As the year draws to a close I’ve started thinking about my time writing the weekly “10 Games To Watch” article, and I soon realized that I’ve been doing this since May of 2010. As such I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect back on my first year’s worth of articles and point out some of my biggest hits (and worst misses). That way, if you’re in need of a few extras games because of some new iTunes gift card burning a hole in your account, you’ll have some idea of the ones you missed that are worth checking into again – or avoiding, as the case may be. Continue reading…
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and also for iTunes Connect to shut down for a few days (this is the method developers use to submit games to the App Store). Amazingly enough, though, a lot of developers were on the ball and got their games submitted so they could be reviewed and out in the first couple of days of the Christmas week. Among those releases were Dungeon Hunter 3 and Zenonia 4, the next installments of 2 of the most popular hack ‘n slash RPG series for iOS systems. While it sounds like Zenonia 4 might be the best yet in the series, Dungeon Hunter 3 took a step away from its predecessors to provide a completely different type of game play experience. If you’re more into platform games you might give the retro inspired Terra Noctis a try, while strategy fans with attention issues should cling to Strange Adventures In Infinite Space.
I imagine that those of you that have been following iOS gaming news are expecting me to jump right in and talk about Grand Theft Auto III, but I’m sure there are enough folks spreading the details on that one right now. I thought I’d direct your attention towards Legion Of The Damned, a turn based strategy game that allows up to four players to participate in brawls on randomly generated or custom made maps. Hidden object game aficionados will do well to check out Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure, a free to play mansion exploration game for the iPad that actually has some social aspects integrated into it. If you’re into lifestyle simulations you might consider Venture Towns, the latest offering from Kairosoft or The Sims FreePlay from Electronic Arts. One takes a broader perspective as you build up a town, while the other lets you get up close and personal managing the lives of up to 16 Sims. Best of all, the latter offering is free.
One of the few comic book characters to weather the video game curse fairly well is Batman, and the Arkham series has really stepped up the Caped Crusader’s game, so to speak. Now we’re lucky to get an iOS installment of the franchise called Batman Arkham City Lockdown where you get to face off with many of the Dark Knight’s iconic foes, as well as the special adversary Deathstroke. Role playing fans that don’t own a Nintendo system of some sort can finally sink their teeth into Chrono Trigger, a tale that spans many time frames and has been considered one of the best examples of the genre to appear on any console. Behemoth has finally brought their Alien Hominid franchise to iOS devices via Alien Hominid: PDA Games, and while it might not be what fans expect visually, it certainly packs a lot of fun into its simplicity. And if you’re looking for something completely different there’s Playing History: The Plague, a game that turns a great disaster of the 14th century into an adventure game. Sounds a bit bizarre, but it might both entertain and educate you at the same time.
If this is indicative of what the next few weeks leading up to Christmas are going to be like then you’d better strap yourselves in and prepare for a crazy ride! On a normal good week I might build a list of between 25 and 30 games to whittle down for my final list of 10, but this week I had almost 60 games! Naturally everyone’s excited about Infinity Blade II, the successor to one of the most successful RPGs to grace the iOS screen. If you like your monster slaying action a little more lighthearted you might consider The Bard’s Tale, a 21st century re-imagining of one of the great RPG series that I grew up with in the 80s. Players eager for a Kinect like experience but not wishing to buy an Xbox will want to look into Fuego’s River Adventure, a hands-free game that uses your iPad’s camera (requires an iPad 2) to track your movements and manipulate your character accordingly. On the other hand, if accessories are your thing you might consider appBlaster Overkill, a newly released version of the shooter Overkill that requires the new appBlaster gun peripheral in order to provide a more visceral shooting experience.
If last week’s potential selections made me feel like I had an early Christmas, than this week’s contenders were like the week after New Year’s. Everything has settled down and people are apparently content with what they have for a while. Still, I was able to find a few games to share with you, and hopefully something will catch your attention. First up is Legendary Outlaw, a new FPS that lets you step in the shoes of a bad guy and show everyone else who is boss. If you like your action a bit more satirical there’s War On Terror, a somewhat off-kilter look at world domination. And, for those who like electronic twists on old classics you might take a fancy to Pinball City NY, a gritty pinball game with a detective theme and five ball simultaneous action.
This week’s 10 New App Store Games to Watch felt like Christmas in November, which made it kind of hard to pick just 10 games to talk about. I think I did a pretty good job of providing you with a nice cross-section of choices, however. If you like dinosaurs, TellTale Games released Jurassic Park: The Game 1 HD, a story that wedges itself nicely between the events that took place in the first movie. For those wanting to blaze a new trail there’s The Oregon Trail: American Settler, the game that finally shows you what happens AFTER the family survives the trip. Scrolling shooter fans will want to check out Space Tripper, a fast paced shmup with slick visuals and crazy bosses. Finally, the inner hero in you will want to take the reigns of Superman, one of the most iconic superheroes ever to grace fictional media.
This week’s 10 New App Store Games to Watch includes bad boy antics, arcade classics and undead kinfolk. From Gameloft we have Gangstar Rio: City Of Saints, the next installment of their “I wanna be like GTA” series. There are plenty of missions, lots of weapons, and even a tank, so I think all you manly types are pretty well set. If you’re nostalgic for the “old days” you can try Asteroids GUNNER for free. It’s a modern take on one of the first space shooters, and it looks to do its predecessor justice. Puzzle fans that are itching to blow zombies away should give Corpse Granny a spin. You’ll control all sorts of items, including 4 different types of fireballs, all in a quest to rid three separate realms of zombie invaders.
This week’s 10 New App Store Games to Watch is for those that feel the need for speed. Invictus released Race Of Champions, a racing game that lets you drive licensed cars on real world tracks to compete in a tournament that will determine the best racer in the world. On the other hand, if you want to feel the excitement of a New York cabbie with a bit more exotic locale you might try Cosmic Cab, the game where your fares are out of this world. If driving vehicles isn’t your thing at all there’s Zombie Parkour Runner HD, a game that requires you to use your athletic skills to outrun hordes of undead that would love nothing better than to eat your brains.
This week felt a bit low-key in regards to new releases, but there were still some decent offerings if you kept your eye out. On top of the charts is Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, the latest in the leading “real war” franchise for iOS devices. This looks to be the biggest and best yet, with a whopping 13 mission solo campaign and 6 multiplayer maps that support up to 12 combatants. For people that like their action a bit more 2D there’s Zombieville USA 2, the sequel to the game which started the whole side scrolling run and gun genre. This time around you can slay the dead with a friend, which is always a bonus. Racing fans looking for something a bit different can take to the water in Riptide GP, a water skiing game clearly inspired by Hydro Thunder and actually developed by the folks that brought Hydro Thunder to the Xbox 360.