I knew it had to happen eventually, but every week I was hoping it wouldn’t be THIS week. The seemly endless “Christmas in summer” we’ve been having on the App Store has temporarily come to an end. There were still some decent games to find, though, and the star of the show this time around is LIMBO Game. In all fairness this is a port of an already wildly popular Xbox et al game, but it was my first time playing it and it’s certainly a must have for fans of the platform puzzle hybrid genre. Vertical scrolling shooter fans might enjoy BeeCluster. While it lacks many of the amenities of modern SHMUPs it has a distinct atmosphere that actually works well for the genre. If you love the thrill of hitting homeruns but don’t care for the rest of the sport of Baseball electronically, PowerStrike might just be for you. It’s not quite as comprehensive as the Homerun Battle series, but I’m pretty sure you won’t find another batting game where you get to select a dragon as one of your hitters.
These last few weeks there have been so many interesting looking new releases that the only way I could really do this article justice would be to spend a week playing them all before even beginning to write the piece. Since that’s not going to happen, I will as always do my best to bring you an interesting cross-section of the latest offerings. PlayFirst returned to their most lauded franchise this week with the release of Diner Dash Rush. Basically it’s Flo meets Facebook as you still have to happily serve as many customers as possible, but now you have a short time limit and can compete against your friends. Ravenous Games is back with the third installment of their popular retro side scroller series, League Of Evil 3. It’s just like you know and love, but this time with spinning wall blades and level replays thanks to the Everyplay video service. Sugar Rush is a crazy new “Facebook to iOS” game from Full Fat. A 60 second time limit, the board closing in from both top and bottom and some insane multipliers make for one wild ride.
I’m really impressed with how many weeks in a row there has been a strong selection of games to choose from. Strategy buffs should check out Rivals for Catan, a port of a card game that is based off of a board game that has also been ported to the iOS platform. You construct cities, build transports and in true strategy fashion try and take over the world. If you prefer a little Pokemon style action then Monsters Invade: Oz might suit your needs. This game has colorful hand drawn visuals, plenty of quests to complete and 100 monsters to collect and train.
This week’s selection of games was full of fun little surprises, including a movie tie-in that I actually really enjoy. First up, though, is a rogue-like game called Quadropus Rampage, which I almost picture what it would be like if they made an action version of Squids. The game has lots of redeeming qualities, but it’s almost worth it just for the goofy names of all the weapons. If you’re looking for something completely different you might want to try Rescue Me – The Adventures. As the name implies the game involves rescuing people, but the mechanics are clever and it can be quite humorous at times. Now about that movie tie-in: the game is Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Instead of trying to recreate the movie in a game this is simply an infinite runner that takes place in the Despicable Me universe, but there are enough movie references to satisfy fans and it’s just loads of fun.
So many new games, so little time to play them all. This was an big week for tower defense fans as there were at least 4 sizeable releases in the genre. One of my all time favorite TD games was Kingdom Rush, and now we have the sequel in Kingdom Rush Frontiers. With more than 18 tower abilities, 40+ monster types and 9 heroes to select and cultivate, this game promises to be bigger and better than its predecessor in every way. Speaking of sequels, the cubes are back in Cubemen2. In addition to everything else this installment might bring to the table, the game already offers a mind blowing 1500 user designed levels to play. Com2Us has stepped into the fray with Defense Technica. One standout feature of this offering is the use of tower cards which can be combined to create some unique defense structures.
Well, I broke my “report on the little guys” mantra this week by bringing you the low down on what was probably the two biggest releases of the week, but it couldn’t be helped. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic has been around for a while, and from what I gather it’s not only a top notch RPG, but it’s one of the best outings the Star Wars IP has to offer in terms of video games. You start as an agent of the republic, but where you end up is full dependent on what you want to get out of the game. If you prefer fantasy to sci-fi I hear that Warhammer Quest is a pretty cool option. It looks like a beefed up board game, has the advantages of an electronic game system, and you’ll never loose any pieces. Finally, one I didn’t mention elsewhere in this article was World War Z. Sure it could be just another zombie shooter, but given Phosphor Games’ track record I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, I’m eager to see how the handle their first free roaming first person game.
I’m surprised at how many weeks in a row the App Store has had a strong release list, especially since most of the games aren’t coming from the “big” publishers. One of my favorite games this week was Something Has Changed, a minimalist game in terms of aesthetics and instructions. What it does really well is challenge you to quickly adapt to ever-changing rules, no matter how slight those changes might be. Dead Ahead is a fun new infinite runner zombie game from Chillingo. It has some stylish visuals and lets you run over zombies with a motorcycle. Strategy fans might want to check out Pirates vs Corsairs: Davey Jones’ Gold. This game provides the goals of Risk in a slightly more lighthearted atmosphere, and you get to dodge sharks and Krakens to boot.
This was another week where there were a lot more options than I had slots available to talk about. I didn’t want to upset the delicate balance of the list by including two infinite runners, but another one that caught my attention was Blade Journey. Combat, some interesting terrain design and a health and mana system make this much more than a simple Temple Run clone. On the surface Evilot looks much like a Plants vs. Zombies spin-off. Be careful, though, because some Triple Town style mechanics could mean you suddenly don’t have defenses where you thought you did, providing for an interesting layer of strategy. Turbo Racing League is a joint effort between PikPok and Dreamworks Interactive to promote the new animated film Turbo. More importantly, playing between now and the middle of June will give you a chance to enter a contest with a million dollars worth of prizes!
Wow, what a crazy week! There were a lot of interesting looking releases, and it was hard choosing just 10. Honey Tribe Studios released a new puzzle game called Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians. Whereas their last release was quite cerebral and somewhat dark in tone, Yam Yam is action oriented and good for the whole family. Crescent Moon Games released their latest offering in the form of Dig!, a Qix clone involving a washed up archeologist and a mummy named Nigel. Cool graphics, a good sense of humor and magical hats makes this a variant worth digging into. If you’re not completely sick of infinite running games yet, you’ll definitely want to give Running with Friends a try. No bull about it, this competitive runner could breathe new life into the genre for those that have given up on such games.
I always like a week full of good games, which means I really liked last week. For those of you that just can’t get enough, Rovio has returned to their flagship franchise and taken it multi-player with Angry Birds Friends. The result is classic game play with a few twists and a social aspect – as long as you have a Facebook account, that is. If you love gamebook adventures but for some odd reason are tired of the Tin Man Games offerings (hopefully just taking a little break), you might want to check out Sorcery! Yeah, it’s a port of one of the original books written by that Steve Jackson guy, so it should be pretty entertaining. Hidden object fans will want to take a look at The Curse of the Werewolves. It doesn’t do anything to stretch the genre, but it’s a solid offering that doesn’t come from Big Fish Games or G5 Entertainment, which is enough to pique my interest.