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.
This week provided a nice mix of genres for the diverse iOS gamer. Fans of crazy sports games could sink their time into Wonderputt, a new mini-golf game with some interesting course design. You actually get to see some of the holes being created, and it can be almost as fun to watch as to play. If you’re looking for a different type of adventure try Escape The House: A 3D Sound Experience. This happens to be a promotional tool for an upcoming horror movie, and given the game play genre it actually makes interesting use of the features your iOS device has to offer. Pokemon and Final Fantasy fans can converge on Guardian Cross, the latest offering from Square Enix. This “collect and fight” style game has an incredible development pedigree, and apparently is completely playable without spending a penny.
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.
Okay, you’re probably getting sick of reading about infinite running games right now. Unfortunately, they are sort of my genre-level addiction at the moment, so you’ll just have to bear with me until the phase passes on. At least I’m just trying to share with you the quality titles, and there’s no question that One Epic Knight falls under that category. Brought to us by the folks that designed the creative tower defense game Tiny Heroes the twisted humor of the developers carries on to this offshoot title. From the opening calisthenics to the nice dent you leave when you collide with a wall, One Epic Knight is all about being epic… epically funny that is.
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.
Fieldrunners 2, the sequel to arguably the most celebrated tower defense game on iOS and one that ushered in a wave of TD games onto the plaform, has finally arrived on the iPhone. Developer Subatomic Studios spent the past several years creating Fieldrunners 2 and it clearly shows, with gamers treated to over 20 new levels and 20 unique, upgradable weapons, along with 3 different type of levels (Sudden Death, Time Trial, and Puzzle) and Retina Support to show off the gorgeous hand painted artwork. Currently, only the iPhone version is available ($2.99), with plans for an iPad release in the future. I’ve only logged about an hour or so thus far, but have already found it to be terribly addictive. Perhaps best of all, there are no IAPs to suck your iTunes credits dry; instead virtual currency can be earned in-game to buy items. Check out the extended gameplay video after the gap.
Subatomic Studios, Fieldrunners 2 - $2.99