10 New App Store Games To Watch [April 4 - 10]

This week’s New Games to Watch roundup was pretty well dominated by the little guy, though a few high profile games managed to break through.  If you haven’t gotten your racing fill with Death Rally then fasten your seat belts, because Race After 1977 is heating up the tracks this week.  Even if you’re tired of putting the rubber to the road, this one might be worth checking out.  For those of you that still don’t have your fill of Pac-Man there’s Pac’N-Jump.  In this game you’ll take Pac-Man to new heights.  There were a lot of tributes to the “old days” this week, but none so full-featured as Atari’s Greatest Hits, which gathers over 100 games from both the arcade and Atari 2600 console and puts them snugly in one interface.  Of course, the only one you get for free is pong…

Race After 1977 – This game had me at post apocalyptic 70’s music.  The backdrop is the wastelands of a nuclear holocaust.  You’ll race on 10 different tracks highlighting 5 devastated environments.  The vehicles are junked together 70’s autos that each feels unique in handling.  The tracks are built using a proprietary 3D engine that makes the terrain part of the equation – instead of just going around things you can go up, over and through them.  You must compete in tournaments to unlock tracks and vehicles, and you can earn 50 achievements and climb your way through 10 rankings.  Several different control options let you choose what’s most comfortable for you.  It sounds like this could very well be the leader in the next generation of fantasy racing games.

Race After 1977 Xpect Games, Race After 1977, 78.6 MB – $4.99

Wizards War – In its current incarnation, it might be a bit too simple for all but the most basic of strategists.  The game allows for up to four players on the same device, and the goal is simply to be the last wizard standing.  You’ll have 5 spells at your disposal, including the ability to summon soldiers to fight for you.  The main thing that attracts me to this game is the fact that the visuals resemble table top miniatures.  The author does promise continual updates, so this maybe be more of a future diamond than the current “in the rough” status.  Hopefully we’ll see things like more spells, advanced AI (for those who have no friends), and the ability to play multiplayer on multiple devices via Bluetooth and WiFi / Internet.  Until then the game might still be enjoyable by those who aren’t looking for something with campaigns that take 2-3 hours apiece.

Wizards War malvicio.com, Wizards War, 11.9 MB – $0.99

Atari’s Greatest Hits – Early reports say that the interface has a little bit of shaping up to do before this is truly a contender for “ultimate retro collection”, but based on the game list I still think it’s worth checking out for die hard Atari fans.  The initial download is free and comes with pong (big surprise), and extra games can be purchased as an entire collection for $14.99, or in individual packs for 99 cents apiece.  Most of the game packs include 4 games, though one or two of them only have 3 titles included. I will admit that some of my favorites are nowhere to be found, but the downloadable nature of the content means that hopefully we’ll see even more offerings as time goes by.  I do like the fact that many of the games that supported two players on the console have Bluetooth support for multi-player through the emulator.  There are also several of Atari’s arcade games mixed into the list.  The real question is – any chance of seeing Superman or E.T.?

Atari's Greatest Hits Atari, Atari’s Greatest Hits, 18.5 MB – Free

PAC’N-JUMP – Just when I thought Namco might be through abusing the license they give us this.  My first response to reading about this was “why?”  After reviewing the details of the iTunes description to write this piece, my first response hasn’t changed much.  I get that Pac-Man is still in demand after all these years, but can’t they come up with a better way to commemorate the license than this?  It’s basically Doodle Jump staring Pac-Man as the hero and the Namco rogue’s gallery as the villains.  You collect small dots to get an extra boost in your jump, and big pellets for temporary invulnerability.  There are also fruits to collect, and if you really care you can record your high scores on Game Center to see who is the best Pac-Jumper in the world.  Doesn’t Pac-Man deserve better than this?

PAC'N-JUMP Namco, PAC’N-JUMP, 10.2 MB – $0.99

Hack RUN – Hack RUN is a network hacking simulation presented in really old school style.  For many of you the experience of using command prompts will be completely new as you actually type in the commands that you want executed.  Your mission is to dig deep into the heart of a mysterious organization to uncover all of its secrets.  Along the way you’ll crack files and read emails to glean information regarding the employees and operations of the company you’re investigating.  As you break more security your skill level will increase, allowing you to get into more sensitive areas.  There’s no question this is a bit of a niche game, but I’m sure there’s enough old timers out there like me that will appreciate what this game seeks to emulate.

Hack RUN i273, LLC, Hack RUN, 1.5 MB – $0.99

Blast Monkeys – This is a great little physics puzzle game about a monkey that just wants his bananas.  I played the lite version (which at the time was the only version) and couldn’t hardly put it down.  All you have to do is tap to launch the monkey out of a cannon, and then tap to pop bubbles that the monkey might get trapped in. Timing and physics handles the rest.  The full version includes three worlds full of levels, with the promise of more to come.  There is OpenFeint integration with 14 achievements, and the ability to post results on Facebook and Twitter.  The visuals look like they’ve received an overhaul, especially when it comes to the backgrounds.  There’s even really positive quote by a cool reviewer in the iTunes description.

Blast Monkeys Yobonja, Blast Monkeys, 14.1 MB – $0.99

Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life – Those kooky islanders are back in this fourth installment of the highly acclaimed Virtual Villagers series.  This time around it’s your job to explore the eastern shore of the island and discover the mysteries of the Tree Of Life.  This time around you can customize the tribe before you start.  Try creating a tribe full of children and see how long that lasts!  As with all the previous installments this game plays in “real time”, so just because you’re not in the game doesn’t mean the game isn’t progressing.  Make sure you check in on your villagers frequently so you don’t load it up one day just to find a bunch of tombstones.  The map is bigger, the puzzles are more plentiful, and there are even real time weather effects.  It’s been a while since I’ve delved into the world of the Virtual Villagers, but it sounds like now might be a good time to return to the island of Isola.

Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life Last Day of Work, Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life – $1.99

Mos Speedrun – I love platform games, and for some reason I’ve grown especially fond of ones like this and League of Evil that try and emulate old fashioned 8-bit console game play.  The game has 20 stages of jumping dodging and running to get to the exit.  Sounds simple enough, but from the sounds of things you’ll be dying a lot.  I’m curious to see how that plays out, as it sounds like your “previous lives” will follow you through your next attempt at a given level.  The game provides both a 2 button control system and a standard d-pad, so you can play with a control scheme that’s comfortable for you.  Apparently there are also secret levels that can be found by visiting certain web sites, so there’s more to the game then what you get just by downloading it.  To top it all off there are robot zombees, so it all sounds good to me.

Mos Speedrun Physmo, Mos Speedrun, 12.1 MB – $1.99

Jason vs Zombies – To be perfectly honest, this looks like a pretty standard game.  You play the lone tough guy, out to rid the world of a zombie infestation.  There are 15 different missions spread across 5 landscapes, with a host of AI zombies that get more aggressive as you advance to different levels.  There are 8 different weapons and masks to unlock, which apparently can be done either by earning kill-points or through IAP.  Future enhancements will include social network integration as well as more weapons and zombies.  What really intrigues me about this one, however, is the fact that the main character is a guy named Jason that sports a bloodied hockey mask.  Sound familiar?  One has to wonder how long it will be before this game gets taken down for copyright infringement.  The game is free, so you might consider downloading it just to have as a keepsake.

Jason vs Zombies Michael Sandt, Jason vs Zombies, 32.7 MB – Free

Hunt The Wumpus – Talk about a shot of nostalgia!  I think this is probably the first strategy game I ever played, and it was certainly unique for its time.  Your mission is to locate the Wumpus in a series of interconnected caverns.  You’ll receive clues as to the whereabouts of the Wumpus, but if you enter his chamber or fall upon one of the other traps in the maze then it’s game over.  Hopefully the caverns are randomly generated for maximum playability.  Assuming the game play holds up to the original, the only thing slightly disappointing here is the cartoony graphics.  It’s probably just wishful thinking, but maybe down the road this game will get a visual facelift.  At least the Wumpus should look ominous…

Hunt The Wumpus adept entertainment, Hunt The Wumpus, 22.4 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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