This was an interesting week. A couple of big players released what felt like low key properties, and some indies released some interesting looking titles that will unfortunately probably get passed over. Topping the list is Capcom Arcade, one of Capcom’s first ventures into the world of freemium iPhone gaming. This emulator includes an initial lineup of hits like 1942 and Street Fighter 2, and is free to play for 3 games a day. If your retro fetish falls more in line with job based oldies then you might want to check out Paperboy: Special Delivery, Glu’s modern take on the 80’s classic inspired by the job held by pre-teen boys across the country. For something a bit darker you might want to check out Necronomicon, an interesting card / board game / RPG based off the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Finally, for the social strategist there’s foursqWAR, a tactical war game plastered on top of the Foursquare social network.
Reckless Racing tops the interest chart this week. The top down racer from EA Mobile sports some pretty slick visuals, two online game play modes, and a unique offline mode that has you making deliveries while you’re racing. Hack ‘n slash fanatics will want to check out Samurai II: Vengeance. This sequel has all the bloody combat of the original, supplemented with environmental puzzles and traps that must be avoided. The budding space pilot should check out Star Battalion, Gameloft’s entry in the “lone rebel against the armada” outer space epic. The interesting twist in this variant is that you can play the game co-operatively with a friend over the internet or locally. RPG fans should check out Puzzle Quest HD, the RPG that uses match 3 mechanics for combat. The iPad version contains the elusive chapter 3 that has yet to make it to the iPhone.
Two important theatrical phenomenons received iPhone games this week. Top Gun 2 lets you continue the adventures of the fighter pilots made popular by the hit 80s film. In Jaws, on the other hand, it’s up to you to save the naive and innocent swimmers from the deadly grip of the great white shark. For the pocket strategist there’s Nobunaga’s Ambition, the first iDevice version of a series that began in 1988. For the person who needs to keep a to-do list but finds the effort boring there’s Epic Win, the “game” that lets you earn experience and upgrade a character just for doing your chores. And, if you’re a zombie slayer in hiding you get two cool looking offerings this week in the form of Zombie Escape and Zombie Flick.
I was first struck by the ‘look’ of Reiner Knizia’s Robot Master, with its cartoon robots it looks like something out of a retro-futuristic Chuck Jones cartoon. I had no idea what the game was going to entail, though it looked vaguely puzzle-like and therefore up my alley. Turns out, I was right, and just as the developer claims “it’s an easy to learn, hard to master” game.
If you don’t get the title… Charlemagne was king of the Franks. Just a little bit of sophomoric humor. That being said, you do not need to be a history buff or even need access to Wikipedia to appreciate this game. Reiner Knizia’s Knights of Charlemagne (yes, this is the full name of the App) is a game based off of a current card/strategy game. While the translation of card games onto the iDevice platform is nothing new, Knights of Charlemagne’s faithful transition onto a digital platform is of some note. It was ranked the 9th most popular card game of 2006.