10 New App Store Games To Watch [May 9 – 15]
This week’s selections sound like they were pulled straight from the “popular kids” section of gaming. You have a brand new farming sim (at least to the iOS platform) called Green Farm that comes to you courtesy of Gameloft. On the other hand, if tower defense games are your thing you have your choice of Army Of Darkness Defense or Stop The Knights, both of which sound like they take a bit darker but more comical route to the genre. Finally you have something completely different – at least given the developer – in the form of a physics puzzler called Bug Chucker (TMA Review) from Cyan Worlds, the creators of such treasures as Myst and Riven.
Green Farm – I was pretty sure that iOS devices had plenty of farming sims already, but apparently Gameloft didn’t think so. Welcome to Green Farm, the game that apparently takes farming sims “to the next level”. You’ll raise crops, trees and livestock to earn a living, while using renewable energy resources such as solar panels and electric windmills to show your commitment to “going green”. You’ll be able to visit friends’ farms and even invite them to your own for some real-time mini-game competitions. Push notifications will remind you when things need to be tended to on the farm, and you can even ask your friends for help if need be. It appears that this particular sim is online only, and it does require a Facebook account to play, but if these two things aren’t a problem for you this offering might do for you want Farmville hasn’t.
Gameloft, Green Farm™, 126 MB – Free
Army of Darkness Defense – I would say that Ash is to the undead as Duke Nukem is to pretty much any other vile type of creature in existence. Now’s your chance to step in his shoes as you defend the Necronomicon against hordes of evil dead. You’ll have all the prerequisite tools at your disposal, such as the boomstick and a chainsaw. You’ll also be able to summon plenty of troops of your own, as well as characters from the movie such as the Wiseman and Sheila. There’s even voiceover from Bruce Campbell himself, as you get treated to more than 100 quotes from the movie. The game has 50 campaign waves and an unlockable unlimited mode. The background graphics look great, though the character seem a bit cartoonish and stumpy. Still, if the atmosphere of the movie carries over well, this should be fun for fans of the film and castle defense games alike.
Stop the Knights – I haven’t dwelled on tower / castle defense games much lately, so I thought I’d include a couple in this week’s roundup. Next up is Stop The Knights, where you play Count Dracula trying to protect his castle from invading soldiers. You’ll be able to summon everything from bats to dragons in order to help your cause, but beware as these minions will actually be able to wander around the castle. You’ll need to make sure you put them in the right places to make optimal use out of them. The game currently has 15 levels and 8 creatures to summon, though there’s at least promise of additional levels (hopefully some new units will come along as well). Even with a seemingly limited number of castles to work through, you’ll have to be at your best to achieve Flawless on all levels. Game Center support will be coming soon as well, so you’ll be able to prove to your friends that you are a better castle defender than them.
Red Knight Studio, Stop the Knights, 8.7 MB – $1.99
Dofus : Battles – This game is set in the world of the online MMORPG Dofus, but it appears to be a standalone game. You’ll take command of 12 legendary soldiers led by a mighty dragon, and through what appears to be a grid based interface you’ll do combat with hordes of enemy creatures. It also looks like you’ll be able to build up your characters like in a traditional RPG. I’m most curious to know where the tower defense part of the game comes in. There are a lot of genres mashed here (though strategy / RPG isn’t uncommon by any means), but if the developers have managed to pull off the combination fairly seamlessly this should be one rather entertaining game. Hopefully the fact that the game is based on a dynamically evolving world means the game will see some updated content from time to time as well.
Paper Glider Para Drop – Since Paper Glider was the “download heard round the world”, it only stands to reason that we’d see more games in the series over time. This one adds a new element in the fact that you’re actually launching toy army men from the planes, and you must get them to land on a trampoline in the garden. Hazards when you miss include a roaring campfire and doggy leftovers. The game is a free download, but if you’d like to do anything like customize your parachute or accessorize your lawn you’ll need coins which can either be earned by playing the game or purchased through IAP. Para Drop is also ad supported, but an IAP will remove those ads. If enough of these Paper Glider spin-offs come out, maybe one will make the 20 millionth download!
Neon Play, Paper Glider Para Drop, 20.0 MB – Free
Supermarket Mania 2 – Unlike a lot of weeks, I’ve actually had the opportunity to play several of the games that came out last week that I felt might be suitable for this list. One of the highlights for me was Supermarket Mania 2, which I’ve already reviewed for TMA. If you like time management games, you need to check this one out. There is so much to do on a given level that it borders on insane at times, but it still turns out to be manageable and fun. Like most time management games you’ll get the opportunity to upgrade your store with better gadgets and cool items to make your life easier, and you’ll even get to have special events like a day where you just serve milkshakes to all your customers. The graphics are great, the sound is pretty good, and the music is just obvious enough for you to know it’s there, much like you’d expect from a supermarket. The best part is the game is free to try with IAP to get the full game, so you can get addicted and not have to worry about starting over when you purchase the full thing.
Catch The Candy – As the flood of cute physics games continues, Catch The Candy actually offers something a bit different. In this game you’re goal is to get the piece of candy that exists on each level. The thing is, you can’t actually move the main character directly – you must lash out at certain objects with the creature’s tongue, and use momentum to drag, swing and fling the creature to the sweet treats. I’ve had the opportunity to play this one as well, and it’s certainly a unique control mechanism to get used to. The other thing you’ll find with this game is that the level designs are very creative. There’s even a level where you get to bowl! Personally I’ve experienced some frustrations with the whole tongue movement thing, but the truth is that if you’re a fan of any of the Cut the Rope (TMA Review) type games you’ll probably want to give this a try.
THOR: Son of Asgard – It’s not surprising that with the release of the movie Thor we’d see a game show up on the iOS platform. What is surprising is the fact that the game appears to have nothing to do with the movie! In Son Of Asgard you do play the mighty Thor, but your mission is to defeat the invaders of Asgard and rescue Sif from her captors. You’ll run into all kinds of allies and enemies of Thor as you wield your mighty hammer through levels that span Jotunheim, Alfeim, and Asgard. I almost feel like I need a translator just to understand all these names! Anyway, the world of Thor comes to life in vivid 3D HD graphics on both your iPad and 4G iOS 4 devices, and is complimented with an original story written by Bryan J.L. Glass, one of Marvel’s very own writers. Super hero games are always a hit or miss proposition, but Thor sounds like it might be more of a hit.
Marvel, THOR: Son of Asgard, 317 MB – $4.99
House of Mice – Here’s another one that I’ve actually had the opportunity to play, and this is also loads of fun. There are 80 puzzles that each has the same objective – grab all the cheese and defeat the mouse. Sounds simple enough, but the puzzles certainly get more challenging as you progress through the game. You’ll bounce of walls, explode crates, and overcome obstacles or use the environment to your advantage to achieve your goal. There is the promise of more levels to come, as well as Facebook and Game Center integration, presumably for leaderboards, achievements and bragging rights. The visuals are nice, hearing the mice laugh every time you beat a level is amusing, and there’s enough here to appeal to kids while still proving quite formidable for adults.
Delusion Studio, House of Mice, 15.0 MB – $0.99
Bug Chucker – From the makers of Myst (TMA Review) and Riven: The Sequel to Myst (TMA Review) comes the gripping tale of… chucking bugs? In this physics game of astronomical proportions you’ll have to toss insects of different calibers through space, trying to master 42 levels of gravitational goodness. Ultimately you are to rid the universe of the evil Sawz, who are bent on destroying your ship and its precious cargo. You’ll initially get 4 different bugs to use against the Sawz, each with their own skills. As might be expected from this sort of game, however, there will be more levels and bugs coming in the future. The game uses a three star ranking system, and you’ll have to master gravity and use the objects in the level wisely in order to earn all those stars. There’s even a left handed mode for people like. The challenge is there, so the only question is if you are up to it.
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: