Tower defense fans can revel in evil a little bit this week with the release of Tiny Heroes, a game that actually lets you play the bad guy and set all kinds of devilish traps to thwart the poor unsuspecting heroes. Time management fans can mix it up a bit by either expanding their temporary residential knowledge with Hotel Dash 2 or refining their monster breeding skills with Monster Pet Shop. If you’re a racing fan you can get down and dirty with Race Illegal: High Speed 3D or maybe try something a little bit more cerebral with Grand Prix Story, the latest in the “story” series of 8-bit looking menu driven sims.
This week wasn’t so much “blockbuster release” as it was “cute casual goodness”. The one sports game of note was Madden NFL 12 by EA Sports, which among other things includes a staggering roster of 2500 playable characters! For Barry Steakfries fans the wait is over, as Jetpack Joyride has finally made its way to the App Store. I’m just glad they decided to go with a universal binary instead of just iPad, because this looks like a fun and crazy game. Old time gamers looking for a snazzy update to a classic should check out Frogger Decades from Konami Digital. There’s enough retro to get the nostalgia pumping, but enough new twists to make it feel fresh.
Firemint is back with their first offering post EA acquisition, and it looks like a return to true form. The game is called Spy Mouse, and it’s a new line drawing offering that mixes stealth, precision and a bit of cheese. Old school RPG fanatics will definitely be interested in Dragon Fantasy, a game which obviously lends much thanks to the old Dragon Quest games from the NES days. It looks to maintain all the retro charm while being native to the most current iOS devices. On the other hand, if you just can’t play an RPG by yourself any more you’d do well to consider Star Legends, the second MMO offering in the Legends series. This time the setting is Sci-Fi, but the game is still free and has plenty of content to offer. Finally, those looking for something a bit different might consider MiniGames Paradise from Com2Us. There are currently only 10 different mini-games to play, but hopefully that will expand rather quickly if Com2Us feels that people are interested in the game.
Well, as I’m sure you all know by now, the talk of the town this week is iBlast Moki 2. The sequel to one of the most popular non Angry Birds physics games on the App Store, this outing looks bigger and better than ever before. Conan: Tower Of The Elephant is a new action game from Chillingo that looks like it might do for Conan what the iOS version of Predators did for that franchise – make a good action game that’s actually fun to play. Match 3 junkies should check out Ice Cubes, a game that among other things provides multi-touch block manipulating capabilities and online play. If you like line drawing games you might be interested in Drawin’ Growin’, a game that combines line drawing with… gardening? Well, not exactly, but some nifty game play elements and slick looking graphics might just put this one on top.
If you haven’t had enough physics fun with cute aliens, sweet candy and lots of rope, this week BulkyPix released Save Yammi. To its credit, the game adds a few nice twists to the already aging “feed the critter” formula. If you’re looking for something completely different you might want to give Julius Styles The International a try. This part hacking, part puzzle, part action isometric adventure game features Wesley Snipes as a guy trying to evade the government. Go figure. Those obsessed with Zenonia (TMA Review) style game play should check out Exitium: Saviors Of Vardonia. Odd name aside, if it delivers its 800+ adventures it stands to be one of the biggest RPG type games on the App Store.
There are two situations that make this article tough to write – a lack of interesting game releases or a plethora of them. Fortunately, this week fell into the latter category, so if a game you felt was noteworthy didn’t make the list, don’t feel too bad. I’m sure I considered it. First up is the late arrival of Final Fantasy Tactics: The War Of The Lions, a turn based tactical strategy / RPG game from SquareEnix that’s actually a port of a PSP game. Next comes my personal interest, Cut The Rope: Experiments. I didn’t even know this game was headed my way, but I was a huge fan of the first one and have high hopes for this sequel. Action / RPG nuts might want to check out Ragnarok Violet, the single player iOS version of a popular online RPG. Finally there’s Sly Vs Sly, a game for the folks that want to see what the lighter side of the spy business is like. If you think the game looks a LOT like Spy Vs. Spy you’re not alone, but I’d be willing to take a chance on this one even if it does eventually get pulled.
This week’s headliner is Silent Ops, Gameloft’s answer to all the James Bond wannabe’s out there. Take any one of their virtual stick action games, throw it in a high tech secret mission scenario, and run with it as you will. If you’re still looking for a good movie blockbuster tie-in (is there such a thing?), you might consider Cowboys & Aliens. Of course there’s probably debate at this point whether the movie will even reach blockbuster status, but the dual stick shooter / tower defense game might provide the fun the movie is lacking. For those that just can’t get enough food slashing fun there is Sushi Chop, the game that has you slicing raw fish and serving it up on a tray. Yum! Finally, old school console gamers might want to check out Roboto, a new platformer that looks like it might have managed to capture the glory days of the Sega Genesis / SNES era.
This week’s releases are all over the road map when it comes to style and developer. The leader of the pack is Deadlock: Online from Crescent Moon Games, a multi-player online dual stick shooter with great 3D visuals. Next up is the classic Sid Meier’s Pirates!, a strategy game for the iPad that will have you singing “Yo ho, Yo ho” in no time at all. If you’re curious what a nine year old can do when he teams up with the world leader in casual gaming, check out Allied Star Police from Popcap games.
I’m sure the top story this week is 9mm from Gameloft, but I’m going to mention Pocket RPG, the latest offering from Crescent Moon Games. This stylish RPG should be a treat for anyone that likes dual stick games or rougelike offerings. I just wish they would have released the iPhone version first. Racing seemed to be a prevalent theme this week. If you enjoy futuristic jaunts you should check out Protoxide: Death Race from HeroCraft. On the other hand, if you just want to cause havoc in the current era, Reckless Getaway might be more your style. Finally, those that are more interested in proving their skills than causing any damage at all should consider Xtreme Wheels, a trial bike game that offers some really intense graphics given the game’s style of game play.
This week saw a lot of high profile ports arrive on the scene. Mac addicts will be happy to sink their teeth into Marathon 1, an FPS that helped define the genre for the Macintosh. Those that enjoy bullet hell shooters can give Deathsmiles a spin, with all the goodness of the Xbox 360 version in addition to a mode specifically designed for the iOS complete with a new character and story. The King Of Fighters is the second iOS entry from SNK, and hopefully proof that someone besides Capcom knows a thing or two about colorful 2D fighters. If Deathsmiles is a little too intense for you then you might want to check out Battlesquadr1, a slick looking port of an old Amiga game that actually makes a decent transition to the “modern” gaming world.