It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as many of the big name developers have started releasing their next big games. From hugely anticipated sequels to existing and new IPs to classic ports, loads of new releases are rapidly showing up on the iTunes App Store store. At a time of year when consumer’s wallets are already stretched to the breaking point, unfortunately many of these titles are starting at a “premium” price of $4.99 or more.

The onslaught of new releases shows no signs of stopping and you can expect more and more of these highly anticipated (and often higher priced) titles to be making their debuts over the next couple of weeks. We suspect developers are eager to capture sales from people using up iTunes Gift cards they may get as holiday presents. Last month Apple stated that developers had to meet a Thanksgiving Day submission deadline in order to guarantee a pre-Christmas release date, so many of these titles were fast tracked to get them to you in time for the holidays…now it’s time for you to reap the benefits (assuming you wallet can stand the stress).

Here is a sampling of the more notable titles that have just been released in the last week (or so):

ACE-COMBAT-Xi-Skies-of-Incursion.aspxACE COMBAT Xi Skies of Incursion (NAMCO) – $7.99
ACE-COMBAT-Xi-Skies-of-Incursion.aspxNamco’s hugely popular Flight Action video game series finally graces the iPhone and iPod Touch. ACE Combat Xi has some really nice looking visuals which the developers claim to push the limits of the device (though we are assuming they mean the 2nd gen iPhone and iPod Touch, and not the 3GS).


arachnadoodleArachnadoodle (Connect2Media) – $0.99
arach7A cute bug-filled pin connecting puzzle game, similar to the extremely popular game Peggle. Arachnadoodle is a joy to play and highly recommended, read our full review here.


Beaterator.aspxBeaterator (Rockstar Games) -$4.99
Beaterator.aspxA music-creation app from the folks that brought you the GTA series?! Use loops and sounds provided by Rockstar Games and Timbaland to build your own songs.


chuzzleChuzzle (Pop Cap Games) – $4.99
chuzzleA match three (or more game) ported over from from Pop Cap’s (Peggle, Bejewelled) back catalog, involving cute, fluffy, furball creatures called chuzzles. It seems that Pop Cap can do no wrong, we’ll see if this can tide fans over until the release of Plants vs. Zombies.


Dragons-Lair.aspxDragon’s Lair (EA Mobile) – $4.99
Dragons-Lair.aspxThe classic coin-op laserdisc based game from the 1980’s is now available in the palm of your hand for just 20 quarters…a bargain considering how much you probably sunk into this one in the arcade!


driverDriver (Gameloft) – $6.99
driverGameloft dusts off this classic action/driving Playstaion and PC game from 1999, rebuilds it, gives it a fresh coat of paint, wax and some extra detailing. Early reviews are reporting that this is even better than the original.


Labyrinth-2.aspxLabyrinth 2 (Illusion Labs) – $4.99
Labyrinth-2.aspxThe meatier and flashier sequel to the much beloved Labyrinth puzzle game. With new game elements: Cannons, Bumpers, Multiple balls, Doors, Magnets, Fans, Resizers, Merry-Go-Rounds, Duplicators, Lasers, etc. and a variety of multiplayer features, this one looks great.


low_grav_racer_2Low Grav Racer 2 (Cobra Mobile) – $2.99
low_grav_racer_2The sequel to the monster arcade racer released just over a year ago. This go around there are more tracks, loads of gameplay improvements and even Plus+ support.


Shaun-White-Snowboarding-Origins.aspxShaun White Snowboarding Origins (AMA Ltd.) – $4.99
Shaun-White-Snowboarding-Origins.aspxThe Shaun White snowboarding franchise makes its debut on the iPhone platform. With over 50 different snowboarding trick combinations and tracks in four destinations all over the world, this looks to be Wintry treat.


Skater-Nation.aspxSkater Nation (Gameloft) – $6.99
Skater-Nation.aspxGameloft does what it does best, this time offering a 3D trick skateboarding game in the same vein as the Tony Hawk series. If you don’t want to spend $100+ on that new console version of Tony Hawk, this may be a cheaper alternative.


Super-Monkey-Ball-2.aspxSuper Monkey Ball 2 (SEGA) – $9.99
Super-Monkey-Ball-2.aspxSEGA releases the follow up to their Super Monkey Ball game (which helped launch the app store a year ago). It promises to be more of the same, but of course will contain the usual gameplay improvements and enhancements.


Twin-Blades.aspxTwin Blades (Bulkypix) – $0.99
Twin-Blades.aspxNothing says Christmas blockbuster like a dual-bladed axe wielding nun who kills boatloads of zombies!. ‘Nuff said.