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.
This week’s new releases include pseudo-sequels, electronic versions of non-existent board games, and familiar games with new names. Street Fighter IV Volt sounds more like a repackaged update than a true sequel, but it does sport the one thing that most users were clamoring for – WiFi multiplayer fights. Cargo Runners is a game designed from the ground up for the iPad, yet it’s meant to look like a digital reproduction of an old fashioned physically printed board game. From what I hear, it does a pretty good job at that. Many of you might have noticed the game Mooniacs and looked at it with a quizzical eye, thinking you’d experienced déjà vu. Don’t fret – the game is actually a rebranding of the puzzle game Moonsters , this time under the publishing label of Namco. As long as it plays the game same, you’ll still be in for a treat.
This week saw some old friends make the leap to new devices, as well as a couple of interesting looking retro games and another outing from a certain furry blue mascot. Board game lovers and simple strategists might want to check out the official Battleship for iPad, which finally docked on the big iOS screen. For those still craving the racing antics of a certain Italian plumber there’s Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing, a wacky game that might just fill your void. Retro gamers can either get their 3D on with the unique platform style of 1-bit Ninja, or kick it real old school with P1XL Party, a set of mini games that look just like they jumped off of a pamphlet for the Commodore 64.
Last week was a bit mild in comparison to some of the others we’ve had recently. For Pokemon fans there’s GeoSociety, the closest thing we’ll probably get to “gotta catch ‘em all” on the iPhone. If you prefer a more traditional RPG you might want to give Avadon: The Black Fortress a try. The graphics are old school, but the content should be deep enough for even the hardcore role players. Sports fans can partake in the lighter side of their craft with Zombie Toss Basketball or Flick Golf Extreme. Both put a crazy spin on their respective sports, though I have a feeling Zombie Toss Basketball is a lot more lighthearted.
As if last week wasn’t good enough with X-Men, now we get Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp for the iPhone! If developers need to keep making ports, might as well make ports that I want to see. In other news, apparently both Evil Dead and Galaga are celebrating their 30th anniversaries, and as such they both have a game released this week (of course the Evil Dead series also had a game about a month ago, but that’s beside the point). The Galaga 30th Collection contains anniversary remakes of 4 venerable shooter classics, while Evil Dead looks to be a Minigore wannabe with the original wise cracking zombie slayer. Finally, if you’re in the mood for what might amount to more of a surreal experience than an actual game, you’ll probably want to check out Dream:scape. It looks sharp, but the real question is how engrossing it will be if there aren’t a lot of true game play elements.
As far as I’m concerned, the big news of the week was the release of X-Men (TMA Review), a port of the 1992 arcade game. Sure the game is almost 20 years old, but it’s still a blast to play, and really holds up fairly well as far as graphics and such. Those yearning for some creature combat without the burdens of RPG quests will want to check out Fatal League or Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting. The former is a turn based strategy game with more than 20 hours of game play, and the latter is a one on one fight between you and monster after monster.
This week saw another release in Glu’s stable of free to play, pay for extras, and invite your friends via Facebook games. This time around it’s Star Blitz, which looks to be a top down 360 degree space ship shooter with fully customizable craft. RPG fans that own an iPad should take a look at Companions, a game that looks like and plays like Gauntlet with a heavy dose of Rouge-like RPG thrown into the mix. Illusion Labs fans need to check out Touchgrind BMX, the second installment of their popular Touchgrind series which focuses on bikes instead of skateboards this time around. Those desiring a time management game with a bit of a twist might want to try Parking Dash, the latest game in the popular “dash” series. This one has you managing a parking lot, and it looks to be a combination of time management and puzzle game.
For all you iOS RPG fans that aren’t me, the big news of the week was probably the release of Chaos Rings Omega. I wasn’t a fan of the first part, but with one character and a more concentrated storyline Omega might prove to be better than its predecessor. For the light hearted romantics there’s Bumpy Road, the game where you get a couple of lovebirds to their destination by manipulating the road they are driving on. If you’re into puzzle games you might want to give Casey’s Contraptions a try. You create fantastic machines out of everyday objects to help Casey get his toys back, and then you can make your own levels to share with your friends via email. Finally, turn based strategy fans can sink their teeth into Orions 2: The Deckmasters, a game that’s part empire building and part CCG.
This week’s selections sound like they were pulled straight from the “popular kids” section of gaming. You have a brand new farming sim (at least to the iOS platform) called Green Farm that comes to you courtesy of Gameloft. On the other hand, if tower defense games are your thing you have your choice of Army Of Darkness Defense or Stop The Knights, both of which sound like they take a bit darker but more comical route to the genre. Finally you have something completely different – at least given the developer – in the form of a physics puzzler called Bug Chucker (TMA Review) from Cyan Worlds, the creators of such treasures as Myst and Riven.
Today’s lead in is the latest offering from Square Enix, which is unique in both content and price. The game is called Imaginary Range. It’s a combination of comic book and mini-games, and it’s absolutely free. If you’re into aquatic life with attitudes you should check out either Destructopus or Laser Dolphin. The former is more for those who just want to destroy everything, while you can’t go wrong with the latter’s protagonist – a mammal that totes some pretty awesome weaponry. Finally, if you haven’t gotten your fill of puzzle games with cute characters yet, Chillingo is happy to bring you Spider Jack… a puzzle game with a cute leading character.