It’s time to get your inner god-smasher on with this week’s biggest release – Hero Of Sparta II. I’m probably in the minority of those who wasn’t a huge fan of the first one, but for the rest of you, this one sounds bigger, badder and all out better. I’m even tempted to give it a shot. If you’d like to see how the makers of We Rule would tackle farming there’s We Farm, ngmoco’s answer to FarmVille. For the tower defense fan who’s “seen it all”, there’s Cowboys Vs. Zombies, an interesting take on the genre that has you defending several towns against zombie onslaughts using the fighters of the old west. And, for the old school construction gamer there’s SimCity Deluxe, the next iteration of the long running franchise to make its way to the iPhone. Just like Hero Of Sparta II it appears to be a decent improvement over the first, so if you’re looking for some city building action, you might want to check it out.
This was certainly a good week to be an iPhone owner. U.S. store patrons finally got a taste of Castlevania as Castlevania: Encore of the Night made it into our store (check last week’s roundup for the details). Also of note was the release of Risk: The Official Game. There were definitely some nice looking clones over time, but it’s always good to see an original take back the throne. If you’re a Finger Physics fan – either publicly or in the closet – then you’re no doubt excited about Finger Physics: Thumb Wars, the sequel that makes solving puzzles a global contest. The burgeoning pirate wanna-bes of the crowd will definitely need to check out Plunderland, the ragdoll physics based side scrolling pirate ship game. And, for the sports nut there’s Let’s Golf 2, the latest installment of Gameloft’s popular “over the top” golf game.
This week was almost a better one for iPad releases / ports than iPhone offerings, but there were still some solid looking titles on both fronts. For you tower defense fans comes one of the biggest science fiction licenses in the world – Star Wars: Battle For Hoth. I personally can think of some better uses for the property (where’s our iPhone version of Pod racing?), but I will admit that the thought of fighting AT-ATs is always intriguing. If you like scrolling shooters then you’re in for a treat, as one of my favorites in this genre has finally received a full version. Air Attack puts you in some serious 3D shmup combat, including taking on a pretty defensive castle. If you’re looking for a game with some unique play mechanics, check out Spider: Bryce Manor HD. The iPhone version was great, so I’d expect nothing less from the iPad port.
So who’s ready for another great week of new iPhone / iPad releases? Me too, but this week wasn’t quite as spectacular as some in the past. We did get some remastered lovin’ in the form of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition for both iPhone and iPad, and The Last King Of Africa from Benoit Sokal was also released, so adventure game fans have plenty to do. If you’re into FPSes, there’s a new contender in Archetype that promises intense 5 on 5 combat action. And for RTS fans there’s The Gravedigger, a quirky new entry that lets you pit a priest and his faithful followers against a disgruntled gravedigger and his legion of the undead.
We’re still in that phase where a lot of notable games are simply ports from one device to another, but overall this week has been a lot more interesting than the last several. There wasn’t a whole lot of “big news” this week, though I do find the 19.99 price tag for Bridge Island HD kind of interesting, especially since the game doesn’t come from one of the “big players”. It’s good to see that others are trying to help raise the bar on iDevice prices, and I hope it does well for them. Something notable to me was the release of 1942: First Strike, as this was one of my favorite vertical scrolling shooters when I was a kid, and I still refer to it on a regular basis when writing reviews of SHMUPS.
Unless you’ve not had access to any “latest and greatest” news sources over the last week, you probably know the big noise in iPhone gaming was the release of the iPhone client for Facebook phenomenon Farmville. Unless I’m missing something, this is basically a game about planting crops. Guess I’m not hip enough for that action. For CCG fans, this week saw the release of Arena 9, a trading card game that you can play against real opponents or computer AI. This game spurred its own bit of drama over questionable artwork, but I’ll leave that for you to Google if you’re interested. Coincidentally, this week’s 10 to watch list all fall in the $2.99 or less category, so why not pick up the whole lot?
Like last weeks’ New Games Roundup, this installment isn’t littered with Blockbuster and highly anticipated titles, though there should still be enough in the variety department to hold your interest. The big news, of course, was the return of the Prince to take on the GodFinger on iPhone. Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within finally made its way back to the App Store, and the iPhone version of GodFinger, a comical Populus style game, was released this week. Super Quickhook, the spiritual successor to Hook Champ, swung into the store, and after a bunch of delays that climaxed in some weird difficulties with the App Store itself, the amusing Pro Zombie Soccer is available for your zombie bashing needs.
As always there were a bunch of games released for the iPhone / iPad this week. However, I wouldn’t exactly call it a stellar week for notable releases. Of course the big news was the release of Guitar Hero for iPhone, something people have been waiting for ever since Tap Tap Revenge hit the streets. Personally I don’t get the appeal, but to each their own. Interestingly enough, this very week we also saw the release of Slash’s Arcade Rocker, a competitor to both Guitar Hero and Tap Tap Revenge. It appears that this game has been pulled from the U.S. Store, however. The company that released Slash’s Arcade Rocker has also released a generically named Arcade Rocker as well. Confused yet? I know I am.
Once again the week started out slow, but eventually the interesting titles started filtering in. Of course the biggest news was the release and subsequent pulling of Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within due to a bug in the menu system. Also of note was the release of Call Of Duty: World At War: Zombies II, which if you ask me needs a shorter title. If you like a bit of classics merged with modern horror there’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, and adventure game buffs actually got an iPhone only and original release (in other words, not a port) in the form of Hector: Badge Of Carnage.
The first couple days of this week were a bit slow for new releases, and the all of a sudden the folks over at the App Store approval center must have finally woken up. If you’re into action / stealth games you’ve got Splinter Cell Conviction from Gameloft. Fancy yourself a bit of a retro gamer? Check out the updated classic that started the franchise with Prince of Persia® Retro. How about a mad game of kart racing? The App Store has that covered as well with Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2. Don’t quite have the budget for Splinter Cell or Crash? There are always some solid smaller titles like Pirate’s Treasure and Assault Squadron. Complete roundup after the gap!