10 New App Store Games To Watch [Aug. 8 – 14]
If you haven’t had enough physics fun with cute aliens, sweet candy and lots of rope, this week BulkyPix released Save Yammi. To its credit, the game adds a few nice twists to the already aging “feed the critter” formula. If you’re looking for something completely different you might want to give Julius Styles The International a try. This part hacking, part puzzle, part action isometric adventure game features Wesley Snipes as a guy trying to evade the government. Go figure. Those obsessed with Zenonia (TMA Review) style game play should check out Exitium: Saviors Of Vardonia. Odd name aside, if it delivers its 800+ adventures it stands to be one of the biggest RPG type games on the App Store.
Rafter’s Loot – The concept of continually stacking objects is one that’s simple but can be quite entertaining if done correctly. Rafter’s Loot sounds like it might just fit the bill, complete with a couple of twists that I don’t think I’ve seen in this type of game before. Not only are there different types of objects in Rafter’s Loot, but thanks to a nifty physics engine each object acts differently when it is on the stack. Additionally, if you get three items of the same type touching they’ll disappear, making room for more loot. Of course, I’d imagine (or at least hope) that the physics would kick in at this point as well. The game has 50 levels of object juggling fun spread across 5 different worlds. The graphics are nothing special, but Rafter’s Loot sounds like it might be the kind of game where that isn’t so important.
Surje Software Solutions, Rafter’s Loot, 12.3 MB – $0.99
Defender of the Crown – The Amiga was a computer that was way ahead of its time. Stylish graphics, stereo sound and arcade quality games belied the fact that the machine came out in 1987. A company called Cinemaware knew a thing or two about making cinematic video games for the machine, one of which was the epic strategy effort Defender Of The Crown. This is an actual emulation of the original version, so while the graphics might not scream “Unreal 3”, you’ll understand why the machine was such a treasure for it’s time. Before games like Angry Birds existed, this game taught players a thing or two about taking down walls with catapults. You’ll also get to joust, sword fight, and engage in other cool medieval type activities. It may not be complex by today’s standards, but I have a feeling it translates nicely to a quick portable strategy style game.
Manomio, Defender of the Crown, 4.6 MB – $2.99
Julius Styles – The International – There’s something a bit ironic about a game dealing with corporate espionage featuring a famous star most recently know for tax evasion. Still, the game looks like an interesting blend of action and adventure set in a world where one organization seeks to control the economy of the world. Call it Big Brother or acknowledge that it’s too close to reality, it sounds pretty cool to me. In what can only be described as “Mission: Impossible” for all the wrong reasons, you’ll get to infiltrate every level of business and government, trying to make the world work the way you want it to. There are plenty of puzzles to solve, and you might even have to go MacGyver in order to make some weapons. It’s a world of electronic warfare, but an assassination or two isn’t out of the question. The 3D isometric view looks sharp, and the main character is voiced by Wesley Snipes. And, as Mr. Snipes himself found out, the overlying principle of the game is that actions do have consequences. What will your consequences be?
Lapland Studi, Julius Styles – The International, 136 MB – $0.99
Let’s Golf! 3– The third installment of Gameloft’s popular portable golf game looks to once again up the ante for wild and crazy game play. Bored with traditional courses? How about playing on the Great Wall Of China… or the moon? Want to play with your friends? Each course can be shared by up to four players online, locally via WiFi or Bluetooth, or even on the same device! Best of all, if you can’t catch your friends online you can just play through the course yourself and then challenge them to beat your score. Extremely social butterflies can also chat with their online friends while playing. Earn in-game coins to buy special equipment and powers for your golfers – I’m sure you can even buy coins in bulk via IAP. Finally, if you want to hone your skills without playing a full game, engage in some mini-games like Catch The Star or Putting Master. Best of all, this experience can be had for free. Fore!
Gameloft, Let’s Golf! ® 3, 712 MB – Free
Anomaly Warzone Earth – Even though there have been some innovative attempts at the tower defense genre, in the end they all pretty much feel the same. Erect some units, upgrade when necessary, and watch as your troops annihilate wave after wave of path plodding invaders. Someone finally decided enough is enough, and for once you get to witness the other side of the story as you take control of the invaders! Plot your route and assemble the right combination of troops in order to take down the alien towers. Use brute force or stealth to defeat the enemy, depending on your preference. Gather resources to buy new units or upgrade existing ones. Keep the excitement going for hours as you play through three different game play modes. You can even post scores and medals on Facebook. I’ve never been much of a tower defense fan, but this one sounds quite promising.
Save Yammi – At first glance you’re bound to say this is simply a Cut the Rope (TMA Review) clone. I know, because that’s what I thought as well. However, that’s actually not the case at all. Yes, you do have to make sure the alien gets the snack – in this case cookies instead of candy. However, you actually use the rope to guide the cookie to its destination. You also have to collect at least three stars on each level in order to move on to the next. Plus, unlike Cut The Rope, you actually have some control over the cookie once you’ve “released” it. You’ll have to make use of things like teleports and bubbles, while trying to avoid lighting clouds and other dangerous obstacles. While I still love Cut The Rope, there are actually some features of this game that I like better. Of course every time Yammi eats a cookie I still can’t help but think of Om Nom. Thankfully there’s enough room for two cute aliens with bottomless stomachs on my iPod Touch.
Hospital Havoc 2 – It was a bit before my time, but TouchMyApps gave the original Hospital Havoc (TMA Review) a rating of “Kiss It”, the highest mark the site has to offer. After spending some time with beta versions of the newly released sequel, I’m not really all that surprised. Your first patient is a guy with an axe in his head and a doctor that ponders that something might be wrong. You’ll have more than 35 types of patients to see with more than 20 maladies to cure. The current level cap for your doctor is 100, but that will increase in future releases. You’ll even get the chance to play around with special areas like a psychiatric room and the morgue! You can customize your office using the in-game currency of muffins, which of course can be purchased with real dollars via IAP if you so choose. OpenFeint and Game Center let you combat your medical skills against those of your friends, and two game play modes add the extra bit of incentive to keep coming back. The fact that it’s free doesn’t hurt one bit, either.
Bitwise Design, Hospital Havoc 2, 24.1 MB – Free
Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia – I’m guessing that game play in Exitium is along the lines of such hits as Zenonia. You choose between 4 classes that each provide unique skills and items. According to the text overlay on one of the images there are more than 800 quests to solve. If that’s true, I’d say this has got to be the biggest single player RPG on iOS devices, if not portable devices in general. You’ll collect loot along the way, find materials that allow you to create your own items, and be able to trade goods online with other players! And, of course, there are specialty items available via IAP that will help balance things in your favor. If the quests are actually interesting and the controls work well, then I’d say this one might give Zenonia a run for its money.
Minoraxis, Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia, 143 MB – $1.99
Zorro: Shadow of Vengeance – I’ve always enjoyed Zoro, because much like Batman his main asset has always been ingenuity instead of super powers. This side scrolling extravaganza lets you step into the swashbuckler’s shoes as you embark on a grittier telling of the masked avenger’s tale. Swipe controls will allow you to take out foes with your sword and execute a number of other fantastic moves, but best of all will let you brand posters with the famous carved Z. This could be quite something if the control scheme is tight and responsive. There’s also an immersive story with flashy cinematics to tell Zoro’s tale. And naturally there are Game Center achievements and leader boards, if that sort of thing is important to you in a platform game. This could be the start of a revival for the hero of the little people.
Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim – This strategy game is a bit different than the rest. Instead of directly hiring and controlling troops you issue orders, and the citizens of your kingdom decide if and when to follow them. Of course, if the price is right that decision will come sooner rather than later. Tasks to solve include things like the kingdom’s stockpile of gold turning into cookies. How revered you are will have a direct impact on whether or not your kingdom flourishes, because heroes develop as a result of obeying your commands. The game currently features 10 hero types, 12 different monsters and 30 structures to build. There are only 9 scenarios to complete, but almost 100 game achievements suggests there’s some replay factors involved. True “on the go” strategy games are still few and far between on iOS devices, so here’s hoping Majesty becomes the next one.
HeroCraft, Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, 30.4 MB – $2.99
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: