10 New App Store Games To Watch [Feb. 13 – 19]

This week things seemed a bit quiet on the App Store front, but there were still a few games that caught my eye.  The leader of the pack was League Of Evil 2, the sequel to one of the best platform games on iOS devices.  It sounds like it does everything the first one did but better, and as much fun as the first one was that can only be a good thing.  Rhythm game fans had a couple of interesting choices this week, but the more intriguing one was Beat Sneak Bandit.  The game combines rhythm, puzzle and stealth elements with visuals that look like something out of a cartoon and what I presume will be some slick music.  Finally, those that are tired of just buying Boardwalk can finally manage the hotel that sits on it with Monopoly Hotels.  This business management sim takes you behind the scenes of the famous Monopoly board, it’s universal, and it won’t cost you a penny.

Track Lapse – The infinite running game has become one of my favorite genres on the iPhone, but like everything else it can become stagnant after a while.  Track Lapse looks like a good effort towards changing that.  Tim is running a race, but every time his MP3 player switches tracks he ends up daydreaming and ending up in a new reality.  As is typical for this genre the game handles the running for you, but instead of just being able to jump you’ll have the options of kicking, dancing, shooting, cheering and more to pass through the levels.  You’ll take on chickens, zombies, rockets and other wacky obstacles that will try and slow you down.   The graphics are hand drawn and run at 60 FPS with the latest devices.  The music was created especially for the game, and the soundtrack is even available on iTunes if you really enjoy it.  Game Center lets you brag about your race times, and will hopefully provide you with some achievements to earn.  There are 11 levels available from the initial purchase, with additional levels accessible through DLC (which I presume also means IAP).

Track Lapse XecuDev LLC, Track Lapse, – $0.99

MONOPOLY Hotels – Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the buildings along a Monopoly board?  Now you can find out with this latest offering from Electronic Arts that lets you build up hotels in the Monopoly universe SimCity style.  From Mediterranean Ave. to Boardwalk you’ll get to manipulate all the properties that have made the board game famous over the years.  You’ll need to upgrade the rooms to attract the likes of Mr. Potato Head and other iconic Hasbro characters.  You’ll also get to add cool attractions like a movie theatre or bowling alley.  Then there’s the managerial part: collecting rent and taking care of the utilities such as the Electric Company.  You can even go beyond the hotel business and branch out into structures like aquariums.  This sounds like a great twist to the legend that is Monopoly, and best of all is that it’s free.

MONOPOLY Hotels Electronic Arts, MONOPOLY Hotels, – Free

League Of Evil 2 – The league is back, and it’s up to you to once again take it down.  This sequel builds upon the great platform engine created for the first game to provide you with more than 100 levels of platforming goodness.  If you’re familiar with the MEGA MAN series you can expect the same kind of challenge except with pint sized levels so you always feel like you’re making some progress.  You’ll get to engage in crazy acrobatics like flipping an wall jumping, and apparently there are even some decapitations thrown in the mix.  Visually you can expect cool beefed up NES style graphics with smooth animations as well as comic book like cut scenes.  The game is a universal binary and will play on any device capable of running iOS 3.0 or greater.  If this plays half as well as its predecessor then everyone should go out and buy it now.

League of Evil 2 Ravenous Games, League of Evil 2, – $0.99

Simplz: Zoo – Simplz: Zoo is about building a zoo ala a time management game.  It’s also about playing a riveting game of match 3.  Now I’m already a big fan of both genres, so the combination sounds quite intriguing.  What I find real interesting about the premise is that what you add to the zoo directly affects how you can play the match 3 game.  Each upgrade you make to your zoo comes with a unique element such as a power up that can then be used in the match 3 portion of the game.  In addition to the typical match 3 style of play there are other modes such as “clear the path” where you have to unblock a path in order for an animal to reach a certain goal.  The game even supports diagonal matching, which always adds a nice element to game play.  There are more than 90 animals to discover and 7 zoos to unlock.  The game works on iPhones and iPads, and it’s free for you to enjoy.

Simplz: Zoo Lemon Games, SL, Simplz: Zoo, – Free

Dancescape – Rhythm games are somewhat hit or miss for me, and as a whole I’m not a fan of the genre.  This particular offering sounds rather interesting, though.  You are apparently either an extremely lost tourist or some sort of explorer, and you must make your way out of several temples by busting a groove.  There are 40 levels spread across 4 temples, with 8 bonus levels to uncover.  You’ll have 9 different dance moves at your disposal as well as premium characters and power ups available with in-game coins that can be purchased via IAP (and I assume earned as well).  You’ll have deadly traps and nasty bosses to contend with, so you better have all your moves under control.  The game also has social integration, though it doesn’t specify if it’s Game Center or OpenFeint – or both.  Dancescape is universal, and right now it’s free as well.

Dancescape Clarin Global S.A., Dancescape, – Free

Feizar – As a developer there’s nothing like giving yourself a lot to live up to, and that’s certainly what Gripwire has done by labeling their game as “Starfox style”.  I’m not overly impressed by the screenshots, so it seems the game play will have to tell the real story.  There are a measly three ships to choose from and you can engage in combat with up to 7 other players in the “ultimate” deathmatch.  There is no mention of a solo campaign, though.  The main reason I’ve brought this one up is because of the Playfield 3D technology it’s based on.  The technology promotes cross platform multiplayer development with seamless communication across Wifi, Bluetooth and 3G / EDGE connections.  It also allows developers to easily integrate social / collaborative elements into their games.  It will be interesting to see how “cross platform” the technology becomes and what it will be able to offer that current social networks don’t.  As for the game itself, the developers are promising rapid updates, so maybe as those come through Feizar will be a game to be reckoned with.

Feizar Gripwire.com, Feizar, – $0.99

Beat Sneak Bandit – Speaking of rhythm games (hopefully you’ve been reading the entire article), here’s another one that sounds rather interesting.  This time around you’re trying to steal all the world’s clocks back from the nefarious Duke Clockface.  In order to do this you’ll have to be stealthy, but more importantly you’ll need a little bit of rhythm.  All you need to do is tap to the beat, but you’ll need to study each scene carefully to get the patterns down.  You’ll have to sneak past guards, avoid security lights, thwart trapdoors and best many other tricks and traps set by Clockface.  The graphics look like they came from a Cartoon Network show, and I would trust the music is good given that it’s a rhythm game.  If you’re looking for a new twist on both rhythm games and puzzlers, Beat Sneak Bandit just might be it.

Beat Sneak Bandit Simogo, Beat Sneak Bandit, – $2.99

Deadline Hollywood – This is the ultimate Hollywood career sim.  You’ll literally start at the bottom and work your way to the top as an actor, producer, director and more (what about a waiter?)  Each career will have you involved with projects to help you bolster your influence and reputation.  You’ll get to make your own movies, picking the name and genre and casting your friends in the important roles.  Learn what it means to “pay your dues” in order to achieve success.  The scripts are written by seasoned Hollywood scribes, so expect some decent and often irreverent insight into the inner workings of Tinsel Town.  The game even has a live feed to the site Deadline.com so real Hollywood news affects the game play.  If you know what’s going on in “the biz” you’ll be sure to do a whole lot better.

Deadline Hollywood Paramount Digital, Deadline Hollywood, – Free
Deadline Hollywood Game Paramount Digital, Deadline Hollywood Game, – Free


Train Titans – Welcome to the new locomotive puzzler on the block.  Train Titans will test your mettle through 28 puzzles across 6 different eras.  You’ll have to contend with teleporters, splitters, landscape and more in order to help these wayward engines find their homes.  Once you’ve conquered the finely crafted puzzles you can try out free play mode.  The level is procedurally generated, and while it starts out peaceful with a couple of cities, you’ll soon have to deal with all 6 in an increasingly complex layout.  There are 34 different types of buildings used to comprise the cities, so each experience should be sufficiently different.  There are 3 different difficulty levels and the ability to buy a “level pass” via IAP that will let you skip puzzle levels should the need arise.  Hopefully the future will bring additional levels and some social network support for achievements to this title so it can truly be the titan of its brethren.

Train Titans Sad Cat Software, Train Titans, – $1.99

Little Acorns – In the “isn’t that cute” corner this week we have Little Acorns from Chillingo.  There were actually a couple games I considered for this entry, but given Chillingo’s track record lately I’m pulling for this one.  You play a squirrel that simply wants to gather his nuts for the winter, but you can bet there will be lots of opposition to your quest. It’s traditional platform gaming at its best, with plenty of power ups to collect and bad guys to defeat or avoid.  There are 60 levels to explore, each filled to the rim with colorful graphics and dastardly traps.  Do you have what it takes to help Mr. Nibbles build up his off season horde?

Little Acorns Chillingo Ltd, Little Acorns, – $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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