Just a couple of weeks left until the annual App Store Holiday lockdown, so not much time left for new Thursday releases in the year 2012.

This week there are a number of freebies, the most notable of which is Google’s brand new stand-alone (iPhone-only) Google Maps app. I haven’t had any time to try out the app yet, but for all of the iOS 6 Map App complainers, I’m sure this is like manna from heaven. I personally don’t have many issues with Apple’s map app, but I’ll definitely be taking Google’s offering through its paces.

Gameloft launches a freemium kids title called PLAYMOBIL Pirates. It is a FarmVille-style world building game based on the popular PLAYMOBIL brand, in which kids construct and maintain their own pirate camp. Let’s hope this one goes over better than Gameloft’s last attempt at a freemium game for kids.

Next up is Epix – Epic Pixel Heroes, a simple, yet humorous looking 8-bit casual orc horde battling game complete with 30 locations, 12 power ups over 500 levels and 250 hours of game time broken up into 30 second to 3.5 minute chunks. Big Fish Games is back this week with a surprise treat, Megaplex Madness 2, the sequel to their highly entertaining 2010 time management game set in the world of movie theaters. As with most of their titles, this one is free to check out for the first five or so levels then you can unlock the full iPhone version for $1.99 and iPad release for $2.99 from within the app. The original was one of my favorite Big Fish titles, and I’m really enjoying the sequel’s new genre-themed theaters, everyone should definitely check this one out.

The final freebie surprisingly comes from SQUARE ENIX, a company generally known for their premium pricing on iOS apps. Though don’t worry, it has plenty of IAPs. THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY is the first music game set in the Final Fantasy Universe and the iOS release “has been augmented with more songs and new playable characters to make it easier to dive into and play than ever before!”.

Weighing in at the 99¢ price range, we have several titles, perfect for your little ones (or maybe even yourself).

In what is certainly part of a marketing push for next week’s theatrical release of Monsters Inc. in 3D, Disney has launched what appears to be a cute looking level-based endless runner set in the Monsters, Inc universe. You must help Mike, Sully and a number of your other favorite MI characters as they try to save Boo in the aptly titled, Monsters, Inc. Run.

Toca Boca returns with Toca Hair Salon 2, the sequel to the app that got my daughters hooked on all things Toca Boca and one of the studios most popular titles to date. This new salon features a new cast of characters as well as new curling and shaving tools, updates to the existing tools and hair sprays as well as new accessories, settings and photo backdrops. It is available for a limited time for just 99¢ before it goes up to a regular price of $2.99.

Chillingo offers some inexpensive pirate puzzling plundering action in their latest game, Potshot Pirates.

Also available at 99¢ are several less kid-friendly games including the rather intriguing looking crime solving game, Crime & Puzzlement in which players read the story, then use their magnifying glass to explore the picture to gather clues and solve 24 different murder mysteries. Prolific publishers Triniti Interactive Limited, bring on more zombies in their latest ‘Call of Mini’ title, Call of Mini: Brawlers. And if you are still in a kick butt sort of mood, you can check out the 2D arcade/beat’em up adventure, Arson & Plunder HD.

Rounding out the night are Playdek’s brilliant looking iOS implementation of the popular card game Fluxx. Based of the Target version of the game, this unique card game has a set of constantly changing rules and both local and asynchronous online multiplayer. I cannot wait to dig into this one with my fellow Fluxx fans. If you pick it up, feel free to send me a game request. Last but not least is SEGA’s 2013 edition of their popular Football Manager Handheld series which challenges a player’s abilities to manage his or her own Football (soccer) club.

That’s all I have for you this week, make sure you let us know what new apps you picked up this week in the comments below.