This feels like a week designed for those who grew up with gaming in the late 80’s through the 90’s. Dark Incursion has the look of the old Castlevania games from the NES days, except the setting is now a Steampunk world at the height of a world war. Worms Crazy Golf takes tried and true Worms action and throws in some puzzle aspects and a dimpled white ball to mix things up a bit. If building a paradise is more your style there’s Virtual City Playground, a modern interpretation of games like SIm City that allows you to build a city with no boundaries or to try and conquer 85 different challenges.
I almost thought it was the holiday season with all the quality looking games that came out last week. As always, though, I managed to pair my list down to the ten I thought were the most intriguing – or at least that provided enough details for me to talk about! First off we have Advena, the new action / RPG game from Gamevil. This one actually boasts a party of 5 characters, and gives you the ability to take control of any one of them at any time! For those of you platform fans that feel restricted by the typical run and jump formula, there’s Scribblenauts Remix. Every puzzle has multiple solutions, and those solutions come from your imagination. Finally, intergalactic explorer wannabes might be able to find their space legs in Starbase Orion. It sounds like a pretty comprehensive 4X strategy game that might set a new trend in pricing for quality iPhone games that don’t come from big name developers.
If you’re a horror fan, this week brings a couple of intriguing titles to iOS devices. Dark Meadow has you traipsing the halls of a hospital, fighting off all manor of ghastly creature and trying to figure out why you’re there in the first place. If you’re not so much into combat you can try Demons Land, an adventure revolving around a detective that thinks he’s investigating a robbery and winds up getting involved with the supernatural. On the other hand, more casual gamers might want to check out Frogger Pinball, a new release celebrating the famous road crosser’s 30th anniversary with a unique take on the webbed wonder’s adventures. Strategists “on the go” will probably enjoy Anthill: Tactical Trail Defense, an RTS with a unique control scheme designed especially for portable touch screen devices.
If you’re an FPS fan, or you’re curious to see what your little mobile device can do, then the week’s top pick is certainly Shadowgun. The initial release was a bit rocky, but now that the first update has been released, the game packs quite a punch – and it’s even fairly friendly for those that have never played an FPS. On a completely different front there’s Phonect, which is actually an engine rather than a game. It allows your iDevice to detect your hand movements and translate them to in-game actions, and while the initial game using this technology looks kind of ho-hum, the potential gaming possibilities this opens up are what excites me.
The star of the week is Another World – 20th Anniversary, which ironically is a 20 year old game. Still, it looks good, sounds good, and actually feels like a fresh take on gaming despite its age. There were also a couple of intriguing shooters this time around. BulletZone takes away your weapons to test how well you can dodge enemy fire. EnbornX, on the other hand, has you fighting the same boss over and over again. Unfortunately, each time you destroy it the thing gets stronger and stronger. Finally, fans of The Sims can kick it old school with The Sims Medieval, which takes the popular franchise back to the days of knights and damsels in distress. You can take on the role of a serf or a king, or even check out what it would have been like to be a vampire during those times.
This week Serious Sam makes its way to the small screen, but interestingly enough it comes in the guise of a 2D platform game! As long as it has the same wit and frantic action as its 3D PC counterpart, however, it might just be the jump-start this wacky but ailing series needs. Burn The Rope Worlds is the sequel to one of the most innovative puzzle games on iOS devices. Not only is the same 360 degree flame action present in this edition, but a new mini-game that will have you chasing your flaming tail adds bang for the buck. Finally, if you’re in the mood for some retro fighting action, Capcom has released both Final Fight and Street Fighter II Collection. Of course you can get both of these through their previously released Capcom Arcade product as well, but they promise that these standalone versions are superior products.
Tower defense fans can revel in evil a little bit this week with the release of Tiny Heroes, a game that actually lets you play the bad guy and set all kinds of devilish traps to thwart the poor unsuspecting heroes. Time management fans can mix it up a bit by either expanding their temporary residential knowledge with Hotel Dash 2 or refining their monster breeding skills with Monster Pet Shop. If you’re a racing fan you can get down and dirty with Race Illegal: High Speed 3D or maybe try something a little bit more cerebral with Grand Prix Story, the latest in the “story” series of 8-bit looking menu driven sims.
This week wasn’t so much “blockbuster release” as it was “cute casual goodness”. The one sports game of note was Madden NFL 12 by EA Sports, which among other things includes a staggering roster of 2500 playable characters! For Barry Steakfries fans the wait is over, as Jetpack Joyride has finally made its way to the App Store. I’m just glad they decided to go with a universal binary instead of just iPad, because this looks like a fun and crazy game. Old time gamers looking for a snazzy update to a classic should check out Frogger Decades from Konami Digital. There’s enough retro to get the nostalgia pumping, but enough new twists to make it feel fresh.
Firemint is back with their first offering post EA acquisition, and it looks like a return to true form. The game is called Spy Mouse, and it’s a new line drawing offering that mixes stealth, precision and a bit of cheese. Old school RPG fanatics will definitely be interested in Dragon Fantasy, a game which obviously lends much thanks to the old Dragon Quest games from the NES days. It looks to maintain all the retro charm while being native to the most current iOS devices. On the other hand, if you just can’t play an RPG by yourself any more you’d do well to consider Star Legends, the second MMO offering in the Legends series. This time the setting is Sci-Fi, but the game is still free and has plenty of content to offer. Finally, those looking for something a bit different might consider MiniGames Paradise from Com2Us. There are currently only 10 different mini-games to play, but hopefully that will expand rather quickly if Com2Us feels that people are interested in the game.
Well, as I’m sure you all know by now, the talk of the town this week is iBlast Moki 2. The sequel to one of the most popular non Angry Birds physics games on the App Store, this outing looks bigger and better than ever before. Conan: Tower Of The Elephant is a new action game from Chillingo that looks like it might do for Conan what the iOS version of Predators did for that franchise – make a good action game that’s actually fun to play. Match 3 junkies should check out Ice Cubes, a game that among other things provides multi-touch block manipulating capabilities and online play. If you like line drawing games you might be interested in Drawin’ Growin’, a game that combines line drawing with… gardening? Well, not exactly, but some nifty game play elements and slick looking graphics might just put this one on top.