One of the things I really admire about Chillingo is that they have a knack for digging up games that take tried and true mechanics and give them enough twists and flair to make them feel like fresh games. Such is the case with Rolling Hero. Anyone that has played games on their iOS device for a reasonable length of time has probably played one or more titles where you rotate the board to get your hero to the proper location, yet this one feels different somehow. It definitely has a cute factor that seems to permeate a majority of Chillingo’s best titles, but there’s a certain spin this game takes that keeps me wanting to come back for more. Even if I never completely put my finger on it, I guess that’s a good thing since I’m spending my time with the game.
Wow, what a crazy week! There were a lot of interesting looking releases, and it was hard choosing just 10. Honey Tribe Studios released a new puzzle game called Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians. Whereas their last release was quite cerebral and somewhat dark in tone, Yam Yam is action oriented and good for the whole family. Crescent Moon Games released their latest offering in the form of Dig!, a Qix clone involving a washed up archeologist and a mummy named Nigel. Cool graphics, a good sense of humor and magical hats makes this a variant worth digging into. If you’re not completely sick of infinite running games yet, you’ll definitely want to give Running with Friends a try. No bull about it, this competitive runner could breathe new life into the genre for those that have given up on such games.
Heavy Sword reminds me of a cross between Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda. Now some of you might be thinking “isn’t that basically Zelda 2 for the NES?” That’s probably fair enough, but since I never played that title I’m sticking with the correlation. The problem is that this really isn’t as interesting as either of those games separately, let alone what a good combination of them could be. That alone I could live with, since either of those franchises is hard to live up to. What is troubling me, however, is the fact that the game keeps freezing up on me.
I always like a week full of good games, which means I really liked last week. For those of you that just can’t get enough, Rovio has returned to their flagship franchise and taken it multi-player with Angry Birds Friends. The result is classic game play with a few twists and a social aspect – as long as you have a Facebook account, that is. If you love gamebook adventures but for some odd reason are tired of the Tin Man Games offerings (hopefully just taking a little break), you might want to check out Sorcery! Yeah, it’s a port of one of the original books written by that Steve Jackson guy, so it should be pretty entertaining. Hidden object fans will want to take a look at The Curse of the Werewolves. It doesn’t do anything to stretch the genre, but it’s a solid offering that doesn’t come from Big Fish Games or G5 Entertainment, which is enough to pique my interest.
A good adventure game has a balanced story. It gives you enough to keep you interested but not so much that you have no reason to continue playing. The puzzles are fair and at least some of them should be challenging. There will be both inventory based challenges and riddles that simply challenge the mind. In a perfect world there would be NPC interaction as well, but sometimes the story might prohibit that. And even though you might have to do a lot of traipsing back and forth, you won’t mind because you’re too into the game. Vanished: The Island is a good adventure game.
What do you get when you take two artists from a well known company and set them on their own to design mobile games? Apparently you get a family friendly cave flyer style game that takes place under water with fish. Fin Friends is one of those games that are nice, but other than some flashy graphics it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the pack. If you like cave flyer or infinite runner style games you’ll enjoy Fin Friends, but don’t expect to see any revolutionary game play elements here.
It’s kind of funny that some of my favorite games this week were ones that I either thought I wouldn’t like or had no intention of trying in the first place. Smile Plants is a match 3 game from Gamevil, so it’s already new territory for them. The object of the game is to build up a diverse and thriving garden, which personally sounded like a lot less fun then the game actually ended up being. If you’re still not ready to trust me on that one, how about Madman Drop? This is an infinite faller which once I decided to try it managed to capture my attention right away thanks to its unique control scheme. You simply hold the screen to stretch the main character and let go to have him curl up. Not only does it make for some amusing movements, but when timed correctly can be quite a boost in your descent.
I think this might be one of the kookiest collections of games I’ve compiled in a while. My biggest addiction this week came from the card game inspired Rocket Patrol. There’s an online mode so you can take on the human element, but what really got me was trying to beat the computer AI, which I still haven’t been able to accomplish. If you’re more interested in challenging your dexterity than you’ll really want to tackle Tilt Universe. It feels like a Wii mini-game, but manages to up the challenge level a few notches. As an added bonus, I’ve even decided to make the intro image a game. The picture belongs to a game that was released this week, but I haven’t linked to it or written about it in this roundup. Can you figure out what the game is?
Now that developers are comfortable with the iOS platform and have realized how well it works for adventure games we’re starting to see a lot more original content come to Apple’s mobile devices. One of the latest entries in the genre is The Silent Age, and it’s clear the folks behind this game know a thing or two about what made the old Sierra classics great. If I had to come up with a down side, it’s that the game was over just as it was reaching its peak. Thankfully the developers are already hard at work on a sequel, though, so even that little inconvenience will be rectified at some point.
Once again I’ve tried to bring you a nice variety of games to consider this week, and you’ll be happy to know that there are no infinite runners on my list this time around. There is a rather addictive strategy game called Tower Zoo, however. The mechanics are simple, there are plenty of levels to challenge you, and when you get done whopping – or getting whopped – by the computer AI you can take on your neighbor in pass and play mode. If you’re more of a “poker with an edge” sort of player you should consider taking Alice of Hearts for a spin. This game has puts an interesting twist on the Wonderland fable, it has a pretty slick presentation, and it does a good job of using poker hands for combat that feels different than other games of its style. If you’re just looking for some visceral action then Fisticuffs: An Arcade Boxing Game might fit the bill. It’s a simple boxing game with a small but diverse roster of fighters that’s fun and could be something great if people play it and encourage the developers to add more to it.