10 New App Store Games To Watch [March 25 – 31]
As always I’ve tried to bring you a diverse list of games this week, though looking back through the titles it seems a decent portion of them have some sort of RPG elements in them. For those looking for a basic brawler with some attitude, you might give WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse a try. The premise is silly and the dialog does get repetitive before long, but the fact that the game doesn’t take itself seriously actually makes it palatable to play. If you prefer your action with a little more of a western tilt then Gamevil has Lost Memory for your perusal. The game offers both sword slashing and gun slinging combat action, as well as a “am I the good guy or bad guy” storyline. Maybe you want your combat to be a little more tribal instead? Tribe Survival is an interesting alternative that’s not quite like anything else I’ve played on the App Store.
Nimble Quest – If there’s one thing you can count on with Nimble Bit it’s that they don’t rehash the same games over and over again. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever played a game quite like this one before. It’s a role playing game, but it borrows its game mechanics from the classic snake game (or whatever the original version of that one is called). Basically you move your warriors around single file like a snake, being sure not to hit anything that comes in your way, whether it be other creatures, walls or the tail of your own party! As you progress through the levels you’ll unlock new heroes to add to your party, so eventually you can have up to 15 fighters at once. You’ll also collect gems that can be used to upgrade power ups and also raise the skills of your heroes. There are tokens that let you buy “buffs” at the beginning of a level as well, but so far I haven’t seen any way to actually earn those, so additional tokens are going to cost you some IAP. Once you get far enough you’ll open up an Arena mode, and there are even time limited guild quests that you can participate in with other players. I’ve never been a huge fan of the snake game genre, but Nimble Quest does a decent job of making the concept interesting.
NimbleBit, Nimble Quest – Free
Lost Memory. – Gamevil was pretty busy this week, and so far this is the game out of the three they’ve released that looks the most interesting. You play a gunslinger in what looks like a fantasy / western world, except you don’t recall who you are. That doesn’t matter, though, as you’ll need to fight first and ask questions later both by tapping to use your gun and slashing to use whatever melee weapon you have available. The action is fast and furious, and the third person view combined with dynamic camera angles should hopefully guarantee that you don’t miss a single blow that’s coming at you. The thing is, as you unravel the clues of the simple town of Bullsvil you might find out that you’re the citizens’ savior – or that you’re the one that caused all their turmoil in the first place. Personally, I think it would be cool if there were a way to experience the game from both perspectives, but we probably won’t get that lucky. I’m not familiar with all of Gamevil’s releases but I’m pretty sure this is new territory for them, and it sounds like they’re entering into the realm of Gameloft. I for one hope this ends up being some pretty solid competition for similar offerings from other developers.
GAMEVIL, Lost Memory. – $0.99
Lie Swatter – From the folks that brought us one of the most irreverent trivia games ever comes a game that’s not quite so irreverent. In fact, this is a rather simple trivia game in comparison. You pick a topic and are presented with seven statements regarding that topic. You must “swat” all the ones that are lies but leave the truths alone. Uncovering multiple lies in a row gives you bonus points, but accidentally swatting all the truths ends the round for you without awarding you any points for remaining lies. The game must be played online and takes the format of the “buddies” line of games where you have three rounds each for you and your opponent. I’m assuming the total of the three rounds determines who the winner is. There are two types of helpers you can use, one of which tells you how many truths are left and the other which doubles the points earned (or taken away) after your next swat. Lie Swatter is a pretty basic entry in the trivia genre, but it is amusing and you learn some interesting facts about the topics that are available.
Jellyvision Games, Lie Swatter – Free
Secret Castle – This game has quite a bit going for it. You play a boy that has moved with your mom into a house that your aunt is letting you use. The house seems a bit creepy to you, but it has allowed you to start dreaming again. The question, however, is if the stuff you are dreaming about is really a dream or another reality? The cut scenes are like panels from comic books, and the room images themselves are some weird combination of 2D and 3D. It almost feels like a diorama that you might put together for a school project. You actually have to tilt the device to change your viewpoint so that you can see certain objects that are hidden by other items. Where this gets kind of tricky is that some objects are split in half, and you have to line them up just right in order to be able to select the whole object. I like the idea conceptually, but I think the controls could use a bit of work. Still, if you like hidden object games, this certainly feels different than what you are going to get from the likes of Big Fish Games or G5. You can also try the first couple of rooms for free to see if you like how it handles or not.
Platronic Games, Secret Castle – Free
Dungeon Hearts – I was expecting this to be another one of those games where you have a match 3 board at the bottom and watch your characters do battle at the top when you make matches. Instead the game feels a bit more like Guitar Hero where you have 4 streams of icons coming at you. In this game you can actually move the tokens between rows, however, so you can set up your own matches and combos. You can even destroy your opponents’ icons so they can’t attack you. You have to pay close attention to the whole board, though, because while you’re busy planning something in one area an icon might escape your notice somewhere else that can do you harm. You’ll level up as you fight the monsters, and you’ll also have the chance after each battle to run through a field of skill icons to make as many matches as you can and level up your character even further. There are four different heroes to upgrade, and thanks to a random encounter system you can take the journey multiple times without feeling like you’re playing the same game over and over again. If you enjoy match 3 RPG hybrids but have been waiting for something with a different feel game pay wise, wait no more.
Devolver Digital, Dungeon Hearts – $2.99
Magicka – Sadly the name doesn’t reflect its subtitle, but you can already tell there’s going to be a sense of humor here when you see the phrase “Wizards Of The Square Tablet”. This game takes place before the PC version, but you still get to control a wizard and basically run around bashing creatures with magic (or I suppose with the staff itself if you get close enough). You can create your own spells, unlock robes, staffs and familiars, and discover powers that are unique to the iOS platform. You can play single player, but there’s also a four player co-op mode that can be played cross-platform. It seems in this mode that you are encouraged to “accidentally” scorch your friends, which could prove for some interesting combat scenarios. I’m not sure what kind of replay value this game is going to have, but the ability to concoct your own spells should keep you occupied for quite some time as you experiment to determine the best way to fry each enemy that crosses your path.
Paradox Interactive, Magicka – $1.99
WWE Presents: Rockpocalpyse – As far as I’m concerned, the only decent thing to come out of the WWE is The Rock. Still, this game has every right to be stupid. It’s a third person action game along the lines of Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, which itself was disappointing because it wasn’t even an attempt to recreate the awesomeness of the Xbox game. The premise of Rockpocalpyse is that a mysterious pathogen has infected everyone on the lot where The Rock is shooting his latest film and made them want to attack him. So cliché and not really desirable for yet another generic third person action game. Yet somehow the game actually manages to be entertaining, which I think rests solely in the fact that the game does not take itself seriously at all. As you progress through the game you’ll find clues as to what is going on, and while you’re hopefully mopping up the floor with your opponents there will be random crazy statements from the man himself. Victorious fights earn you cash so you can buy new equipment, while your current duds get upgraded simply by using them. This game certainly won’t win any awards for innovation, but if you’ve ever had the desire to smash heads as the wrestler / actor / superstar Dwayne Johnson, here’s your chance.
World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse – Free
Escape The Zoo – I’m not suggesting that Lemmings wasn’t cute in a “blow ‘em all up” sort of way, but if you wanted a more kid friendly version of that game, this is kind of what I’d expect. You’re job is to help all the poor animals escape their confines, and you’ll have to use all the tools at your disposal to accomplish the task. Unlike lemmings where it was the actual creatures that did the work, in Escape The Zoo they just sort of wander aimlessly around the screen. You have objects like cannons, trampolines, fences and more that you can place around the level in order to help the creatures get to the exit. Initially all of the objects are movable once you’ve placed them, and this is actually crucial in some cases as you might need to place an object to get a star and the move it so that the animals can get where they really need to go. Later on you’ll have to activate and deactivate objects at just the right time as well. There are three stars per level, though I’m not sure they mean much other than giving you something to earn. Adults might find the game a bit too easy, but it’s still enjoyable and it’s certainly a great way to spend time with your kids.
Cybernate, Escape The Zoo – Free
Tribe Survival – This is a rather interesting little game. Despite being called “tribe” survival you’re really only in control of one character, and it’s your job to make him or her the best tribal warrior in the world. You start by choosing from a slim selection of variations to customize your avatar and then enter the main screen where you can train, manage things like your totem and rune collection, or take on both real players and the “hit list”. Training is a simple matter of rolling some dice to see if the match certain numbers that have been laid out for you – the more matches you make, the better you train. Combat is interesting as well because you select a player to fight against, but then you control both characters during combat. This doesn’t mean you can cheat, though, because all you do is tap to stop their die from rolling. You have quests to complete like you see in many of the casual games today and a list of predefined villains called the “hit list” to make your way through. Tribe Survival actually has quite a bit to offer, and you’re not going to be able to accuse it of being “just like any other game”.
Eduardas Klenauskis, Tribe Survival – Free
Knight Storm – Now is the chance to prove that you can be the mightiest knight in the kingdom. Strap on your armor, pick up your lance and shield and joust your way into the hearts of the people across the land. If that sounds a bit mundane, though, don’t worry – you’ll be able to don your sword and take out evil creatures in a more satisfying manor. Upgrade your castle to produce the best stronghold in the kingdom, and give yourself the opportunity to develop better weapons and armor. You’ll be able to go on quests where you engage in real time combat and play mini-games to discover treasure and hopefully avoid traps. As you win at combat and jousting you’ll earn XP, and when you level up you’ll get all kinds of nifty bonuses. You’ll also get and be able to enhance items called sigils which give you certain benefits in jousting depending on who you are fighting against. There’s a pretty solid single player campaign here, but you can also take your jousting talents online to compete with players around the world.
505 Games, Knight Storm – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- SQUARE ENIX, FINAL FANTASY V – $15.99
- Microsoft Corporation, Ms. Splosion Man – $2.99
- Glu Games Inc., Frontline Commando: D-Day – Free
- Lamplighter Games, Garfield’s Trivia Party – Free
- Chillingo Ltd, Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops – $0.99
- Zach Hintze, Angry Bards – $0.99
- Bulkypix, Runaway: A Twist of Fate – Part 1 – $4.99
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: