10 New App Store Games To Watch [April 11 – 17]

While there were probably a few games that were a bit more “high profile”, as far as I’m concerned the big story this past week was One Single Life, the game where you literally get one life to complete the game.  If at first you don’t succeed… you’re locked out and can’t play the game any more.  If that’s a little too intense for you, why not try the portable version of You Don’t Know Jack, one of the most entertaining electronic trivia games around.  If you just want to frag your friends in one of the most recognized video game horror universes ever there’s Resident Evil Mercenaries Vs, Capcom’s first foray into the iOS online market.

One Single Life – In the old days there were some games, most notably Rogue-likes, that would delete your save file when you died.  This meant that you had to start the game from scratch every time you made a fatal mistake.  One Single Life is an “infinite run” style game that takes the “dying is bad” concept to a whole new level.  Though the game mechanically feels like an “infinite run” game there is a definite end to the game.  The thing is, if you die, it is game over.  Not until you start from the beginning again, but permanently.  Once you die you’re locked out of the game for good… or at least that was the buzz.  I haven’t tried the game yet, but I’d be interesting to see if the rumors are true or it’s just hype.  Either way the game is free, so there’s one easy way to figure out the mystery.  I suppose I should just break down and try it myself.

One Single Life FreshTone Games, One Single Life, 13.8 MB – Free

Platform Hell – If One Single Life was a bit too much for you there’s the retro styled platform game Platform Hell.  The game has two versions – a free and premium version.  You get all the levels in the free version that you do in the premium, except what your 99 cents buys you the ability to continue where you left off.  That’s right – in the free version if you die you have to start from the beginning again.  At least you’re not locked out of the game, though.  The visual look like an interesting mix of decent 8bit objects and gaudy backgrounds, and the soundtrack sounds like it might be chiptune greatness.  I think the free / pro thing is an interesting gimmick that gives the really skilled player a whole game for free yet still provides the average gamer with enough of a taste for the game to decide whether they want to splurge for the pro or not.  I’ll be curious to see if other developers adopt this model in the future.

Platform Hell XS720 Ltd, Platform Hell, 9.3 MB – Free
Platform Hell Pro XS720 Ltd, Platform Hell Pro, 9.3 MB – $0.99

Resident Evil Mercenaries VS – Capcom has decided to enter into the world of 3D online shooters, and what better universe to start with than that of Resident Evil?  There’s no question that the series has had one of the biggest impacts on the survival horror genre of gaming, and for me it was the iPhone version that finally sucked me into the story.  This looks to be based on the engine used for Resident Evil 4, and while I’ve read some complaints on the visuals, they look pretty decent from the screen shots.  The game does support a single player training mode, but the real joy comes in 2 on 2 team player or 4 person free for all across WiFi or Internet.  You can also play 1 on 1 via Bluetooth if you like.  The one thing I gather so far is the need for more variety, as there are only three playable characters (odd for a 4 player game) and 3 maps.  Hopefully future updates will expand on these choices as well as provide for more than 4 players at a time.

Resident Evil Mercenaries VS. CAPCOM, Resident Evil Mercenaries VS., 25.9 MB – $2.99

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK – Besides being an irreverent phrase decrying someone’s lack of knowledge, it’s also a highly irreverent and amusing trivia game show that has finally made its way to iOS devices.  In addition to standard multiple choice questions you have DisOrDats and Jack Attacks, along with what appear to be some new question types like Who’s The Dummy and Funky Trash.  The game comes with 20 full episodes and the promise of more on the way.  The game supports leaderboards and achievements through Game Center, and this is definitely one game where you’ll feel the urge to compare yourself to others.  If it plays anything like the PC version – of which I own several different installments – you won’t find a more entertaining trivia game.  Assuming this allows multi-player, be sure to grab a friend before you start.  You’ll be glad you did.

YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Jellyvision, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK, 63.8 MB – $2.99
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK HD Jellyvision, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK HD, 67.9 MB – $4.99

Bug Village / Men vs Machine – This week Glu offers us not one, but two “free with IAP” games.  Bug Village has you nurturing a village of ants and bees to help it reach its full potential.  Build cottages to help the village expand, get the bugs to work in the garden and gather resources, and feed the bugs cookies and other sweets to keep them happy.  In Men Vs Machines it’s you against the invading machine army, ala Terminator.  The only thing is the date is 240AD!  Does this affect the game play?  Who knows.  It sounds like the game is all about getting cool weapons and blasting everything in sight, and it appears that you can rope in your Game Center and Facebook friends to aid you in your fight, even if they aren’t actually playing themselves.

Both these games provide you with the ability to “accelerate” your experience through IAP to buy resources.  What I’m more interested in, however, is if this is the acceleration of a trend towards making cookie-cutter free games that lure you into making IAP purchases.  Bug Village is clearly a Smurfs’ Village knockoff, while Men Vs Machines seems to be a variant of Glu’s very own Gun Bros.  Is the era of strong, interesting single player story driven games coming to an end for big developers?

Bug Village Glu, Bug Village, 46.5 MB – Free
Men vs Machines Glu, Men vs Machines, 156 MB – Free

Soccer Stealers Reloaded HD – I like the soccer stealer series, because instead of playing the game of soccer your objective is to steal the ball and keep it away from the soccer players!  In this third installment of the series the game has been taken to a new level of craziness.  Instead of simply unlocking 2 or 3 extra playable characters, you can actually fully customize the look of your avatar.  There are more items to collect and new power ups to help you stay away from the disgruntled teams.  One really neat feature is the ability to select a soccer match that’s actually taking place in the real world!  There’s even talk of cops and aliens!  The best part of the whole thing is that the game is completely free.  Unfortunately it’s only for the iPad, so right now all I can do is add it to the list of reasons I need to get an iPad…

Soccer Stealers Reloaded HD gamegou, Soccer Stealers Reloaded HD, 19.3 MB – Free

The Relic – Clickgamer has decided to offer their own version of a modern Gauntlet adaption in the form of The Relic.  What looks to be present is an axe wielding barbarian, useful magic, and hordes of enemies.  Unfortunately, what are missing are any other character classes.  Still, if the game plays as good as it looks that might be forgivable – and there’s always the ability to offer updates!  Slaying monsters will allow you to buy upgrades that will allow you to slay more monsters; a splendid cycle indeed.  The Relic has Crystal network integration so you can keep your friends up to date on your progress.  Gauntlet was always one of my favorite action oriented dungeon crawling games, and it’s always nice to see companies attempt to bring that magic into the modern era.

The Relic Clickgamer.com, The Relic, 78.4 MB – $0.99

Guinness World Records: Gamers Edition Arcade – Have you ever wanted to be in the Gamer’s Edition of Guinness World Records?  Did you even know there was such a thing?  Well whether you did or not, and whether it’s been your goal to be in it or not, here’s your chance anyway.  You’ll get the chance to compete in five different mini-games, all in the name of breaking a world record.  The games themselves don’t look all that exciting, because they are basically simple variants of games that have been around for years.  The real excitement here is the possibility of becoming a record holder so you can have geeky gaming bragger rights.  The game is OpenFeint, Facebook and Game Center enabled, so no you’re pretty well covered across the major social networks (though surprisingly there is no mention of Twitter).  Do you have what it takes to be the best in the world?

Guinness World Records: Gamers Edition Arcade GWR, Guinness World Records: Gamers Edition Arcade – $0.99

Pocket Friends – I don’t even like multi-player games where there is user interaction, so games based around social activity really have no place in my library.  I do find them interesting conceptually, however, and this one in particular seems to make it a point to see how social you really are on these social networks.  Your ultimate goal is to collect all the Pocket Friends, but unlike Pokemon there’s no fighting involved.  Instead you’ll earn keys to unlock Pocket Friends by demonstrating how much you know about your Facebook and Address Book “friends”.  You’ll falter through interviews, flub your way around trivia questions, and inappropriately link up two friends personality-wise as you prove just how much you do or don’t know about the people you socialize with.  It’s up to you what you share publicly and privately and who you play with, so make sure you pick your players wisely.

Pocket Friends Mention Mobile, Pocket Friends, 11.7 MB – Free

A Weird RPG – You might read this entry and think there were better things I could have written about to conclude this article, but something about this game just caught my attention.  Maybe it’s the title; “weird” as a description always makes me curious.  Maybe it was the iTunes description.  Poorly worded English phrases combined with terms like “far-flung” have got to be amusing if nothing else.  I actually ended up buying this one on an impulse, and I can tell you that it is indeed a Weird RPG.  Even with as simple as the game is there are still some things I don’t understand about it.  However, it has a real interesting combat mechanic – you tap pictures of your weapon and shield as they rapidly appear and vanish on top of the image of the creature you’re fighting.  As odd as it sounds, it kept me entertained for quite a while.  The graphics are actually pretty decent as well.

A Weird RPG gang gyung hun, A Weird RPG, 14.1 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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