10 App Store Games To Watch [May 12 - 18]

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The flood of new games on the App Store is still going strong, and as usual I’ve tried to provide you with a decent list of options so you don’t have to wade through them all yourself.  While I attempt to keep the genres pretty diverse I found myself including three match 3 style games this time around, including the movie tie-in Godzilla – Smash3.  There’s no direct city trashing, but by making matches you’ll still get to unleash plenty of stomping, smashing and atomic breath style destruction.  Speaking of movie tie-ins, Warner Bros released an interesting little FPS based off of Edge of Tomorrow: Live.Die.Repeat, which is actually kind of fun to play if you don’t mind dying even more than you might in a typical FPS.  Speaking of movie tie-ins, Warner Bros… sorry, bad joke (at least if you know what the movie is about).  A company I wasn’t familiar with released a PvZ clone called Humans vs Zombies, and I honestly expected it to be a cheap knock-off that I’d delete after a level or two.  As it turns out, I think I actually like it better than PvZ, so if you can’t get enough of that style of game play, don’t let HvZ pass you by.

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Sally Sizzle – This is one of the “other” type of match 3 games where you draw a line through 3 or more of the same object to match them.  In this case your goal is to fill your customers with sweet toppings until they are satisfied.  As you play round after round you’ll build up experience and level up, earning cupcakes and refilling your life meter.  Yeah, this is one of those games where you only get to play for so many times before you either have to turn it off for a while and wait for your meter to refill or shell out for some IAP.  Anyway, as you continue to play you’ll earn candies that can be used to upgrade your toppings which make them fill up the guests faster.  You will also earn power ups if you match 5 or more of an object, and the power ups will help you clear the board more rapidly.  There is plenty to upgrade in this game, but it’s not very generous with its rewards so prepare to spend some decent time at the beginning earning your initial upgrades.  There is no Game Center integration, but you can connect to Facebook to compete with other players there as well as invite your friends to earn candies.  The silly, upbeat atmosphere rounds out this enjoyable and relatively challenging match 3 game.

Sally Sizzle Major Glasses Studio, Sally Sizzle – Free

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Humans vs Zombies – I’m sure by the name alone you can guess what this is a clone of.  Personally I was expecting it to be nothing more than a low production value clone, but the truth is that it’s actually pretty fun.  There are no exotic board layouts that I’ve run across so far, but the standard rectangular fighting grounds work well enough.  For quite a while you’re introduced to either a new troop for your side or a new opponent, each with their own strengths or weaknesses.  You’ll have to figure out which type of solider is best to use in each situation, accounting of course for the fact that the bad guys don’t stop just because your resources aren’t adequate for producing the troops you need.  You’ll acquire a variety of power ups along the way, some that affect the bad guys directly and others that enhance the troops you have on the field.  You even get a couple of different heroes that you can upgrade and directly control in battle, at least in the sense that you can freely move them around the board.  The graphics and sound are even pretty decent.  The only thing missing here is some sort of social network integration.

Humans vs Zombies Mindray Technologies, Humans vs Zombies – Free

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Runic – “Hey, you got your 2048 in my match 3!”  Yes, Runic is an interesting meld of traditional and faddish game play.  The object, as with any match 3 game, is to match 3 or more of the same object to clear them from the board.  Instead of just sliding two pieces or drawing a line through all the pieces you want, however, in Runic you move the board around just like if you were playing a game of 2048… or 1024, or whatever other multiple you prefer.  When three or more runes are lined up horizontally or vertically they will disappear, and in the mean time with each move you make one or more new runes will randomly materialize.  Eventually you’ll start seeing blocks that don’t match with anything and take one or more hits from a rune to destroy.  The plus side is that if you hit the rock with a rune containing a score bonus the score bonus will go up.  Runic offers one leaderboard and no achievements at this point, but it’s such a nice distraction from the rest of the match 3 / 2048 games that it’s worth playing just for that.  Besides, the match 3 mechanic is usually used to enhance another genre, so it’s nice to see it be on the receiving end this time around.

Runic Tangerine POP, LLC, Runic – Free

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Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat. – I don’t know much about the movie, but I think it would be fair to describe it as Groundhog Day in a futuristic war zone.  Normally I’m not very enthusiastic about movie tie-ins, and for an FPS this seems a bit basic and slightly cumbersome.  At the same time, once I start playing I get sucked in and want to keep going, even though I seem to die over and over again, often in the same spot.  I like the fact that you’re not the only soldier on the battlefield, even though your comrades seem a bit useless.  I also appreciate that you not only have to worry about the mimics, which despite the auto-fire feature can be hard to take down, but you will need to dodge falling aircraft and exploding land vehicles as well.  The game does a great job of providing a tense atmosphere, and the rewind at death feature along with the ghostly images of previous mimic encounters are both nice touches.  Edge of Tomorrow has its share of issues, but for the free price tag (in other words, the prize at the bottom of the digital cereal box) I’m pretty pleased.

Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat. Warner Bros., Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat. – Free

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Attack The Ark (Raft Runner) – Okay, before you send me tons of “you’re lame” email, I know this used to be called Catch The Ark and that it was published by Chillingo.  All I can say is that I really should have played it the first time around, because as an infinite runner addict I really missed out.  The three characters that are riding the raft are great, and really should have their own cartoon.  Not to mention the fact that each one affords you a life which is a nice touch.  Like most games you can buy one time power ups as well as upgrade the power ups that you can pick up along the trip.  You can also buy and equip up to two pets that ride along on the raft and give you bonuses in certain areas.  There are a nice variety of obstacles to avoid and plenty of missions to accomplish.  In other words, it is everything you’d want in an infinite runner, all wrapped up in a great presentation layer.

Attack the Ark (Raft Runner) Mobage, Inc., Attack the Ark (Raft Runner) – Free

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We Are Soldier – In We Are Soldier you pilot a funky looking aircraft, blowing up tall buildings in an already war ravaged city while trying to dodge missiles that look like they are being guided by drunk gremlins.  The controls are actually responsive, but the missiles seem to come out of nowhere and collision detection is absolutely horrid.  Plus, until you get used to the landscape, it’s often hard to tell whether or not a building is tall enough for you to hit until you waste ammo shooting at it or just run into it for testing purposes.  This game is very frustrating and much like Flappy Bird difficult for many of the wrong reasons.  Yet for some reason I find myself continually tapping the “one more time” button on this one.  There is a leaderboard, though by now you probably know I don’t care much about those, and there are 11 achievements to earn.  The iTunes description also talks about missions, though I believe in this case they are the same as the achievements.  Despite the washed out, “remember the DOS days” palette I really like the visuals, and the music isn’t bad either.  I doubt We Are Soldiers will ever make anyone’s “greatest hits” list, but given the deluge of “we can’t even make good clones” offerings on the App Store, this one isn’t bad at all.

We Are Soldier M Adam, We Are Soldier – Free

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Last Hope – Zombie Sniper 3D – I know there’s plenty of this style of game on the App Store, but I like this one and it strikes me as being fairly polished.  In typical survivalist fashion it’s your job to take down anything undead with your trusty rifle (or whatever weapon you end up with in the long run).  The game features a 14 level campaign mode that is certain to challenge, especially if you want to earn all three stars.  There are Challenge and Survival modes as well, and both in-game missions for earning goods and Game Center achievements just to make you feel good.  As you play and replay scenarios you’ll level up your character and start unlocking skills and attributes.  Skills are at their max potential from the get go but you can only use 2 at a time, whereas attributes are all usable at the same time but require stars to upgrade and make useful.  There’s also a wide variety of weapons to unlock and take advantage of.  The game looks good and has decent background music as well, rounding out this nice zombie sharpshooting package.

Last Hope - Zombie Sniper 3D JE Software, Last Hope – Zombie Sniper 3D – Free

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Haunted House – Apparently this is a retread of an old Atari game, and I have to say that I am rather enjoying it.  Your character is constantly running, but instead of directing him to jump or slide to avoid obstacles, you handle the obstacles for him.  To dispatch obstacles you swipe in the direction of the arrows surrounding the obstacles.  If a platform is missing draw it in with a swipe.  Press on falling platforms to hold them in place, and tap on skull coins and power up scrolls to collect them.  Complete missions and collect coins in order to level up and earn one time power ups or bonuses to three different skills.  Some Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements would be nice, but overall this is a cute little infinite running game with neat graphics, decent game play mechanics and a charming atmosphere.

Haunted House® Atari, Haunted House® – Free

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The Lord of the Tower – The king sits majestically on his throne, and all he wants is to survive the day.  That’s where you come in, because apparently his former builders couldn’t construct their way out of a paper bag.  Over the course of 30 missions (at least in the free version) you’ll need to defend the king from all manner of miscreants using a variety of blocks that are at your disposal.  Some fire projectiles at the enemy, while one explodes bombs that take out anyone nearby.  You only have a certain number of blocks to use on a given level, but you can constantly rearrange what you have to suit your needs against the next incoming wave of creatures.  You can even use the blocks themselves as weapons by dropping them on the heads of land bases creatures.  Victorious missions earn you coins that you can use to upgrade the health and availability of different blocks, and eventually you’ll unlock bonus abilities such as the fireball and repair skills.  You can earn up to three stars per level, though unfortunately there is no good explanation as to how you earn those stars, and you can also earn 16 achievements and compete on a leaderboard in Game Center.

The Lord of the Tower Right Fusion Inc., The Lord of the Tower – $0.99

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Godzilla – Smash3 – A little bit of me is sad that this didn’t turn out to be more of a Rampage style arcade game, but it actually works pretty well as a glorified match 3 outing.  There are three different types of attacks you can unleash which do differing levels of damage.  You can also match hearts to regain health and collect atomic symbols to fill up a meter so that you can blast the enemies with your radioactive breath.  Use boosts to gain the upper hand in a battle, and level up by earning stars so that you can enhance Godzilla’s skills to your liking.  There are 80 levels to conquer, including boss fights with the giant monsters from the movie.  There is no Game Center integration, but you can hook up to Facebook and apparently get help from your friends or aid them if necessary.  Just make sure you do this first as it will restart your game.  The visuals are quite impressive, and while you may not technically have direct control over Godzilla, it’s always fun to manipulate the atomic beast and cause lots of destruction.

Godzilla - Smash3 Rogue Play, Inc., Godzilla – Smash3 – 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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