10 App Store Games To Watch [February 3 - 9]

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You know the drill. A lot of games came out, I checked out as many as I could, and now I’m telling you about 10 that I think might be worth your while. Once I get back into the swing of things these intros might get more elaborate again, but until then let’s just get on to the games…

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Only One – If one were to write an arena style game for the Atari 2600, make the blocky graphics hi-res and give it a lot more functionality than the average Atari 2600 game, I imagine it would come out something like this.  Only One is a simple exercise in killing before you wind up dead as you take on 70 waves of bad guys with 7 different bosses thrown in for good measure.  Slay your opponent and retrieve some loot or push them over the edge and enjoy their screams as the plummet to their doom.  Every so often you’ll level up and get the opportunity to choose one of two skills (for a price, of course).  You can also upgrade existing skills and decide which ones you wish to use in the stats screen.  Timing your attacks or lack thereof correctly give you the ability to parry and block blows with your shield, and you can even destroy your opponent’s shield and watch it crumble.  The game is free to play and I believe with some effort you could definitely finish it without spending a dime, but consider shelling out a little IAP to bolster the developer’s spirits for this simple but entertaining gem.

Only One Ernest Szoka, Only One – Free

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Spy Chaser – This is a fairly basic infinite driver game, and yet I find myself continually hitting the “retry” button when I get killed.  Your goal is simply to get as far as you can.  Along the way there are coins to collect, and you also get coins for destroying cars.  These coins can be used to buy a couple of new vehicles or enhance the length of your weapon upgrades or frequency with which gems appear.  Gems, on the other hand, can only be found sporadically along the road or purchased via IAP and allow you to continue when you die.  So why I’m I hooked on this one?  Maybe it’s the Charlie’s Angels disco style sound track or the car with the gratuitous flames painted all over it.  Or it could just be that I like the laser beam of doom that you can unleash on unsuspecting drivers after a certain point.  Whatever the case, this is one of the more entertaining titles that I’ve played for this roundup so far.

Spy Chaser Boiled Goose, Spy Chaser – Free

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Kahuna – When I was a kid I used to play a game where you had to connect two dots to form the side of a square, and whoever made the last side of the square got to keep it.  I’m not sure what that game was called, but if it was something like Dots & Squares then this would be Dots & Squares 2.0.  The playing field is a group of 12 islands connected by bridges, and your job is to control as many islands as you can by capturing the bridges that connect to each island.  You’ll do this by picking and playing cards from a deck comprised of all the islands on the board.  When the going gets tough you can even blow up your opponent’s bridges instead of claiming your own.  There are 12 different AI opponents to take on in single player mode, each with their own strategies and tactics.  Or you can head over to Game Center and take on a live opponent in a turn based match that you can play at your leisure.  If you don’t like overly complex rules but are looking for something that is just as much strategy as luck, Kahuna is a good choice for you.

Kahuna USM, Kahuna – $2.99

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Star Pilot / Jungle Rumble – Yes, these are actually two separate games.  They just happen to be by the same developer and the same style of game, so I thought I’d mention both of them in case some of you had a preference for piloting s space ship versus controlling big flying creatures and vice versa.  In terms of level construction these games are actually well designed.  They are challenging because you have to memorize patterns and timing, not because you have to try and hide in the corner of the screen and hope a barrage of bullets can’t hit you.  Each game has plenty of levels and several different craft / creatures to unlock, though I don’t know if they actually make any difference in game play since I haven’t been able to unlock any of them yet.  I also love the visuals, both because they are well drawn and nicely detailed and because they use the same depth perception gimmick that the developers’ Rescue Me games employ.  The main issue is that these games are also designed to be IAP sinkholes.  Between persistent ads and the amount of coins it takes to unlock anything it will only be a matter of time before you’re shelling out some cash or giving up on the game.  In the end though it doesn’t cost anything to check them out, so why not give at least one of them a shot?

Jungle Rumble – The Prehistoric 3D Fun Arcade Challenge Game with Angry Dinosaurs, Birds and Coins Pocket Scientists, Jungle Rumble – The Prehistoric 3D Fun Arcade Challenge Game with Angry Dinosaurs, Birds and Coins – Free
Star Pilot - Save the Sun from the Attack of the Alien Space Civilization Pocket Scientists, Star Pilot – Save the Sun from the Attack of the Alien Space Civilization – Free

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Spell Quest: Grimm’s Journey – There a certainly plenty of word games to choose form on the App Store, so for me a game really has to feel different in order to stand out in the genre.  Welcome to Spell Quest, a game where you play a cute Grim Reaper that must defeat monsters by spelling words.  It sounds a bit silly, but it’s actually quite fun.  There are 30 levels, and you must play through each of them at least 3 times to earn all the stars.  One star is simply for beating the level, then you can try to beat it within a certain amount of time, and finally you’ll have criteria like only being able to use two words or limiting yourself to 18 letters.  As you slay monsters and complete quests you’ll earn gems that can be used to upgrade things like health and damage dealt, and you’ll also be able to buy specialty items from the shopkeeper when he randomly pops up on a level.  There are more than 20 types of monster to fight, 45 quests to complete and 42 different Game Center achievements to earn.  There are even leaderboards so you can compete with your friends.  In other words, Spell Quest has plenty to do.

Spell Quest: Grimm's Journey Mark Smith, Spell Quest: Grimm’s Journey – Free

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Toast Time – The graphics and sound in Toast Time hearken back to a day when developers had to make due with equipment that couldn’t handle overly sophisticated output.  The game play, on the other hand, has a much more modern feel to it.  Toast Time is part Super Crate Box and part some twisted form of Ping Pong or Breakout or something else even.  In each of the game’s 45 levels you must protect a clock from hordes of advancing aliens by shooting them with various forms of toasted bread.  Shooting also has the sometimes unwanted side effect of propelling you in the opposite direction.  Destroying crates gives you access to your current array of weapons as well as allowing you to unlock new weapons and different outfits.  A three star ranking based solely on score will certainly keep you busy on some levels, and leaderboards and achievements will give you even more incentive to come back.  There’s even a survival mode that challenges you to complete every level one after the other without losing once.

Toast Time Force Of Habit, Toast Time – $0.99

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Deprofundis: Requiem – Yeah, I don’t really know what the name means either, but it’s a pretty decent Diablo clone for iOS devices, so who cares?  You’ll choose one of four classes as you embark on your quest to rid the land of the aftereffects of opening Pandora’s Box.  Explore 13 randomly generated levels, slay many creatures and gather lots of loot.  There are 4 different skill trees to pursue, and while you can build on all of them you only get so many upgrades per level, so choose your paths wisely.  There are 3 different game play modes including an “instant death” option for those that enjoy the challenge of rouge-like games.  Choose between touch and joystick style controls and several other options to customize game play, including the ability to auto-loot items instead of having to pick them up by tapping on them.  You can even save your game to iCloud to play across multiple devices.  Not too shabby for what appears to be the work of a one man team.

Deprofundis: Requiem Alexandre Kovacs, Deprofundis: Requiem – Free

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Robot Candidate – For those that really want the feel of a board game but still want to play on their iPads, Robot Candidate is a great choice.  Your goal is to get the launch pad at the end of the board, but just because you’re the first one there doesn’t mean you’ll win.  Along the way you’ll gather (or lose) energy points, and the robot with the most points after everyone finishes is the champion.  You’ll swipe the spinner to move, and depending on the square you might automatically gain or lose energy or be rewarded with a battery that will help boost your score at the end.  In other cases the tiles might be a bit more interactive, forcing you to choose between two options, spin a wheel to gain energy or even duel against another robot.  The game supports up to 8 players hot seat, and while you can play it against the computer I think you’ll find the experience much more enjoyable with a few live friends.  Just be prepared to set aside a bit of time, as just playing against one computer opponent took nearly 20 minutes.

Robot Candidate Dreamfreeze Software, Robot Candidate – Free

roundup-02102014-angry-princess

Angry Princess: 2014 Go! – Like the Angry Birds mechanics but sick of simply breaking blocks all day?  Angry Princess takes a slightly different approach to the whole thing.  Each level is a battle with various foes, and as you conquer your enemies you’ll acquire items and gain experience so that you can level up your characters.  Switch your main character’s class by giving them a different weapon, and evolve your weapons to make even stronger fighters.  Invite friends into combat to benefit both them and you and take part in time limited events to gain ultra-rare equipment.  Launch your fighters in whatever order you choose to make best use of their abilities, but keep in mind they do have life bars that will incapacitate the heroes when they fall to 0.  As for levels, I’m not sure what the total count is, but so far I’ve found six level sets each with 5 levels to master, and I haven’t even gotten to the second island yet.  There is plenty to explore and an amazing amount of depth to this game, and it’s certainly worth the download if you’re into physics based mechanics but one something more from the actual game itself.

Angry Princess: 2014 GO! SMGP CO. LTD, Angry Princess: 2014 GO! – 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:

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