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…
Wow. I was afraid my last roundup was an accident and that there wasn’t going to be much to write about this week. Instead I think I might have had more options to choose from! That being the case I’ll mention a couple of games that didn’t make the main list, starting with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. It’s got a weird name, it’s a rhythm based Final Fantasy, and it could quite possibly have the most IAP of any of their games to date. One Million Monkeys is more than a word game, it’s actually a story creation game. It sounds like it takes Mad Libbing to the next level, and it might even get this stubborn game playing loner to engage in a more social multi-player experience. Monsters, Inc. Run takes one of the best Pixar films and fuses it with one of my favorite genres, the infinite runner. I don’t know if it adds anything new to the mix or not, but when you combine two of my favorite things I have to give it a shout out.
If this past week was any indication of the season as a whole, iOS gamers are going to have a good Christmas this year. There were actually quite a few high profile games (or games that became high profile because of the forum chatter surrounding them), so I’m going to try and mention a few other games in their stead. However, I will acknowledge that this week saw the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, another installment in what is possibly the most popular “bad boy” series in interactive entertainment. If that’s not your style there’s also an enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate, an extremely popular PC RPG. The game includes a new adventure and several new characters and weighs in at 80 hours of game play. Finally, Bulkypix has released Pendulo Studios’ third iOS port called Hollywood Monsters, which like their first iOS release is a port of a classic style point and click adventure game. It looks to have all the polish of their first effort Yesterday but a much lighter tone.
This was a great week for iOS gaming. Other than the fact that I wouldn’t have time to finish it, I could have easily doubled the number of entries in this week’s roundup. To start things off we have SEGA’s iOS port of Jet Set Radio. All the skating, graffiti spraying and cop avoidance is there, along with 29 of the 30 original musical tracks from the Dreamcast version. The next installment of the Chop Chop franchise is now available with the release of Chop Chop Ninja World. I’d venture to say this is Gamerizon’s most ambitious title yet, and it seems like it might be one of the most enjoyable as well. If you just can’t get your fill of zombies but are tired of simply shooting them all the time, Activision’s The Bowling Dead might just be for you. Pick up a bowling ball (with assorted upgrades when available) mow down an alley full of the undead, and enjoy a humorous tale of post-apocalyptic strikes and spares.
Hopefully you missed me while I was gone. There were some pretty cool games I wanted to talk about last week, but have no fear because there are plenty of good games for this week’s article as well. To start with, Steve Wozniak has decided to lend his incredible talents to the game design world with Vengeance: Woz With A Coz. It’s a retro platform game that he not only designed and wrote the story for, but also stars in! If you’re a slingshot physics game-aholic but are still craving something a bit different, why not give Temple Raid a try? Sure the mechanics are tried and true to the genre, but this multi-player affair lets you construct your own fortresses and take on folks from around the world to see who the best ammunition tosser is. For the Fruit Ninja fan who thinks they’ve played it all, why not apply those slashing skills to some chocolaty goodness? Yes, thanks to PikPok’s OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk you can have your cookie and play with it too.
This was another week with a lot going on, and as happens quite frequently on the App Store there was plenty to signify a “blast from the past”. First up was the release of Icy Tower 2, and before you say it’s “just another infinite jumper”, keep in mind that this series existed long before Doodle Jump. It doesn’t really add anything new to the genre, but it’s free and quite entertaining. If you prefer retro in terms of “a long time ago” there’s Angry Birds Star Wars. Yeah, I don’t quite get the need for this combination either, but I’m sure that just like the other installments of the series it will get consumed by the masses. If you like retro simply for the look you might check out Poltergeist: 16 bit horror. It definitely looks like a ROM from a console machine circa the 16 bit era, but it plays just as well as any modern puzzle game.
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.
By the time you read this Halloween will probably be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some ghoulish fun with your iOS device. Check out my 2012 Halloween Roundup to see the games I thought might provide some spook-tacular fun. As for the “normal” week, it was filled with your typical selection of everything under the sun. The game that caught me off guard the most was Zombiewood, which I expected to be nothing more than another Gameloft dual stick shooter. While that’s true in a lot of ways, the humor, variety of objectives and ability to destroy many inanimate objects keeps drawing me back. Another game that pleasantly surprised me was Punch Quest, the latest offering from Rocketcat Games. This endless runner packs quite a punch, with plenty of upgrading and gnomes to boot.
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.