Gamers that like a nice mix of strategy and RPG have a couple of options from this week’s 10 New Games To Watch list. Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land drops them in the midst of World War I to fight some nasty supernatural beings. If you like your games a bit on the lighter side there’s Dungeon Crawlers, a more satirical look at the whole dungeon delving genre that still manages to provide some deep game play. If you want to throw strategy to the wind there’s Zombie Bunnies, an over the top destruction fest featuring undead rabbits and 99 levels of randomly generated mayhem.
Fighting game fans can rejoice this week as they get another port of a classic one on one combat fest, Soulcalibur. The game sports 4 game play modes and a whopping 19 character roster for all your pixel pounding needs. If you like good old fashioned platform games with stylish art and cool music then you need to check out Jazz: Trump’s Journey. Strategy junkies should enjoy Time of Heroes, a turn based strategy game that sounds like the iOS answer to the Fire Emblem series. A universal binary and iCloud save game support mean you could play it wherever you want with whichever device you have close at hand. Time management freaks have a unique offering in Order Up!! To Go, a game that takes the backdrop of a Diner Dash style game and puts you in the kitchen instead of on the serving floor. Best of all the game is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose if you want to take a peek.
Chillingo was the big winner this week with two selections in my watch list. Woody Woodpecker has made his debut on the App Store, though I’m not sure if his outing will appeal more to racing fans or Tiny Wings (TMA Review) enthusiasts. On the other hand, Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time should undoubtedly appeal to players that like to blow zombies away. Now if decimating aliens is more your style, then Star Marine: Infinite Ammo might just fit the bill. Of course, if you’d rather take out aliens while flying a ship, you’re probably more interested in Rayforce, a port of a popular mid-90’s arcade game brought to us by Taito.
Things still haven’t quite picked up from the holiday break yet, but I did find a few games to talk about this week. Old school RPG gamers might want to give Dungeon Of The Damned a try, a dungeon crawler that harkens back to the days of games like Dungeon Master with some adventure elements thrown in to boot. If you’d like a simple action game you would probably enjoy Super Crate Box where your sole purpose is to dodge monsters and collect crates. It sounds awfully basic but a lot of people are saying it’s quite addictive. For those that wish to unleash their inner Jedi without spending lots of money on Knights Of The Old Republic online there’s Brisksaber, a cheesy looking promotional piece between a beverage company and one of the kings of filmmaking to promote the upcoming release of the 3D version of a certain galaxy spanning saga.
As the year draws to a close I’ve started thinking about my time writing the weekly “10 Games To Watch” article, and I soon realized that I’ve been doing this since May of 2010. As such I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect back on my first year’s worth of articles and point out some of my biggest hits (and worst misses). That way, if you’re in need of a few extras games because of some new iTunes gift card burning a hole in your account, you’ll have some idea of the ones you missed that are worth checking into again – or avoiding, as the case may be.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and also for iTunes Connect to shut down for a few days (this is the method developers use to submit games to the App Store). Amazingly enough, though, a lot of developers were on the ball and got their games submitted so they could be reviewed and out in the first couple of days of the Christmas week. Among those releases were Dungeon Hunter 3 and Zenonia 4, the next installments of 2 of the most popular hack ‘n slash RPG series for iOS systems. While it sounds like Zenonia 4 might be the best yet in the series, Dungeon Hunter 3 took a step away from its predecessors to provide a completely different type of game play experience. If you’re more into platform games you might give the retro inspired Terra Noctis a try, while strategy fans with attention issues should cling to Strange Adventures In Infinite Space.
I imagine that those of you that have been following iOS gaming news are expecting me to jump right in and talk about Grand Theft Auto III, but I’m sure there are enough folks spreading the details on that one right now. I thought I’d direct your attention towards Legion Of The Damned, a turn based strategy game that allows up to four players to participate in brawls on randomly generated or custom made maps. Hidden object game aficionados will do well to check out Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure, a free to play mansion exploration game for the iPad that actually has some social aspects integrated into it. If you’re into lifestyle simulations you might consider Venture Towns, the latest offering from Kairosoft or The Sims FreePlay from Electronic Arts. One takes a broader perspective as you build up a town, while the other lets you get up close and personal managing the lives of up to 16 Sims. Best of all, the latter offering is free.
One of the few comic book characters to weather the video game curse fairly well is Batman, and the Arkham series has really stepped up the Caped Crusader’s game, so to speak. Now we’re lucky to get an iOS installment of the franchise called Batman Arkham City Lockdown where you get to face off with many of the Dark Knight’s iconic foes, as well as the special adversary Deathstroke. Role playing fans that don’t own a Nintendo system of some sort can finally sink their teeth into Chrono Trigger, a tale that spans many time frames and has been considered one of the best examples of the genre to appear on any console. Behemoth has finally brought their Alien Hominid franchise to iOS devices via Alien Hominid: PDA Games, and while it might not be what fans expect visually, it certainly packs a lot of fun into its simplicity. And if you’re looking for something completely different there’s Playing History: The Plague, a game that turns a great disaster of the 14th century into an adventure game. Sounds a bit bizarre, but it might both entertain and educate you at the same time.
If this is indicative of what the next few weeks leading up to Christmas are going to be like then you’d better strap yourselves in and prepare for a crazy ride! On a normal good week I might build a list of between 25 and 30 games to whittle down for my final list of 10, but this week I had almost 60 games! Naturally everyone’s excited about Infinity Blade II, the successor to one of the most successful RPGs to grace the iOS screen. If you like your monster slaying action a little more lighthearted you might consider The Bard’s Tale, a 21st century re-imagining of one of the great RPG series that I grew up with in the 80s. Players eager for a Kinect like experience but not wishing to buy an Xbox will want to look into Fuego’s River Adventure, a hands-free game that uses your iPad’s camera (requires an iPad 2) to track your movements and manipulate your character accordingly. On the other hand, if accessories are your thing you might consider appBlaster Overkill, a newly released version of the shooter Overkill that requires the new appBlaster gun peripheral in order to provide a more visceral shooting experience.
If last week’s potential selections made me feel like I had an early Christmas, than this week’s contenders were like the week after New Year’s. Everything has settled down and people are apparently content with what they have for a while. Still, I was able to find a few games to share with you, and hopefully something will catch your attention. First up is Legendary Outlaw, a new FPS that lets you step in the shoes of a bad guy and show everyone else who is boss. If you like your action a bit more satirical there’s War On Terror, a somewhat off-kilter look at world domination. And, for those who like electronic twists on old classics you might take a fancy to Pinball City NY, a gritty pinball game with a detective theme and five ball simultaneous action.