10 New App Store Games To Watch [April 18 – 24]
This week may contain a Cut the Rope (TMA Review) contender in the form of Jump Out, a cute looking physics puzzle game that involves bugs trapped in various types of containers. If that doesn’t float your boat there’s Prose With Bros, a unique online game where you challenge others to create a more popular sentence than you using the same selection of words. This one even lets the public decide which of the two contenders actually wins. If nothing else you can always fall back on Pac-Chomp, the latest in the growing line of Pac-Man centric games. This one is match 3, but it might just have enough quirks to make it worth taking for a spin.
Type Or Dead – The concept of battling foes by typing in words isn’t new. In fact, there are several such games already gracing the iPhone’s small screen. What caught my eye about this one is that the keypad where you enter your words only has 10 characters on it! The iTunes description is pretty vague, but it appears that you use combinations of the keyboard characters to form the necessary missing letters in order to defeat the zombies. I’m always a sucker for zombie games as it is, and when you throw in a “not quite overused” concept it piques my interest. Add to that the fact that the game is free, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot to lose. It is designated as Episode 1, so it will be interesting to see if more episodes do in fact come out. Something else of note is that there is a lite version (also ironically free) that came out last December! Makes me wonder if this new release is in anticipation of future episodes…
Shelko Electronics, Type Or Dead, 20.0 MB – Free
Loot the Spook – This iPad game lets you challenge your friends to see who the best plunderer is. You will all infiltrate an enchanted castle and try to steal as much treasure as you can. Along the way you’ll also collect special items. You can only hold one at a time, but you can use the last item you’ve collected once each turn for every turn that you have it. Moving around consists of sliding tiles to form a connected path between yourself and your destination. It’s a fairly simple sounding game, but one that sounds like it would be lots of fun for groups, especially if there is a mix of older and younger folks. It would be nice if there were network play, but that’s not mentioned one way or another in the iTunes description.
Viverna, Loot the Spook, 25.7 MB – $1.99
Picsequence – Even though this is in the games category I really wouldn’t classify it as such. Furthermore, I’m not a big fan of drawing games. Still, this one actually got my interest. It reminds me of those old toys you used to be able to buy that had plastic pieces with raised images on them, and you would combine three sections to form a picture which you would then rub onto a piece of paper using a colored pencil. In this case, however, there are no templates. One person draws the head, another one draws the body and the last the feet. The app then combines the images into a single picture that you can email to your friends. I can see two things that would greatly enhance this app: the ability to work with people on different devices, and a way to upload pictures to an internet gallery that could be browsed via the web. After all, everyone is going to want to showcase their outrageous drawings.
SkyShed, Picsequence, 1.1 MB – $1.99
PAC-CHOMP! – I’m beginning to think I need to start having a “Pac-Man’s Corner” at the end of each article (though I guess that wouldn’t be a corner then, would it?) At any rate, this week’s entry into the ever growing sea of Pac-games is Pac-Chomp, a match 3 featuring everyone’s favorite yellow sphere and a bunch of nasty ghosts. The idea of the game it to get Pac-Man moving around the board by matching three or more ghosts of the same color, making them disappear. I guess as space opens up Pac-Man will move around the board, though that part isn’t really clear. However, neat things are promised to happen when Pac-Man gobbles up a special item, and when he gets a power pellet he can, of course, eat the ghosts. Three game play modes and Game Center support should keep most gamers busy for a while. Don’t worry if you run the game into the ground, though – I’m sure a new Pac-something will be coming out in a few weeks!
Namco, PAC-CHOMP!, 9.5 MB – $0.99
Crazy Waxing – Have you ever wanted to play a game filled with people that might actually make even you feel better about your body? Better yet, have you ever wanted to give those “fashionably challenged” frames a wax job? In what might be one of the most bizarre puzzle games I’ve run across on the iPhone, now you can! You have to satisfy each of 19 different customers by strategically placing and pulling off wax tape to remove the maximum unsightly hair while avoiding things like pimples and scars. You can earn time medals by completing a stage with precision, and you can impress others with you waxing skills by completing OpenFeint missions.
PixelAmmo, Crazy Waxing, 19.0 MB – $0.99
Prose with Bros – According to the iTunes description, this is the “first ever multiplayer competitive poetry game. Probably.” The developers certainly have a sense of humor, and it’s interesting that they chose to back it up with a game that is all about user generated content. Basically you compete against another person (friend or random challenger) to see who can come up with the most popular sentence using the same set of 50 words. You each submit your entry, and the public gets 24 hours to vote on which one they like better. This finally sounds like an online game I could sink my teeth into. The one caveat is that the game is not monitored, so if you’re sensitive about what others might say, you should probably stick to challenging friends who know you well (and are sympathetic to your desires). If any of this makes you a bit leery, there is a fully functional ad-supported version of the game for free.
Evil Laugh Games, Prose with Bros, 11.0 MB – $1.99
Par Out Golf – I’ve never played golf in real life, and I’m not particularly good at any electronic version of the game. This is certainly an interesting take on the whole concept, however. You study the course, and then place your finger on the screen, at which point the fairway gets covered by clouds. Now you have to draw a path to indicate how you want to take your shot, remembering where all the hills, trees and other traps lay. At least you don’t have to worry about that nasty adversary called physics, because that stuff doesn’t apply around here. You can play up to four players on the same device, or take your game global and compete against another player through Game Center. You can unlock courses and badges as you become a better player, and brag to your friends via Game Center leader boards. The best part is this is a nice family-friendly game that you family might actually enjoy playing together (and it’s universal, so you can huddle around the iPad instead of trying to cram around your little iPhone screen).
Endless Wave Software, Par Out Golf, 78.2 MB – $1.99
Jump Out! – Ever since Angry Birds was released, I think it’s safe to assume that people like physics game with cute, funny and entertaining protagonists. Given that criteria, Jump Out might just become the next big puzzle game on the iOS platform. Your mission is to help a bunch of cute little bugs escape the confines that some nasty scientists have placed them in. You’ll flick, spin and bounce this poor critters through 60 levels of mind-bending puzzles. Each character has their own unique abilities, so you’ll have to consider carefully how to use each one to accomplish your goal. Future updates will include more levels, traps and bug types, and Game Center support as well. If the updates come with half the intensity of games like Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, Jump Out is sure to be a physics puzzle hit.
Avallon Alliance, Jump Out!, 13.6 MB – $0.99
Stem Stumper – In this game your mission is to help a vine grow by clearing a path for it using things like slingshots and sprinklers. There are currently 100 levels to conquer, and the graphics look cute enough. What’s interesting about Stem Stumper, however, is that it’s billed as a “blind-accessible” puzzle game. It uses a dynamic layered soundtrack and a technology called VoiceOver to help those with little or no sight to still be able to play the game. Now I won’t begin to try and explain the technology in this little space, but it sounds cool, and to the best of my knowledge this is the first game that takes advantage of it. For those of you who think you know what it’s like to be blind simply by donning a blindfold, there’s even a sound only “sonar” mode for the ultimate challenge.
Ananse Productions, Stem Stumper, 13.9 MB – $1.99
Trade Nations™ – I think it has actually been a couple of weeks since I mentioned an MMO, so I thought I’d end this week’s watch with Trade Nations ™, not to be confused with Trade Nations! Actually, it appears they are the same game, just released under a different company name. So technically this is old news, but it was the only MMO I remember running across this week. Anyway, in typical Facebook style MMO fashion you raise up a city by building and growing things, and then trading with your friends. You can also trade services with them, since you can assign jobs to your village people. And, if you’re one of those that doesn’t have the patience for your village to play out on its own, you can buy magic beans to speed up the process. There’s no mention of Facebook or anything like that, and there’s also no indication of whether this is online only or if it has an offline mode.
Z2Live, Trade Nations™, 14.6 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:
- Chillingo, Play Kalei, 64.61MB – $0.99
- Endloop, Chicken Balls, 20.58MB – $0.99
- Full Fat, Coin Drop!, 76.69MB – $0.99
- CatfishBlues, Hyperlight, 47.64MB – $0.99
- Codito Development, Tikal, 30.48MB – $4.99
- Unit9, Nano Panda, 45.64MB – $0.99
- Ethervision, RC Heli 2, 33.4 MB – $1.99
- CGMatic, Grove Keeper, 54.73MB – $2.99
- Oniric Games, Elemental Rage, 84.48MB – $4.99
- Chillingo, Choo Choo Steam Trains, 12.24MB – $0.99
- Bulkypix, Deskplorers “Pirates” (Episode Two), 93.6 MB – $1.99
- Capybara, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Micro – $2.99
- Broken Switch Studios, Inc., Bubble Trolls, 26.3 MB – $0.99
- Hothead Games, Bunny the Zombie Slayer™, 20.14MB – $0.99
- Big Fish Games, PuppetShow – The Mystery of Joyville – Free
- Big Fish Games, PuppetShow – The Mystery of Joyville HD – Free
- SQUARE ENIX, FINAL FANTASY III for iPad, 200.80MB – $16.99
- Telltale Inc, Back to the Future Ep 2 HD, 150 MB – $6.99
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: