10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 9 – 15]


The Rovio masses can rejoice, because the developer that created an empire apparently can do something besides disgruntled fowl.  Their latest offering is a game called Amazing Alex, and it takes the concept of The Incredible Machine to the next level.  Besides offering many prebuilt levels with the promise of more to come, it offers players a level editor to create and share their own masterpieces.  If you’re itching to stretch your trigger finger you might try Metal Slug 3, the pixel perfect iOS port of a Neo Geo legend.  Save some disheveled hostages, drive lots of cool vehicles, and join a friend for some Bluetooth co-op play.  If you’re more of the adventurous type Avenue Flo could be right up your alley.  This latest Diner Town offering from Play First ditches the time management pretense and lets you see familiar characters in a whole new way as you help Flo make sure a big wedding doesn’t turn into an even bigger disaster.  Are you listening, Larry King?

Balloon Loons – If there are any NES fans out there, I hope you remember Balloon Fight as fondly as I do.  Some of that nostalgia came flooding back as I helped beta test this game.  Sure the premise has changed – this time around you’re a dog trying to recover precious coins from some thieving rabbits.  You still get to pilot a collection of balloons as you try and pop the enemies into submission and collect all the coins.  You even have to beware of the sharks looming in the waters below, ready to consume you at a moment’s notice.  There are currently 45 levels of helium filled game play with more on the way, including some multi-player maps.  There are also more characters, game play modes and difficulty settings in the works, some of which I believe are coming quite soon.  The game is already fun to play, but I think it’s going be incredible if all the promises see the light of day.

Balloon Loons Appsolute Creations, Balloon Loons – $1.99

Metal Slug 3 – With its intense action, cartoon like graphics and crazy hostages, the Metal Slug series has always been one of my favorites when it comes to pure “blast ‘em up” action.  This is either the second attempt at an iOS version of the franchise or a retooling of the first, as Metal Slug Touch appears to be no longer available on the App Store.  Either way it promises a pixel perfect translation of the arcade version of Metal Slug 3, along with a “mission” mode that lets you select which level you want to play on.  You’ll get to pilot several different vehicles, and a branching level system allows you to play through the game several times without having the exact same experience twice.  You can even bring a long a friend for more destructive prowess in two player co-op mode via Bluetooth.  Game Center gives you achievements to earn and rankings to master, and a universal binary lets you play no matter what device you have handy.


Fumble! – This is a great little game that the kids will love, that you can play with them without feeling guilty about anything, and that you can then sneak away and play on your own when they aren’t looking.  You must find a certain number of pictures hidden in a group and touch them all at the same time.  Better yet, if you can touch them in the order they appear at the top of the screen you get bonus points, which makes for some interesting Twister like moments with your fingers.  There are two difficulty levels, and even though there is a set number of tiles per theme the game doesn’t get old because the sequence of objects and the sorting of the tiles on the playing field is always different.  What’s even more entertaining is playing this with a friend (or one of your kids) to see who can be the first to win three matches.  As can be expected, Game Center rounds out the package with achievements and leaderboards.

Fumble! Violet Arts, Fumble! – Free

Amazing Alex – Well it seems that Rovio might not be a one trick pony after all.  This week saw the release of Amazing Alex, a new physics game from the creators of a little iOS title you might have heard of called Angry Birds.  This time around you’ll help Alex use 35 different interactive objects to accomplish a variety of tasks over 100 puzzling levels.  You’ll bounce, pop, ricochet and more as you try to find the best solution to each situation.  Regular free updates will provide new levels, which can only be expected given the developer’s pedigree.  Why wait, though, when you can use a level designer to create and upload your own levels.  The longevity of the game is only restricted by the willingness of the community to participate in building up the level sets.  You can also share your solutions with other players.  It’s available for both iPhone and iPad, though sadly they still haven’t relinquished to the notion that a universal binary is a good thing.  Still, it’s nice to see something without the word “Angry” in the title coming from the Rovio camp.

Amazing Alex Rovio Entertainment, Amazing Alex – $0.99
Amazing Alex HD Rovio Entertainment, Amazing Alex HD – $2.99

Pocket Heroes – If you’re tired of going solo while dungeon crawling but aren’t eager for the MMO experience, Pocket Heroes might be a nice compromise for you.  This game features parties of 2 to 4 players linked through email or Game Center.  You’ll travel through 10 hand crafted levels, conquering more than 20 different types of creatures, each with unique abilities and attack methods.  Since the dungeons aren’t random you can expect triggered events, providing for a more engaging experience.  A simple but deep leveling system helps motivate your sense of exploration, while in game chatting and bonus XP for large parties makes it desirable to explore the 4 player option.  Even though the game is co-operative, you can still earn achievements and climb leaderboards for that sense of solitary accomplishment.  This is all just the beginning, though, as the developers have plans for more dungeons, new player classes, and the ability to create random exploration parties.

Pocket Heroes Ayopa Games, Pocket Heroes – $0.99

Fix-it Felix Jr. – If you’re thinking that this was originally called “Wreck-it Ralph” there’s no need to worry, you’re mind isn’t playing tricks on you.  The name change makes sense, though, since this is actually a home version of the game featured in the movie, not an adaptation of the movie itself.  The game play is pretty basic, with buttons to move left, right, up and down and another button to repair windows.  In some ways it feels like one of those old LED games.  The graphics are a bit more modern, with a decidedly NES look to them.  The thing is, between the timer and the fact that windows can be broken as Ralph is chucking bricks down, the game can actually be rather challenging.  It’s certainly not the most in-depth thing you’ll ever play, but it’s a nice break in between everything else.  The game is universal and right now it’s free, so why not be a window repair man for a little while?

Fix-it Felix Jr. Disney, Fix-it Felix Jr. – Free

ThinkInvisible – The Game – Bored with physics puzzle games?  Mastered the art of matching 3?  How about something completely different?  ThinkInvisible challenges your basic tenet of perception.  You know you’ve seen these images before, but can you indentify them when you only get to see a portion of the picture?  Stare at it, contemplate it and then wrack your brain to decide where you remember it from.  There are currently 9 sets of images, 2 of which come free with the download.  You’ll get points for finally figuring out what you’re looking at, but the rewards are greater when you use less help.  If you do get stuck you can reveal more of the image, and if you’re really beating your head against the wall post an image to Facebook or Twitter to get help from your vast social network.  There’s no music, and some might argue the visuals are pretty plain Jane, but I really like the look of the game.  The quotes and sound effects you are rewarded with as you unveil each object are cool as well.  This might not appeal to everyone, but if you’re tired of the same old stuff, ThinkInvisible definitely offers something unique.

ThinkInvisible - The Game ThinkInVisible, ThinkInvisible – The Game – Free

Sinbad – I know very little about the legends of Sinbad, though I’m pretty sure this has nothing to do with the washed up 80’s comedian.  I also don’t tend to promote games that I feel could become hard to play at some point without dumping a bunch of IAP into them.  After spending a bit of time with Sinbad, however, there’s something that just seems cool about it.  At first I thought it was going to be a dual stick game, but it turns out that it feels like it would be a swashbuckling Diablo if you could plug a mouse into your iPad.  Much like the seminal dungeon crawler you simply tap an enemy to attack it, but you seem to get rewarded for mixing it up and not sticking with the same enemy the whole time.  The visuals are pretty sweet on the whole, and there are some really slick close up finishing moves when you take on the last bad guy in a group.  There isn’t much detail given on how long the game is, but given that it’s IAP driven I imagine there will be updates with new quests and the like.  The initial investment is free, so if you’re looking for a quality action game that’s not dual stick and doesn’t come from Gameloft, you won’t lose for checking this one out.

Sinbad Rebellion Games, Sinbad – Free

Avenue Flo – I’m a big fan of Play First, and I’ve played a lot of the Dash games centered around Flo and her friends.  Imagine my surprise, though, when I saw that Avenue Flo was actually an adventure game and not another time management affair!  Turns out it’s a nice change of pace from the normal Play First Dash fare and a fun little game.  You’ll get the chance to explore more than 40 locations while solving 20 multi-part puzzles and engaging in several mini-games.  You’ll get to meet the denizens of Diner Town in a whole new way.  The visual style is different as well, abandoning the normal 16 bit console look for a more PBS cartoon style flair that looks really good.  The characters are even fully voiced, which is really neat.  You won’t get too far in the free version, but it will be enough for you to realize that this game is a decent investment.  Unfortunately for you small screen types this is just an iPad game, however.

Avenue Flo PlayFirst, Inc., Avenue Flo – Free

Knights Of The Round Cable – We’ll round this roundup up with the latest offering from Chillingo, Knights Of The Round Cable.  This quirky offering isn’t an infinite runner, but rather an infinite flinger.  You’ll choose one of several knights, most of which need to be unlocked via completing challenges, and fling yourself through many castles, collecting lots of gems and saving the occasional princess or two.  There are plenty of enemies to dodge (you can’t seem to kill most of them), and bonus items like hearts to gather up.  As you accumulate wealth you can by power-ups to make your experience even more outrageous.  The best part of the game is the cool mechanic, propelling yourself around the screen thanks to conveniently placed anchor points and a grappling hook that you can spin your knight with.  The controls take a bit of getting used to, but in the end it’s a whirlwind of an experience.  When you’re ready to not take your gaming so seriously it’s time to give Knights Of The Round Cable a try.

Knights of the Round Cable Chillingo, Knights of the Round Cable – $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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