The minute I began playing Darklings, I had a lot of questions. What is a Darkling? Where is my character and what on earth is going on? Out of all the iPad games I’ve enjoyed, this was definitely one of the strangest. That isn’t, of course, to suggest that it’s bad – in fact, I found the game surprisingly intuitive once I’d figured out more about the strange character at the bottom of the screen. This $0.99 iPhone/iPad game was created by MildMania, and is definitely on par with dark and quirky games like Limbo. When you load the app, you find yourself in control of a small character called a Lum, and it’s your goal to save him from surrounding monsters that have come to attack. Your character exists in a lonely looking universe where it’s constantly night time, and you’re surrounded by endless models.Adding to the mystery and spooky element of the game is the soundtrack. I immediately noticed the audio of the game when loading, and enjoyed it from the very beginning. Despite the initial confusion over the character and the purpose of the game, the soundtrack was superb and I quickly became engrossed in the story. Your ghostly little character, or ‘Lum’ needs to use his powers to get rid of all the evil Darklings. The dark characters surround your Lum and must be fought off using magical powers.
When I first saw this game I liked the screen shots but I thought it was basically going to be a “been there, done that” sort of match 3 game. In some ways it really is, but it packs in so many cool features from other games in the genre that it doesn’t really matter. Throw in great music and a story that ties everything together and you end up with one of the best match 3 games to hit the virtual iOS shelves in quite some time, if not ever.
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A game has to be pretty special to make up words for its name and not have you go “now that’s silly”, and Tilt To Live 2: Redonkulous is just such a game. It takes everything the original did and does it even better: intense action, crazy weapons and sometimes maddening achievements. There are plenty of “dodge the enemy” style games on the App Store, but the Tilt To Live series are among the only ones that handle the genre nearly flawlessly.
Temptation. Episode 1 HD is another solid offering from G5 Entertainment. The story keeps you engaged and there are plenty of rooms to explore and puzzles to solve. The mini games can be a bit on the tough side, and the hidden object scenes are basically superfluous, but overall this is once again a job well done. I do hope that if there is an episode 2 that it takes a bit more liberty with the whole concept of temptation.
For some reason there’s always a bit of apprehension that simple graphics and simple game play might make for a boring game. You’d think I would know better by now. Geometry Dash has pretty much no fluff, yet I can hardly tear myself away from it each time I start it up. Even the game’s one stand out feature isn’t implemented particularly well, but I’ve just learned to enjoy what does work right. I haven’t regretted playing Geometry Dash for a single moment, and I just hope that one day I get good enough to beat a couple more of the levels!
Anyone out there tired of iOS gaming yet? Hopefully not which is why you keep coming back here week after week. Disney actually caught my attention this week with their latest original gaming IP Stack Rabbit. Created by the folks that developed the insanely popular Where’s My Water?, Stack Rabbit puts an entirely new twist on the match 3 genre that’s definitely worth checking out. Speaking of putting a new spin on things, Symmetrain takes the concept of “spot the difference” and tries to turn it into an arcade game. Pay close attention as your train goes zipping past the randomly generated terrain so you can point out the difference between the left and right sides of the landscape as they go whizzing by. If you’ve ever had a fear of carnival performers, now you can exact revenge with Burn The Lot. This dual stick shooter has you hopping across the galaxy trying to thwart an intergalactic band of carnies that have some evil plan in mind.
I wish I would have had more time to spend with the candidates for this roundup because there were several titles I wanted to look at and just didn’t get the chance to fire up. I certainly had a blast with many of the titles I did get to try, though, especially Vampire Ventures. This match 3 game has just about everything you could want from the genre, and my only problem was forcing myself to stop playing the game. If you’re more of a strategy buff you really should check out Combat Monsters. This combination of collectable card game and turn based tactical strategy has a lot going for it, and you can dive in for free. On the other hand, those desiring some good old fashioned arcade action need look no further than Ricochet: Retro Space Shooter. This combination of Galaga, Missile Command and Breakout is not quite like anything I’ve played before on my iOS device.
Backflip Studios has had a number of interesting properties over the years, but for me the most endearing title in their collection has to be NinJump. The game took the infinite runner and turned it on its side as well as introducing the concept of defeating 3 similar enemies in order to temporarily gain a power related to that enemy. The ninja’s back, though this time he’s headed to the rooftops in what feels just slightly like a more traditional infinite runner. That doesn’t make it any less addictive, though, and I fear it might suffer the same fate as the original: removal from my device so I can actually find the time for something else.
The biggest problem I had with the roundup this week was that there were so many games that came out last week that looked interesting I didn’t know where to start when it came to testing to see which ones to include. I think I’ve given you a pretty well rounded list to work off of, though. Some intriguing ones that didn’t make it on the list this week include the new adventure game offering Device 6. It’s actually kind of hard to tell how this game works, but anything that seeks to reinvent the text adventure sure has my attention. Another one that has me excited is Rabbids Big Bang. This is a great IP, and I’m thrilled to see them in something on iOS devices besides a virtual pet simulator. To round out the intro I’ll mention D&D: Arena of War. It’s supposedly the first F2P mobile game set in the D&D universe, so if you’re a Forgotten Realms fan or just like D&D in general you might want to check it out.