Well we’re finally starting to get some winter where I live, and in what can only be described as a coincidence the App Store is starting to feel a bit like Christmas again (the before part, not the few days when it’s closed). Foursaken Media has released a new game called Heroes and Castles that sounds like a real time castle defense game where you also get to directly control one of the forces that protect your castle. You can even join a friend to double the havoc you’ll cause. If you’d prefer something a little more lighthearted you might consider taking Momonga Pinball Adventures for a spin. This combination action game and pinball simulation has cute characters, cool 3D graphics and actually makes the concept of handheld pinball interesting… at least to me. And of course the die hard Temple Run fans can breathe deeply now, as the long awaited sequel to this classic is finally out. Temple Run 2 is bigger, flashier, and just as addictive as the original.
It seems that we’re still easing into the new year as far as iOS gaming is concerned, but like last week I managed to dig up some titles that sounded interesting and several that I played that turned out to be quite fun. A couple of ex-Rovio staff has started to do their own thing with their premiere title Noble Nutlings. It’s a physics time trial game with a customizable cart and squirrels, so what are you waiting for? If you need an action / RPG fix Gamevil has treated us to another installment in the popular and long running Zenonia saga, Zenonia 5. It seems that they keep upping the ante with each new tale in the franchise, and I don’t think long time fans or newcomers will be disappointed. If you prefer a simpler dungeon crawling affair you might want to give Dungelot a try. It’s easy to get into, tough to put down and has a nice coat of slick graphics to seal the deal.
Christmas is over, both seasonally and in terms of the deluge of first rate titles hitting the App Store. There were still quite a few new games worth noting, however, including the cute infinite rafter Catch The Ark released by Chillingo. In addition to dodging rocks and various aggressive creatures you’ll need to be wary of the Ark dropping depth charges at you. The folks behind the Reckless Racing games are back with Repulze, a futuristic racer that looks more “standard” than their previous efforts. That doesn’t mean it won’t have the “wild and crazy” flair of their other games, however, and they are already working on a couple of content packs that sound interesting. Adventure game fans should check out Spooky Manor, the latest effort from the developers at Digi-chain. While probably more Scooby Doo that Forever Lost in atmosphere, past experience says there will be plenty of puzzles to solve.
Hope you all had a happy New Year. Since Christmas obligations kept me from writing a roundup last week I thought I’d do my best to give you a double dose of gaming goodness this week. After being relatively quiet for a while Digital Chocolate is back with what looks to be a real time strategy game called Army Attack. It’s free with IAP options, and it also requires an internet connection in order to be able to play. Stone Blade Entertainment released SolForge, a demo of a new trading card game coming from the creators of Magic The Gathering. The current offering is an offline pass and play experience only, but given the pedigree I would expect some pretty good things to come. And of course you should check out the extras at the bottom of this post. Now on to the main attraction…
Wow. I was afraid my last roundup was an accident and that there wasn’t going to be much to write about this week. Instead I think I might have had more options to choose from! That being the case I’ll mention a couple of games that didn’t make the main list, starting with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. It’s got a weird name, it’s a rhythm based Final Fantasy, and it could quite possibly have the most IAP of any of their games to date. One Million Monkeys is more than a word game, it’s actually a story creation game. It sounds like it takes Mad Libbing to the next level, and it might even get this stubborn game playing loner to engage in a more social multi-player experience. Monsters, Inc. Run takes one of the best Pixar films and fuses it with one of my favorite genres, the infinite runner. I don’t know if it adds anything new to the mix or not, but when you combine two of my favorite things I have to give it a shout out.
If this past week was any indication of the season as a whole, iOS gamers are going to have a good Christmas this year. There were actually quite a few high profile games (or games that became high profile because of the forum chatter surrounding them), so I’m going to try and mention a few other games in their stead. However, I will acknowledge that this week saw the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, another installment in what is possibly the most popular “bad boy” series in interactive entertainment. If that’s not your style there’s also an enhanced edition of Baldur’s Gate, an extremely popular PC RPG. The game includes a new adventure and several new characters and weighs in at 80 hours of game play. Finally, Bulkypix has released Pendulo Studios’ third iOS port called Hollywood Monsters, which like their first iOS release is a port of a classic style point and click adventure game. It looks to have all the polish of their first effort Yesterday but a much lighter tone.
This was a great week for iOS gaming. Other than the fact that I wouldn’t have time to finish it, I could have easily doubled the number of entries in this week’s roundup. To start things off we have SEGA’s iOS port of Jet Set Radio. All the skating, graffiti spraying and cop avoidance is there, along with 29 of the 30 original musical tracks from the Dreamcast version. The next installment of the Chop Chop franchise is now available with the release of Chop Chop Ninja World. I’d venture to say this is Gamerizon’s most ambitious title yet, and it seems like it might be one of the most enjoyable as well. If you just can’t get your fill of zombies but are tired of simply shooting them all the time, Activision’s The Bowling Dead might just be for you. Pick up a bowling ball (with assorted upgrades when available) mow down an alley full of the undead, and enjoy a humorous tale of post-apocalyptic strikes and spares.
Hopefully you missed me while I was gone. There were some pretty cool games I wanted to talk about last week, but have no fear because there are plenty of good games for this week’s article as well. To start with, Steve Wozniak has decided to lend his incredible talents to the game design world with Vengeance: Woz With A Coz. It’s a retro platform game that he not only designed and wrote the story for, but also stars in! If you’re a slingshot physics game-aholic but are still craving something a bit different, why not give Temple Raid a try? Sure the mechanics are tried and true to the genre, but this multi-player affair lets you construct your own fortresses and take on folks from around the world to see who the best ammunition tosser is. For the Fruit Ninja fan who thinks they’ve played it all, why not apply those slashing skills to some chocolaty goodness? Yes, thanks to PikPok’s OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk you can have your cookie and play with it too.
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.