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.
Well I suppose there might be one or two of you yet that haven’t heard about Bad Piggies, the latest release from the renowned developers of Angry Birds. It takes place in the Angry Birds universe, but this time around you get to play the pigs and the game play is completely different, so I give them a thumbs up for that. While I haven’t personally tried the game yet, the one I have managed to get myself hooked on is King Oddball from 10 Tons Studios. If you consider yourself any sort of physics game fan you’ll need to give this one a try. If you prefer a more traditional adventure game then The Last Express will be right up your alley. This iOS port of an acclaimed classic will give you more than 20 hours of play, 30 characters to meet and the ability to rewind the action when you want to try a different course.
If it weren’t for the fact that other publishers release great games as well, I could easily spend my game time just playing titles from Chillingo. The advantage to being latched on to a publisher is that you’re more likely to get a wide variety of game styles to choose from, and in this case we have a one touch platformer with a hero that looks like something out of a little animated segment you might see in between live footage on a kids’ program from the 80s. Growing up with the gaming industry and watching the need of designers to try and cram more buttons and triggers onto a controller, it always amazes me when someone can make a fun and challenging game where you have one control. That’s why I like One Tap Hero so much.
I have to confess that I did not know what type of game Zombie Quest HD was when I agreed to review it, but the allure of undead participants and a quirky board game were too much for me to refuse. I was a bit surprised to discover that it was simply an Othello variant, but then it turned out to be quite an amusing twist on the original. Then it was over, just as I was really getting into it. The changes from its inspiration are welcome additions, but for this game to rise above the rest it at least needs to either expand its level set or make multi-player more than just hot-seat, if not both.
Fremium games dominated the list this week, though a few games with a price tag caught my eye. Puzzle Saga is the latest match 3 / RPG hybrid to hit the App Store. Instead of matching objects to help your heroes attack, in this case you actually match the warriors to send them off into battle. If you’re looking for some mindless destruction Indestructible might just be the ticket. This offering from Glu Games still has a few kinks that need to be ironed out, but when it’s fully polished it should provide rather fun and non-thought provoking 4 for all arena combat. The budding sleuths in the group should check out the triple offering of re-tooled Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games. Despite odd names, 1 Mummy, 2 Tin Soldier and 3 Murderess not only give you the chance to follow in the footsteps of the greatest detective in London’s history, but they embellish it with live action video for your viewing pleasure.
This week provided a nice mix of genres for the diverse iOS gamer. Fans of crazy sports games could sink their time into Wonderputt, a new mini-golf game with some interesting course design. You actually get to see some of the holes being created, and it can be almost as fun to watch as to play. If you’re looking for a different type of adventure try Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience. This happens to be a promotional tool for an upcoming horror movie, and given the game play genre it actually makes interesting use of the features your iOS device has to offer. Pokemon and Final Fantasy fans can converge on Guardian Cross, the latest offering from Square Enix. This “collect and fight” style game has an incredible development pedigree, and apparently is completely playable without spending a penny.
Not willing to rest on the laurels of having one of the biggest hits of the year in the theater, Marvel is taking the iOS world by storm as well. This week saw two releases from the master storytellers, the first of which looks to be an Infinity Blade style game called Avengers Initiative. The initial release lets you stomp around as the Hulk smashing things, but future episodes (read IAP) will give you the chance to test your mettle as other heroes from the legendary super-team. If you want something a little more casual but still within the realm of super-heroism then HeroClix TabApp might work better for you. This free iPad app interacts with specially made HeroClix characters to provide you with comic book story driven mini-games custom to each figure you own. On the flip side, those seeking a bit of medieval butchery with a dash of otherworldly demons thrown in should check out Wild Blood from Gameloft. This remix of the Arthurian legends pits you as Sir Lancelot against a warped Arthur and his nasty sister Morgan Le Fey… and a bunch of overzealous hellspawn as well.
There were certainly enough new arrivals to keep even the most discerning gamer busy on their iOS devices this week. The biggest surprise to me was Final Fantasy Dimensions, the newest offering from Square Enix. I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I had no idea this game was coming to iOS devices, and you can even try the prologue for free. If you’re more into puzzle games Illusion Labs has resurfaced with their latest concept called Blast-A-Way. This 3D brain teaser has plenty of explosions, cute robots and even more adorable mischief makers. If you just want something that proves you’re never too old to have fun, check out Granny Smith from No Can Win. This quirky racer has you trying to recover apples before a rascally thief, and oh the places you’ll go.
In my humble opinion, if ever there was a style of game that shouldn’t be so fun or addictive, it would be the mini-game collection. After all, doesn’t such a design simply mean that the developers couldn’t come up with enough material for a full fledged game? Well, okay, I am being a bit harsh, and I really don’t believe that, but it still amazes me that I fall so easily for this type of gameplay. The latest captor of my time is Tap The Frog 2, and this game is insanely addictive – even though concept wise it’s so simple a little kid could grasp it with ease. I just wish I had the native iPad version, because I find that my overcompensated fingers like the big screen better. Thankfully, the app is remarkably playable on 2x mode on my iPad 2.
I remember fondly spending a lot of time with adventure games back in the 80s and early 90s when the likes of Sierra Online and LucasArts reigned supreme. TellTale Games has done a good job of recapturing that magic, as has Bulkypix with their recent release of Yesterday. Now you can add Daedalic Entertainment to that list with Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. This adventure game about a young lady and her bunny has humor to rival the best Sam & Max installment, artwork that is quite delightful and some great voice acting. There is plenty of game play as well, which oddly enough might be its biggest detractor – there’s almost too much to do. Still, this is one nuthouse I don’t mind visiting.