10 App Store Games To Watch [5/27/15]

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Okay, I know I should be going out more to enjoy the warmer weather we’re finally getting in my part of the world, but then the sun messes up my view of the iPad screen!  Once again I’ve divined 10 App Store games that I think you’ll enjoy, and for the most part they fall under the “casual” category so you can spend five minutes with them or hours on them if you get hooked.  Just remember if the latter happens it’s not my fault.  I didn’t make you download the game and give it a try.

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High Dive [5/7/15] – You’re Walter, and all you want to do is get to the water below you.  This desire has caused you to become a diving fool, emphasis on the fool part.  You see, in a veiled reference that probably has nothing to do with Alfred Hitchcock, there are lots of birds flying between you and the water.  Touch one and you’ll have to start the dive all over again.  The trick is to see how high you can get before you’ve lost your resolve (and all of your lives).  Diamonds are strategically placed along the dive, and if you collect them you can either continue your game once you’ve lost all your lives or you can unlock a couple of different characters to play with.  Or you can do both if you’re persistent enough.  You have the option from time to time of watching a video to earn more diamonds, and of course you can always buy some via IAP.  There are 5 different leaderboards to conquer and 4 achievements to earn.  While the latter might seem like nothing, they are the kind of achievements that will take most people some time to fulfill.  The visuals are simple but nice, and the music is decent for a while though the single soundtrack does get old after a while.  If you don’t have enough causal games yet, High Dive is a solid, basic alternative for you.

High Dive The Frosty Pop Corps Inc., High Dive – Free

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Into The Circle [5/6/15] – Simple is the name of the game… okay, well I guess I already established that it was Into The Circle.  And this game is by no means simple, but like many casual games I mention it is certainly easy to figure out.  You simply hold the screen when the arrow is pointing in the direction you want and let go when the power meter is filled to what you deem is an appropriate level.  What you’re doing is launching a ball, and your goal is to get it to stop in the next zone from where you’re at.  You score one point for landing in the zone, and additional points if you get close enough to the center, which is also known as perfect.  The cool thing is that the bonus goes up for each “perfect” you score – the first time you get one extra point, the second time you get two, etc.  If you score three perfects in a row you get a star, and you can also collect stars via daily “logins” or by purchasing them from the store.  Stars are used to continue the game if you don’t make it into the target zone.  The game offers a high score leaderboard and 21 achievements through Game Center, and there is also an internal weekly leaderboard where the higher you rise, the more stars you earn.  The graphics are simple but pleasing, and the single song is quirky and cool.

Into The Circle Gameblyr, LLC, Into The Circle – Free

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Cooped Up [5/5/15] – Nitrome is one of those indie companies that seems to just drop games into the App Store out of nowhere.  They’ve typically got good pixel art graphics and in the case of Platform Panic and Cooped Up seem to strive for simple, entertaining game play.  In this case you are trying to help a bird “fly the coop” so to speak, but unfortunately the long term residents really don’t want to see you getting out before them.  Of course most of them look like cartoon zombie birds, but that’s okay because it jives well with their crazy personalities.  Your job is to fling the bird from wire to wire, avoiding the demented adversaries and eating the insects and spiders whenever you can.  Your score is based on how many wires you manage to traverse, and it helps you climb the Game Center leaderboard.  There are also 15 achievements to earn.  Every time you collect 10 bugs you earn a boost that launches you through a few wires, but otherwise there are no power ups to be found, which in my opinion is the main down side to the game.  If Nitrome keeps this up they’ll definitely be one to watch in the mobile realm.

Cooped Up Nitrome, Cooped Up – Free

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Pieces of Paper Pro [2/22/15] – Every match 3 game these days claims they offer something new, but this is one of the few I’ve played in recent months that really holds true to that claim.  The game offers 15 different game play modes, including a career mode where you level up and earn game play bonuses.  Instead of your basic “swap two pieces” game mechanic, in Pieces of Paper you can only move each piece in certain directions as indicated by the arrows on the piece.  A move doesn’t have to result in a match, and when you do make matches the empty spaces on the board are locked instead of being replaced with new pieces.  Every couple of seconds you can unlock those squares and repopulate the entire board.  There are a few different power ups you can get, my favorite being the fan which blows away several pieces around the tile the fan is in.  There are also a couple of boosts you can purchase before each time you play.  These boosts require pops which you can collect during the game, earn when you level up or buy from the App Store via IAP.  If you’re a fan of match 3 games you’ll definitely want to check this out so you can see what a fresh match 3 experience feels like.

Pieces of Paper Pro Kyle Wilgus, Pieces of Paper Pro – $1.99
Pieces of Paper Match 3 Free Kyle Wilgus, Pieces of Paper Match 3 Free – Free

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Fluff Eaters [5/13/15] – Fluff Eaters is like a twisted version of the old kids’ game jacks.  Instead of a ball you have a cat in a bubble, and instead of jacks you must pick up fish and destroy fluff.  Position the cat where you’d like it to fall and then let go.  Be careful, though, because the cat can only bounce once before being placed in a bubble again.  More than one bounce, bouncing on things like spikes or letting poor Bouncy fly of the screen all result in having to start the level over.  Oh, keep in mind that Bouncy can’t touch fluffs either.  Your primary goal on each level is to clear away the fluff, though each level has 3 fish you should try and collect because these allow you to unlock new levels.  As you progress through the levels the obstacles start getting tougher: platforms spin, have spikes on them or fall away once you bounce on them, and the fluffs start getting more ambitious as well.  Your score for a level is based on how long it takes you to complete, how many bounces you need and the number of fish you capture.  There is a leaderboard for each of the four worlds as well as 12 achievements to earn.  I’m not a big fan of cats, but for some reason people tend to make interesting games around them.

Fluff Eaters Henry Fernandez, Fluff Eaters – $1.99

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The Top Spot [5/20/15] – This is the latest offering from Chillingo, who at one time I would have considered the juggernaut of the mobile games arena.  While I’m not sure I feel that way any more they still turn out some interesting games, and this is one of them.  The object is simple: tap each circle in sequence from the topmost to the bottom one.  The problem is that the circles don’t always line up in a way that’s conducive to knowing what order they should go in.  Thankfully you have three tools to aid you in your task.  Stop lets you freeze a specific object so that you can watch other ones pass over it (or freezes non-circle objects so they don’t interfere with the circles).  Slow reduces the speed of an object so it will actually cross paths with other items on the screen, and enlarge makes an object bigger so it can actually overlap the other circles that it is passing.  The game offers 200 levels of overlapping fun, and since there are no timers or scores to be concerned with you can take your time and enjoy this to the full extent.  The game does offer a leaderboard, which appears to be the highest level you’ve reached, and there are 6 achievements to earn.  The Top Spot is ad supported, so if you plan on seeing it all the way through you might consider buying the ad-free IAP.  Otherwise you either watch a video to keep the ads at bay for 10 minutes or close an ad between every single play (or replay) of a level.

The Top Spot Chillingo Ltd, The Top Spot – Free

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Seabeard [12/10/14] – Seabeard is a game of exploration.  It’s also a city builder… and there’s even a bit of RPG thrown in for good measure.  Your primary goal is to rebuild your home town, which you even get the honor of renaming towards the beginning of the game.  You’ll meet plenty of folks to trade with a do quests for, and you’ll also take on the task of reuniting the legendary Seabeard’s famous crew.  As you complete quests you’ll earn XP which you can use to enhance your main character’s various traits.  Your crew mates will also level up so that they get better at whatever it is they specialize in.  Each town is located on an island, and as you travel between them you’ll get to play mini-games to earn items for quests and to sell, and you might also win money or pearls.  This game offers plenty to do, though it might be a little slow paced for you FPS fans out there.  The graphics are nice and colorful, and a pretty good indication that this title is geared more towards kids.  However, there is still plenty for adults to enjoy as well.

Seabeard Backflip Studios, Seabeard – Free

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Catch The Rabbit [5/5/15] – The title says it all, though I have to say the “rabbit” looks more like a cross between a burglar and a demented Santa Claus.  To pursue the rabbit you’ll launch your critter from platform to platform by dragging your finger to set a path for the critter to travel on.  Unfortunately pursuit won’t be so easy because the platforms don’t seem to want to stand still.  Some are moving up and down, while others move back and forth.  To complicate matters there are golden apples you’ll want to collect, but those are constantly moving up and down as well.  The plus side is that for every 50 apples you collect you get a randomly selected new critter, and while they don’t seem to have any impact on game play it’s always fun to earn new things.  There are also some creatures you can earn by downloading other games.  Game Center integration provides a leaderboard for the most jumps in a single run, and there are 13 achievements to earn.  Catch the Rabbit is another simple but entertaining choice for the casual gamer.

Catch The Rabbit Ketchapp, Catch The Rabbit – Free

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Defense 39 [6/1/14] – Defense 39 is a bunker defense game that takes place during WWII.  You must hold your position against invading Nazi forces using the best weaponry you can acquire.  Each weapon is more effective against different types of enemies, and every mission has a different balance of adversaries.  Thankfully a missions “expert” will give you hints as to what you might want to use as you attempt to tackle a particular mission.  There’s a campaign mode with more than 70 missions to conquer as well as a survival mode where you simply fight for as long as you can.  Survival mode is pretty intense right off the bat, so keep trying as you unlock new and upgraded equipment in campaign mode.  Slaying certain groups of bad guys earns you medals, as does watching videos or simply buying them via IAP.  These medals are what you use to actually buy and upgrade equipment when it is available.  Each level in campaign mode has a 5 star ranking, and each group of levels has an overall ranking as well.  As you get new equipment you can go back and replay older missions to get a better ranking.  As a bunker defense game Defense 39 is pretty well rounded, and the strategy in determining what weapons to use for a given campaign adds a nice edge.

Defense 39 Sirocco Mobile, Defense 39 – Free

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Dungeon Highway Adventures [3/12/15] – If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like playing an infinite runner on the Commodore 64, I think this game just about covers it.  Of course it’s not really infinite, as each level definitely has an end.  It might seem like it goes on forever, however, as you take one more step into each level trying to get that coveted three star ranking.  There are currently 5 different worlds to explore, each containing multiple levels.  While you have to explore levels within a world in order, you can work on any world at any time (once you’ve passed the tutorial, of course).  As you run through the levels you’ll collect gold that you can use to buy new weapons, armor and magical items.  You can only have 3 items equipped at a time, so the game truly forces you to tailor things to your own playing style.  You tilt the device to move left and right and tap to shoot, which works rather well in this instance.  If you have more than one weapon equipped there’s a button in the upper right corner to toggle the currently used one.  The graphics have a great old school look to them, and the music is decent and changes with the world you’re in.  This is one highway definitely worth traveling.

Dungeon Highway Adventures Substantial Inc., Dungeon Highway Adventures – 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:

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