10 New App Store Games To Watch [September 2 - 8]

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The feeling that we were having some sort of Christmas season in the middle of summer is finally starting to recede, but there are still some developers turning out cool new offerings in the game department.  Three years after the original was released the premiere vehicular zombie smashing franchise is back with Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed.  You still have some gadgets to make life a bit easier, but this time around you need to prove your driving mettle instead of just blowing away the undead with cool weapons.  On the completely absurd side [adult swim] has released their latest title called Giant Boulder of Death.  The story is silly and the objectives mainly revolve around rolling over as much as you can, but it sure is a lot of fun.  The winner in the retro revival of the week is Ultima IV: C64.  You’ll know if this is for you just by reading the title, but for those that know this is an incredible blast from the past.

monday-roundup-09092013-robo-corp

Robo Corp – This is a clever match 3 style game that actually has a background story.  You’re trying to mine planets in the Orion Nebula, but you must first clear their surfaces of nasty crystals that are bad for colonization.  Matching 3 robots and / or crystals of the same color will make the crystals go away, though sadly it seems to blow up the robots as well.  Launch robots from all four sides of the playing field, keeping in mind that they move until there is something in their way, and then if possible they will shift everything over one square in the direction they were traveling.  Eventually you’ll run into challenges like crystals that can’t move or that need to have their color revealed before they can be destroyed and adverse terrain that hampers your efforts.  Then there are the levels where you actually have to mine the land by moving the equipment around the board until you’ve placed it in the appropriate spots.  The game comes with 60 levels for free and another 80 levels plus ad removal for a 1 time IAP expenditure.  You can even submit levels to the developer’s facebook page for possible inclusion in future updates.

Robo Corp Kok Seng Chong, Robo Corp – Free

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Giant Boulder Of Death – I am not a huge fan of [adult swim], but some of their games have proven to be rather entertaining.  I would say that Giant Boulder of Death is probably the best one so far.  Take a love-struck boulder, carve the object of his affection into a silly statue, and there’s no stopping the destruction that will ensue.  In this off-beat roller your job is to basically crush everything you can while listening to some of the “best” yodeling music any iOS game has to offer.  As you complete objectives you’ll unlock new items to take down, but be wary as the soldiers trying to defend the statue will come at you with things like spiked walls and homing missiles.  Do enough damage and you’ll fill up the invinco-meter to make you temporarily indestructible so you can even get your revenge on those nasty pointy walls.  The best part is that you even get to destroy things when you die and your boulder parts fly across the screen.  Earn coins to upgrade your boulder and boosters, and keep annoying your friends with invites to get some extra cash.  The game does interface with Game Center and Facebook for the competitive sort, or you can just have fun plowing over the multitudes while trying to unlock the six pages of goodies the game has to offer.

Giant Boulder of Death [adult swim], Giant Boulder of Death – Free

monday-roundup-09092013-neon-labyrinth

Neon Labyrinth! – Reloaded Edition – So here we have the reloaded edition of this fine labyrinth game.  Was there an original edition?  I have no idea.  This one is pretty cool, though.  Instead of just having one or maybe two balls to lead through the labyrinth you have 50 particles to provide safe passage for.  Of course the hints say that you should keep all of the particles together, but good luck with that.  Thankfully it seems like a majority of the levels have checkpoints, and any particle that makes it there will rest happily until all of the others arrive.  There are plenty of obstacles that to get in your way like moving blocks, acid walls, vents that push your particles in a different direction and more.  Better yet are the blocks that don’t even appear until you run into them, or the ones that disappear only temporarily.  There are currently a total of 225 levels including sandbox levels where you can do whatever you want and hardcore levels where you must get everything in one try to master them.  For the normal levels you just need to guide all of your particles through to win, but if you want to be the champion you will have to get a better time than the developers.  The minimalist neon graphics are slick, controlling the multitude of particles is challenging and the maze layouts can get pretty intense.

Neon Labyrinth! - Reloaded Edition Vladimir Vernacki, Neon Labyrinth! – Reloaded Edition – Free

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2013: Infected Wars – Forget a post apocalyptic future.  In this game the future is now, and humans don’t stand a chance against the mutants that have been created thanks to The Scourge.  That is, of course, unless you have anything to say about it.  You are an elite mercenary that has been sent into the heart of the disaster to try and recover any humans that might have survived.  You’ll choose one of four classes that you can upgrade and then you just have to see if you can stay alive long enough to complete your tasks.  When you earn enough money you’ll be able to buy new weapons, and I suggest taking care of that as soon as possible since your default gun is pretty weak.  Occasionally you’ll find items like health and shield to bolster your defenses, but don’t count on this as those items are few and far between.  The only thing that will save you here is your shooting skill… and possibly three of your closest friends.  Multi-player mode is a co-op experience that takes place in the same mission set as the main game, so you can actually experience what it would be like slaying the infected in a small group.  Infected Wars will definitely give games like N.Y. Zombies a run for their money as a single player game, and the co-op mode pushes it over the top.

2013: Infected Wars Action Mobile Games, 2013: Infected Wars – $6.99

monday-roundup-09092013-drivers-ed

Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed – In 2010 Auxbrain showed us how much fun it could be driving through a highway full of the undead driving a vehicle loaded to the hilt with intense weaponry.  Now it’s time to take your skills to a whole new level with the spinoff title Driver’s Ed.  This time around you have to shelve your weapons and prove that you can handle the undead hordes with just your vehicle and the surroundings.  Do your best to scrape, slam and decapitate your adversaries, but be careful because when your vehicle’s frame makes contact directly with the obstacles it will slow you down and kill your score multiplier.  Just make sure there is always some rotting flesh between you and everything else.  Collect lots of cash so you can upgrade your car and some other nifty toys (just because you don’t get weapons doesn’t mean you’re left completely defenseless).  Enjoy a revamped engine with roads that have lots of twists and turns and plenty of environmental changes.  Even the menu is promised to provide some measure of 3D amusement.  Driver’s Education has never been so much fun.

Zombie Highway: Driver's Ed Auxbrain, Inc., Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed – $0.99

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Call of Duty: Strike Team – This isn’t the first installment of Call of Duty to materialize on iOS devices, but how about one that was designed from the ground up to work well on touch screen devices?  Furthermore, suppose you could switch between first person “shoot first, ask questions later” mode and a 3rd person tactical mode to give you an experience more like the Rainbow Six games?  Welcome to Strike Team.  You control a highly trained squad of soldiers that you can customize with a variety of weaponry and armor as well as perks.  Lead your troops into battle via a top down view where you drag them into the positions you want them to take, then jump into the shoes of the one that suits your fancy and take control of the action up close and personal.  Engage in the deep campaign mode where you’ll travel the world to defeat the forces of evil, then take on survival mode and decimate wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies.  Survival mode even has leaderboards that you can compete on.  I’ve watched the trailer for this one a couple of times now, and while I shouldn’t be so surprised at this point any more, it still amazes me that this quality of visual effects is showing up on portable devices.  The best part of the trailer: watching one of the player’s characters take out an enemy and dumping the body in a dumpster so the attack goes undetected.  The new era of Call Of Duty has arrived for iOS users.

Call of Duty®: Strike Team Activision Publishing, Inc., Call of Duty®: Strike Team – $6.99

monday-roundup-09092013-ancient-surfer

Ancient Surfer – There’s not really a whole lot to this game, yet I find it oddly addictive when I start playing it.  All you have to do is surf any one of the seven waves for as long as you can, collecting coins, avoiding obstacles and doing tricks.  You do have to be careful because hitting obstacles will slow you down and if you start going too slow your run will be over.  Also if you get too fancy while trying to execute tricks and you don’t land right on the water then your run will be done.  Finally, it’s best to avoid the shark should it come by, seeing as it is monstrous in size and will happily knock you off of your board.  You initially get one surfing spot, but as you collect coins you can unlock the rest of them.  You can also spend the money buying new boards, shorts and necklaces, all of which help enhance certain aspects of your surfer.  There are 31 Game Center achievements to earn, and while none of them look monumental in difficulty some of them will certainly require multiple plays.  There are also a leaderboard for your overall high score to compare against the rest of the world.  Simple yet entertaining is the rule of this wave.

Ancient Surfer SummerTimeStudio Co,.Ltd, Ancient Surfer – Free

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Ultima IV: C64 – Besides remakes of classics and games made to look like old games, the other thing we’ve been fortunate enough to get on the iOS platform is “ports” of old games such as Karateka and Prince Of Persia.  Now I don’t know how often what we get is truly a port, but I believe in the case of Elite Systems these are the actual games running in an emulator designed for the iOS platform.  Whatever the case, you can just feel the 80’s goodness oozing out of your screen when you load up Ultima IV: C64.  Sure there’s a modern interface built around the game to make it playable on a touch screen device, but the audio, visuals and actual game content are what you would have experienced if you played this game on the Commodore 64 the way it was originally intended.  As for the game itself, this is Ultima at its finest.  You’ll visit towns, explore the countryside and decimate dungeons in the name of eradicating evil from the land.  You can get a feel for the complexity of the game simply by pulling up the help screen and checking out the instructions for “T”alking to someone.  There’s definitely a lot of detail and background to be gleaned from this game if you’re willing to invest the time in it.  And if the beginning seems some what familiar, I’m guessing that Ultimate IV: Quest of the Avatar” was the inspiration for the recently released “Ultimate Forver: Quest for the Avatar”, which is also a pretty cool game.

Ultima IV: C64 Elite Systems Ltd, Ultima IV: C64 – Free

monday-roundup-09092013-gods-vs-humans

Gods vs Humans – Protect your Kingdom – You know the story: humans have gotten too big for their britches and are trying to encroach on your domain by building a tower to the heavens.  It’s up to you to stop them, with the power of the gods at your command.  I know it’s been done before, and in one case it’s even a franchise with several entries, but this one amuses me none the less.  I like the fact that it covers several different mythos instead of focusing on just one like the Greek or Norse gods.  I also think it’s cool that you get various powers depending on who you are representing at the time, and there are even defensive powers so that you can try and distract or scare away the humans so they don’t get hurt.  I also find it to be an interesting dichotomy that your powers are refueled from the worship of the humans whose work you seek to destroy.  Talk about walking a fine balance!  There’s a decent sense of humor to be found here, and the graphics and animation help cement the fact that this in no way is meant to represent serious spiritual warfare.  I do wish it were easier to scroll between levels in the tower because sometimes it doesn’t seem to work and often I end up unleashing a power when I didn’t mean to, but otherwise so far it’s been a pleasurable journey for me.

Gods VS Humans - Protect your Kingdom Microids, Gods VS Humans – Protect your Kingdom – $0.99

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Wordly – More fun than your mother’s word game – I kind of grow weary of these obnoxiously long names, but I guess at least in this case they had to do something to differentiate this offering from the other Wordly game out on the App Store.  This one comes from Scopely, the folks that released the game Mini Golf MatchUp which is one of the few online games I consistently play.  This might become another one.  You and your opponent play on the same board, and the person with the most tiles once they’ve all been used wins.  Simple math says you get a point for each tile of your color, but don’t get too confident because your opponent can steal your tiles.  Use wild tiles, power ups and more to gain an advantage and dominate the board.  Keep as many games going as you like, but don’t wait too long to take a turn or you’ll forfeit the game.  When you don’t feel like competing against another human take on historical greats like Einstein and Count Dracula!  There are long term achievements to work towards as well as daily word goals to earn.  Scopely is trying really hard to become the leader in casual online games that don’t resemble some sort of sim-ville.

Wordly - The word game Scopely – Top Free Apps and Games, Wordly – The word game – Free

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

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:

Next Article10 New App Store Games To Watch [September 9 - 15]