10 New App Store Games To Watch [May 2 – 8]
Today’s lead in is the latest offering from Square Enix, which is unique in both content and price. The game is called Imaginary Range. It’s a combination of comic book and mini-games, and it’s absolutely free. If you’re into aquatic life with attitudes you should check out either Destructopus or Laser Dolphin. The former is more for those who just want to destroy everything, while you can’t go wrong with the latter’s protagonist – a mammal that totes some pretty awesome weaponry. Finally, if you haven’t gotten your fill of puzzle games with cute characters yet, Chillingo is happy to bring you Spider Jack… a puzzle game with a cute leading character.
Spider Jack – Spider Jack looks like Chillingo’s take on such games as Arachnadoodle (TMA Review) and Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, and if it’s half as good as either of those that’s just fine with me. You control Spider Jack, and you’ll travel to various locations, trying to eat every fly you run across. There are 75 levels to play through, each of which has multiple solutions and star ratings to keep coming back until you’ve mastered every one. The game uses a realistic physics model, though I’m not quite sure you’re really going to know what it feels like to be a web slinger. But hey, it is just a video game! You can gift levels to your friends – I’m curious what exactly that means – and the visuals look quite enchanting. Overall I’d say you can add this to the list of fun cartoon like physics games with cute leading characters.
Piclings – At its base Piclings is an amusing but pretty standard platform adventure game. You play a little guy named Picazzo and you must collect coins and defeat the evil Huffies and Puffies. There are a few power ups including the camera, which keeps the bad guys occupied for a bit because they love to have their picture taken. The game supports Game Center for leaderboards and achievements, but just comes with a few stock levels to play. Where this game shines is in the ability to use your own pictures and drawings as levels. You can snap a shot with your camera or sync pictures or drawings via iTunes, and the game will use an algorithm to determine what constitutes a platform or wall. I’ve had the chance to play with this one a little bit, and it did a pretty good job with the couple of shots that I took. You can even use a built in editor to tweak your levels, and then you can share them with your friends to compete for the best scores.
PAN Vision, Piclings, 14.0 MB – $0.99
Imaginary Range – I personally have not been very fond of Square Enix’s offerings on the iPhone so far, but that might change with Imaginary Range. The game is a combination of comic and interactivity, where the comic is used to tell the story and the mini-games give you something to do between story segments. When you complete the story you’ll get the ability to play the games without the story, and you’ll also get some background commentary on the comic portion of the game. You can also collect coins throughout the process that let you unlock entries in the game’s gallery. It’s quite a departure from the company’s usual offerings, but the game is free to download and play, so all your out is the space on your device until you decide whether you like Imaginary Range or not.
SQUARE ENIX, Imaginary Range, 147 MB – Free
Laser Dolphin – When I first saw the screen shots of this game my reaction was “Ecco the Dolphin, except cool!” Now in all fairness, Ecco the Dolphin was actually a pretty fun game, but this dolphin has lasers and assorted other weapons. Then I start drifting towards thoughts of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers…. But I digress. You must rescue the prime minister – which I’m guessing is a sea creature of some sort – and you’ll do this by travelling through 50 different levels on 4 worlds. You’ll get power ups such as torpedoes and machine guns, and you’ll have to fight the likes of TNT Turtles and Robo Sharks. Oh, and did I mention that the abductors were aliens? Once you’ve finished the wacky story mode (or while you’re still playing through it) you can play 10 stunt levels and 10 race levels, and you can compete with your friends via Game Center for high scores and best tricks.
Destructopus!– When I was a kid I loved playing Rampage. Actually give me a decent translation and I’ll sit playing it for hours now. Destructopus is what you’d get if you took Rampage and made the star a mutated octopus with a soft spot for endangered animals. You’ll make your way through several levels destroying everything in sight, including buildings, tanks, planes and nasty little men that are shooting at you. Thanks to the physics model in the game, you can even using things like falling and flying bits of construction to crush other things. You’ll also get to face off against 4 bosses, each with their own weaknesses. Collect coins so you can upgrade the Destructopus and unleash even more devastation on your foes. If you love games with massive amounts of carnage this is the one for you.
GlitchSoft, Destructopus!, 18.3 MB – $0.99
Frisbee® Forever – I don’t know that this is so much a true Frisbee simulation as it is an attempt to use the brand name on a cool looking casual game, but the fact is this game looks quite promising. You’ll steer your way through more than 100 levels that will take you from the Wild West to pirate filled Caribbean waters. You can collect over 100 Frisbees and unlock plenty of trophies and secret bonuses. This game might not be the height of originality, but it looks cool and it’s free, so there’s not much to lose. Besides, hopefully down the road there will be crossover promotions with discs for different games – Doodle Jump Frisbee anyone?
Kiloo, Frisbee® Forever, 59.9 MB – Free
SAGA Dungeon – This is a randomly generated dungeon crawler based off of the mythos from the online strategy RTS Saga. Your quest is simple: slay monsters and gather loot to buy items. There are many different types of enemies to fight, including bosses ranging from dragons to Battle Tanks! The game is free to play, and most items can be purchased through in-game rewards. Much like Frisbee Forever there’s not a lot of new ground being broken here, but the game looks decent and sounds like it would provide for some mindless fun when you have time to kill.
Silverlode Interactive, SAGA Dungeon, 24.9 MB – Free
Fleck Touch – So what does planting a garden, owning a restaurant and fending off hordes of zombies have in common? They are all elements of the new online game Fleck Touch. Like more and more online games these days, Fleck Touch takes advantage of your iDevice’s knowledge of your real world location to let you play the game “right at home” as it were. You can plant a garden in your home town, and then travel the country to visit landmarks and blast the undead. The game also uses current weather conditions to affect the atmosphere of the game. You can play with your friends, taking on zombies as a team or engaging in group scavenger hunts. You can even help your friends maintain their gardens. Fleck is constantly being updated, and there is a web interface, which I assume means you can play on your desktop or use your device when you’re on the go. Note that the game is currently only playable in the US, southern Canada and northern Mexico.
Self Aware Games, Fleck Touch, 0.8 MB – Free
Foodies – I have to say that plot wise, this is my kind of game. I’m pretty sure it’s the only love story I’ve ever seen where the girl refuses the guy until he actually gains weight! Anyway, to help Sam woo his lady love you’ll bounce him through 80 levels of sweets, treats and generally good food, encouraging him to pack on the pounds. Many levels have special challenges, but all of them will keep you entertained. To manipulate Sam you’ll use two fingers as the endpoints of a board off which Sam will bounce. It’s a novel control scheme, and from the game play video it looks to work quite well. The visuals look cute and are retina display enhanced, and the game supports Game Center for leaderboards (and hopefully achievements, though that’s not mentioned).
Nano Titans, Foodies, 19.5 MB – $0.99
Empire Builder: Ancient Egypt HD – Sim City meets the land of the Pharaohs in this latest offering from 99games. Instead of just building a city, you’ll be tasked by the Pharaohs with missions to complete. You’ll also have to fend off the likes of mummies and locust plagues. You’ll encounter 10 pharaohs over 30 different levels, unlocking new building plans as your journey progresses. You can play Imhotep’s Challenge to earn special rewards, and Game Center integration provides for leaderboards and achievements. I’m actually kind of surprised that this style of game play hasn’t flourished more on the iPad, but if offerings like this are any indication the choices that do exist should be strong.
99Games, Empire Builder: Ancient Egypt HD, 87.8 MB – $3.99
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Out of the Park, iOOTP Baseball 2011, 23.3 MB – $4.99
- MobCrete, Inc., Pucca’s Restaurant, 50.8 MB – Free
- Astro Ape Studios, Monsterz Revenge, 36.5 MB – Free
- EasyTime Inc., Dragon Chaser, 28.1 MB – $1.99
- Beeline Interactive, Glo Flo, 15.6 MB – $0.99
- Applied Studios, Stitches, 24.5 MB – $0.99
- Mooniz Interactive, Mooniz, 13.9 MB – $0.99
- Liv Games, Legendary Wars HD, 122 MB – $0.99
- Playlithium, Super Ball Escape HD, 53.8 MB – Free
- Cipher Prime, Pulse : Volume One, 70.9 MB – $4.99
- PlayFirst, Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air, 221 MB – Free
- Big Fish, Secret Mission – The Forgotten Island, 292 MB – Free
- Big Fish, Secret Mission – The Forgotten Island HD, 328 MB – Free
- Big Fish, Empress of the Deep: The Darkest Secret HD (Full) – $4.99
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: