This was another week with a lot going on, and as happens quite frequently on the App Store there was plenty to signify a “blast from the past”. First up was the release of Icy Tower 2, and before you say it’s “just another infinite jumper”, keep in mind that this series existed long before Doodle Jump. It doesn’t really add anything new to the genre, but it’s free and quite entertaining. If you prefer retro in terms of “a long time ago” there’s Angry Birds Star Wars. Yeah, I don’t quite get the need for this combination either, but I’m sure that just like the other installments of the series it will get consumed by the masses. If you like retro simply for the look you might check out Poltergeist: 16 bit horror. It definitely looks like a ROM from a console machine circa the 16 bit era, but it plays just as well as any modern puzzle game.
This has definitely been an interesting week for games. There was a lot to choose from, and I’ve tried to build a list that not only proves fun for me, but provides a nice diversity of game play for all the discerning gamers out there. The game that really took me by surprise this week was Coin Army. I’ve never really cared for coin pusher games – either physical or electronic – but the combination of amusing visuals, combat elements and power ups has caught my attention with this one. The other thing of real interest to me this week was the Square Enix Latin American Game Contest 2012. I’ve included two games from that competition, Run for Rum and Soul Savior, but there were a total of six finalists in the competition. They’re all free, so download them all and then vote for the ones you like the best.
By the time you read this Halloween will probably be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some ghoulish fun with your iOS device. Check out my 2012 Halloween Roundup to see the games I thought might provide some spook-tacular fun. As for the “normal” week, it was filled with your typical selection of everything under the sun. The game that caught me off guard the most was Zombiewood, which I expected to be nothing more than another Gameloft dual stick shooter. While that’s true in a lot of ways, the humor, variety of objectives and ability to destroy many inanimate objects keeps drawing me back. Another game that pleasantly surprised me was Punch Quest, the latest offering from Rocketcat Games. This endless runner packs quite a punch, with plenty of upgrading and gnomes to boot.
It’s that time of year again where things go bump in the night. Those of you that live in the U.S. might think I’m talking about the election season, but I’m actually referring to that holiday of tricking and treating called Halloween. As I’ve attempted to do over the past couple of years, I intend to share with you several games that I think will make this night even more spook-tacular. And if the games seem to lean a bit heavily towards the zombie set I apologize, but that seems to be the most popular ghoulish villain by far. Anyway, let’s get to the games…
The big news of the week is the fact that Square Enix released an iOS game that I actually liked! Ironically I’m not even a big fan of rhythm games as a whole, but there’s something about Symphonica that really strikes a chord with me. If infinite runners are more your style, there are actually a couple good ones to choose from. Save Them All from Chillingo challenges you to outrace mutants, aliens and more while rescuing as many innocents as you can until the end of each real world day, at which point the leaderboards are reset. For something a little less apocalyptic there’s Aloha from Hawaii, a runner about four penguins that just want to see what it’s like someplace warmer than the South Pole. And if you just want something involving lots of pure carnage there’s Carmageddon, the port of a 1997 game where you fare better by running over cows and pedestrians than actually completing the races.
I remember being slightly concerned that a simple line tracing game would be a bit on the boring side when Neon Mania came out. It actually wasn’t a bad little game, but it seemed to be missing something. I believe that its successor, Neon Blitz, has found that something. I don’t usually care for games with timers, but in this case it gives the game play an intensity that was lacking in the first outing. I still think it could use a couple of extra game play modes, but Neon Blitz took the concept from a decent but ultimately lackluster game to something that can actually become addictive.
This week’s roundup proved to be challenging because there were a lot of interesting looking games that didn’t have a lot of available information about them. While I haven’t spent too much time with any of these titles yet, I’m leaning towards Super Bunny Breakout as my pick of the week so far. This reimagining of the brick breaker genre is everything Breakout: Boost wasn’t – creative, inventive and most of all fun. If you’ve ever wished courtroom games had as much action as courtroom TV dramas, Devil’s Attorney has the cure for that. This game takes more of an RPG approach to legal antics, and when you throw in Boston Legal style humor there’s bound to be a winning combination. If you like the quirky angle but aren’t much for the courtroom you should consider Kumo Lumo. This is actually a fairly relaxing game with cute villains, slick artwork and a “save the planet” vibe that doesn’t grate on you.
I’m not really a fan of electronic golf games. In fact, the more realistic they are, the less interested I am. Mini-golf games, on the other hand, can be quite entertaining given the right dash of something. In the case of Wonderputt, it’s the way the holes are set up. I’m not just talking about level design, either. It’s great fun simply watching the course get created! Let me explain…
I’m a big adventure game fan, and my top pick for this week just happens to fall into that category. Forever Lost: Episode 1 HD tosses you in an asylum with no knowledge of who you are or why you’re there. Gather items, solve puzzles and piece together the mystery, all in an atmosphere that’s just right for the Halloween season. If you prefer some action you should check out Payback2, the sequel to a game heralded as “the best GTA clone you’ve never heard of”. You’ll have plenty of weapons at your disposal and the chance to drive everything from a tank to an ice cream truck. For those that just want to relax with some simple fun, former artists from the company Crytek have developed the game Fin Friends. It’s an aquatic take on the whole “helicopter in a tunnel” theme, and while there’s enough challenge for adults the atmosphere will definitely keep the children entertained.
Far be it from me to judge, but I honestly didn’t expect a game about a giant rock chucking other rocks with its tongue to really be any good. Enough levels that I’ve lost count later and I’m seriously hooked on King Oddball. The silly premise and cool visuals are enough to draw you in, while the simple mechanics and challenging levels will keep you coming back for more. I’m already a big 10 Tons fan, and this game not only furthers that relationship but it has cemented a place firmly in the top 3 titles of theirs that I like.