I’ll kick this week off with World Zombination, a free-to-play zombie-themed MMO that I first saw nearly a year ago at PAX East 2014. Developer, Proletariat has had the game in soft launch in a few countries for quite some time now as they finished development and worked on balancing. Players get to choose whether they want to support the Infected (aka the zombie horde) or the Survivors (aka the good guys). You build and level up your army, form guilds with your friends and participate “in epic raids for powerful new units and abilities.” I love the graphical style of the game and its scale is pretty impressive offering both the ‘living’ multiplayer world as well as over 50 procedurally generated single-player missions. I really enjoyed the teaser I saw a year ago, so I can’t wait to see how far this one has come since then.
Next up, Kongregate seems to have taken a page out of Noodlecake’s Bitcoin Billionaire business plan for its latest free to play offering, AdVenture Capitalist!. Starting from a lowly Lemonade Stand, you must tap to earn money, making enough to then invest in new businesses like a newspaper delivery service, pizza delivery, shrimp boats and more. Each new business takes gradually more time to earn you back money, but offer bigger and bigger payouts. Sick of tapping? You can hire managers to do the tapping for you and earn money from other jobs while focusing your tapping efforts elsewhere, or while you are offline. If you enjoyed Bitcoin Billionaire, I think you’ll probably like this quirky little game as well.
Switch & Drop offers a little bit different of a take on the match-3 genre, combining elements of Tetris and traditional match-3. A horizontal multi-colored row of blocks falls from the top of the screen and you can swipe left or right to cycle the colors in the row, and then swipe down to speed up its descent to the bottom. If a match of 3 or more touching blocks of the same color is made, then these blocks disappear, making room for the blocks above to fall and cascade to fill in some of the empty room, possibly leading to rewarding combos. Additional bomb and row clearing super blocks are formed by making specific four-block matches. Meet the various level objects and you’ll earn 3 stars. The game feels different enough from existing match-3 games to make it worthy of a mention here.
Perhaps the most anticipated title of the week has to be Snowman’s endless snowboarding survival game, Alto’s Adventure. You play as Alto (and eventually his snowboarding friends) as they shred through some gorgeous and often dangerous landscape, rescuing llamas, doing backflips and grinding on whatever they can. Gameplay-wise Alto’s Adventure is somewhat similar to Ski Safari, but with a less cartoony and more serene and realistic aesthetic. You are constantly moving forward, tapping and holding to perform backflips, which when landed successfully grow your scarf and give you a little boost to increase your speed. Coins can be picked up to improve additional powerups and eventually you can unlock additional characters, each with their own play style. Your journey takes you through daytime, dawn, nighttime and daybreak, as well as sunny and rainy weather. While there are certainly some similarities between Ski Safari and Alto’s Adventure, you get a much different vibe from this game and if you already own the former, you should definitely make room for Alto and its satisfying fluid gameplay as well.
Also falling into the interesting aesthetics category is Imps in Tokyo, a rather original looking atmospheric arcade / adventure game with a comic driven story which centers around a pack of mischievous Dreamcatchers trying to protect dreams from being stolen by and evil creature and his minions.
For all you Regular Show fans, we have Grudgeball: Enter the Chaosphere – Regular Show’s Extreme Sport of the Future. Featuring Mordecai, Rigby and other Regular Show regulars, Grudgeball is a futuristic 3-on-3 extreme sports game where “opponents in a battle for supremacy by shooting, blocking, counter-attacking and unleashing character-specific super moves”. There are various arena mods, single-player mode and same-device multiplayer to keep you coming back for more.
iO – A Physics Platformer is an award-winning speed-run platformer where you control a ball that is capable of both shrinking and growing. You must utilize this ability along with the physics of the levels to navigate winding mazes, jump over openings and squeeze through narrow pathways to reach the goal within certain specified times to earn a medal. With simple on-screen controls, the game is both fun and challenging, especially when going for those gold medal runs.
I somehow missed the original strategy game Swap Heroes when it launched last October, but now the sequel Swap Heroes 2, is available on the App Store. It is charming looking casual turn-based strategy game in which you form a party of heroes and try to guide them through 10 different locations, battling over 30 types of enemies and an epic showdown with the Shadow Knight. Utilize each heroes’ abilities properly and you will be victorious.
Featured by Apple for both its iOS exclusivity and ‘Enhanced by Metal’ status, AG Drive is a stunning looking Wipeout-style futuristic racing game. Apple doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to its selections for Editor’s Choice, but this one does look pretty, and after watching the trailer (several times), it looks like Apple may have finally got one right and that this one handles as well as it looks.
Cliffhanger Games has released a pay-once version of their AERENA AEtherpunk turn-based tactical combat game. Described as mix of Hearthstone and Chess, the game sees two players each “assembling a team of different Champions, special abilities and an Air Ship to duels in the sky. Each places 3 Champions on a small grid based board and tries to outwit his opponent with the ultimate goal to get their Ship’s health down to zero”. This new $4.99 paid AERENA – Masters Edition adds new content, a new game mode and removes all of the free-to-play mechanics. Only the Skins (which are just visual variations which don’t affect gameplay) remain as IAPs. I wish more developers would offer something like this, especially for titles that involve a lot of seemingly unnecessary tedious grinding.
And I think I’ll end this week’s post with a couple of selections for the kids.
First from Oceanhouse Media and bestselling children’s book authors Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld we have Steam Train, Dream Train. A spiritual successor to their book Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, your children get to follow the dream train’s crew as they “load up each car with fantastic freight like ice cream, race cars, dinosaurs, and more before heading out to make deliveries”. Oceanhouse always does a nice job with these apps, so I’m sure this one will be a great, interactive bedtime read for the little ones. To celebrate the app’s release, join Oceanhouse Media on Facebook and let them know where you’d go if you were the conductor of the Dream Train. 3 lucky winners will be selected from the comments and shares this Friday to win a copy of the app for iPhone and iPad!
And last but not least…I’m sure there are some Frozen fans out there who will want to know about Disney’s new Frozen: Story Theater app. Your child can bring Elsa, Anna, Olaf and all of their favorite characters from Frozen to life in their own stories from Arendelle. Animate the characters using simple puppet theater tools, add props, set the action to 6 different music tracks and record your own voice. It sounds a lot like a Frozen-themed version of the Toontastic…which of course my daughters will no doubt LOVE! Looks like a winner to me.
And that will do it for this week…enjoy!