necessary update developers!) This only works on the latest devices (3GS and above iPhone or 32GB iPod Touch 3 and up), but in that regards its one size fits all, so play it on both your iPhone and iPad.
Remedy Entertainment, Death Rally, 79.0 MB – $4.99
PONG BEATS – I’m still trying to wrap the concept of this one around my little brain. Somehow you use the rhythm of the music that’s playing in order to move a paddle back and forth while playing a game of pong. It sounds like you’re hitting notes back and forth instead of a traditional ball as well. Game mechanics aside, what’s more interesting about this is how new content will be created. Instead of just giving you all the classics you’ve already heard, new songs will be written by the community! If you’re an aspiring songwriter, this would be a great way to get your work heard. Even more interesting is the fact that if the game “sells well” (whatever that means), the developer will share 10% of the profits with the top rated songwriter. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time anything like this has been done with an iPhone game. Unfortunately, the game is only supported on iPads and iPhones with a model 3GS and above. Sorry all you poor iPod Touch folks – like me.
Fantom Digital, PONG BEATS, 12.1 MB – $0.99
Mob Empire – If Big Time Gangsta didn’t float your boat, how about a location based mob affair? That’s what Mob Empire offers, as it claims to be the first RPG that can be played on iOS and Facebook together. You can create a character on your iPhone and use the same data on Facebook. You’ll also “check-in” to real world locations and take ownership of them, or fight battles against other mob bosses for the likes of the Eiffel Tower or the White House! You can even add friends to your various locations to help protect against rivals. I’m still not entirely convinced I’d want to get involved with one of these social game things, but they are sounding more intriguing all the time.
CrowdMob, Mob Empire, 5.1 MB – Free
LEGO Ninjago Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt – That’s one name you won’t find me saying very often. Legos have been a part of my life since I was a little kid, and I’m sure if I looked around hard enough I’d find a couple of mini-kits lying around my office somewhere. In all honesty, I’m not sure that this game sounds all that exciting. It is cool that you can build your own ninja, and the whole idea of basically having wars using lego people as spinning tops is kind of amusing. The reason I mention this game, however, is because of the ability to scan Ninjago toy boxes to unlock weapons, equipment and other essentials. While I’m not a huge fan of AR games yet, it’s steps like this that will make the next generation of iPhone games that much more interesting.
LEGO Group, LEGO Ninjago Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt, 141 MB – Free
Wordicus – This is one of those games that I like to call “Scrabble for people who don’t like Scrabble”. All the letters are already on the board. You just have to swipe enough of them in the right order to spell an actual word. As you earn points you’ll level up, which will in turn reward you with special tiles that will help you earn points even faster. And, if you get bored with the single player mode you can challenge friends and strangers across the world. You can have up to 20 games going at the same time, and the best part is that you can play against people that don’t speak your language! The game currently supports English, French, German and Spanish, and it will automatically adapt to the native language of the device you’re running it on. No longer can you use “no hablo espanol” as an excuse.
Ninja, Please! – I always only put games on this list that I think are worthy of checking out or keeping track of, but there are some that really fit the spirit of the article much better than the rest. “Ninja, Please!” is just such a case. The game basically pays homage to those cool arcade shooters that would have gun attachments on them. In this case you’re taking out ninja, and you have a selection of guns and magical spells to choose from. More importantly, however, is the ability to match wits with the ninjas in an insult war. The insults are basically silly and sometimes a bit off color, but the concept alone sets this game apart from others like it. The problem is that the game in its current state is too hard to play, unless you want to keep playing beginner levels to artificially inflate your money. I’ve had some discussions with the developer, though, and I think he’s got some changes in the works that will completely turn this game around. This is definitely one to keep your eye on for the future.
InfiniteTaco, Ninja, Please!, 15.4 MB – $1.99
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- EA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12, 250 MB – $6.99
- FISHLABS, Snowboard Hero, 96.9 MB – $4.99
- Midwest Blizzard, Warfare Battle, 26.4 MB – $2.99
- TeamLava, Fashion Story™, 13.0 MB – Free
- Triniti Interactive, Ada’s Fitness Center, 13.7 MB – $0.99
- Smappsoft, Look Again!, 6.7 MB – $1.99
- Fuzzi Tail Software, Tapnastics, 10.7 MB – Free
- Hocobi, KillingZone Defense (TMA Review), 22.6 MB – $0.99
- KONGZHONG, Zombie Crisis 3D 2: HUNTER, 73.0 MB – $0.99
- Spark Plug Games, White House Game, 83.7 MB – Free
- Big Fish Games, Big City Adventure: New York City, 59.3 MB – $4.99
- Big Fish Games, Big City Adventure: New York City HD, 71.3 MB – $6.99
- EASY Inc., World Conqueror 1945 for iPad, 54.2 MB – $2.99
- Digital Goldfish Ltd, Bloons TD 4 HD, 37.2 MB – $4.99
- Intuitive Computers, Playroom Racer HD, 29.0 MB – $1.99
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: