10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 25 – 31]
This week’s headliner is Silent Ops, Gameloft’s answer to all the James Bond wannabe’s out there. Take any one of their virtual stick action games, throw it in a high tech secret mission scenario, and run with it as you will. If you’re still looking for a good movie blockbuster tie-in (is there such a thing?), you might consider Cowboys & Aliens. Of course there’s probably debate at this point whether the movie will even reach blockbuster status, but the dual stick shooter / tower defense game might provide the fun the movie is lacking. For those that just can’t get enough food slashing fun there is Sushi Chop, the game that has you slicing raw fish and serving it up on a tray. Yum! Finally, old school console gamers might want to check out Roboto, a new platformer that looks like it might have managed to capture the glory days of the Sega Genesis / SNES era.
Silent Ops – It seems that James Bond isn’t the only top secret spy in town. Silent Ops lets you take control of three different spies that each have their own specialties. You’ll need all their skills to complete seven missions that will take you from Geneva to Hong Kong, and well as many other exotic locations. Basically you get to go all “Get Smart” and take out an evil spy organization bent on doing something “really bad” to humanity. Of course there won’t be any juvenile humor or phone booth elevators, but it should be entertaining none the less. In typical Gameloft fashion it looks like you’ll navigate the characters with a virtual joystick and use context sensitive action buttons to do everything else. Once you’ve completed the mission (or while you’re taking a break) you can compete with up to 12 players in deathmatch or assault mode when online, or deathmatch mode locally. If the gritty world of a gangster or revenge seeking cop doesn’t float your boat, maybe a life filled with secret missions and cool gadgets will.
Gameloft, Silent Ops, 657 MB – $6.99
Roboto – If you’ve spent any amount of time with console gaming you’ve probably at least experienced a platform game, if you’re not actually a fan of them. Roboto looks to be old school patforming at its finest. There are 30 levels to master, with what appears to be tons of platform hopping and a nice dash of gravity switching thrown in for good measure. Taking cues from some of the great SNES platformers, the bosses actually come at you from the back of the screen, instead of just having ordinary 2D battles. Along the way you’ll get to upgrade your robot’s abilities, and I have a feeling you’ll need it. The graphics have a nice cell shaded look to them, and the developer promises an original punk rock soundtrack. Social networking support for leader boards and for achievements round out this slick looking package.
Fenix Fire, Roboto, 69.6 MB – $2.99
Groove Coaster – This new release from Taito comes from the mind of Reisuke Ishida, creator of Space Invaders Infinity Gene (TMA Review). It sounds like the next generation of rhythm based video games, allowing you one touch control over a musically generated roller coaster. The levels grow organically with your skill, and new elements and characters are unlocked with continued play. The game includes a wide spectrum of music, so hopefully there should be something for everyone, and I’d assume it was devised in such a way that new music packs could be provided should the need arise. I’m not sure I’m really doing this game justice, but then the iTunes description isn’t very informative. Still, with a 9.5 rating from IGN and a thumbs up from MTV (you’d hope they know something about music related products), this seems like it would be worth checking out.
TAITO Corporation, Groove Coaster, 71.6 MB – $0.99
TerraCraft – This new offering from ArianeSoft takes the premise behind MineCraft and turns it into a puzzle game. The board is filled with tiles of different materials, and you must rearrange them to construct objects as specified in the encyclopedia of blueprints accessible from the game’s menu. Each object is worth a certain amount of points, and you must earn so many points in a given time frame to move on to the next level. On the plus side, this seems to give some purpose to whole block building phenomenon that MineCraft started. On the down side, the fact that it is 2D instead of 3D might be a turn off for MineCraft fans. Thankfully I’m not one, and this sounds rather interesting to me. The game is freemium, so you can try it out with no cost other than some temporary memory usage and a bit of bandwidth. Maybe this has the element of gameplay that MineCraft has been missing for you.
ArianeSoft Inc, TerraCraft, 14.6 MB – Free
Gesundheit! – A pig with allergies already has enough possibilities to provide for an interesting hero. Combine that with a creature that looks like a killer hot dog on four legs, the promise of mildly gross humor, and the phrase “snot happens”, and I’m intrigued. And yes, I find this kind of bodily amusement much preferable to all the fart apps that are out there. The artwork looks incredibly stylized, which makes me eager to see what the cut scenes are like. The game uses an interface that claims not only to be intuitive, but forgoes the use of a virtual d-pad or any on screen buttons. There are currently 40 stages to conquer, with achievements and leaderboards to boot. The developers are also touting more to come, so hopefully that level count will rise soon.
SushiChop – Hey look, another slice ‘n dice game. Sure it’s fish this time (and there has probably been at least one of those already), but it’s still about chopping objects as they fly through the air. And then there are the leaderboards and achievements that allow you to brag to your friends and prove you are the best sushi chef in the world. So why bring this one up? I like the fact that it’s not simply about slicing food until you are blue in the face. There is a timer and trays to fill before that timer runs out. You can earn bonus points by using the least amount of source food to fill the tray. If you play in Sushi Master mode you will even have to fill the tray with specific kinds of food. These might be subtle changes, but they might also be enough to add some flair to what is becoming an increasingly stagnant genre of game play.
Cowboys & Aliens – Silver City Defense – In the latest blockbuster movie cash-in you take on the role of Zeke in order to defend Silver City against an impending alien attack. Like some other recent efforts, this game is part dual stick shooter and part tower defense game. You’ll control Zeke with two virtual joysticks, one for running around town and the other for blasting away aliens. When you’re not laying down lead you’ll need to be repairing buildings and building / upgrading towers that provide either offensive capabilities to help you gun down the intruders or defensive prowess to boost your skills. This sounds a lot like a certain cowboys vs zombies game that came out last year. At any rate, the games that have had some relation to blockbuster films so far this year haven’t been the best of the bunch, but maybe Cowboys & Aliens will buck the trend. Or maybe we just need to wait for a Smurfs mod for the Unreal 3 engine…
C&A Labs, Cowboys & Aliens – Silver City Defense, 65.8 MB – $2.99
World Siege: Orc Defender – While not totally sold on the whole augmented reality thing yet, that are some games that certainly make the concept seem cool, and World Siege is one of them. It’s a fantasy world filled with mystical creatures, but it is based off of real world locations. Set up “camp” wherever in the world you want to, and then train up orcs to defend your territories. As you conquer land you’ll earn money to broaden your influence, and you’ll also earn better in-game items such as weapons and armor. Unfortunately the iTunes description is not real clear about how combat goes down, but judging by the cool picks of orcs going weapon to weapon I’d say combat is real time one on one fisticuffs. Maybe it’s just the allure of orc combat that makes this game stick out from others like it, but for free it seems worth a try to me.
Kineplay, World Siege: Orc Defender, 53.5 MB – Free
Hungribles – This is another in a long line of physics based puzzle games with cute critters that want to eat. In this case the treat of choice is tasty orbs, and the launch mechanism happens to be a slingshot apparatus that looks kind of like a mushroom, but we have to be different, right? At least there are no ropes or anything here. Your job is to feed every hungrible on each level, but to win big you must do so without using all your orbs. There are seven types of hungrible, and each one has its own quirk, like the lack of desire to eat or the need to share by spitting out half of what it has consumed. You’ll need to work with all of these idiosyncrasies to make sure the hungribles get fed as efficiently as possible. There are currently 30 story levels intertwined by an illustrated story, and 15 challenge levels to keep you on your toes. The developers are working on more, and looking to the community for input on what they’d like to see next.
Futuremark Games, Hungribles, 18.8 MB – $0.99
ContiTireRace 2 – Okay, I realize this is simply an app designed to advertise a particular brand of tires. Still, the screen shots look pretty spiffy, and the game is free. Besides which, after watching the movie Rubber (look it up, you dirty minded folks), there’s something about an animate tire that amuses me. The goal of the game is simply to complete two laps of a track as quickly as you can. Avoid obstacles, make smart turns, and collect “speed-ups” to temporarily boost your performance. There’s even a contest for downloading and playing the game where you could win a set of four tires or an Xbox 360. Since the game is free, what have you got to lose?
Macaw Studios, ContiTireRace 2 – The Continental Racing Game – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- FISHLABS, Waterslide 2, 20.0 MB – $0.99
- BIG BAD BRUSH, Big Sticky, 7.0 MB – $0.99
- 9th Bit Games, Guardian Saga, 8.3 MB – $1.99
- Namco, Heli-Awesome!, 22.8 MB – $0.99
- BiCore, EMPIRE WAR, 90.1 MB – $2.99
- randerline, DMBX – Mountain Biking, 115.37MB – $1.99
- Nordisk, The Marbians, 16.6 MB – Free
- Nordisk, The Marbians HD, 11.2 MB – Free
- Chillingo, Mad Wheels, 64.8 MB – $0.99
- Chillingo, Mad Wheels HD, 78.9 MB – $1.99
- Realore, Roads of Rome HD, 108 MB – $2.99
- Chaotic Box, Silverfish MAX (iPad only), 12.7 MB – $2.99
- Repos, Ghost Stories The Boardgame (iPad only), 48.1 MB – $5.99
- Megara, FABLED LANDS II GOLD EDITION, 784 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: