10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 15 – 21]
If you’ve been around the adventure game circuit as long as I have you’re undoubtedly familiar with the “land of the lounge lizards” and its star inhabitant, Larry. The boy is back in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, a prime example of crowd funding done right. Spearheaded by Al Lowe himself, the game takes the plot of the original and brings everything else up to modern standards in a big way. Maybe you prefer a little bit of naval warfare that doesn’t take place on a grid. Pirate Hero 3D might suit your needs with a more arcade like approach to boat on boat combat with some cool scenery to boot. Those that enjoy strategy but like a more hands-off approach to the combat portion of the game should check out Rivals At War: 2084. It takes the thrill of card game deck building and lets you watch the battles play out in real time 3D glory.
Gravity Evolved – Tired of simply controlling a few ships or protecting a single planet? Why not command a whole solar system or even more? That’s just what Gravity Evolved gives you the chance to do. Sandbox mode gives you free reign to build as many planets as you want, populate them as you see fit and just watch to see what gravity does to the system. When that becomes a bit too passive for you there’s battle mode. Here you have to be wise with your resources because money will run out and you can’t leave yourself defenseless against invading solar systems. There are 3 types of planets and 45 styles of weapons and everything is upgradeable. Build the ultimate death machines and conquer your opponents’ solar systems, earning money and XP that can be shared across any solar systems you create. There are theoretically an infinite number of levels, as the enemy AI gets better when you do. The one thing that seems to be lacking is a multi-player mode, but maybe that will come down the road.
Clark DuVall, Gravity Evolved – Free
Breach & Clear – If you’re looking for a bit of tactical strategy that doesn’t involve dragons and orcs then Breach & Clear will probably suit your needs. Choose your soldiers from real world organizations like the US Army Rangers or Canada’s JTF2. Customize your soldiers with perks, tactics, armor and more, and then gear them up with some snazzy weaponry. There are 1000s of gun combinations that can be crafted by combining parts from different authentic styles of guns. Once you’re ready to go you can tackle 15 different missions across three exotic locations. Plan out your attack akin to games like Rainbow Six, then watch as your soldiers flawlessly (or not so much) carry out your commands. There’s not really a good indication as to whether or not you can directly control any of the troops, but that would be a nice touch. The iTunes description does mention that there is more of everything coming soon, as well as some multi-player options that should make the package pretty sweet indeed.
Gun., Breach & Clear – $1.99
Galactic Skater – So in this variant of the infinite runner you are a boy who moonlights as an intergalactic boarder, collecting loot and dispatching aliens with your trusty ray gun. Sounds like many a pre-pubescent boys’ fantasy, right? Thankfully it also translates to a pretty fun game. Taking a cue from Minion Rush the tracks are very twisty and full of turns and often split off into multiple paths. There are also some pretty nifty jumps to be had, and supposedly even some rails to shred, though the only time I’ve run into that so far is in the tutorial. The game has the typical one time boosts and upgrades to power ups that you can buy, but it also has new outfits that you can purchase. Unlike most of these games where clothing is basically a fashion statement, in this game it actually suits you to change your look because new outfits come with increased energy and potentially some power ups built in. The more energy you have the more hits you can take before the game is over, so it’s worth your while to save up to buy the suits. There are Game Center leaderboards and a whopping 99 achievements, so get ready to put some serious infinite boarding time in.
UpTap, Galactic Skater – Free
Roller Blitz – If you’re tired of all these infinite runners, maybe you’d like a marble roller that’s about something besides just dodging holes and getting to the end of a maze? Welcome to Roller Blitz, the game with a level design like Pac-Man a wave system like Robotron and a timer to keep things in perspective. You have 60 seconds to roll around a maze collecting as many stars as you can while avoiding the bad guys. As this won’t always be possible you do have some recourse which thankfully doesn’t come in the form of consuming a yellow pellet and then digesting your foes. Instead you can pick up bombs, plasma guns and a few other goodies that when used right really clear out a room. In case you get hit by a green cube you can also find an antidote to cure the poison you get. You start a level with 60 seconds and a certain number of lives, but you can get hourglasses to give you bonus seconds and hearts to give you extra lives. As you play you’ll unlock new rollers as well, and at the beginning of each game you have the option to buy one use boosts to increase your chance of survival. The game has several leaderboards to compete on, but at this point there are no achievements to earn. My main sticking point is the control, which the developers seem to think works a bit more smoothly than I do.
Brett Johnson, Roller Blitz – Free
Monster Jam Jam – This game was a 24 hour effort on the part of the folks at Behold Studios, and while some might say it’s obvious, I think there’s a lot of charm in this little game. It’s a one on one battle of nuclear-born monsters to see who can reign victorious. You can play against the computer or against another player on the same device, but instead of pass and play you both make your moves at the same time. There are four options: attack, defend, heal and energize. You must have at least one energy to attack and can do a maximum of two damage with one hit. Certain events might occur like acid rain which deducts one health from each player and blackout which prevents anyone from attacking. You basically fight until one creature loses all of their health, and the game can actually end in a draw. The whole atmosphere is vintage 90’s gaming with great pixel graphics, awesome chiptune music and cool but grainy sound effects. The game is pretty basic at the moment, and actually still has a lot of merit if they leave it the way it is, but hopefully they’ll consider building onto it to make it even better (or at least release a sequel with more options).
Behold Studios, Monster Jam Jam – Free
Bounty Arms – This is the second offering from Kerosene, the company that brought iOS gamers the interesting Wild West game Bladeslinger. This time around the game is a 3D side scroller, and from the brief video on their website it certainly looks to rival the best that more seasoned iOS companies have turned out. You can play as one of three characters and summon several different pets, so there’s some pretty good incentive to go try multiple play-throughs on this one. There are 10 missions complete with bonus objectives and epic bosses to take on. And then there are the weapons. A flyswatter, confetti and flying pigs certainly make for an interesting arsenal. You can even turn into a monster with Drake’s berserk mode. There are also a ton of Easter eggs to find. Now assuming the characters have been imbued with the necessary “tough guy” personas one might expect from a side scrolling game involving bounty hunters, we might just be looking at a series contender for the launch of a franchise. I just hope it plays as good as it looks.
Kerosene, Bounty Arms – $4.99
SongRush – SongRush feels like an infinite runner because the main character keeps running, and your only controls are tapping the left side of the screen to slide and the right side to jump There’s definitely no infinite here, however, as each level lasts only as long as the song it is attached to. That’s right – each level has its own song, and these songs come from your personal music inventory. In fact, the level is procedurally generated based on the song. I don’t know how it works technically, but you definitely get a different level configuration for each tune, and if it designates the level as “hard” you better believe them. You start out with three coins, and each coin earns you one play through of a level. The coins will regenerate over time, and through IAP you can buy you can buy additional coin slots or a pass that will let you play as much as you want for a certain number of days. The other “currency” in the game is musical notes, and if you get enough of those you can buy additional coins as well. Of course you can buy musical notes via IAP if you wish as well. Yep, the main theme in this game is not the music you select, but the fact that IAP reigns supreme. Still, the concept of generating levels based on a song is cool, you can’t complain about the soundtrack since you provide it, and the artwork is pretty slick. Overall it’s worth a look, even though you only get 3 plays every half hour.
Bulkypix, SongRush – Free
Kamikaze Pigs – When I first ran across this game I flipped through the screen shots, which seemed a bit busy and truthfully not all that interesting, and I just decided to pass on it. Once it went free I ended up giving the game a shot, and I’m glad I did. If you’ve ever played the great casual game Sneezies you’ll feel right at home here, though instead of allergies and cute sniffles you have war-torn pigs and wonton destruction. Well, not really, but it does have a military theme. Your task is to defeat the enemy pigs, and your weapon is the chain reaction – take out as many oinkers as you can with one shot. Thankfully the opposition will help you along as they inadvertently fire their weapons as they are going down. For each successful campaign you’ll earn pig bucks that you can spend on upgrades, and you’ll definitely need to get fortified in order to complete many of these levels with six stars. Yep, you read that right: you collect up to three stars based on how much of the enemy you decimate, and three stars must actually be collected on the battlefield. You may think you’ve seen all there is to see in the genre of chain reaction games, but I don’t think I’ve played one quite like this before.
Chillingo Ltd, Kamikaze Pigs – Free
Rev Ersi Quest – This isn’t your mother’s Reversi game. For that matter, I’ve never played anything quite like it before either! It’s an RPG in the sense that you have different types of characters that you can level up. There is also magic to harness and weapons and armor to wield, all of which can turn the tide of battle in a heartbeat. Speaking of battle, this is probably the most original battle system I’ve seen to date in an RPG mashup. Combat takes place in the form of a round of Reversi, and you don’t even have to take the majority of the board to be the winner. All you have to do is knock your opponent’s health down to zero. Victory includes experience as well as spoils of war. In single player mode you proceed through the campaign on a board game style interface, which itself is pretty cool. You can also take on players around the world in real time PvP battles. There are over 100 achievements to earn, and they aren’t handed out simply for winning battles. Can you keep improving on your skills to take home all the awards? If you’re looking for a new type of RPG mash-up and just want to try a cool game unlike everything you’re currently playing, give Rev Ersi Quest a try.
Shigeyoshi Yokogoshi, Rev Ersi Quest – Free
Tunnel Town – This is one of those games that’s designed to be best enjoyed when spending IAP, though they assure us in the iTunes description that the game is free and perfectly playable without indulging. There was a time when I stayed away from such games, but it’s almost impossible these days since half the new releases rely on this model, and frankly I don’t want to move towards reviewing productivity software. For some reason the bunny angle strikes my fancy in this one, even though I’m by no means a rabbit lover. I like how you dig out your home in an almost Dungeon Master style mechanic of specifying which blocks to remove from the solid ground area you’re given. I like the whole 3D look of the game, and I really find it amusing that in order to breed new bunnies (don’t worry, they don’t show any naughty stuff) you have to pair up two rabbits on a dance floor! It also cracks me up that in order to mine for gems your bunny whips out a jackhammer and starts digging away. There are just all kinds of little things that make this seem like it’s worth investing some time in and possibly dumping a little IAP into just to say “thanks” to the developers.
Smart Bomb Interactive, Inc., Tunnel Town – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- NamcoBandai Games Inc., PAC-MAN DASH! – Free
- Ninja Kiwi, Bloons TD Battles – Free
- Wjj Studio, V-Striker – Free
- Orange Door Armory, The Dark Lords of War – Free
- Ubisoft, CSI: Miami Heat Wave – Free
- Brute Farce, Flyro – $0.99
- Mixedbag Srl, Futuridium EP – $1.99
- Glu Games Inc., Zombies Ate My Friends – Free
- Black Bullet Games, The Deadshot – $1.99
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: