10 New App Store Games To Watch [July 29 – August 4]
Last week was another really solid week for good iOS game releases. Spacetower is a new entry in the tower stacking genre, but its space oriented theme is the least of its different features. The big innovation is that you can directly control each section of the tower, landing it like if you were playing a lunar lander style game. If the idea of a platformer where the levels are generated based off of your music library seems cool but SongRush just didn’t quite do it for you, maybe you should try Pitch Jumper instead. The main character looks like it came out of the cast of creatures from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch and unlike SongRush, you can’t die in Pitch Jumper. So you like cute aliens but prefer a bit more action? The creature with the cat is back in Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth, a sequel that so far in my opinion surpasses the first.
My Muppets Show – It’s sad to see Disney reduced to the level of making IAP sucking freemium mobile games. What’s worse is that in many ways this feels like a cheap knock-off of what is actually a decent game from Big Blue Bubble called My Singing Monsters. As fate would have it this is actually co-developed by BBB, so it really becomes more of a branded variant much like they did with Temple Run and Brave. Despite any of that the game actually shows a decent amount of promise, and I’m willing to give anything a shot that allows me to manipulate and enjoy one of my favorite casts of characters of all time. Scooter gives you missions to guide you through what you need to do and while you’re working on getting more Muppets and better decorations the characters you’ve already unlocked will entertain you with their little Muppets ditty. There are several stages to manage including the Swedish Chef’s kitchen, which should be particularly fun. Hook up with your friends to see how they are coming along with their theaters and to earn extra bonuses. I have to admit that if you’ve never played My Singing Monsters than that one might be a bit more entertaining for the general masses, but if you grew up with The Muppets like I did you’ll certainly get a kick out of this game. Besides, where else will you find a comedic duo like Statler and Waldorf?
Disney, My Muppets Show – Free
Rymdkapsel – Your first challenge is to correctly pronounce the name of this game. Once you’ve mastered that you must research all the Monoliths in space, defend your station against 28 waves of bad guys, and if you’re feeling really spunky complete the first task in under 45 minutes of real time. In order to achieve any of this you must build the best space station you can by dragging rooms into existence. The two caveats are that any room must be attached to a corridor, and all rooms come in the shape of tetrominos, so you might feel like you’re playing an entirely different game as you’re piecing your base together. You also have control of your crew members, but just in the sense that you can select which job they are currently performing. From the sound of it the crew is “all for one” in this game, as opposed to something like Lemmings where you can assign an individual task to each participant. As far as combat is concerned you can assign your crew members to weapon rooms, but the actual fighting happens automatically. This sounds a lot like a “god sim” set in space, which actually has a lot of possibilities. The visuals have a minimalist look that serves the concept well, and the interface is complete without being overwhelming, which should make it easy to get into even for those who don’t normally play this style of game.
webbfarbror AB, rymdkapsel – $3.99
Suspect In Sight! Anniversary Edition – Unfortunately this is not an update or a sequel, but rather a re-release of the game Suspect In Sight which came out last year. Normally that would be enough for me to just look away, especially when I owned the original, but before I realized what they had done I actually decided to finally try last year’s release. As it turns out the game is actually pretty cool. Unlike most chase games where you’re down in the trenches either with or as the bad guy, in this game you play a helicopter pilot that must keep the spotlight on the criminals so the cops can find them. There are 30 different missions across 3 unique cities, so you’ll definitely get your fill of scenery. There are 4 different choppers to unlock and master as well as police trophies to collect and multiple game modes to discover. A humorous story is told through comic book style cut scenes, and the game is complimented by a soundtrack full of good music and cool police sound effects. iCloud lets you play across multiple devices while Game Center, Facebook and Twitter keep you connected with the outside world. Speaking of being connected, with the proper cables you can be watching this on the big screen TV in your family room. I’m not sure what this has to offer for those that had the original, but if you’re new to the franchise and love cops and robbers games this is certainly one to check out.
Jujubee, Suspect in Sight! Anniversary Edition – $0.99
An Alien With A Magnet – This is the perfect example of how you can take an established genre in new directions. At first glance it appears to be one of those games where you tap to jump from planet to planet, but in a slight twist you actually tap your finger to keep from moving. You’re constantly on the go thanks to the gravitational pull of the planets, but as long as you’re pressing the screen you can use your magnet to keep circling the planet you’re currently around. The down side is that when you’re out of reach of any planets you basically have to go where your trajectory takes you, so you better hope your aim is pretty decent. The game has more than 45 levels to explore, and you can go back and revisit them in time attack mode to see how good you really are. The levels start out pretty easy with pillows that keep you from crashing and cannons that speed you along your way, but eventually you’ll get things like asteroids and black holes that you have to worry about. Sometimes it even matters which way you’re spinning around a particular planet. There’s a cute factor that might make you think this is a kid’s game, but make no mistake that there is plenty of challenge to be found for adults as well. Game Center provides three different Leaderboards and 22 achievements, and you can also brag about your exploits on Twitter and Facebook.
Rejected, An Alien with a Magnet – $2.99
Miu – Miu is like a cross between Hero of Many and The Carebears (yeah, I was having trouble coming up with something “cute” for this comparison). Your job is to help a bunch of baby Mius reach their mommy through a series of side scrolling levels. You can control an individual Miu, but more often than not you’ll lead the whole group by guiding them with your finger. Just be careful because if you get too far away from the pack they’ll just stop, even though the scrolling level doesn’t. It’s bad news for them if they get pushed off the screen. There are also plenty of environmental hazards, most of which lead to death. The one exception I’ve seen so far is the bubble which just traps them, so you have to tap to free them before moving on. The game contains 30 main levels as well as mini-games and bosses, and even if that doesn’t sound like much to you the challenge of the game will keep you busy for a while. Sure it might not be tough to get one Miu through on a given level, but try getting all 15! The game currently has 3 worlds, and you can complete all levels in a world to move on to the next or unlock a world early by collecting coins, which are given out at a rate of 1 per saved Miu. Of course the store is open for IAP if you want to go that route. This game may entertain kids with its colorful characters and backgrounds, but it’s sure to give even decent adult gamers a run for their money in terms of difficulty.
Muscle Run – So maybe you’re not into helicopters, or you just don’t like being the good guy. Muscle Run might be a better choice for you when it comes to vehicle games, then. This game is all about driving however you want. There are both story and freeride modes, but the truth is that you can be as reckless as you want in story mode: it might just take you longer to complete it than if you actually tried. The tracks are procedurally generated for each play, and the traffic and obstacles are many and varied. Play it “safe” and stay on your side or see what it feels like to dodge oncoming traffic without any penalties other than actually getting hit a lot. Collect power ups to keep going as long as you can and earn money to soup up your current vehicle or unlock one of 5 additional cars to take out for a spin. Each car has 45 individual customizations that you can work through, and there are a whopping 70 achievements to earn in Game Center, so there is plenty to keep you motivated. I tend to gravitate more towards top down racing games, but of the over the shoulder ones that I’ve tried this is by far one of the best looking ones. I don’t know what this is going to do for those of you that own every racing game ever made, but personally I’m having a blast with Muscle Run.
Wonderwood Games LLC [US], Muscle Run – $0.99
The Drowning – It’s the end of the world… but not as we know it. This latest offering is different than anything Mobage has turned out to date, and it’s actually quite an interesting game. First of all, these guys did a great job of showcasing the Unity engine’s capabilities. This game looks pretty sweet. Also, while I’m a huge fan of zombie games, I applaud the designers for going a different route here. These things might not be living per se, but at least they aren’t your typical undead walkers. You can use a standard virtual stick / fire button / swipe for view model to move around or you can try out their new movement system that supposedly revolutionizes FPS control on a tablet device. There are 15 locations to explore, several weapons to find and fix and even vehicles to repair. You only get to spend a certain amount of time at each location, and the higher your score at the end of your run the better discoveries you’ll make. Thankfully you can revisit a location multiple times to better your score and get more goodies. This is a different take on the FPS genre and certainly worth checking out if your device can handle it and you have a little over a GB of extra space sitting around.
Mobage, Inc., The Drowning – Free
Maze Of Darkness – This game is an infinite runner of sorts. You might take a look at some of the screen shots and decide that it’s probably like one of those “cheap scare” pranks or a knock-off of some cheesy horror film scenario, and I have a feeling there’s a little bit of influence from both to be found here. However, this is actually a pretty cool game. You don’t know where you are or why you’re there, but you do know that you want to get out of wherever you’ve been taken. You’re confined to a series of tight hallways, so there will be no shifting to different “lanes” to avoid obstacles. All you have is the ability to jump, duck and turn corners. What I like about the game is that your ability to make split seconds decisions is tested even more than normal for this type of game because often passages will close right before you get to an intersection. There are more than 20 monsters to discover, and each one has multiple achievements related to it. Unfortunately the game isn’t really all that scary, though there is a definite sense of foreboding to it. The only thing I don’t like is that it appears the only way to get Lux (the substance you need in order to continue a run once you die) is to buy it via IAP or through certain non-game related tasks.
doopop, Maze of Darkness – Free
KungFu Quest – The Jade Tower – KungFu Quest has the feel of a 90s console game with a slick visual makeover and an interesting twist in the combo department. You basically scale floor after floor of a tower, kicking tail and not taking any names. There might be a story somewhere in here, but if there is then it isn’t very important. What does matter is that as you defeat enemies you earn money and clearing levels will reward you with chi orbs. Money can buy you a new hairdo just for looks or new threads and relics that actually enhance your health and base attack levels. Chi Orbs are harder to come by but actually let you purchase new moves and extra slots to take advantage of those moves. What’s really neat is that you can choose which moves and what order you want to use them in before exploring any given level. I don’t think I’ve seen a 2D beat ‘em up offer that level of customization before. The game contains 38 levels including 8 challenging bosses, though you only get the first level set and boss for free. The two dollar IAP to get the full game does give you the added benefit of some extra spending money and a few chi orbs, however.
Chapullcu – This is an infinite runner with a message. It was designed to support the resistance against the demolishing of Taksim Gezi Park, which for those of you like me that don’t know is in Istanbul, Turkey. Now I’m not personally trying to make any sort of political statement by bringing this up. I just wanted to share some background on the game and whether or not I’m for the cause I think it’s cool why they did it. As to the game itself, you basically spend your time dodging a police vehicle that’s trying to run you over as well as both foot police and helicopter patrols that are tossing tear gas at you. You do have a gas mask that will allow you to run through the tear gas unfazed, though to use it you have to collect supplies that fellow protestors hold up from the sidelines. You can also try and dodge the tear gas projectiles by tilting the device left and right and pressing the jump button. This is definitely a more challenging runner to juggle than most, as between tilting the device and trying to tap the jump button or the supplies being help up I often felt like I needed a third hand. I like the additional difficulty it provides, which also makes completing the 30 missions more satisfying. The game has some pretty cool pixel art, and is just a solid entry in the genre regardless of your feelings about what it supports.
Oyun Döngüsü Ltd Şti, Chapullcu – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Neko Entertainment, Puddle – $2.99
- MediaCity Games, Alice Trapped in Wonderland – $0.99
- Michael Burns, Kid Tripp – $0.99
- Triniti Interactive Limited, Mini Warriors – Free
- Cybernate, Forever Steve! – Free
- Realore, Northern Tale HD – Free
- Kyttaro Tech Ltd, Droidscape:Basilica – $1.99
- StuckPixel Games, Bunny Overload – Free
- Game Insight, LLC, Starborn Wanderers HD – Free
- Double Fine Productions, Inc., Dropchord – $2.99
- Peter Lim, Your Town – Free
- Asobimo, Inc., RPG IRUNA Online MMORPG – Free
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: