TouchMyApps » Games http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 10 App Store Games To Watch [Aug 11 - 17] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/12/10-app-store-games-to-watch-aug-11-17/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/12/10-app-store-games-to-watch-aug-11-17/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:31:12 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74069 They can try to turn iOS devices into console quality machines as hard as they want, but at the end of the day they still do portable games best.  This week some of the most entertaining games were also the simplest, such as Freaking Shapes.  All you have to do is say whether one shape … Read more]]>

monday-roundup-08182014-intro

They can try to turn iOS devices into console quality machines as hard as they want, but at the end of the day they still do portable games best.  This week some of the most entertaining games were also the simplest, such as Freaking Shapes.  All you have to do is say whether one shape fits into another or not, but see how long it takes before you’re saying “it’s not as easy as it seems”.  Maybe you’d rather try your luck at FingerOut… and no, it’s not a game of obscene gestures.  Here you just have to lift your finger from the screen when the circle underneath it changes to yellow, but you do have to remember to leave all your other fingers right where they are at.  Then again, it could be that the traditional side scrolling infinite runner with basic jump and duck motions suits your fancy.  Airblower Kid fits the bill, with the small exception that you have to keep tapping the screen to make sure your paper airplane stays afloat.

monday-roundup-08182014-spellfall

Spellfall – Puzzle RPG – This is one of those weird cases where I’m doing things kind of backwards.  I’ve already written a review for this game, but I’ve played it every day since I first launched it so I figured it was worth noting in the roundup as well.  If you’ve played any match 3 / RPG hybrids before you’ll be quite at home with this game, though instead of your typical physical attack, magical attack and defense matches everything you match in this game will go towards magic attacks except for coins.  Most monsters have a weakness and some have a preferred element as well, so it sort of plays out like a magical rock-paper-scissors.  You do level up as you gain experience which raises your health, attack and defense traits.  You’ll also earn money which can be used to buy weapons and armor, and more importantly to buy runes and unlock slots on your equipment to use them.  Runes give you additional abilities like heal, poison, stun and more, and these will level up as well when you use them.  Despite the simple match 3 mechanics there is quite a bit of depth to the combat system, and a large variety of runes lets you tailor the experience even more.  It’s also one of the best looking match 3 / RPG hybrids I’ve seen.

Spellfall™ - Puzzle RPG Backflip Studios, Spellfall™ – Puzzle RPG (TMA Review) – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-shot-break

Shot & Break – Shot & Break is your typical “defend something from a bunch of critters” type game, but I have to say I’ve found it quite enjoyable so far.  You start with a simple shotgun and can unlock several different weapons including an AK-47 and a flamegun.  Each gun can then be upgraded to last longer before you have to reload.  You’ll also be able to unlock and upgrade props, which are items like grenades and arrows that can be dragged onto the enemy to do additional damage.  Finally you have defense items like rubble and iron planks that you can put in front of your jeep to provide additional protection.  The game offers 15 levels in “campaign” mode, as well as an endless mode that you can play up to five times a day.  I think what I really like about this game though is the variety of creatures.  You have your typical creatures like werewolves, spiders and deadly bees, but then you also have things like ents and scarecrows with bombs for heads.  Everything is well drawn and somewhat resembles a Saturday morning cartoon.  This might not be overly original stuff, but it’s fun and well put together.

Shot & Break kaiyu li, Shot & Break – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-flickknights

Flick Knights – Flick Knights is an interesting concept that feels like it came from the show American Gladiators.  Two teams compete to see who can be the first to take out the opponent’s bullseye.  Unlike most of these games, however, you move around the playing field by flicking your team members from one spot to the next.  If you prefer, you can use a teammate’s special attack to do anything from teleport to a special location to mimic another team member’s actions.  Each player starts with one special attack and you can acquire two more for that player over time.  You can also buy additional team members and purchase up to two extra slots to fill out your active roster.  While you’re trying to get to your opponent’s home base make sure you work on knocking out their team which has both the benefit of removing players from the field temporarily and damaging their home base as well.  The game can be played hot seat on one device or over the internet both asynchronously and real time.  So far I haven’t had much luck connecting with players over the net, but once this game gets a community built up it could be quite intriguing.

Flick Knights Ballpit Monster Studios, Flick Knights – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-chops

C.H.O.P.S. – Combat Helicopter Offensive Pacification Squad – Here’s my “thank you for not being Flappy” game of the week.  C.H.O.P.S. has the “tap to fly up” mechanic and some columns to dodge, but beyond that it offers so much more game play than its inspiration.  You start off with a basic helicopter, some rudimentary firepower and no orbiters, and your sole mission is to destroy as many enemies as you can before they take you down.  As you earn coins you’ll be able to upgrade your helicopter or buy a new one.  You’ll also be able to upgrade or change your main weapon, which thankfully carries through to whatever new craft you purchase.  Orbiters are small craft that hover around you and provide additional firepower, but these require gems to unlock and naturally gems are much more scarce (unless you want to open up your wallet to IAP, that is).  As you continually play you’ll earn XP and level up which provides bonus revenue and higher score multipliers.  You also get a daily bonus, and on the fifth day you’ll unlock a special helicopter.  The graphics are neat, there are several locales to fight in, and the music is decent as well.  I suppose the one thing I can be thankful for about Flappy Bird is that it has produced some decent “clones”.

C.H.O.P.S. - Combat Helicopter Offensive Pacification Squad Tapps Tecnologia da Informação Ltda., C.H.O.P.S. – Combat Helicopter Offensive Pacification Squad – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-swipe-n-slash

Swipe & Slash – The 2048 (or 1024, or whatever number started it) craze has already gotten out of control, but at least this developer found a good use for it.  Much like Match 3 for Puzzle Quest, the 2048 mechanic provides the combat mechanism for Swipe & Slash, or at least it does partially.  You swipe cards together to form more powerful versions of those cards, but you actually have to tap them to queue them up.  Once your turns have been used for a given round all of your queued cards will be used and then you’ll get to execute your base attack if necessary assuming your opponent isn’t already dead.  Sword cards bolster your attack, potion cards build your health back up (there is no defense, per se) and coin cards give you money to spend on better equipment.  There are some subtle differences between this game and many of its peers, like when you swipe in a direction everything only shifts one block in that direction instead of moving as far as it can the way you swiped.  Also, unlike most RPG style games Swipe & Slash doesn’t seem to have a traditional leveling up system.  There’s Game Center integration, but that appears to be “coming soon” as opening up Game Center reveals no leaderboard or achievements.  Some may find the lack of story or quests a bit frustrating, but if you’re looking for something quick to play in little spurts at a time, Swipe & Slash delivers in a pretty unique way.

Swipe & Slash Daniel Fairley, Swipe & Slash – $0.99

monday-roundup-08182014-accidental-spelunking

Accidental Spelunking – This poor guy just can’t cut a break: first he falls off the rope, and then it’s downhill… or rather down-hole from there.  Accidental Spelunking is basically freefall cave exploration with ragdoll physics.  Of course the myriad of jutting rock ledges and inappropriately placed wooden shelves (!?!) do a great job of slowing your decent.  Unfortunately, if you get stuck at the top of the screen it’s game over.  While you’re falling your light source will be in a state of flux, so use it the best you can to navigate towards useful items like coins, jewels, chests and power ups.  If you’re lucky you’ll even find a drill, though I’m not exactly sure what that gets you when you use it.  Coins can be used to upgrade your light and drill options, and jewels can buy you special charms.  There are also several characters you can purchase that come from the game Don’t Fall in the whole (also from the same developer), and those all appear to require a combination of coins and jewels to purchase.  Game Center does provide a leaderboard, but there are currently no achievements to earn.  Guess you’ll just have to settle for trying to unlock all the characters.  The game is free to play, but you can always head to the store to purchase some jewels via IAP if you’d like.

Accidental Spelunking Oooweeooo Inc., Accidental Spelunking – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-bizarre-aquarium

Bizarre Aquarium – This game is a bit rough around the edges.  The interface has some issues, the “one tap to do everything” paradigm doesn’t always work, and there’s not a whole lot of variety at the moment.  Still, much like Insaniquarium which I presume to be Bizarre Aquarium’s inspiration, the concept is actually amusing and has lots of potential.  As I said in my review of Insaniquarium so long ago, who knew maintaining an aquarium could actually be fun?  You start by feeding the fish you have so they grow bigger and produce coins – don’t ask.  Then you buy more fish, upgrade the type of food you give them and increase the amount of pellets you can serve at once.  If you’d like to earn gems, which basically translate to more money, you can purchase piranhas that will eat the small fish you buy.  Everything cost money, including passing out food pellets, so the trick is to simply start earning more money than you spend.  Eventually you’ll need to buy stars so you can complete a level if you’re playing story mode.  In survival mode you earn stars based on the amount of time you can survive.  Stars are used to buy pets, which in turn directly or indirectly help you earn more money.  Oh, and don’t forget to buy a laser gun so you can arm yourself against the fish eating aliens!

Bizarre Aquarium charles luo, Bizarre Aquarium – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-kittentaxi

KittenTaxi – Move over Crazy Taxi, the cats are taking over the road!  Actually, the two games are quite different so feel free to have them both as guilty taxi pleasures.  In this case you control two cats trying to escape after robbing a bank.  Each chase gets more challenging as the pursuers grow more plentiful and harder to take down.  Thankfully you have an array of weaponry at your disposal that you can upgrade as you earn money from your heists.  As a matter of fact, you can also upgrade the car, the passenger and the driver, along with a few other things that are currently locked for me.  What I find interesting is that once you pay your upgrade fee you still have to spin a wheel to see if you successfully earn the upgrade or not.  Each time you upgrade a particular feature one spot for that feature gets replaced with a 100 coin “booby prize”, so you could potentially spend lots of money on upgrades to do nothing more than earn a percentage of your money back.  Control is a simple matter of sliding your finger back and forth on the screen, as the cats will automatically attack when you’re in front of a hostile vehicle.  The graphics are great and the music kind of reminds me of something off of the soundtrack from Monk.  KittenTaxi is definitely worth taking for a spin.

KittenTaxi Wonder People Co. Ltd, KittenTaxi – Free

monday-roundup-08182014-qube-kingdom

Qube Kingdom – If developers keep this up I might actually start to like the tower defense genre.  From the level design perspective I’m not that impressed so far, but what the game lacks in path layout it more than makes up for in everything else.  You’re guided through your journey by a wizard that’s much more eager to help than the fowl Jafar of Aladdin fame.  You start with an archer and a couple of swordsmen to command, but as your skills and conquests grow so will your forces.  One interesting feature is that you are not only limited to the types of troops you can have defending you but to the actual number as well.  Initially your party can contain only 5 troops, so just because you have the money to put 20 on the battlefield doesn’t mean you can.  While on the battlefield you’ll have access to quobelisks that are fueled by the qubes of fallen foes and provide traps and obstacles to deter them, but beware the red quobelisks that actually aid the enemy.  As you win battles you’ll earn qubes which can be used to enhance your heroes.  You’ll also eventually restore your main compound which will give you access to additional game features.  You can even recruit a hero from a fellow player to earn “social” qubes and mutually benefit each other.  Welcome to the qubed generation of tower defense.

Qube Kingdom DeNA Corp., Qube Kingdom – Free

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Rome: Total War – Take one part Magic: The Gathering, sprinkle in some Plants vs. Zombies and toss it all in an ancient Roman setting and you have Rome: Total War.  You start out with a deck of just a few cards, but as you win battles you’ll earn new cards and also money to buy more specific cards that you want.  You can take as many cards into battle as your ruling power allows, but you’ll only be able to fight with up to six at a time.  The trick is to learn the special tricks of each character type, like the fact that an archer will ambush each opponent that is placed on the board or a Warrior Gaul will get enraged and earn an extra attack point each time a comrade falls.  The hero that controls your army will grow in power as well, but always expect the enemy hero to be a bit more powerful.  That just means you have to use your cunning in place of brute force (though sometimes a really strong troop just does wonders against your foes).  You can sell cards you don’t want to help fund the army you’d like to build, and apparently you can actually upgrade your army as well, though I’m not sure how you go about doing that.  I also gather from the iTunes description that you can fight other players, but I can’t seem to find that feature either.  Still, what’s already there is pretty entertaining, and if these other features exist or suddenly show up it will only enhance the value of the game.

Rome: Total War Emu Interactive, Rome: Total War – Free

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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Secret Files Tunguska in Review: An Adventure Game Like They Used To Make http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/09/secret-files-tunguska-in-review-an-adventure-game-like-they-used-to-make/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/09/secret-files-tunguska-in-review-an-adventure-game-like-they-used-to-make/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:59:36 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74061 While I’ll happily take any sort of adventure game for my iPad that’s half way decent, there’s something about the 80’s King’s Quest style adventure that can’t be matched by a first person point of view or lots of hidden object scenes and mini-games.  Apparently the developers behind Secret Files Tunguska get that, and as … Read more]]>

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While I’ll happily take any sort of adventure game for my iPad that’s half way decent, there’s something about the 80’s King’s Quest style adventure that can’t be matched by a first person point of view or lots of hidden object scenes and mini-games.  Apparently the developers behind Secret Files Tunguska get that, and as a result this is one of the best adventure games I’ve played on the iOS platform to date.  The story keeps you wanting to know more, the NPC interaction is plentiful but not overburdening, and the puzzles are intelligent and fun.  Add to that a polished interface and beautiful graphics and you can’t really ask for much more.  Well, a bit of background music would be kind of nice…review-secret-files-2

You start out playing Nina, who simply wants to visit her father at the museum where he works.  Instead you end up on a quest to find him as well as figure out the mystery behind the explosion that rocked Tunguska a century before.  Nina is joined by her father’s assistant Max, whom you’ll also get to control at various points in the game.  The detailed and intriguing story is told via dialog trees between the character you control and various NPCs as well as the occasional cut scene.  The actual “game” portion is your old fashioned mix of item collecting and object puzzle solving.  There are no hidden object scenes, and so far I haven’t run into any mini games.  Personally I hope it stays that way, though as long as the mini games are minimal I’ll be content.

The interface is simple yet effective.  Tapping on an item of interest brings up one or two options: a magnifying glass for viewing and a hand for interacting.  Depending on the situation “interacting” might mean taking an object, talking to someone or literally manipulating something without adding it to your inventory.  To use an inventory item you can drag it onto an item in the scene or onto another item in your inventory.  The inventory interface is a bit sluggish, and it can be frustrating because two objects must be combined in the right order (ex: dragging a matchbook to a cigarette lights the cigarette, but dragging the cigarette to the matchbook does nothing).  You can tap to move around your current area as well, but that’s rarely needed since your character automatically walks towards objects you interact with.  I did finally run into one mini game so far, and that was handled simply by dragging objects around the screen.

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The game auto saves at certain points and will keep your last position when you exit out of the game, but you can (and should) also explicitly save occasionally in the options menu.  You can also save and load your game to the iCloud if you’d like, which is a feature games of any decent length should have.  From a game play perspective this is just about the perfect adventure game, except for the dialog.  Now don’t get me wrong, because dialog between characters is one thing that sets a true adventure game above a simple room escape experience, but there are times when the dialog just devolves into nonsense that does nothing but make the game longer.  Plus, it makes you work a little harder to determine what’s actually necessary to move the plot along.  Not a major hurdle, but it can get annoying at times.

This is a pretty amazing looking game.  The backgrounds are extremely well drawn and finely detailed, and the characters look good enough in the normal course of the game.  The models don’t always look the best in the cut scenes, but then there are very few games centered around humans where they really do.  Overall the visuals are stunning.  The sound is another story.  There are some sound effects, but the game seems to be more focused on ambient noises, which actually do have the effect of making the world feel a bit more vibrant and alive.  However, there is very little music which is rather disappointing.  Also, while the voiceovers are nice, they seem to be a bit out of place in most cases.  For example, only one person that I’ve encountered in Russia so far even speaks with any sort of accent!

review-secret-files-4

Adventure games used to be one of the staples of my gaming diet, but as time moves on and the popularity of the genre seemingly diminishes there just aren’t as many quality options as there used to be.  Thankfully Secret Files Tunguska is one of the exceptions.  An interesting story, plenty of game play and overall pleasing aesthetics definitely make this a worthwhile experience for any avid adventure gamer.  Just remember that because you think you’ve moved on doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re done with something.

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App Summary
Title: Secret Files Tunguska Developer: Deep Silver
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req:
Price: $4.99 App Size:
  • Intriguing story
  • Lots of NPC interaction
  • Plenty of puzzles
  • Excellent visuals
  • Nice ambient sound
  • Navigating inventory can be sluggish
  • Overabundance of silly dialog
  • Little background music

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Earn to Die 2: More Motorized Zombie Hijinx Coming Soon http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/03/earn-to-die-2-more-motorized-zombie-hijinx-coming-soon/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/09/03/earn-to-die-2-more-motorized-zombie-hijinx-coming-soon/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 21:43:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74055 At the end of 2012 I reviewed a game called Earn To Die, a post apocalyptic, get from point A to point B while running over zombies style game.  There were actually several games of this type released around the same time, yet while I managed to dismiss most of the others as derivative and … Read more]]>

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At the end of 2012 I reviewed a game called Earn To Die, a post apocalyptic, get from point A to point B while running over zombies style game.  There were actually several games of this type released around the same time, yet while I managed to dismiss most of the others as derivative and uninteresting, there was something about Earn To Die that kept me coming back for more.  Nearly two years later Not Doppler has announced the sequel, and I for one am pretty excited.

This time around the story mode promises to be five times the size of the original, which to me seemed a decent length as is.  Levels will employ multiple paths so if one way doesn’t work for you, try another and see what you get.  There are 10 new vehicles to unlock, upgrade and abuse, and fully destructible machines means if you’re not careful your prized wheels might just become part of the rubble you’re driving through.  If all that isn’t enough, however, once you’ve completed story mode there’s a brand new missions mode to challenge your skill.  No firm release date has been set yet, but if we’re lucky we’ll once more be plowing over the undead before Christmas rolls around.

My review of Earn To Die
Earn to Die Not Doppler, Earn to Die – $0.99

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10 App Store Games To Watch [August 4 - 10] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/30/10-app-store-games-to-watch-august-4-10/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/30/10-app-store-games-to-watch-august-4-10/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:47:58 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74038 I’m pretty sure someone has made the weeks shorter, because I just don’t seem to have nearly enough time to dive into these new games any more. This week one of my favorites was not only a Flappy Bird style game, but the protagonist was a feline and I’m about as opposite of a cat … Read more]]>

monday-roundup-08112014-intro

I’m pretty sure someone has made the weeks shorter, because I just don’t seem to have nearly enough time to dive into these new games any more. This week one of my favorites was not only a Flappy Bird style game, but the protagonist was a feline and I’m about as opposite of a cat fan as you can get. Still, Kitty Hates Water was cute, the controls actually worked (sorry, bad controls are not a “challenge” in the positive sense) and goals were actually attainable. For those of you that like the character building of an RPG but the pace of an infinite runner you can find PixelHero on the App Store. You have to level up with randomly generated perks every time you play, but in between runs you can permanently upgrade certain stats. Finally, one of the masters of creating true video game worlds is back with Godus. This is Peter Molyneux’s second foray into the iOS platform, and it’s much more to his gaming roots than his first product. If you like games like Populous you should feel right at home with Godus.

monday-roundup-08112014-crash-and-burn-racing

Crash and Burn Racing – Get behind the wheel, take to the streets and cause as much havoc as possible.  I’m not really sure what more you could ask for in a vehicular game.  Oh wait, did I mention that the streets are paved with bombs, rockets and boosts that make you temporarily invincible?  Crash into other vehicles from the side (or from behind while in boost mode) and generally just stay alive for as long as you can.  This will earn you points and ultimately experience which translates to leveling up.  For the first few levels you go up you’ll gain access to a new vehicle, though I’m not sure how you’ll be rewarded once the last vehicle is unlocked.  Sometimes you can collect money on the road as well, and this can be used to buy things like new rims, a different paint job and increases to your selected vehicle’s three base attributes.  I think this system might be a bit broken right now because the first time I bought a new set of rims it didn’t seem to take, but even without that it is loads of fun just racing through the streets and trying to take everyone else out.  You even have the option to record your crash and post it to social media.  It would be nice if money were a bit easier to come by, but I guess that’s what IAP is for if you really want it.

Array Lunagames Fun & Games, Crash and Burn Racing – Free

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Poison Ive – This is a puzzle game for those that like challenges and want something that doesn’t feel just like 90 percent of everything else they’ve played in the last few months.  You control Ive, and as luck would have it you leave a trail of thorny bushes behind you.  If the various creatures of the land run into the bushes it spells certain doom for them, but it also prevents you from retracing your steps.  Each level has 1 of 3 goals: reach the exit, kill all the baddies or clear away the slime.  Once you’ve completed your goal the level is over, so if you reach the exit and there are still bad guys left on the board you’re okay.  There are three flowers to be found on almost every level, and while you don’t need them to complete the level they come in useful later on in the game.  You’ll also collect money on each level, though the amount is not that great unless you get to spin the bonus wheel because you collected the three flowers on the level you just completed.  Of course there’s no guarantee that you’ll get anything from your spin, but you could win coins or an inventory item like a bomb or thunder cloud.  One other cool feature in the game is that you can rewind the game for as many steps as you’d like instead of just restarting a level.  If you’re looking for a brain teaser with a bit of a different flair, Poison Ive might be a good choice.

Array Capoot, Poison Ive – Free

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PixelHero – This game is like an endless runner combined with a rogue-like.  In normal mode you simply have to make it to the end of each level, though the critters that inhabit this world are going to try their hardest to make sure you don’t succeed.  As you defeat monsters you earn XP and eventually level up, and sometimes when you level up you’ll be able to increase one of two different stats.  The thing is that you really have to pay attention, because the game won’t stop just because you can level up.  For that matter you really have to keep an eye on your health, because it’s easy to not realize you’re running low until the game is suddenly asking if you want to revive your character.  While the game is simple to play conceptually, it definitely requires some concentration.  Luckily along the way you can pick up health potions and potions that remove things like poison, so just make sure you use them.  The two currencies in the game are coins and gems.  The former allows you to buy items at the beginning of a run or enhance one of your main attributes.  Gems are used to buy pets, though I’m not really sure how you earn those.  Overall this is an interesting blend of runner and rouge-like, but be warned that you have to be connected to the internet to play even though it’s a single player game.

Array BaiXiang Yu, PixelHero – Free

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Ice Age Adventures – The boys are back, and this time they’re taking your iOS device by ice storm.  Thanks to Scrat’s insatiable appetite for acorns the herd has once again been broken up, and it’s up to you and the unlikely hero Sid to get them back together again.  If you’ve played a decent selection of free-to-play games you know the drill: get quests, complete quests, earn rewards and repeat ad infinitum.  In this game your basic resources include berries for energy, shells for building things and acorns for speeding things up so progress takes a reasonable amount of time.  Naturally acorns are the most elusive to find, and of course you can get them via IAP if you like.  When you run across herd members that need to be saved you’ll either have to play an infinite running style sledding game or match 3 game in order to rescue the animals.  As you retrieve herd members you’ll start earning more berries and making your shattered island feel more like home again.  While this style of game play wouldn’t necessarily have been my first choice for the popular dysfunctional ice age family, Gameloft has actually done a pretty decent job with the whole thing, and they’ve even brought back the cast members for some authentic voice-overs.

Array Gameloft, Ice Age Adventures – Free

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The Outcast – The developers of this game have set out to create something truly different in the realm of adventure games, and I think they are on their way to succeeding.  The game starts out with you launching it and then being instructed to close it.  As events unfold in the game you’ll get notifications, and when you open up the game again you’ll get a brief scenario that may or may not let you interact with it.  At the end of the scenario you’ll close the game again and wait for the next event.  When you do get to make choices it feels like a “choose your own adventure” game.  Whether or not you get to direct the action there is up to four different facets that could change: your food and water supply, your health and your monetary position.  If your health runs out the game is over, but I don’t know what happens yet if the other items go to zero – I’d imagine they provide a similar fate.  What I find interesting about the game so far is that it actually manages to engage you without consuming your focus, so you still get the sensation of an adventure game without feeling like you have to play it all the way through before you forget what’s going on.  It could be the world’s first “infinite adventure game”.  And if it’s not, it’s still something different that the developers are definitely passionate about and eager to hear your suggestions on.

The Outcast Seller: Simple Machine, LLC, The Outcast – $1.99

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Kitty Hates Water – Welcome to this week’s “Thank You For Not Being Flappy Bird” clone.  I’m not a fan of cats, and I personally expected this to be nothing more than a cheap knock-off (which is sad given the source) with some decent looking graphics.  Instead this turned out to be a really cool game.  You control a cat on an umbrella, and your job is to stay out of the water and dodge dogs while collecting birds, fish and sponges.  Birds and fish earn you points while the sponges help lower the water level which is slowly but constantly rising.  When you begin a round you’re given a mission, and for every three missions you complete you’ll earn a bonus like an extra umbrella or a net to help you catch fish from a further distance.  You can compete against your friends in Game Center and Facebook and just try to keep besting your own high score.  Best of all, you tap the screen once to go up and again to go down – no jerky, purposely bad controls unless you choose to make them that way.

Array Justin Leingang, Kitty Hates Water – Free

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Dot Hang-Man – Looking for some deep, thoughtful game play?  You’ve come to the wrong place, my friend.  In Dot Hang-Man you simply help a deluded super hero leap from one building to the next.  He handles throwing the rope on his own, and you simply have to tap when you think he should let go.  Your goal is to reach the increasingly smaller red stripe in the middle of your target building, which is a hard enough goal as it continues to shrink.  Once the wind kicks in, however, expect to miss a lot.  And of course when you miss it is game over and you have to start from the beginning.  The game does have one leaderboard via Game Center, and while it would be nice to have things like achievements and power ups, there’s something to be said for the simplistic nature of this game.  I know I certainly have trouble resisting the “yes” option when the game asks me if I want to play again.  Of course, just in case the developer actually wants suggestions I’d love to see a few actual obstacles like low flying birds and such, and maybe even an occasional extra popping out a window to wave “hi” ala Batman 1966.

Array Kwon HuckJune, Dot Hang-Man – Free

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Godus – At first I was planning on making some sort of comment about how I would imagine that this game was somewhat like the old classic Populous.  I suppose I should have read the iTunes description a bit better, because Godus is in fact the brainchild of Peter Molyneux, who just happens to be the creator of the other game I mentioned.  Basically, this is what you play when life doesn’t have to be all about death and destruction.  A pretty slick and powerful interface lets you terraform the land and get it ready for human habitation.  Build structures to increase the population which in turn advances your culture, and so on and so forth.  As you explore the land and grow your civilization you’ll earn cards that let you do more powerful actions.  You’ll also find stickers that you can use to unlock certain cards that you find.  Treat your followers well and you’ll soon have a fun, thriving community.  Connect with Mobage or Facebook (in theory, though so far my Facebook login attempts have failed) to see how other players are handling their world cultivating skills.  Eventually you’ll even be able to send your clan on voyages oversees.  This isn’t necessarily designed for those who crave immediate gratification, but if you like constantly working towards better goals, this is a rather interesting little offering.

Array DeNA Corp., Godus – Free

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Primitives Puzzle In Time – The irony of this game’s name is that there is no timer, at least not in the traditional sense of an LED display counting down.  Instead the timer is cleverly hidden in the calculation of the length of your path from the starting point to your goal.  Along the way you’ll want to try and pick up the three stars that exist in each level, though it’s not a requirement unless you wish to earn all the achievements or place on the leaderboard.  Control is simple: drag the shape to form the path you wish to take, and tap anywhere along the already created line to rewind to that place in line.  When you’ve run out of path the game doesn’t end your turn and make you start over, which is a welcome feature for someone like me.  The levels start out with fairly simple designs and mazes, but soon you get moving parts, gates that require you to be a certain color to pass and multiple objects that must reach the finish circle on each level.  The best part is that not only are the first two level sets completely free, but you get to sample the first five levels of each of the remaining sets.  The game is well designed, it looks good and the music is nice and soothing.  I’m glad that developers realize there’s more to “puzzle” games than flinging and cutting stuff.

Array Crazy Labs, Primitives Puzzle In Time – Free

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Music Run : Hall Of The Mountain King – I thought I’d end this roundup on a high note (see what I did there?)  This might not be the best rhythm game ever, but it’s one of the most entertaining I’ve played in a while.  You are an adventurer running through a cave filled with lava pits, spiders and ogres – there might be more, but I keep dying at the exact same spot for some silly reason.  You tap up to jump over the pits, down to slide beneath the spiders and attack to slay the ogres.  Of course you have to do this all to the beat as well.  Don’t worry, though, because a little circle beneath you will line up with a diagram of which button to press when it’s time to press that button.  That way if you happen to be rhythmically challenged you should still be able to play the game reasonably well.  I’m not sure if there’s only the one song to play against, but even if there is it was time well spent.  Besides, the game has great pixel art and the artist even went through the trouble of creating animations for the adventurer getting eaten by both the spider and the ogre.

Array KEGames, Music Run: Hall of the Mountain King – Free

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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Spellfall – Puzzle RPG in Review – You Better Watch Out, Puzzle Quest http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/27/spellfall-puzzle-rpg-in-review-you-better-watch-out-puzzle-quest/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/27/spellfall-puzzle-rpg-in-review-you-better-watch-out-puzzle-quest/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:51:05 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74029 Since the dawn of the match 3 / RPG hybrid Puzzle Quest has always been king of the throne.  In fact, I think it was the game that introduced me to this wonderful mash up of genres.  Now Backflip Studios has released Spellfall – Puzzle RPG, and while I’m hesitant to say that this contender … Read more]]>

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Since the dawn of the match 3 / RPG hybrid Puzzle Quest has always been king of the throne.  In fact, I think it was the game that introduced me to this wonderful mash up of genres.  Now Backflip Studios has released Spellfall – Puzzle RPG, and while I’m hesitant to say that this contender has usurped the crown, it’s pretty amazing in its own right.  The battles are fast and furious, the rewards are plenty and the rune system is a really nice bonus.  The combat effects are among the best I’ve seen in this style of game, and the overall polish is quite impressive.  Chalk up another win for Backflip.

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There is actually a story going on here, though to be perfectly frank I don’t remember what the whole point of the mission is.  It’s not like a “one and done” intro thing either because there is text at the beginning of each combat filling you in just a bit more on everything that’s going on.  In the end it won’t matter for most people because one of the pluses of Spellfall is that you can play for as little at a time as you want and you never feel like you’re missing anything the next time you load up the game to play again.  The basics are that you’re trying to conquer evil and in order to do so you must explore a series of different locations.  You’ll meet some interesting creatures along the way, and while it seems like they only introduce 2 or 3 new ones per area, given the number of areas that kind of pacing should still result in a nice range of foes to fight.

As you might have gathered, combat takes place in a match 3 scenario.  Instead of the usual breakdown of physical and magical attacks, defense and coins, however, Spellfall is all about the magic (though there are still coins to be matched).  You have four elements to work with, and most monsters will have a particular weakness to one of the elements.  Matching 4 of a kind will create a special tile that can wipe out a row or column, and matching 5 or more in a line will create a bonus attack tile.  If you match one of these tiles then when that turn is done your character will launch a special attack based on that particular element type.  There are also runes that match each element type, and if you have one of those runes and it is active it will get slightly charged each time you match the corresponding element.  When runes are fully charged they can heal, poison, shuffle tiles and more.  I do wish runes would charge as long as you had the equipped, but that’s a minor quibble and could actually make things a bit too easy.

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Monsters only get to attack once every so many rounds, but they make up for it by unleashing some deadly attacks.  If you’re victorious you can earn Exp Points which help you level up, Rune Points which enable your runes to level up, Collected Coins (those you match up during play) and Victory Coins for winning the match.  Should you fail you’ll still earn Exp Points and Collected Coins, but obviously winning is preferable.  Money can be used to buy weapons, armor and runes as well as to heal your character between battles and unlock rune slots on weapons or armor.  Thankfully runes don’t become permanent attachments to your other equipment, but sometimes to get the more powerful duds you might have to give up using some runes for a while.  That’s the single biggest point of frustration in this game – it takes a while to earn money unless you want to supplement your coffer via IAP, so you have to be real careful what you spend your loot on.  Add to that the fact that the items store is randomly supplied and items don’t stay in the store very long and you might miss out on something you really wanted.  Of course this is how they drive you to spending your cash, but since it doesn’t really hamper you from playing the game that’s okay with me.

The visuals in Spellfall are great.  The characters are very well designed so that even the creatures you’re used to feel fresh.  The animation is fluid, the creatures’ attacks are varied and interesting, and the bonus attacks your mage makes can certainly impress.  The sound effects are all pretty good, though your character does sound a bit wimpy when he gets hit.  The music has a nice fantasy tone to it, and while it’s nothing earth shattering it’s just nice to have there for the few seconds when you breathe between battles.  Otherwise you probably won’t even notice it.

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The match 3 / RPG hybrid continues to thrive, and while the basic tenets of each game is the same developers are still trying hard to add features that make their entry rise above the crowd.  Spellfall does an admirable job with that.  Quick, intense combat along with a constantly rotating inventory keep you on your toes while the deep runes system lets you customize your character to your style of play.  The whole thing is wrapped up in a slick graphical bow and topped with a wonderful incentive to keep you coming back: play for 20 days to get a special prize.  I’m working hard to see what mine is!

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App Summary
Title: Spellfall – Puzzle RPG Developer: Backflip Studios
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.0 Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: Free App Size: 78.9 MB
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Deep, diverse rune system
  • Excellent visuals
  • Nice sound effects
  • Doesn’t hammer you about IAP
  • Runes have to be active to be charged
  • Often one fight forces you to wait or dump a bunch of money into recovering health

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10 App Store Games To Watch [July 28 - Aug 3] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/20/10-app-store-games-to-watch-july-28-aug-3/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/20/10-app-store-games-to-watch-july-28-aug-3/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:45:19 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74015 As usual I’ve tried to assemble as diverse a selection of games as I can, though I’ll admit that I leaned a bit heavily on the puzzle side of things this week.  Color Nudge is a match 3 game that actually makes you think a little bit about what you’re doing.  Limited moves, interesting board … Read more]]>

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As usual I’ve tried to assemble as diverse a selection of games as I can, though I’ll admit that I leaned a bit heavily on the puzzle side of things this week.  Color Nudge is a match 3 game that actually makes you think a little bit about what you’re doing.  Limited moves, interesting board layouts and pieces that fall of the board when you slide a row are just some of the factors you have to take into account when playing.  Got Light? challenges your perception of color and ability to skillfully align objects.  Move stars and planets around so that each plant is lit by the appropriately colored star(s) without being bathed in another star’s light.  Galaxy Guardians is a cute shooter where you control a penguin saddled with heavy artillery.  The controls are a bit awkward, but at least it doesn’t feel just like every other shooter.

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Snaky – Not only do I have a “Thank You For Not Being Flappy Bird” clone this week, but I liked it so much I put it first in the list!  Okay, the order doesn’t really matter but I wanted a snappy opening line.  Anyway, Snaky is everything Flappy Bird wasn’t.  The visuals are minimal, yet there’s something mesmerizing about the smooth black line sliding across a white background as simple colored lines scroll by.  The music is a great piano piece and the sound effects are just enough to let you know when you’ve succeeded or failed in passing a set of lines (in case you didn’t notice visually).  The controls are actually smooth instead of jerky, so if you fail in this one it’s all on you.  There is a leaderboard for high scores, and depending on your score you might receive something in the “reward” circle – this is probably the one thing I’d like to see fleshed out just a little bit.  If nothing else maybe the artist could incorporate the minimum score required to receive the reward within the reward itself.  The only IAP is for removing ads, so if you enjoy the game please do so and support the developer.  If you’re a fan of “floppy” games you should love this one, and if you despise the genre you might enjoy Snaky anyway.

Snaky Tung Hoang, Snaky – Free

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DeadlyQuest – If you were to simply peruse a week’s worth of new releases on the App Store, you would find that probably 70-80% of them fall under a mere 5 or 6 different types of game.  One such popular game type is the concept of dragging your finger through a maze without touching the walls, and up until now I’ve basically avoided such games thinking they’d be more frustrating than fun.  The dungeon crawling motif of this one interested me, however, and so far I really like it… though it is definitely frustrating.  Each level challenges you to navigate corridors lined with spikes to try and reach a staircase to the next level.  There are 3 stars to collect if you’re brave enough, and if you’re insane there’s a hidden treasure chest to reveal on each level by running into it.  The trick is that you have to do all of this within a certain time limit.  Better yet, before long you get introduced to obstacles that actually move in addition to the static walls.  There are probably more diabolical traps as well, but I’m only on level 4 after several play sessions.  If I had one complaint (and I usually do) it’s that the character moves relative to your finger movements instead of directly underneath your finger, which when you’re in a hurry can cause lots of mis-judgement.

DeadlyQuest Moortz, DeadlyQuest – Free

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Ice Castle – One of my favorite games growing up with my NES was Ice Climber, and Ice Castle reminds me of a modern version of that game.  Now before all you fans get frantic about it, I’ll admit the resemblance is fleeting, but since Ice Climber proper isn’t going to show up on my iPad any time soon, I’ll take what I can get.  You control an Eskimo that is trying to clear the polar lands of all sorts of nasty critters.  In order to do this you’ll have to take up your trusty hammer, as well as use the bombs, ropes and TNT you find along the way.  There are coins to collect that can be used to buy additional supplies and new costumes, and each level contains three snowflakes to gather for those up to the challenge.  The levels are actually fairly well designed, and the graphics look pretty good.  I particularly like the fact that a bat finally looks like a menacing creature instead of some cartoony criminal.  The problem right now is that the game is fairly buggy.  Sometimes the controls freak out, the rope interface is particularly flaky, and high scores don’t seem to stick between play sessions, just to name a few issues.  I think there’s a lot of potential here, though, so if we show the developer that we’re interested in the game maybe issue resolution will get fast-tracked to make this a much more solid product.

Ice Castle Click Labs, Ice Castle – Free

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Colour Nudge – At first glance Colour Nudge might appear to be just another match 3 game but after a little while I began to appreciate that it was much more than that.  First of all it uses an interesting combination of “slide the row” and “swap tiles”.  By that I mean you slide a given row to try and make matches, but you can only slide one tile at time.  What’s more interesting is that you can slide a row without making a match, and whichever unlucky tile is at the end of the row you’re moving falls off the playing field to be replaced with the “on deck” tile piece.  In this match 3 variant you have tiles that cannot be moved even with power ups, which adds a whole other level to game play as well.  Toss in the fact that you have some fairly non-standard playing fields (one is comprised of 4 separate squares) and things start to get rather interesting.  Combine all this with multiple goals (reach a certain score, clear away grease tiles, match various amounts of particular types of slime) and the game actually has a nice strategy element to it.  There are currently 80 levels of color matching goodness, and as long as you’re patient about waiting for lives to recuperate you can probably play the whole game for free.

Colour Nudge Matthias Chan, Colour Nudge – Free
Colour Nudge HD Matthias Chan, Colour Nudge HD – Free

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Monster Snack – The Addictive Puzzle Runner – After all this time it appears that developers can still make some unique decisions within the constraints of the infinite runner genre.  In this case you are an alligator like creature piloting a spaceship through a cavern, trying to stay away from a giant fish that apparently likes to eat space ships piloted by you.  It’s actually a bit Monty Python-ish, which is always cool in my book.  To keep your craft going you simply tap the screen, the caveat being that you must tap it when you are above or below a crystal that is the same color as the gauge on your space ship.  You get different points depending on how close to the center of the crystal you are, or at least I think that’s how it works, and the game also keeps track of the distance you’ve travelled.  As you successfully harvest the color from the crystals you fill a nitro meter, and when that is packed you get one free mistake before the fish can consume you.  There are power ups, though they seem to appear few and far between and the only one I’ve figured out so far is one that adds some extra fuel to your nitro gauge.  If you do run across a power up just swipe anywhere on the screen to pick it up.  There are two leaderboards, one for total distance and one for highest score.  There are also achievements, or at least there are achievements “coming soon”.  The graphics are colorful and the music is some cross between Goonies and Danny Elfman, so it’s all good.

Monster Snack - The Addictive Puzzle Runner Total Eclipse P.C., Monster Snack – The Addictive Puzzle Runner – Free

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Galaxy Guardians – If you’ve seen Batman Returns you have my deepest sympathies.  One thing we did learn from that film, however, is that penguins sure can rock heavy artillery.  Galaxy Guardians picked up on that concept so you can now control a penguin with a jet pack, a laser gun and a desire to rid the galaxy of nasty aliens.  This is basically a “how far can you go” game with no achievements or missions, but it still manages to be entertaining in small doses.  There are 3 difficulty settings so most gamers should find an adequate challenge.  Game Center does provide leaderboards for each of the three difficulties so you can see how you rank against other guardians across the world.  The control is pretty simple consisting of tilting to aim, tapping to shoot or recover crystals and swiping to dodge.  The main problem is that if you have a bigger device that you can’t hold with one hand the swiping gesture can become a challenging, as can tapping a crystal that’s in the middle of the screen.  Control issues aside this is an entertaining shooter that can appeal to both adults and kids, and it comes at the perfect price tag: free.

Galaxy Guardians Useless Creations Pty Ltd, Galaxy Guardians – Free

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Caludo – When you look at the screen shots it might not seem like there is a whole lot to Caludo.  The truth is that there really isn’t, and that’s part of its charm.  Your task on each level is to get the smiley face without a smile to the set of circles with the yellow ring around it.  Sometimes it is locked, in which case you’ll need to grab one of the small green orbs first.  You get three moves per round, so you have to make some careful decisions about what is most important to you.  You only get points if you collect the green orbs, but if you don’t get to the exit of the level the orbs won’t matter.  Also, if you collect all three green orbs in a level that’s a triple, which brings me to the leaderboards.  There is one for the highest scores, one for the most triples and one for the highest round reached.  One thing that can get really frustrating is that if your character gets too close to the edge of the screen launching it can be rather difficult.  On the other hand, the fact that you can intercept the yellow circle and redirect it mid flight is cool.  The minimalist art and simple song actually provide a nice presentation to a game that is more about relaxation than anything else.

Caludo Bytebin, Caludo – Free

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Got Light? – Since Flappy Bird was released there seems to be an obsession with making the “hardest game ever”.  Sadly, though, unless you’re sadistic or have A.D.D. it really isn’t all that fun having a game where you die every two seconds.  As such I’ve really enjoyed some of the relaxing puzzles games that have come out this week, including both the last entry and this one, Got Light?  This game challenges you to illuminate all of the planets on the screen by making sure that the only color striking them is the one that matches the color of their surface.  The light comes from stars, some of which can be moved and others which can’t, but all of which cast one of three primary colors: red, green or blue.  You’ll have to position the items that are movable so that any stars can reach all of the appropriately colored planets, and in the case of mixed colors that the two necessary stars’ radiance overlaps.  If worse comes to worse you can use the shadow that each planet casts to block out the wrong colored light from another planet.  It can often be tricky getting things lined up just right to illuminate all the planets, but in the end it’s always a satisfying feeling.  The music is soothing, the images look pretty cool once you’ve got all the planets in place, and there is no annoying timer or unattainable high score to top.  If you’re one of those folks that’s really just all about the game, then this is a good choice for you.

Got Light? MakeGamesWithUs.com, Got Light? – Free

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Box It! – I guess this was just the week for me to latch on to quiet, unassuming puzzle games.  This particular one is a single player variant of the dots and lines game that you can still find on the back of many restaurants’ kids’ menus to keep the little ones happy while you’re waiting for food.  Besides being only single player, however, the rectangular playing field has been replaced with all manner of different layouts, and they are even kind enough to fill in some of the lines for you.  Your task is to fill in the entire level with squares using a limited number of extra lines.  Once you create a square you’ll set off a chain reaction that keeps going until it reaches a dead end or an intersection where there is more than one possible path to take.  It sounds pretty straightforward, and because you can undo as many moves as you want the first few levels are fairly simple.  It doesn’t take long before you really have to start thinking about where you’re going to plant those lines, though.  Thankfully you can jump to the puzzle of your choice at any time, so when you get stuck on one just try out a different one.  It may not help your situation any, but at least you can spread the failure across multiple puzzles.  Spot on controls and a slick interface make the game easy to get into, though a little background music would help fill the lulls when you’re thinking.  This was certainly a great week for puzzle gamers.

Box It! Wharf Games, Box It! – Free

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Crazy Taxi City Rush – Just so you don’t think I’ve gone completely cerebral, I thought I’d end this collection with a fun action title.  This is my first Crazy Taxi experience and I am glad that I decided to go along for the ride.  I was a bit skeptical about the infinite runner feel to the controls at first, but it actually works out quite well as long as you remember that holding the screen allows you to drift into turns.  If you’re tired of those “safe” taxi games that expect you to get your fares to their destination without incident, Crazy Taxi’s laissez-faire attitude should be right up your alley.  Ram cars, take out various objects that shouldn’t be left in the park anyway and do a 180 to come to a complete stop.  As long as you get to your destination in a decent amount of time it’s all good.  Pimp out your ride to earn more cash per run, go on special assignments that include but don’t limit you to recklessly driving a tank over everything, and see how quickly you can become king of the paid transportation circuit.  There is just so much to do in this game that it’s easier for me to say “download it and give it a try” than to try to cram all the goodness into this one little paragraph.  So, download it and give it a try.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Crazy Taxi™ City Rush SEGA, Crazy Taxi™ City Rush – Free

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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Munin in Review – Puzzling Pleasure with a Twist http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/14/munin-in-review-puzzling-pleasure-with-a-twist/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/14/munin-in-review-puzzling-pleasure-with-a-twist/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:21:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=74006 There seems to be this intense push for “console quality gaming” on mobile devices, but if I wanted that I’d just buy a console.  What I like about Munin is it takes advantage of the hardware to be the best mobile game it can be without trying to be anything else.  It can get frustrating … Read more]]>

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There seems to be this intense push for “console quality gaming” on mobile devices, but if I wanted that I’d just buy a console.  What I like about Munin is it takes advantage of the hardware to be the best mobile game it can be without trying to be anything else.  It can get frustrating at times, but you’ll always feel like you’ve accomplished something when you’ve completed a level, and you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything should you not get back to the game right away after quitting to enjoy real life for a while.  If you’re a fan of puzzle games, Munin should be at the top of your list to try.

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I’m not really sure how important a story is in puzzle games, but in case you’re interested you play a servant of Odin who was once a magnificent crow.  Thanks to Loki you’ve been transformed into a human, and you must travel the realms to gather up all your feathers and return to your avian state.  If nothing else it gives you a reason for what you’re doing.  Naturally your task won’t be easy as the locations you visit have been well designed to keep you from the plumage you seek.  Fortunately you have the ability to rotate sections of the scene 90 degrees at a time, theoretically making the job of retrieving your feathers a bit easier.

Yes, this is a platform game with a quite literal twist.  It’s been done before in various ways, but this is by far one of the most intriguing.  The intro level set just gets you used to the rotating room mechanic (you can also move your character around and jump via on screen buttons just like a typical platform game).  Once you’ve completed the first leg of your journey you’ll get to pick between three different level sets, which is itself a nice feature.  Each level set introduces a new mechanic: filling areas with water so you can swim to and reach higher areas, rolling boulders to fill gaps and break walls while making sure you don’t crush yourself in the process, and animating various platforms by manipulating souls that are trapped within the walls of the levels.  I look forward to seeing what other novelties await as I unlock the rest of the level sets, as well as potentially seeing already established mechanics combined.

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As mentioned previously, there are arrows for moving your character left, right, up and down, as well as a button to make her jump.  They work well for the most part, but trying to accomplish an angled jump (up / left or up / right at the same time) can be rather difficult.  To rotate a section you simply tap anywhere within that section, as long as your character isn’t standing in that section when you try to rotate it.  Occasionally I end up accidentally rotating a section when I’m trying to hit a movement control, but as long as you pay attention that can be avoided.  The game has no Game Center integration or 3 star rankings or anything like that, so you need to be able to handle simply beating a level as its own reward.

Sadly, the graphics are the weakest part of the game.  They aren’t bad, with plenty of details and some nice particle effects when it comes to the water.  The main character looks pretty stiff where animation is concerned, however, and she is very tiny.  Also, a lot of the background elements tend to lean on the dark side, which sometimes makes it difficult to determine where passages, walls or other important items are.  On the other hand, the audio elements are top notch.  The sound effects and ambient noise are very well done, and the different musical tracks provide a wonderful boost to the overall ambiance of the game.  There are definitely some movie soundtrack quality pieces to be found here.

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Munin is a great concept wrapped up in a stellar execution.  The puzzles are challenging but as long as you preserve you should be able to conquer most of them before pulling any hair out.  The atmosphere of the game is great as well, despite less than wowing visuals.  This game definitely belongs in any puzzle lover’s iPad collection.

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App Summary
Title: Munin Developer: Daedalic Entertainment GmbH
Reviewed Ver: 1.2 Min OS Req: 4.3
Price: $2.99 App Size: 262 MB
  • Great mechanics
  • Challenging puzzles
  • Sticks to a single screen
  • Wonderful music and sound effects
  • Controls can be slightly finicky
  • Visuals sometimes hamper game play

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10 App Store Games To Watch [June 30 - July 6] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/12/10-app-store-games-to-watch-june-30-july-6/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/12/10-app-store-games-to-watch-june-30-july-6/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 21:44:47 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73991 One of the App Store’s best and worst points is that there is never any shortage of new games coming out.  This roundup saw the release of Disney Bola Soccer which threw me for a loop because it doesn’t take advantage of any of the myriad of high profile properties that Disney owns.  It turns … Read more]]>

monday-roundup-07072014-intro

One of the App Store’s best and worst points is that there is never any shortage of new games coming out.  This roundup saw the release of Disney Bola Soccer which threw me for a loop because it doesn’t take advantage of any of the myriad of high profile properties that Disney owns.  It turns out the game doesn’t need them because the developers provide a solid mobile soccer experience that even manages to get the controls right… almost.  I also found one of my favorite Flappy Bird clones in the form of Lava Bird.  Where else can you play a game where you get to dodge your own volcanic spit?  My latest infinite runner obsession also falls in this week’s list thanks to Zombie Z.  The game doesn’t really offer anything new, but there’s something about the atmosphere and the ability to shoot zombies both in front of and behind you that keeps drawing me back.

monday-roundup-07072014-zombie-z
Zombie Z – The iTunes description likes to bill this as an endless runner like no other, but I think that’s a bit of an overstatement.  Still, I’ve become quite hooked on it over the last few days, so that makes it worth sharing in my opinion.  You can forget about The Walking Dead, because these undead know how to move.  Not only that, but they come at you from both the front and back, so depending on how close they get you might need to hurdle the ones coming from behind as well.  Luckily you can jump and double jump by tapping and also collect weapons that will fire automatically for you in whichever direction has the closest adversary.  There are 9 weapons to unlock and upgrade as well as 4 heroes to recruit in addition to the one you start with.  There are three goals at a time to work towards, and when you complete one you’ll earn some extra food, which is apparently the currency in the game.  Zombie Z is linked to Game Center, but oddly enough there are no achievements or leaderboards at this point.  This is kind of like Monster Dash with a darker attitude and a focus on zombies, and that works just fine for me.

Zombie Z Pine Entertainment, Zombie Z – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-dirt-inc
Dirt Inc – You know those annoying games you figure no one plays where you just keep tapping something in the middle of the screen for a million times?  Well, this is kind of like one of those games, except you have lots of dirt, thieving gnomes and electric fences.  Your goal is simply to collect as much dirt as possible, and you do that by tapping the screen.  It doesn’t matter where you tap, because your guy always moves in the same pattern, left to right and back again, from the top of the screen all the way to the bottom.  Normal blocks equal a certain amount of dirt, and special blocks earn you even more.  Use the dirt to buy upgrades such as faster digging and automatic digging even when you’re not tapping the screen.  Just beware of the gnome blocks – you can’t avoid them, and they’ll unleash nasty critters that try and steal your dirt.  This is the one instance where you have to specifically tap on them to get them to go away, or you can build up a nice electric fence to zap them out of existence.  This game is silly and ultimately pointless, yet I can’t help but get caught up in it every time I turn it on.

Dirt Inc Digital Panda Studios, Dirt Inc – Free

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Infected City Drive HD – Adventure 3D Zombie Escape Car Driving Simulator Game – Yep, I really like zombie games.  What I like about this one in particular is that unlike most vehicular based undead affairs, your goal in this game is not to run over as many corpses as you can.  In fact, you actually can’t hit a zombie or it will end your current run.  Instead you are tasked with various chores like bringing a doctor to a sick patient or making sure an old lady gets safely home.  Sure the missions get repetitive quickly, but what makes the game interesting is how you cut corners and dodge nasties in order to make your destinations on time.  As you get further into the game the zombies get more aggressive and the complexity of the roadways increases, and because you’re in town there are lots of opportunities to run into things like buildings and lamp posts as well.  You start out with a little bit of money and so far I’ve earned 400 coins for each mission I’ve successfully completed.  You can use that money to upgrade your vehicle, buy a new one or unlock additional locations, though given the prices you’ll probably be stuck re-running the first location for a while unless you want to spend some real cash on IAP.  The game isn’t quite as flashy as certain other 3D zombie games but the visuals do have a certain rustic charm to them.  If you’re tired of the same old zombie game, Infected City Drive HD is ready to give you something different.

Infected City Drive HD - Adventure 3D Zombie Escape Car Driving Simulator Game Tapinator,LLC, Infected City Drive HD – Adventure 3D Zombie Escape Car Driving Simulator Game – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-the-delivery-man
The Delivery Man – I’m sure some of you reading this article had a job as a paper delivery person when you were growing up.  Well let me assure you that this experience is nothing like what you remember.  You’ve managed to find probably the only infinitely scrolling block on the planet, and it’s your job to deliver a paper to every single doorstep that doesn’t already have a person standing on it reading the news.  All you have to do is flick the paper on or near the porch, but if you get it too far away you’ll get fired.  If you completely miss a house you’ll also lose your job, though this shouldn’t really be a problem unless your initial toss gets eaten by a pesky dog that jumps in front of you every once in a while.  The game uses Facebook to keep track of high scores, and that’s really about it.  As basic and frill-less as this is, however, I like it for some reason.  I do hope the developer adds some features over time, but it’s a fun and simple start to what could be a really interesting game.  The artwork is pretty awesome, too.

The Delivery Man AurelienCampistron, The Delivery Man – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-disney-bola-soccer
Disney Bola Soccer – If you’re any sort of long timer you’ve probably noticed that I don’t cover sports games very often, mainly because I’m not a big fan of the whole e-sports super-genre.  I’ve been enjoying Disney Bola Soccer, though.  First off, kudos to Disney developers for turning out a solid game that doesn’t involve liberal use or abuse of any of their famous properties.  You get a team of generic soccer players with no special powers or weird traits that just want to play the game.  Give them a name, set the team colors and shirt design, and pick a sponsor.  Then head out to the playing field for quick, fulfilling matches that don’t sting too badly when you lose.  You can either try to work your way up the tournament ladder or engage in one on one matches against players from around the world.  I believe the “human” matches are still computer controlled, but you’re playing against other players’ teams so that they can earn XP should they win even when they aren’t actually playing.  Earn cash and gold to enhance your team and ultimately become the world Bola champions.  They even did a better job than most of getting the controls almost right.

Disney Bola Soccer Disney, Disney Bola Soccer – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-zombie-puzzle-panic
Zombie Puzzle Panic – I think my subconscious goal for this roundup is to see how many zombie themed games I can throw in.  After the first couple of levels I wasn’t honestly too impressed with this game, but now as I approach the second “boss” I’m actually kind of addicted to it.  If you’re familiar with match three games you know the basic tenants – clear blocks away to earn points and get a certain number in a row or make particular patterns in order to get special bonus tiles.  There are even some tiles that you need to clear away, which in this case just happens to be slime instead of stone or whatever other materials different games might use.  Then there are the zombies which like to litter the board.  You can eliminate them by making matches adjacent to them, though you can’t actually move the zombies themselves.  At times you might have bodyguards to help which will shoot the zombies when they get close, and in other cases you’ll have to protect scientists from getting eaten by the zombies.  You might even have some cases where you have to collect a certain number of a particular type of tile.  This is all wrapped up in a nice little visual bow with Game Center and Facebook connectivity to boot.

Zombie Puzzle Panic Noodlecake Studios Inc, Zombie Puzzle Panic – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-lava-bird

Lava Bird – I had to get my “Thank You For Not Being Flappy Bird” clone in this week, and for once it actually feels kind of like a Flappy Bird clone.  Luckily though, this one actually has some pretty decent controls.  Also, instead of having to fly through narrow gaps, all you have to worry about is a floor and ceiling… well, that and the birds that are pursuing you.  Oh, and did I mention that you spit out balls of lava every time you flap that can come back and hit you?  Other than that, this game is just like Flappy Bird!  Okay, I should probably point out the secondary game mode called Ice Cave, where you tilt the device vertically and have to dodge your own lava spit for 20 seconds while trying to avoid the spikes on the sides and bottom of the room you’re in.  The nice thing is that if you complete this mode successfully you start off the other mode with 20 bonus points.  If you really need a game that not only plays sort of like Flappy Bird but kind of looks like it as well, this is one of the best entries so far.  Just be sure to chuckle when you pass me in the leaderboard, assuming I ever even make it there.

Lava Bird Unept, Lava Bird – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-mondos

Mondos – It turns out that this is the developer’s second game to use this type of game mechanic, but I apparently missed it the first time around so here you go.  You play Koto Mondos, and your quest is to find and kill your father who has become evil.  In this crazy western themed game you’ll have to master your skills as a shooter, which despite the name is a skill related to how well you can toss your comrades at the enemy and not how versed you are with firearms.  You start out with your trusty horse sidekick, and as you visit various locations you’ll conquer and gain new allies.  Each has a different vibe about them, and you can decide for any given battle which ones you want to take with you.  Collect money along the way so that you can level up your characters and complete the goals of each location in order to unlock bonus powers and cool new items.  If you’re lucky you’ll even get the privilege to play the Gold Rush rounds to earn lots of extra coins.  The game uses Facebook and Twitter for social interaction, and at this point there are no achievements to earn.  However, there’s so much replay potential as you revisit locations to try and complete the special goals that you probably won’t miss achievements all that much.

MONDOS Monstars Inc., MONDOS – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-callys-caves-2

Callys Caves 2 – Apparently Cally’s parents have a bad habit of getting kidnapped, and as usual it’s up to you to save them.  This game has all the sensibilities of a modern mobile platformer.  The levels are quick and while they span multiple screens you will very rarely find yourself getting lost even without a mini-map.  Despite potentially having to play some levels multiple times it never gets old, and so far it seems like it is possible to work your way back to the entrance of each level if you want to retrace your steps for some reason.  There are 20 different types of critters to dispose of and 6 unique bosses to smack around, but thankfully you’ll have 16 weapons at your disposal.  You always have your trusty sword at your disposal, and the second weapon slot can drift between whatever long range weapons you pick up along the way.  Each weapon levels up as you use it and every so many levels the gun will transform into a more powerful weapon.  Your character levels up along the way as well, and whatever you can’t gain by leveling up can be enhanced by spending the coins you collect at the in-game store.  The game does have one leaderboard, albeit for the weird stat of how much total time you’ve played, and there are 42 Game Center achievements to earn.

Callys Caves 2 Jordan Pearson, Callys Caves 2 – Free

monday-roundup-07072014-jelly-lab

Jelly Lab – Every once in a while it’s fun to play a completely mindless game, and I think Jelly Lab more than qualifies for that title.  There are three game play “modes” with one overriding goal: smash the jellies.  Okay, in one of the modes you actually slash the jellies by swiping, but you’re still eliminating them.  The other two modes consist of tapping out all the jellies before they get too big and collide with each other and tapping a single jelly as many times as you can while it grows bigger and bigger.  The cool thing is that the game just randomly switches between modes in a single run, so you never know quite what to expect from a given play through.  There are currently no achievements in this game, so your main drive is to see if you can beat your score from previous runs, thereby improving your place on the Game Center leaderboard.  There are Facebook and Twitter icons as well, so I’m assuming you can brag about your accomplishments on these two social networks.  Just remember that “mindless” does not mean “easy”, so be prepared to think you’re doing well and suddenly lose the game because two jellies you didn’t even see got together to ruin your run.

Jelly Lab MildMania, Jelly Lab – $1.99

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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Sky Force 2014 in Review – Everything Old Is Awesome Again http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/05/sky-force-2014-in-review-everything-old-is-awesome-again/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/08/05/sky-force-2014-in-review-everything-old-is-awesome-again/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 01:44:35 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73981 I’ve loved shmups ever since I started going to arcades, and since I’ve been reviewing mobile games I’ve always tended to compare them to the venerable classic 1942 from Capcom.  Sure that game didn’t have some of the niceties that modern shooters do, but it always provided solid game play and encouraged repeat performances by … Read more]]>

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I’ve loved shmups ever since I started going to arcades, and since I’ve been reviewing mobile games I’ve always tended to compare them to the venerable classic 1942 from Capcom.  Sure that game didn’t have some of the niceties that modern shooters do, but it always provided solid game play and encouraged repeat performances by basically requiring you to memorize the enemy formations in order to master the game.  Welcome to 2014 and the tenth anniversary release of Sky Force from infinite dreams.  There was a reboot of 1942 launched in 2010, but as far as I’m concerned this is the true modern successor to that beloved game.  8 intense levels, plenty of upgrades and 3 difficulty levels make this a game you can play over and over again.  Now all they need is the trademark “flip” button and Sky Force 2014 would be about perfect.

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I could try to over-complicate things, but if you’re a shmup fan you know the drill: shoot everything and try to survive.  You have 8 levels over which you can hone your skills, and the good thing is that if you can memorize patterns you’ll eventually be able to conquer each level basically blindfolded.  The bad thing is that won’t matter once you advance to the next difficulty setting on a given level, because while the patterns basically stay the same you’ll find the enemies harder to kill and the bullets a lot more frequent.  Each level has three difficulty settings, and each difficulty has four goals: kill 70% of the enemies, kill 100% of the enemies, rescue all the hostages and fly through the entire level without getting hit once.  As you can imagine, you probably won’t be completing all of the goals at the same time for any given combination of level / difficulty setting.

Along the way you’ll collect stars, and you’ll definitely want to make an effort to snag as many of these as possible.  In between missions you’ll be able to upgrade 5 standard components of your ship as well as three specialty items including a laser weapon, shield and everyone’s favorite: the screen clearing bomb.  Most upgrades start off reasonable, but as you get further into the game it will cost a lot of stars to make your ship as powerful as it can be.  The thing is, I don’t mind the challenge at all, because it gives me a reason to keep coming back to play the game.  Of course if for some reason everything I’ve mentioned to you just isn’t quite enough to keep you busy, there are also 25 achievements to earn and a leaderboard on Game Center that I believe is the sum of your highest score on each of the levels you’ve completed, though I wouldn’t quote me on that if I were you.

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So here’s the down side to the game, if you can even call it that.  The game is free… no, that’s not it yet.  Because the game is free, you’re limited to 10 lives, and when those lives are gone you have to wait for them to replenish (thankfully you only “use up” a life if you die during a mission, and not just because you play a mission).  It also takes time for upgrades to take effect, unless you want to spend precious extra stars to speed up the process.  Of course you are perfectly welcome to buy stars via IAP if you’d like.  Personally I’ve found this to be one of the less intrusive freemium models I’ve run across, and quite frankly I’m cheap enough that I haven’t been bothered a bit by having to wait for things to replenish.  I run through my 10 ships at night and let hanger refill while I’m sleeping so my troops are fresh the next day.  It’s a flawless system in my book.

Along with all of the intense action, Sky Force 2014 boasts some really slick visuals.  Everything is well designed and extremely detailed, and the animation is top notch.  It’s rather a joy watching your enemy spiral into the sea, smoke and flames following their descent.  I love how some of the taller structures actually feel like they’re coming towards you, though I do have to remind myself sometimes that you can’t actually run into them.  The sound effects are fairly standard for a shmup, but they do a nice job of complementing the action.  There are voiceovers for things like getting health restored and collecting a weapon upgrade during a mission, and a rescued hostage shouting “yea-hah” always makes me crack a smile.  I’m a bit disappointed in the music, mainly because I expected it to be as varied as the different locales in each mission, yet to me it doesn’t seem much different between each level.  I’ve also noticed that if you have one or two games that you didn’t completely shut down, the sound will often not work at all.

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There will always be a special place in my heart for 1942, but I suppose at some point you have to move on.  Sky Force 2014 has finally given me the reason to do so.  Great level design, 3 difficulty settings per mission and a host of upgrades to claim make this one of the best shmup experiences I’ve had, mobile or otherwise.  The wait for upgrades to kick in and lives to replenish are minor annoyances, but in the end it actually works out because it forces me to go play something else for a while.  If you’re a fan of the genre I don’t know how you could lose with this selection.

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App Summary
Title: Sky Force 2014 Developer: Infinite Dreams Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.20 Min OS Req: 7.0
Price: Free App Size: 137 MB
  • Great level design
  • 3 difficulty settings per mission
  • Tons of upgrades to work towards
  • Plenty of achievements to earn
  • Excellent visuals
  • Have to wait for upgrades to be applied and lives to refresh
  • Not enough variety in music

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10 App Store Games To Watch [June 23 - 29] http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/31/10-app-store-games-to-watch-june-23-29/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/31/10-app-store-games-to-watch-june-23-29/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:40:15 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73965 Some weeks the biggest problem with new releases is deciding what to play next.  In addition to the games detailed below I spent some time with the lemmings style game Hamsterlings.  Instead of assigning tasks to the hamsters you have to direct them to gadgets to pick up and use, and you also have to … Read more]]>

monday-roundup-06302014-intro

Some weeks the biggest problem with new releases is deciding what to play next.  In addition to the games detailed below I spent some time with the lemmings style game Hamsterlings.  Instead of assigning tasks to the hamsters you have to direct them to gadgets to pick up and use, and you also have to directly control each of them to an extent which adds a nice degree of challenge.  Number Twelve – Count from 1 to 12 sounds like a kid’s game, but don’t let that scare you away.  Never before has a basic numeric skill been so exciting.  On the heels of Sky Force 2014 BulkyPix released the helicopter based shooter Heli Hell.  While not quite as compelling as that other modern shooter classic, it still holds up really well compared to most of the recent offerings in that genre.

monday-roundup-06302014-shadow-defense
Shadow Defense – Tired of long, winding pathways that seem to come and go nowhere?  Shadow Defense is one of those games that take the tower defense genre to its basics – you get one tower in the middle of the screen and you have to defend it against everything swarming towards it.  You start out with one measly gun to support your cause, but luckily every creature you kill earns you some cash that you can apply towards better defense mechanisms.  Your main weapon always has unlimited ammo, but you can upgrade it to do more damage and take less time to recover between shots.  Buy some armor so that your tower takes longer to crumble.  Better yet, purchase and upgrade 4 different abilities that will help you make short work of the villains.  And, if you’re feeling like you weren’t quite ready to give up, use some of your hard earned cash to continue where you left off when you die.  There are several different types of enemies to fight, some of which will surprise you with their abilities.  The only thing this game is really missing is some sort of achievements system.

Shadow Defense Galaxy One Limited, Shadow Defense – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-cliff-hero
Cliff Hero – I’ve never understood the apparent in the type of game where you have to tap one color tile while avoiding others, but I decided to give Cliff Hero a try because of its theme.  I’m starting to see why these games could be addictive.  In this variant of the genre you have to keep your character from falling into the lava for a specified amount of time by tapping the tiles that appear on the screen.  To throw even more challenge into the mix, some tiles have creatures on them, and to defeat them you must tap the creatures a number of times indicated by the hearts above their heads.  Killing creatures earns you coins, which can be used to buy new characters that have added benefits.  It’s a simple concept and it certainly keeps me coming back again and again.  I’d love to see them expand on the whole purchase system, though.  Maybe make the individual characters upgradable somehow.  Still, given the rather basic play mechanic this game is centered around, the game’s theme and hint of “combat” help this particular entry to stand out from the crowd.

Cliff Hero SEOK PIL CHEON, Cliff Hero – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-knight-girl
Knight Girl – As I mentioned in one of my last couple of articles, I still love a straightforward match 3 game these days, as long as it is entertaining and doesn’t feel exactly like all the other offerings out there.  Knight Girl does just that with its medieval setting and characters that pop up between each level to tell a basic story.  You have your typical blocks like stones that require one or more matches adjacent to them to be cleared and gold that must be matched on top of to be acquired.  You will also have various items along the way like wood and pumpkins that you have to match in order to collect.  Then there are the bonuses you get by matching 4 or more of a particular gem tile.  4 tiles gets you a rocket, 5 gets you a rocket bundle and T or L shaped matches get you a bomb.  The bundles are cool because they will clear all the tiles that are the same color as the bundle.  What’s fun about the rockets is that you can use them in conjunction with another perk called a mirror to clear off multiple tiles in rows or columns.  You will also unlock three specialty items over time that you can use, but they will cost you some gold every time you use them.  The game is free but uses the 5 hearts before you need a refill system to encourage you to buy some IAP.  If you’re patient I believe you can get through it all without paying, but if you do consider throwing the developers a buck or two for IAP anyway.

Knight Girl Mentals LLC, Knight Girl – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-monster-crush
Monster Crush – Puzzle and Adventure – The 2048 genre mash-up is starting to gain momentum, and this is certainly a cool way to do it.  In this case you control one of four heroes and you must defeat as many monsters as you can.  Swipe monsters together to form bigger monsters and attack your foes.  Unlike a lot of these games, in Monster Crush everything only moves over one tile at a time, allowing you to be a bit more strategic with your actions.  You also have two special items you can use: a die that randomly chooses a new next piece to place on the board and a bomb that destroys one selected piece.  There are two of each of these available initially, but I’m not sure how or if you can replenish them once used.  As you continue to defeat monsters you’ll earn money that you can use to level up your heroes as well as upgrade their weapons, armor and shield.  If you’re not generating money as quickly as you’d like you can exchange gems for some in-game cash, and so far it looks like the main way to get gems is with real cash.  One leaderboard keeps track of your high score, but there are no achievements at this point.  If you like the 2048 puzzle concept, you might find the RPG elements an intriguing twist that breathes some fresh life into the genre.

Monster Crush - Puzzle and Adventure JING XU, Monster Crush – Puzzle and Adventure – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-z-infect
Z-Infect – While the zombie slaying games far outweigh the zombie playing games, there are still a fair share of the latter.  Thankfully this one is different from any of the others I’ve played in the past.  Of course the overriding goal is still that you come in contact with the humans to turn them into zombies.  In this game, however, you’ll have to rotate the board until you can make your undead minion collide with the hapless fleshies.  Of course nothing can ever be straightforward, so expect to have to deal with a number of obstacles besides the simple fact that the humans move when you rotate the board as well.  Gaps in the walls are easy for both you and the humans to fall through.  Metal boxes won’t hurt anyone but they do a good job of keeping you apart.  So do wooden boxes, but fortunately they can be destroyed with bombs… as can you.  Spiked walls aren’t very healthy for anyone.  There are only 30 levels at the moment, but a three star ranking based on number of moves is sure to keep you busy on some of them.  If you’re a fan of zombie or puzzle games I suggest checking it out, and hopefully the developer will add more levels one of these days.

Z-Infect MyFreePlayYard ltd, Z-Infect – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-air-racing
Air Racing – This is a pretty basic overhead flying game.  You start out with a fairly weak plane and have to try and earn money to either upgrade your current plane or unlock a new one.  As you complete training races you’ll level up and earn new licenses.  Not really sure what they do for you, but at least you can “officially” not be a beginner any more.  You’ll have missions to complete that can earn you additional coins, and of course you can buy coins via IAP if you’d like.  What I think is neat about this game is the multiplayer mode.  Every week you can enter competitions based on your skill level, and the top three players for the week earn coin prizes.  The best part is there is no chit-chatty interaction.  You pay your fee, run the race as best you can, and then just wait to see if you take home the prize or not.  It’s a nifty concept that helps set this otherwise pretty frill-less entry above most others of its type.  Of course the cute, colorful visuals mean your kids will probably enjoy it too if that’s something important to you.

Air Racing Zero Plus Plus Software, Air Racing – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-digits
Digits – Puzzle games certainly don’t have to be complex to be fun and challenging, and Digits is proof of that.  Each board presents you with a bunch of squares containing numbers, and your goal is to clear all the squares.  When you tap a square the number on it and all adjacent squares is reduced by one, and when a square goes to 0 it disappears.  Seems simple enough, but the trick is that you can only clear away tiles that are adjacent to each other, so if you strand a tile by itself you’ll have to back up and try again.  The game is kind enough to let you simply undo your last move so you don’t have to start from the beginning, but you always can go back to the start if it helps you think more clearly.  Once you solve a puzzle you can play it again to earn a star, and this presents its own challenge as the tile with the star is the last one you have to tap.  The initial download comes with 100 puzzles for free, and you can buy up to 500 more via IAP.  The interface is simple and clean, and the music is actually pretty snazzy for this type of game.  There are even a few achievements if you really need them.  My one gripe is that the game needs a reset button in addition to the undo.

Digits Simple Machine, LLC, Digits – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-train-town
Train Town: Build & Explore – Every now and again I like to throw in a title that’s really for the kids, and Train Town seemed like a great choice for this roundup.  As you might have guessed by the title, this game is about interacting with an environment focused on trains.  While you can certainly spend a lot of time riding around creations of your own and others, the real treat here is the editor.  Lay down some tracks, add buildings, inhabitants and many other varieties of decorations and then tweak to your heart’s content.  You can scale, rotate and move any object you wish as well as clone an object you’ve placed on the map.  I particularly like how easy it is to make a multi-sectioned track and the stretch the various sections to get a cool look stretch of railway.  Once you have something you want to test out you can put the game in drive mode and take a train for a spin around your bustling town.  If you’re not feeling overly creative there are many towns online that you can download and explore, and if you believe you’ve designed the next masterpiece you can upload your creation to share with others.  With the initial download you get a selection of objects that give you a good feel for what can be done, but there are many more items available that you need coins or real money to unlock.  This is the main feature that’s not so kid friendly.  Still, it’s a great tool to teach the kids about designing their own levels, and it might even keep some parents entertained for a while.

Train Town: Build & Explore N3V Games Pty Ltd, Train Town: Build & Explore – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-paperama
Paperama – I’ve always been amazed with what Origami crafters can accomplish, but I never really cared for doing it myself.  I certainly didn’t expect that it would make for the basis of an interesting game, but FDG Entertainment certainly proved me wrong.  This game has no “obstacles”, no timers or for that matter nothing that is meant to stress you out.  Instead you just get more than 70 levels of paper folding fun… yes, I said fun.  You start playing the game and between the relaxed atmosphere and soothing music it is really easy to get lost in the art of Origami.  Don’t take that as a declaration that the game is easy, however.  Even in the early levels you’ll sometimes look at the shape and go “I have to make THAT from a square?”  Plus, while there is no time limit you only get a certain number of folds to complete your shape, and you have to be a certain percentage “right” before you can move on to the next level.  You do get infinite tries at each level and there are hints available, though once you’ve used up your hint point allotment you’ll have to dish out some IAP for more.  As far as I can tell the levels are all free, so you might be able to finish out the game without spending any money.  There are 5 achievements to earn which mostly revolve around completing the level sets, but the three star rating on each puzzle should keep you busy for a while.

Paperama FDG Entertainment, Paperama – Free

monday-roundup-06302014-supernauts
Supernauts – It seems like every day there’s a new social city building application arriving on the App Store.  While most of them tend to focus on protecting your city and crushing other players in war, this one takes a decidedly different approach to the genre.  Earth is in trouble, and it is up to you and all the other players to build new worlds for Earth’s inhabitants to reside in.  Special zappers allow you to remove building materials from various structures and then reuse them to construct fresh domiciles on your ever evolving landscape.  Rescue Earthlings to increase your population and complete tasks to earn coins and gems, which in turn help you to build a better land.  You can visit other players’ efforts and drop them a note to wish them well, and I think you might even be able to help them build up their dwellings and vice versa.  There are also multi-player missions you can embark on.  The whole superhero angle is a nice departure from most games of this type, and the overall atmosphere is fun and lighthearted.  If you like and have the patience for sandbox style games, you can definitely build something here to be proud of.  Oh, and did I mention the superheroes?

Supernauts Grand Cru, Supernauts – Free

That was just 10 of the many new releases this past week. Here are several more notable titles you may find of interest:

Well that wraps up another week of games to watch on the App Store. As always, if there’s something you’ve played from the past week that you feel should be part of this list, please leave a reply to this post. Previous weekly installments of our New App Store Games Roundup:

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Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest in Review: Silent, Deadly and Fun http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/29/nun-attack-origins-yukis-silent-quest-in-review-silent-deadly-and-fun/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/29/nun-attack-origins-yukis-silent-quest-in-review-silent-deadly-and-fun/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:07:25 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73958 We were introduced to the nuns in 2012 with the RPG Nun Attack, which I sadly did not get the chance to play.  The following year brought us Nun Attack: Run & Gun, a runner with potential that ultimately fell flat for me.  Now we have Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest, and unlike some … Read more]]>

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We were introduced to the nuns in 2012 with the RPG Nun Attack, which I sadly did not get the chance to play.  The following year brought us Nun Attack: Run & Gun, a runner with potential that ultimately fell flat for me.  Now we have Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest, and unlike some origin stories introduced into established franchises, this one actually works.  Silent Quest takes a puzzle like approach to the nun’s adventures, and it provides a decent amount of challenge with frustrating the player.  It is lacking a bit in variety, but otherwise provides for a solid puzzle game experience.review-yukis-quest-2
In this tale of the nun known as Yuki you must help her rescue the children from her childhood village that have been captured and reconstruct the village after nefarious villains have destroyed it.  Your mission will take you through 60 hand crafted levels full of miscreants and scared kids, as well as 15 bonus levels overflowing with bread!  The bonus levels are like a mini version of Fruit Ninja, except instead of fruit you’ll be slicing through loaves of bread, and rather than solely using your finger you’ll need to guide Yuki to do the slicing.  There are still bombs that will prematurely end the level for you, though.

As for the main levels, each one has three tasks: rescue 3 children, complete the level using a certain number of moves or less and finish the level under a certain amount of time.  The tasks are all attainable (with the exception of level 29 for me), but good luck getting them all in one try.  Thankfully the game lets you earn each goal individually.  The first time you reach a goal on a given level you’ll earn a shuriken and when you have enough you’ll be able to rebuild part of one of the buildings in your village.  To finish the game you have to get through all 60 levels, but to truly complete the game you need to rebuild the village.  It seems like a pretty noble cause to me.

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To control Yuki you simply draw a line from her to where you want her to go.  A “guiding light” will appear between your finger and Yuki which will turn either green or red for any bad guy it passes over – green means they are good to attack and red indicates they will defeat you.  Control seems pretty solid, though there have been a few times where the location I ended up wasn’t quite what I was pointing to, or at least that’s how it appeared to me.  That potential quirk aside, the biggest problem with the game is the lack of variety.  Sure the levels are all configured differently, but in the 30+ levels I’ve played so far the background theme has been the same, and there are basically two types of bad guys so far, the only difference being one seems to be a bit jumpy and the other doesn’t.  Earning three shurikens on each level and ultimately rebuilding the village are your only rewards as there is no Game Center integration, but that’s actually okay in this game.

The visuals in Yuki’s Silent Quest are pretty nice.  Everything is fairly detailed and well animated, if not just a bit small.  I like how some of the bad guys are jittery and the slow motion action for the final attack on a given board.  Sound effects, on the other hand, are kind of weak.  The bad guys don’t really make any noise, and surprisingly neither do the frightened kids.  Even the sound Yuki makes when getting hit is more like a man than a woman.  There is decent music, but only in the menu section.  Why can’t we have tunes during the game itself?

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Overall I’m quite pleased with this installment of the Nun Attack franchise.  A cool game mechanic, challenging levels and the feel good desire of rebuilding the village make for a solid package.  I do hope that another level set will be added at some point to enhance the variety, and it would be nice to hear some better audio, but otherwise Yuki’s Silent Quest is certainly an enjoyable one.

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App Summary
Title: Nun Attack Origins: Yuki’s Silent Quest Developer: Frima
Reviewed Ver: 1.3.3 Min OS Req: 7.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 65.6 MB
  • Fun Slash n Dash mechanic
  • Challenging but fair levels
  • Nice visuals
  • Lack of variety
  • Audio not so hot

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Overkill 3: Get Ready For 3rd Person Mayhem This Fall http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/27/overkill-3-get-ready-for-3rd-person-mayhem-this-fall/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2014/07/27/overkill-3-get-ready-for-3rd-person-mayhem-this-fall/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:27:54 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73952 The Overkill series from Craneballs has always been among my favorites as far as gallery style shooters go. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw that they were taking the series to a truly 3D third person perspective. The more I watch the video, however, the more … Read more]]>

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The Overkill series from Craneballs has always been among my favorites as far as gallery style shooters go. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw that they were taking the series to a truly 3D third person perspective. The more I watch the video, however, the more excited I get about seeing this game released. If you’re curious, and you should be, you can check out the video yourself here: Overkill 3 Teaser. I’ve also listed a few point of note about the game below.

  • Change to TPS to showcase the character and armor/gun upgrades directly in the game
  • Boss battles – against drones, robots, vehicles
  • Machine gun nest missions for pure “letting of steam”
  • Night missions – they look great thanks to Unity with its lighting possibilites
  • Plenty of guns and sophisticated gun upgrading (not entirely unexpected from an Overkill title)
  • Release date Fall 2014
  • iOS and Android
  • Free to play

In the mean time, you can check out previous installments of the franchise to get a small taste of what you’re in for.

Overkill Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill – Free
Overkill 2 Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill 2 – Free
Overkill Mafia Craneballs Studios LLC, Overkill Mafia – Free
appBlaster Overkill Craneballs Studios LLC, appBlaster Overkill – $1.99

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