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.
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.