10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 16 – 22]

The App Store had a lot of good new games to offer this week, but casual arcade games seemed to be in particularly good supply.  Chillingo unleashed Jelly Jumpers on us, and while it feels like a standard “climb from object to object as high as you can” style game, I still found myself becoming addicted to it.  Daily challenges, plenty of achievements and a continually growing score multiplier are enough to keep me coming back.  Follow The Rabbit is a cute, blocky puzzle game where you must collect coins, dodge enemies and ultimately keep sight of the elusive white rabbit.  It also has the distinction of being the first Armor Games iOS release that is not a port from their existing library.  Great Big War Game is the sequel to Great Little War Game, and it looks to continue the “lack of Advance Wars” fix that many of us mobile gamers need.  With 50 single player missions and online capabilities, you should be fighting the good fight for quite some time.

Stay Dead – I grew up in the era of FMV and laser disc games, and while the idea of “interacting” with a cartoon or live action video was awesome, it was also marred by the limited activities you could do to control what was going on.  Stay Dead claims to fix all that with an unheard of level of manipulation in a cinematically shot environment.  The visuals might be straight from a camera, but the game promises to let you perform 180 different combos, just like if you were playing the latest version of whatever the popular fighting game of the time is.  It will be interesting to see how well this game fulfills its promise, because while “The Act” was certainly a step above games like Dragon’s Lair, it still didn’t provide a true interactive feeling with the media you were controlling.  If Stay Dead does deliver such varied control in “live” media, it might well usher in the second age of FMV.

Stay Dead Playstos Entertainment, Stay Dead – $2.99

Mad Cows – Angry Birds has spawned many an imitator, and Mad Cows makes no qualms about the fact that your time spent tossing disgruntled fowl at fiendish pigs has been good practice for this game.  There are 60 single player stages that let you hone your skills for each of the six animals that you can chuck, including an exploding sheep and a pig that releases noxious gas.  Once you feel you’ve mastered each of their abilities it’s time to take your talents online.  Yep, you heard me right.  Mad Cows takes animal flinging, physics based mayhem to the next level as it adds a mutli-player component.  Take on that annoying friend that keeps bragging about how they’re smarter than the AI-less villains, or show your superiority against any old stranger that wants to take on your challenge.  Game Center provides leaderboards and achievements, and I presume connectivity with other players, and a universal binary lets you toss your farmyard friends with whatever device you have convenient.

Mad Cows Everplay, Mad Cows – $0.99

Synesthetic – One of my favorite music games on the iPhone so far has been Groove Coaster.  The only problem is that while it was conceptually neat and the music worked with the game play, you were limited to the songs the game provided.  Synesthetic looks to up the ante as it pulls the soundtrack directly from your music collection!  You still get to take an outrageous roller coaster ride, complete with obstacles to dodge and loops to keep you guessing what direction you’re headed.  This time, however, you can jam to your own tunes in way you never have before.  There are 3 different game play modes for each song, as well as a unique leaderboard for a given song.  Game Center provides achievements, and adding new levels is a simple as putting an additional album on your device.  Synesthetic runs silky smooth even on third generations devices, but also has full iPad 3 support.  If you’ve ever wanted to do more than just listen to your music, now’s your chance.

Synesthetic Alex Dantis, Synesthetic – $1.99

SpinBlock – I’ve finally gotten over saying that I don’t really care for the genre of games based off of Breakout and Arkanoid, because they are starting to grow on me.  However, just like with any overcrowded genre I look for entries that take a unique spin on the topic, and SpinBlock is just such a game.  The playing field is circular with you trapped in the middle, which might have even been done once or twice before.  However, as you launch balls out to break the bricks they can come back and hit you, actually diminishing your health.  You can also launch as many balls at a time as you want, or at least as you think you can control.  The one thing that’s really missing from this is all the cool power-ups we’ve come to expect from this genre, and an option to control the game with buttons instead of rotating would be nice, but overall SpinBlock offers a nice change of pace from the norm in the brick breaking genre.

SpinBlock neuneu,LLC., SpinBlock – Free

Fieldrunners 2 – If you’re a tower defense fan then there are a few games you are probably intimately familiar with, the original Fieldrunners being one of them.  Personally I’ve never played it, but I’ve heard many good things about it.  Almost four long years later we have the sequel, and I’m going to guess that it ups the ante by several notches.  You’ll get to place 20 unique, upgradable weapons as you defend many new locations against hordes of pint sized invaders.  You’ll also have air strikes, mines and other devastating tools at your disposal.  You’ll need everything you can muster, though, as things like trenches, tunnels and more make for some interesting paths to defend.  Different styles of levels such as sudden death and time trial help keep things fresh and interesting, and some fancy AI lets the enemies attack like you’ve never seen in a tower defense game before.  The trail looks pretty spectacular, and Fieldrunners 2 might be enough to turn even a grizzled old non-tower defense fan like myself.

Fieldrunners 2 Subatomic Studios, Fieldrunners 2 – $2.99

Mutant Roadkill – Speaking of turning, I have really been enjoying Mutant Roadkill from Glu Games.  This is what you get when you take Temple Run, throw the main character in a car, and given the license to mow down anything that’s walking on two legs.  Of course, not all the mutants are going to take this abuse lying down, so be prepared to have to knock of some unwanted passengers by brushing against wrecked vehicles strewn across the road.  You’ll need to be careful, because a quick brush can quickly become enough of a collision to end your run.  As you take out mutants you’ll earn coins and fill up a meter that when complete gives you a power up.  You can also collect power ups lying on the road.  Naturally there’s a store, and you can expedite your purchases by buying in-game currency with real cash, but so far I’m having a blast without spending a cent.  The game is universal, and while it’s been a bit sluggish at times on my iPod Touch 4, it’s playing well enough for me not to care.

Mutant Roadkill Glu Games Inc., Mutant Roadkill – Free

The Dark Knight Rises – Batman is one of my favorite super heroes, and while he hasn’t had many spectacular video game outings aside from the Arkham franchise, he also hasn’t suffered nearly as much at the hands of the comic to video game curse.  Unfortunately I wasn’t overly impressed with the Arkham spin-off that made it’s way to iOS devices, even though I appreciated their attempt at making something different.  With The Dark Knight Rises the license has fallen into the hands of Gameloft, and one thing we know from them is that they can deliver a solid beat’em up / platform experience, which is exactly what Batman needs.  You’ll take on the role of the caped crusader as you try to protect Gotham from the dastardly Bane and mysterious Catwoman.  Inspired by events from the movie, you’ll interact with likenesses of the main characters such as Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon.  Complete dozens of missions and random events including hostage situations, jail breaks and car chases.  Many different fighting skills, along with access to some really cool toys, will help you rid the streets of Gotham’s foes.  I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that there are some hints of Batman: Arkham Asylum in this game, as that would make for a slick mobile experience.

The Dark Knight Rises â„¢ Gameloft, The Dark Knight Rises â„¢ – $6.99

Splash !!! – Welcome to an entertaining new physics puzzle game.  In Splash you control a panda bear in a big bubble that must collect rubber ducks and drop them in a kiddie pool.  Yeah, it sounds a bit odd, but it’s actually lots of fun.  You can manipulate the bubble directly by tilting the device or by pulling back and letting go of the bubble itself, assuming it has some water in it.  There are also various gadgets in some levels like water cannons that help you propel the bubble along the way.  The game currently consists of 60 challenging levels across 4 different worlds, and hopefully more will be added as we show the developer some love.  It’s always nice to see a new puzzle game that doesn’t feel like a clone of everything we’ve already played, and the concept behind Splash allows for some rather interesting puzzle design.  I look forward to seeing what else this game will offer down the road.

Splash  !!! Croissant production, Splash !!! – $0.99

Elite CommandAR: Last Hope – Elite Commandar is an FPS that has a campaign mode and a shooting range that lets you hone your targeting skills.  It also has an AR mode so you can turn your home or office into a hunting ground.  What’s more impressive, however, is that the game works with a controller called the Liberator Pistol to provide you with a more immersive FPS experience.  Besides the standard trigger the controller has buttons to raise your shield, select weapons and reload.  The gun comes with a mount that supports both iPhone and Android devices, and I would presume that movement is handled by tilting the device as it rests in the cradle.  The game is free and you can play a demo level without the gun, but when you’re ready to take the plunge you’ll need to head on over to appgear.com to get yourself an official Liberator Pistol.

Elite CommandAR: Last Hope WowWee, Elite CommandAR: Last Hope – Free

Monsterology – Based on the book of the same name, this 3D turn based strategy game puts the power of mythical beasts in your hands.  You can collect up to 100 different cards which include monsters, traps and special items.  You get three with the free download, and the rest can be purchased via IAP or as physical cards that you can tap on your iPad screen to activate them within the game.  You’ll use these cards to take on 10 increasingly challenging levels in the Oloverse, with more coming soon.  In addition to more levels, the developers are also promising several multiplayer modes on the horizon.  Hopefully you’ll eventually be able to win cards that you can trade as well.  It would be nice if you didn’t have to collect all 97 additional cards via external purchases.  Still, the game looks interesting and the idea of using real cards to activate in-game creatures is pretty cool.

Monsterology Nukotoys, Inc., Monsterology – Free

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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