A nice varied mix of free and paid titles to choose from, it was really tough to limit my list down to just these 12 titles! Beyond these we also got the massive new Whispers of the Old Gods expansion for Hearthstone and the third and final episode in the The Walking Dead: Michonne Telltale adventure game miniseries.
Speaking of adventures…after a month or so delay, this week we finally got the much anticipated Pathfinder Adventures. This is Obsidian Entertainment’s digital adaptation of Paizo’s cooperative Pathfinder Adventure Card Game in which players set out on quests, joining forces to “battle monsters and villains, and acquire new feats, items, weapons and allies”. As you battle your way through the decks in each location, you can level up your character(s), improving your character’s deck over time by “acquiring new items, allies, spells, and weapons as you explore and overcome challenges”. The app allows for solo play where you control multiple characters, or group play via same-device pass-and-play.
Pathfinder Adventures is free to download which gets you an intro scenario and with IAP, the app covers Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set and its expansions. For a single $24.99 ‘Bundle’ IAP, you get two more adventures straightaway, plus four more as they are released, all 11 Rise of the Runelord heroes as weel as some additional promos and character add-on deck. This equates to well over $130 worth of the physical game, so quite a bargain for those who’d rather have the freedom and convenience of the digital version.
With the animated feature film releasing on May 20th, Rovio has just launched a new Angry Birds game as part of the promotional hype. Angry Birds Action! keeps some of that same beloved (or hated) slingshot gameplay but puts in a top-down 3D perspective which plays more like pinball. In each of the multi-stage levels you’ll find yourself flinging birds to destroy barriers and obstacles and collect eggs, except their bumpers, bombs and other objects that will keep your bird bouncing and ricocheted around the play area causing massive amounts of destruction. Get all the eggs in a stage within the allotted number of birds and you’ll move on. Eventually you’ll unlock additional familiar birds from the Angry Birds universe, who have slightly different abilities and you must decide when it’s more beneficial to use certain birds. There is a health dose of luck, but still a small amount fo strategy Fans of the Angry Birds franchise will definitely want to check this one out.
ZEN Studios just launched three new tables inspired by the ALIEN film franchise. The tables are available either in a new standalone Aliens vs. Pinball app as well as $1.99 (each) IAPs in the ZEN Pinball app. There is an Aliens table an Alien: Isolation table and finally an Alien vs. Predator table. The standalone app employs an interesting new monetization method where you can try out each of the tables w/ ads and you have access to one and only one of the tables each week. If you want to unlock a table permanently you can buy it for $1.99. It’s a nice way to try each of the tables before you buy, but if you don’t like this style, you can just outright buy the tables and not have to deal with it.
Foursaken Media’s latest title proves it’s a critter eat critter world out there. War Tortoise is a free-to-play 3D first-person defense game in which players take control of a the “mighty War Tortoise” a well-armed heavy tank with upgradable weapons and buildable turrets. Recruit critter and constantly upgrade your weapons and defenses as you fight off wave after wave of weaponized critters. The game combines elements of the FPS, tower defense and idle genres as you try to stay alive as long as you can. One neat aspect of the game is it’s CoD-style prestige system where you can choose to hit the reset button, but gain an added permanent perk and access to new upgrades each time. Certainly one of the better titles to come from Foursaken Media, it’s genre mashing should appeal to a wide variety of gamers.
Next up, from Ludosity, the studio behind the card battler Card City Nights and innovative puzzler Progress to 100 comes PsyCard. Featuring the same awesome comic book art style as Card City Nights, this appears to be minesweeper-style game where players must rely on a combination of luck, psychic powers, memory and skill to determine the position of the hidden cards. There is a complete story mode with four-selectable characters and you go up against 25 different opponents, each with their own psychic abilities. If you look at the trailer, there also appears to be some dungeon crawler mode played out in old Windows 3.1.1 OS type desktop windows as well as a head-to-head local multiplayer mode played on the same device.
Those crazy folks at Cartoon Network are back on the App Store this week with Agent Gumball, another entertaining game featuring characters from their popular animated series, The Amazing World of Gumball. A blend of turn-based strategy, action and roguelike, the game offers a nice press your luck element as you take on the role of one of the characters, trying to pull off a variety of spy missions, from collecting and delivering intel, planting bugs, taking out enemy agents or even rescuing assets from behind enemy lines. Don one of several unlockable spy gadgets and then try to safely navigate enemy infested locations and complete your mission. On each turn you can only move a certain distance and then the enemies move, continuing this until either you complete the mission or die trying. Use the coins collected during missions to upgrade your stats. Keep pushing your luck for more lucrative cases, or return to HQ to bank what you collected this far. Need a little help, active a piece of your special gear like the Power Belt, Tech Watch or Spy Glasses. Suitable for all ages, the missions have varying difficulties, so you can always pick one matching your particular skill level. Agent Gumball is quite an enjoyable little game. It is a fun cast of characters, complete with the voices from the show. While I don’t regularly watch TAWoG, I’m sure those who do, will have a great time with this one.
Egz – The Origin of the Universe is a charming new puzzle game centered around these adorable little organisms called Egz. In each level, you pull back and release (slingshot style) to jump, bounce and roll your Egz around the world, trying to reach the finish location before time runs out or you receive too much damage. There are health pellets you can collect along the way, reviving pools and obstacles that will slow you down. Completed runs earn you XP which can be used to upgrade aspects of an Egz, get equipment which will give an Egz a buff or revive a previously fallen Egz. There are even neat Boss Battles. A lot of neat new aspects to this puzzle game really make it a stand out this week.
Next up is a new game from
Last Chance Media, the creators of quite possibly the game that started the mobile endless runner craze, Canabalt. Their charming new game Runaway Toad, is about a Toad who wants nothing more than to escape a very affectionate Princess in search of her magical Price Charming. The game captures that core endless runner concept (in this case ‘endless hopper’) but elevates it to something original and fresh by eliminating the “auto runner” element and making it more calculated experience, but still keeping that adrenaline pumping time crunch element. To move your frog you tap and hold on the screen where your frog is, the longer you hold the more powerful his leap will be. You can drag back your finger to aim your leap (think Angry Birds). The key is to leap from object to object in the water, avoiding in the swamp water itself or you may be caught by the Princess and returned to her ‘future husband’ toad collection. Along the way you’ll come across flies and you can swipe in the direction of the flies to shoot out your tongue to grab them. Procedurally generated levels and a rolling missions for things like collecting x number of a certain types of flies, or going a certain distance in the air etc. mean there is always something new to work toward outside of just trying to get the longest escape run. Eventually the Princess will start catching up to you and then you have to leap faster to make sure her blimp doesn’t catch you. There are loads of different toads to unlock, with varying abilities (like one that can periodically fly). The game is beautifully illustrated with rainy, sunny day and night environments. Highly recommended.
How about a few for the kids?
First up is Sago Mini Robot Party, a super cute robot building game from the team at Sago Sago, specifically designed for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Little ones start by selecting a body, then a head, arms, legs and even an outfit from a smile-inducing selection of choices. Mix and match all sorts of parts for some crazy robot creations. Then they’ll need to wind a crank to power up their new friend. It’s factory time and your kid is sure to giggle as they drag their robots hand around (or just use their own finger) to use machines to frost cupcakes, play musical instruments and open piñatas and finally, take a photo before their creation is shipped off and they start again. The robots are super adorable and the entire app is wordless and IAP free making it great for even the youngest kids who are sure to delight at their robotic creations and their humorous personalities.
Tinybop is back with the fourth of their ‘Digital Toys’ and this one is called The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop. That’s right, your kids can make their very own games. They can let their imaginations run wild as they make platformer games, adventure games, pinball games, ball and paddle games, text puzzlers, and mazes. It comes with all the elements you need to make a simple game of these types and it’s a matter of dragging items for a catalog into your game. And you can keep testing it as you go. The pinball portion reminded me a little bit of a game from Electronic Arts called Pinball Construction Set that I was obsessed with as a kid on my Apple IIe. It is a fun way for kids to use their imaginations and see something tangible that they can enjoy as well. However, a word of warning, this one seems to have a little bit more of a learning curve than some of Tinybop’s previous titles. Parents will definitely want to walk through the included instructional guide. It’s taken my 9 year-old a little longer to warm up to this one, but I can see it definitely has some great potential once she gets a bit more familiar with the interface.
Goo Saga is a delightful new adventure platformer featuring a cute elastic creature named Goo. You must guide Goo through 20 large winding, maze-likelevels on his quest to find his creator. Goo’s elasticity is controlled by the player and can be Normal, Deflated (which allows him to squeeze into tight spaces, or Inflated, which allows him to move faster and jump higher. Despite there being only 20 levels, the game has some nice replayabily thanks to a the trio of game modes for each level. Each mode is unlocked when you complete the one prior to it. The Normal mode has you collecting a certain number of colorful droplets and reaching the end while avoiding (or attacking) enemies. Then there is a Survival mode which eliminates the droplets and he just have to avoid being killed. Finally there is the toughest one, the time trials, where it is a race against the clock to reach the end in time. Once you complete all three modes on a level, you are rewarded with some energy crystals which can then be used to level up certain abilities of Goo allowing him to move faster, jump higher, start with more health, etc, all things which could help you pass another, more difficult level. If that wasn’t enough, Goo Saga even comes with its own level editor and sharing capabilities for a seemingly endless supply of community-made levels. Developer TokaLoka has done a nice job with the visual look and feel of the game and your creator’s underwater lair. and it has an interesting story which plays out throughout the game. If I has one ding, it’d be that the positioning of the virtual controls don’t appear to be adjustable and sometime struggle with the inflation control.
Finally, we have Dog Mendonca, a nice illustrated point and click adventure game based on the characters from the 2012 Dark Horse graphic novel trilogy, The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonca and PizzaBoy. Set in World War II era Portugal, the game follows the adventures of a young pizza delivery boy, a middle-aged werewolf detective, a six thousand year old demon, and the severed head of a gargoyle as they solve supernatural crimes. Some of the cutscenes can run a bit long, but the game is filled with humorous dialog and an interesting premise and cast of characters. Fans of classic Lucas-Arts era point and click adventure games may want to consider picking this one up.
Thanks all I’ve got for you this week…enjoy.