10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 11 – 17]
I’m sure the top story this week is 9mm from Gameloft, but I’m going to mention Pocket RPG, the latest offering from Crescent Moon Games. This stylish RPG should be a treat for anyone that likes dual stick games or rougelike offerings. I just wish they would have released the iPhone version first. Racing seemed to be a prevalent theme this week. If you enjoy futuristic jaunts you should check out Protoxide: Death Race from HeroCraft. On the other hand, if you just want to cause havoc in the current era, Reckless Getaway might be more your style. Finally, those that are more interested in proving their skills than causing any damage at all should consider Xtreme Wheels, a trial bike game that offers some really intense graphics given the game’s style of game play.
Protoxide: Death Race – HeroCraft is probably most well known for some creative and fun puzzle games, but now they’ve stuck their hands into the racing genre with what looks like some pretty interesting results. In the future society has fallen apart, and Death Races are the new law. The game comes with 4 single player modes and the ability to connect over WiFi. There are 12 different vehicles to choose from, each with their own look and feel. You’ll enjoy some breathtaking 3D graphics as you race across 16 different tracks in 4 locations. There’s no mention of social networking, so hopefully that’s coming if it’s not already there. It sounds like Protoxide has the action that Ionoscraft Racing was missing. Too bad there’s no craft customization involved in Protoxide…
HeroCraft, Protoxide: Death Race, 73.2 MB – $2.99
Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel – Guardians sounds like an interesting combination of “infinite runner” and one-on-one combat. You are the captain of the Royal Guard, and apparently going down with a sinking ship is not in your battle plan, as your mission is to flee the citadel which has been besieged by the enemy. Along the way you’ll have to avoid traps, fight enemies both big and small, and cast spells to open portals so you can continue your journey. All this is accomplished with one finger, which makes me wonder how detailed the combat is going to be. There’s nothing necessarily new about the game play in Guardians, but it’s supposedly structured in such a way that it is both intuitive and deep. The game uses the Unity 3D engine, so expect the different locales to be rendered with lush visuals. The game is also universal, including high resolution graphics for iPhone 4 and iPad 2 devices.
A-Tono, Guardians: The Last Day of the Citadel, 134 MB – $4.99
Kard Combat – Designed in part by Richard Garfield, creator of the world’s most recognized CCG Magic: The Gathering, early comments are touting this as the game to fill the gap that MTG has left for CCG fiends. The game has an extensive single player campaign, with 33 levels to beat in the Tower (5 of which are available for free). There are four mage classes to choose from, and more than 100 cards to build your deck with (40 or so being available in the free version). You can engage in an unlimited number of multi-player battles, though you only get one save slot until you upgrade via IAP, at which point you’ll get 20 separate save games. There are Game Center achievements and leaderboards to keep you coming back, and I’d imagine that new card packs – probably available via IAP – will be coming down the road.
Hothead Games, Kard Combat, 16.4 MB – Free
9mm – This isn’t really my kind of game, so I’m not sure what to compare it against; though maybe it doesn’t even need a comparison. You play the leader of a team of cops that does “whatever it takes” to clean up the streets, and you must take out a drug lord after killing his brother and stealing a bunch of cash that belongs to him. You’ll engage in gunfights pulled straight from the latest action film, complete with tons of flying clips and slow motion activity. Destructible environments really emphasize the action. A variety of locations and weaponry keep everything fresh, and the need to interrogate informants means you can’t always shoot first and ask question later. Once you’ve completed the single player scenario you can take the game online with up to 12 players across 4 different maps in either Free For All or Team Deathmatch modes.
Gameloft, 9mm, 720 MB – $6.99
VisionBall – I’ve always thought those little basketball games in arcades where you get so many seconds to score as many baskets as you can by actually throwing a ball into a physical hoop were fun but kind of cheesy. Unless you were trying to get a really high score, all you had to do was chuck the balls frantically at the hoop and you’d get a decent percentage in. This electronic version of the game intrigues me, however. It actually uses the camera in your device to track the movements of your hand, so you never have to touch the screen in order to interact with the game. The down side to this, of course, is that the game is going to play best when your device is steady, which means you’ll probably have to lay it down on a table or something. You’re also going to need good lighting for the camera. As a result I’m not sure how solid the game play is going to be at this point, but I like the innovative use of technology. Besides, the game is free, so there’s no monetary loss in taking it for a spin.
Digital Rising, VisionBall, 7.9 MB – Free
Pocket RPG – With a pedigree that includes Aralon (TMA Review) and Rimelands (TMA Review), it is safe to say that the folks at Crescent Moon Games know their way around an RPG. Pocket RPG looks to be no exception to the rule. In what I would describe as a dual stick roguelike game, you take on the role of an adventurer that likes to wreak havoc and collect loot. You can select from one of three classes, each with its own combat style. Whether you like hand to hand, long distance or magical combat, Pocket RPG has you covered. In addition to the classes, every equipped item will help determine how your character levels up, so equipment isn’t just for show or raising attack / defense numbers. The dungeons are randomly generated, so each run through is a brand new game. There are even achievements and leaderboards via Game Center, just in case wiping out hordes of creatures and collecting tons of loot weren’t enough. And, if past efforts are any indication, the visuals should be incredible. I’m just speculating here, since I have to wait for the iPhone version before I can give this one a try, but I’m probably not wrong.
Crescent Moon Games, Pocket RPG, 90.7 MB – $2.99
Quiz Climber – The genre of “infinite running” / “constantly climbing” games continues to be quite popular on the App Store, though more often than not the concepts contained in them are stagnating. Thankfully Quiz Climber takes a completely different approach to the genre. Instead of tilting or tapping the device to continue your ascent, you must answer trivia questions! How far can you climb before you miss a question and have to start over? Thankfully there is a bit of a reprieve, as you can earn or buy lifelines that let you keep going without having to restart. Where the game gets fun is when you start to play against your friends, and you get to watch as you pass them by on your tree. The ability to send them a biting comment would be nice, but I don’t know if you get that luxury or not. What I do know is that the scores are cleared on a weekly basis, so you can continually prove to your friends who the smarter player is. The question base is always being updated as well, so no two games will be alike.
Chillingo, Quiz Climber, 12.8 MB – $1.99
Reckless Getaway – Are you tired of being the “good guy”? Is the thrill of crossing the finish line in a racing game just not enough? Maybe it’s time for a getaway. In this new racer from Polarbit, you are running from the cops after stealing some loot from a bank. Your job is to cause chaos by crashing what you can, dodging the rest, and generally making life miserable for the cops. You’ll have 16 tracks on which to prove your mettle, with more to come according to the developers. Awesome physics make icing on the cake for enjoying the destruction, and Game Center integration means you can brag about all your exploits to your friends. This game comes from the folks that brought us Reckless Racing (TMA Review), so I’d expect it to be lots of fun. It’s even universal so you can test your skills on both big and small screens.
Polarbit, Reckless Getaway, 56.2 MB – $2.99
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty – Despite my hopes, I wasn’t very impressed with either Thor or Transformers. I haven’t seen the movies, so I don’t know how closely either of the games tied in to the films. The same goes for this one, but could it be that third time’s a charm for summer blockbuster related gaming (okay, technically there was green lantern as well, but I know that one had nothing to do with the movie). In Sentinel Of Liberty you’re still facing off against the Red Skull during WWII, but according to iTunes this is a new story, so maybe it’s just launching now to ride the waves of the film. As any Captain America game should play, you’ll get to use your shield in a variety of ways to take down the enemy and avoid obstacles. There are 24 levels that span 3 episodes, and each level contains multiple pathways and secret areas to find. HD graphics bring the action to life where applicable, and an original score rounds out the package. Here’s hoping we get a solid game this time out so I don’t have to go back to the NES inspired platform games Marvel has been releasing on the web.
Marvel, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, 146 MB – $4.99
Xtreme Wheels – This is one of those games where you’re riding a trial bike and you have to flip your way over all kinds of obstacles the get to the end of each track. By and large these games don’t tend to impress me because they employ wonky physics and / or ragdoll riders, which are slightly amusing for a while but lose their appeal quickly. The first thing that caught my attention with Xtreme Wheels, however, is the visuals. They’re probably the best I’ve seen for a game like this, and the screen shots don’t do them nearly the justice that the promo video does. The game is all about speed and balance and successfully navigating things like explosives and twisted ramps. You have 20 courses with increasing difficulty levels to master, and Game Center support with leaderboards will keep you motivated to stay one step ahead of your friends.
Bravo, Xtreme Wheels, 88.9 MB – $3.99
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: