10 New App Store Games To Watch [May 23 – 29]

This week saw another release in Glu’s stable of free to play, pay for extras, and invite your friends via Facebook games.  This time around it’s Star Blitz, which looks to be a top down 360 degree space ship shooter with fully customizable craft.  RPG fans that own an iPad should take a look at Companions, a game that looks like and plays like Gauntlet with a heavy dose of Rouge-like RPG thrown into the mix.  Illusion Labs fans need to check out Touchgrind BMX, the second installment of their popular Touchgrind series which focuses on bikes instead of skateboards this time around.  Those desiring a time management game with a bit of a twist might want to try Parking Dash, the latest game in the popular “dash” series.  This one has you managing a parking lot, and it looks to be a combination of time management and puzzle game.

Companions – This looks to be a Gauntlet style action game with Rouge-like RPG elements.  You can create four warriors from four different races, each of which have three class types.  Then it’s up to you whether you tackle the 10+ hour campaign or one of three solitary maps.  There are more than 40 skills to master and 100+ items to collect.  Boss mobs, gigantic battles and a really big dragon are sure to keep you busy as you play again and again over the randomly populated dungeons.  The game is integrated with both OpenFeint and Game Center and supports 41 different achievements.  There are also 3 different difficulty settings to keep up with your skill level.  Surprisingly enough, there’s no mention of multiplayer.  That’s a shame, because its setup seems a perfect fit.  This even strikes me as one of those games where it could be multiplayer on the same device.  Maybe that will come in an update down the road – the developers are already promising more solitary levels as well as leaderboards. [iPad Only]

Companions smuttlewerk interactive, Companions, 58.9 MB – $4.99

Tower Defense: Lost Earth – Com2Us is branching out again, this time into the genre of tower defense games.  Instead of just protecting your home turf, in Lost Earth you’re invading alien planets in an attempt to gather the resources you need to save your dying planet.  The game consists of 40 campaign and 6 solo maps, each of which contains some of 10 different types of enemies and encompasses one of 5 world themes.  You’ll have 9 different types of towers and 4 special weapons with which to fortify your defenses, and you can engage in 4 different game play modes that each have different objectives.  If this doesn’t keep you busy long enough, there are plans to expand the number of levels and tower types via DLC (and hopefully the number of enemies as well).  From a company whose primary export is RPGs, it will be interesting to see how they fare in the category of TD games.

Tower Defense®: Lost Earth Com2uS, Tower Defense®: Lost Earth, 20.2 MB – $2.99
Tower Defense®: Lost Earth HD Com2uS, Tower Defense®: Lost Earth HD, 20.8 MB – $4.99

Paper Glider Crazy Copter – The Paper Glider series has expanded again, and this time around it appears that someone has finally taken the old “copter” game to new levels.  Other than just avoiding floors and ceilings you’ll have to dodge missles, open doors and barrel through closing gaps.  There are even enemies to dodge (or blast once you’ve upgraded to the Baddie Blaster).  The game has 3 stages which contain more than 60 levels, and there are two more stages on the way.  In addition to the Baddie Blaster you can get a shield and even upgrade your copter with 12 different types of copters.  Game Center lets you compare scores with the world, and if you’re interested in bragging you can post your scores to Facebook and Twitter.  As usual, this installment of the series is free, though IAP will allow you to remove the ads.

Paper Glider Crazy Copter Neon Play, Paper Glider Crazy Copter, 19.2 MB – Free

Star Blitz – Judging by the screen shots I’d call this “Gun Bros with space ships”.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as long as the game play is intense and stays fresh for more than a few minutes.  You’ll actually get the opportunity to customize your ship with additional body parts in addition to a dizzying array of cool weaponry.  And, much like most of Glu’s other free to play offerings as of late you can hook up with your Facebook and Game Center friends to join you in your quest, even when they aren’t actually playing.  The graphics look pretty nice, and the game play appears to be old school at its best, so with a price tag of free there doesn’t seem to be a reason not to take this one for a spin.

Star Blitz Glu Games, Star Blitz, 110 MB – Free

Parking Dash – At first glance this looks like one of those games where you have to slide cars around so you can get a particular one out of the lot.  Truth be told, there might be some of that involved, as the iTunes description isn’t very informative.  Being a “dash” game, however, you know it’s going to be all about time management.  You will have to keep things organized such that you can get cars in and out at a moment’s notice.  You’ll also have to provide things like car washes and sodas when requested.  As with all the “dash” games you’ll be able to upgrade aspects of the parking lot in between levels.  And, if it is anything like its brethren, you can be sure that the action will become fast and furious before too many levels have been conquered.  The visuals appear to have that trademark “dash” cartoon flair that make the games such fun to look at, and hopefully the sound will compliment the atmosphere like we’ve come to expect.

Parking Dash PlayFirst, Parking Dash, 50.2 MB – $2.99

Super-Tilt Baseball 2 – I remember when pinball machines actually used to be cool, and even a time when some where almost considered works of art.  Sadly they have faded with the slow demise of the Arcade as a social hangout, but there is a decent selection of digital pinball games available on mobile devices like the iPhone.  This game combines authentic pinball action with baseball, America’s favorite past time.  Super Tilt Baseball 2 is fully integrated with Game Center, providing leaderboards, achievements, two player head to head matches and voice chat.  There are seven different categories that each sport their own leaderboard, and you can store the top 50 scores for each of those categories right on your device.  The visuals have been optimized for hi def displays on both the iPhone 4 and iPad, and a special zoom feature lets you feel like you’re smashing your face against the glass of the machine itself.  Super Tilt Baseball 2 sounds like it would make a great addition to any pinball lovers’ collection.

Super-Tilt Baseball 2 Eizon, Super-Tilt Baseball 2, 32.4 MB – $1.99

Touchgrind BMX – The long awaited sequel to Illusion Lab’s classic Touchgrind (TMA Review) is out, and instead of a skateboard you get to test your mettle with a BMX bike.  The game still employs a top down view and 2 finger touch control.  You’ll collect medals and conquer challenges in order to unlock many different bikes to race at several unlockable locations.  Excellent 3D visuals and realistic physics should provide for a breathtaking experience.  You can watch replays of your best performances, and then create and publish bragging videos on Youtube.  The game also has Facebook integration so you can impress all of your friends.  Judging from Illusion Lab’s past portfolio, you can expect this to be a high quality experience all around.

Touchgrind BMX Illusion Labs, Touchgrind BMX, 63.0 MB – $4.99

Anodia – I don’t get very excited over Arkanoid style games, but once in a while a variant catches my eye.  Anodia is once such variant.  It’s hard to tell from the screen shots in iTunes, but if you watch the promotional video you’ll see that the level designs are unlike anything you’ve played in a brick breaker game before.  The game sports more than 50 hand crafted levels, and Game Center provides achievements for you to unlock by completing those levels.  There are also leaderboards so you can compete against your friends to see who is best.  There are more than 20 bonuses (by which I assume they mean power ups), and I saw at least one or two in the video that looked different than what I’m used to for this type of game.  If the game plays as well as it looks it should be a lot of fun, and maybe if it does well we’ll see some more amazing levels in an update or DLC.

Anodia Clueless Little Muffin, Anodia, 12.7 MB – $1.99

Ninja Nation – If you’ve wanted to try one of these social world-building games but the likes of We Rule or FarmVille aren’t manly enough for you, how about Ninja nation?  It’s similar to the others in format – build structures to house inhabitants and raise an army, construct farms to earn money, and foster businesses to supply income and experience.  You’ll engage in combat with random enemies or attack other players that are getting too powerful.  You can also trade with other players and visit their nations.  There are over 190 buildings to construct your nation, including more than 20 types of ninja houses to recruit participants for your army.  Ninja Nation also has Game Center support with leaderboards and achievements.  Keep in mind that this game is online only, however, so you must have WiFi or 3G to play.

Ninja Nation Global Agent Inc, Ninja Nation, 58.8 MB – Free

Mexiball – I’ve always been a fan of Donut Games, partially due to the fact that their selections tend to be rather casual in nature.  This one looks to be a bit more of a thinking man’s game, but I’m pretty sure that it will still be fun given its pedigree.  It appears that the idea is to roll balls around a track until you get balls of like designs together.  The game employs the standard Donut Games 3 star ranking system, so I’m guessing that since the goal of the game is quite straightforward the stars will come based on time of completion for a given level.  Many levels offer multiple solutions, and you can go back and replay your best one at any time.  Game Center support provides global high scores and achievements on top of the 3 star ranking.  I’m looking forward to taking this latest Donut Games creation for a spin.

Mexiball Donut Games, Mexiball, 8.4 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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