10 New App Store Games To Watch [April 30 – May 6]

Along with everything else this week, there were a nice variety of games featuring one form or another of the undead.  The Tossing Dead combines two of my favorite things on the iPhone: Fruit Ninja style mechanics and zombies.  Explosive weapons, a comic book style storyline and a chimpanzee sidekick don’t hurt the equation, either.  If strategy is more you might try Brainsss, the premier effort from Lonely Few.  This squad based game gives you the chance to do something you don’t get to do very often – control the zombies instead of the humans.  Finally, if you’re more into the macabre there’s Dark Legends, the third offering in the Legends series of 3D MMOs from Spacetime Studios.  You still get to play on the same servers as anyone else on any device that supports a compatible client, but this time around your avatar of choice is of the vampire persuasion.

Save The Aliens – Even innovative match 3 games still tend to feel like match 3 games, trapped in the confines of the grid and tile format that defines the genre.  Thankfully, Save The Aliens has come along and broken that mold.  Instead of a playing field comprised of a grid full of tiles you have 3 rings full of gems.  Each alien has a certain combination of gems required to save them, and you rotate the rings until you build the required collection of gems in a particular location.  There are 3 different planets that each contains 31 levels, and each has their own style of game play.  Certain gems provide power ups, and you get a special bonus if you match 3 gems in the same ring.  Score freaks can use combos and multipliers to boost their final take and even earn bonuses for rescuing the aliens quickly.  Game Center provides leaderboards and 36 different achievements, and a universal binary gives you the chance to play on whichever device you have handy.

Save the Aliens Alchemy Games, Save the Aliens – $0.99

City King – I am not a big fan of Facebook, and generally don’t care about games that require a Facebook login in order to play.  City King strikes my fancy for some reason, though.  The game takes place in a fantasy world, but it uses your geographical location from Facebook to generate landmarks for your fantasy realm.  As you conquer a location in your realm you’ll get your name on the leaderboards for that spot, and if you are the best at what you do your profile picture will grace the top of the leaderboard display.  While the game has online elements it sounds like it is primarily a solo adventure, which is just fine with me, you can invite two Facebook friends along to fight at your side and earn experience points with you.  The visuals come from an award winning Italian artist, and the sound effects are courtesy of the folks that brought the audio in such fan favorites as Battleheart and OMG Pirates! to life.  Of course the down side is that City King might not be so interesting if there aren’t many people in your area playing, but it certainly seems like an interesting concept.

City King Funton, City King – $0.99

The Tossing Dead – Forget the fruit.  It’s time to put your finger slashing skills to the ultimate test by taking on wave after wave of the undead.  The Tossing Dead takes your favorite causal slashing conventions, throws some heavy artillery into the mix, and pits you against 15 different types of zombies.  There are 3 different game modes to boot, including a comic book cut scene story driven escapade.  Unlock 5 different types of weapons, so instead of just hacking the bad guys to bits you can shoot them and blow them up.  Game Center provides leaderboards (and hopefully eventually achievements if there aren’t currently any), and a universal binary gives you a choice of electronic stomping grounds.  The visuals have even been optimized for the new iPad so you can destroy zombies in high def on the “big” screen.  Oh, and did I mention that your sidekick is a chimpanzee?

The Tossing Dead 21st Street Games, The Tossing Dead – $0.99

Dark Legends (3D MMO) – First they took their players to a fantasy realm, and then it was off to outer space.  Now Spacetime Studios is going gothic with Dark Legends, a 3D MMO that lets you step into the shoes of a bloodthirsty denizen of the night.  You can play the game co-op or PvP, but at the end of the day your ultimate goal is to survive.  The game is free to play, and the developers mean it.  You can buy platinum to help speed up your progress in leveling up or to buy rare equipment more quickly, but everything in the game, including the maximum experience level, is obtainable without paying a cent.  As long as you can get to the internet you should be able to play the game, and all devices with a Dark Legends client connect to the same server, so you can play with your friends even if they don’t have an iOS device.  The game is playable on most third generation devices or better and all iPads, though newer devices are of course recommended for the best playing experience.  Let’s just hope this online journey only sucks when you want it to.

Dark Legends (3D MMO) Spacetime Studios, Dark Legends (3D MMO) – Free

Deadmans Run – When it comes to racing games, the only thing better than an off the wall overhead racer is one with lots of big guns.  No, I take that back – it’s one that rewards you for being destructive (quite possibly with really big guns).  Welcome to Deadmans Run.  Futuristic meets antique as you race in hover-cars that look like they were inspired by 20’s gangster vehicles.  You’ll compete against 20 different drivers across 9 separate tracks, earning money to outfit your vehicles with upgrades that change your car’s appearance and making your presence more aptly known.  Unlock and enhance 6 unique vehicles in campaign mode, and then take them to the time trial and see if you can earn a 3 skull rating.  The best part is that causing damage and destruction will gain you Notoriety, convincing the shop owners to sell you better equipment.  Deadmans Run is universal, but it hasn’t been certified for anything less than fourth generation devices on the small screen side.

Deadmans Run Nightfall Interactive, Deadmans Run – $0.99

Brainsss – I love a good zombie slaying game as much as the next guy, but I know sometimes you might think to yourself what it might be like to be on the other side of the disease infested life forms.  Now is your chance to find out with this real time strategy game from Lonely Few.  You’ll take control of groups of zombies as you try and corral and ultimately turn the last surviving humans to fight for your cause.  Capturing the humans is the easy part – doing it in a timely enough fashion to earn the coveted three stars, on the other hand…  And, while you’ll generally have the populace on the run, some of the more aggressive humans will fight back.  There is a nice variety of levels ranging from hospitals to airports, each with their own quirks and caveats, and you can expect newly released levels every week.  The game boasts more than 70 achievements to earn, and the now popular universal binary means you can play on your big or small screen if you have that choice.

Brainsss Lonely Few, Brainsss – $2.99

My Little Hero – Lately there seems to be an influx of games that feature kids as the hero, and personally I think that’s pretty cool.  Not that I have anything against the skilled, sexy heroine or the slick, stylish Indiana Jones type, but given the right situations children can be just as effective at “dealing with the enemies”, and in my opinion it provides a much better setting for kids to actually play.  In this case you play a boy who must save his best friend Pinky (a stuffed animal) from the clutches of the Boogeyman.  I love the fact that your hero is adorned with a cardboard box helmet and wooden sword.  You’ll need to search for hidden collectables, fight bad guys from your childhood memories and ultimately face down the Boogeyman as you travel through forests, deserts and more.  In case you think it’s going to be all kiddie hack ‘n slash, there will also be puzzles for you to solve.  Best of all, you can always refuel your energy with sugar.  What more could a kid ask for?  I was actually getting into this entry so much I went and bought the game before I was finished writing it!

My Little Hero NCsoft, My Little Hero – $0.99

Enchanted Realm HD – If I’ve learned anything about Game Insight from Mystery Manor it’s that they can certainly make an addictive game.  This time around you trade a captivating old manor for leadership of a fantasy kingdom.  You’ll build up your kingdom using a selection of more than 50 types of buildings along with various flowers and crops to create a thriving land.  Harvest resources increase your population and assemble a variety of collections containing unique items.  Customize and expand your territory, then share codes with your friends to receive special rewards.  The whole thing is wrapped up in a complex storyline with exciting plot driven objectives.  Earn many achievements and then tell your friends via Facebook and Twitter.  The game is free to play, and while you can buy in-game currency via IAP, if it’s anything like Mystery Manor (TMA Review) you should be able to get in quite a bit of play time without paying a cent.

Enchanted Realm HD Game Insight, Enchanted Realm HD – Free

Luxor Evolved HD – As far as causal games go, I’d say that marble poppers are one of the more enjoyable genres that I’ve latched on to.  However, up until now I don’t think I’ve ever played any installment in the LUXOR series.  I’ve actually had the chance to spend some time with Luxor Evolved HD before writing this, and the game is a blast.  There’s definitely an emphasis on slick retro graphics with the cool neon vector look and tons of particle based explosions.  The levels are manageable but definitely get frantic at times.  In addition to the typical track based level designs there are some levels that play out more like Centipede and there are even bosses to contend with.  Throughout the more than 60 levels you’ll have access to 20 power ups and 3 super power ups that actually transform your shooter.  If this is your style of game you won’t want to miss Luxor Evolved.

Luxor Evolved HD (Full) MumboJumbo, Luxor Evolved HD (Full) – $0.99

Yggdrasil for iPad – From the “good luck pronouncing the name” category comes this interesting looking entry for the iPad.  Based off of a board game of the same name, your task is to protect the mythical cosmic ash tree from the forces of evil.  A typical game takes around 30 minutes and supports between 1 and 6 players.  Each participant takes on the role of one of the Norse gods, and then it’s an all or nothing situation – either the team wins and Yggdrasil is saved or evil triumphs and the rule of the gods is over.  The trick is that each god has his or her own strengths, and using them out of place can make your goal unattainable.  It appears that much of the game is card and die based, so every game should be a different experience.  The game offers multiple difficulty levels to suit your playing style, and as you progress you’ll unlock new gods and special cards.  The graphics look pretty slick, and you can still see the influence of the board game design the game is based off of.

Yggdrasil for iPad Ludonaute, Yggdrasil for iPad – $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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