Here we are on the five year anniversary of the Apple App Store (and coincidentally my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary) and what better way to illustrate just how far the App Store has come than to see a AAA console developer like SQUARE ENIX launch Deus Ex: The Fall, an all-new, premium iOS exclusive title (at least at launch) based on one of their highly regarded PC and console franchises!
The legitimacy of this ‘mobile phone’ platform has long since been proven over the past five years, and each week we see both big and small studios battling it out on a fairly level playing field. Tonight we have a new batch of hopefuls ready to stand up against the fierce competition of Deus Ex.
Starting with the free titles of the night, we have one that like Deus Ex, was already available earlier today, and that is RAVENMARK: Mercenaries. This free-to-play turn-based strategy game evolves upon Witching Hour Studios’ 2011 hit, RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion. It has players building their armies of mercenaries to wage war against other online opponents. One thing about the game that the developer wants to make crystal clear is that this is NOT a pay-to-win game, any and all IAP in the game are completely optional and does not give paying’ players any sort of tactical advantage.
Beat Leapis a rhythm-infused puzzle game in which players try to complete 100 puzzle-based levels by collecting hearts and avoiding enemy obstacles. I suspect this is one of those games that sounds a lot simpler than it actually is and will put up a nice free-to-play challenge. The developer promises new weekly levels without the need to update the app…so really, how can you lose?
As we discussed in the podcast last week, it seems like every new movie coming out needs to have its own app, and next month’s feature film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones appears to be the latest example of this. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones allows players to “immerse themselves in the thrilling first part of The Mortal Instruments saga as they interact with and fight alongside their favorite characters to unravel the story from a unique perspective”. I have no idea if this games is any good (the book is still on my Audible ‘next listen’ list), but it does come from PlayFirst, Inc. who are responsible for the great ‘Dash’ series of time management games so it has potential, plus I’m sure that fans of the book series will likely be downloading it in droves.
Sony Pictures Television offers up a new twist on a classic game show with Wheel of Fortune: Cubed. Instead of just one puzzle to solve, the game board is now a cube which you must fill in by decoding the clues. You can play online against random opponents or challenge a Facebook friend or any friend via email. No friends? Then you can test your puzzle solving prowess in the Race the Clock single-player mode.
Onto the zombies….
Triniti Interactive releases Call of Mini™ Zombies 2 tonight, it is the bloody zombie bashing sequel to their 2011 title, though this time around they’ve added secondary weapons and a combo system. I never played the original, but from the screenshots this reminds me a bit of Minigore 2: Zombies.
Speaking of bloody zombies, FDG Entertainment comes out guns blazing with a zombie shooter of their own called Bloody Harry. Help chef “Bloody Harry” as he chops, smashes and shoots hordes of zombified vegetables in this bloody and tongue-in-cheek arcade action game.
And the last bit of zombie news that I wanted to mention before moving on is that Telltale Games should be releasing the new ‘400 Days’ standalone chapter for their Walking Dead adventure game sometime tomorrow.
In Mediocre AB’s new puzzle platformer Sprinkle Islands players control the hose and ladder of a small fire engine-like vehicle and they must try to put out all of the fires in the contraption-filled levels using the least amount of water possible. The game retains the same impressive water physics of Mediocre’s original fire-fighting game Sprinkle, but this time there are a much more simplified controls, making Sprinkle Islands far more approachable by players of all ages, especially younger ones. There is a free version available as well, if you want to try out a few levels first.
Another sign of the changes the App Store has undergone in past five years is 5Ants’ Tiny Thief which is being published by Angry Bird’s creator Rovio under their new Rovio Stars banner. Once relegated to Chillingo’s lower-tier publishing arm, Clickgamer, Rovio is a studio that went from relative obscurity to owning the App Store charts for much of the past four years with some incarnation of Angry Birds or another. Now this week they help to bring the charming looking stealth puzzle game Tiny Thief, to eager iOS gamers. It has taken nearly three years, but with Tiny Thief, it appears that Rovio is finally adopting the universal app. It’s about time! Tiny Thief probably won’t show up on the App Store until 12 AM PST or sometime early tomorrow.
BBG Entertainment GmbH’s Dungeon of Legends is a rather interesting looking title. According to the developer it combines the jump and run, adventure, puzzle and action genres to create a unique game in which players must “press a lever, jump from platform to platform, dodge spikes or activate a special mechanism” to avoid traps and make their way through as many different rooms as possible in this visually captivating dungeon.
Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse…
If you don’t know what that last phrase means, then you probably don’t have little kids. Those are the magic words that reveal Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse and put a big smile on children’s faces. Disney’s new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Paint & Play app is a 3D Animated coloring book that that lets your child design the Clubhouse using colors and patterns. They even get to paint 2D versions of Mickey and Minnie and watch as they come to life as their 3D selfs from the series and explore the Clubhouse.
Majesco Entertainment takes their Zumba® Fitness franchise from the consoles to iOS in a new and innovative way. Using the front-facing camera on your iPad or iPad mini the game tracks your movement. This “exercise in disguise” game features three pre-programmed calorie-burning classes, as well as a large range of popular dance styles including Merengue, Salsa, Hip-Hop and more, set to hit songs from artists like LMFAO, Pitbull and Sean Paul. Whether you choose from the pre-programmed classes or create your own playlist, this app will have you up on your feet burning calories and you can set goals and track your progress right within the app. Though I’m a horrific dancer, I’m excited to check this one out and see how the motion capture stuff work compared to something like the Xbox Kinect.
And that’s all folks, I’m sure there is got to be something that interests you on that list, but if not, leave a comment below and let us know what new releases we missed.