Anyone out there tired of iOS gaming yet? Hopefully not which is why you keep coming back here week after week. Disney actually caught my attention this week with their latest original gaming IP Stack Rabbit. Created by the folks that developed the insanely popular Where’s My Water?, Stack Rabbit puts an entirely new twist on the match 3 genre that’s definitely worth checking out. Speaking of putting a new spin on things, Symmetrain takes the concept of “spot the difference” and tries to turn it into an arcade game. Pay close attention as your train goes zipping past the randomly generated terrain so you can point out the difference between the left and right sides of the landscape as they go whizzing by. If you’ve ever had a fear of carnival performers, now you can exact revenge with Burn The Lot. This dual stick shooter has you hopping across the galaxy trying to thwart an intergalactic band of carnies that have some evil plan in mind.
I wish I would have had more time to spend with the candidates for this roundup because there were several titles I wanted to look at and just didn’t get the chance to fire up. I certainly had a blast with many of the titles I did get to try, though, especially Vampire Ventures. This match 3 game has just about everything you could want from the genre, and my only problem was forcing myself to stop playing the game. If you’re more of a strategy buff you really should check out Combat Monsters. This combination of collectable card game and turn based tactical strategy has a lot going for it, and you can dive in for free. On the other hand, those desiring some good old fashioned arcade action need look no further than Ricochet: Retro Space Shooter. This combination of Galaga, Missile Command and Breakout is not quite like anything I’ve played before on my iOS device.
The biggest problem I had with the roundup this week was that there were so many games that came out last week that looked interesting I didn’t know where to start when it came to testing to see which ones to include. I think I’ve given you a pretty well rounded list to work off of, though. Some intriguing ones that didn’t make it on the list this week include the new adventure game offering Device 6. It’s actually kind of hard to tell how this game works, but anything that seeks to reinvent the text adventure sure has my attention. Another one that has me excited is Rabbids Big Bang. This is a great IP, and I’m thrilled to see them in something on iOS devices besides a virtual pet simulator. To round out the intro I’ll mention D&D: Arena of War. It’s supposedly the first F2P mobile game set in the D&D universe, so if you’re a Forgotten Realms fan or just like D&D in general you might want to check it out.
The eve of tricks and treats draws closer and there are certainly plenty of games geared towards the season popping up on the App Store, but that’s for another day. The surprise hit from this past week for me was Chef’s Story – Time To Cook! This match 3 game is real time multi-player, it makes you collect ingredients in order to develop boosters, and it’s quite an addictive affair. A close second was the new platform game published by BulkyPix called Type:Rider. This homage to the history of literature didn’t look like much in the iTunes description, but once I started playing I was mesmerized. Of course if you prefer to just blow things up without putting much thought into it, Death Tour is right up your alley. It will take some patience to level up enough so you can make it through the campaign, but there’s definitely no shortage of carnage to be found here.
Some people don’t consider iOS devices real gaming platforms, but since I started writing reviews for my iPod Touch and iPad I barely look back at all the other electronics sitting in my house. The adventure game category is covered when you get first rate releases like The Cave from Ron Gilbert and Double Fine Productions. The master of Monkey Island brings his wit to spelunking with a cast of crazy characters and plenty of oddball puzzles to solve. If you prefer your humor a bit drier and tied to the zombie apocalypse then you might want to give Zombie Apocalift a try. There are still quirky characters, but in this game you have to deal with hordes of undead while trapped in an elevator. If you just want to indulge in a lighthearted puzzle game you should give Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! a try. This sequel has 160 levels, some new ways to get rid of the blocks and an endless arcade mode for when you want to relax your brain a little.
Guess what? A whole bunch of new games came out last week, and I was there to download and try out as many as I could. Crescent Moon Games released Fading Fairytales, a turn based strategy game set in a world where dark forces threaten to tear apart everyone’s favorite childhood stories (sounds awfully familiar). Surprisingly the game is free to play, and it looks to put an interesting spin on all the fables you remember from your youth. Mines Of Mishap is a new hack ‘n slash that doesn’t actually start you off fighting bats, rats or goblins. You can have multiple save slots for each of four character types, there are 40 different gems to discover and upgrade your character with, and you can play co-op with up to four players over WiFi. As usual there were plenty of infinite runners released over the week, but one that caught my eye was Buddy & Me. Visually it looks like an interesting interpretation of The Neverending Story, and unlike most runners that have two characters in this one they work cooperatively instead of having to control them both in separate circumstances.
This was another incredible week for iOS games, starting with the release of heavy hitters Infinity Blade III and Angry Birds Star Wars II. Turns out a lot of other folks released games as well, with the powerhouse known as Disney actually publishing three separate titles. The one that caught my eye more was DuckTales: Scrooge’s Loot, a third person online treasure hunt involving all the quirky characters from one of Disney’s best 80’s after school cartoons. If you prefer something a little more offbeat you might give Captain Bubblenaut a try. This interesting take on the Tiny Wings phenomenon has you rolling over the opposition while moving the landscape back and forth to guarantee your character a safe landing. The You Don’t Know Jack franchise continues to expand with You Don’t Know Jack Party. This time around the object is to taunt your friends in person, so the focus here is to get 2-4 people together, hook the device running the game to your TV, and then use all your other devices as the controllers for this irreverent quiz game show.
Apparently I spoke too soon last week when I cried that the Christmas like flow of games had ended for now. I could probably write double my normal size article this week and still have games I’d want to cover to spare. Anyway, Tiny Death is a new platform game that’s sure to resonate well with former – or current – console gamers. Cute graphics, decent level design and a nice sense of humor may not make this game worth dying for, but it would certainly be prudent to check it out. Disney has upped the ante for cute physics puzzlers once again with the release of Where’s My Water? 2. You can expect more game play elements, additional quirky characters and I even hear rumors of gravity manipulation. If you can’t get enough of infinite runners you’ll definitely want to check out Infectonator : Hot Chase. This sequel to Infectonator takes the action to an infinite side scrolling format, but you still get to turn people into zombies.
The feeling that we were having some sort of Christmas season in the middle of summer is finally starting to recede, but there are still some developers turning out cool new offerings in the game department. Three years after the original was released the premiere vehicular zombie smashing franchise is back with Zombie Highway: Driver’s Ed. You still have some gadgets to make life a bit easier, but this time around you need to prove your driving mettle instead of just blowing away the undead with cool weapons. On the completely absurd side [adult swim] has released their latest title called Giant Boulder of Death. The story is silly and the objectives mainly revolve around rolling over as much as you can, but it sure is a lot of fun. The winner in the retro revival of the week is Ultima IV: C64. You’ll know if this is for you just by reading the title, but for those that know this is an incredible blast from the past.
This week was full of exploding cats, martial arts chickens and zombies that think humans are the infection. Zombie Farm Battles is a card game based spin off of the Zombie Farm series featuring all the zombies you’ve come to love plus a bunch of new ones. Build up your undead horde, mutate and combine to create the ultimate army and wreak havoc on those annoying humans. On the other hand, maybe you just want to help Dr. Mouse rid the world of cats. In the Pipes inspired game Ice Cream Cats – Control the Pipes Flow Puzzle Game it’s up to you to make sure each cat gets fed the ice cream they love until they can’t hold any more and end up exploding. Perhaps you just want to master one of those arts that are supposed to be designed for defense and not offense. If you don’t mind stepping into the feet of a chicken there’s Tiger & Chicken, a fun action game with giant crabs, floating elemental spirits and Shaolin trained poultry.