This week was once again “dominated” – and I use the term loosely – by the indie developer. Hopefully everyone is going to get over their New Year’s indulgences soon and start turning out some cool new games. To start off this week we have Road Blaster, another port of an 80s laser disc game, this time mashing Japanese Anime and Mad Max. If world conquest is more your style you might give Pocket Pandemic a try, which gives you the opportunity to infect the world with a virus you create. Adventure game fans should check out Bygone City 3 Adventure Game (an awkward title to be sure), though for the complete picture I recommend picking up the first two parts as well. Finally, castle defense / TD fans that are tired of the “same old same old” should check out Smack A Seal – just make sure you’re not within reach of any PETA militants.
Sorry for the absence of a “10 To Watch” article last week, but I could really only come up with 3 or 4 games that I actually wanted to write about. Thankfully things have picked up a little bit this week. Those looking for a platform game fix have a few choices this week, most notably the baby carriage tale called Grimm or Capcom’s MaXplosion, where the protagonist can make himself explode. If you like strategy games you might want to take Metal Brigade Tactics or Ascendancy for a spin. The RPG fan can take on Com2Us’ latest Inotia yarn, appropriately titled Inotia 3.
Due to the temporary shut down of approvals and new submissions over the holidays, this past week’s 10 New Games to Watch list isn’t as abundant as most weeks. There were still some interesting looking offerings, however, so hopefully you’ll find something in here that might have slipped under your radar as you were shopping for the perfect Christmas game. Without further ado, here’s the roundup…
I thought the last roundup was crazy for new releases, but this past week was probably the largest I’ve seen for new games since I’ve started this weekly 10 to Watch article, and there were at least twice as many new games as the biggest prior week. That made it all the more difficult to decide what to talk about, since I knew a lot of these games have been in the spotlight since before their release. As always, I think I’ve come up with a decent cross section of games to mention, and since my choices are so many and it’s Christmas week I thought I’d even throw in a couple of extra ones for your reading pleasure. As such I think I’ll keep the intro short and sweet, and just let you discover the games as you read through the rest of the article.
Wow, if you’re an RPG fan you’d better be thanking both the App Store approval folks and several developers for this week. The big guns were Infinity Blade and Dungeon Hunter 2, but in total this roundup is filled with 5 awesome looking RPGs. If that’s not really your style of game, however, there is a new Angry Birds like physics puzzler called Pirates Vs. Ninjas Vs. Zombies Vs. Pandas that looks pretty entertaining (and the name is fun too). Finally, if you’re looking for a “board” game on the go you might want to check out Jenga, the official electronic version of the popular tower toppling table top game. Try and say that one fast five times!
The force is starting to be strong with the Star Wars universe again, as we’re seeing quite a number of games based on the popular sci-fi mythos grace the iPhone screen. This week’s release is Imperial Academy, and while it’s probably just a reskin of Ngmoco’s Eliminate, I’d personally rather play as a Storm Trooper in training than some generic space guy. Action-RPG fans have a lot to be excited about, including Com2us’ latest release Queen’s Crown. 4 weapon classes, 6 spell trees and a gem enhancement system make for some compelling anime hack ‘n slash. If you’re addicted to Minecraft but sad that you can’t take it on the go, you might want to give Eden – World Builder a try. And, for those who need gadgets to go with their gadgets there’s AR.Pursuit, a helicopter chase game that requires two players and also mandates that you each have an AR.Drone, a remote controlled helicopter that uses the iPhone as the controller.
The way Twitter was buzzing, I wasn’t expecting nearly so many new releases this past week. In the same vein, there weren’t nearly as many titles that grabbed me as I would have liked. Still, I think I’ve managed to dig up a fairly diverse collection of titles for your gaming enjoyment.
If you’re an adventure gamer that doesn’t believe the genre is dead then you’re in luck, because Cop – The Case Of The Cloned Beauty Queen is a detective mystery with a long title and a lot of voiceover work – 330 minutes according to the iTunes. If you’re more of a 007 than a Colombo there’s Agents!, a game of espionage that attempts to rekindle the fun of the Spy Vs Spy shtick from Mad Magazine. Tower Defense fans can sink their teeth into Sentinel 3: Homeworld, Origin8’s latest chapter in their epic sci-fi series. And, for those of you who just can’t get enough of Facebook style social gaming there’s Hollywood City, the simulation that lets you try and recreate Tinseltown in your own image.
Well the big boys decided to come back and play this week, so there are quite a few new and interesting offerings on the App Store. Of course the magic is in the air with LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, released to coincide with the outbreak of the latest film. If you can’t get enough of him on the big screen, now you can control him and a bunch of his friends on the small screen in all their blocky glory.
If the Sci-Fi machinations of George Lucas are more your style there’s Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner, the first Star Wars game to use AR to enhance the gameplay. You get to take your seat at the guns of the Millennium Flacon and blast Tie Fighters out of the sky – what could be better? If you like shooting but prefer a grittier post-apocalyptic setting there’s Rage, the new on-rails shooter from ID Software that makes you the star of a TV show where you’ll be hunted by hungry mutants. And, in our weekly dose of “who has the best freemium MMO now” there’s Kingdom Conquest from SEGA, an MMO that combines RPG dungeon crawling, SimCity kingdom building and forging alliances to rule the world.
This week seemed to be divided between ports (iPhone to iPad and vice versa) and free games, and since I’m not overly excited about detailing ports (as I’ve likely already written about the game being ported), my list has a lot of free games in it. Starting off the list are two new city builders, Trade Nations and Smurfs’ Village. Trade Nations claims to be “cuter” than games like We Rule, but I don’t know how you can get any cuter than the little blue creatures living in mushroom houses. If you do feel like shelling out a bit of cash there’s Stenches, the spin-off of Trenches that turns the Zombie Horde mode into a full fledged game. From the “before there was Doodle Jump’ era comes Icy Tower, which to this day remains one of my favorite “climb to the top” games on any platform.
This was an interesting week. A couple of big players released what felt like low key properties, and some indies released some interesting looking titles that will unfortunately probably get passed over. Topping the list is Capcom Arcade, one of Capcom’s first ventures into the world of freemium iPhone gaming. This emulator includes an initial lineup of hits like 1942 and Street Fighter 2, and is free to play for 3 games a day. If your retro fetish falls more in line with job based oldies then you might want to check out Paperboy: Special Delivery, Glu’s modern take on the 80’s classic inspired by the job held by pre-teen boys across the country. For something a bit darker you might want to check out Necronomicon, an interesting card / board game / RPG based off the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Finally, for the social strategist there’s foursqWAR, a tactical war game plastered on top of the Foursquare social network.