Almost 13 iOS Games To Play On Halloween 2015
It’s that time of the year when creatures go bump in the night and devour all the excess sweets in sight. Thankfully if you’re not into that there’s plenty to keep you busy on your iOS device. For the first couple of years as I was doing the roundups I put together a special Halloween edition as well, but that sort of fell by the wayside. Now it’s back, though I figured since everyone is covering the spookier side of the holiday offerings, I’d take a look at the lighter end of things. I also tried not to make the subject matter in terms of featured creatures fairly diverse, because I’ll begrudgingly admit that Halloween is NOT zombie-centric. Finally, you might be wondering about the title. I wanted to get this published before Halloween, but I like the idea of 13, since that is kind of Halloween’s number. So check back over the next couple of days and you might find an addition or two to the list. Hope you enjoy it and find something entertaining to play over this Halloween weekend.
Soda Dungeon [10/8/15] – Welcome to the first casual tavern / dungeon crawling sim. Okay, that might not actually be the case, but the combination of elements in this game is a first for me. You start with the local soda jerk (not as much of an insult as it seems), and over time you help the barkeep build up his tavern so you can recruit more talented and specialized adventurers. Of course you’ll only attract the best and brightest if you be sure to stock the most popular sodas. After all, what good adventurer doesn’t like some carbonation before he takes on vile monsters? As you journey through the dungeon you’ll earn coins, and you can also scrounge up some equipment. You’ll also be able to buy goods from vendors as you build up the tavern. You have new recruits every time you enter the dungeon, but your equipment will stay with you permanently. The dungeon’s a bit of grind as you have to start from level one each time, but the base levels get easier as your equipment gets stronger and it’s always a good way to earn more coins. You can also take on battles in the arena to earn extra money. This isn’t necessarily the most in-depth dungeon crawler, but it’s pretty fun.
Armor Games Inc, Soda Dungeon – Free
Diamond Quest: Halloween Trail [10/21/15] – Diamond Quest is a match 3 game, it sports a Halloween theme and it’s got cute puzzle pals that will appeal to the kids. Surprisingly, that actually makes for a pretty fun combination in an iPad game. You start the game with one puzzle pet and can unlock more as the game progresses. It also looks like you might be able to upgrade the pets, but I’m not sure when that comes into play. Like many match 3 games these days there is a combat element, which is where the pets come into play. Match enough gems of a particular pet’s color and that pet will attack as well as unleash a special on the board like providing a power up or removing a block that’s in the way. You can have up to three pets in play at a time, and you can either play one of several different colors to keep things diverse or try to have multiple pets of the same color to get more attack power out of matching a particular color of gem. Diamond Quest might not provide the most original mix of match 3 mechanics, but there’s enough to keep adults entertained while the cute pets will certainly draw the kids in.
Storm8, Diamond Quest: Halloween Trail – Free
USSHHN5 [10/10/15] – I figured I should probably try to throw a few games in this list that might actually be construed as spooky, seeing as this is a Halloween list and all. The part of the title that they left out of the actual listing is “As Darkness Descends”, which of course would have been a better actual name for the game. You must unravel the secrets of the Blood Moon as you keep hordes of creatures at bay, and the game uses an interesting combination of rail shooter movement and symbol drawing to accomplish this task. Basically you don’t have to worry about where you’re going, but you do have to be ready at a moment’s notice to start tracing the runes that appear on the screen before the creatures you’re attempting to ward off do a Walking Dead on you. On the plus side your hurried scratching doesn’t need to look exactly like what’s on the screen, but on the other hand it will need to be a lot more precise than you’d like at times. As you take damage the screen starts to clutter with your blood which can actually obscure certain runes until it’s too late. The visuals can sometimes counter the creepy nature of the game by seeming a bit too cartoony, but they are so cool looking that it is easy to forgive. I’m not sure how long the game is as a whole, but the free price tag makes it at least worth a download and quick gander if you like horror themed games.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC, USSHHN5 – Free
Boogie Woogie [10/27/14] – Apparently this was actually a release for Halloween last year, though I must admit I don’t recall seeing it back then. I also had no idea Dracula was such a dazzling dancer. At least that’s what he seems to think. As such he’s stolen your bride-to-be Wanda to be his dancing partner. It’s up to you to best his minions and ultimately challenge the lord of the undead himself in order to win your beloved’s freedom. The game is basically a combination of rhythm and Simon, and while I tend to struggle with reaction times in most rhythm games, the memory aspect is the most challenging part of this trip for me. It would be nice if each character you faced could be broken down into several smaller sequences instead of one large one, but I guess that just means I’ll have to work harder to master my funky beats. I do like games that have kid appeal yet are still engaging for adults, and Boogie Woogie definitely falls under that category. Besides, it’s not too often these days you find so many classic movie characters under one roof. If you feel like getting your groove on this Halloween season Boogie Woogie is a great choice for you.
Flickerpix, Boogie Woogie – Free
Los Aliens [10/7/15] – It’s rare these days to find a game on the App Store that truly feels unique, but the more I play Los Aliens the more I think it qualifies. Your task is to seek out strange new worlds, discovering new creatures and civilizations… okay, you caught me… aside from the “boldly go” part, that credo sounds awfully familiar. Still, it’s how you go about it that’s rather interesting. On each planet your presented with a grid of the surface, and you must “burn lines” by filling up all the squares in a line either horizontally or vertically. To move around the grid you use an L shape pattern like the knight in a chess game, and whenever you leave a square it gets populated with a quark. Once all the squares in a line are filled with quarks, other game objects or yourself the line gets cleared and you’re closer to your goal for that level. In addition to burning lines each level has various other goals you have to work towards as well. Once a planet has been explored you’ll earn up to three stars depending on your performance. There are also 26 achievements to earn and a leaderboard to rank on, though the leaderboard is for number of levels passed, so the highest you can climb is the bottom of the list of people that have completed the game. If you’re looking for a puzzle game that sets itself apart from the crowd, give Los Aliens a try.
Shadow Masters Limited, Los Aliens – Free
Villains Corp. | The Secret Villainy Laboratory [10/7/15] – Who doesn’t like to play the bad guy every once in a while, right? In this quirky take on the time management sim from Tapps you are the master of a secret evil laboratory. Your job is to cause havoc in the overworld, but in order to do that you’ll need to create minions. These aren’t your garden variety cute yellow minions, however. There are bat minions and bird minions and robots and more. There are also two kinds of minions: ones that you grow and ones that you breed by combining two grown minions together. Each mission has its own requirements for what type of minions you need and its own rewards in terms of coins, gems and stars. Coins are used to buy new tubes for growing and breeding, while gems are used to speed up any lengthy process if you don’t feel like waiting. Stars are your experience, and as you earn stars you’ll level up which unlocks additional components of the game. You can buy coins and gems via IAP, but if you’re patient you can typically earn everything you need without spending the money. The main thing is that you keep up on collecting grown minions, because new ones won’t grow until you’ve emptied the tubes of the old ones. On the breeding side you also have to make sure you start new minions, because one breeding tube can create multiple different types of minions so it doesn’t happen automatically. This actually seems like a fairly complex game for Tapps standards, and it is pretty fun to boot.
Tapps Tecnologia da Informação Ltda., Villains Corp. | The Secret Villainy Laboratory – Free
Zombie T-Shirt Store [10/28/15] – There are a lot of match 3 style games on the App Store that claim to be different from the pack, but Zombie T-Shirt Store is one of the few that makes good on that claim, despite not actually making the claim in the first place. So here’s the deal: you work the counter at a store that may or may not sell t-shirts infected by a zombie virus. That being said, you’re more than happy to take returns from the customers, so long as you put the merchandise right back on the shelves for others to buy. As the zombies come “rushing” through the door to give back the shirts, you must tap two or more of the same color to take the shirts back. The interesting thing is that there is a Mahjong type of effect where you can’t tap certain zombies until you’ve cleared others out of the way, even if you could technically reach those zombies. Once you’ve cleared out the impending horde your shift will be over, you’ll get paid and you’ll move on to the next wave of undead. Once you’ve worked enough shifts you’ll be able to buy a gun which can be used to pick off stray zombies that don’t have a match or ones that are too close to the counter for comfort. Earn enough cash and you can buy better guns or upgrade the one you have. Just don’t let a customer get too close to the counter or it is game over. There are three leaderboards via Game Center, but there are no achievements yet.
Raketspel AB, Zombie T-shirt Store – Free
Frankenchase [10/27/15] – This is a quirky little game, but if you’ve been following me for any length of time you’ll know I sort of thrive on quirky little games. It seems the good doctor of reanimation fame has decided to give up his life-meddling ways and become a bounty hunter. In this infinite runner your job is to take down as many creatures as you can. The general rule is that if it is running away from you, you can kill it. If it’s running, flying or generally appearing to come towards you then it’s bad for you. There’s one unique creature on each level that definitely stands out from the crowd, and this one you need to strike multiple times to defeat it and move on to the next level. The “bad for you” creatures never kill you but they will slow you down, and if the stop you enough that you get pushed off the left side of the screen you’ll lose a level. Lest you start to fret just a bit, you will be able to upgrade your efforts with the coins you collect from slaying beasts. There are three different weapons to choose from, each of which can be made more powerful, and you can also invest in better boots to speed up your gait. There is a leaderboard to rank on, though without any achievements or missions I’m not sure how much longevity the game has. Still, it’s free with no IAP and it’s a small download, so it can’t hurt to at least check it out.
Gavin Soebiantoro, Frankenchase – Free
Dead End [4/2/14] – Many games these days that involve cars and running anything over tend to be done in some sort of halfway fancy 3D engine. The first thing that caught my eye with Dead End was the slick visual presentation, which looks like something that came from an extremely early model home computer. Once you get past that the game has some pretty basic game play revolving around running over zombies and avoiding everything else. The default controls include tapping the left and right sides of the screen to turn, tilting the device to shake loose an overly aggressive zombie and swiping to appropriately activate your “swipers”, better known as windshield wipers. The last thing is kind of hard to get used to when it means temporarily taking yourself away from steering, but it is essential when the screen fills up with zombie blood. As you cleanse the street from the undead you’ll earn money which can be used to upgrade various aspects of your ride like steering and tires. There are no over the top weapons like flame throwers or missile launchers, or any other weapons besides your car for that matter, but sometimes it’s fun enough just using your grill to decimate the enemy. The game does offer a leaderboard for the best distance as well as 21 achievements to earn, and at the time of this being authored the IAP for unlocking the full game was free.
Thomas Altenburger, Dead End – Free
Cauldron Quest: A Witch’s Tale [10/14/15] – This is yet another take on the whole 2048 style of puzzle game, and conceptually it’s one of the better ones I’ve played. You take on the role of a witch that’s trying to mix up some potions and generally clean up the countryside from all the rampant spiders, slime and other things that are hanging around. To make potions you have to combine diamonds into powder, and then powder into potions, each layer having multiple steps of combinations. The game starts to throw in match 3 elements with blocks that can be removed only when making matches next to them, slime that can only be removed when making matches on top of it and blocks that simply can’t be removed at all. The spiders are dealt with by sliding a broom into them, but if it goes the other way around it won’t count. The game also borrows from the match 3 genre by providing an overhead map with levels, each of which you can earn up to three stars on depending on how effectively you use your moves. As you complete certain goals you’ll increase your witch ranking and earn new hats and gold. Eventually you’ll also be able to unlock objects that will help you in your quest. One other thing I’d like to point out about this game is that it has a surprisingly well orchestrated soundtrack, which hasn’t been common amongst the 2048 style games that I’ve played previously.
Fuzzy Hat Pty Ltd, Cauldron Quest: A Witch’s Tale – Free
Unkilled [9/2/15] – I’ve mentioned this game on a couple of different occasions, so I figured this was as appropriate a time as any to actually put it into a roundup. I’ve said it before and I maintain the fact that I’m not a huge FPS fan, but games like Unkilled actually make it fun for folks like me. Instead of being comprised of a few long levels with or without breakpoints, Unkilled is comprised of dozens of bite sized missions that only take a minute or two to complete. As a result there’s an immediate and frequent sense of accomplishment, and you don’t lose much ground should you actually happen to die. Each level has three goals to complete, one of which usually involves simply completing the mission, and when you can always replay a level to collect any stars that you’ve missed. There are also achievements to earn that will score you extra goods as well as side quests called Raids that are tougher and yield higher rewards. Three specialty items are limited in use but come in handy in a pinch, and there are more than 50 weapons to buy and upgrade. You’ll often even have AI soldiers fighting at your side, though that can actually be an impediment if one of your goals is killing a certain number of zombies. What I like best about the game is that the default option is auto fire, so all you have to concentrate on is moving and aiming. That’s definitely a huge bonus for some that’s not so skilled at this type of game.
MADFINGER Games, a.s., UNKILLED – Free
Zombie Heat [10/30/15] – Sorry, I seem to have drifted into Zombie-land for the latter portion of this roundup. Zombie Heat is the first offering for Ballyhoo Games, and it’s a promising start to what will hopefully be a solid mobile game catalog. In this case the zombie outbreak is caused by an asteroid colliding into the Earth, so at least it’s not somehow mans’ fault. The threat is still very real, however, and as a survivor you’ll have to protect your trailer from 80 waves of undead terror. To help you along you’ll have access to several different kinds of barricades, traps and weapons, the last of which are under your control. Set the traps and barricades, start the wave rollin’ and then take out all the zombies with the large weapon sitting atop your trailer. If you’ve played any sort of Angry Birds variant or clone you know the drill: pull back and release to take the shot. Your standard ammo is unlimited, while special projectiles are more deadly and scarce in nature. You can earn up to three stars per level, though at this point there are no leaderboards to climb or achievements to earn. Still, if you’re a zombie slaying freak like me and are looking for something a bit different, this might just fit the bill.
Ballyhoo Games, Zombie Heat – $1.99
And, to stay in line with the Halloween theme, I thought that instead of listing the last few roundups I’d list the previous Halloween roundups that I’ve written. Sure after four or five years some of the games in these lists might not be available any more, but you never know what gems you might still find among the lot.