10 App Store Games To Watch [April 14 – 20]


Unfortunately I didn’t get to bring you a fresh list of games last week because there were certainly a lot of new ones to choose from that looked good.  Thankfully the same can be said for this week, starting with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.  This foray into one of Blizzard’s most famous IPs brings us a slick mobile trading card game with a solid single player campaign as well as multi-player capabilities.  1001 Ninjas – Spikes jump is retro both in looks and game play.  Not only does it feel like a modern day NES game, but the difficulty is tremendous because of good level design and not just a bad control scheme.  If you are in need of another physics based, sweets collecting puzzle game you might want to try Cookie to Me-The Cookie Borrower’s Diary.  Rubbery sponges, bags full of air and exploding tomatoes are only the begging of what you’ll use in order to help your little avatar collect all of her sugary cookie treats.

Sparkle Unleashed – In case you didn’t know, the Sparkle series from 10Tons Ltd is probably my favorite when it comes to the marble popper genre.  Needless to say I was pretty excited when I found out about Unleashed, though as I started to play it I began to feel like maybe it wasn’t enough different from its predecessor to really engage my attention.  Turns out I was wrong, and now that I’ve settled in I find it just as addictive as the first two games in the series.  What the game lacks in “revolutionary” features it more than makes up for in doing what it does so well.  I like the power up system which is comprised of six types of power ups that each have three levels.  As you clear certain waypoints you’ll earn a key to unlock one additional power up, and within a given type you can select one of the unlocked options to use.  The game offers 108 levels in story mode as well as a survival mode for infinite challenge.  The visuals are just as flashy as previous installments and the music is some of the best I’ve ever heard for this type of casual game.  The best part is that you can check out the first 23 levels for free, so you don’t have to take my word for it.

Sparkle Unleashed 10tons Ltd, Sparkle Unleashed – Free

Jumping Heroes – This is one of those games that feel more like a prototype than a full fledged game, but what’s already there is a pretty nifty concept.  You control one of three heroes and your goal is to help them fly as high as they possibly can.  In order to do this you simply have to keep making matches on a match 3 style board.  Every time you make a match the timer resets, and if the timer ever gets to zero your flight is canceled.  There’s never really any blatant delineation of levels per se, but I have a feeling that as you get higher the timer starts going faster.  There are three difficulty levels: normal makes certain blocks immovable though you can still use them to make matches, and hard mode randomly blocks out entire rows temporarily.  If all else fails you can hit the S button to get a super boost and reset the timer.  There is a leaderboard for each difficulty setting, but at the moment there are no achievements.  Jumping Heroes is a great alternative to the flood of flappy clones.

Jumping Heroes myung hoon Yu, Jumping Heroes – Free

Flappy Pengy Run – Flappy Pengy Run is one of those games that you get for your kids and then secretly play when they go to bed.  Through the game’s 40 levels you’ll have to help Pengy jump and slide to avoid obstacles and collect fish and coins.  You even get to lay eggs, although I’m not sure the game’s portrayal of said act is quite accurate!  Each of the 40 levels has one or more benign missions like “collect X number of fish” or “run Y meters”, and every so often you’ll get an offer to play a bonus level filled with coins where your only goal is to run a certain number of meters.  You might not complete every level on the first try, but the only real punishment is that you have to play the level again in order to beat it.  There are no lives to contend with or anything like that.  The game does offer a leaderboard which appears to be an accumulation of points earned on every level you’ve played.  A few achievements would be nice, and it would also be cool if there were something that you could get with all the coins and fish that you collect.  That aside, this is a nice family friendly game that doesn’t hound you with IAP requests since there is no IAP to be had.

Flappy Pengy Run Andrey Shchegolev, Flappy Pengy Run – $0.99

Dungeon Clicker – Apparently there are people that like dungeon crawlers but feel that it’s too much work to actually fight monsters.  If you fall into that category then Dungeon Clicker is the game for you.  In the bottom right corner there are two buttons: one gives you random amounts of loot and the other allows you to spend that loot to level up.  You don’t even have to move around the dungeon because the game auto-pans across the landscape for you.  You just have to keep your eyes peeled and tap on the treasure chests and bags of gold as you pass by them.  Chests of gold are always free, but magical chests that contain weapons require a key to open.  You get three keys for downloading the game and can buy more via IAP.  Thankfully you also get a new weapon every time you level up.  You also get a skill point for each level which can be applied to various skills in between runs.  Game Center integration provides a few achievements and two leaderboards: one for total gold and the other for highest level reached.  This is a silly game and probably won’t hold the attention of true dungeon crawlers for very long.  If nothing else it’s worth checking out for the incredible level you “crawl” through, which sadly looks better than most true dungeon crawlers.

Dungeon Clicker Antibore, Dungeon Clicker – Free

Beam Rider – This game definitely puts an interesting spin on the infinite runner genre.  Of course I say that because instead of travelling down a path you’re travelling in a tube, so moving left and right feels more like spinning your environment then anything else.  You do have the traditional swipe up to jump, and swiping down… well, I’m not really sure what that does.  You also get to shoot in this one by tapping the screen, though more often than not you’ll be dodging to stay alive.  Collect fuel to keep on running and repair kits to maintain your shield, but do plan on dying a lot.  Oh, and make sure you stay off of the red wires, because your ship doesn’t get along well with them.  The game has a decent sound track and cool visuals that look like the 80’s classic Tempest on steroids.  Game Center offers 6 leaderboards and 25 achievements to earn, and you can also hook up to Facebook to brag about your accomplishments.  Just make sure you really have something to brag about first.

Beam Rider Fat Puggle Games LLC, Beam Rider – Free

Stunt Guy 2.0 – If you’ve ever wanted to see what it would be like to fill the shoes of a Hollywood stunt person, this probably isn’t the way to go.  It sure is a lot of fun, though.  Besides which, I think this game provides some of the longest trails of blood I’ve ever seen in a pixel art game.  You control the car and your job is to get it to the end of each scene, making sure that you don’t blow it up and send the poor stunt person grasping on to the back of the vehicle hurtling to their doom.  Along the way you collect skulls to build up your carnage meter which when full gives you temporary invincibility (note: this is the best time to run into the vehicles filled with explosives).  You also collect gears which can be used along with the money that you earn to upgrade your skills.  In true Colin Mochrie fashion when you complete a scene the director decides that it’s not good enough and throws a new wrinkle into the mix.  Or you can move on to a new scene if you’d like.  There’s a leaderboard based on the total amount you’ve earned for “shooting” scenes, and Game Center offers 63 achievements to earn.  You can even buy an IAP for more “ads” (they’re fake), which also gives you the ability to skip the ads.  It’s kind of a clever satire on the whole in-game ads thing.

Stunt Guy 2.0 Kempt, Stunt Guy 2.0 – Free

Isolani – Here we go with another segment where I start by saying how I don’t really like FPS games all that much.  Isolani perfectly illustrates why, because if it wasn’t lenient on health I’d have been dead several times over in the first couple of levels alone.  Still, there’s something rather intriguing about being in control of the fate of the last star in the galaxy.  While not necessarily the best looking 3D game I’ve seen in the iOS world it certainly ranks up there visually, and so far the level designs have been rather interesting.  I do find it rather ironic that you’re taking on high tech security robots with 20th century weaponry, but at least they have a cheesy explanation for that.  Isolani also has an interesting control scheme.  The left side of the screen moves your character around while the right side allows you to change your viewpoint and aim your weapon.  Firing is automatic however, which means you’ll only discharge your weapon when you actually have something to shoot in your crosshairs.  This actually requires a bit more skill because you have to be able to target something long enough to shoot it without getting hit yourself.  There aren’t any pickups either, which might throw more traditional FPS players off a bit.  If you like this style of game then Isolani’s definitely worth checking out, especially since it’s free.

Isolani Mobage, Inc., Isolani – Free

Warp Wiz – It’s possible they’ve been around for a while, but it seems like a new breed of game has popped up after the whole flappy craze started that encompasses games like this one.  It plays kind of like Tilt To Live in that you have to dodge a bunch of stuff, but instead of dragging your finger around the screen you simply tap the next location where you want your wizard to appear.  I actually expected such a mechanic to be a bit easier, but it turns out that’s not the case.  Instead of the game being reactive it becomes proactive because you have to anticipate where everything is going to be once you teleport instead of where it is before you teleport.  There are plenty of bad guy to dodge, though they appear to be all of one creature type at this point.  There are gems to collect which give you your score, and power ups to use like lightning, bombs a heart for when things take a turn for the worse.  At least you get two hits before you die unless you can collect a heart to extend your health.  There does not appear to be anything social network related at this point, though maybe future versions of the game will support a leaderboard or some achievements.

Warp Wiz Michael Gracik, Warp Wiz – Free

Laser Flee – At first glance this looks like a scrolling shooter, but it turns out that it’s actually a rather interesting action / puzzle game.  Your job is simply to escape from each room, and from the sound of the iTunes description you’ll never run out of rooms to explore, though it doesn’t seem like they are randomly generated.  At any rate there several things you have to be aware of.  A laser that stretches from top to bottom of the corridor is constantly coming towards you, and you will lose a life if it hits you.  On the right side of the screen is a blue barrier you need to get through by collecting a key found somewhere on the level.  Every level contains some extra ammo and some levels contain extra lives, but they often require you to shoot away blocks to get to them and ammo is limited.  Finally, while it appears that you are slim enough to fit through a path that is one block high, you actually require a space of two blocks to move forward.  This is the one thing that kind of drives me nuts.  The controls could stand to be a bit less sluggish as well since you are often trying to narrowly escape death, but that’s usually manageable.  The game has a nice retro look and decent music, and is definitely worth checking out given its fairly unique concept.

Laser Flee Ninecols, Laser Flee – Free

Asphalt Rush – I like racing games, but I tend to prefer what I call “silly” racers.  You know, the kind of game where you are either trying to destroy a bunch of stuff or run your opponents off the road or something like that.  I was pleasantly surprised with Asphalt Rush because not only is it what I’d consider a “silly” car game, but it’s unlike any I’ve ever played before.  Instead of controlling a car or even guiding the traffic, your job in this game is to fix potholes!  It’s pretty simple too: just tap or swipe to fill in the potholes, and get several in one swipe for a combo.  Of course as your level increases the potholes start coming faster, and natural occurrences like tornadoes and lightning strikes leave multiple potholes pretty much simultaneously.  You start out with 10 lives and each time a car is destroyed by a pothole you lose one.  Occasionally ambulances will leave hearts to replenish a life, but you’ll lose them a lot more quickly.  The one thing the game really needs is a few power ups to help you clean up the street more quickly and efficiently.  There are leaderboards to compete on and 12 achievements to earn, and the only IAP is if you wish to remove ads (or if you don’t like IAP you can buy the ad free version outright through the App Store).

Asphalt Rush Pawel Jedrysiak, Asphalt Rush – Free
Asphalt Rush Deluxe Pawel Jedrysiak, Asphalt Rush Deluxe – $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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