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.
My most eagerly anticipated game this week was One Tap Hero. I got to play this one a while back, and since then have been reall anxious to see it officially released on the App Store. The title that has really captured my time from this group, however, is The Lord Of The Roads. This RPG / scrolling shooter hybrid is unique and addictive as anything I’ve played in a while. And the game in this list that I haven’t had the chance to try yet but am most looking forward to is Olly Low Poly And The Zombie Tower. Besides the odd yet amusing name, it looks fashionably different and of course I love me some zombie slaying or dodging or whatever it is you ultimately do with them in this game.
Okay, you’re probably getting sick of reading about infinite running games right now. Unfortunately, they are sort of my genre-level addiction at the moment, so you’ll just have to bear with me until the phase passes on. At least I’m just trying to share with you the quality titles, and there’s no question that One Epic Knight falls under that category. Brought to us by the folks that designed the creative tower defense game Tiny Heroes the twisted humor of the developers carries on to this offshoot title. From the opening calisthenics to the nice dent you leave when you collide with a wall, One Epic Knight is all about being epic… epically funny that is.
This week saw the release of Horn, Phosphor Games’ follow-up to their interesting title Dark Meadow. Horror has been replaced with fantasy, on-rails movement with full 3D roaming, and the graphics have been kicked up a couple of notches as well. Tread of the Dead is a slightly different take on the whole zombie hunting theme. Instead of relying on brute force and lots of ammunition you’ll have to skillfully cut down the undead hordes with a chainsaw that you toss at them and then control by tilting the screen. Platform gamers will enjoy Random Heroes, the latest offering from Ravenous Games. It looks to combine the level design goodness of League Of Evil with the hero and gun swapping craziness of Super Crate Box.
Lately I’ve been touting how sometimes it seems like the simplest games are the most engaging. Unfortunately simplicity can have just the opposite effect, and I think Canyon Dash is almost to that point. The concept of a runaway mine cart on a dangerous track has always been intriguing, but there’s not much more than a concept to go on here. It’s not that Canyon Dash is a bad game, it’s just that there are other offerings on the App Store that make the renegade mine cart notion a lot more entertaining.