The big news of the week is the fact that Square Enix released an iOS game that I actually liked! Ironically I’m not even a big fan of rhythm games as a whole, but there’s something about Symphonica that really strikes a chord with me. If infinite runners are more your style, there are actually a couple good ones to choose from. Save Them All from Chillingo challenges you to outrace mutants, aliens and more while rescuing as many innocents as you can until the end of each real world day, at which point the leaderboards are reset. For something a little less apocalyptic there’s Aloha from Hawaii, a runner about four penguins that just want to see what it’s like someplace warmer than the South Pole. And if you just want something involving lots of pure carnage there’s Carmageddon, the port of a 1997 game where you fare better by running over cows and pedestrians than actually completing the races.
This week’s roundup proved to be challenging because there were a lot of interesting looking games that didn’t have a lot of available information about them. While I haven’t spent too much time with any of these titles yet, I’m leaning towards Super Bunny Breakout as my pick of the week so far. This reimagining of the brick breaker genre is everything Breakout: Boost wasn’t – creative, inventive and most of all fun. If you’ve ever wished courtroom games had as much action as courtroom TV dramas, Devil’s Attorney has the cure for that. This game takes more of an RPG approach to legal antics, and when you throw in Boston Legal style humor there’s bound to be a winning combination. If you like the quirky angle but aren’t much for the courtroom you should consider Kumo Lumo. This is actually a fairly relaxing game with cute villains, slick artwork and a “save the planet” vibe that doesn’t grate on you.
I’m a big adventure game fan, and my top pick for this week just happens to fall into that category. Forever Lost: Episode 1 HD tosses you in an asylum with no knowledge of who you are or why you’re there. Gather items, solve puzzles and piece together the mystery, all in an atmosphere that’s just right for the Halloween season. If you prefer some action you should check out Payback2, the sequel to a game heralded as “the best GTA clone you’ve never heard of”. You’ll have plenty of weapons at your disposal and the chance to drive everything from a tank to an ice cream truck. For those that just want to relax with some simple fun, former artists from the company Crytek have developed the game Fin Friends. It’s an aquatic take on the whole “helicopter in a tunnel” theme, and while there’s enough challenge for adults the atmosphere will definitely keep the children entertained.
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.
Fremium games dominated the list this week, though a few games with a price tag caught my eye. Puzzle Saga is the latest match 3 / RPG hybrid to hit the App Store. Instead of matching objects to help your heroes attack, in this case you actually match the warriors to send them off into battle. If you’re looking for some mindless destruction Indestructible might just be the ticket. This offering from Glu Games still has a few kinks that need to be ironed out, but when it’s fully polished it should provide rather fun and non-thought provoking 4 for all arena combat. The budding sleuths in the group should check out the triple offering of re-tooled Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games. Despite odd names, 1 Mummy, 2 Tin Soldier and 3 Murderess not only give you the chance to follow in the footsteps of the greatest detective in London’s history, but they embellish it with live action video for your viewing pleasure.
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.
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.
There were certainly enough new arrivals to keep even the most discerning gamer busy on their iOS devices this week. The biggest surprise to me was Final Fantasy Dimensions, the newest offering from Square Enix. I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I had no idea this game was coming to iOS devices, and you can even try the prologue for free. If you’re more into puzzle games Illusion Labs has resurfaced with their latest concept called Blast-A-Way. This 3D brain teaser has plenty of explosions, cute robots and even more adorable mischief makers. If you just want something that proves you’re never too old to have fun, check out Granny Smith from No Can Win. This quirky racer has you trying to recover apples before a rascally thief, and oh the places you’ll go.
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.
This week saw the release of Horn, Phosphor Games’ follow-up to their interesting title Dark Meadow. Horror has been replaced with fantasy, on-rails movement with full 3D roaming, and the graphics have been kicked up a couple of notches as well. Tread of the Dead is a slightly different take on the whole zombie hunting theme. Instead of relying on brute force and lots of ammunition you’ll have to skillfully cut down the undead hordes with a chainsaw that you toss at them and then control by tilting the screen. Platform gamers will enjoy Random Heroes, the latest offering from Ravenous Games. It looks to combine the level design goodness of League Of Evil with the hero and gun swapping craziness of Super Crate Box.