This week saw some old friends make the leap to new devices, as well as a couple of interesting looking retro games and another outing from a certain furry blue mascot. Board game lovers and simple strategists might want to check out the official Battleship for iPad, which finally docked on the big iOS screen. For those still craving the racing antics of a certain Italian plumber there’s Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing, a wacky game that might just fill your void. Retro gamers can either get their 3D on with the unique platform style of 1-bit Ninja, or kick it real old school with P1XL Party, a set of mini games that look just like they jumped off of a pamphlet for the Commodore 64.
BATTLESHIP for iPad – Anyone that grew up in the 80s and 90s should remember the corny commercials that always ended in the phrase “You sank my battleship!” The game has seen many translations to iOS devices, including an iPhone version of the “official” adaptation from EA, but for some reason it has taken until now to see the classic board game make its way to the iPad. This version provides you with all the excitement of the tactical ship destroying game without any pieces to lose. You can play two player over Bluetooth or WiFi (even if one only owns the iPhone version), or you can play the exclusive 2 player multiplayer mode, which I am going to assume is both players on the same device. If you are more of a loner there are three single player modes to cover a variety of different tastes. This probably isn’t the most exciting release this week, but Battleship is a classic, and the iPad screen with its larger surface seems more suitable to the game’s visual needs.
EA, BATTLESHIP for iPad, 17.7 MB – $2.99
Tiny Tower – NimbleBit adds to their freemium collection with this cute tower building simulation. Your goal is to attract bitizens by providing cool places to live and work. Money earned from your population can be recycled back into construction, and special events and VIP visits net you special perks. You can customize the individual floors as well as the bitizens themselves, making the look of the game unique to your tastes. Game Center integration provides awards, but more importantly allows you to see your friends’ towers and to back up your game, so you never have to worry about the need to reinstall Tiny Tower on your device. There’s even a “BitBook” social network in your tower, allowing you to see what your bitizens are thinking. The game is universal and free to try, so why not get into the tower building business today?
NimbleBit, Tiny Tower, 14.52MB – Free
1-bit Ninja – Taking a cue from certain Nintendo games, 1-bit Ninja is the first 2D / 3D platform game for the iPhone. In 2D mode the game plays just like a tried and true run and jump platformer, but at any time you can drag the perspective into 3D to look for hidden goodies and passageways. You don’t even have to worry about switching directions, as environmental objects like springs and platforms will make sure you can turn around when you need to. There are also unlockable camera modes including an anaglyph mode (only available on models greater than 3G). The game has 4 worlds made up of 20 levels, with more than 100 challenges to task your skills. The visuals have a funky Gameboy look to them, and the audio is 8-bit chip-tune nirvana. This game should appeal to retro platform game lovers and folks new to the genre alike.
kode80, 1-bit Ninja, 29.30MB – $1.99
BackStab – Step into the boots of revenge and take on the role of Henry Blake in this gripping tale of intrigue and, well, backstabbing. You’ll have a fully realized 3D island to roam freely around, and 4 unique cities to explore for secrets and quests. A combo-based combat system will allow you to take out the necessary targets, while climbing, jumping and sneaking around should make it easy for you to avoid unnecessary conflicts. The game boasts a deep storyline along with endless content, which is a pretty interesting combination. Whatever the case, there is sure to be plenty to do and an impressively detailed backdrop to do it against. Backstab is universal, which is a nice change of pace for this style of game, but it only works on devices better than a 3G 8GB unit. The game was originally designed for the Xperia Play, so hopefully it made the transition to iOS smoothly. If it plays half as good as it sounds, this could be one of THE action / stealth games for iOS devices.
Gameloft, BackStab, 584 MB – $6.99
Don’t Fall Off – Apparently EA is on a quest to conquer all facets of the iOS game market, as evidenced by its latest release, the casual game Don’t Fall Off. The extremely simple premise is to keep Rollie from falling off of his paper boat using either the accelerometer or your fingers. You’ll visit exotic locations, all the while dodging things like rain and birds and trying to collect fun power-ups. Thankfully you can at least temporarily control the weather by tapping on the sun when you see it. The game supports Facebook so you can share your progress with your friends. It sounds like there are currently 4 locations to visit, and hopefully updates will add to that. It would also be nice to see some Game Center or OpenFeint integration for those that don’t have or want to use Facebook.
EA, Don’t Fall Off, 34.1 MB – $0.99
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing – There have been others, but will Sonic and pals bring us the first racing game to make us forget that we’ll never see Mario Kart on the iPhone? There are 15 different tracks that you can race using one of 10 iconic SEGA characters, including the main blue hedgehog himself. There are 25 missions to complete and 3 Grand Prix Cups to race in. If that’s not enough, you can challenge a racer to Battle mode. Better yet, get one human player via Bluetooth or up to 3 over the internet for the ultimate racing challenge. The game supports Game Center and OpenFeint for bragging rights, and knowing SEGA there should be enough wackiness involved to make you not miss the plumber with the red cap.
SEGA, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, 314 MB – $4.99
P1XL Party – Retro Minigames! – I know you’re going to take one look at the screen shots and go “what’s he thinking?” If you don’t, then you most likely grew up during the same era of video games that I did. There was a time when this look was actually stylish and impressive, because the alternative was text. Anyway, I’m already a fan of their other project, RPG Quest Minimae, so I’m expecting good things from this one. Your current selection of games includes the Papi Jump like Splatform, a simple action / RPG called Wanderers, and a moon lander type affair where you have to bomb the landing pad clear first. Not only do these look like the games from yesteryear, but they sound just like something you’d load up on a first generation home computer. And if the selection screen is any indication, we’re in for at least 6 more games to be added to this collection over time. I’m sure this won’t appeal to everyone, but retro gamers should have lots of fun with P1XL Party.
P1XL, P1XL Party – Retro Minigames!, 6.0 MB – $0.99
Sunshine Cruise Lines – If towers aren’t your thing, maybe you should try your hand at managing a cruise ship. This latest offering from IUGO challenges you to set sail and build the biggest cruise ship you can. You have more than 40 items to use when constructing and decorating your boat. There are 50 different ports from around the world for you to visit, and more are on the way. You can play with your friends through Facebook, or try and ear achievements via Game Center. You can even collect 100 different postcards that you can share with your friends. If you’re looking for a different style of simulation, this might just be your ticket.
IUGO Mobile, Sunshine Cruise Lines, 38.5 MB – Free
Circus City – I was beginning to think Glu had fallen into a freemium shooting game rut, but it looks like they’ve still got some other things up their sleeves. This latest time management affair has you trying to prove that you’re a better ringmaster than P.T. Barnum. Your main attraction, of course, is the big top, which you can populate with three acts such as clowns, knife throwers or acrobats. Then of course there are the real money makers like the rides and food booths. Everything is purchased using “tickets”, which you either earn as your circus becomes a success or buy with real money using IAP. You can even visit your Facebook and Game Center friends or have them visit you to give each other a helping hand. Will you build the greatest show on Earth or just be another sideshow wannabe?
Glu Games, Circus City, 45.6 MB – Free
Treasure Seekers 3 – Follow the Ghosts – Tom and Nelly are back with more hidden object, puzzle solving adventures. This third installment continues the tradition of a story driven hidden object game. It also maintains a decent balance between true hidden object scenes, puzzles that require inventory items to solve, and mini games. There’s enough variety to keep you on your toes, and a fly swatting mini game to boot! The visuals are just as strong as past endeavors, and the soundtrack provides a nice ambience. This is a great addition to the franchise, and should appeal to both fans of the series and hidden object junkies in general. And the best part is that I don’t believe this is the last time we’ll be hearing from the globe trotting siblings.
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Chillingo Ltd, D.A.R.K, 102.42MB – $0.99
- Schmeuk Studios, Conquist 2, 19.5 MB – $4.99
- imohoo, War Grimoire, 200 MB – $1.99
- PAN Vision, Ionocraft Racing, 59.48MB – $1.99
- Big Blue Bubble, Paper Munchers, 17.0 MB – $0.99
- Bulkypix, Hills of Glory: WWII, 20.4 MB – $1.99
- Thunder Game Works, Trenches: Generals, 49.7 MB – $1.99
- Ragtime, Continuity 2: The Continuation, 18.8 MB – $0.99
- SQUARE, Victorian Mysteries®: The Moonstone - $1.99
- maystorm games, Celerity, 20.34MB – $0.99
- indiePub, Kona’s Crate, 19.4 MB – $0.99
- indiePub, Kona’s Crate HD, 25.1 MB – $1.99
- Telltale, Monkey Island Tales 3 HD, 128 MB – $6.99
- Telltale, Monkey Island Tales 4 HD, 163 MB – $6.99
- Telltale, Monkey Island Tales 5 HD, 130 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: