10 New App Store Games To Watch [October 7 - 13]

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The eve of tricks and treats draws closer and there are certainly plenty of games geared towards the season popping up on the App Store, but that’s for another day.  The surprise hit from this past week for me was Chef’s Story – Time To Cook!  This match 3 game is real time multi-player, it makes you collect ingredients in order to develop boosters, and it’s quite an addictive affair.  A close second was the new platform game published by BulkyPix called Type:Rider.  This homage to the history of literature didn’t look like much in the iTunes description, but once I started playing I was mesmerized.  Of course if you prefer to just blow things up without putting much thought into it, Death Tour is right up your alley.  It will take some patience to level up enough so you can make it through the campaign, but there’s definitely no shortage of carnage to be found here.

monday-roundup-10142013-nova-squad

Nova Squad – This feels like one of those games that I like to call “shooter lites” because you just take out wave after wave of enemies that span the playing field from one side of the screen to the other.  There are no formations or much in the way of variations in attack or anything like that.  Still, this watered down cousin to the shmup can be entertaining from time to time, and this is one of those cases.  First off, instead of a straight top down view it uses a slightly tilted perspective to the visuals, which when combined with some decent sci-fi bug style creature design actually makes from some slick looking graphics.  I like the fact that instead of just one avatar to control you have three, each of which has several facets to upgrade.  You can also unlock three new characters in addition to the ones you have available at the beginning of the game.  Before each run you are given 3 missions to complete, many of which relate to specific characters in your group.  There are more than 100 different types of enemies to fend off and 50 achievements to earn.  Nova Squad doesn’t exude depth, but there is plenty to work towards to keep you coming back.

Nova Squad EMOBI GAMES JOINT STOCK COMPANY, Nova Squad – Free

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Escape From Doom – Into The Dead did a great job of presenting the concept of an infinite runner and the age old dilemma if fleeing from zombies in an engaging new way.  Escape From Doom does a similar job with the theme of mummies and the “brave” soul that tries to steal a treasure from an ancient tomb.  There’s something about removing your character from the view that actually seems to make the game more engrossing, especially in this case when you get into certain situations like the sand storm.  Not knowing that a bad guy is upon you until it’s almost too late heightens the intensity of the game.  Of course it doesn’t hurt any that this game has some pretty wicked visuals.  Also, and you won’t hear me say this too often, the lack of music combined with slick ambient sound effects actually give this a more chilling vibe than most “creepy” infinite runners.  As you would expect there are goals to complete which in this case will help you level up, in turn unlocking new toys and boosts for you to use.  You also earn emeralds along the way that you can use to unlock things early if you like.  I’m not looking for this style of infinite runner to replace the Temple Runs or side scrolling types, but if the ones we get continue to be of a quality similar to this or Into The Dead, I’ll certainly continue to play them.

Escape from Doom Trigger Happy LLC, Escape from Doom – $0.99

monday-roundup-10142013-monster-adventures

Monster Adventures – From the moment I loaded my first Pokemon cartridge into my Gameboy Color I was hooked.  There have been many attempts to recreate this phenomenon in the iOS world, and while some were decent none have really captured my attention.  If anyone could change that, however, it would be Foursaken Media.  Their approach to the concept is to start with Zelda, throw in the required monster catching, and add in some multi-player for the ultimate zing.  One interesting twist is that you apparently control your monster directly in real time in a rogue-like manner.  You’ll also create and customize your own monsters and level them up RPG style.  Capture wild creatures and submit them for study so you can learn to use their powers!  Complete the single player campaign and then travel with your friends, or fight against them in the Monster Games arena.  Game Center and iCloud keep you connected, and the concept should keep you engaged.  Foursaken Media has turned out some pretty interesting titles in the past, but this one sounds like it might be their most accessible one to date.

Monster Adventures Foursaken Media, Monster Adventures – $1.99

monday-roundup-10142013-zombie-season

Zombie Season – I love a good zombie hunting game, but sometimes it’s fun to play the zombies as well.  In this case you can build an army of over 100 different zombies, though you only get to use a few at any given time.  Combat takes place on a grid where you select 3 or more of an icon to do things like attack, restore health or collect coins.  Switch icons let you match two different groups of icons together, and if you include a bomb in a match it will blow up all the surrounding icons that aren’t part of the match.  As you win battles you’ll earn XP which will help level up your zombies, and if you’re lucky you’ll even be rewarded with a casket that lets you add a new member to your fold.  In addition to leveling up your zombies you can mix them to create interesting hybrids.  The game currently offers 5 islands with more than 50 missions, and you can replay missions you’ve already beaten to get more zombies.  Now they just need to add an option to fight against other players.

ZOMBIE SEASON FujiTV, ZOMBIE SEASON – Free

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Type:Rider – One thing BulkyPix has proven many times over is that it has a knack for picking slightly unusual platform games to publish.  Type:Rider is the epitome of that rule given that you play the part of a colon.  Not a gross internal organ, mind you, but a grammatical punctuation that must travel the course of literary history one font at a time.  Your task is to collect all the letters of the alphabet within each “font world”, and as a bonus you can collect asterisks to get pages added to your history that detail the world of literature and print.  There are 10 worlds to conquer, and while getting through them might not be overly difficult, collecting all the letters in each will present much more of a challenge.  I wasn’t actually particularly impressed with this one based on the iTunes description, but the screen shots they chose don’t do the game justice.  It’s quite impressive to see some of the fire, water and lighting effects in play and the backgrounds are pretty amazing too when you study the details.  Combine that with the music and sound effects and the game can be quite mesmerizing at times.  I would put this game in the same category as Limbo in that the game feels just as much like a work of art as a video game.

Type:Rider Bulkypix, Type:Rider – $2.99

monday-roundup-10142013-chefs-story

Chef’s Story – Time to Cook! – By now you’ve got to be wondering if I ever get tired of match 3 games.  The answer to that is not if they are good, and especially not if they bring something new to the table.  I think Chef’s Story qualifies for both.  Your job is to build your career as a chef by proving your mettle in the kitchen and buying continually more elegant restaurants in the city.  To do this you must battle chefs around the world in one on one duel, filling your taste-o-meter before they do by making more strategic matches on the playing field.  If you match a certain number of an item you will actually earn that item as a reward… assuming you win the match.  Yes, in this war winner takes all, and you’ll even steal from your opponent’s taste-o-meter when you make your matches.  Besides earning ingredients from matches you’ll also earn XP and money regardless of your victory status.  Money can be used to buy new restaurants, XP lets you level up and increase the value of the ingredients and the ingredients themselves allow you to cook recipes to create power ups.  I still feel like the game is a bit too generous on its chain reaction matches for the opponent, but otherwise I’m finding this little gem quite addictive at the moment.

Chef's Story - Time to Cook! NT Games Ltd., Chef’s Story – Time to Cook! – Free

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Rollabear – For some reason I feel like this piece should start with a joke, so “a bear walks into a forest…”  Okay, it’s not a good joke to be sure, but at least Rollabear seems to be a pretty good game.  It’s outdoor bowling with a slingshot, a cast of cute bears, some rednecks and a lot of environmental hazards.  The slingshot is basically there to get the ball rolling, as it were, and then tapping the left and right sides of the screen help direct your bear of choice to the end of each course.  Along the way you’ll pick up crates with fish in them, and these fish can be used to rewind time and get out of sticky situations. There are three game play modes to help you explore the 60 levels the game has to offer.  Campaign mode lets you explore the levels of each world in sequence, with the ultimate goal being the coveted 5 stars on each level.  In Ten Round you play through all the courses in a world to try and get the highest score you can.  Survivor mode tests your skills by requiring you to get a strike or spare on each level or the game is over.  You start off with Bubba and as you complete certain milestones you’ll unlock other bears to use, though I’m not sure they do anything other than give you something different to look at.  If you’re looking for a “true” bowling experience this definitely isn’t it, but otherwise it can provide some crazy fun.

Rollabear Matmi, Rollabear – $0.99

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Death Tour – Racing Action Game with Awesome Classic Cars and Epic Guns – The name is a bit long winded, but the game is pretty cool.  I do have to confess that I’m a bit partial to racers that let you slap weapons on the top of you vehicle and blow everything to bits, though.  You’ll work your way up through the vehicular food chain, starting with a hippie van and getting cooler cars when you have the experience and the money.  Play through several episodes by completing missions in the main campaign as well as taking on side jobs to earn extra money and bolster your level.  Earn money and nuts, both of which can be used to buy upgrades for your current vehicle as well as new rides.  There are several categories to upgrade including armor, engine and more, and you can also try out different weapons to see what works best and suits your taste.  As you’re driving around you’ll have the chance to pick up some cool bonuses including a spider-bot that will follow whoever sets it off.  The visuals are great and there’s plenty to demolish besides the cars, so it’s a win-win situation.  The only down side is that just about every mission requires you to be at a certain “level”, so you might have to play some side missions several times to earn enough cash to upgrade your vehicle.  Of course, racing around blowing things up is rarely a down side.

Death Tour - Racing Action Game with Awesome Classic Cars and Epic Guns Pragmatix Ltd, Death Tour – Racing Action Game with Awesome Classic Cars and Epic Guns – Free

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The Mansion: A Puzzle Of Rooms – Why is it that toymakers in video games are almost always a bit off kilter?  Anyway, The Mansion is no exception to that rule, and this time you happen to be the recipient of the toymaker’s mansion, presumably with him still in it somewhere.  Your task is to navigate all the rooms of the mansion, which wouldn’t be so bad except that the rooms are completely jumbled up.  Fortunately you can move any part of the room to an adjoining empty space if one is available, but only if you are in the room.  Each room requires you to get hold of the key and unlock the door so you can proceed to the next room.  Periodically new items will become available that you can purchase and use on a one off basis, assuming you have the in-game cash to buy the goods.  I haven’t checked the store yet, but I’d assume that you can buy in-game currency with real dough if you’d like.  You can hook up with Facebook and challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score on each level.  You can also save your game data, but instead of using iCloud you have to sign up for Com2Us’ hub service.  I know there are several games like this on the App Store, but the polish of this one – and the witty lantern – make it stand out from the others.

The Mansion: A Puzzle of Rooms Com2uS USA, Inc., The Mansion: A Puzzle of Rooms – Free

monday-roundup-10142013-steampunk-tower

Steampunk Tower – Steampunk Tower is one of the latest offerings from Chillingo, and it feels an awful lot like a zombie blasting affair I recall playing a while back.  Be that as it may, the idea of a single tower loaded to the hilt with intense weaponry is a nice change of pace from the typical tower defense game.  You’ll work your way through 15 different battlefields and 7 challenge based skirmishes in an effort to climb up the ranks and build the ultimate tower.  Add extra levels, research new technologies to get better weapons and enhance the weapons you already can build.  If you don’t like the way you’ve built up your tech tree pay a small fee to get all your tower points back and try it again.  During a battle you can constantly move your weapons around to make maximum use of them based on what’s coming at you from either direction.  The steampunk universe provides for some interesting enemy designs, and the game has a pretty decent soundtrack as well.  There are 24 achievements to earn, and you can post your exploits on Facebook to earn some extra funds.  If you’ve been looking for a slightly different approach to the tower defense genre, Steampunk Tower will serve you well.

Steampunk Tower Chillingo Ltd, Steampunk Tower – $0.99

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:

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