10 App Store Games To Watch [May 5 – 11]


This week presented some challenges in terms of finding games that I wanted to talk about, but in the end I think I managed to pull out a decent, well rounded list.  My favorite from a pure silliness standpoint was WreckMan: Rise Of A Hero.  You control a wannabe stunt biker riding an alien artifact that has been attached to the end of a chain protruding from a helicopter, in effect making it a highly mobile wrecking ball… and you have a talking rabbit for a companion.  If you’re one of those folks that just wants to pull your hair out but would like to do it playing something that’s actually fun you should give Lumena a try.  It’s one part rhythm game, one part reverse breakout and very easy to die on.  On the other hand, maybe you just want to have fun storming the castle.  CastleStorm – Free to Siege is 150 levels of high quality castle defense with 3D cut scenes, a hero you can directly control and lots of projectiles to toss at your opponents.


Mubik Musical Puzzle – When it comes to music do you like to test your knowledge or accuracy?  As luck would have it, in this game you can do both.  In Quiz mode you’ll have to try and guess what song you’re attempting to play in as few notes as possible.  In Talent mode, on the other hand, you’ll have to try to match the beat of the song as closely as possible.  Fortunately you don’t even have to be acquainted with how to play an instrument because you simply swipe your fingers across a series of tiles which conveniently plays the songs for you.  The game allows for multiple profiles so you can compare your skills against others that play on your device, and you can post your “performance” on the Talent side to Facebook or send it to friends through email if you like.  The free download includes three packs with songs that you will most likely recognize, though you might realize that you don’t always know the titles of familiar tunes.  On the quiz side they help you out by giving you four choices to pick from, but the talent side can be challenging because they may not always play the song the same way you’re used to.  There are currently 15 bonus packs to choose from, but at 99 cents a pop this could quickly become a premium game price wise.  It’s definitely a good and entertaining way to introduce kids to some classics, though, and parents should enjoy it as well.

Mubik Musical Puzzle Mubik Entertainment Oy, Mubik Musical Puzzle – Free


Jurassic Quest – Dinosaurs are one of those subjects we should have more games about simply because they are so cool.  Sadly, most of the games that focus around dinosaurs aren’t even that good.  Jurassic Quest, on the other hand, is a no nonsense platform game that while it unfortunately doesn’t take advantage of its topic does a good job of making a game around it.  You control a Dilophosaurus that just wants some eggs.  There are three to recover on each level, and while there is no time limit your extraction mission won’t be easy.  Plenty of other dinosaurs will try and stop you, as will the lava that often resides along the ground floor of the levels.  Sometimes the eggs are just plain tricky to reach.  The game isn’t all heartless, however, as you do get three hearts on a level before you die, and you can even reclaim extra hearts from some fallen dinos.  You also don’t immediately die when you fall into the lava which is cool, and if you can coax the other dinosaurs into the lava you can use it to your advantage.  Other than retrieving all the eggs there are no rewards for finishing the levels and there are no achievements to earn, but for some reason it all seems to work in this game.  It’s free to download, and the only IAP is a buck if you want to remove the ads.

Jurassic Quest Homeworld Arts LLC, Jurassic Quest – Free


WreckMan: Rise Of A Hero – Now stay with me on this one: you’re a hack stunt rider that gets chosen by a talking rabbit who is really a being from another plant to guard a precious artifact which gets attached to a chain and becomes a deadly wrecking ball… which you control.  Sound like a trippy Michael Bay outing yet?  The game is comprised of 5 different acts, each with multiple scenes to complete.  All you have to do is survive to complete a scene, but completing each of the three missions will earn you coins, and if you complete all the missions in a given act your talking rabbit friend will give you an extra bonus.  Replay scenes to earn more money and complete any missions you didn’t get the first time around, and buy and upgrade lots of nifty stuff to make your government flunky bashing skills even more awesome.  As if all that wasn’t enough you’ll be able to unlock challenges from your rabbit friend along the way that provide even more fun and also allow you to earn coins.  Game Center provides a leaderboard and 17 achievements just in case you need more.  The visuals are outstanding and the cut scenes are well done and often humorous.  And this is one of those rare cases where I actually prefer the tilt controls to swiping.

WreckMan: Rise of a hero Playground Publishing B.V., WreckMan: Rise of a hero – Free


Back to the Moon – Space Adventure – This week’s “thanks for not being a TRUE flappy clone” award goes to Back to the Moon.  Sure the game got its inspiration from that whole mess, but it adds enough twists to rise above the pack.  Instead of simply tapping up to “fly” or whatever the equivalent action might be, here you control both up and down movement by tapping the upper and lower parts of the screen respectively.  In this case your major obstacles are planets that you have to dodge, and they have the additional nuisance of having a gravitational pull in effect, though this can actually work to your advantage when used correctly.  You can also pass through the top and bottom edges of the screen which can be both useful and detrimental.  The game does offer a leaderboard since that’s the typical draw for this type of game, and there are a few achievements for those interested in something more.  The other thing this game offers that most flappy clones don’t is nice visuals and some snappy music.

Back to the Moon - Space Adventure Lucas SOUCHET, Back to the Moon – Space Adventure – Free


Dragon Coins – If you’re into mobile RPGs at all you’ve probably tried one or two of this type of game.  It’s one of those deals where you collect various types of monsters which you can level up both by fighting with them and by fusing them with other monsters you collect.  You can also evolve them Pokemon style at some point during the game.  Though there are plenty of graphics I tend to refer to these as menu driven games because it feels like you spend a lot of time in options screens rather than actually playing anything.  For me this style of game tends to get old fairly quickly, but I think as a whole they’re fairly popular in the mobile world.  What makes this one in particular stick out is the combat mechanic.  Most games like this use match 3 mechanics for fighting, but Dragon Coins uses the coin dozer concept for you to fight.  Each team member requires a certain number of coins in order to attack, so what that number of coins falls into their lane they fight.  Once you’ve dropped a certain number of coins overall the enemy will attack, and if your health reaches 0 before you can replenish it with green life coins then the battle is over for you.  I’m still not particularly excited about this type of game, but if you are into it then this should give you a nice break from all the others that still employ match 3 mechanics.

Dragon Coins SEGA, Dragon Coins – Free


Lumena – Forget Flappy Bird and it’s long line of dopplegangers, if you want a game that is truly fun and will drive you nuts at the same time, Lumena is it.  This game is like a combination of reverse breakout and rhythm games.  You have a ball in the center of the screen and you have to fling it towards the outer circle without it escaping.  Freedom for the ball occurs when either it flies through a gap in the circle or strikes a tile that is not the same color as the circle (you’re welcome for the tip, since this game makes you learn its secrets on your own).  Better yet, the circle changes on the beat, both in position and possibly colors of the tiles.  There are six tracks available at this point, and you have to last 30 seconds in one to unlock the next.  While it may not sound like much, this should keep the less skilled gamers busy for quite some time at any rate.  The game offers 6 achievements, one for unlocking each track and one for lasting 60 seconds on the final track.  There is also a leaderboard for each track so you can see how poorly you rank against your competitors, or at least that’s how it is in my case.  This game is simple in premise, extremely difficult to master and could cause massive amounts of pulled hair to suddenly appear on the floor near where you usually play your iOS device.

Lumena Elevate Entertainment, Lumena – $1.99


Soulcalibur Unbreakable Soul – One of the biggest complaints about fighting games on mobile devices is that they are usually hard to control.  Unbreakable Soul takes an entirely new approach to the genre, and while it might not appease the stingiest fighting fans, it works for people like me who can’t punch their way out of a paper bag.  Battles are executed by playing movement cards, and if you can get like cards next to each other they’ll merge to form deluxe versions of those cards.  Combining multiple groups of certain types of cards can create deadly combos.  Play lots of cards in a row to fill up a special meter which will allow you to inflict intense damage, or take a break from attacking so that you can block your opponent’s blows.  Just make sure you don’t let your HP or the round timer get to 0.  Collect and enhance more than 150 avatar cards and 200 types of weapons.  Play through a complex, story driven campaign mode or compete online against other players to rise in the global ranks.  Just remember that you can play as a guest, but if you want to keep your data between devices or should you have to uninstall the game you’ll have to create an account.

SOULCALIBUR Unbreakable Soul NamcoBandai Games Inc., SOULCALIBUR Unbreakable Soul – Free


Feeding Zoo HD – This is a match 3 game that’s designed with kids in mind, with the realization that by and large kids have parents as well.  Your job is to progress through more than 200 levels of hungry animals, making matches of three or more tiles of food of the type each animal wants to satiate their appetite.  After the first couple of levels you’ll get the option at the beginning of each level to choose a power up to take in with you.  Unfortunately you can’t choose just any power up, but I’m assuming the power ups have been tailored to the levels on which you can select them.  You earn money for each level that play regardless of whether you complete it or not, though you do earn a lot more money if you actually finish the level.  Just like with infinite runner style games you can upgrade your power ups to make them more useful.  Besides needing to collect a certain amount of food for each animal on a given level you will be restricted to either the amount of time you get on the level or the number of moves you can make, both of which have corresponding power ups to offset.  The music and visuals should definitely appeal to kids, but there’s enough of a challenge that adults can enjoy the game as well.

Feeding Zoo Captive Games, Feeding Zoo – Free
Feeding Zoo HD Captive Games, Feeding Zoo HD – Free


CastleStorm – Free to Siege – At its heart CastleStorm is one of those castle defense games, but this particular variant has so much more to offer.  In addition to continuously tossing troops towards your enemy’s castle you can actually send out a hero that you directly control.  If that isn’t enough your castle also has battlements that you can manually fire at your opponent’s castle, complete with several types of ammunition that do damage in different and cool ways.  Better yet, you can build your own castle to defend.  The campaign is comprised of 150 levels across four different nations, and there are 8 different heroes to upgrade and master.  What impresses me the most is the high production values of the game.  The visuals are top notch, complete with 3D rendered cut scenes that are fully voiced, and the music is really nice as well.  This is easily one of the best looking and most interactive versions of this style of game that you’ll find on the App Store.

CastleStorm - Free to Siege ZEN Studios Ltd., CastleStorm – Free to Siege – Free


BUSH’S Bean Dash – If you’ve followed my roundups for any length of time you know I love a good product tie-in, and this is one of the best of seen to date.  Unlike Jurassic Quest which is meant to test your platforming skills, Bean Dash is designed for some light hearted, bean collecting fun.  You’ll run through three different environments collecting lots of beans and also the other ingredients needed to make 9 different flavors of Bush’s famous beans.  Lots of obstacles will try to slow your progress, but there are also different power ups to counter them.  My favorite is the one that lets you fly with a pig.  Earn an achievement for discovering each new recipe, and share your accomplishments on Facebook (as long as you consent, of course).  The visuals have a great pixel art quality about them, and you’ll get lots of encouragement vocally from both Jay and Duke along the way.  Despite the claims in the iTunes description I would not say this game is difficult to master, but it sure is fun to waste a few minutes on.  Oh, and not only is it free but it doesn’t have any IAP either.

BUSH’S® Bean Dash BUSH’S® Beans, BUSH’S® Bean Dash – 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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