10 App Store Games To Watch [3/13/15]

roundup-intro

Everyone order their Apple Watches yet?  Personally, I think I’ll stick to something with a slightly bigger screen that doesn’t have to sit on my wrist for the time being.  Not that I’ve got that out of the way, how about we talk iOS games?  I’m reaching back into the archives again, in one case going all the way back to 2012.  But, the way I figure it, if the game still captures my attention then it is still worth playing.  Hopefully you’ll feel the same way about any number of these selections.

roundup-planet-quest

Planet Quest [2/12/15] – I don’t really fancy myself a rhythm game addict as I’ve never gotten into the likes of Guitar Hero or such games.  However, give me an oddball specimen like Planet Quest and my white, middle aged non-rhythmic sensibilities take over.  The best I can tell you’re a near sighted alien on a quest to collect foreign animal species, though as it turns out all you manage to gather are goofy humans dressed in furry costumes.  The trick is that you have to collect your specimens on the beat of the music, though if you’re slightly off you’ll at least get an okay and the “pleasure” of keeping the human’s costume.  Just be sure you don’t miss, or worse yet slip up and try to suck up a flower wearing freak.  All that’s required to play the game is your ability to tap the screen and some concept of timing, though how good you are at mastering those things will be determined by your ranking on the leaderboard and how many achievements you earn.  The down side is that the developer decided to go with their own online system, so you’ll have to register an account or show up in the rankings with some anonymous user name.  The graphics are lots of fun, the music is great, and whether you have any musical inclination or not there’s a good chance you’ll get addicted to this one.

Planet Quest OutOfTheBit Ltd, Planet Quest – Free

roundup-top-tank

Top Tank [11/16/14] – The best way I can think of to describe Top Tank is to call it the arcade version of Scorched Earth.  It’s you against an army of tanks, with a few helicopters and fighter planes thrown in for good measure.  Controlling your tank is simple – press the fire button and hold until your turret is at the angle you want and then release to fire.  You can do the same with the special weapon button if you have one equipped.  The thing you have to keep in mind is that the enemies are constantly moving, so what might be a good angle at the time possibly won’t work once the projectile gets to its supposed target.  Also, if a tank gets too close it’s very difficult to get rid of it.  There are statistics at the end of each run like how many kills you made and your largest combo (number of kills without missing), and the game also has one leaderboard and 11 achievements through Twitter.  In addition to that, for every so many miles you travel you’ll unlock a new location to obliterate.  The biggest problem with the game is lack of variety – there are only a couple of different special weapon types and you only get one tank to choose from.  The game is still pretty fun, but a good dose on unlockables would make this one a real standout.

Top Tank Fun Fetched, Top Tank – $0.99

roundup-cards-and-castles

Cards and Castles [4/11/14] – Cards and Castles is a CCG with a twist: instead of battling using the cards themselves as is typical these days, in Cards and Castles you drag the cards onto a playing field and they transform into units or structures that you then use in a more traditional turn based game of warfare.  You start out with a basic deck and over time you’ll earn cards as you progress through various scenarios.  You can also buy cards in the store using CP (card points) or BP (bit points).  Interestingly enough it appears that you can only buy BP via IAP, though theoretically that means you can get just about anything by playing the game enough.  There are several single player scenarios to work through, and when you feel up to it you can take on the world in one on one battles either live or asynchronously.  From what I can tell you can even bring a friend in when you’re struggling with one of the levels on a scenario.  This is a well done mash up of genres that is worth taking a look at if you’re a fan of strategy based games.

Cards and Castles Bit Mass LLC, Cards and Castles – Free

roundup-i-hate-fish

I Hate Fish [1/8/15] – Welcome to flappy worm on steroids.  Not only do you get an “up” button, but you also get the option to accelerate and if you acquire certain weapons you can launch them on command – as long as your charger is full.  The game is comprised of several stages, each of which has three goals to accomplish.  Thankfully you can clear each goal individually if it’s easier for you, and in some cases it might be the only way you can get all three.  Not that it’s such a bad thing because each run through you can collect additional money which lets you unlock cool new weapons and upgrade what you already have.  The game features 39 achievements through Game Center, and at this point there are no leaderboards.  This is also a great game for kids, as the graphics, sound and music all resonate “cute and energetic”.  Besides, what youngster wouldn’t love a worm in a submarine?

I Hate Fish Fingersoft, I Hate Fish – Free

roundup-star-marine

Star Marine: Infinite Ammo [1/11/12] – This is an oldie, and quite frankly the first time I played it I dismissed it as feeling kind of cheap.  I recently saw it featured in an article on retro gaming for iOS devices, and playing it again I realize I might have been too rash with my first reaction.  The game starts out feeling like Contra in space, but apparently before too long you end up on an alien planet at which point it would be like Contra with a guy dressed in a space suit.  Each level is filled with plenty of nasty alien creatures to destroy, and when you earn enough points from said destruction you’ll earn a gem.  You can also get gems from beating a nice collection of challenges.  These games can be used to buy new weapons or upgrade the weapons you have as well as to replenish your supply of angel wings, stimpacks and nukes which are used to lift you out of pits, restore health and destroy everything on screen respectively.  In addition to the main campaign there are several bonus missions that can be played once you’ve unlocked them by completing certain levels of the main mission.  This is a must have for platform lovers and those that remember what a 16 bit console was.

Star Marine: Infinite Ammo GlitchSoft, Star Marine: Infinite Ammo – $1.99

roundup-dino-and-jack

Dino And Jack – The Lost Bones [2/25/15] – Make no bones about it, Dino and Jack is a cute infinite runner.  I won’t bark up the wrong tree and say that the game does anything particularly unique for the genre, but I still find it hard to tear myself away from the game once I start.  If you’re ever in the dog house and need something to pass the time for a while, why not take little Jack for a run and collect some bones while taking out flies, mosquitoes, fish and assorted other creatures that don’t mind taking a bite out of you.  This is a game where your bark is definitely worse than your bite, but when that’s not powerful enough you have banana, bee and coconut guns at your disposal, all of which can be upgraded with the bones you collect.  There are a few other aspects of your character that can be upgraded as well, and if you’re feeling stylish you can purchase hats, fancy colars and even a doggie makeover to get the ladies howling.  The game does offer a leaderboard and 45 achievements through Game Center, and completing the achievements earns you keys which can be used to revive in the game when you die.  The kids will love the cute graphics and fun sound effects, and even you adults might find it addictive after a while.

Dino And Jack - The Lost Bones Gamicals, Dino And Jack – The Lost Bones – Free

roundup-candy-crush-soda-saga

Candy Crush Soda Saga [11/11/14] – I really didn’t give Candy Crush Saga much of a try, but as I was installing some games the other day this one came up in a search I did so I thought I’d give it a shot.  So far the basic game mechanics pretty much mirror most other match 3 games.  I’ve run into three different goals so far, and I do like the one where you have to get the gummy bear above a candy rope line by clearing a path for it to float up.  Where this game gets exciting, however, is when you start mixing power ups.  There’s one power up that gets rid of every candy of whatever type you swap it for, and then there’s my favorite power up – the gummy fish.  When you get this one it will swim to a crucial piece in your puzzle and clear it way for you.  Combine the two and you get a hailstorm of fish nibbling away at your board.  Even if you complete the goal for a given board there are 3 stars to earn, so in many cases there will be incentive to try a board again for that high score.  There’s no Game Center here but you can connect with your friends via Facebook.  Cute characters will draw in the kids and challenging levels will keep the adults busy for a while as well.

Candy Crush Soda Saga King.com Limited, Candy Crush Soda Saga – Free

roundup-max-axe

Max Axe – Epic Adventure! [10/30/13] – This isn’t the first weapon flinging adventure for iOS, and I’m certain it won’t be the last.  It is one of the most entertaining ones I’ve played so far, though.  You are Max, and your quest is the destruction of basically everything you have the power to destroy.  Luckily the areas you visit are full of slimes, dragons, trolls and various other assorted nasty creatures, as well as plenty of shrubs, stumps and other landscape that you can demolish.  Your weapon of choice is the axe, which you can upgrade to do more damage.  You can also get better gloves to throw farther and nifty helmets that protect you from more blows.  Collect coins and gems to purchase these and other upgrades, and find ancient artifacts to increase special power ups.  Complete quests to unlock new items to buy and set your own destiny by choosing between various paths as you stroll along in your quest.  There’s plenty to explore, tons of monsters to crush and numerous quests to complete.  You can even slay your friends’ ghosts if you connect with Facebook.

Max Axe - Epic Adventure! Crazy Labs, Max Axe – Epic Adventure! – Free

roundup-infinity-dungeon

Infinity Dungeon [12/21/14] – At first I wasn’t really too sure about this game.  It’s another casual side scrolling dungeon crawler where your hand to hand character automatically attacks but you control special attacks and abilities via four buttons near the bottom of the screen.  Every creature you defeat earns you gold and in some cases you might even earn a gem, both of which are used to upgrade 5 different traits between the two characters.  If you earn enough gems through play time or by completing special offers (or buying them via IAP) you can even buy a few special super cool items to help you on your quest to conquer the dungeon.  Every time you defeat a level you’ll leave a dwarf there to mine you some extra gold, and as funds permit you can expand the amount of gold that can be mined before the cart must be emptied.  Thanks to Game Center there are three different leaderboards to rank on as well as 25 achievements to earn.  This is definitely not going to satiate anyone looking for a deep RPG experience, but if you want something that you can load up and play for five minutes or an hour as time permits, Infinity Dungeon will certainly do the trick.

Infinity Dungeon! Dai-Hyun Kwon, Infinity Dungeon! – $0.99

roundup-three-crush

Three Crush [1/7/15] – Ready for another 2048?  This game certainly takes its cues from that puzzle classic, but it also throws in a couple of features that make this one outshine much of its competition.  As always the goal of the game is to swipe tiles of the same number into each other to create tiles of a bigger number.  In this case, once you get past 48 the tiles come with some nifty pictures of monsters on them as well.  Of course the loose premise behind this is that you’re trying to impress the League of Numbers, presumably so you can gain entrance to this “exclusive” club.  One thing you’ll notice early on is that the numbers don’t cap quite as soon as many of these games – the biggest monster I’ve uncovered so far is worth 6K and I’ve still got eleven monsters to unveil.  Where the game gets real interesting is if you match 3 or more of the same number you’ll create gems which can be used to eliminate entire rows or even clear the grid and bump everything up a level.  You can only use three of each color gem per game, but they definitely come in handy in a jam.  Currently the game only supports Facebook for social networking, but at least you can still compare scores and invite your friends to join the fun.

Three Crush Jandas, Three Crush – Free

Well that wraps up another edition of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played recently that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our App Store Games Roundup:

Next ArticleMaya The Bee: Flying Challenge in Review - Kid Friendly, Infinite Flying Fun