10 New App Store Games To Watch [September 10 – 16]


This week provided a nice mix of genres for the diverse iOS gamer.  Fans of crazy sports games could sink their time into Wonderputt, a new mini-golf game with some interesting course design.  You actually get to see some of the holes being created, and it can be almost as fun to watch as to play.  If you’re looking for a different type of adventure try Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience.  This happens to be a promotional tool for an upcoming horror movie, and given the game play genre it actually makes interesting use of the features your iOS device has to offer.  Pokemon and Final Fantasy fans can converge on Guardian Cross, the latest offering from Square Enix.  This “collect and fight” style game has an incredible development pedigree, and apparently is completely playable without spending a penny.

Guardian Cross – This sounds like Square Enix’ take on the Pokemon phenomenon, and it actually sounds quite impressive.  You can capture and select more than 180 different guardians to help build up the perfect army.  There are quests to undertake to enhance your guardians and you can also play against other humans in an online arena.  Weekly contests pit you against up to five other players at the same time, rewarding you with gold and special items if you can climb to the top of the charts.  They also mention co-op play, though there are no further details on what that might entail.  Playing with friends seems to be encouraged, though, as you can earn even more bonuses if you get more friends to play.  The development pedigree is outstanding, as the key architects have worked on many of the Final Fantasy titles.  What’s most impressive to me is that while you can by in-game currency via IAP, they claim the game is completely playable without paying a cent.  That’s pretty impressive coming from the company that has some of the most expensive games on the App Store.

Guardian Cross SQUARE ENIX, Guardian Cross – Free

Toon Drive – If Reckless Racing were a Saturday morning cartoon, this would be it.  This is more for the kids than anything, but to be honest I actually had some fun with it when I loaded it up on my iPod Touch.  Currently there is one “mystery” to solve, which basically requires you to drive around destroying all the crates until you uncover the missing parts to the town windmill.  If you’re just feeling destructive you can simply drive around running into everything in sight.  The physics tend to be silly, but that’s half the fun.  It would be fun to drive through the buildings (right now you just stop or bounce off of them), and a couple of additional car choices would be nice.  There are more mysteries coming at some point, though I’m not expecting much more depth than the one that currently exists.  In the end this is mainly a time waster, but it’s a decent looking one that’s sure to entertain the young ones and even provide a nice diversion for you when you’re too taxed to do any real work with your iPhone.

Toon Drive Boiled Goose, Toon Drive – Free

Save The Puppies – I feel like this is my “for the kids” week, but all you adults need not worry – there will be more for you soon.  In the mean time, this cute little puzzler is about rescuing poor puppies that have been kidnapped.  You play a wiener dog that must slink his way around 100 different obstacle laden areas in order to retrieve all the caged canines.  Securing every pooch on a level is necessary, but you’ll get a better score if you can use less steps and if you can recover the golden bones on each level.  To that end you have an unlimited number of undos – if you buy the premium version or IAP – which is handy for the younger set or for the less skilled players.  One tactic that I found rather amusing was the ability to eat sausages in order to grow.  It starts to feel like the old “snake” game, but here instead of simply crashing into yourself you can actually use your elongated body for a bridge!  The game is universal, and since it’s free to check out I’d suggest you start your puppy rescue mission now.

Save The Puppies HandyGames, Save The Puppies – Free

Mini Quest – There’s nothing particularly special about this game.  You play an adventurer that must talk to lots of people, perform many mundane quests, and ultimately level yourself up to accomplish I’m not quite sure what.  You also have the ability to battle other minis if that’s something you’re really interested in.  The main reason I pointed out this game is because it was built with a technology called Spaceport Neo.  From what I can tell it’s not actually available yet, but it looks like its focus is on helping Flash developers transition to the new mobile world.  I know many of them are already doing that, but if this makes it easier for the ones that haven’t tried yet, imagine how many more native games we might get?  Of course I realize some question whether the Flash game pool is worth tapping into or not, but I’ve played enough of them that I like that I’m willing to take that chance.  The platform currently supports iOS, Google Play and Kindle Fire targets, and maybe by the time it’s available it will support even more.  In the rapidly growing world of mobile development, it’s always nice to have a variety of development choices.

Mini Quest spaceport.io Inc., Mini Quest – Free

Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience – This is actually a promotional piece for the movie House At The End Of The Street, which hits the theaters on September 21st.  As you can imagine, your task is to escape from the house that you’re in.  It’s dark, you’re chained to something, and you know your time is short.  Shake the device to loosen your chains, and use the gyroscope to navigate your surroundings.  Tap the screen to sneak up the stairs, but keep the pace steady.  When you need to be silent, keep the device still so that no one can hear you.  If you do finally make it out of the house, scream to let everyone know you’re in trouble.  Of course, make sure you’re not in public when you do that last step.  After all is said and done you can share the video of your experience on Facebook.  There are separate versions for iPhone and iPad, but they are both free so you might as well grab them all.

Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience Relativity Media, Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience – Free
Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience for the iPad Relativity Media, Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience for iPad – Free

Monster Trouble Dark Side – I know the original Monster Trouble was a pretty popular tower defense game, and while I have it I have never actually tried it.  However, the sequel sounds like it might just be even more fun than the original.  It’s time to play on the wrong side of the fence as you control a legion of monsters trying to take out the humans and retrieve the talisman of the Moon Shadows.  You’ll have command over 10 different types of creatures, with four power ups to give them special abilities.  There are 24 levels spread across 10 unique maps with multiple difficulty levels and the ability to replay a map to your heart’s content.  In addition to 5 distinct types of defenders you’ll have to deal with day and night cycles as well as environmental issues like rain storms.  The game is universal and does support Game Center, though there is no mention of iCloud integration.  That seems like it would be a welcome feature that will hopefully creep its way into an update.

Monster Trouble Dark Side NuOxygen, Monster Trouble Dark Side – $2.99

Wonderputt – Despite pretty landscapes and realistic physics, I’m not a big fan of electronic golf games.  Give me some wild courses and general craziness though and I love a good mini-golf game.  Enter Wonderputt – the type of mini-golf game I’d expect from the creators of The Tiny Bang Story (it’s not actually the same developer, however).  The mechanics are pretty standard and simple, basically requiring you to drag a line indicating the power and direction of your shot.  What makes this game so special is the level design.  In some cases you get to actually watch a level being created, like when a row of cows eats up a field only to get abducted by a UFO.  In every case it’s fun to see how your ball will get transported from one level to the next, or to another part of the same level, or even how the ball will be returned to the level should it happen to fall off.  The visuals are quite colorful and well animated, and the sound brings the game to life.  Unfortunately it’s only available for the iPad 2 and new iPad, but if you have either of these devices it will be money well spent.

Wonderputt Damp Gnat Ltd, Wonderputt – $0.99

Garfield’s Defense: Attack of the Food Invaders – I’ve been a fan of Garfield for along time, with several of his books sitting on my shelf.  I even used to clip his strip from my local paper.  Sadly, I can’t really look back and say that there has been a game based on the finicky feline that I’ve enjoyed.  The jury’s still out on this one as well, but I have high hopes that it might buck the trend.  Alien food trying to seize Garfield’s fridge makes for a perfect defense scenario.  You directly control the portly protagonist, and you can recruit friends such as Odie and Nermal as well as U.S. Acres favorites like Orson or Sheldon.  Popcorn lets you get troops, while cookies aid in upgrading everything about the game.  The visuals look like they came from a Garfield cartoon, and the voice of Garfield is well done (so far that’s the only one I’ve heard).  Apparently this got the thumb’s up from Jim Davis, which is always a good sign.  The game is universal and free, with IAP options for loading yourself up with cookies.

Garfield's Defense: Attack of the Food Invaders Web Prancer, Garfield’s Defense: Attack of the Food Invaders – Free

Soldier vs. Aliens – This latest free offering from Bulkypix has shades of Ridley Scott running through its veins, and that’s okay with me.  It’s a space based defense game where you as a lone armed soldier must defeat a horde of wall crawling, face-hugging-impersonating aliens that would like nothing better than to maul you or worse.  As the iTunes description recommends, check your brain at the door and pull out your trigger finger, because brute force will win this day.  Traverse 50 different levels in various environments, saving hostages, holding your position and even defeating some evil queens.  You can upgrade your weapons and armor to slice through the foes with ease, and once you’ve beaten the campaign mode you can tackle Survival mode and try to fend of endless hordes of alien scum.  The graphics are sharp, the music is adrenaline pumping, and the action is non stop.  The game is universal and comes in at a price point that makes it hard to refuse.

Soldier vs. Aliens Bulkypix, Soldier vs. Aliens – Free

Black Water – Looking for some gun slinging that’s more Old West than Outer Space?  Thankfully Brisk Mobile has taken care of your yearnings with Black Water.  This iPad only offering lets you take on the role of a rancher that becomes a town’s deputy after witnessing the murder of the town’s sheriff.  Comic cut scenes and dialog with town patrons will help unravel the story of Black Water as you take on missions to rid the area of nasty bandits.  You’ll ride horses, drive stage coaches and chase down runaway trains all in the name of justice.  Unlock more than 30 weapons and train in 50+ skill upgrades to become the roughest, toughest law enforcement around.  Dynamic terrain will keep you on your toes, and the ability to shoot almost everything in sight should satisfy the trigger happy players.  Slick top down graphics with much attention to detail make this tale of the Old West worth taking a look at.

Black Water Brisk Mobile Inc, Black Water – $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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