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

monday-roundup-03102014-intro

There were a lot of interesting looking games last week which was good because with all of the snow still falling in my area it should feel like Christmas in the App Store.  Besides the games I’ve detailed below, last week saw the release of Jolly Grim Ep 1: The Hamster and The Ring.  This card based RPG follows a boy tracking a hamster that has stolen an invisibility ring through a land full of fairy tale characters.  You know you’re in for a treat when the first recognizable character you meet is Little Red Riding Hood, who happens to be working in a Taco shop.  Bloo Kid 2 is the successor to the cool Bloo Kid.  The game has the same cool graphical look and 8-bit style soundtrack, but the gameplay is more Mario-esque this time.  Jungle Rumble is the latest offering from Gamerizon.  It has the same great graphics that make the Chop Chop games look so cool, you get to continually consume meat like in Chop Chop Caveman, and there are several nifty weapons for you to get your hands on.

monday-roundup-03102014-adventure-land

Adventure Land – The Rogue Run of Random Heroes – Adventure Land is an infinite runner with cute graphics and wacky villains.  The controls are simple as well: tap the left side of the screen to jump / activate your special power and tap / hold the right side to shoot.  The “fate” cards make this game stand out from other infinite runners.  At the beginning of each run you get to turn over three and you can buy two more.  You can also redraw any of the ones that you’ve already flipped over.  These cards might turn you into a pirate or a ninja, or they might make you a vegetarian so meat hurts instead of heals you or a diabetic that has to avoid the slices of cake lying around the levels.  With the ability to have 5 different cards and the expanding number of available traits that you unlock over time most every game should feel at least slightly different.  You can even save a preferred combination using any spare gems you have, though so far I haven’t discovered any outside of buying them via IAP.  That’s okay, though, because having a unique set of traits every time is the game’s biggest charm.

Adventure Land - The Rogue Run of Random Heroes Tapps Tecnologia da Informação Ltda., Adventure Land – The Rogue Run of Random Heroes – Free

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Smash Hit – Mediocre basically has 2 standalone games and a franchise under their belt so far, but as of yet they haven’t been a disappointment.  Smash Hit is their latest offering, and this game is addictive, beautiful and serene all at the same time.  The game is an infinite tunnel runner of sorts, but in this case much of the contents of said tunnel is made of glass, and you just happen to have a bunch of steel balls that can break that glass.  The problem is that your supply of ammunition is limited, so you have to destroy as many crystals as possible to refill your stock.  If you destroy 10 crystals in a row you’ll be rewarded with a multishot temporarily, and you can also pick up rapid fire shots and slow time power ups occasionally.  Things start out pretty basic but you’ll soon have to contend with lots of obstacles that might take multiple shots to clear out of your way, and at least one level has a nice rotating effect.  This is as much different from Granny Smith as that game was from their first release proving that these guys put a lot of thought and care into whatever genre they decide to tackle.

Smash Hit Mediocre AB, Smash Hit – Free

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Tap the Planet – save the astronauts lost in space! – This is one of those “round the world” games, in this case quite literally as you pilot a shuttle to a docking station using the intermediate planets’ gravitational pull.  As you progress through the levels you’ll encounter asteroid belts that wreck your ship, space junk that slows you to a stop, wormholes that transport you to other parts of the level and more.  To complete a level you just need to make it to the docking station, but of course die hard perfectionists (or those that just want a better score) will try their hardest to rescue the three astronauts that can be found on each level.  All you have to do is tap a planet to travel to it, though I’m still not quite used to determining what the trajectory will be.  Just watch out for the planets that re-launch you on their own because they might not send you in the direction you want to go.  I’m not sure how many levels there are altogether, but the first sector has 21 levels, so assuming the math holds there should be 84 altogether.  Even if the other sectors are smaller, by the time you manage to save all the astronauts in some of these levels you’ll have plenty of game time on your hands.

Tap the Planet - save the astronauts lost in space! Werplay Priv. Ltd, Tap the Planet – save the astronauts lost in space! – Free

monday-roundup-03102014-pocket-starships

Pocket Starships – As much as I’m not a fan of multiplayer at all, I definitely don’t like MMOs.  I think there’s a good chance I could get into this one, however.  The game is basically a dual stick space shooter that happens to be played over the internet and where some of the NPCs are other players instead of computer controlled drones.  You’ll jump from sector to sector completing tasks and trying to rid the galaxy of the pirate menace, or at least that seemed to be my primary goal with the faction I chose.  Once you conquer pirate outposts you’ll have to defend them because of course the pirates are going to want them back.  Defeating opponents and completing quests earns you experience that will eventually allow you to level up.  You’ll also be able to collect goods from destroyed ships and mine asteroids for materials to upgrade stuff.  The biggest problem is that there’s a lot going on all at once, and since the game is real time it doesn’t allow so well for you to figure out what’s going on when you’re fresh meat.  Also, I had a lot of lag issues, though it’s possible that’s as much from connection I was using as the game.  I don’t know if I’m quite ready to make the investment in an MMO yet, but being able to fight alongside other pilots is a pretty cool feeling.

Pocket Starships Spectacle Games, Pocket Starships – Free

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Air Hockey Mania – Disky – Air hockey is already a fairly energetic game if played correctly, but Disky certainly kicks it up a notch or two.  Instead of paddles you have a slingshot, and your job is to get all of the pucks over to your opponent’s side before the time runs out.  The trick is that there is a laser along the center line of the playing field, and a puck can only pass through the laser if it is the same color as the laser.  To add to the chaos, each person has a button that can change the color of the laser.  Play in single player mode to unlock power ups such as barrier which temporarily blocks the opponent from shooting pucks and wirecut which keeps the other player from switching the laser for a short time.  The game is pretty entertaining in single player mode, but while I haven’t had the chance to play two player mode yet I bet it’s a much more exciting experience.  Just remember that you both play on the same device, so don’t do anything that will make your opponent want to reach over and slug you.

Air Hockey Mania - Disky Crazy Labs, Air Hockey Mania – Disky – Free

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Dance Swag – This game is like Just Dance for lazy folks, which is probably why I like it.  Instead of actually having to move around and potentially look like a fool doing so, Dance Swag’s “tap tap” style controls let you embarrass yourself in your own line if vision only, unless of course someone is looking over you shoulder.  You’ll dance in various venues to songs you may or may not have heard, trying to get better with every play and build your street cred so people like you and want to give you money.  Your stash can be used to buy new clothes so that you can become even more popular.  As you can tell this game isn’t shallow at all.  Daily missions and special events help you earn bonus rewards, and eventually you’ll be able to recruit backup dancers for an extra zing.  Hook up on Twitter and Facebook to challenge your friends and see how far up the leaderboard you can rise.  Generally I tend to go for the really wacky rhythm based games, but for what I would consider a more “typical” offering, this is actually quite fun.

Dance Swag KlimpStar, Dance Swag – Free

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Overtaking – Overtaking is a simple action game with a simple goal: pass 500 cars and you win.  You can move left and right to dodge traffic and if you’re really in a bind there’s a jump button which is always silly but still lots of fun for vehicles.  There’s even a brake button if you feel so inclined, but I’ve never quite understood the need for that in a high speed game.  Bumping into cars from behind, hitting certain strips on the pavement and slipping on certain annoying truck drivers’ oil spills all slow you down.  On the other hand, other strips give you a permanent speed boost (until you collide into the things listed above), and nitro not only gives you a temporary speed boost but also lets you plow through everything while it’s active.  This is probably the best part of the game.  There are 3 cars to unlock and each car has 4 stats to upgrade, so there’s a lot to work towards.  There’s also a leaderboard for quickest time, but unless that gets reset every now and again it’s already at a pretty small time.  I think a few achievements would go a long way towards replay value in Overtaking.

Overtaking Yishan Gao, Overtaking – $1.99

monday-roundup-03102014-devious-dungeon

Devious Dungeon – Ravenous Games is back at it with what I would call one of their best games yet.  Devious Dungeon is Rogue-like in content but presented in side scrolling format.  The levels are randomly generated and much bigger than those found in most of their other games.  There are 5 worlds to explore, each with many levels of looting and creature slaying with a boss battle thrown in the mix just for fun.  You can pretty much destroy everything that’s not part of the background to earn some coins, and there are no time constraints so you can explore the whole level even if you’ve found the key to the exit portal.  As you dispatch your foes and complete missions you’ll earn XP which let you level up and increase one of three stats.  In between certain levels and if you should happen to die and get sent back to the main hall you can purchase weapons, armor and assorted other goods with all your loot, and unlike most of these games you have to buy items in a certain order which adds an interesting wrinkle.  Thankfully one rogue-like trait that’s absent is insta-death: if you die you can restart at the last level checkpoint with everything you’ve earned up to that point.  There’s even iCloud save so you can continue your game across multiple devices.

Devious Dungeon Ravenous Games Inc., Devious Dungeon – $0.99

monday-roundup-03102014-cat-the-fish

Cat the Fish – Over the last few weeks I’ve been giving the whole Flappy Bird phenomenon a hard time, which I don’t in the least regret.  For those that think I’m a bit harsh on the genre, though, I decided to include this one to show my “softer side”.  Now after playing the game for a moment or two you might be inclined to think I’m nuts for associating it with Flappy Bird, but deep down I think some inspiration for this game came from that title.  Fortunately this title deviates so much from the formula that it’s different and fun.  The pipes have been replaced with fish that are now moving up and down, and instead of just dodging them (which you could easily do by jumping over them when they are in the water) you actually have to jump between them to catch a smaller fish that you can eat.  Instead of constant scrolling you take things one screen at a time, and they even pretty much hand you one point because the first screen has no fish that can eat you.  Of course you can still miss the fish that you have to eat to get the point, but that’s on you.  This game is still real basic but it crushes any Flappy Bird clone that I’ve played so far and I still get a kick out of the cat screaming when the fish gets its tail.

Cat the Fish Chi Trung Tran, Cat the Fish – Free

monday-roundup-03102014-zombie-squeeze

Zombie Squeeze – Zombie Squeeze is a very basic game.  A horde of zombies is descending from the top of the screen, and you as a lone girl must avoid them for as long as you can.  Swipe left and right to move the girl out of the way of all manner of objects that can block her path.  At the same time you want to collect the coins scattered throughout the level because that’s how you get your points.  Every time you get 10 coins in a row you’ll dash for a fraction of a second, but it’s just enough to help you stay out of the clutches of the undead.  There are no power ups, no achievements and only one leaderboard that will be impossible to top because the high scorer has over 100,000 coins, which sounds fixed to me.  That aside, what makes the game cool to me is the fact that you immediately get paired with someone from Game Center so there’s always a quick sense of satisfaction for winning or drive to do better when losing.

Zombie Squeeze URARA-WORKS Co., Ltd., Zombie Squeeze – 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:

  • David Ngo

    Thanks for the tips Eric! I’ll definitely check out some of these games :)

  • Harrison

    Thank you for sharing!!! Have tired few and really fun.
    Sky Adventure should be another interesting game on your list. :D

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