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If this past week was any indication of the season as a whole, iOS gamers are going to have a good Christmas this year. There were actually quite a few high profile games (or games that became high profile because of the forum chatter surrounding them), so I’m going to try and mention a few other games in their stead. However, I will acknowledge that this week saw the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, another installment in what is possibly the most popular “bad boy” series in interactive entertainment. If that’s not your style there’s also an enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate, an extremely popular PC RPG. The game includes a new adventure and several new characters and weighs in at 80 hours of game play. Finally, Bulkypix has released Pendulo Studios’ third iOS port called Hollywood Monsters, which like their first iOS release is a port of a classic style point and click adventure game. It looks to have all the polish of their first effort Yesterday but a much lighter tone.
By the time you read this Halloween will probably be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some ghoulish fun with your iOS device. Check out my 2012 Halloween Roundup to see the games I thought might provide some spook-tacular fun. As for the “normal” week, it was filled with your typical selection of everything under the sun. The game that caught me off guard the most was Zombiewood, which I expected to be nothing more than another Gameloft dual stick shooter. While that’s true in a lot of ways, the humor, variety of objectives and ability to destroy many inanimate objects keeps drawing me back. Another game that pleasantly surprised me was Punch Quest, the latest offering from Rocketcat Games. This endless runner packs quite a punch, with plenty of upgrading and gnomes to boot.
It’s that time of year again where things go bump in the night. Those of you that live in the U.S. might think I’m talking about the election season, but I’m actually referring to that holiday of tricking and treating called Halloween. As I’ve attempted to do over the past couple of years, I intend to share with you several games that I think will make this night even more spook-tacular. And if the games seem to lean a bit heavily towards the zombie set I apologize, but that seems to be the most popular ghoulish villain by far. Anyway, let’s get to the games…
Gameloft has released the first Dev Diary video for Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the highly anticipated FPS and one of the most popular in the genre for iOS and Android. The next installment in the series utilizes the Havoc game engine, which you can thank for its spectacular graphics. One twist that should please gamers is how they’ll only only be able to play as US soldier, but also the president-kidnapping villain, Edward Page. MC4 will also offer a new specialization systems feature that will allow you to choose from several ‘perks’, those of which provide various bonuses to complement different styles of play.
Well I suppose there might be one or two of you yet that haven’t heard about Bad Piggies, the latest release from the renowned developers of Angry Birds. It takes place in the Angry Birds universe, but this time around you get to play the pigs and the game play is completely different, so I give them a thumbs up for that. While I haven’t personally tried the game yet, the one I have managed to get myself hooked on is King Oddball from 10 Tons Studios. If you consider yourself any sort of physics game fan you’ll need to give this one a try. If you prefer a more traditional adventure game then The Last Express will be right up your alley. This iOS port of an acclaimed classic will give you more than 20 hours of play, 30 characters to meet and the ability to rewind the action when you want to try a different course.
Not willing to rest on the laurels of having one of the biggest hits of the year in the theater, Marvel is taking the iOS world by storm as well. This week saw two releases from the master storytellers, the first of which looks to be an Infinity Blade style game called Avengers Initiative. The initial release lets you stomp around as the Hulk smashing things, but future episodes (read IAP) will give you the chance to test your mettle as other heroes from the legendary super-team. If you want something a little more casual but still within the realm of super-heroism then HeroClix TabApp might work better for you. This free iPad app interacts with specially made HeroClix characters to provide you with comic book story driven mini-games custom to each figure you own. On the flip side, those seeking a bit of medieval butchery with a dash of otherworldly demons thrown in should check out Wild Blood from Gameloft. This remix of the Arthurian legends pits you as Sir Lancelot against a warped Arthur and his nasty sister Morgan Le Fey… and a bunch of overzealous hellspawn as well.
My most eagerly anticipated game this week was One Tap Hero. I got to play this one a while back, and since then have been reall anxious to see it officially released on the App Store. The title that has really captured my time from this group, however, is The Lord Of The Roads. This RPG / scrolling shooter hybrid is unique and addictive as anything I’ve played in a while. And the game in this list that I haven’t had the chance to try yet but am most looking forward to is Olly Low Poly And The Zombie Tower. Besides the odd yet amusing name, it looks fashionably different and of course I love me some zombie slaying or dodging or whatever it is you ultimately do with them in this game.
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.
For me the big news this week was the release of Gamebook Adventure 8, the first tale of Judge Dredd. You can read about that below, however, so instead let me mention a couple games that didn’t quite make the main list. Full Fat released its first freemium game in the form of Agent Dash. Yeah, it’s another Temple Run-esque game in a genre that’s starting to get overdone, but you have to love secret agents, and based on the game play trailer this looks like lots of fun. The latest offering from FDG is the physics puzzle game Chicken Raid. Instead of launching things to break other things, however, this game has you tapping breakable objects to cause chain reactions. The less interaction on your part, the higher your score. Megatroid looks like a Metroid / Mega Man style platform game. In this instance, though, you have a robotic cat for a sidekick and the levels are procedurally generated for a whole lot of replayability.
The App Store had a lot of good new games to offer this week, but casual arcade games seemed to be in particularly good supply. Chillingo unleashed Jelly Jumpers on us, and while it feels like a standard “climb from object to object as high as you can” style game, I still found myself becoming addicted to it. Daily challenges, plenty of achievements and a continually growing score multiplier are enough to keep me coming back. Follow The Rabbit is a cute, blocky puzzle game where you must collect coins, dodge enemies and ultimately keep sight of the elusive white rabbit. It also has the distinction of being the first Armor Games iOS release that is not a port from their existing library. Great Big War Game is the sequel to Great Little War Game, and it looks to continue the “lack of Advance Wars” fix that many of us mobile gamers need. With 50 single player missions and online capabilities, you should be fighting the good fight for quite some time.