There were some rather interesting titles this week, but in the end cuteness prevailed. If you like matching games (and who doesn’t), Piston Games released Gemibears. Instead of simply matching objects of the same type you have to match halves of bears to form a whole of the same color. And when you want to take a break from playing the game you can visit their Youtube channel for some Gemibears cartoons. For those that prefer some good old fashioned platform gaming there’s Mike & Milkbox, the story of a detective chicken that must save the world. The mechanics are a lot like Super Mario, but the physics elements give it a fresh feel. Finally, I actually found an online game I might spend some time with. It’s called Throw It, and the basic premise is simple: you chuck objects at your opponent. The concept and graphics are cute, and I can play against other humans without having to actually be social.
Are you ready for another week of iOS gaming? It seems the mid-year Christmas is over for now, but there were still a few titles worth taking a look at. While I’m not typically a fan of rhythm games, I checked out the demo version of Mad Acorn and instantly got hooked. This platform game with a wicked beat is sure to keep you tapping your screen all the way to the end. Another fun diversion is Frisbee Rush. The game itself is actually browser based, but thanks to WiFi you control the Frisbees via your iPhone. If you’re looking for something to get the whole family playing, WePad Party 1 just might fit the bill. The mini-games aren’t overly exciting, but the fact that you can play with eight people on the same device at the same time could prove for some amusing situations.
This was another strong week for iOS game offerings, so I decided to once again to use the intro to mention games that didn’t make it into the main list. The theme this week is “free”, and they just happen to all be RPGs as well. First up is Immortal Dusk, which is described with words like “infinite” and “endless”. There’s also talk of the number 99 not just being a number when it comes to levels, so we’ll have to see what this new franchise from Gamevil has going for it. Next on the list is another Gamevil game entitled Fantasy War, this one which may or may not be an MMORPG. The interface looks like an MMORPG, though with decidedly nicer graphics than most, and there’s talk of conquering other players, but it also gives a vibe like there are single player elements. Finally there’s Heroes Call. This one comes from a relatively unknown developer, but it has a nice Diablo style look to it, and with more than 100 types of creatures there should be plenty of game play. Of course all of these titles are free, so try them all and delete what you don’t like.
Every once in a while there is a week with so many solid new games released that it’s hard for me to decide which ones to write about. This was one of those weeks. So, instead of recapping some of my entries in the intro, I’m going to mention a few that didn’t quite make my list. Tennis fans should check out Virtua Tennis Challenge, the first installment of SEGA’s hit franchise to make its way onto iOS devices. You’ll compete against 50 different computer players on 18 courts across the globe, or you can challenge your friends via WiFi and Bluetooth. Chillingo fans were treated to 3 new games this week, but the one I’m most excited about is Air Mail. You’d never suspect that delivering packages would be so adventurous, but the brief teaser video shows you travelling to exotic locations and getting shot at repeatedly. Gamers that love side scrollers might be interested in Dragon Evolution. If the simple fact that you get to play a dragon isn’t enough, how about 80+ missions, 36 skills and the ability to customize said dragon?
It’s that time of week again, and I’ve got my list of games that will hopefully tickle your fancy. NerdHerder is a free experience that lets you get exercise your geek wrangling skills. Unity 3D graphics, an AR interface with virtual fishing pole and lots of misguided office inhabitants running around should make for an interesting time. If you’re more into quick play time and immediate feedback you’ll love Mini Mix Mayhem. This mini-game marathon lets you play 4 games at the same time in single player mode, or a whopping 20 in the same game on the iPad. If you’d like a world building experience like Minecraft but want something a bit more, you might consider The Sandbox from BulkyPix. This pixel art universe creator throws physics into the mix, and even gives you the chance to make your own music.
FPS fans can enjoy another installment of Gameloft’s popular sci-fi series this week with the release of N.O.V.A. 3. Everything you’ve come to expect from the franchise is still present, and new to this release is the ability for multiple players to share a vehicle. If boxing is more your thing you might consider Punch Hero from Gamevil. It’s free, you can duke it out with players around the world, and equipping your player consists of buying things like beards and sunglasses. Maybe you like puzzle / platform games instead? If that’s the case check out LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias, a game where you get to control the power of the wind and change the seasons at will.
Along with everything else this week, there were a nice variety of games featuring one form or another of the undead. The Tossing Dead combines two of my favorite things on the iPhone: Fruit Ninja style mechanics and zombies. Explosive weapons, a comic book style storyline and a chimpanzee sidekick don’t hurt the equation, either. If strategy is more you might try Brainsss, the premier effort from Lonely Few. This squad based game gives you the chance to do something you don’t get to do very often – control the zombies instead of the humans. Finally, if you’re more into the macabre there’s Dark Legends, the third offering in the Legends series of 3D MMOs from Spacetime Studios. You still get to play on the same servers as anyone else on any device that supports a compatible client, but this time around your avatar of choice is of the vampire persuasion.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty prosperous for those that like freemium offerings. RPG fans can indulge in Inotia 4: Assassin Of Berkel, the fourth installment of the action / RPG series from international developer Com2us. You do, of course, have the option of outright buying the game which will automatically eliminate the ads and give you some in-game currency, but IAP can take care of that as well. If you like a little strategy with your action there’s Castle Master 3D, a combination of Action / RPG and castle defense. This game boasts battles of 300 soldiers on each side, but you can expect to run it on nothing less than the latest generation of devices. If you prefer something a bit more lighthearted and focusing on twitchy timing you’ll get a kick out of Cannon Cat (TMA Review). A daredevil feline, a mess of fish trapped in bubbles out in space, and some vicious penguins with helicopter “wings” make this whimsical offering a lot of fun.
Fancy yourself a game developer but don’t have any programming skills? Sketch Nation Studio could change your life, as it will allow you to design games right on your iOS device without even having to write a line of code. If you’d rather just stick to playing games there’s Saving Private Sheep 2. The mechanics are way different than the original, but if the same goofy humor is there is should still be a winner. Real time strategy fans would do well to check out Total War Battles from SEGA. This medieval Japan conquest game has an interesting game play mechanic: you can’t retreat! You better be really sure that every move is one you want to make.
This week saw the release of a couple of iOS episodes of popular console games, but more exciting to me was the number of potentially high quality free(mium) games that were made available. Last Day Of Work released the latest installment of their Virtual Villagers series entitled Virtual Villagers: Origins. The claim is that this takes the series back to its roots and is based of the formula that made the original Virtual Villagers a success. If you’re interested in flying the friendly skies but don’t want another Flight Control clone you might consider Aero Vacation from Chillingo. This time management game tasks you with building the ultimate airborne vacation spot with everything from a roller coaster to a full blown golf course. On the other hand, those looking for something completely different should take a look at O2Jam Hero. This RPG / rhythm hybrid pits a girls’ rock band against the ultimate evil, and I’m thinking you should get bonus points if you can interpret the game’s iTunes description.