10 New App Store Games To Watch [June 18 – 24]
Once again there was a nice variety of games to report on this week, and the highlight of the week for me was the adventure game Yesterday from BulkyPix. After spending just a few minutes with this game I felt like I was playing an old masterpiece from Sierra Online or LucasArts, but one that had been given an interface boost that makes it perfect for touch screen devices. The causal RPG fan should check out Elphis Adventure, a new free offering from Com2us. You take on the role of Red Riding Hood in an attempt to rescue your grandma by traveling through different fairy tales and historical time periods. For those that are interested in learning Magic The Gathering, or those that are just looking for another avenue with which to play the game, Wizards of the Coast offers up Magic 2013. You can sample the card based strategy game for free, but if you want to test your mettle against other humans you’ll need to buy the premium edition.
Magic 2013 – It’s been a long time since I played Magic The Gathering, but it appears that the property is still going strong, and this past week marks the introduction of the series to the iOS platform. Subtitled Duels of the Planeswalkers, this iPad only offering gives you a single player campaign for free so you can see what the world of MtG is all about. You get 3 decks that each have 5 unlockable cards, 4 opponents to take on, and a couple of game play modes including one that lets you tackle some preset AI strategies, much like a good computerized chess game. If you decide to indulge in the premium version you’ll get access to an additional 7 decks with a total of more than 250 cards at your fingertips. Also included are 18 additional campaign levels and two more game play modes. Most importantly, however, is the coveted multi-player mode, so you can check out your skills against human competition.
Wizards of the Coast, Magic 2013 – Free
Dice Soccer – I’ve probably mentioned once or twice how I’m not a big fan of sports games, but something about Dice Soccer caught my attention. Maybe it’s the fact that instead of being an action game, this soccer variant is played with a team where each member’s participation is determined by a die roll. You get to choose from 100 different players including goalies, midfielders and so on, each with their own unique 6 sided die. Choose wisely and watch as certain die rolls yield awesome combos the lead your team to victory. Face off against 70 different opponent lineups through 4 seasons, 13 leagues and 100 separate matches. There are more than 70 achievements to earn, and you can unlock new players and playing kits as you win matches. You can even challenge your friends via Bluetooth or GameCenter.
6waves Lolapps, Dice Soccer – Free
Centipede: Origins – There have been a couple of clones on the App Store, but Atari has resurrected the classic as it unleashes Centipede: Origins on iOS devices. For those that are too young to know the game, it’s basically a scrolling shooter without the scrolling. You control a gnome that must take out a garden full of pesky insects with the help of some nifty weapons and gadgets. There are currently 3 of each, all of which can be upgraded. There are 4 available levels with additional ones that can be purchased as the game progresses, which I assume can be done with in-game money since none of the IAP options specifically mention levels. Speaking of which, you can collect coins while you are playing to unlock features, and they have certainly made it easy for you to boost your treasury thanks to IAP. This may not be the most in-depth shooter around, but the premise is cute and it should be a great trip down memory lane for older gamers.
Atari, Centipede®: Origins – $0.99
Yesterday – I’ve been able to spend a little bit of time with this game, and if more adventure games like this come out for the iPad we might actually see a resurgence in the genre. First of all, it manages to have an “adult” plot without resorting to vulgarities and other tricks writers feel they need to warrant a more mature audience. The visuals are stunning, and the use of pop-up windows to view details of a certain area is perfect for the bigger small screen (I’m sure it helps even more on an iPhone or iPod Touch, but I haven’t tried it on a smaller device yet). A lot of the transitional waits are dispensed with by an interesting, almost teleportation like effect when you double tap on someplace you want your character to move to. While the solutions to certain puzzles might not jump out at you right away the interface is quite intuitive, and there’s a great hotspot reveal feature that’s a nice bridge between no help and full on puzzle solutions. The acting seems well done, and I can’t wait to delve into the game more to learn about what’s going on. In short, this is a mobile adventure game any fan would be remiss to ignore.
Bulkypix, Yesterday – $4.99
Monster Paradise – Yeah, it’s another Pokemon clone, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it’s executed well. In this case your journey takes you through 60 in-game areas and more than 180 quests in order to defeat the Dark Monsters and restore peace to the land. There is an excess of 500 monsters for your to collect and fuse, including captured foes and special / legendary monsters unlocked from tablets that you can collect. When the going gets rough call on your friends to fight by your side, or take on your buddies in PvP mode to claim bragging rights as the best monster trainer around. Memorable characters and an intriguing storyline will keep you captivated, and “time of day” based events get you to check in regularly so you won’t miss anything.
Aeria Mobile, Monster Paradise – Free
Band Together – My first thought when I saw the screen shots was “Little Big Planet”, mainly due to the visual style. It seems that Band Together is more of a Lemmings style game, though instead of pixel-y creatures that sound like popcorn when they explode you get odd little things with rubber band like bodies and huge heads. There are dozens of levels created by “Midge”, the central character of the game. He also tells the game’s story through hand drawn pages in his secret journal. Aside from the “usual” traps like thumbtack death machines, baseball boulders and more, you must keep the Bandies in light otherwise they will fall asleep and not be able to reach their goal. All the levels are laid out with things that might be found in an attic, so it has a cool visual style. You can skip levels that are too tough and revisit them later, and the content is suitable for kids and adults of all ages. Unfortunately, you’ll need an iPad 2 or greater to play, and no iPhone / iPod Touch devices allowed.
Backflip Studios, Band Together – Free
Elphis Adventure – Like the concept behind RPGs but tired of always having to save the world? Elphis Adventure from Com2us lets you step into the shoes of Little Red Riding Hood to rescue her grandmother from mysterious kidnappers. Okay, so it’s still not a sitcom but at least the universe isn’t at stake. You’ll travel through both fairy tales and historical time periods in order to rescue your beloved granny. Along the way you’ll encounter a host of colorful characters and some creepy villains. Learn cool skills and pull off some crazy strong combos. Be progressive with the outfits and give her different colored hats, capes and more. Not only will her look change but it could enhance her powers as well. And when you’ve finally brought poor granny home prepare for some infinite dungeon crawling.
Com2uS Inc., Elphis Adventure – Free
Boom Brigade 2 – In 2009 we were treated to an interesting combination of tower defense and line drawing game [TMA Review]. The soldiers are back and the action is bigger than ever (except maybe in the graphics department). You’ll take on 30 missions across 3 chapters as you keep your base safe from a variety of different alien life forms. Each has their own attack strategy, so you’ll have to use wise judgment to figure out what to eliminate first. You guide your soldiers by drawing lines where you want them to go, though you can tap on individual enemies to assign primary targets. There are several different types of troop, each with 5 levels of upgrade available. The main game has 12 achievements to earn, and there are additional quick game play modes that each has their own leaderboard. While tower defense games are not my favorite I remember enjoying the original Boom Brigade, so I’m expecting great things from the sequel.
10tons Ltd, Boom Brigade 2 – $3.99
Dragon Flight – I’ve been burned by almost every dragon based scrolling shooter I’ve tried, so I wasn’t expecting much better from Dragon Flight. It turns out the game is rather fun. It’s a scrolling shooter, but instead of a levels it takes the “infinite flying” approach to the genre. You earn money that can be used to buy upgrades, and of course you can buy additional in-game gold via IAP. The game is simple to control because the only control you have is moving your dragon left and right. That doesn’t mean it will be simple to play, however, and sometimes split second timing will make or break you. It does use GameCenter for rankings, though I haven’t seen anything in regards to achievements yet. Hopefully that’s in the works if I haven’t just missed it. The game is free to play, and as of this writing you can earn 5000 gold for writing a review in the App Store.
NextFloor, Dragon Flight – Free
Zombie Run HD – Does the game look like Temple Run? Check. Does it play like Temple Run? Check. Does it even appear to have some of the same sound effects as Temple Run? As long as my ears aren’t deceiving me. Despite all the similarities to that other game, though, Zombie Run HD still manages to hold its own as an entertaining third person runner. The game looks good, and zombies always make for a nice change of pace. There are a number of achievements to earn and several powerups to unlock and upgrade by grabbing potions scattered throughout the course. You can get extra potions via IAP if you’d like, but for a real challenge you can try unlocking each of the bonus characters by earning the necessary potions – they’ll only run you about 10K to 25K potions apiece.
RetroStyle Games, Zombie Run HD – $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:
- Chillingo, The Act (TMA Review) – $2.99
- Gameloft, Asphalt 7: Heat – $0.99
- Craneballs Studios, Fish Heroes – $0.99
- TAITO, RAYSTORM – $8.99
- NerdSkullz, FreeFlatFlow – Free
- Shengqu, StarRacing – $0.99
- Ubisoft, James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes – Free
- 6waves, Zombie Nation: Bayou Breakout – Free
- TBS, Banzai Blade – Free
- The Moonwalls, The Secret of Moonwall Palace – $1.99
- Beeline Interactive, Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom – Free
- The LEGO Group, LEGO Monster Fighters Race – Free
- Jules Verne’s Return to Mysterious Island 2 HD – $3.99
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: