rival-knights_624555293_ipad_01.jpgIf last week was all about puzzle games, then this week appears to be geared toward testing your reflexes and keeping money in your pocket with loads of free-to-play titles. Unlike some other weeks, this week I’ve already had a chance to play at least a little bit of quite a few of these, and while they are definitely not all keepers (at least for me), many of them are free downloads so you might as well go ahead and try them out for yourselves.

Kicking things off tonight is Gameloft, who are about to go Medieval on you with their new free-to-play 3D jousting game, Rival Knights. Work your way up through the ranks, earning money and fame as you upgrade your equipment and your trusty steed. Take on your friends and random strangers in an asynchronous multiplayer mode in this game which almost has a drag racing like feel to it..definitely worth checking out.

Plantman is a Sci-Fi puzzle adventure game set in the year 2284 when post nuclear effects have put Earth in a state of decay, sunlight is non-existent and a company called “Greensworth Gardens” is now the main supplier of freshly produced oxygen. The game comes from The National Filmschool of Denmark and looks like it has some nice production values. I want to finding some time to dive into this one.

wrong-way-racing_882598485_ipad_02.jpgJared Bailey and his signature cubic, pixel graphics are back in a new twitch / reaction testing game called Wrong Way Racing. You are racing around a two lane track in the the wrong direction (this the name) and you have to keep switching lanes by tapping on the screen, in order to avoid oncoming cars. It’ll take a keen eye and quick reflexes if you want to survive a fair number of laps and work your way up the leaderboard.

Also with a car theme is The Track Star, a minimalist, flat-design drag racing game. I tried this one a few times, but couldn’t quite get the hang of the shifting…maybe you’ll have better luck.

Speaking of minimalist, nanoRPG breaks down the RPG to its simplest components, giving players just and attack and flee button for battles and purchases at shops which are limited to just health potions and full health refills. You level up as you progress, increasing your shield and sword strength. In the end it feels like more of a cutely themed mathematics game (that’s not a bad thing).

ViCTOR: Virus Eradicator sounds a bit odd at first, but is basically a Sneezies-like chain reaction game. Players place a disembodied head (Victor) inside of a body and he releases antigens causing viruses that collide with him to pop and pop other viruses.

quadblast_658854121_ipad_02.jpgQuadblast is a high-scoring game which uses a combination of touch and tilt controls. You tilt to move the ball and activate you Quad-beams by swiping up, down, left and right with your thumbs. Through a combination of movement and your omnidirectional laser you try to destroy enemy balls floating around the screen and collect the orbs which they drop. The fact that your beam can only go in one straight 90 degree direction at a time makes for some challenging gameplay.

The classic top-down shoot’em up game Sky Force is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an all-new release from the team at Infinite Dreams. Featuring some stunning new 3D graphics and a new social gameplay element Sky Force 2014 looks like an excellent evolution of the game. If you are looking for some arcade action, certainly pick this one up.

Glacier Rush may look cute, but it is another game that is meant to challenge your reflexes as you drag the adorable little narwhal around the screen, eating as many fish as you can while avoiding an onslaught of falling ice bricks. Get hit and it’s game over.

Luminux is a matching puzzle game in which players are trying to save a dying star system, by “fusing lums” (which is a fancy way of saying, matching chains of three or more like colored blocks) which in turn create energy to help sustain the star system. The game board keeps filling up with large blocks and your need to slide them around to make room to form the like-colored chains to clear out room to then form more chains…rinse and repeat.

Set in a gray-scale flower garden, Phantom Flower, has players trying to protect the soil by tapping the red rain drops before they hit the ground. There is not much more to say, other than…it’s free.

tales-adventure-company_862880494_ipad_01.jpgAnd that finally brings us to a few paid titles which arrived on the App Store this week, the first of which is Tales of the Adventure Company. It appears to be an interesting blend of RPG, puzzle, and roguelike. From what I can garner it looks like you explore the gridded levels by revealing several squares, which could reveal loot, monsters or nothing and then you have to rescue and then use your heroes to fight the monsters. There are 5 unique episodes, 10 different heroes to choose from to form your team, and over 25 monsters, each with unique abilities.

Green Sofa Games’ debut iOS title Jezza looks interesting. It is a unique vehicle-based physics game in which you are navigating around a winding 3D car park, trying to avoid the police and keep school buses safe.

The World Cup is nearly upon us and soccer fans are in a frenzy so we’ve already seen quite a few soccer-related titles popping up on the App Store over the past few weeks. However, unlike CN Superstar Soccer, none of these previous titles let you play single and multiplayer 5-a-side matches with your favorite Cartoon Network stars from Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and Ben 10: Omniverse. The game was still not available at time of publishing, but I’ve been hearing that it is supposed to be releasing worldwide today, so I’ve included it anyways. In the meantime, you can try out a free web version here. Update: It appears that CN Superstar Soccer is an online-only release in the US and the iOS version is only available Internationally. If you live outside the US, I believe the link above should take you to your local App Store store to buy a copy. If you live inside the US, the good news the game is FREE online, the bad news is that it doesn’t run on an iOS device.

my-little-pony-best-pet_878700425_ipad_02.jpgFor the kids (and Bronies) in the audience, PlayDate Digital is back with another of their fun My Little Pony interactive storybooks, this time focused on Rainbow Dash. My Little Pony: Best Pet is based on the “May the Best Pet Win” episode from Season 2 of the FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC animated series. It follows Rainbow Dash as she holds a ‘Best Pet’ contest to find the perfect pet for her. The app features the real voices of all of the Mane 6, interactive elements and Sight words practice. Like the studio’s previous apps, this one should be a big hit with my girls.

Finally, we have 99 Bricks Wizard Academy, a fun and charming looking physics puzzle / tower building game from iOS newcomers, WeirdBeard Games. In this endless builder, you try to build the tallest wizard tower you can fitting together Tetris-like building blocks. Sure it’s not necessarily a new mechanic, but it looks fun none the less.

Phew…and that’ll do it for this week.

Go to the second and third pages of this post to watch the trailers for these games.