Wow, what a crazy week! There were a lot of interesting looking releases, and it was hard choosing just 10. Honey Tribe Studios released a new puzzle game called Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians. Whereas their last release was quite cerebral and somewhat dark in tone, Yam Yam is action oriented and good for the whole family. Crescent Moon Games released their latest offering in the form of Dig!, a Qix clone involving a washed up archeologist and a mummy named Nigel. Cool graphics, a good sense of humor and magical hats makes this a variant worth digging into. If you’re not completely sick of infinite running games yet, you’ll definitely want to give Running with Friends a try. No bull about it, this competitive runner could breathe new life into the genre for those that have given up on such games.
Running with Friends – Never let it be said that I’d willingly run just for the sake of it, but I’ve decided to make an exception in this case. I was worried that this would be just like every other infinite runner out there, and as you might expect me to say next, in many ways it is. Still, the idea that you compete against others in matches where you each get to run three rounds to see who gets the highest score is enough of a “nice touch” to make the game feel different. The whole atmosphere feels different as you’re running amongst other runners and the bulls themselves. I’m not sure if the other runners actually represent people playing the game or not, but it’s still quite cool. It’s also need to have an audience on the sidelines cheering you on. There are also tiles to collect to spell words for bonuses, secret paths to take that I presume give you something good if you don’t die, and bonuses that include the ability to temporarily ride a bull and do some damage. So yeah, this is still an infinite runner at heart, but it does enough things just right so that it makes it worth playing despite all the time you’ve spent with some of the best.
Tasty Tadpoles – This is a cute little game where you get to lead your tadpole to safety while hopefully collecting some stars along the way. All you have to do is tap and your tadpole will follow, but you have to be careful because along the way the other critters in the pond will try and gobble him up. Some will just swim in patterns and wait for you to get close, but others will aggressively follow if you wander in their sphere of influence. To help out you can knock bugs towards the enemy tadpoles to keep them occupied or grab a shield to wander past unharmed for a limited amount of time. There are currently three ponds, each with 20 regular levels and 5 bonus levels that require you to do something special to unlock them. You must complete a level to unlock the next, but you only need a certain number of stars to unlock each successive pond, so you can somewhat play out of order. If the regular mode seems a bit too easy you can try puzzle mode, where you only get a certain number of taps to complete each level. Either way this is a nice causal game that you can share with your family or enjoy on your own.
Mark White, Tasty Tadpoles – $0.99
Pygmy Run – This is a silly game. Your job is to protect a totem from a bunch of pygmies by dropping stalactites on their heads. Generally speaking, the bigger they are the more points it takes to kill them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are harder to kill, though, as so far the biggest pygmy is easy to get rid of because he is slow, while the smallest darts through the cave so quickly he’s extremely difficult to stop. Thankfully you’ll be able to buy upgrades by spending the bones that get left behind when you nail a pygmy. Updates include random mystic powers, stalactites that leave fire for the pygmies to walk through, and lots of other fun power ups. After you’ve bested story mode you can tackle survival mode to see how many waves of pygmies you can fend off before the gig is up. Throw in some stylish silhouette artwork and a narrator that loves to get sarcastic and you have the perfect game to play while you’re waiting in line at the supermarket or wherever you might stand in line.
Burletech, Pygmy Run – Free
XnO – Maybe it’s the parent in me, but I seem to find myself attracted to cute games. XnO definitely falls into that category. You play a turtle and penguin that are trying to save their friends which have been captured and locked in cages. In order to free them you must knock off all the objects on top of the cages, which basically amounts to playing the milk bottle game you can find at most respectable carnivals. The game starts off easy but make no mistake – the “cute” outer layer hides a rather challenging game on the deeper levels. You’ll eventually get objects that move in front of your targets, and then you’ll get cannons that fire at you. The game is 3D which makes setting the trajectory a challenge, and you can even hit yourself with your own projectiles if you aren’t careful. Unfortunately there are only 5 levels with the free version, but they do a pretty good job of showing you what you’ll be in store for (hint, they aren’t just the first five levels of the game). Game Center achievements round out the package to provide a fun gaming experience that’s appropriate for anyone.
Digital Eclairs LLC, XnO – Free
Bad Nerd vs Zombies – As a self proclaimed nerd I take offense to all this… ah, who am I kidding? I got over being made fun of a long time ago, and frankly I find it pretty amusing that they choose a nerd to be the savior of the day since it’s a “weird guy like him” that starts the trouble in the first place. The whole game has a pretty decent sense of humor, given that you have to collect zombie drool in order to ultimately win the game. There are 150 missions to complete, and while the majority of them are simple “collect this” or “kill that” type affairs, that still gives you plenty to do. Just in case you don’t think that’s enough, however, there is a multiplayer arena where you can go duke it out with nerds around the world. The game is a bit rough around the edges: it’s often hard to figure out where to go, even with red exclamations on the map, and turning about is slow enough that the bad guys can get some licks in before you know what hits you. Still, for a free offering with one of the features being “continually growing game”, it’s hard to pass this one up if you’re a zombie fan.
I Hway Yu, Bad Nerd vs Zombies – Free
Dig! – The game of Qix provides an interesting concept, but frankly I’ve never been a big fan of the original. Over time certain variations of the theme have caught my interest, however, and it doesn’t come as much surprise that Crescent Moon Games would be one company to publish a version that I’d take an interest in. Dig puts you in the shoes of a ho-hum archeologist that must recover artifacts for a failing museum. This offers a decent premise behind a game whose mechanics revolve around sectioning off as much of each playing field as you can – the minimum goal for each level is 75%. Of course optimally you’ll want to clear the areas that have artifacts buried in them which not only keeps the museum happy but earns you coins so that you can buy gadgets and hats. Hats offer you abilities to ward off the bad guys that include Nigel the ever present mummy and a host of other entertaining characters. The visuals are great (no surprise there), the music is upbeat and there’s a decent sense of humor to be unearthed.
Crescent Moon Games, Dig! – $2.99
World 1-1 – There were a lot of interesting games to choose from this week, so sometimes I feel like you might question some of my choices. In addition to bringing you a list of fun games, one of my other goals is to let you know about games that might generally get passed by not only by players but by reviewers as well. I believe that World 1-1 is one such game. You are a pizza delivery boy who believes the pizza must be delivered, regardless of the fact that aliens are invading the Earth. This game is like a cross between an endless runner and Super Mario Brothers. You’ll run and jump to avoid obstacles and collect as many slices of pizza as you can. Better yet, earn extra money by actually getting the pizzas to a house for some extra tips. Along the way you’ll get power ups that give you things like a shield, jetpack or helicopter hat. You’ll also be able to jump on the heads of aliens and bash bricks with your head. This is a great tribute to 80s platformers with enough modern conveniences to feel right on your mobile device.
Headlight Software, Inc., WORLD 1-1 – Free
Crazy Monster Bowling – After playing my first game of five rounds, I felt like this was one of the worst bowling games I’d played on my iPad. After having spent some more time with it, I still feel that way. However, if you look at it from the perspective of an action game where you roll through a course with the end result coincidentally being that you have to knock down a bunch of monsters standing around in a pin-like formation, it gets to be a lot more entertaining. I know that probably seems really odd, but it worked for me. What I do like is the creative “lane” design. You’ll have to dodge bombs, avoid monsters that are rolling various things across your path, and sometimes tread narrow pathways or even jump across gaps to get to your final destination. There are a total of eight courses, all of which must be unlocked except the first. There are also a number of different monsters to choose from, all of which have to be unlocked as well. You can play hot-seat multiplayer if you buy that option via IAP, or you can just cut to the chase and buy the pro version of the game which gives you multiplayer, no ads and 10,000 coins to start, which should be enough to unlock all of the courses from the beginning.
Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians – Yam is a weird little creature that likes to throw fruit. Yam is a friendly elephant that Yam can ride. Together, the two Yams must help rebuild the forest paths so the leaf creatures can get home before the dark one attacks the village. No, I’m not having some post-mushroom induced hallucinations. This is the new puzzle game from Honey Tribe Studios, and it’s actually quite fun. You are armed with various colored fruit, and you must throw them at the platforms to change the color of certain spots to match the rest of the platform. It won’t be easy, as there are often barriers that force you to lob the fruit over the top instead of hitting the platforms from down below. There are also flowers to collect, but you have to get them all in one shot in order for them to count. You can speed up your elephant to get through the level quicker and to earn bonus points, and there are also power ups that you can pick up to help your quest. The game offers Game Center achievements and leaderboards, and yes, this once again is a very family friendly game. I will say that young ones might find the mechanics a bit hard to master, though (I know I do).
shazad yousaf, Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians – $0.99
Cute Heroes – I think the name is a bit of an understatement. This has to be one of the most cuddly castle defense games I’ve ever played. Even the grim reaper is cute as he drops down on a string to haul away troops whose time has passed. This is one of those games where you keep sending troops towards your enemy’s castle at the other side of the screen while defending your own castle on the off chance that some bad guys sneak through your offensive lines. There are 12 unit types that can be acquired and upgraded, and you’ll also learn skills that you can use to directly influence the tide of battle. The single player game offers 100 different levels that you can play at 3 difficulty settings, so there is plenty of solo action to be had if you’re up to it. When you’re done with all that and have built up your troops and general you can go online and take on a real opponent to see how skilled you really are. This game doesn’t really evolve or reinvent the genre, though I’m not sure there are too many of this style that offer both solo and multiplayer, but it certainly does cute-ify it to a new level.
Alawar Entertainment, Inc, Cute Heroes – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Kiz Studios, Chuck the Muck – Free
- 2K Games, Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol – Free
- Monkey Byte Development, LLC., BeeLine – Free
- Dotomchi, Rebirth of Fortune 2 – $0.99
- Sergii Orlov, Sir Octopus – Free
- HeroCraft Ltd., Wordshift Academy: word puzzle – Free
- Oddy Arts, SOL:Stone Of Life – Free
- Gameloft, Blitz Brigade – Online multiplayer shooting action! – Free
- Jelly.k Studio, 3D City Run 2 – Free
- Fire Hose Games, Go Home Dinosaurs – $4.99
- Brandon Kleinert, The Oodles – $0.99
- Kevin Ng, IMPOSSIBLE ROAD – $1.99
- SMS Services O.o.o., Mushroom Wars Mini – Free
- Kotobuki Solution Co., Ltd., RPG End of Aspiration – $2.99
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: