I’ve always been partial to turn based strategy games because I tend to have difficulties processing everything that’s going on all at once when the action is real time. However, I began taking an interest in the real time side of things again when I was introduced to what I call “strategy lite” games where you basically have one screen full of stuff to deal with and the action is mostly relegated to simply trying to take over your opponents’ structures. With no resource management, no complex troop management and advanced quests providing fun but unnecessary diversions, games like Mushroom Wars still provide a decent level of strategy but supply it in a nice pick up and go package.
One of my favorite titles released this week is actually a fairly straightforward port of an almost 15 year old game. Metal Slug 2 hit the App Store with guns blazing, and just like its predecessor proved that you don’t need 3D to enjoy lots of things blowing up. The action is intense, the visuals are quite detailed and turning into a zombie temporarily never gets old. For the puzzle aficionados we have Stick To It!, a game about knowing when to hold it and when to let go. Instead of swiping or launching or otherwise interacting to get your character from point A to its mother’s arms you simply touch the screen to make him stick and let go to let him roll. If you prefer your action in the sky instead of on the ground you should give After Burner Climax a try. This is a port of a 2006 game whose roots go back to the late 1980’s, and gives you the chance to pilot one of three sleek jets as you take on tons of enemies across more than 20 different landscapes.
It’s that time again. Actually, 2013 is going to be a big year for Tin Man Games, and they’re kicking it off with the release of Fighting Fantasy: House Of Hell, the next in their line of Fighting Fantasy adventures. This one takes place in a creepy mansion and in addition to all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect adds the element of fear to keep you on your toes (literally, it’s a new skill that gets tracked). Racing fans that like something besides the traditional Daytona type fare should check out Table Top Racing. This over the top racer actually takes the micro machines approach to the genre with 8 tracks, 10 different cars to unlock and upgrade and several multi-player options. If you’re looking for some lite strategy Monsterra could be just the game for you. The rules are simple, individual games go quite quickly and you can either play against the computer or another player depending on your preferences.
If you know who you’re going to call, raise your hand. That’s right, the Ghostbusters are back for their third adventure on iOS devices, and this time around the story actually unfolds based off of events from the first film in the franchise. The plus side is that the game has a lot of potential, but on the other hand it could turn into a grinding IAP fest. Speaking of grinding fests, if you’re a Diablo fan Dungeon Lore could be of interest to you. This quest based crawler offers class-less leveling, plenty to do and elementals to fight at your side. The real question is how turn based combat will affect the flow of the game. If you want a game you know will always be full of energy, check out Cracking Sands from Polarbit. This title is their attempt at a Mario Kart style game, and from everything I’ve seen so far it might just make iOS gamers go “Mario who?”
Lately I’ve been more focused on RPG hybrids when it comes to my match 3 experiences (like Dungeon Story), but I’m all for a good old fashioned pure match 3 romp, given the right game. Sadly, those options don’t come along much any more. Now we have Jelly Duel, however, and my faith in the genre is slowly returning. Unfortunately, this game will only do you some good if you have WiFi or data connectivity since it is an online offering. Still, as much as I don’t like “connected” gaming, I’m seeing a lot of potential in Jelly Duel.
I love physics puzzle game, but there is certainly more than a fair share to choose from. Still, if one seems to offer something new or do something proven really well I’m more than happy to give it a shot. In the case of Block Blasters you get to use various forms of explosives to shuffle the board around, so who wouldn’t want to give that a go? Unfortunately, while the game is conceptually intriguing, in practice it’s more burdensome than anything else. Imprecise controls, frustrating puzzles and annoying sound effects highlight what should have been a fun little puzzle game.
Well we’re finally starting to get some winter where I live, and in what can only be described as a coincidence the App Store is starting to feel a bit like Christmas again (the before part, not the few days when it’s closed). Foursaken Media has released a new game called Heroes and Castles that sounds like a real time castle defense game where you also get to directly control one of the forces that protect your castle. You can even join a friend to double the havoc you’ll cause. If you’d prefer something a little more lighthearted you might consider taking Momonga Pinball Adventures for a spin. This combination action game and pinball simulation has cute characters, cool 3D graphics and actually makes the concept of handheld pinball interesting… at least to me. And of course the die hard Temple Run fans can breathe deeply now, as the long awaited sequel to this classic is finally out. Temple Run 2 is bigger, flashier, and just as addictive as the original.
Back in the day, by which I mean a time I barely remember and which many of you probably weren’t born yet for, there existed a game called Rogue that quite possibly started one of the first trends of copycats, known as rouge-likes. The games were simple in some ways such as consisting of only ASCII graphics, but complex in others like having a myriad of commands to remember and randomly generated dungeons that were revealed as you moved through them. While I actually enjoyed several games of this type, I’m happy to see that modern variants such as Dungelot have revamped graphics and streamlined control schemes. Unfortunately one challenging feature still remains in many modern rogue-likes: death is death.
It seems that we’re still easing into the new year as far as iOS gaming is concerned, but like last week I managed to dig up some titles that sounded interesting and several that I played that turned out to be quite fun. A couple of ex-Rovio staff has started to do their own thing with their premiere title Noble Nutlings. It’s a physics time trial game with a customizable cart and squirrels, so what are you waiting for? If you need an action / RPG fix Gamevil has treated us to another installment in the popular and long running Zenonia saga, Zenonia 5. It seems that they keep upping the ante with each new tale in the franchise, and I don’t think long time fans or newcomers will be disappointed. If you prefer a simpler dungeon crawling affair you might want to give Dungelot a try. It’s easy to get into, tough to put down and has a nice coat of slick graphics to seal the deal.
Cut The Rope was one of the first games to be billed as an “Angry Birds killer”, and while I don’t believe it quite made it to that status, there’s no denying the game’s impact on the mobile puzzle game genre. The developers are back with an entirely different concept in Pudding Monsters, but the important thing is that the game is just as entertaining as Cut The Rope. Gamers looking for a challenge might be a bit disappointed, as the current level sets are a bit on the easy side overall, but those looking for a cute casual gaming experience are sure to love the whole package.