10 New App Store Games To Watch [March 19 – 25]

This week brought with it a nice variety of genres to indulge in as far as new games were concerned.  Of course fowl tossing fans are in seventh heaven with the release of Angry Birds Space, the latest installment in the insanely popular physics puzzle franchise that made its debut on iOS devices.  This time around you’ll conquer the pigs in a galaxy far, far away, and you’ll get new powers for that purpose as well.  Top down racing fans that are looking for something a bit different should consider Road Wars HD.  This is a two player affair, but not in the way you’d expect – one player controls the car and the other handles the road!  I couldn’t forget the zombie slayers in the group either.  Zombie Hunter Defense seems like your typical “defend the center of the board” type games until you realize that you must use strategically placed mirrors to ricochet your shots for the most effective damage.

MiniDragon – I’ve been a fan of dual stick shooters ever since I played iDracula (TMA Review) when it was first released.  Now we have one that features a dragon as the main character, zombies as the antagonists and the ability to torch everything in sight from the sounds of it.  There are 6 arenas to battle in, 7 types of weapons, 3 different power ups and 8 player customizations at your disposal.  It all sounds well and good (and rather entertaining), but this also seems like the perfect candidate for “one to watch” due to its proposed features.  These include a single player story mode, multiplayer (including cooperative arenas), new locations to explore, more bad guys to fight and additional characters to play as.  All told it would appear that the game will be quite incredible down the road.  Of course I still think it would be fun enough just running around now shooting fire at whatever stands in your way, but there something to be said for having a purpose behind your rampage or hooking up with a friend to cause havoc as a team.  Those who need everything dual stick might want to check it out now, but even if you’re a bit more discerning I’d keep my eye on this one if I were you.

MiniDragon Madman Theory Games, MiniDragon, – $0.99

Zombie Hunter Defense – I have a lot of different zombie games, and while there’s something about slaying the undead that makes me a little more forgiving concerning the lack of variety in game play styles, it’s still nice when a developer strays outside the norm.  In Zombie Hunter Defense you’ll take on swarms of zombies through 4 chapters comprised of a total of 20 stages.  You’ll have your typical boss fights and various types of missions and challenges to complete.  What sets Zombie Hunter Defense apart is the use of mirrors to attack your foes.  Along the borders of the playing area are several mirrors which can be enhanced with power ups.  To attack you’ll draw a line between several of these mirrors and when you let go your bullet will bounce between all the mirrors, slaying zombies as it goes.  The more mirrors you strike, the more power ups the bullet has by the time it completes its course.  It’s certainly a game play mechanic that’s different than anything I’ve seen so far and it actually has me interested in trying this one out.  If you’re all for laying the undead to waste but have been looking for a different way to do it, Zombie Hunter Defense might just be that way.

Zombie Hunter Defense Sponge Mobile, Zombie Hunter Defense, – $0.99

Gravity Fleet – Who doesn’t love a good physics puzzle game?  It’s even better when the end result is one where you get to blow things up, and that’s exactly what the goals of Gravity Fleet afford you.  Planet eating monsters are attacking, and you must use the force of gravity to attract your ammunition towards the offending creatures.  Planets, stars, black holes and worm holes will all help you in this endeavor, as long as you use each appropriately.  There are 80 levels to conquer with more planned for future updates.  You’ll be able to choose 1 of 8 different assistants to help you, each of which brings their own special abilities to the table.  There are also 12 unique ships to choose from that have different missile styles and 7 weapons of mass destruction to make alien hunting all the more entertaining.  Just be sure that you don’t blow up the whole galaxy in the process.  Besides additional levels there are more assistants and ship types in the works, as well as Game Center achievements.  Sure it’s not Angry Birds, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fun.

Gravity Fleet Coffee Powered Machine, Gravity Fleet, – $0.99

Monster Tamer – If you’ve read enough of these weekly roundups but haven’t deduced it yet, I’m a bit of a Pokemon fan, at least when it comes to the video games.  What I like about this variant is that instead of being another menu driven RPG style affair, it looks more like an action game.  In the end, though, you still get to capture the creatures you don’t destroy and train them so they can fight along side you in battle.  And, of course, you’ll want to catch them all.  There are almost 50 different types of monsters to fight and collect, each with their own skills to add to combat.  You can pick up to three to go with you at any given time.  Those that aren’t lucky enough to get captured can help as well since their flesh and bones provide sustenance for your “pets”.  There are many unique battle zones complete with boss monsters which should provide a nice amount of replay action.  Bluetooth and Game Center help keep you connected with other tamers to build stronger monster breeds and earn friendship badges.  My main concern is the visuals, because while there are glimmers of coolness in the screen shots, I’m guessing they don’t do the end result very much justice.

Monster Tamer Sky Carpenter, Monster Tamer, – $0.99
Monster Tamer HD Sky Carpenter, Monster Tamer HD, – $0.99

Angry Birds Space – Raise your hands if you didn’t know Angry Birds Space was coming down.  Shame on you – didn’t your momma teach you never to lie?  Seriously though, welcome to the next generation of Angry Birds folklore.  For the few who might not actually know what Angry Birds is as a whole, it is basically a series of games about a bunch of birds exacting revenge on the evil pigs who stole their eggs.  You play through a bunch of levels, 60 in this case, using a combination of physics and wacky bird abilities to knock through the pigs’ strongholds and take them out.  The game features both zero-gravity and planet based gravity puzzles, as well as regular updates to bring you more levels through the main game or via IAP.  The birds have new powers, and there is even a space eagle that can wreak much havoc.  For the “I’ve beat it all” Angry Birds fan there is a level pack called the “Danger Zone” featuring 30 of the most difficult Angry Birds levels ever made.  Now personally I’d love to see Rovio do something new for a change instead of continually milking their most successful property, but I must admit that this installment does actually sound pretty far out!

Angry Birds Space Rovio Mobile, Angry Birds Space, – $0.99
Angry Birds Space HD Rovio Mobile, Angry Birds Space HD, – $2.99

Streetfood Tycoon – Occasionally I have a “yeah I’m biased” entry, simply because that tends to be what happens when you write what is basically an opinion article anyway.  This week’s biased entry comes from Kuyi Mobile, a company I’ve followed ever since they were eSoft Interactive in the PocketPC market.  Streetfood Tycoon is a game where you must build your curbside empire by serving delicious food to everyone that comes your way.  There are four different locations in total, three of which you must unlock throughout the course of play.  You’ll also be able to unlock new food items, upgrades to make your quantities last longer and service go quicker, and various accessories that will have an affect on the tips people are willing to give you.  The atmosphere is lighthearted and the overall presentation tends to be a lot more easygoing than most time management games, but it’s just as fun as far as I’m concerned.  The game is free and while there is IAP to purchase coins, you can enjoy the whole game without making any purchases.  My advice would be to play through on your own and then buy some IAP just to support the developer.  This is one game I’d love to see updated with new locations, more accessories and maybe even a couple of additional food items.

Streetfood Tycoon Kuyi Mobile, Streetfood Tycoon, – Free

Trade Mania – This sounds like Monopoly on steroids, and could be quite fun as a result.  The objective is to become the biggest property owner in the world, but unlike the fanciful world of Monopoly you’ll tour real cities from around the globe in Trade Mania.  Besides just buying property and collecting rent, however, you’ll also be able to buy and sell various products in order to earn a bigger profit.  There are also tasks you can complete to earn additional rewards, and you’ll have to deal with things like weather disasters and the global financial crisis.  You can play against computer rivals whose skill increases as the game progresses, or you can play against your friends on a single device if you have the iPad version.  The “Hint Of The Day” will teach you the finer points of game strategy, and reference information tells you what’s hot and what’s not in each city.  This is a game that not only sounds enjoyable, but has the potential of actually teaching you something as well.

Trade Mania for iPhone Dekovir, Trade Mania for iPhone, – $1.99
Trade Mania HD (Full) Dekovir, Trade Mania HD (Full), – $4.99

Road Wars HD – The primary product from The Moonwalls has been adventure games, so I was a bit surprised when I saw that their latest outing was an overhead racing game.  Upon reading the description, however, I’m glad they’ve decided to venture into new territory.  This iPad only offering requires two players.  One controls the car, much as you’d expect, and the other handles the road – quite literally!  As the road continues to grow the second player must control its direction and ascent, avoiding all the randomly generated obstacles and hopefully making it easier for the driver to stay on course.  The cars and levels are customizable, and with the computer generated obstacles no two races will ever feel the same.  You can even race against your friend for the best time, but don’t plan on trying to sabotage his run with a poorly constructed road because he can do the exact same thing to you.  Game Center leaderboards will help you see how well you work as a team compared to other players around the world, and hopefully achievements will be added if they don’t already exist.

Road Wars HD The Moonwalls, Road Wars HD, – $0.99

RPG Grinsia – We’ve gotten so used to action RPGs like Zenonia on iOS systems that’s it’s almost hard to imagine any other type existing.  Thankfully there is still the occasional developer that likes to go really old school with text based menus, and then there is the “happy medium” like Grinsia that use icon based menus so it kind of feels like action but it’s still turn based.  That aside, there are a couple of other features in this game that really attracted my attention.  Along the way you can gather party members, but if you get too many they will actually wait for you in taverns instead of just refusing to join your party.  Additionally, different characters react to events differently which means you can play through more than once and have a different experience each time.  They developer has also implemented a day and night cycle which can really make things interesting if it’s employed correctly.  Assuming these features are backed with at least a decent story and interesting quests, this could be a nice change of pace from the action RPG crowd.

RPG Grinsia Kotobuki Solution, RPG Grinsia, – $4.99

Light The Flower – As a general rule I’m not a huge fan of the whole “mirrors and lights’ genre.  This one looks like a lot of fun to me, though, I think it has a lot to do with the atmosphere of the game.  Your objective is to wake up the plants in each level by shining light on them, and the levels are filled with bright colors and seemingly fun characters.  There are 60 levels to conquer, and even when you’ve woken up all the flowers you might get to revisit some levels to collect the three stars that reside on each.  The game is universal, and since it has all the signs of being family friendly I’d suggest loading it on your iPad if you have one and sitting around with your children when you have the urge to digitally bond with them.

Light The Flower Chillingo, Light The Flower, – $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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