Well, I broke my “report on the little guys” mantra this week by bringing you the low down on what was probably the two biggest releases of the week, but it couldn’t be helped. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic has been around for a while, and from what I gather it’s not only a top notch RPG, but it’s one of the best outings the Star Wars IP has to offer in terms of video games. You start as an agent of the republic, but where you end up is full dependent on what you want to get out of the game. If you prefer fantasy to sci-fi I hear that Warhammer Quest is a pretty cool option. It looks like a beefed up board game, has the advantages of an electronic game system, and you’ll never loose any pieces. Finally, one I didn’t mention elsewhere in this article was World War Z. Sure it could be just another zombie shooter, but given Phosphor Games’ track record I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, I’m eager to see how the handle their first free roaming first person game.
SlamBots – With titles like Linkoidz, Velocispider and Duckers under the belts, Retro Dreamer has proven that they grasp the concept of old school casual games. SlamBots continues that fine tradition with a game that feels like a slightly twisted version of the classic Joust. Your job is to defeat as many enemies as possible by bouncing on their heads. The first shot only knocks them down, however, and you must bop them again before they sprout wings and get meaner than before. As you progress through the game they’ll start to get sneaky on you by doing things like donning helmets, and you also have to beware because hitting them from below spells instant death. Grab power ups, bounce from bad guy to bad guy in order to build up your multiplier, and soar high in the sky to collect a wealth of coins. You can spend the coins upgrading power ups, buying new arenas or recruiting different characters to play with. You can even get everyone’s favorite velocispider. This game is simple and addictive the way any casual game should be, and it doesn’t disappoint in the pixel art or chip tune music either.
Retro Dreamer, SlamBots – $1.99
Sorcerer’s Odyssey – I’ve been struggling with whether to include this one or not. It’s a dungeon crawling, gem matching affair that honestly doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles of its contemporaries. Despite that, I find myself going back to play again and again. I like the fact that you can make matches with gems that are still falling into place. The game also has an interesting way of handling how the bad guys attack. Instead of directly assaulting you they will infect gems on the field, and unless you either clear the gems through a match or kill the monster before the timer runs out you’ll get hit. You’ll earn money from each run through, but basically this gives you the ability to buy up to three boosts to take with you on a single run. It would be nice to see some permanent enhancements available for sale. Also, a few more RPG like features might be nice to see in the mix. As it stands now this is a fairly basic yet still entertaining gem matching combat game that will at least appease those who don’t object to a decent mindless dungeon crawl every now and again. Those looking for a bit deeper of an experience might feel kind of disappointed, though.
Sony DADC US Inc., Sorcerer’s Odyssey – Free
Robo Jungle Rush – Sorry guys, but as long as I enjoy endless runners you get to hear about them, at least when I think they are worth hearing about. If I had to compare I’d say this is like Jetpack Joyride from a Temple Run perspective. One key difference is that instead of making you turn corners, swiping left and right shifts you between one of three planes that you can run on. You’ll need to do this quite often to avoid obstacles, but you need to beware because some obstructions span multiple planes, and there are times where not all three planes are present. Even within a particular plane you can tilt you device to move left and right which will also be necessary both to acquire coins and to dodge some obstacles that don’t block the entire plane. There’s even a little robot to chase that gives you a bonus spin at the end of the game for each time you catch it. And there are a couple different vehicles that you can pick up along the way that are both cool and act as an extra life. Plus there are all the typical power ups to collect and upgrade and different costumes to save up money for. All told this is a very nice addition to a massively overcrowded genre.
Fraktalia Studios, Robo Jungle Rush – Free
Warhammer Quest – Other than a brief brush with one of the computerized versions of the Space Hulk offshoot, I really have no experience in the Warhammer universe. From everything I’ve heard so far, though, this is definitely a worthy addition to the mythos. The game is a top down adventure from the folks that brought us the Hunters series of sci-fi strategy games, and this appears to use the same (though probably modified) top down engine to bring the Warhammer world to life. If you buy the expansion as well you’re enticed by more than 25 hours of game play where you’ll traipse through many dungeons with a combination of defined areas and randomly generated content. You start out with 4 characters in your party, and there are 3 others that you can buy via IAP, though there is no indication of whether or not you can pick up others via game play or not. There is a main quest to drive you through the game, as well as side quests that you can complete your first time through or pick up on another pass. Along with variable difficulty settings there’s plenty of replay value to be had here. The game supports iCloud and allows for 3 different saves so you can play on whatever device you have that supports the game and either be nice and share with your friends or start three different games at different difficulty settings. Whatever the case, if you like dungeon crawling and dig the board game style, you should get a lot of enjoyment from Warhammer Quest.
Rodeo Games, Warhammer Quest – $4.99
Muster My Monsters – This game is like rock-paper-scissors meets Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with the ability to have up to 4 players. My first concern with this game was the graphics, because as I mentioned in the last piece I’m not a big fan of top down visuals, at least when it comes to people and creatures and such. As it turns out, though, the images in this game are part of its charm. The characters have personality, and the taunt scenes are great. The game itself is fairly simple, as you only get to pick between attack, dodge and taunt. However, this game is all about timing, as you can switch your choice right before the buzzer if you’re quick enough. It gets even more challenging once you’ve got all four players going at it. And then you toss in the ringmaster that randomly throws out power ups and power downs to various players and you never know what is going to happen. You can play with up to 4 human or CPU players on the same device or with up to four opponents via WiFi using a central device as the arena and another unit for each of the players. While you can definitely play this on your own and enjoy it, there’s nothing quite like sitting around with three goofy friends slugging it out via electronic monsters.
Toni Sala, Muster my Monsters – Free
Café Murder – I’ve played my share of time management games, including many restaurant ones, and I’ve never played one quite like this before. On the surface it’s your typical time management game – take the order, make the sandwiches, serve the customers and get your money. There’s no waiting on the customer, though, as they’ll tell you what they want right when they come up to the counter. Making the sandwich is actually a bit of an arcade game as the chef flings the food to one of many squares in the kitchen floor and you have to suck it up and shoot it out to the correct sandwich before it hits the ground. Once a sandwich is complete you can suck it up and serve it to the customer. You also have to take care to clean up if you miss an ingredient or the chef decides to make a mess. These aren’t generic clients, either, as each has a happiness meter that grows as you continue to serve them in a manner that pleases them. As you rake in the money you can upgrade your skills and earn stars to bring your business back up to the revered spot it once held. You do have to be careful, though, as various seedy folks will pop up every now and again to try and kill your clientele, and a customer might even start choking on their food. The graphics are kind of silly and the banter from the customers can be odd, but this is one time management simulation that knows how to stand out from the rest.
Beaver Toad Software, Cafe Murder – $1.99
Paper Age – I imagine it’s probably because all the characters you play travel via a helicopter blade strapped to their back, but for some reason Paper Age reminds me of an old game called “H.E.R.O.”. Anyway, the game is pretty simple in nature, as all you do is try to collect Ruppys while avoiding obstacles by holding the screen to go up and releasing to go down. If you’ve ever played one of those copter cave games you get the drift. Despite the lack of any real substance to the game I find myself drawn to playing it repeatedly. I’m sure part of this has to do with the graphics, which have a great origami style look to them. Even that’s a bit inconsistent, with some of the creatures being animated and others not, but it’s a style you don’t see very often and in this case it’s done quite well. I also really dig the soundtrack, even though there are only two songs; one for the menu and one for all of the levels. The Ruppys let you buy new characters and unlock additional levels, and while each level provides new challenges the different characters don’t seem to affect game play any. There are several achievements to earn as long as you can read Spanish. Paper Age is definitely a diamond in the rough, but something tells me that with a bit of work this could be quite a game.
Red Kraken Software SL, Paper Age – Free
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic – As both a Star Wars fan and an RPG lover I’m ashamed to admit that I have never actually played any of the former incarnations of this game. This game takes place well before the events of the prequel films, but the republic is still losing the war against the ruthless Sith. It’s time for your to stand up and lead at least a modest victory for the Republic – or will you succumb to the dark side and hope to rule the empire? Either way you’ll get to visit eight different worlds from the Star Wars mythos, including such landmarks as Tatooine and Kashyyyk, the Wookies’ home planet. You’ll be able to build your party from a group of 9 different characters including droids and Wookies, and you’ll get to master more than 40 force powers. You’ll also have the chance to build your own lightsaber. The game carries a pretty hefty price tag for not being a Square Enix game, but from everything I’ve ever read about the game it’s worth every penny. Star Wars fans, it’s time to get your Force on.
Aspyr Media, Inc., Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ – $9.99
My Mine – This seems like the week of “simple but fun” games as evidenced by many of my choices so far, including this one. The premise is simply to collect as many gems as you can in two minutes. To accomplish your task you just drag gems from the central conveyor belt to the carts waiting on each side of the screen. You can grab multiple gems at once to earn combos and get carts cleared out faster, as it takes 8 gems to fill a cart and get a new one. Different colored gems cannot be mixed in the same cart unless you have the special rainbow cart, which is a boost you have to select at the beginning of a game. You can have up to three boosts at one time, and each boost lasts 3 rounds, and of course the prices are high enough that you’ll run out of cash long before you can recycle the money you earn into keeping the boosts active. To use a boost during play you have to drag it to a cart just like any other gem. The game uses Facebook for connectivity so you can compare scores with other players but there are no achievements. Hopefully that will come in the future, as well as some more organized tournament type situations.
cerasus.media, My Mine – Free
Zombie Bowling! – I know there have been several “bowling” games with a zombie theme, but unlike a lot of them this is actually a bowling game that happens to have zombies for pins. There are 5 different locations to play in, and each one has multiple levels where you bowl a 10 frame game in each level. Knock down as many zombie pins as you can to beat the target score for the given level and move on to the next. There are a whopping 41 different types of zombies that you’ll be introduced to over time, and not all of them will go down without a fight. Thankfully you can revisit levels later on in the game once you’ve had time to earn some loot and buy some upgraded bowling balls with a little more kick to them. You’ll even have to deal with obstacles in the lane, though thankfully you can add a spin to your throw after the fact by swiping left and right. When you’re done flying solo invite some friends over and play up to four bowlers hot seat on the same device. Quirky visuals, great sound effects and rockin’ music make this a solid bowling game with a wonderful theme.
COLOPL, Inc., Zombie Bowling! – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Nexx Studio, Bloom Box – $0.99
- ZHANG HUIMEI, 3D Tank Battle – Free
- Zhao Sheng, Shark Greedy – Free
- ANDREY NOVIKOV, Marbly – Free
- NuOxygen, Racing Glider HD – Free
- Reliance Big Entertainment UK Private Ltd, After Earth – $0.99
- Gameloft, UNO ™ & Friends – The Classic Card Game Goes Social! – Free
- CAPCOM, Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD – Free
- Marvelous AQL Inc., Ninja Warrior Game – $1.99
- Gametraders, Master Thief – $0.99
- Athanasios Rogkas, Hearse Driver 3D – $0.99
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: