With most publishers focused more on sales than releasing new content, there are a limited number of notable new releases this week, despite the fact that this is the last Thursday to release new content before the end of the year due to Apple’s annual App Store lockdown over the holidays.

However, there are still several new titles that are well-worth mentioning.

We kick things off with SkyGoblin’s iOS version of their humorous, episodic point-and-click adventure game, The Journey Down. This expertly crafted game follows the adventures of the down-on-their-luck duo of Bwana and Kito who struggle to make ends meet at their run-down gas station. The pair is unknowingly drafted into a wild adventure involving gas, guns, and the best stew in St Armando. It is available for the insanely low sale price of 99¢ for launch week, then it goes up to $2.99.

Next up, is the triumphant return of ZeptoLab, who previously saw massive success their Cut the Rope puzzle game franchise. Now they are back with Pudding Monsters, an entirely new level-based logic puzzle game, where you must slide the charming cyclopic jello-like creatures around the screen such that they strike into one another to form one giant jelly, while stopping on top of the starred squares. Different types of monsters have unique properties and characteristics keeping things interesting.

Crescent Moon Games launches two titles this week, both of which involve armor-wearing weapon wielding heroes, but in very different genres. The Last Knight is a more casual medieval endless jouster, where attempt to hold onto your lance and steed as you do “battle against a wide range of fantasy creatures, from dragons to giant toads”. Their other release is Ravensword: Shadowlands the MASSIVE (in every way) followup to the studio’s inaugural 2009 title. Our own Wil Parker has been lucky enough to be playing the game early and simply put, he’s said “this game has blown me away”. So in other words…BUY IT!

Chillingo is back with Anomaly Korea, the sequel to their 2011 hit, Anomaly Warzone Earth, their unique take on the tower defense genre where you play as the attacking side. As the title suggests, this sophomore outing for the tower offense series takes place in Korea and features cutting-edge visuals and a new tactical map method of planning your squad’s battle route. I never played the original but this sounds like a really neat twist on TD gaming and is available at a special launch price of $2.99.

The 1984 Jordan Mechner side-scrolling karate classic Karateka has been rebooted with shiny new graphics, three playable characters and an all-new rhythm-based combat mechanic. I used to play this all the time on my old Apple ][e, and I recently checked out the XBLA version and it was a lot of fun to play. Looking forward to checking out the iOS release as well.

The final new release I wanted to highlight is a new digital deck-building card game from Playdek and Cryptozoic Entertainment called Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil. Based on the physical game of the same name, it features the characters from the Penny Arcade universe and all the irreverent humor that you’d come to expect. I’m generally not much for deck building card games, but the fact that this comes from Playdek means it’s going to be good, plus it’s got Gabe and Tycho! Consider my interest peaked!

Due to the App Store lock down there will not be one of these posts next week, but look for loads upon loads of posts about Holiday / End of year App Sales, because there will be a lot of them over the next week or so.