There’s a popular saying that “there is nothing new under the sun”. The video game industry is a prime example of this, as most popular games these days can be broken down into a handful of categories, and it’s not uncommon to see the word “clone” in a review. Still, with all the games that are released on the App Store each week, there are a few that feel fresh due to atmosphere, mechanics or some other aspect of the game. Knights of the Round Cable happens to be one such game.
In the beginning it seemed like most of the adventure games popping up on the App Store were ports, but now we’re seeing more and more original IP make its way to the iOS platform. About To Blow Up Part 1 is one such game, and it’s clear the developers have a heart for the genre they’ve embraced. The game is quirky, interesting and above all fun. Unfortunately, it’s also a tad on the short side. Thankfully it leaves you wanting more in a good way.
The App Store had a lot of good new games to offer this week, but casual arcade games seemed to be in particularly good supply. Chillingo unleashed Jelly Jumpers on us, and while it feels like a standard “climb from object to object as high as you can” style game, I still found myself becoming addicted to it. Daily challenges, plenty of achievements and a continually growing score multiplier are enough to keep me coming back. Follow The Rabbit is a cute, blocky puzzle game where you must collect coins, dodge enemies and ultimately keep sight of the elusive white rabbit. It also has the distinction of being the first Armor Games iOS release that is not a port from their existing library. Great Big War Game is the sequel to Great Little War Game, and it looks to continue the “lack of Advance Wars” fix that many of us mobile gamers need. With 50 single player missions and online capabilities, you should be fighting the good fight for quite some time.
The Rovio masses can rejoice, because the developer that created an empire apparently can do something besides disgruntled fowl. Their latest offering is a game called Amazing Alex, and it takes the concept of The Incredible Machine to the next level. Besides offering many prebuilt levels with the promise of more to come, it offers players a level editor to create and share their own masterpieces. If you’re itching to stretch your trigger finger you might try Metal Slug 3, the pixel perfect iOS port of a Neo Geo legend. Save some disheveled hostages, drive lots of cool vehicles, and join a friend for some Bluetooth co-op play. If you’re more of the adventurous type Avenue Flo could be right up your alley. This latest Diner Town offering from Play First ditches the time management pretense and lets you see familiar characters in a whole new way as you help Flo make sure a big wedding doesn’t turn into an even bigger disaster. Are you listening, Larry King?
Physics based puzzle games are here to stay, and the desire to have a cute mascot is apparently not going away any time soon either. Thankfully Jar on a Bar has a third element that will hopefully ultimately make it a good seller – it is very addictive. The game even goes beyond that, however, as it takes a familiar concept and adds some mechanics that make it a whole new experience. I would be willing to say that it is probably the best game I’ve played in its genre. So let’s find out just what it is…
Christmas in July is over, but there were still some interesting games that made their way to the App Store this week. As a fan of the undead I’m willing to give most zombie games a try, and while I’m not a huge word game fan I quite enjoyed the time I spent with ZombieWords so far. It will definitely test your ability to spell words quickly, and proves that games don’t have to be action oriented to provide tense situations. If you’re in the mood for something a bit zanier, why not give Chillingo’s Jar On A Bar a try? The ability to flick pieces adds a whole new dimension to the game play, and the fish is really cute. Finally, strategy buffs might appreciate the turn based mayhem of Outwitters. If it’s got the same humor and ease of playability of its predecessor Tilt To Live then it should be an instant classic.
These days it seems like when you visit a web site dedicated to “adventure” games they’re talking about the latest hidden object game from Big Fish or the newest FPS from whomever. When I was growing up, however, adventure games were a lot more special. They were about stories and talking to interesting characters. There were interesting settings, and several sometimes mind boggling puzzles. It’s clear that the developers of Yesterday grew up in that same era, or at least have done their research. I also thank BulkyPix for helping bring this tale to my iPad screen.
This week felt like the proverbial Christmas in July when it came to new games for iOS devices. In addition to the fine list I’ve compiled below, gamers were treated to a quirky tower defense game called Vampire Season. You are Dracula’s right hand man, and you must use a crazy assortment of ghouls and what-not to keep those pesky humans from finding Dracula’s coffin. If you’re more into RPGs, Squids Wild West might float your boat. This sequel to last year’s acclaimed aquatic tactics game (TMA Review) takes a whole new look at the concept of cowboys. For those that want something completely different in tone there’s Frisbee Forever 2, the game that lets you show off your virtual disc throwing skillz. It’s free and looks to be sporting some pretty sharp graphics for a game about tossing a plastic object through the air.
There’s no question that Temple Run added a whole new dimension to infinite runners with it’s over the shoulder view, ability to slide in that view, and cool mechanic of turning to continue down a winding path. There are even times when I’m playing Zombie Run that I think to myself how the game feels like Temple Run with a different skin. Zombie Run bears many similarities to its predecessor, yet it still manages to be entertaining in its own right. I’m not saying I’ve forgotten you, Temple Run, but now you have to share the spotlight.
Once again there was a nice variety of games to report on this week, and the highlight of the week for me was the adventure game Yesterday from BulkyPix. After spending just a few minutes with this game I felt like I was playing an old masterpiece from Sierra Online or LucasArts, but one that had been given an interface boost that makes it perfect for touch screen devices. The causal RPG fan should check out Elphis Adventure, a new free offering from Com2us. You take on the role of Red Riding Hood in an attempt to rescue your grandma by traveling through different fairy tales and historical time periods. For those that are interested in learning Magic The Gathering, or those that are just looking for another avenue with which to play the game, Wizards of the Coast offers up Magic 2013. You can sample the card based strategy game for free, but if you want to test your mettle against other humans you’ll need to buy the premium edition.