10 New App Store Games To Watch [March 26 – April 1]

It took them a while, but Namco came up with yet another way to abuse the Pac-Man property, and Pac-Mangames is the most interesting attempt yet in my opinion.  They took several of their popular classics and created quick play, “rack up the score” versions of them, and then wrapped them all up in an odd avatar system.  If Pac-Mangames sounds like a bit of a stretch you can always try your hand at Pocket Law Firm, a new time management system that not only could be fun but might just teach you something about the constitution as well.  Just don’t tell your friends you’re actually learning with your iPad.  If you just can’t get enough of Hollywood retreads there’s Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures, the video game tie-in for one of two Snow White films coming out this year.  To its credit the game looks pretty sharp, and there are even a couple of places where it looks to break the mold of most runner type games, so hopefully it won’t suffer the fate of most movie based games.

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10 New App Store Games To Watch [Feb. 20 – 26]

As always this week’s New App Store Games Roundup features a very diverse selection of games.  If you’re into retro like I’m into retro, you’ll probably appreciate Midway Arcade.  The game comes with arcade translations of several popular Midway games, including Rampage and Spy Hunter, and you can buy additional packs of games via IAP.  If you like shooters like I like shooters, then you might find Audio Invaders worth your while.  It’s a retro styled game in the vein of Space Invaders, but you can’t see the enemies until you actually shoot them at least once.  And if you like strategy like I like strategy, Operation: Eradicate could tickle your fancy.  It looks to be a turn based, risk inspired strategy game with zombies and multi-player cooperative gameplay.

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Apps Gone Free Roundup: President’s Day Weekend Edition

Origin8's Sentinel 3: Homeworld

This President’s Day Weekend edition of our Apps Gone Free roundup coincides with the third anniversary of the Sentinel: Mars Defense release, a popular tower defense game from the folks at Origin8. Together with Sentinel 2: Earth Defense (TMA Review) and Sentinel 3: Homeworld (TMA Review), the series has managed to rack up more than 3 million downloads on the App Store. To celebrate, the TD triology is now a free download for the entire weekend. Another noteworthy app that’s gone from paid–>free is G5 Entertainment’s Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold for both the iPhone and iPad, a solid puzzle-oriented title with mini-games and hidden object gameplay mixed in. Check out the entire list of freebies after the break.

Note: If you missed our previous Apps Gone Free post, a good number from that roundup are currently still free on the App Store.

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Kingdom Rush in Review – I’ll Take My Time To Enjoy This One

The tower defense genre is one that has always eluded me.  Sure you have to construct towers (or some sort of defense) and possibly upgrade them during a level, but a bulk of each round is spent simply watching as hordes of monsters parade along a route and your equipment picks them off.  Thankfully, though, over the course of time there have been a few that have bucked this trend, Kingdom Rush being one of them.  Between constant interaction, interesting level design and a ranking system that allows you to buy permanent upgrades to your defenses, Kingdom Rush takes enough simple steps forward to push it ahead of the crowd.

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Apps Gone Free Roundup: Assassin’s Creed Recollection, Fishdom HD (Premium) and more

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Recollection for the iPad, the well received card/board game based off the popular franchise, is now free for a limited time.

Assassin’s Creed Recollection is a new iPad real-time board game from the Ubisoft Montreal studio that will allow players to live an entirely new experience in the world of Assassin’s Creed. Fans of the franchise will be able to discover and amass a wide variety of artwork created for the Assassin’s Creed games. They’ll also be able to compete in political battles in a real-time board game with key characters and locations from the games.

Also free today is Playrix’s super addictive match 3 Fishdom HD (Premium), an iPad offering that would have set you back $6.99 otherwise. Other freebies include Prose with BrosThe Blocks Cometh and Fractal : Make Blooms Not War. Be sure to check out the rest of the roundup after the break.

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10 New App Store Games To Watch [Jan. 30 – Feb. 5]

This week racing fans can let out their impulsive urges with Reckless Racing 2, the third Reckless game to grace us with its presence on the iOS platform.  If it’s half as entertaining as the original or Reckless Getaway, there’s no question that it’s a must have.  If you prefer things a bit more supernatural Capcom has released an iOS port of their acclaimed Nintendo DS game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.  Among other things you get to possess items and rewind time because you are, after all, dead.  If you’re still craving that Pokemon fix there’s Terapets, a monster capture / combat game with 300 different creatures to trap.  Good luck catching them all!

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Apps Gone Free Roundup: Gem Keeper, Gardenscapes HD (Premium) and more

If you enjoy Tower Defense games, here’s a freebie that will likely eat up most of your free time this weekend. NCSoft’s highly regarded Gem Keeper is now free for a limited time. Previously at $2.99, this gorgeous TD features 4 distinct themes, 40 levels, 14 unique towers and 20+ “gem-crazed” monsters. Also free today is the Hidden Object game Gardenscapes HD (Premium) by Playrix, the developer behind popular match 3 titles like Call of Atlantis and Fishdom HD. Fans of the genre will get to comb through 15 rooms in search for over 1000 items, as well as customize the garden to their liking with numerous garden accessories. Be sure to check out the complete Apps Gone Free roundup after the gap.

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10 New App Store Games To Watch [Jan 23 – 29]


Gamers that like a nice mix of strategy and RPG have a couple of options from this week’s 10 New Games To Watch list.  Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land drops them in the midst of World War I to fight some nasty supernatural beings.  If you like your games a bit on the lighter side there’s Dungeon Crawlers, a more satirical look at the whole dungeon delving genre that still manages to provide some deep game play.  If you want to throw strategy to the wind there’s Zombie Bunnies, an over the top destruction fest featuring undead rabbits and 99 levels of randomly generated mayhem.

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10 New App Store Games To Watch [Jan. 16 – 22]

Fighting game fans can rejoice this week as they get another port of a classic one on one combat fest, Soulcalibur.  The game sports 4 game play modes and a whopping 19 character roster for all your pixel pounding needs.  If you like good old fashioned platform games with stylish art and cool music then you need to check out Jazz: Trump’s Journey.  Strategy junkies should enjoy Time of Heroes, a turn based strategy game that sounds like the iOS answer to the Fire Emblem series.  A universal binary and iCloud save game support mean you could play it wherever you want with whichever device you have close at hand.  Time management freaks have a unique offering in Order Up!! To Go, a game that takes the backdrop of a Diner Dash style game and puts you in the kitchen instead of on the serving floor.  Best of all the game is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose if you want to take a peek.

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Blocks Hurt! 1.0 for iOS – Drop, Explode, Aim, Match, and Stack Blocks

Pistoia, Italy – Indie developer Luca Giusti today is pleased to introduce Blocks Hurt! 1.0 for iOS, his new action/puzzle Game that defies normal expectations about using blocks in gameplay. Combining elements from falling block, tower defense, and color matching arcade games, Blocks Hurt! lets players use blocks in multiple ways, for building or destroying. There are 90 battles with four goals each: Collect Blocks, Build the Wall, Survive Time, and Kill the Boss. Played in landscape orientation, players must prevent monsters from crossing from the far right to the far left of the screen. Any monster successfully reaching the left edge of the screen defeats the player and the battle ends.

Blocks Hurt! is always aware of its roots, and can be seen as a satire of many popular games. Its monsters go over the top in their evilness, whether they are a fruit, vegetable, straw man, or malevolent dictator. Monsters morph during gameplay, turning red as they get angrier and translucent when they return as ghosts. Ghoulish cries are heard as they advance, and a narrator occasionally comments in a deep voice “Hurry up,” or “You lose.”

There are three different battle locales: Windy Plains (gently rolling hills populated by Dutch windmills), Empty Desert (sand-filled expanse in the Middle East hosting caravans of camels and some nasty scorpions), and Mushrooms Vale (a wonderland of multi-colored fungi). There are 30 battles in each of the three locations, and each is scored individually.

There are four goals to each battle, and besides accomplishing the goals of that level, the player must prevent any monsters from successfully exiting on the left side of the screen. In the Collect Blocks part of each level players are given a task, e.g., 4 red blocks and 4 blue blocks, and must color match and stack blocks. This is not easy. A conveyor belt of blocks at the top of the screen is constantly bringing in new blocks, and touching any block causes it to fall. However, a horizontal or vertical stack of four matching blocks can have no gaps. Since many blocks do not perfectly align after being dropped, they must be removed (they explode on being touched) and replaced. Of course, as the player is attempting to create an orderly stack of blue blocks, demonic jack-o-lanterns are hopping across the screen, creating havoc.

During the Build the Wall goal players are given an outline of a wall of blocks that they must fill, and well-placed blocks display a rotating star. Care must be taken not to create a four-block color match, because that causes the blocks to disappear. Again, monsters are attempting to crash through the wall and reach the other side of the screen, so players must play defense and offense simultaneously, aiming blocks to build the wall or kill a monster.

Feature Highlights:
* 3 Fanciful scenarios
* 90 Challenging battles
* 4 Different kind of battle
* 5 Huge bosses to defeat
* Many destructive powers & special blocks
* Amusing high quality soundtrack
* 36 Game Center Achievements
* Optimized for older devices

Survive Time is pure defense as a timer counts down the seconds during a protracted and massive monster attack. Finally, the Kill the Boss goal requires skill and ingenuity to plan attacks that will be successful against giant-size monsters. During gameplay, the player does have access to special abilities and weapons, requiring Monster Juice, which is accumulated on his Juice Bar at the bottom of the screen. Powers include: electrocute, freeze, disintegrate, and slow down the enemy. A post-modern, action-puzzle, arcade-iDevice, matching-destroying, game filled with humor and the sounds of fruits and vegetables dropped from great heights, Blocks Hurt! is challenging, entertaining, and filled with surprises.

“Blocks Hurt! includes some very innovative game mechanics,” stated Game Artisan Luca Giusti. “You must stack and match blocks while annoying creatures struggle to thwart your efforts. Blocks Hurt! gameplay requires the player to balance their efforts between puzzle solving and fast-paced smashing action.”

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 78.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Blocks Hurt! 1.0 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.

Blocks Hurt! 1.0
Purchase and Download
YouTube Videos
App Icon
Press Kit (zip)

Based in Pistoia, Italy, indie developer and Computer Science teacher Luca Giusti is the creator of the Windows games Tony Tough and the night of roasted moths. Luca is best defined as a Game Artisan! Copyright (C) 2012 Luca Giusti. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.