10 New App Store Games To Watch [Janurary 21 - 27]

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If you know who you’re going to call, raise your hand.  That’s right, the Ghostbusters are back for their third adventure on iOS devices, and this time around the story actually unfolds based off of events from the first film in the franchise.  The plus side is that the game has a lot of potential, but on the other hand it could turn into a grinding IAP fest.  Speaking of grinding fests, if you’re a Diablo fan Dungeon Lore could be of interest to you.  This quest based crawler offers class-less leveling, plenty to do and elementals to fight at your side.  The real question is how turn based combat will affect the flow of the game.  If you want a game you know will always be full of energy, check out Cracking Sands from Polarbit.  This title is their attempt at a Mario Kart style game, and from everything I’ve seen so far it might just make iOS gamers go “Mario who?”

monday-roundup-01282013-dungeon-lore

Dungeon Lore – There have been a number of games that have made the “Diablo-like” claim, and so far this looks like one of the closest to me.  Progression is quest based, with a character system that lets you level up what skills you want independent of any class, much like the Gas Powered Games technique.  It sounds like you can spend many hours on one play through, because the loot is randomized and monsters get tougher as you level up, making it possible for you to revisit old locations without getting bored.  There are no grids but the combat is still turn based, which I find rather interesting.  There is also a “unique looting system” (whatever that means) and 90 achievements to earn.  And for those that believe in teamwork you can summon 1 of 4 elementals to fight by your side.  All told Dungeon Lore sounds just like the iOS adventure that Diablo fans have been craving.

Dungeon Lore 3D ATTACK INTERACTIVE, Dungeon Lore – $1.99

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Streetfood Tycoon: World Tour – I love food based time management games anyway, but there was something about the original Streetfood Tycoon that kept me playing until I actually got all the upgrades, something I’ve rarely done in such games.  Now the sequel is out, and I’m almost afraid to touch it because I do have other games I need to play as well!  From the screen shots it appears that the gameplay is roughly the same, which means veterans should jump in with fingers flying.  As the name implies, however, this time around you’ll get to tour the world, which means you get to sell completely different sets of products throughout the game.  You even get to serve refreshments this go round, and you’ll also have multiple clients at once, which I don’t believe existed in the first outing.  There are celebrity customers to unlock, more than 20 achievements to earn, and leaderboards so you can compete against your fellow vendors.  The best part is that it’s free and you can actually play the whole game without shelling out any money for IAP.  If you like the game, though, I’d encourage you to help support this developer.

Streetfood Tycoon: World Tour Kuyi Mobile, Streetfood Tycoon: World Tour – Free

monday-roundup-01282013-rescue-rush

Rescue Rush – Sure this is basically a pac-man clone, but you get to play an adorable little cat that becomes the victim of a malfunctioning shrink ray and grows really big.  You must free your fellow animals and defeat the evil scientists that would run tests on you.  The graphics are colorful and cute so they’ll definitely appeal to the kids, as will the game play.  Of course seasoned gamers might just enjoy it as well when nostalgia kicks in.  There are more than 100 different animal species for you to discover and rescue, but in order to do so you’ll need to travel the world.  Thanks to the internet you can do this from your home, so don’t run out and buy a bunch of plane tickets.  You’ll start local, as the game uses your current location to generate the initial set of maps.  Soon you’ll unlock portals that will take you from New York to France and beyond.  Complete objectives, earn achievements and discover Easter eggs to make the hunt more exciting.  This is really one of the first location based games I’ve tried out, and I was impressed with how well it generated the maps.  Of course it also created for some deadly situations based on where they started me, but I guess you can’t win them all.

Rescue Rush Red Robot Labs Inc., Rescue Rush – Free

monday-roundup-01282013-blade-lords

Blade Lords – I’m not a huge fan of fighting games, but so far I’m really enjoying this one.  The game is comprised of Story, Arena and Portal modes, and thankfully unlike another recent fighting game I mentioned that had extraordinarily lengthy story sequences this story mode is quite manageable.  You start off with one character and unlock 3 others along the way, any of which can be built up both through story mode and Arena mode.  The Portal mode allows you to play two fights a day, even with characters that are currently locked for you.  Each character has its own set of skills and also has unique equipment to tailor the experience just as you’d like.  The controls are pretty simple and even with my limited capabilities towards this type of game I’ve been able to pull off a few combo moves.  The game also looks really sharp, though you’re pretty limited with your choices hardware wise if you don’t have an iPad.  The game supports iCloud for saving, so if you do have multiple supported devices you can play the same game on all of them.  The only thing that seems to be missing is a true multi-player mode.  There is an Infinity Tower mode that lets you compete on leaderboards, but I don’t see any true PvP dueling yet.

Blade Lords Playsoft, Blade Lords – Free

monday-roundup-01282013-cracking-sands

Cracking Sands – I was really hoping to get some hands on time with this one before doing this writeup, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.  However, with titles like Reckless Racing and Wave Blazer under their belt, you could certainly argue that Polarbit knows a thing or two about racing games.  The iTunes description isn’t very forthcoming, but we do know there are 6 different game play modes, including the always coveted mulit-player extravaganza that is almost mandatory for this style of game any more.  The important thing is that the main focus of this game seems to be wanton destruction, and they’ll give you the guns and missiles to prove it.  You’ll get to customize both your kart and driver, and hopefully find that one little thing that gives you an edge over the competition.  We’ll obviously never get Mario Kart on iOS devices, but if this is what we have to choose from instead I think we might just be better off.

Cracking Sands Polarbit, Cracking Sands – $4.99

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Might & Magic Clash Of Heroes – Few series have thrived as both RPGs and strategy games, but Might & Magic is one such phenomenon.  I remember playing the original adventure on my monochrome Apple II, and now you can play the latest installment in the iOS covered palm of your hand.  Clash Of Heroes falls more on the RPG side, though the battles are not only strategy based but employ a unique match 3 mechanic that must be experienced to truly be appreciated.  The game offers more than 20 hours of questing in campaign mode, and you can also play live against other players in 1 on 1 battles.  There are 10 heroes, 40 creatures and 50 artifacts to master.  You’ll be able to level up your heroes and units via XP earned through battles, and iCloud support makes sure you can carry those built up troops to any iOS device you’ve got.  I’m not sure this gives you the best idea of what Might & Magic is all about, but it certainly sounds like a great place to start.

Might & Magic Clash of Heroes Ubisoft, Might & Magic Clash of Heroes – $4.99

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Balloonatic – While I might have once described it as “girly”, I quite enjoyed Unicorn Rush.  Now Mind Juice Media brings us a new take on the match 3 genre with Balloonatic, and I have to say I got quite absorbed in the game the first time I played it.  There are three game play modes, four difficulty settings and three sets of balloons to choose from, including one that is friendly to color-blind players.  What makes this intriguing is that you can turn your device to affect gravity.  While it’s not a new concept to match 3 games, it’s implemented quite well here.  You can also swap a tile into an empty space and watch it float up until it collides with another tile, which I don’t think I have seen before.  The best part, though is when you activate the clown power which gives you a few seconds to rearrange any tiles you want.  This is a great way to build up large combos or make a match to get rid of that pesky gold tile you haven’t been able to clear.  Balloonatic is Game Center friendly and free, so now we just need a universal version.

Balloonatic Mind Juice Media, Balloonatic – $0.99

monday-roundup-01282013-tennis-in-the-face

Tennis in the Face – If you’ve not played 10 Tons’ physics game King Oddball yet than you really should, but if you have you’re familiar with the warped humor the folks at 10 Tons are capable of.  You can expect the same craziness from Tennis in the Face, where you control a former tennis champion that must defend his city from its own inhabitants who have been corrupted by an energy drink called Explodz.  Much like with King Oddball it’s hard to tell how accurate the physics are, but it sure is fun watching a tennis ball bounce around the screen wreaking havoc.  There are more than 100 levels to conquer, as well as bonus game modes to keep the action fresh and diversified.  Leaderboards let you compete against other “in the face”-ers, and while there are only 12 Game Center challenges they will provide you with a decent, well, challenge.  If you like wacky physics based games you’ll definitely want to check Tennis in the Face out, and when you’re done with it you wouldn’t do wrong to go back and play King Oddball.

Tennis in the Face 10tons Ltd, Tennis in the Face – $0.99

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Ghostbusters – The Ghostbusters franchise hasn’t exactly had a stellar turnout on iOS devices so far, and honestly I’m not really thrilled that its third attempt came in the form of an IAP driven, level grinding affair.  Still, I’ve always loved the property and from what little I’ve played so far this is definitely the best use of the iconic ghost catchers to date on my Apple devices.  You’ll have the chance to use up to four team members at a time from folks that you recruit and level up via on the job training.  You also get to research the ghosts you capture and blueprints you find in order to learn how to defeat the bad guys more efficiently and build the tools to do it with.  To its credit, the game actually plays off of the events at the beginning of the original Ghostbusters movie, so fans from way back will feel a connection to the source material they know and love.  The graphics are pretty cool, there’s a decent effort at emulating the humor that made the franchise work in the first place, and there’s definitely a lot of potential.  Just be prepared to play in small doses and wait for your energy to refresh or buy resources through IAP to keep the game flowing at a steady pace.

Ghostbusters Beeline Interactive, Inc., Ghostbusters – Free

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Strivia – I don’t mention trivia games here very much because frankly I don’t play them all that often.  This one caught my eye, however, and other than the fact that I’m not very good at it I’m actually really enjoying it.  The board almost looks like a strategy game, but each cell you tap presents you with a trivia question.  Get it right to move forward, get it wrong and you lose that cell and a couple of adjoining ones.  Can you master the board before it masters you?  Special cells give you bonuses and present traps, and if you run out of cells to move to you’ll have to start the board over.  There are 1800 questions to answer and 99 achievements to earn, so you should be busy for quite a while.  The game is free to play, but each board cost 10 gems every time you play it, so once you run out of gems you might just have to pony up some IAP to stay in the game.  There are Game Center leaderboards to compete against others, but hopefully a future update will provide true multi-player competition.

Strivia Big Bolt Games, Strivia – 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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