magic-2014_536661213_ipad_01Whoa! What another crazy week of new iOS releases.

Earlier this week we already saw the release of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic 2014 and the gorgeous looking atmospheric platfomer Hero of Many from iOS newcomer, Matous Jezek and tonight the App Store is about to get even more crowded with a massive onslaught (I limited myself to just sixteen of them) of interesting looking games spanning all ages and genres.

Level-5’s beloved Professor Layton series finally comes to iOS in the new free-to-try crime-solving mystery game, LAYTON BROTHERS MYSTERY ROOM. Hidden away in the “Mystery Room” deep within Scotland Yard, players must help Inspector Alfendi Layton and his assistant, Detective Constable Lucy Baker examine suspicious objects, expose case-file contradictions, interview witnesses and help build airtight cases to solve crimes. I’ve never played a Professor Layton title before, but I certainly see the appeal as this looks like a really fun game. The prologue, Case File No.001, and Case File No.002 are free with the app, however Files 3 through 6 and 7 through 9 will be available as two separate in-app purchases.

sugar-rush_534484538_01Full Fat returns with a “brand-new way to play match three” in the form of a free-to-play title called Sugar Rush. With no relation to Wreck-It Ralph, this fast-paced game pits you against the clock and your friends in daily and weekly tournaments . This looks like a casual, colorful, candy-filled crowd-pleaser.

We are in the thick of Baseball season and you can put your homerun hitting skills to the test in The Apps Games’ new ESPN-branded release of Going Going Gone: Homerun Classic.

Perhaps wordsmithing is more your style, then these last two free-to-play titles may interest you as they both try to shake things up in the word game department.

First we have War of Words 2, the sequel Wolf Studios’s unorthodox wordsmithing battle game. If you are familiar with the series the sequel’s publisher, Everplay quips that it “takes your standard online crossword game and amplifies it with Bombs, Poisons, Blasters, Black Holes, Portals, Nuclear Bombs, and more!” Instead of just your average plain letter tiles, in WoW2 tiles have actions, giving you the ability to take extra turns, play tiles anywhere on the board, grow, and destroy other letter tiles, making for a much different (and more interesting) game. Keeping with the word games, there is Sqwords, which comes to us from Toy Studio LLC, the creators of the mysterious logic puzzle game The Curse. It blends elements of Sudoku & Crossword puzzles for a unique gaming experience. As quickly as possible, players must tap and move lettered tiles into place so that every row and column contains a valid word. The full game contains over 240 different puzzles across 5 unique boards and is free to try with the ability to unlock the full version at a special launch price of 99¢.

contra-evolutionhd_578198956_ipad_01Next up we have a title that appeared on the App Store for a day, disappeared and tonight it’s back…Contra: Evolution. PunchBox Studios releases this NES classic, optimized for the US market in separate iPhone (99¢) and iPad ($2.99) releases. This run and gunner is a childhood favorite of many gamers and this new tour of duty retains the classic levels and contains four unique playable characters including the two classic characters and two new ones, each of which has individual strengths and weaknesses as well as all the classic power-ups. The nostalgia and napalm will be flying tonight.

Tonight Ravenous Games Inc. returns with a third helping of their popular speed run platformer franchise with the release of League of Evil 3. In an apparent case of ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it?’, it seems this third time to the well offers more of the same, with new environments and enemies, some minor updates and the inclusion of new video replay and community features. If you act quickly, I believe you may still be able to grab free copies of both League of Evil 2 and Random Heroes 2 as part of the League of Evil 3 launch celebration.

dreamsons-episode-1-moving_654667021_ipad_03I’ll take a little detour here to mention a few kid-friendly titles that might be good for your little ones (and you), the first two of which try to teach life lessons while entertaining. The first is a charming looking title called The Dreamsons: Episode 1 – Moving Day. It is meant for both parents and children to play together and comes from Unboring SL, who created the colorful puzzle game Blupt!. Families play as a team, with each member having a “crucial role to complete a mission”. Random scenarios allow for repeat play, with individual games taking around 20 minutes to complete. This First Episode takes place around a family moving to San Francisco. Gro Play’s latest edutainment app is Gro Recycling a game which tries to teach kids about the importance of recycling and how one thing can be turned into something else. “Make new products of sorted trash you, pull the levers, click buttons, spinning the gears and play music on the wacky recycling machines.” Finally, Super Paper Pool is part mini-golf, part billiards and set in a world crafted from construction paper, sounds like and interesting mix to me.

siegecraft-td_658149902_ipad_02Next up is Siegecraft TD, the highly anticipated new tower defense game from publisher Crescent Moon Games. This sequel to CMG’s strategy game Siegecraft, breaks some new ground in this genre, featuring some rather stunning 3D visuals that let you dive right down among the towers during battle as well as online multiplayer asynchronous gameplay. Do you have what it takes to protect the Knights from the evil Lizardmen? I guess we’ll find out tonight and I’ll see you on the battlefield.

Sean Hogan’s Anodyne Mobile is being dubbed “Zelda for iOS” and this 16-bit adventure game is generating a fair amount of pre-release buzz. It was an honorable mention in the 2013 Student Independent Games Festival awards and received a spot in ESA’s 2013 Student Showcase at the E3 Expo. With 6+ hours of gameplay, no IAP and an original 60+ minute dream-like soundtrack, this is definitely one to watch.

No stranger to iOS Freyr Games, returns with a platform-exclusive FPS / RPG hybrid called Bounty Hunter: Black Dawn. The game features four different unique character classes and eight adventurers (who bear a more than a slight resemblance to some of your favorite console characters) and over 100 skills and ‘random attribute equipment drops’ to take advantage of. Both 4 player co-op and 8 person PVP matchups are allowed, but it is unclear if these are online or local modes. Either way, if you like mobile FPSes this one may be worth checking out.

war-of-the-zombie_605277717_ipad_02How ready are you for the inevitable Zombie apocalypse? Well now you can put your skills to the test in War of the Zombie, a “zombie outbreak strategy simulation combining turn-based and real-time gameplay across the entire world”. Players take charge of 4-soldier squads of Marines and must equip and drop them into real-time combat situations. There are loads of additional elements like recruiting support people, building up your arsenal, scavenging, bribing and more. This zombie combat RTS has also been getting a good deal of positive pre-release buzz with Pocket Tactic’s Owen Faraday calling it “A hell of a World War Z game”. In fact he has a fairly extensive preview of the game that is well worth reading.

Finally we round out the night with The Codemasters’ Colin McRae Rally, the first title in the studio’s Colin McRae off-road racing franchise to make it to iOS. Sit behind the wheel of the Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, Lancia Stratos and Colin McRae’s own Ford Focus and let the dust fly as you compete for the best time on the leaderboards. I’m not sure how well the game plays on iOS, but Codemasters is also responsible for the ‘Dirt’ series on the consoles and I know this is a fairly popular franchise.

assault-wave_658892434_ipad_02Last but not least is Assault Wave, a brilliant looking top-down, real-time World War II themed tactical action game for the iPad. Select your forces, choose your battle, deploy your troops and issue commands to lead your German or US troops to victory in either single player or (online or offline) multiplayer skirmishes. Described simply as “Chess with Machineguns!” by publisher Battlefront, strategy game fans are going to have a tough time deciding which titles they are going to pick up tonight.

And that’s all sixteen of them…

Note: All of the links below will go live at 11pm (EST) tonight (Wednesday, June 26th).

Go to the second page of this post to watch the trailers for these games.