These last few weeks there have been so many interesting looking new releases that the only way I could really do this article justice would be to spend a week playing them all before even beginning to write the piece. Since that’s not going to happen, I will as always do my best to bring you an interesting cross-section of the latest offerings. PlayFirst returned to their most lauded franchise this week with the release of Diner Dash Rush. Basically it’s Flo meets Facebook as you still have to happily serve as many customers as possible, but now you have a short time limit and can compete against your friends. Ravenous Games is back with the third installment of their popular retro side scroller series, League Of Evil 3. It’s just like you know and love, but this time with spinning wall blades and level replays thanks to the Everyplay video service. Sugar Rush is a crazy new “Facebook to iOS” game from Full Fat. A 60 second time limit, the board closing in from both top and bottom and some insane multipliers make for one wild ride.
This week’s selection of games was full of fun little surprises, including a movie tie-in that I actually really enjoy. First up, though, is a rogue-like game called Quadropus Rampage, which I almost picture what it would be like if they made an action version of Squids. The game has lots of redeeming qualities, but it’s almost worth it just for the goofy names of all the weapons. If you’re looking for something completely different you might want to try Rescue Me – The Adventures. As the name implies the game involves rescuing people, but the mechanics are clever and it can be quite humorous at times. Now about that movie tie-in: the game is Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Instead of trying to recreate the movie in a game this is simply an infinite runner that takes place in the Despicable Me universe, but there are enough movie references to satisfy fans and it’s just loads of fun.
So many new games, so little time to play them all. This was an big week for tower defense fans as there were at least 4 sizeable releases in the genre. One of my all time favorite TD games was Kingdom Rush, and now we have the sequel in Kingdom Rush Frontiers. With more than 18 tower abilities, 40+ monster types and 9 heroes to select and cultivate, this game promises to be bigger and better than its predecessor in every way. Speaking of sequels, the cubes are back in Cubemen2. In addition to everything else this installment might bring to the table, the game already offers a mind blowing 1500 user designed levels to play. Com2Us has stepped into the fray with Defense Technica. One standout feature of this offering is the use of tower cards which can be combined to create some unique defense structures.
I bet you know where this intro is going, but just in case you’re a bit skeptical, this was another week full of new iOS game releases. The folks over at Warner Brothers actually managed to release a decent brawler focused on an alternate D.C. universe where no one knows who the good and bad guys are. In Injustice: Gods Among Us you’ll take control of anyone from Superman to Harley Quinn as you duke it out in teams of three to see who reigns supreme when there are no rules. If you like shooting gallery style games then the clear choice for you this week is Overkill 2. This sequel ups the ante in many ways, but most importantly it offers more than 30 weapons with lots of customization options. Adventure game fans might want to dig in to Paradigm Shift, as long as you don’t mind the whole “zombie apocalypse” theme. In addition to actually having consequences for your actions, the game offers multiple endings for those so inclined to seek them out.
This past week was a great one for games, which correlates nicely with the fact that the impending snowstorm where I live will make it feel a lot like Christmas. One project I found rather interesting was The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters. This “sequel” to the 30 year old Gamebook was apparently officially sanctioned by the authors of the original tale, which is definitely a selling point. Unfortunately the game isn’t really ready for prime time yet, but I’ll be eagerly watching its progress. On the other hand, Alone In The Gloom 2 was a nice surprise and a worthy follow-up to the first installment. You once again must help a little critter escape a multitude of caverns, but your only “guiding light” is a flicker of lightening at the beginning of the level to show you the cave’s entire layout. If you’re tired of the infinite runner (and my constant babbling about them), you might appreciate Mr Jabbs: Epic Waste Of Time. Sure there is running and jumping, but you can also warp into many hilarious situations that sound like entertaining mini-games.
Christmas is over, both seasonally and in terms of the deluge of first rate titles hitting the App Store. There were still quite a few new games worth noting, however, including the cute infinite rafter Catch The Ark released by Chillingo. In addition to dodging rocks and various aggressive creatures you’ll need to be wary of the Ark dropping depth charges at you. The folks behind the Reckless Racing games are back with Repulze, a futuristic racer that looks more “standard” than their previous efforts. That doesn’t mean it won’t have the “wild and crazy” flair of their other games, however, and they are already working on a couple of content packs that sound interesting. Adventure game fans should check out Spooky Manor, the latest effort from the developers at Digi-chain. While probably more Scooby Doo that Forever Lost in atmosphere, past experience says there will be plenty of puzzles to solve.
Hope you all had a happy New Year. Since Christmas obligations kept me from writing a roundup last week I thought I’d do my best to give you a double dose of gaming goodness this week. After being relatively quiet for a while Digital Chocolate is back with what looks to be a real time strategy game called Army Attack. It’s free with IAP options, and it also requires an internet connection in order to be able to play. Stone Blade Entertainment released SolForge, a demo of a new trading card game coming from the creators of Magic The Gathering. The current offering is an offline pass and play experience only, but given the pedigree I would expect some pretty good things to come. And of course you should check out the extras at the bottom of this post. Now on to the main attraction…
Unsurprisingly, as we get closer to the Christmas holidays, the App Store has been seeing a ton of price drops on quality apps and games. Chillingo, one of the biggest publishers on the platform, is celebrating the holiday season with 15 iOS games you can download for free. Leading the way is ORC: Vengeance, an awesome action RPG that was recently named in Apple’s Best of 2012 under the “Showpiece Games” category. Others in the list include Endless Road, Pony Trails and Spice Bandits, a superb Tower Defense and one of my favorites in the genre [read about the making of Spice Bandits here]. The complete list of free Chillingo games after the break.
We’re working together with the team at Free App Alliance to highlight a great free app for you to check out.
Your aim in this addictive title is pretty much the same as it is in every other TD in the genre: build defensive obelisks and prevent waves of invading monsters from reaching your base (a mana crystal, on this occasion). In GemCraft, you do this using eight magical jewels that all have special abilities. You can combine these gems and craft new multi-coloured crystals that boast even more potent powers.
This has definitely been an interesting week for games. There was a lot to choose from, and I’ve tried to build a list that not only proves fun for me, but provides a nice diversity of game play for all the discerning gamers out there. The game that really took me by surprise this week was Coin Army. I’ve never really cared for coin pusher games – either physical or electronic – but the combination of amusing visuals, combat elements and power ups has caught my attention with this one. The other thing of real interest to me this week was the Square Enix Latin American Game Contest 2012. I’ve included two games from that competition, Run for Rum and Soul Savior, but there were a total of six finalists in the competition. They’re all free, so download them all and then vote for the ones you like the best.