dungeon-keeper_659212032_ipad_02Once again, unless there are a few overnight surprises, this is a fairly light week in terms of new iOS releases, but there are definitely still some worth mentioning.

First introduced to PC gamers in 1997, Electronic Arts’ RTS/dungeon defense and management franchise Dungeon Keeper arrives on mobile platforms for the first time in a fresh new, free-to-play take on the series. Players build up their underground lair and deploy their army of Trolls, Bile Demons, Mistresses, Warlocks and more to battle with other dungeon keepers and steal their resources, while avoiding all manner of evil traps. While the game has gotten its usual share of pre-release knocks from EA and free-to-play haters, personally I think it looks quite attractive and I’m looking forward to checking it out. It is only available on the Canadian App Store right now (soft launch), but we’ve been hearing it will arrive on US store sometime tomorrow.

Next up is a new entry in the somewhat crowded jump from spinning platform to spinning platform genre. Pyro Jump puts players in the role of a little flamed named Pyro who must leap from wheel to wheel, timing jumps and sometimes avoiding obstacles while navigating the unknown layout as he tries to reach his (now) origami princess at the end of each of the game’s 100 levels. While it doesn’t look like Pyro Jump breaks much (if any) new ground, it is a visually appealing game and free to play, so fans of this game mechanic will definitely want to check it out.

That’s it for the freebies…onto the paid apps.

lego-star-wars-microfighters_771269254_ipad_01LEGO® Star Wars™: Microfighters is not the standard LEGO adventure game that we’ve come to expect from Warner Bros.. Instead, this one is a top-down vertical scrolling shooter where players join either the Light or Dark Side of the Force and navigate their ship through various waves of enemies, turning anything and everything they can into piles of LEGO studs. While it doesn’t look like it’ll offer up much of a challenge to hard-core scrolling shooter fans, kids will probably really enjoy this one. I suspect kids are probably the intended demographic anyways, considering the obvious tie-in to the Microfighters line of toys (which I assume the game’s ships in the game are intended to resemble).

According to Finnish development studio, Robote Games, their debut two-finger, retro platformer Trambo “has quirky retro aesthetics that send those warm 8-bit vibes to players around the globe”. After watching the trailer (available on the second page of this post) I’m certainly inclined to agree. Players only have control over the left and right movement of the main character (he jumps when he crosses over designated spots), with none of that virtual d-pad nonsense.Looks fun, but a bit short, though Robote is promising regular (free) content updates.

draw-slasher_670757356_ipad_03Next up is Mass Creation who released two bloody and well received ‘Draw Slasher’ games back in 2009 and 2010 and now they’ve returned to the franchise with a new, streamlined Pirate Monkey Zombie slaying experience in Draw Slasher. I honestly didn’t play too much of the previous games in this series as I found the controls to be a bit cumbersome, but it looks like they’ve really improved the controls and flow for this one and made a very touch-centric experience. “Draw a line to jump, dash, dodge and slash. Tap to run. Pinch the screen to summon powerful Ninjutsu Techniques”. The ridiculously gory trailer is available on the second page of this post.

Speaking of gore, prolific action film director John Woo attached his name to Chillingo’s latest publishing effort, Bloodstroke. Woo’s movies often have a unique visual style and this game follows that trend. The game is entirely in black and white save for the blood which is vividly depicted in red. You take on the role of Private Security Agent, Mai Le slicing, dicing and making swiss cheese out of a seemingly endless supply of gun wielding baddies as she tries to protect her client (Dr. Koorse) from harm. Up until today I was pretty excited for this one, but unfortunately some livestream gameplay I watched of this game earlier tonight made it look a little lackluster and not at all as intense as John Woo’s name would imply. As a result, I’d urge caution on this one before spending the $2.99 on John Woo’s name alone.

Enough with the blood and guts…how about a couple of new apps for the kiddos.

Oceanhouse Media launched two new educational digital book apps this week. Available at a launch price of $1.99, Velociraptor: Small and Speedy – Smithsonian Prehistoric Pals, takes your child back to the Cretaceous Period with Velociraptor and his friends to “see why none of the other creatures in the valley want to be near when the Velociraptors come around”.

miles-miles-reptiles-dr.-seuss_784845339_ipad_02In Miles and Miles of Reptiles, your little ones can join the Cat in the Hat as he “explores the world of reptiles- lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodilians- in his trusty crocodile car”. Filled with all sorts of fun facts, narration and Seussian silliness, this app is available for the introductory price of $3.99.

Finally, we get another fine-looking gamebook adventure from the folks at Tin Man Games. Gamebook Adventures 9: Sultans of Rema is the sequel to the studios third gamebook, Slaves of Rema, but you need not have read it or any of the other books in the series to fully enjoy this one, so feel free to hop right in. Sultans of Rema utilizes the studio’s award-winning* Gamebook Adventures Engine, so it has the great automated adventure sheet, physics based dice rolling, bookmarks, artwork and soundtrack that you’ve come to expect from this series.

*Ok, so I’m not actually sure if Tin Man has won any awards for their gamebook engine…but it is quite good.

Some awesome updates…

Before I go, I should probably also mention that two previous notable new releases: The Room Two and Drive on Moscow: War in the Snow have just received Universal app updates (or will be very soon), allowing them to be played on iPhones and iPod Touches and both games are currently on sale as well. The Room Two is on sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99) and Drive on Moscow: War in the Snow is on sale for $4.99 (regularly $9.99).

And that’ll do it for tonight, please feel free to leave comments below letting us know what new releases you picked up this week.

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