I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there’s something about wandering around an asylum that’s always been oddly intriguing to me, which I think is why I tend to gravitate towards such games. It’s also a well visited subject, as I can recall games back as far as my Radio Shack color computer dealing with the topic (if you don’t know what that is, congrats on being a younger gamer). Forever Lost: Episode 1 HD is a more recent entry in the list, and it’s actually one of the best ones I’ve played in quite a while. I do miss the fact that there are no wacky inmates to converse with, but otherwise it has managed to nail the atmosphere pretty well, and has a nice balance of object puzzle solving and mini-games to complete. Now if I could just find the skip button for the puzzle I’m stuck on…
If this past week was any indication of the season as a whole, iOS gamers are going to have a good Christmas this year. There were actually quite a few high profile games (or games that became high profile because of the forum chatter surrounding them), so I’m going to try and mention a few other games in their stead. However, I will acknowledge that this week saw the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, another installment in what is possibly the most popular “bad boy” series in interactive entertainment. If that’s not your style there’s also an enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate, an extremely popular PC RPG. The game includes a new adventure and several new characters and weighs in at 80 hours of game play. Finally, Bulkypix has released Pendulo Studios’ third iOS port called Hollywood Monsters, which like their first iOS release is a port of a classic style point and click adventure game. It looks to have all the polish of their first effort Yesterday but a much lighter tone.
Have you ever played one of those games in the arcade where you drop a coin in and hope to be able to push enough coins that are in the machine forward so that they fall out and you win a “jackpot” as it were? Yeah, you know those machines that are almost as annoying as the “grab something with a claw” ones? Well, it turns out that’s what Coin Army is. Amazingly enough they’ve managed to present the concept in such a way that not only is it not annoying, but it can actually become addictive. Just make sure you play responsibly so that you don’t end up paying an arm and a leg for IAP.
Fans of the game Diversion from Ezone.com are going to feel a sense of déjà vu here, assuming you haven’t already with the several other Diversion-derived projects they’ve released in the last couple of years. Thankfully the formula’s still addictive, and there are enough differences to be found in Team Awesome that it still seems like its own game. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) you won’t find any deep game play here, but if you’re looking for a simple diversion that could turn into an addiction, Team Awesome is your game.
This was a great week for iOS gaming. Other than the fact that I wouldn’t have time to finish it, I could have easily doubled the number of entries in this week’s roundup. To start things off we have SEGA’s iOS port of Jet Set Radio. All the skating, graffiti spraying and cop avoidance is there, along with 29 of the 30 original musical tracks from the Dreamcast version. The next installment of the Chop Chop franchise is now available with the release of Chop Chop Ninja World. I’d venture to say this is Gamerizon’s most ambitious title yet, and it seems like it might be one of the most enjoyable as well. If you just can’t get your fill of zombies but are tired of simply shooting them all the time, Activision’s The Bowling Dead might just be for you. Pick up a bowling ball (with assorted upgrades when available) mow down an alley full of the undead, and enjoy a humorous tale of post-apocalyptic strikes and spares.
One sign that you’re getting older is when things you remember from your childhood start having their 30th anniversaries. Such is the case for me and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Granted I was only 10 when the first one debuted, but you get my drift. In this year that marks the third decade of the series’ existence the man himself, Ian Livingstone, has penned a new entry called Blood of the Zombies. Thanks to Tin Man Games we can enjoy this milestone adventure on our iOS devices, and enjoy is being quite conservative. I’d say this is probably one of the best electronic gamebook adventures yet.
Hopefully you missed me while I was gone. There were some pretty cool games I wanted to talk about last week, but have no fear because there are plenty of good games for this week’s article as well. To start with, Steve Wozniak has decided to lend his incredible talents to the game design world with Vengeance: Woz With A Coz. It’s a retro platform game that he not only designed and wrote the story for, but also stars in! If you’re a slingshot physics game-aholic but are still craving something a bit different, why not give Temple Raid a try? Sure the mechanics are tried and true to the genre, but this multi-player affair lets you construct your own fortresses and take on folks from around the world to see who the best ammunition tosser is. For the Fruit Ninja fan who thinks they’ve played it all, why not apply those slashing skills to some chocolaty goodness? Yes, thanks to PikPok’s OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk you can have your cookie and play with it too.
I first tasted of the intrigue that Phosphor Games could produce as I wandered the creepy halls of Dark Meadow. It had its issues, but overall it was a captivating game with wild creatures and a unique control scheme. That was, of course, until I played Infinity Blade and realized that I had suffered Déjà Vu in reverse. Now Phosphor Games has released Horn, and while the fantasy theme is reminiscent of Infinity Blade, it actually has a lot more to it then either of the aforementioned games in terms of things to do besides combat. At first I was a bit skeptical about it just because I was afraid it would be a clone of the Chair Entertainment Group’s franchise, but every time I load up Horn I manage to get lost in its mystery and grandeur.
The concept of combining the RPG with match 3 mechanics seems to be pretty popular, though few entries come close to either Puzzle Quest for a more hardcore experience or Dungeon Raid for the casual folks. Still, many of the options at least offer a few things that make them worth giving a chace, and Dungeon Story is no exception. While there are no quests to speak of, it’s more persistent than Dungeon Raid in that you can build up your character between plays. It still provides a more casual experience than Puzzle Quest, however, because even if you get “stuck” in a dungeon all you have to remember between sessions is that when you come back there is another monster to fight.
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.