10 New App Store Games To Watch [Feb. 20 – 26]

As always this week’s New App Store Games Roundup features a very diverse selection of games.  If you’re into retro like I’m into retro, you’ll probably appreciate Midway Arcade.  The game comes with arcade translations of several popular Midway games, including Rampage and Spy Hunter, and you can buy additional packs of games via IAP.  If you like shooters like I like shooters, then you might find Audio Invaders worth your while.  It’s a retro styled game in the vein of Space Invaders, but you can’t see the enemies until you actually shoot them at least once.  And if you like strategy like I like strategy, Operation: Eradicate could tickle your fancy.  It looks to be a turn based, risk inspired strategy game with zombies and multi-player cooperative gameplay.

Take It Easy! – I’m not sure if this sounds more intriguing or like it would cause some hair pulling, but either way it appears to be a fresh entry for puzzle game aficionados on iOS devices.  iTunes describes it as “bingo with strategy”, but the game doesn’t stop just because you’ve completed a row.  The object is to create as many rows as you can that contain the same color from one edge of the board to the other, but once you’ve placed a tile on the board you can’t move it!  Worse yet, one wrong tile makes the whole row worthless.  There are three modes, one of which is an electronic version of the board game classic.  The other two introduce 130 puzzle oriented levels to the game to keep you busy and on your toes.  Game Center achievements let you fight for high scores and try to earn more than 40 achievements.  Even better, multiplayer is coming and you’ll soon be able to pit your skills directly against your friends (hopefully around the world).  The game is also universal, so you can enjoy it no matter what iOS capable device you have.

Take It Easy! Zabu Studio, Inc., Take It Easy!, – $0.99

Midway Arcade – When arcades were the hip place to hang out, you were sure to see the name Midway plastered all over the place.  Now you can relive those glory days in the palm of your hand with Midway Arcade from Warner Brothers.  This offering comes stock with 6 arcade hits including two of my favorites – Spy Hunter and Rampage.  If you prefer the “sportier” side of the arcade you can engage in such activities as Air Hockey and pool.  If you wish to expand your nostalgia you can purchase two additional game packs.  For the movie action hero wannabe, pack 1 includes NARC, Total Carnage and APB.  If fantasy is more your style pack 2 contains Gauntlet (another of my favorites), Gauntlet II and Wizard Of War.  The games are presented virtually in their original cabinets, but modern conveniences include the ability to use your own iTunes music.  There’s also a virtual prize center where it looks like you can get some stuffed Rampage animals.  Now if only they’d do that in real life.

Midway Arcade Warner Bros., Midway Arcade, – $0.99

Operation: Eradicate – Here we’ve been so worried about another global war destroying the planet, but apparently it just causes a huge zombie threat.  You’ll take on the role of one of five different commanders, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  Thankfully you won’t have to fight the battle along, however, as you can play cooperatively with folks around the world thanks to Game Center.  Oddly enough, however, despite there being 5 commanders you can only have up to four players in a game.  For those of you that like to go solo you can play in single player mode as well.  Operation: Eradicate is a turn based game and it looks like it might play out something like RISK (TMA Review).  It supports Game Center leader boards and has achievements to earn in case decimating zombies wasn’t enough for some reason.  The game is universal and is best suited for current generation devices, though it will play on 3GS and iPod Touch 3G if you don’t mind a little less oomph.

Operation: Eradicate Skejo Studios, Operation: Eradicate, – $1.99

Storydeck: Steampunk – One of my goals with this weekly roundup is to provide you with information on games that sound cool but would probably slip under the radar because they aren’t put out by some big name publisher.  Storydeck: Steampunk is probably one such title.  The iTunes description is a bit skimpy, but it sounds like a choose your own adventure game with a twist.  Instead of making choices via a list of options after reading some text you must play two cards from your ever growing deck in order to proceed.  Your hope is that the cards you play will reveal some key elements to help you determine what to play next.  The story involves a time traveling sociopath, a murdered bishop and you as the inspector that must solve the crime.  Can you figure out what happened to the bishop and set history back on course?

Storydeck: Steampunk Ian Millington, Storydeck: Steampunk, – $1.99

Audio Invaders – If you feel that space invaders style games are too easy, how about one where you can’t see the enemies?  That’s the premise behind Audio Invaders, where the night time sky conceals the invaders’ attack until you hit them at least once.  You’ll need to use your keen sense of hearing to determine where the invisible attackers are at any given time, so headphones are a must.  There are 5 different types of alien craft to deal with, and you’ll get to take them on with a variety of weaponry including a flame thrower.  Touch or tilt mechanics let you play the way you want, and Game Center leader boards let you prove your worth as a master audio alien hunter.  8 bit black and white graphics and a chip tune soundtrack bring the invasion to life with old school glory, and you’ll even be treated to animated nuclear explosions.  It’s time to hear your way to victory and save the earth once again.

Audio Invaders Stormystudio, Audio Invaders, – $1.99

Pipeland – Anyone that’s done a fair amount of gaming has probably indulged in this subgenre at one time or another.  It’s the style of game where you have to build up a pipeline to get some material flowing from point A to point B.  I don’t normally get excited over this type of game any more, but Pipeland looks like it might just be the fresh blood this style of game play needs.  The game has 5 different environments, which I assume will entail different strategies.  There are 4 different types of liquids to move, including oil and sewage.  Pipeland has 4 unique game play modes, and the campaign mode has 72 different levels.  Power ups and pipe upgrades make the game feel as much like an action game as one of strategy.  As you split and merge the pipes Pipeland will even calculate a realistic pressure for the flow of the current liquid.  90 different achievements will keep you busy for a while, and a bonus system the rewards creativity is sure to push you to continually do better.  Are you ready to go with the flow?

PipeLand SnT Apps, PipeLand, – $0.99

Childhood’s End – As developers are making a stronger effort to develop tower defense games that either play differently or at least have different themes than the norm, the genre is starting to appeal to me more.  In this case you must help Big Phil, who apparently is trying to repress bad childhood memories by destroying rampant teddy bears.  You’ll have plenty of tower types at your disposal, and you’ll even have the opportunity to salvage towers, which I hope means being able to recover dilapidated ones that are already on the levels.  Ground, air and boss battles await, and hopefully they’ve been creative with the air troops.  Branching paths will let you pick the battles you wish to fight, and Game Center achievements and variable difficulty settings should make replay value pretty strong.  The only thing I can’t figure out is that the iTunes description claims “no freemium junk”, yet there is an IAP for “full game unlock”.  Maybe I just don’t understand what freemium means.  At least you can try this iPad only offering for free.

Childhood's End Pixel Brain Limited, Childhood’s End, – Free

Quantum Legacy – Quantum Legacy is a free 3D space shooter.  When I first read that I thought I was going to be disappointed by some statement a little further down letting me know that it was some sort of MMO game.  Thankfully, that appears to not be the case.  In fact, the game has an action oriented story told via your ship’s radio, and all the characters are fully voiced.  You’ll face intense 3D battles, giant bosses, and adaptive AI that means the game should be fun for veterans and neophyte gamers alike.  There’s no loading between missions so the entire game play experience will feel seamless.  You can control the ship by tilting to manually steer or by tapping on an enemy for auto-pilot, and these options are available simultaneously so you can combine them to your best advantage.  The graphics automatically adjust for the given device, so high end units will show the visuals in their HD glory, while older units will make sure the graphics are simple enough to run smoothly.  Apparently the game will even run on first and second generation devices, which is becoming are rarity these days.

Quantum Legacy Miles Godspeed, Quantum Legacy, – Free

Shin Megami Tensei – Atlus has always had a somewhat interesting publishing history.  They are best known for their Megami Tensei series, so I guess it stands to reason that if a property of theirs showed up on the App Store it would come from that Franchise.  This game originally saw the light of day in 1992, and now it’s available for the iPhone in all its glory – as long as you can read Japanese.  The game sounds like some weird mix of demon hunting and Digimon.  You can actually talk to and recruit demons to fight for you, and then store them digitally on your computer for later access.  It seems like the demons do the fighting, but it’s actually the main hero that gets to level up.  It’s also interesting to note that the plot allows for some choice in whether you want to be good or bad, so hopefully the game play will follow suit.  I do find it a bit odd that so much of the screen is taken up with interface.  I’m doubtful that it will happen, but I hope this game actually gets translated into English some day so RPG fans like myself might be able to enjoy it.

Shin Megami Tensei Index Corporation, Shin Megami Tensei, – $13.99

WonderCraft – WonderCraft is a real time, naval themed PvP MMO.  I would have thrown a couple more acronyms in there if I could have come up with something appropriate.  Your goal is to conquer the seven seas by fighting with players around the world in a zero latency aquatic arena.  Of course there will be times when you’ll have to team up with the enemy against an even bigger threat – computer controlled AI fleets.  Controlling your battleship is as simple as tapping the opponent you want to fire on.  You’ll get to choose your own nation and customize your battleship in both looks and accoutrements.  You can even earn Medals Of Honor to prove that you’re sea faring tales aren’t just tales after all.  Now the real question is if you’ll some day be able to run into cool mythical sea creatures in addition to hordes of enemy craft.

WonderCraft Chengdu jianlehudong, WonderCraft, – $5.99

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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