This past week was a great one for games, which correlates nicely with the fact that the impending snowstorm where I live will make it feel a lot like Christmas. One project I found rather interesting was The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain: Lost Chapters. This “sequel” to the 30 year old Gamebook was apparently officially sanctioned by the authors of the original tale, which is definitely a selling point. Unfortunately the game isn’t really ready for prime time yet, but I’ll be eagerly watching its progress. On the other hand, Alone In The Gloom 2 was a nice surprise and a worthy follow-up to the first installment. You once again must help a little critter escape a multitude of caverns, but your only “guiding light” is a flicker of lightening at the beginning of the level to show you the cave’s entire layout. If you’re tired of the infinite runner (and my constant babbling about them), you might appreciate Mr Jabbs: Epic Waste Of Time. Sure there is running and jumping, but you can also warp into many hilarious situations that sound like entertaining mini-games.
This week had a lot of titles that were both entertaining and cute, starting with the new puzzler Goats and Gadgets. Your task in each of the 40 levels is to get one goat to the desired apple, mastering all the different gadgets at your disposal and dealing with things like yetis and trolls. If platform action is more your style you might want to give Burt Destruction a shot. Spending just a little bit of time with this game was enough to realize the developers have some familiarity with classic platforming romps, and the sense of humor is actually quite funny. Now if you want something that’s just downright silly the Bunny Hill is the game for you. This 2D side view racer takes place between a bunch of cube shaped animals, and while there’s really not a whole lot to it before long you’ll find yourself tilting your device in a vein attempt to make your rabbit go faster.
One of my favorite titles released this week is actually a fairly straightforward port of an almost 15 year old game. Metal Slug 2 hit the App Store with guns blazing, and just like its predecessor proved that you don’t need 3D to enjoy lots of things blowing up. The action is intense, the visuals are quite detailed and turning into a zombie temporarily never gets old. For the puzzle aficionados we have Stick To It!, a game about knowing when to hold it and when to let go. Instead of swiping or launching or otherwise interacting to get your character from point A to its mother’s arms you simply touch the screen to make him stick and let go to let him roll. If you prefer your action in the sky instead of on the ground you should give After Burner Climax a try. This is a port of a 2006 game whose roots go back to the late 1980’s, and gives you the chance to pilot one of three sleek jets as you take on tons of enemies across more than 20 different landscapes.
It’s that time again. Actually, 2013 is going to be a big year for Tin Man Games, and they’re kicking it off with the release of Fighting Fantasy: House Of Hell, the next in their line of Fighting Fantasy adventures. This one takes place in a creepy mansion and in addition to all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect adds the element of fear to keep you on your toes (literally, it’s a new skill that gets tracked). Racing fans that like something besides the traditional Daytona type fare should check out Table Top Racing. This over the top racer actually takes the micro machines approach to the genre with 8 tracks, 10 different cars to unlock and upgrade and several multi-player options. If you’re looking for some lite strategy Monsterra could be just the game for you. The rules are simple, individual games go quite quickly and you can either play against the computer or another player depending on your preferences.
If you know who you’re going to call, raise your hand. That’s right, the Ghostbusters are back for their third adventure on iOS devices, and this time around the story actually unfolds based off of events from the first film in the franchise. The plus side is that the game has a lot of potential, but on the other hand it could turn into a grinding IAP fest. Speaking of grinding fests, if you’re a Diablo fan Dungeon Lore could be of interest to you. This quest based crawler offers class-less leveling, plenty to do and elementals to fight at your side. The real question is how turn based combat will affect the flow of the game. If you want a game you know will always be full of energy, check out Cracking Sands from Polarbit. This title is their attempt at a Mario Kart style game, and from everything I’ve seen so far it might just make iOS gamers go “Mario who?”
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.