It’s been another big week for the App Store, with loads of great new releases. I’m keeping my eyes on these five titles in particular, as I think these each have the potential of being big…really big!
Monster Dash (Halfbrick Studios) – 99¢
Monster Dash is the highly anticipated second title from Halfbrick Studios, the developer behind the immensely popular game Fruit Ninja. It is an endurance run game in the same vein as Canabalt, but perhaps with a bit more character (and a lot more firepower).
You, Barry Steakfries, are constantly running forward across a series of platforms of varying height and length and the goal is to make it as far as possible. All sorts of monsters will pop up to get in your way as well as the periodical section of spiked terrain. You have one button to jump and other to shoot. Along the way there are some health pickups as well as some really cool weaponry including a lightning gun, a lazer-like gun and my favorite, the Machine Gun Jetpack! Every time your distance reaches an increment of 1000, you’ll be transported into a new and different looking world and things will speed up more. With randomly generated levels and OpenFeint for bragging rights and achievements, this game super addictive and has a TON of replay value.
Zombie Escape (Viqua Games/Chillingo) – 99¢
Zombie Escape is quite possibly the one Chillingo Summer release I’ve been looking forward to the most. The zombie pandemic has hit all reaches of the city and it is up to you to guide the last survivors out of the area and take down those zombies! Bomb zombies to bits or distract them from your survivors. While Zombie Escape makes strong use of the line drawing gameplay mechanic, it’s somehat different from titles like Harbor Master or 33rd Division. Line drawing is used to help guide the survivors to the helicopters for rescue from the zombies. There is an additional weapons aspect to the game that adds a whole new dimension. Care packages will drop containing one of 7 unique helper items which you can deploy to help destroy the zombies. Like a general overlooking his war map, you decide where these should be utilized.
As one might expect, Zombie Escape features an endless Survival mode. Although, developer Viqua Games didn’t stop there, they also included a Campaign mode with 28 “days” (levels) to play through. Finally, like all of Chillingo’s Summer titles, the game features Crystal SDK integration for achievements and global leaderboards. The game looks like a lot of fun and a step up from the traditional line-drawing fair.
Monorace (Craneballs) – $1.99
Monorace, is a fun and addictive 2D side-scrolling racing game with excellent re-playability and some of the smoothest OpenFeint integration I’ve seen to date. The game features a simple, single tap control scheme, which allows you to jump your single-wheeled vehicle between the floor and ceiling as you go racing down the tracks trying to avoid the obstacles that get in your way.
The game offers a sequentially unlockable 40 level-based mode of gameplay with two different degrees of difficulty as well as an endless mode which will put your focus, reflexes and endurance to the test. A in-game challenge system provide by OpenFeint allows you to send your scores to friends to see who’s got better skills. At a price of just $1.99, Monorace should be on your short list of titles to pick up. You can read my full review here.
EpicWin (Supermono) – $2.99
http://www.epicwinapp.com/”>Supermono is a new studio formed by Tak Fung (developer for MiniSquadron) and Dave Ferner (artist for MiniSquadron). Their first app, EpicWin, is a crazy, but cool idea that could actually help you get things done…and have fun while doing it. It’s a streamlined to-do list which enables you to quickly note down all your everyday tasks, but with a role-playing spin. When you create a task, or “quest” in this case, you assign it a point value and an attribute. Instead of the usual check marks when you complete a task on your list, you earn experience points (XP) which allows you to improve certain aspects of your character and level up.
EpicWin contains 3 free avatars (a dwarf, a warrior priestess or a skeleton) and an two additional ones are available via paid DLC. I’ve been using the app since it was released and its definitely a much more fun and appealing way to keep track of what I need to do. The to-do list, while fairly simple in comparison to larger apps like Pocket Informant, has just the features you need to be able to quickly add and keep track of what you need to do. You are getting a solid to-do app, despite what the cute game-like exterior may lead you to believe. It supports repeating tasks, displays reminders for overdue events and allows time-critical events to be assigned to specific days, or can be set to “someday” so you don’t forget about this item. Best of all, as each task is completed it is decisively destroyed by your avatar. If you are a procrastinator who prefers to play with your iDevice rather than do what needs to be done, then perhaps EpicWin could be an ‘epic win/win’ for you.
NOTE: Some users are experiencing crashing on startup, but I haven’t. There is a fix for this already submitted to Apple..
Archetype HD (Villain) – $4.99
Villain brings their popular FPS title Archetype, to the “big screen”…the iPad that is. The game itself has not changed from the iPhone release other than a redesigned HUD display which takes advantage of the larger iPad screen “for more efficient combat”. The good news is that Archetype and Archetype HD gamers will share the same game lobby, meaning you can play against your friend no matter which iDevice each player is using.
Many players seem to prefer the larger 9.7″ form factor of the iPad for FPS titles such as this. I suspect there will be a little bitterness by multi-iDevice owners that this was not a universal release. Although I suspect it’ll be shortlived and you’ll see this title take off despite the need for some to double-dip. Read our review of the original iPhone release.