This week’s roundup proved to be challenging because there were a lot of interesting looking games that didn’t have a lot of available information about them. While I haven’t spent too much time with any of these titles yet, I’m leaning towards Super Bunny Breakout as my pick of the week so far. This reimagining of the brick breaker genre is everything Breakout: Boost wasn’t – creative, inventive and most of all fun. If you’ve ever wished courtroom games had as much action as courtroom TV dramas, Devil’s Attorney has the cure for that. This game takes more of an RPG approach to legal antics, and when you throw in Boston Legal style humor there’s bound to be a winning combination. If you like the quirky angle but aren’t much for the courtroom you should consider Kumo Lumo. This is actually a fairly relaxing game with cute villains, slick artwork and a “save the planet” vibe that doesn’t grate on you.
E.T. The Green Planet – I don’t know how many of you remember the old E.T. game for the Atari 2600, but I certainly do. In fact, I think there are some theories that the game proved to be the downfall of one era of console gaming, or at least the death of Atari. At any rate, here we are 30 years later and Chillingo has released a new E.T. game for the iOS platform. This time your task is to help E.T. save his home, the Green Planet. In order to do this you’ll need to grow all kinds of plants and cross-breed to create new species and help the planet’s ecosystem thrive. And of course in typical social game fashion you’ll be able to visit your friends’ gardens and interact with them via Facebook and Twitter. Of course you’re still bad with the communication devices it seems, as you’ll need to gather pieces of equipment in order to get in contact with Earth. At least you’re not trying to phone home this time.
Chillingo, E.T. The Green Planet – Free
Topia World Builder – Crescent Moon Games has a knack for bringing great products to the iOS market, so this one kind of puzzles me. I’m not saying it’s bad, because I haven’t tried it yet, but it doesn’t even really seem like a game at this point. Basically you use simple touch controls to terraform the land and create mountains, valleys, rivers and more geographical landmarks. You can also populate the planet with different types of animals and watch as nature takes its course. When you’re ready for a break, save your creation and come back later to edit it. For now, though, that’s about all you can do. It’s really more of a simulation than a game, and even at that the interaction seems rather limited. I’m just curious to see what Crescent Moon and the developer Glenn Corpes has planned for this in the future.
Crescent Moon Games, Topia World Builder – $0.99
Zombie Underground – It should be no secret by now that I love zombie games. Apparently so do a lot of other people, because not a week goes by where there aren’t several new undead adventures to be had on the App Store. Unfortunately a lot of them begin to feel alike after a while, so when I read about a game like this it piques my interest. In Zombie Underground you are actually a victim of the latest zombie outbreak, but as luck would have it life seems to be continuing on. Now you have to fight with the rest of the undead to make sure you don’t miss your morning commute. Find whatever you can to beat back the crowd, from baseball bats to your trusted tablet computer. Boss levels include the frightful “football match day”, where you’ll have to contend with all the crazed fans trying to get to their favorite game. Future updates will include new environments and different types of zombies to contend with. There are also plans for adding the ability to earn real life rewards from playing the game.
Concrete Playground, Zombie Underground – $0.99
Super Bunny Breakout – While brick breaking games still don’t get me overly excited, I was actually looking forward to the release of Breakout: Boost. Sadly, to me it didn’t deliver compared to some of the other brick breakers that I had been playing for months before Boost came out. I don’t know if Zynga had any influence on Atari’s latest iteration of the classic arcade game, but whoever came up with this version deserves a pat on the back. The traditional boring level design has been replaced by some cool layouts that give a fresh feel to the game. The fact that you actually have a mission involving rescuing captured animals is pretty nifty as well. There are five different critters to unlock and use each with their own special ability. And when you want to take a break from busting some objects (since there aren’t really bricks in this game) you can decorate your treehouse or play with any of the unlocked creatures in a Tamagotchi style interface. I’m not sure how much of this is really more gimmick than anything else, but the overall package adds a breath of fresh air to a genre that has been pretty stagnant for the most part lately.
Zynga, Super Bunny Breakout™ – $0.99
Block Story – If you build it they will come, right? That was the premise behind Minecraft, and I think I’m safe in saying that it has become one of the biggest indie PC game hits of all time. I’ve always liked the graphical look of the block building games, but the actual game play – or lack thereof – hasn’t really appealed to me. Block Story might just fix that as it takes the open ended construction facility of a game like Minecraft and adds role playing elements to the mix. In addition to building up the world around you there are 25 quests to complete. You’ll fight monsters, get cool equipment like the ring called “My Precious”, and get the chance to level up your character. You’ll even get to drive vehicles to make trips across the open ended world easier. Expect frequent updates to add new content as well. If you’ve not yet made the leap into the world of block building, maybe Block Story can be your gateway.
Mind Blocks, Block Story – $4.99
Kumo Lumo – More often than not challenging and relaxing are mutually exclusive when it comes to game play, but from the little bit I’ve played so far I think Kumo Lumo might have struck a good balance between the two. You control a cloud that must help a planet from dying out due to annoying but cute alien invaders. You’ll spin the world in order to find the areas that are in trouble and then use your mastery of the elements to rain on the bad guys’ parade. It certainly doesn’t hurt the forests when you unleash a little water either. You’ll also get to toy around with lightening later on in the game. The game has a three star rating system for each level, but you don’t need all three to progress to the next level. The lack of a timer means you can enjoy the game at your own pace as well. The visuals have a sticker book quality about them, and there’s something Barry White-ish about the cloud’s voice. Overall this looks to be a fun casual game that will appeal to a wide variety of players and is actually safe for the young ones.
Chillingo, Kumo Lumo – Free
Crazy Taxi – Crazy Taxi is a game that I really wanted to play the first time around but never got the chance to. Now SEGA has been kind enough to bring it to the iOS platform for us, and unlike many of their offerings it sounds like this one might have been tailored to the OS instead of just slapped into an emulator. Crazy Taxi is all about getting the fares, whether that means jumping off the top level of a parking garage or taking the scenic route via some aquatic venues. The game has clearly been designed for mobile play as rounds are limited to 3, 5 or 10 minutes. Should you actually want to take a break from the core game play there are 16 mini-games to test your mettle as well. Choose to play with either tilt or touch controls depending on your preference, and then pick your favorite device since the game comes in a universal binary. The graphics have been shined up for retina displays, and you can either listen to your own music or enjoy the soundtrack that contains original music from Offspring and Bad Religion. If you’re like me you might not have gotten to experience the original, but this version could actually be better.
SEGA, Crazy Taxi – $4.99
Lotsa Blocks – I was beginning to think block stacking games were becoming a “seen one, seen ‘em all” genre, but Lotsa Blocks has changed my opinion for the moment. The initial single player mode is a series of levels designed to acquaint you with all the particulars of the game and then test your skills with everything you’re given. This is also more of a puzzle mode as you get time to actually position and rotate the pieces to achieve the “perfect” stack. There is also a freefall mode where you simply tilt the device to position the blocks for as long as you can and an endless mode that’s, well, endless. Additionally there are three multiplayer modes that give you the chance to work with or against other players in building block towers. The game plays well in portrait and landscape mode, it’s universal and it supports iCloud, so you can enjoy it in whatever presentation you like and between all the devices you own. Game Center not only facilitates the multiplayer modes but it also provides leaderboards and 62 achievements.
Backabit, Lotsa Blocks – $0.99
Devil’s Attorney – If you’re looking for a way to channel your inner Perry Mason, this is definitely not it. However, if you like the idea of courtroom drama type games but desire a bit more action in your entertainment, Devil’s Attorney might just prove the odd combination that you’re looking for. Prepare to defend the scum of the earth, those that you know are guilty but apparently deserve a fair trial anyway. You’ll use your legal skills like attacks in an RPG, whittling down your opponents’ “health” until you’ve expertly “argued” your case. In between clients you’ll have the opportunity to build up your bachelor’s pad, which seems a bit odd for a legal game until you realize that buying all kinds of fancy stuff actually boosts things like vanity which in turn helps you get better case winning skills. The game is delightfully tongue-in-cheek, and does a great job of capturing 80’s TV flair. I’m not sure how Phoenix Wright type players will take to this game, but then I’m not really sure it was designed for them in the first place. Personally, I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with it.
1337 Game Design AB, Devil’s Attorney – $2.99
Death Dome – Apparently the Infinity Blade mechanic has become the new match 3 gimmick, because it seems like there are similar games cropping up all the time now. Death Dome is once such game, and while there doesn’t seem to be much of a plot, what does exits has shades of Resident Evil to it, among other post-virus type scenarios. The “M” virus has killed most and mutated the rest, and now it’s even learned to exist without a host. Somehow you’ve managed to not only survive but learn to use the virus to take out the “bad” strains. Instead of wandering through lush landscapes like Horn or Infinity Blade you basically shuffle from location to location via an overhead map, and even browsing within an area is limited. This is basically stripped down to the combat aspect of these games, and while that might eventually prove boring so far it’s been rather entertaining. It also gets a bit gruesome (think Mortal Kombat), so I wouldn’t advise playing this around the little ones. I’m not sure how much longevity this title has in it, but you can’t beat the price tag and a like the grim, non-fantasy atmosphere, so it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Griptonite Games Inc., Death Dome – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Blyts, Greedy Spiders 2 – $0.99
- Blyts, Greedy Spiders 2 HD – $1.99
- Bulkypix, Space Disorder – Free
- GAMEVIL, Zombie Gunner - Free
- Bulkypix, Reversion – The Escape – $2.99
- Electronic Arts, MONOPOLY Millionaire - $2.99
- 11 bit studios, Funky Smugglers – $0.99
- Hope This Works Games, Polara – $0.99
- Spiderweb Software, Avernum 6 HD – $6.99
- [adult swim], Girls Like Robots – $0.99
- Adik Pintar Enterprise, Zombie Rescue 3D – Free
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:
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [October 1 - 7]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [September 24 - 30]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [September 17 - 23]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [September 10 - 16]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [September 2 - 9]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [August 27 - September 2]