This week saw the release of Horn, Phosphor Games’ follow-up to their interesting title Dark Meadow. Horror has been replaced with fantasy, on-rails movement with full 3D roaming, and the graphics have been kicked up a couple of notches as well. Tread of the Dead is a slightly different take on the whole zombie hunting theme. Instead of relying on brute force and lots of ammunition you’ll have to skillfully cut down the undead hordes with a chainsaw that you toss at them and then control by tilting the screen. Platform gamers will enjoy Random Heroes, the latest offering from Ravenous Games. It looks to combine the level design goodness of League Of Evil with the hero and gun swapping craziness of Super Crate Box.
As always there were some fairly interesting games this week, but in particular a couple brought a twisted sense of nostalgia to my heart. Activision released a re-imagining of their classic hit Pitfall to coincide with its 30th anniversary, and instead of going a more traditional platform route they chose to emulate the Temple Run formula. The thing is, from the few moments I’ve had a chance to play so far, they might have actually done it better. On the flip side of things is Organ Trail: Director’s Cut. Rather than a simple retooling of the original Oregon Trail, this version takes the same basic game play and swaps out the pioneers setting for a station wagon and some undead adversaries. Not to be left out of the “what’s old is new” jumble, Elevate Entertainment has published their take on the much abused brick breaking genre. For Draw Breaker, however, instead of moving a paddle around you just draw one in where you want it, which adds a whole other dimension to the game.
Gamers that remember the “good old days” have a lot to check out this week. Blazing Star blasts onto the iOS from SNK Playmore, and faithfully recreates some side scrolling shooter memories from the Neo Geo era. If you’re more into stealth and sabotage you might like Spy vs Spy, the reboot of the old Commodore 64 / Atari computer game that pits two bumbling agents against each other to see who can recover the top secret briefcase first. Play the updated version, or switch to the pixel perfect retro mode for lots of nostalgia. And, while it’s not really a remake or reboot or anything, Giant Monsters Ate My City might just remind you why you used to love the wanton destruction you could cause in the old favorite Rampage.
Once again there was a nice variety of games to report on this week, and the highlight of the week for me was the adventure game Yesterday from BulkyPix. After spending just a few minutes with this game I felt like I was playing an old masterpiece from Sierra Online or LucasArts, but one that had been given an interface boost that makes it perfect for touch screen devices. The causal RPG fan should check out Elphis Adventure, a new free offering from Com2us. You take on the role of Red Riding Hood in an attempt to rescue your grandma by traveling through different fairy tales and historical time periods. For those that are interested in learning Magic The Gathering, or those that are just looking for another avenue with which to play the game, Wizards of the Coast offers up Magic 2013. You can sample the card based strategy game for free, but if you want to test your mettle against other humans you’ll need to buy the premium edition.
There were some rather interesting titles this week, but in the end cuteness prevailed. If you like matching games (and who doesn’t), Piston Games released Gemibears. Instead of simply matching objects of the same type you have to match halves of bears to form a whole of the same color. And when you want to take a break from playing the game you can visit their Youtube channel for some Gemibears cartoons. For those that prefer some good old fashioned platform gaming there’s Mike & Milkbox, the story of a detective chicken that must save the world. The mechanics are a lot like Super Mario, but the physics elements give it a fresh feel. Finally, I actually found an online game I might spend some time with. It’s called Throw It, and the basic premise is simple: you chuck objects at your opponent. The concept and graphics are cute, and I can play against other humans without having to actually be social.
Are you ready for another week of iOS gaming? It seems the mid-year Christmas is over for now, but there were still a few titles worth taking a look at. While I’m not typically a fan of rhythm games, I checked out the demo version of Mad Acorn and instantly got hooked. This platform game with a wicked beat is sure to keep you tapping your screen all the way to the end. Another fun diversion is Frisbee Rush. The game itself is actually browser based, but thanks to WiFi you control the Frisbees via your iPhone. If you’re looking for something to get the whole family playing, WePad Party 1 just might fit the bill. The mini-games aren’t overly exciting, but the fact that you can play with eight people on the same device at the same time could prove for some amusing situations.
Every once in a while there is a week with so many solid new games released that it’s hard for me to decide which ones to write about. This was one of those weeks. So, instead of recapping some of my entries in the intro, I’m going to mention a few that didn’t quite make my list. Tennis fans should check out Virtua Tennis Challenge, the first installment of SEGA’s hit franchise to make its way onto iOS devices. You’ll compete against 50 different computer players on 18 courts across the globe, or you can challenge your friends via WiFi and Bluetooth. Chillingo fans were treated to 3 new games this week, but the one I’m most excited about is Air Mail. You’d never suspect that delivering packages would be so adventurous, but the brief teaser video shows you travelling to exotic locations and getting shot at repeatedly. Gamers that love side scrollers might be interested in Dragon Evolution. If the simple fact that you get to play a dragon isn’t enough, how about 80+ missions, 36 skills and the ability to customize said dragon?
It’s that time of week again, and I’ve got my list of games that will hopefully tickle your fancy. NerdHerder is a free experience that lets you get exercise your geek wrangling skills. Unity 3D graphics, an AR interface with virtual fishing pole and lots of misguided office inhabitants running around should make for an interesting time. If you’re more into quick play time and immediate feedback you’ll love Mini Mix Mayhem. This mini-game marathon lets you play 4 games at the same time in single player mode, or a whopping 20 in the same game on the iPad. If you’d like a world building experience like Minecraft but want something a bit more, you might consider The Sandbox from BulkyPix. This pixel art universe creator throws physics into the mix, and even gives you the chance to make your own music.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty prosperous for those that like freemium offerings. RPG fans can indulge in Inotia 4: Assassin Of Berkel, the fourth installment of the action / RPG series from international developer Com2us. You do, of course, have the option of outright buying the game which will automatically eliminate the ads and give you some in-game currency, but IAP can take care of that as well. If you like a little strategy with your action there’s Castle Master 3D, a combination of Action / RPG and castle defense. This game boasts battles of 300 soldiers on each side, but you can expect to run it on nothing less than the latest generation of devices. If you prefer something a bit more lighthearted and focusing on twitchy timing you’ll get a kick out of Cannon Cat (TMA Review). A daredevil feline, a mess of fish trapped in bubbles out in space, and some vicious penguins with helicopter “wings” make this whimsical offering a lot of fun.
Racing fans got an interesting new option this week in the form of Sky Gnomes. This little gem lets you take on the role of a gnome and race through the sky on a craft powered by an engine that consumes snowflakes. If that’s not wacky enough for you then you might consider the new futuristic FPS Bounty Bots. It’s free to play and lets you engage in warfare using exploding cacti and sniper chimps. If you’re looking for something a bit more grounded in reality there’s Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort from G5 Entertainment. This SimCity style game throws in missions, goods to sell and trade, and 4 different locations to hang your virtual hat.