This week’s 10 New App Store Games to Watch includes bad boy antics, arcade classics and undead kinfolk. From Gameloft we have Gangstar Rio: City Of Saints, the next installment of their “I wanna be like GTA” series. There are plenty of missions, lots of weapons, and even a tank, so I think all you manly types are pretty well set. If you’re nostalgic for the “old days” you can try Asteroids GUNNER for free. It’s a modern take on one of the first space shooters, and it looks to do its predecessor justice. Puzzle fans that are itching to blow zombies away should give Corpse Granny a spin. You’ll control all sorts of items, including 4 different types of fireballs, all in a quest to rid three separate realms of zombie invaders.
CodeRunner – If you’ve ever wanted to play the part of a super spy, now’s your chance. CodeRunner uses your GPS and the real world to set up “missions” for you to complete. You’ll need to hunt enemies of the state, hack wireless networks to steal important docs, bug phones of suspicious people and more in order to uncover a dastardly plot. And what is the deal with the WOMBAT project? The missions adapt themselves to wherever you are located. You’ll solve puzzles created by the folks around you, and you’ll be able to leave your own surprises for them as well. And the best part of the whole iTunes description – “get exercise without noticing”. What more can you ask for?
RocketChicken, CodeRunner, – $1.99
Evertales – This one is published by Crescent Moon Games, so it’s a pretty safe bet there’s going to be some sweet looking action involved here. You’ll pick one of three characters to champion your cause, then set about to right some minor wrongs and try not to get into too much trouble. There are more than 20 weapons to choose from, including the good old fashion Molotov cocktail. If you like zany storylines you’re in for a treat, as you’ll tackle everything from the cavern of carnivorous creatures to the Dark Lord of Darkness. As you progress through the game you’ll unlock a variety of armor to customize your hero, including a fanciful Christmas outfit and some hobo threads. There will be battles aplenty, and each chapter ends with an epic boss battle. If you’re running iOS 5 you’ll be able to take advantage of AirPlay Mirroring and iCloud sync, and folks running an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 will be treated to enhanced visuals thanks to Bloom Effects and Normal Mapping. Isn’t it time you told a quirky tale?
Crescent Moon Games, Evertales, – $1.99
Space Tap – I have to admit that line drawing games of the “dock craft and unload their cargo” type have become a bit passé for me. However, this one presents an interesting twist that might just make it worth trying. You’ll definitely have your hands full maneuvering ships of three different sizes and colors around the playing field, making sure they unload and go about their merry way without colliding into anything. In addition to that, though, you’ll need to take care of any competing ships and asteroids that try to wreak havoc in your part of deep space. This basically turns Space Tap into a line drawing tower defense game of sorts, which should make for some real hectic scenarios. The game has achievements to earn, though it doesn’t mention whether they come from OpenFeint or Game Center. If you’ve been somewhat drained by this genre like I have, Space Tap might just be the game to reinvigorate the spark for you.
Playing Species, Space Tap, – $0.99
Asteroids Gunner – Raise your hands if you’ve never played Asteroids. You were probably a youngun’ then, because anyone that’s been a gamer since games were made to be played is familiar with the single screen, 360 degree vector shooter. Asteroids Gunner brings the classic into the 21st century, but not so much so that one wouldn’t recognize the original gem. Get ready to blast through 3 galaxies and 150 waves of asteroids and aliens. Choose one of 3 different ships to pilot, collect many different power-ups, and upgrade your skills as you conquer the universe. The game supports full Game Center and OpenFeint integrations, including more than 200 achievements that will help you work your way up the ranks. If you’ve never experienced this “simple” phenomenon before, this might just be the best way to do it.
Atari, Asteroids GUNNER, – Free
LuLu’s Unreal Exploration – I can’t really tell you much about this game, because the iTunes description doesn’t tell me much. It’s described as a “laboratory” where you can explore an unusual and psychedelic world. Using a new, immersive interface you’ll be able to control shadow puppets and make your own story. You can also play as different creatures to follow their particular and peculiar evolution. That’s about all I know until I get to try it, but there’s something about it, especially when you look at the visuals, that just seems really intriguing. Of course it doesn’t hurt any that the game is free, so all you potentially lose in the end is some download time and a little bit of space on your device temporarily. On the other hand, you could gain a really interesting game for your collection.
Baptiste Bohelay, Lulu’s Unreal Exploration, – Free
Gangstar Rio: City Of Saints – If you feel the need to be a bad boy you can continue your criminal streak in the next installment of Gamloft’s critically acclaimed sandbox series. The setting is now Rio de Janeiro, but the mischief is as pronounced as ever. There are more than 60 missions and dozens of random events to occupy your time, and you’ll even get to explore the insides of buildings this time around. There will be plenty of weaponry to go around, including an explosive football, and for those that like a sweet ride you can acquire helicopters, tanks and more. You can customize your character with a variety of clothing to make you look cool in the beautifully rendered 3D environments. There are even a number of licensed songs playing in the background to help the experience come alive. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when you can’t shake the Cops theme song from your head.
Gameloft, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, – $6.99
MeSoWordy – I don’t feature word games in this article very often, but I liked the name on this one, and once you start reading the features it actually sounds kind of nifty. At its heart it is basically a Scrabble clone. However, it has a few features that make it stand out from the pack. A space tile allows you to chain words together for a higher score, and also alters the strategy of the game. You can also get a display of the remaining letters, which will make the die hard strategist happy. Valid and invalid words are highlighted, as well as the score tabulated, before you ever submit your answer. One thing I found quite interesting was the talk of “fairness” statistics – basically, numbers that show letter distribution and game performance. That way you can’t necessarily claim your opponent got all the good letters. You can chat with your friends while playing, even if they aren’t the ones you’re playing the game against, and push notifications will let you know when it’s your move or if you have a message. You can even sync your games between all your devices. This sounds like the word game player’s dream to me.
Mark Stillings, MeSoWordy, – $0.99
Corpse Granny – Hopefully you were taught to always help a little old lady across the street… even if she is slightly on the dead side. In this comical new puzzle game from BulkyPix you need to rid 3 different worlds of their zombie menace while making sure granny gets where she needs to go. You’ll control fireballs, barrels, chains and more as you manipulate the environment to destroy the bad guys. There’s a lot of brainy puzzle solving to be had, but every once in a while you’ll be afforded the opportunity to let loose and destroy everything in sight. The game comes with 45 levels to beat, including 3 challenging bosses. When you’re done with that you can create your own levels and share them with your friends. The graphics look like they came from a Saturday morning cartoon, and hopefully the atmospheric music will compliment them well.
UFO Hotseat – First of all, don’t let the name fool you. This game supports network as well as local multiplayer, in addition to a training mode against computer AI. That being said UFO Hotseat is this week’s recipient of the “truly one to watch” award. The game sports X-Com style squad based tactical game play. It also looks to have some pretty snazzy graphics. Unfortunately, it only has 4 weapons and 4 levels at the moment. That’s not a lot for its hefty price tag (relative to normal App Store offerings, anyway). However, the developer is already promising more weapons, items and levels. There’s also smarter training AI coming. More importantly, though, are the planned features of custom squad building, soldier training and constructing your own base. Thing is, these are features that probably should have been there from the beginning. Still, I hope this game hangs around, because I think it could be something pretty decent if all the proposed features actually get implemented.
Andrey Davydov, UFO Hotseat, – $4.99
Sunshine Here Comes The Sun – I think I’ll end this week’s article with a little ray of Sunshine… the game, that is. This latest offering from Quantum Sheep (devs who brought us the addictive Air Supply – 1bit Run) is a quirky but fun little title. You play the sun, and it’s your job to zap the grumpy clouds away with fireballs that you shoot. You’ll travel the world to eight different locations and conquer all four seasons in each. There are 24 hats for you to collect and wear as well as 12 achievements to earn. You can also compete against other players in the Game Center leaderboards for each world. The graphics are cute and mechanics are simple so it’s kid friendly, but adults should still find it entertaining and challenging. Check it out if you’re looking for something a bit different theme-wise.
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Uppercut Games, EPOCH., – $5.99
- Chillingo Ltd, Rocket Riot™, – $0.99
- Com2uS Inc., Chocohero, – $0.99
- Clickgamer.com, Ninja Throw, – $0.99
- Witching Hour, RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion, – $2.99
- Hide and Seek, The Show Must Go On, – $0.99
- [adult swim], Major Mayhem, – $0.99
- OrangePixel, INC, – $1.99
- Zynga, Mafia Wars Shakedown by Zynga, – Free
- The LEGO Group, LEGO® DUPLO® JAMS, – Free
- Lagali, Ahrbol: Mountain and Ice for iPhone, – Free
- Rafael O’Ryan, Through the Cliff hd, – $0.99
- FDG Entertainment, Blueprint 3D HD, – $2.99
- Lemon Games, Airport Mania 2: Wild Trips HD, – $1.99
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: