I really never thought I’d say this, but this week online games won the most slots in our New App Store Games Roundup. Before we get to that, though, I was extremely happy to see the release of Gamebook Adventures 8: Infinite Universe. Normally I’d tend to relegate sequels to the back burner, especially after this many [TMA reviews], but book 8 takes us in a whole new direction with a Sci-Fi theme and brand new combat mechanics. As for the online games, you can choose to join a gang with Big Gun. While that’s not a new premise, the first person shooting gallery style interface is. If you prefer fantasy with a bit of culture there’s Monster Arms, a card collecting RTS that takes place in ancient Japan. Finally, the closet geneticist of the group can now prove themselves with Survivium, a game that’s all about building viruses and taking over the world.
As always this week’s New App Store Games Roundup features a very diverse selection of games. If you’re into retro like I’m into retro, you’ll probably appreciate Midway Arcade. The game comes with arcade translations of several popular Midway games, including Rampage and Spy Hunter, and you can buy additional packs of games via IAP. If you like shooters like I like shooters, then you might find Audio Invaders worth your while. It’s a retro styled game in the vein of Space Invaders, but you can’t see the enemies until you actually shoot them at least once. And if you like strategy like I like strategy, Operation: Eradicate could tickle your fancy. It looks to be a turn based, risk inspired strategy game with zombies and multi-player cooperative gameplay.
This week things seemed a bit quiet on the App Store front, but there were still a few games that caught my eye. The leader of the pack was League Of Evil 2, the sequel to one of the best platform games on iOS devices. It sounds like it does everything the first one did but better, and as much fun as the first one was that can only be a good thing. Rhythm game fans had a couple of interesting choices this week, but the more intriguing one was Beat Sneak Bandit. The game combines rhythm, puzzle and stealth elements with visuals that look like something out of a cartoon and what I presume will be some slick music. Finally, those that are tired of just buying Boardwalk can finally manage the hotel that sits on it with Monopoly Hotels. This business management sim takes you behind the scenes of the famous Monopoly board, it’s universal, and it won’t cost you a penny.
This week should be paradise for scrolling shooter fans. Cave released another game in the DoDonPachi series called DoDonPachi Blissful Death, and I’m sure it will provide the same frustrating “bullet hell” satisfaction that most other shooters they release do. The graphics look a bit dated, but if there’s lots of destruction it probably won’t matter too much. Next up is DariusBurst SP, the latest in a line of horizontal shooters that dates back to 1986. This installment comes to us courtesy of a PSP port, and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it provides a similar thrill to Taito’s earlier release, RayForce (TMA Review). Finally, if you’re looking for something a bit different there’s Beat Hazard Ultra. Sure it’s still a shooter, and if we’re lucky there will still be many things to blow up, but this one generates its level based off of the music in your on-device iTunes collection (or off of an internet radio station if you don’t have any music loaded). Oh, and a few other games came out as well!
This week racing fans can let out their impulsive urges with Reckless Racing 2, the third Reckless game to grace us with its presence on the iOS platform. If it’s half as entertaining as the original or Reckless Getaway, there’s no question that it’s a must have. If you prefer things a bit more supernatural Capcom has released an iOS port of their acclaimed Nintendo DS game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. Among other things you get to possess items and rewind time because you are, after all, dead. If you’re still craving that Pokemon fix there’s Terapets, a monster capture / combat game with 300 different creatures to trap. Good luck catching them all!
Gamers that like a nice mix of strategy and RPG have a couple of options from this week’s 10 New Games To Watch list. Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land drops them in the midst of World War I to fight some nasty supernatural beings. If you like your games a bit on the lighter side there’s Dungeon Crawlers, a more satirical look at the whole dungeon delving genre that still manages to provide some deep game play. If you want to throw strategy to the wind there’s Zombie Bunnies, an over the top destruction fest featuring undead rabbits and 99 levels of randomly generated mayhem.
Fighting game fans can rejoice this week as they get another port of a classic one on one combat fest, Soulcalibur. The game sports 4 game play modes and a whopping 19 character roster for all your pixel pounding needs. If you like good old fashioned platform games with stylish art and cool music then you need to check out Jazz: Trump’s Journey. Strategy junkies should enjoy Time of Heroes, a turn based strategy game that sounds like the iOS answer to the Fire Emblem series. A universal binary and iCloud save game support mean you could play it wherever you want with whichever device you have close at hand. Time management freaks have a unique offering in Order Up!! To Go, a game that takes the backdrop of a Diner Dash style game and puts you in the kitchen instead of on the serving floor. Best of all the game is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose if you want to take a peek.
Chillingo was the big winner this week with two selections in my watch list. Woody Woodpecker has made his debut on the App Store, though I’m not sure if his outing will appeal more to racing fans or Tiny Wings (TMA Review) enthusiasts. On the other hand, Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time should undoubtedly appeal to players that like to blow zombies away. Now if decimating aliens is more your style, then Star Marine: Infinite Ammo might just fit the bill. Of course, if you’d rather take out aliens while flying a ship, you’re probably more interested in Rayforce, a port of a popular mid-90’s arcade game brought to us by Taito.
Things still haven’t quite picked up from the holiday break yet, but I did find a few games to talk about this week. Old school RPG gamers might want to give Dungeon Of The Damned a try, a dungeon crawler that harkens back to the days of games like Dungeon Master with some adventure elements thrown in to boot. If you’d like a simple action game you would probably enjoy Super Crate Box where your sole purpose is to dodge monsters and collect crates. It sounds awfully basic but a lot of people are saying it’s quite addictive. For those that wish to unleash their inner Jedi without spending lots of money on Knights Of The Old Republic online there’s Brisksaber, a cheesy looking promotional piece between a beverage company and one of the kings of filmmaking to promote the upcoming release of the 3D version of a certain galaxy spanning saga.
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.