10 New App Store Games To Watch [June 4 – 10]
Are you ready for another week of iOS gaming? It seems the mid-year Christmas is over for now, but there were still a few titles worth taking a look at. While I’m not typically a fan of rhythm games, I checked out the demo version of Mad Acorn and instantly got hooked. This platform game with a wicked beat is sure to keep you tapping your screen all the way to the end. Another fun diversion is Frisbee Rush. The game itself is actually browser based, but thanks to WiFi you control the Frisbees via your iPhone. If you’re looking for something to get the whole family playing, WePad Party 1 just might fit the bill. The mini-games aren’t overly exciting, but the fact that you can play with eight people on the same device at the same time could prove for some amusing situations.
Fuusio – Lots of App Store descriptions claim that the idea behind the product they are describing is unique, especially when it comes to games. In this case, though, I think they might be right. You have a playing board that consists of somewhere between 3 tiles and 6 tiles to a side. Some of those tiles are filled with “shape blocks” that contain 1 to 8 colored tiles, and your job is to merge the shape blocks on each level so that you form shape blocks with 9 tiles of the same color so they will go away. In addition to the shape blocks you’ll have “operator blocks” that let you do things like shift, mask and rotate the shape blocks. If this all sounds a bit geeky to you, it is and I think that’s why I like the concept so much. The initial release comes with 200 levels and a Game Center supported leader board, with the promise of additional levels to come. A puzzle game with different mechanics and no cuddly mascot sounds pretty unique to me.
Fuusio Apps, Fuusio – $0.99
Dead City – If the hopelessness of “I Am Legend” combined with Bobble-head type characters appeals to you, Dead City might just be your game. After a nuclear war, the dreaded zombie virus – in this case known as the D-virus – has turned everyone but you into a zombie. Lucky you. In this run and gun you’ll get to mow down the undead to your heart’s content. You’ll have the opportunity to acquire 24 different styles of armor and 18 weapons, each of which can be upgraded several levels. If you collect enough oil you’ll launch Racing Action Mode, which give you the chance to step behind the wheel of 1 of 5 different vehicles that can also be upgraded. All of this zombie bashing fun can be had for free, though you can buy the PLUS edition of Dead City to start out with 500,000 coins if you like to get a jump on your upgrading.
WePad Party 1 – Like spending time with your iPad, but feel like you’re ignoring your family? I’m sure you’ve tried letting your kids play a game and just watching them, but how fun is that? Now, thanks to BulkyPix, you can gather your family around your iPad and have them all participate at the same time. The games in WePad Party 1 are fairly simple. WeDrift is a competition to see who can handle the ice best when driving. WeTron is a generic version of the light cycle game where you have to box the others in with your trail of light, and WeCheck is a clone identification game. Each of these games allows up to eight players, and the controls are basic enough that there should be plenty of room for everyone’s fingers. Of course, there are no guarantees that the rest of you will all fit around the iPad comfortably, but that’s not BulkyPix’s responsibility. I’d love to see this product get updated with more games, but I have a feeling we’re more likely to see a “part 2” before that happens.
Bulkypix, WePad Party 1 – $0.99
Mad Acorn – I’m not a big fan of the “Tap Tap Revenge” format of game play, but I do enjoy a good game that is tightly tied to its music. Mad Acorn is just such a game. I decided to take the demo version of this one for a spin, and so far it has been quite entertaining. To control the squirrel you simply tap on the screen – how well you do depends on how often you hit the beat. The obvious times are when a bad guy or obstacle is near, but you can score bonus points for tapping on the beat when nothing is around. There are currently 4 chapters with 4 sections each, with more chapters on the way for free. You’ll fight over 20 different types of characters and an end boss for each chapter. The story is told through an excess of 30 pages of comic book pages, and the in game visuals are detailed and hand drawn. Game Center provides leaderboards and achievements, and the simple goal of trying to uncover all the hidden beats should keep you busy for some time. Just make sure you have your headphones handy to get the best experience from the game.
APD Inc., Mad Acorn – $0.99
Catapult King – It’s the same old story: knight meets princess, princess gets captured by misunderstood dragon, knight must rescue princess. Thankfully, this adventure doesn’t take place in 2D and it isn’t a simple clone of a popular physics game that itself was a clone of a popular flash game. What we do know from the iTunes description is that there are 64 levels of 3D bricks to break, Nasty Knights to knock down, and dragons to defeat. Apparently you can also earn magic that will allow you to enchant your catapult, giving it something simple like line of sight or cool like the ability to call in a lunar strike. It’s also a universal build, so you can practice your demolition techniques on your big or small portable screens. From the promo video the game just looks incredible. I’d wager that if you’re a fan of this type of game, then Catapult King takes it to a new dimension you’ll certainly want to engage in.
Chillingo, Catapult King – $0.99
Probe The Humans – I’ve played a lot of infinite something games on my iPod Touch, but I’m pretty sure this is the first infinite probing game that’s been on the App Store. Billed as the “most accurate alien abduction simulation” available, I’m pretty sure that’s a load of hooey. On the plus side, the game is a lot of fun. You pilot a UFO, and your job is to collect all the humans and animals that you can. Thankfully this game doesn’t actually contain any gratuitous probing scenes, so if you really need to you can leave that to your imagination… and you might want to see a shrink. As you abduct the right things and earn coins you’ll be able to upgrade your UFO, buy power ups, and unlock different types of specimens to collect. Just be careful, because your tractor beam is powerful enough to haul up a lot of things, not limited to silos and tanks and such, all of which are bad for the engine. If you care anything about silly UFO related games, you need to Probe The Humans.
GameResort, Probe the Humans – Free
Frisbee Rush – This iDevice “game” is actually a controller. The game itself can be found at frisbeerush.com. Frisbee Rush was one of those games that I had to try for myself to see if it was worth sharing with my readers, and by now I assume you’ve guessed my decision. The two most important things I can say is (1) I’m terrible at this game, and (2) it is really cool. Basically you have to stop a horde of cheesy Godzilla class aliens from destroying the city, and the best way you can think of to do this is to chuck Frisbees at them. Thankfully you have your handy dandy iPhone to use as a controller, which lets you either flick the screen or flick the device Wii remote style to throw the Frisbees. At this point both methods have their drawbacks, but the whole concept is pretty slick. There are 12 levels to conquer, plenty of skyline to demolish, and multiplayer mode for up to three players. Right now it’s all free, so as long as you can handle beta level software, check it out and consider the possibilities.
Unit9, Frisbee Rush – Free
Hockey+++ – I don’t report on sports games very often, because this is one area that I don’t delve into personally when playing games, but this one looks rather interesting to me. The graphics are cartoony (in a good way), but still use advanced OpenGL techniques and motion capture data for extremely polished effects. It seems more like an action game than a true sports game with all the talk of waves and challenges, which would suit me just fine. Even though you have all the amenities like passing, shooting and checking, everything can be controlled with one finger. Once you’ve completed the challenge mode you’ll unlock a special “hardcore” mode, and you can also play against a friend for additional challenge. 20 different themes allow you to customize the look of the game, and multiple settings let you tweak the game play to your liking. Authentic sports nuts might not be so enthralled with this offering, but if you’re more into the action games like me Hockey+++ could be a great middle ground.
Golden Apps, Hockey+++ – $1.99
Spellet By PuzzleSocial – Finally, a spelling game that doesn’t require you to actually be able to spell! In Spellet the playing field consists of a grid with balloons floating over it and cannons in each of the four corners of the screen. At the bottom of the screen is a word, and it’s your job to fire one of the cannons such that the cannonball pops all the balloons in the correct order to spell the target word. It starts off pretty simple, but before long you’ll be getting special situations like rubber bands that break after a single use, balloons that can’t be popped and more. I’ve completed about 1/5 of the 100 levels the game comes with by default, and despite its relatively simple demeanor I can see where the later levels are really going to make you think. It sounds like there will be enough items strewn throughout the levels that additional level packs could be put together to expand the game, and the lack of a timer really gives you the chance to relax and plan out the perfect path for the cannon ball. This certainly isn’t the flashiest puzzle game around, but if you want something different that will make you think, Spellet is your game.
PuzzleSocial, Spellet by PuzzleSocial – $0.99
Alexandria Bloodshow – This sequel to SAMURAI BLOODSHOW continues to bring the innovative card game series to iOS devices. This time around you take control of Greek or Egyptian armies in what could easily have been battles depicted on murals and ancient pottery. Every time you play you can earn a new trading card with a unique ability, and there are more than 120 cards to collect. You can use these cards to build the ultimate battle deck which you can hone with the 170 single player battles, and then take online to pit against real players. Players from all around the world can compete via WiFi, or if you have an opponent right next to you, engage them in a Bluetooth battle. The game supports Game Center for leaderboards and achievements and is guaranteed to provide the couch bound strategist with hours of entertainment.
SEGA CORPORATION, Alexandria Bloodshow – $3.99
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Chillingo, Tiny Troopers – $2.99
Chillingo, BOP IT™! SMASH – Free
- Namco, No Red T-Shirts – $2.99
- Miniclip.com, Unlock – $0.99
- PlayFirst, Inc., Mall Stars – Free
- NCsoft, Project 83113 – $0.99
- GAMEVIL, Duel of Fate – Free
- Stolen Couch Games, ichi – $0.99
- TBS, TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles: The Boston Butcher – Free
- ALSEDI Group, Warlords Classic HD – $1.99
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: