10 New App Store Games To Watch [Jan 23 – 29]


Gamers that like a nice mix of strategy and RPG have a couple of options from this week’s 10 New Games To Watch list.  Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land drops them in the midst of World War I to fight some nasty supernatural beings.  If you like your games a bit on the lighter side there’s Dungeon Crawlers, a more satirical look at the whole dungeon delving genre that still manages to provide some deep game play.  If you want to throw strategy to the wind there’s Zombie Bunnies, an over the top destruction fest featuring undead rabbits and 99 levels of randomly generated mayhem.

Death Call – I love shooting gallery style game play, and Death Call is a game that does it really well.  I had the opportunity to beta test this one, and it is quite entertaining, as long as you don’t mind a bit of a challenge.  The single player mode has you tracking a dangerous smuggler through several scenarios filled with tough hombres.  As you defeat the bad guys you’ll earn money and weapon permits so that you can upgrade your arsenal, and between scenes you’ll have to decrypt intercepted messages to find out what the gang’s next move is.  Cut scenes tell the tale with full voiceovers as well.  There’s also a multiplayer mode so you can challenge your friends to find out who is the quickest draw in the West.  You’ll get to customize your character with icons, catch phrases and more, and once and for all prove you have the trigger finger you brag about.

Death Call Betz Software, Death Call, – Free

Namco Arcade – Everyone else is doing it, so why not these guys?  If you have some pent up nostalgia for old Namco games, this might be a good way to release it.  Titles included with the initial release are Xevious, The Tower Of Druaga, Motos and Phozon, but Namco promises that there will be more titles to come.  The initial download is free, and you can even play the games for free.  However, their iTunes description is a bit confusing on how the whole process works.  It says you can choose one title a day to play for free and that free play credits regenerate every 24 hours.  But then it says that free play credits are only valid for the day the application is loaded.  I assume they mean when you load a game through the arcade you use up the free play credits for that day, but it’s not particularly clear.  Then it talks about being able to buy extra credits so you can play whenever you want, but makes all these disclaimers about ways of losing those credits.  I realize no system is full proof, but they go through an awful lot of trouble warning you that you might lose all your tokens.  Still, if you’re craving some good old fashioned Namco arcade action and don’t mind the risks, this looks like it might be a nice little package.  At least you can try before you buy.

NAMCO ARCADE NamcoBandai Games, NAMCO ARCADE, – Free

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land – Call Of Cthulhu is a turn based strategy / RPG set in a world created around a novella written by master horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.  The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the game takes place during World War I, which is somewhat unusual, especially when it comes to dealing with the fight against supernatural critters.  The description mentions your team keeping their “grip on sanity”, so it will be interesting to see if that actually plays into the game mechanics at all.  Should you choose to go the old fashioned route you’ll get to select from a variety of period equipment, or you can choose to try and wield the magical arts against your foes.  The game was designed with the folks who actually developed the paper and pen version of the game, so hopefully the mechanics have been handled with meticulous detail.  The visuals are fully 3D with enhancements for retina / iPad displays, and Game Center / OpenFeint integration give you additional goals to work towards.

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land Red Wasp Design, Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, – $4.99

Paper Monsters – I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with platform games on my iOS devices lately, and from the sounds of it Paper Monsters will only add to that enjoyment.  The general consensus is that it is a really solid implementation of the traditional platform game, and that’s quite all right with me.  There are 16 levels spread across 4 unique worlds with plenty of secrets to find.  You can also play through the levels in high score dash mode for unlimited replay value.  Game Center leaderboards let you compete against the world, and achievements give you even more to do.  The game has some great looking 3D visuals, and with Airplay and compatible devices you can enjoy these fancy graphics on a big TV.  While the game isn’t actually developed by Crescent Moon Games, this is a company that so far has been spot on with choosing its published products.  I don’t expect Paper Monsters to be any different.

Paper Monsters Crescent Moon Games, Paper Monsters, – $0.99

PyramidVille Adventure – When The Sims travel to ancient Egypt you get an amusing looking new game from Bulkypix called PyramidVille adventure.  In this port from Facebook you take on the role of Cleopatra or Ramses and try to develop the best “pharonic” city in ancient civilization’s history.  Now I’m pretty sure they made up the word pharonic, but you get the picture.  You’ll get the chance to build great structures and raise a mighty empire.  Build boats to explore other regions and bring home exotic treasures to decorate your buildings.  Trade with other characters so you can get just what you need in order to turn your dreams into a reality.  Compete in arcade like mini-games with your soldiers.  You’re more than welcome to buy gold, but the game is free and available as a universal binary for all your iOS devices.

PyramidVille Adventure Bulkypix, PyramidVille Adventure, – Free

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 1 – The crazy law enforcement duo are back, and in this first installment of their latest escapades they are taking on their most dastardly villain yet – Santa Claus.  This new story arc in the always loony tales of Sam & Max is once again brought to you by Telltale games, and the game has been designed and written by the characters’ original creator, so we should be in for a real treat.  The game comes with an innovative hint system that actually determines when you are stuck and offers you help without you having to ask.  There is also a “Whack da Ratz” mini-game that you can compete for a top score with opponents around the world and a soundboard where you can make your own quotes out of mixed up Sam & Max quips.  The best part is that this time around we’ve been promised that the whole tale will make it to iOS devices.  And for the first time those who haven’t made the leap to the iPad can actually play it on their iPhone as well.

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 1 Telltale Inc, Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 1, – $6.99

Dungeon Crawlers – Take the turn based strategic combat of games like Shining Force and infuse it with a comedic overtone and you’ve got Dungeon Crawlers.  You take control of a unique team of explorers whose goal is to crush monsters, uncover loot and score with the ladies.  You’ll have full control over each of the team members, and you must use their individual talents for the greater good of the team.  There are 12 levels over 4 chapters covering a wide variety of terrain.  Everything is tied together with a story that not only contains humor but has dramatic elements like betrayal and triumph as well.  You’ll battle a myriad of minions like oozes, ogres and more, and then take on some dastardly bosses including the dreaded D. Knight Shyamalan.  Game Center support brings in more than a dozen achievements to earn, and there are also in-game trophies to collect.  There are also massive updates planned including an Arena Battle mode, which will hopefully provide some multi-player melee.

Dungeon Crawlers Ayopa Games, Dungeon Crawlers, – $1.99

Train Defense – If you don’t know by now, I’m not a big fan of tower defense games.  However, when one claims to be different I take note, and this one in particular really intrigues me.  You are tasked with protecting a water tower that is in the center of the screen, which I assume means that enemies can attack from all sides.  Then there’s the fact that your defense system is a train which looks like it might be constantly on the move.  You can upgrade the train with 7 different types of turrets, and you can strategically deposit carriages around the battlefield.  There are even power-ups that will let you smash through the enemy, and you actually get to toot your own horn for some benefit for once.  What I find most intriguing, though, is that you actually get to ferry passengers around while all this mayhem is going on.  Personally that’s one express I don’t think I’d want to board, but it would seem to add a whole new strategic element to the game.

Train Defense Mad Puppet, Train Defense, – $0.99

Zombie Bunnies – I love zombie games, and mass destruction in an electronic arena is always appealing, so this one sounds like it would be right up my alley.  The landscape is dynamically generated and there are 99 increasingly difficult levels of mayhem to conquer.  The violence is over the top and the physics based destruction makes the whole experience quite lively.  You do need to be careful, though, because the more havoc you wreak, the more those pesky citizens will want to fight back.  Over the course of the game you’ll unlock 4 different zombie bunnies, each with their own abilities.  Objective based game play and 32 different achievements will keep you coming back, and completing the objectives will allow you to upgrade your ship for even more destruction.  This might not be the deepest or most thought provoking game on the market, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun.

Zombie Bunnies Coding Design, Zombie Bunnies, – $0.99

One Epic Game – I know there are a ton of infinite running games on the iOS market, but there’s something about One Epic Game that makes me think there’s room for one more.  It might be the fact that it seems like something that might have been the result of the Zucker brothers getting into game development.  Maybe it’s because the game takes the settings from all the best examples of this genre and drops them into one game.  I suppose it could just be because the graphics look really cool.  Who knows for sure?  I do like the fact that you play the guy that gets called when no one else will rise up to the challenge.  I also like the fact that One Epic Game has multiple game play modes.  I even approve of the sentiment that you must blast everything that gets in your way.  Whatever the case, I think this one has a lot of potential to be among the best infinite runners available.  Or it could just be a lot of fun.

One Epic Game Chillingo, One Epic Game, – $0.99

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

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:

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