10 App Store Games To Watch [June 16 – 22]
There were a lot of fun releases this week. In addition to the games I detailed below I enjoyed Furballs, a new shooting gallery style game with an attitude. Instead of ducks you’ll be targeting annoying woodland creatures, and the dog will be sure to let you know when your performance wasn’t up to snuff. There have been a lot of “simulator” type games released lately, and I actually found one I liked in the form of Raptor Simulator : Dinosaur Extreme. With coins to collect and hearts to extend your time limit it feels more like a true game than others of its kind, though I still don’t get why humans fail to run away from these ferocious creatures. Tower defense fans should check out Overtime Rush – fantasy tower defense. I think it’s the first TD game where you’re trying to fend off hockey stick wielding monsters.
Stop The Hero – This is an interesting take on the dual stick action / RPG. Instead of controlling the hero, you get the job of placing the villains to try and stop him. Your three creature types are a thief, warrior and archer, and you’re only going to go far in this game if you learn to use them all in conjunction with each other. It costs you some coins to place each creature, but you’ll earn money back by beating up on the hero. You also get a stash of bonus coins at the end of each level depending on how much time you have left. Yes, each hero battle is timed, and the first one you fail to defeat in the allotted time frame signals the end of the game. At the beginning of each battle a treasure chest pops up, and if you tap it you’ll be able to level up one of your creatures. There is a leaderboard for score and maximum level reached, and there are 16 achievements to earn. There have been a number of “you play the bad guy” games in the past, but I think this is the first one I’ve seen done in this particular format. It would be nice to have a couple more monster types as well as a few different hero types to fight against, and it would also be cool if there were some types of permanent upgrades you could work towards. Otherwise this is a fun time waster that doesn’t feel just like everything else.
IF Global Limited, Stop The Hero – Free
Dragon Fighters – Epic Battle Heroes – Dragons are one of my favorite mythological creatures, yet it seems difficult for anyone to make a game that features them, whether you control them or fight against them, that is actually decent. Dragon Hunters actually does a pretty good job of making the task of dragon hunting interesting. You start out with an archer, and as you progress through the game you’ll be able to add additional members to your party for a total of 3. Unless you’re willing to spend some money on IAP, though, you can expect this to be a slow process. Money is also required in order to upgrade your party members, so you’re always having to choose between more powerful characters that you already own or new party members that might bring something different to the table. Each level is a city which must be freed from the dragons’ tyranny, and when you do so that city will start earning money for you. You can upgrade cities using gems so that the produce more money at a faster rate. Combat is a fairly simple affair, but it does get interesting juggling more than one party member at the same time. The combination of hero building and acquiring cities to earn money gives the game a sufficient amount of replay value as well.
YayNinjas LLC, Dragon Fighters – Epic Battle Heroes – Free
Wings on Fire – This is another in a long line of infinite games, this time focusing on the concept of flying. The first thing that sets it apart from other infinite games right off the bat is that instead of moving on “tracks”, you can move free-form around your environment, so long as you don’t run into anything. The down side to this is that it makes it hard to line up with coins and power ups, but it makes the game feel fresh despite adhering to pretty much traditional infinite gaming standards. You start with a basic plane that you can upgrade, or you can save your winnings to buy better planes, which you can also upgrade. There are one time boosts that you can buy as well as abilities (aka power ups) that you can upgrade. You also have the usual mission system to work through, but in this case as you “level up” or increase in rank you’ll unlock greater difficulty levels, which I’m going to assume account for the different locales shown in the screen shots on iTunes. There’s not really much new ground here – some may say there’s no ground at all – but it handles the genre well, it looks good, and the fact that you’re not restricted to lanes adds a nice new dimension to game play. Now if they would just give me the ability to shoot down enemy planes!
Soner Kara, Wings on Fire – Free
Impossible geometry – I often don’t like to share games this basic because I feel like there’s not enough to write about them. This is an infinite runner where you control one or more squares and have to jump over other squares. Since I haven’t made it that far this may not be an accurate comment, but it appears that there is really no variety in the background at any point, and except for slight size differences, you won’t be jumping over anything but squares. The main reason I’ve included this game is because there are four game play “modes” which range from controlling two to controlling five different squares. I’ve played a couple of runners where you had to control two characters at once, and three doesn’t seem too much of a stretch other than possibly being a bit frantic, but by the time you get to four and five independent runners you’ll be truly taxing your ability to use all your fingers at once to do different things. It’s almost like playing a chaotic piano piece with no rhyme or reason. The game does offer a leaderboard for each game play mode, so you can see how dexterous others are. If you’re a fan of the genre at all, you really need to take this one for a spin.
Tian Lei, Impossible geometry – Free
Action Hackers Unleashed – Secret Civilization – While I love the various match 3 mash-ups that have appeared over the past few years, it’s always nice to see someone turn out a good old fashioned “nothing but matching” match 3 game. In this case the playing field is a representation of a system that needs to be hacked, and each match you make theoretically draws you closer to the ultimate hack. Hack The Code mode is your standard match 3 experience, while Against Time gives you 90 seconds to complete each level. In Countless Hack mode there are no timers, and you can move pieces around without matching which means it’s conceivably an endless game if you want it to be. No matter which game play mode you choose you’ll earn XP for successful matches which can be used to buy Key Perks such as the ability to clone a tile into whichever color lock you’d like or a defense that automatically eliminates 1 FBI token. Speaking of which, as you get further along in the game you’ll start running into special locks that change color every time you make a move as well as FBI tiles that require special methods to remove because they don’t match with anything. Just bear in mind that the current version seems to be a bit buggy, so you might want to stick with the free offering until they get some of the kinks worked out.
Gooftroop LLC, Action Hackers Unleashed – Secret Civilization – Free
The Amazing Dash : New Season – It’s hard to resist a game where the main character is a cute alien that holds its one eye in its hand. This is actually quite an entertaining game, or at least has much potential to be once I stop tearing my hair out. At first only the Classic mode is unlocked, which according to the iTunes description is only four levels. If each time you transition to a new location counts as a new level, they aren’t very long at all. The problem is that if you die you start over from the beginning, and on what I suppose to be level 3 I have died A LOT. You can resume your game from the last level you played if you have a diamond, but you only get those by completing certain missions or spending some IAP. There are also 4 power ups that you can upgrade, but apparently those aren’t available unless you’re playing Endless mode, which doesn’t unlock until you complete classic mode. On the plus side, you might just be fully upgraded with all the coins you earn trying to complete Classic mode! The game supports Facebook for high scores and its own internal system for missions, so there is no Game Center to be found. It’s not the most innovative runner, but I love the main character and the fact that in level 2 you get to ride a turtle that in turn is riding a tricycle.
9Fury Games, The Amazing Dash : New Season – Free
Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest – I never got the chance to play Nun Attack and honestly didn’t care for Nun Attack: Run & Gun, but unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I actually find Yuki’s Silent Quest rather satisfying. In this installment of the franchise you find yourself helping Yuki defeat the evil that has destroyed her home village, recover all the kids that have been captured and fix the village up in the process. You use a swiping motion to dart Yuki back and forth across the screen, and you have to hit your opponents when they aren’t looking – it’s especially fun when they’re asleep. Each level is worth three shurikens: one for rescuing the kids, one for beating the level within a certain amount of time and one for using a limited number of swipes. Thankfully you can earn each shuriken independently, so use that to your advantage so you don’t drive yourself crazy. After every fourth level you unlock a bonus level that plays like fruit ninja but with loaves of bread, and if you slice enough on the level you earn an extra shuriken. The shurikens you earn can be used in the village to repair the damaged structures, so you’ll want to maximize your intake of those. There are no leaderboards or achievements or anything like that, but save the kids is its own reward, right?
Frima, Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest – $1.99
Tasty Blue – I’ve played many of this style of game where your goal is to eat everything you can and continually grow bigger in the process. I’m just not quite sure I’ve ever had this much fun doing it before. In this variation on the game you start out as a goldfish that gets overfed by the owner and goes on a hunger frenzy. Even from the beginning the things you can eat seem a bit silly, but you’re sure to chuckle the first few times you swallow a seagull. And just wait until you start taking on the human element. The game offers 70 levels that span between a goldfish, dolphin and a shark, though you’ll only get to sample some of the goldfish’s territory in the free version. There are 21 achievements to earn and a whopping 72 leaderboards to make your mark on, but I think you’ll have to buy the full game to enjoy most of that. There’s also a multiplayer mode on the same device that allows you to take on a friend, and while I simply sampled it on my own for a few seconds, I trust that in the end the victor will get to consume the vanquished. The visuals are nice and the sound effects that go with the consumption of each adversary can be fairly amusing. If you feel like making a pig out of yourself but don’t want to deal with the guilt of gaining weight, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Dingo Games Inc., Tasty Blue – Free
PopRaiders – It’s about time someone gave some meaning to those virtual bubble popping experiences. In this game your job is to recover a bunch of rubies, and as luck would have it they’re stuck in a series of caves that are full of bubbles. It turns out, however, that rubies aren’t the only thing getting stuck in the bubbles. Crates, boulders, spring pads and more all seem to have gotten trapped inside the soapy cells. On each level you must clear path between your explorer and the exit, hopefully running into the ruby on that level along the way. You get one ruby for completing the level, one for actually snagging the ruby that’s on the level and one if you pop all the empty bubbles that appear on the level. If you pop bubbles that contain items like boulders and crates they will fall and crush everything in the column below them, including exits and rubies. You get one “zap” on each level which allows you to clear all the empty bubbles with a single tap, and something called “charges” that I haven’t quite figured out yet. There are currently 80 levels in the regular level sets with a bonus level section that is supposedly being added onto every few days, although so far there seems to be only one bonus level available. A single leaderboard ranks you based on the total score of all levels you’ve completed, and there are currently no achievements. PopRaiders doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles, but at least it’s a nice change from the majority of what’s available on the App Store right now.
Hassaan Raza, PopRaiders – Free
Pea Hero: Dragon Land – It’s time for another installment of “thank you for NOT being a simple Flappy Bird clone”. This time around you take on the role of a knight trying to prove himself. You must conquer 999 dragons by either dodging them or besting them in battle. The best way to get through the game is to run under everything, but if you happen to collide with a dragon you’ll need to make a roll against your attack level and if you hit a fireball you have to roll against your defense. You begin with a certain percentage chance to successfully attack or dodge, and you also start with one life. Thankfully you can collect d-balls along the way, and when you get enough of them you can upgrade your character’s attack, defense and health attributes. There is one leaderboard which sadly appears to have already been compromised, but the game is fun enough just trying to increase your stats to see how much farther you can get in the game next time. The only thing I’m not too thrilled about is the positioning of the controls on the upper part of the screen. I’d personally like to see them on the lower half, but that’s just me.
Pham Anh, Pea Hero: Dragon Land – Free
That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:
- Xi’an Big Bag Electronic Science and Technology Co., Ltd, Forsaken Wing – $0.99
- Haptix Games, H2FLOW – $1.99
- Ketchapp, Catch the Balls – Free
- Anarchy Enterprises, Age of Castles (Official) – Free
- Thomas C. Hayes, Redneck Assassin – Free
- Digital Tribe, Stronghold 3: The Campaigns – $2.99
- CastleAbra Studios, CastleAbra: A Dark Comic Fantasy – $1.99
- CastleAbra Studios, CastleAbra: A Dark Comic Fantasy for iPad – $2.99
- Miguel Vivo Guzman, Arcane Ghosts – $1.99
- Roberto Dillon, Defense: Evolution – Free
- Warner Bros., LEGO ® Marvel ™ Super Heroes: Universe in Peril – $4.99
- Paprika Games, Worldlet – Free
- Ucube.Games, My Little BASARA: War of Sengoku – Free
- Glu Games Inc., Dead Route – Free
- Cribys Manufactory, Little Death Trouble – Free
- Backflip Studios, PlunderNauts – Free
- Alexandre Minard, Tiny Prehistoric Adventure – Free
- Chillingo Ltd, Are You A Dodo? – Free
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:
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [June 9 – 15]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [June 2 – 8]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [May 26 – June 1]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [May 19 – 25]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [May 12 – 18]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [May 5 – 11]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [April 28 – May 4]
- 1o New App Store Games To Watch [April 21 – 27]