10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 30 – August 5]

For me the big news this week was the release of Gamebook Adventure 8, the first tale of Judge Dredd. You can read about that below, however, so instead let me mention a couple games that didn’t quite make the main list. Full Fat released its first freemium game in the form of Agent Dash. Yeah, it’s another Temple Run-esque game in a genre that’s starting to get overdone, but you have to love secret agents, and based on the game play trailer this looks like lots of fun. The latest offering from FDG is the physics puzzle game Chicken Raid. Instead of launching things to break other things, however, this game has you tapping breakable objects to cause chain reactions. The less interaction on your part, the higher your score. Megatroid looks like a Metroid / Mega Man style platform game. In this instance, though, you have a robotic cat for a sidekick and the levels are procedurally generated for a whole lot of replayability.

Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 – I used to love reading, but now it doesn’t seem like I have the time unless it’s text from a cut scene or instructions on how to play a game. Thankfully the Gamebook Adventure series has helped a little bit by providing novels that let you control the action, so you’re reading and playing a game at the same time. The latest installment in the series brings us the chronicles of Judge Dredd, lawman extraordinaire for Mega-City One. While I know little of his exploits beyond the 90’s Sylvester Stallone film, if this game follows suit with previous installments it should be quite exciting. The script was penned by Nick Robinson and illustrated by German Ponce, both of whom have experience in the 2000 A.D. universe where Judge Dredd was born. A modified version of the already robust game engine supports fitness levels and the perceived authority of your character. The best part is that you actually get to play Judge Dredd, and not just some judge in the ranks. This one is for any fan of choose your own adventures, Judge Dredd or simply quality storytelling and game play mixed together.

Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 Tin Man Games, Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106 – $4.99

DungeonSweeper – Most people of a certain age that have owned Windows based computers have probably played Mine Sweeper at some point in their life, as have many others thanks to ports and clones and however else you want to look at it. Personally I grew out of the game a long time ago, but this variant is actually kind of interesting. Like traditional Mine Sweeper you uncover numbers that give you hints as to where to find the important stuff. However, instead of mines you are looking for treasure chests, monsters and staircases, which are hinted at by the color background of the numbers you reveal. Locate treasure chests to get things like armor, swords and potions, and find the stairs to journey to the next level. The visuals could use a bit of sprucing up, and help is non-existent outside of the iTunes description, but there’s certainly promise here should the developers decide to invest more time in this one.

DungeonSweeper masimaro, DungeonSweeper – Free

Running Dead – I recently watched the 2005 film Land Of The Dead, and what impressed me the most about the film was the fact that the zombies weren’t stupid. Running Dead dispenses with the typical zombie stereotype as well to provide you with limber, energetic adversaries instead of slow, plodding beasts. The game is an endless runner, but you’ll actually have to weave your way around discarded vehicles and through furniture laden homesteads among other things, all the while remembering that even the slightest delay could make you the undeads’ main course. The course is randomly generated every time, and automatic save and restore via iCloud means you truly can play the same game no matter what iDevice you have available. There are leaderboards for distance run, zombies killed and overall score, and currently there are 13 achievements to earn.

Running Dead Cleverson, Running Dead – $0.99

Justice League : Earth’s Final Defense – When I first saw this I actually thought it was an extremely sharp looking fan made game, and I wondered how long it would take before DC had it pulled down. Apparently this is officially licensed, however, and doesn’t have the stigma of a particular movie hanging over its head to make it worse than it could be. You take on the role of one of five famous heroes including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash or Green Lantern, and you must take down Lex Luthor and his cohorts in order to save the world. Sure you’ve heard it all before, but if it plays well then I’m all for it. You’ll be able to level up and upgrade your heroes as you pound your way through 20 levels of nefarious DC villains. Each hero has multiple suits that offer different abilities, and you can also collect 30 support cards that you can mix and match to give you the benefits of others from the DC universe. The game features slick Unity 3D rendered environments, and is universal provided you have some newer equipment. My main gripe is that they went with the “standards” for the heroes, but maybe we’ll see some more creep into a future update if the game does well enough. Personally, I’d love to take Blue Beetle or Booster Gold out for a spin.

JUSTICE LEAGUE : Earth's Final Defense CJ E&M, JUSTICE LEAGUE : Earth’s Final Defense – $2.99

Slice & Splice – First of all I love the name, because it fools you into thinking you’re getting some sort of weird genetics game or possibly a survival horror thing, not a simple little puzzle game. Still, if your puzzle “fan-ness” predates the physics centric buzz of the Angry Birds era, you’ve probably played a game similar to this at some point where you have to take several small shapes and squish them into a big outline. The difference here is that the small shapes start out as a big shape, and you have to slice it up first before you can splice it into the target big shape. The game currently sports 144 levels with more to come, and multiple solutions to some puzzles even adds to the replay value (though that could be overkill with 144 puzzles). There is Game Center support for leaderboards, where higher scores can be earned for less retries on a puzzle. Right now the game just has a native iPhone version, but hopefully a universal or iPad version is coming, because this game seems perfect for the bigger screen.

Slice & Splice Roman Timurson, Slice & Splice – $0.99

Flight! – Yeah, it’s a game about a paper airplane. And yeah, you’ve probably seen it all before in one way or another. But boy if this game isn’t addicting anyway. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that you can fly a paper airplane virtually better than you can in real life, or the idea that you can basically attach an afterburner to said airplane, or the silly, sometimes heartwarming story attached to the whole thing, but there’s something about Flight that makes you want to keep coming back for more. You’ll visit many cities around the world, there are more than 20 achievements for you to unlock, and the game has plenty of humor to spare. The best part of the game, though, is trying to earn all the upgrades and all the upgrades to the upgrades. Sure you can buy your way to the top via IAP, or you can be a man about it and earn the upgrades the old fashioned way – crash and burn until you get it right. Either way it’s a whole lot of fun trying.

Flight! Armor Games Inc, Flight! (TMA Review) – Free

Fat Cat Bandit – This game puts a clever little spin on the whole ball rolling theme (yeah, sorry, I should be slapped for that one). You play a feline with a penchant for jewels, and you must roll your way through 3 different buildings with a total of 57 levels in order to score all the loot and satiate your appetite for shiny things. Each building has a unique set of obstacles such as trapdoors, lasers, alarm systems and guard dogs. It’s up to you to figure out how to navigate each of these dilemmas and ultimately come up with the treasure, all the loose coins and a speedy completion time in order to earn three stars on each level. It’s a cute game that will definitely hold younger players’ interests, but it seems like it will provide enough challenge for the older gamers as well. The game is universal, though I gave up trying to run it on my iPod Touch 4 and went to my iPad 2. I would imagine folks with an iPhone 4+ should be fine. The developers already have some new levels in the works, so get in now and encourage them to keep the updates coming.

Fat Cat Bandit Tilted Joystick, Fat Cat Bandit – Free

Alien Breed – To many modern gamers, including those that cut their teeth on the iOS generation of devices, Team 17 is probably best known for their Worms franchise. Before the popular Scorched Earth clone hit the shelves, however, Team 17 had a popular top down shooter series called Alien Breed. The series has been resurrected for it’s 21st anniversary, and while the iOS port shares the name of the game that started it all, it’s certainly been updated for the 21st century. There are a total of 22 levels – 6 from the original game, 12 from the special edition version of Alien Breed, and 4 brand new levels that coincide with the original story. You can experience the game the way it all started with Classic Mode, which presents the original graphics, music and controls. Or you can play in Enhanced mode to get all iOS devices have to offer. Your bells and whistles like Game Center integration and iCloud support all make an appearance, as does Gametel and iCade support. If you want to see what Team 17 can do besides worms you’ll want to give Alien Breed a try.

Alien Breed Team17 Software Ltd, Alien Breed – $4.99

Gears & Guts – Okay, so I have a thing for games where you get to run over the enemy. Still, I have to admit that when I first saw this game I was a bit surprised, especially since it was released a mere week after another Glu effort: Mutant Roadkill. Thankfully, aside from the premise of using your vehicle to mow down the bad guys these are two very different games. This time around you’re hunting zombies, and though I haven’t seen the evidence of it there is talk that non-zombies still exist. You’ll have many missions to complete, though I suspect that they all stem from the basic premise of “eliminate X number of zombies from this area”. Luckily plowing over the undead is rather amusing, and unlike Mutant Roadkill you get rewarded cool permanent gadgets to help you in your quest. Even better is the fact that you can actually mix and match equipment to make more powerful alternatives. There is a nice variety of fiends to run over, and game center achievements and scores to make you feel good when you do. The game is universal, but you’re out of luck if you’re running anything third generation or below with a small screen, and right now even iPad 1 and iPod Touch 4 devices have some issues.

Gears & Guts Glu Games Inc., Gears & Guts – Free

Commando Jack – With their typical 2 game a week release, it seems almost inevitable that a Chillingo game will creep in here somewhere. This week I decided to focus on Commando Jack, which in all honest doesn’t immediately appeal to me. However, I know there are a huge number of tower defense fans in the iOS market, and this game adds an interesting twist to the mix. You place your turrets and other technology just like in a typical tower defense game, but then you switch to first person view and have Jack take control of one of the turrets to cause some personal havoc to the enemy. The main drawback right now seems to be content. Each level has three stars you can earn to keep you coming back, but there are currently only 5 arenas to explore. Now if an arena equates to more than one level that might not be so bad, but that’s not really explained anywhere. Let’s just hope the developers will keep the arenas / levels coming. The game is universal, and while there is no mention of social networking support, if there are achievements and leaderboards to be found I imagine they would be through Crystal.

Commando Jack Chillingo Ltd, Commando Jack – $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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