Every once in a while there is a week with so many solid new games released that it’s hard for me to decide which ones to write about. This was one of those weeks. So, instead of recapping some of my entries in the intro, I’m going to mention a few that didn’t quite make my list. Tennis fans should check out Virtua Tennis Challenge, the first installment of SEGA’s hit franchise to make its way onto iOS devices. You’ll compete against 50 different computer players on 18 courts across the globe, or you can challenge your friends via WiFi and Bluetooth. Chillingo fans were treated to 3 new games this week, but the one I’m most excited about is Air Mail. You’d never suspect that delivering packages would be so adventurous, but the brief teaser video shows you travelling to exotic locations and getting shot at repeatedly. Gamers that love side scrollers might be interested in Dragon Evolution. If the simple fact that you get to play a dragon isn’t enough, how about 80+ missions, 36 skills and the ability to customize said dragon?
It’s that time of week again, and I’ve got my list of games that will hopefully tickle your fancy. NerdHerder is a free experience that lets you get exercise your geek wrangling skills. Unity 3D graphics, an AR interface with virtual fishing pole and lots of misguided office inhabitants running around should make for an interesting time. If you’re more into quick play time and immediate feedback you’ll love Mini Mix Mayhem. This mini-game marathon lets you play 4 games at the same time in single player mode, or a whopping 20 in the same game on the iPad. If you’d like a world building experience like Minecraft but want something a bit more, you might consider The Sandbox from BulkyPix. This pixel art universe creator throws physics into the mix, and even gives you the chance to make your own music.
FPS fans can enjoy another installment of Gameloft’s popular sci-fi series this week with the release of N.O.V.A. 3. Everything you’ve come to expect from the franchise is still present, and new to this release is the ability for multiple players to share a vehicle. If boxing is more your thing you might consider Punch Hero from Gamevil. It’s free, you can duke it out with players around the world, and equipping your player consists of buying things like beards and sunglasses. Maybe you like puzzle / platform games instead? If that’s the case check out LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias, a game where you get to control the power of the wind and change the seasons at will.
Along with everything else this week, there were a nice variety of games featuring one form or another of the undead. The Tossing Dead combines two of my favorite things on the iPhone: Fruit Ninja style mechanics and zombies. Explosive weapons, a comic book style storyline and a chimpanzee sidekick don’t hurt the equation, either. If strategy is more you might try Brainsss, the premier effort from Lonely Few. This squad based game gives you the chance to do something you don’t get to do very often – control the zombies instead of the humans. Finally, if you’re more into the macabre there’s Dark Legends, the third offering in the Legends series of 3D MMOs from Spacetime Studios. You still get to play on the same servers as anyone else on any device that supports a compatible client, but this time around your avatar of choice is of the vampire persuasion.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty prosperous for those that like freemium offerings. RPG fans can indulge in Inotia 4: Assassin Of Berkel, the fourth installment of the action / RPG series from international developer Com2us. You do, of course, have the option of outright buying the game which will automatically eliminate the ads and give you some in-game currency, but IAP can take care of that as well. If you like a little strategy with your action there’s Castle Master 3D, a combination of Action / RPG and castle defense. This game boasts battles of 300 soldiers on each side, but you can expect to run it on nothing less than the latest generation of devices. If you prefer something a bit more lighthearted and focusing on twitchy timing you’ll get a kick out of Cannon Cat (TMA Review). A daredevil feline, a mess of fish trapped in bubbles out in space, and some vicious penguins with helicopter “wings” make this whimsical offering a lot of fun.
Fancy yourself a game developer but don’t have any programming skills? Sketch Nation Studio could change your life, as it will allow you to design games right on your iOS device without even having to write a line of code. If you’d rather just stick to playing games there’s Saving Private Sheep 2. The mechanics are way different than the original, but if the same goofy humor is there is should still be a winner. Real time strategy fans would do well to check out Total War Battles from SEGA. This medieval Japan conquest game has an interesting game play mechanic: you can’t retreat! You better be really sure that every move is one you want to make.
This week saw the release of a couple of iOS episodes of popular console games, but more exciting to me was the number of potentially high quality free(mium) games that were made available. Last Day Of Work released the latest installment of their Virtual Villagers series entitled Virtual Villagers: Origins. The claim is that this takes the series back to its roots and is based of the formula that made the original Virtual Villagers a success. If you’re interested in flying the friendly skies but don’t want another Flight Control clone you might consider Aero Vacation from Chillingo. This time management game tasks you with building the ultimate airborne vacation spot with everything from a roller coaster to a full blown golf course. On the other hand, those looking for something completely different should take a look at O2Jam Hero. This RPG / rhythm hybrid pits a girls’ rock band against the ultimate evil, and I’m thinking you should get bonus points if you can interpret the game’s iTunes description.
Racing fans got an interesting new option this week in the form of Sky Gnomes. This little gem lets you take on the role of a gnome and race through the sky on a craft powered by an engine that consumes snowflakes. If that’s not wacky enough for you then you might consider the new futuristic FPS Bounty Bots. It’s free to play and lets you engage in warfare using exploding cacti and sniper chimps. If you’re looking for something a bit more grounded in reality there’s Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort from G5 Entertainment. This SimCity style game throws in missions, goods to sell and trade, and 4 different locations to hang your virtual hat.
It took them a while, but Namco came up with yet another way to abuse the Pac-Man property, and Pac-Mangames is the most interesting attempt yet in my opinion. They took several of their popular classics and created quick play, “rack up the score” versions of them, and then wrapped them all up in an odd avatar system. If Pac-Mangames sounds like a bit of a stretch you can always try your hand at Pocket Law Firm, a new time management system that not only could be fun but might just teach you something about the constitution as well. Just don’t tell your friends you’re actually learning with your iPad. If you just can’t get enough of Hollywood retreads there’s Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures, the video game tie-in for one of two Snow White films coming out this year. To its credit the game looks pretty sharp, and there are even a couple of places where it looks to break the mold of most runner type games, so hopefully it won’t suffer the fate of most movie based games.
This week brought with it a nice variety of genres to indulge in as far as new games were concerned. Of course fowl tossing fans are in seventh heaven with the release of Angry Birds Space, the latest installment in the insanely popular physics puzzle franchise that made its debut on iOS devices. This time around you’ll conquer the pigs in a galaxy far, far away, and you’ll get new powers for that purpose as well. Top down racing fans that are looking for something a bit different should consider Road Wars HD. This is a two player affair, but not in the way you’d expect – one player controls the car and the other handles the road! I couldn’t forget the zombie slayers in the group either. Zombie Hunter Defense seems like your typical “defend the center of the board” type games until you realize that you must use strategically placed mirrors to ricochet your shots for the most effective damage.