UPDATE: That was quick! Since posting this last night, Buzz Killem has already dropped from $1.99 down to FREE. Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent price drop.

disney-bola-soccer_805057598_ipad_02.jpgFinally we seem to be getting a little bit of a breather this week, though there are still plenty of new releases to talk about.

Since we are still in the thick of the World Cup, lets kick things off with a couple of free-to-play soccer games, the first of which comes from the fine folks at Disney. Disney Bola Soccer is a quick-playing soccer experience with simple swipe and tap, gesture-based controls. I’m not quite sure where the free-to-play mechanics come in, but I do see a “Small pack of Gold” IAP for 99¢, so if you give this one to your kids, make sure you have IAPs locked-down.

Soccer Showdown 2015 is an online-only multiplayer penalty kicking game, which the developers say features their very own “genre-revolutionizing PhysKick™ engine which gives you perfect control over every kick” and sets the game apart from all those other “flick-the-ball” soccer games. I guess we’ll find out tonight if this game’s physics based game play offers a more realistic feel tonight when we take to the pitch with Soccer Showdown 2015.

zombie-puzzle-panic_762472329_ipad_01.jpgNoodlecake teams up with fellow Canadian developer Massive Damage (creators of Please Stay Calm) to bring us Zombie Puzzle Panic! They describe the game as “one part Candy Crush, one part Fallout 3 and one part zombie shooter, which I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a recipe for fun. Not quite the match-3 RPG that you might expect, this zombie-filled game promises to be more action-based, requiring players to “battle the undead on the playing board as opposed to above”. At launch the game has 100 levels spread across a variety of mission types which could be any of your usual post-zombie apocalypse activities like rescuing survivors or taking out zombies. And for those of you that hate IAP, we’ve been told that “you can complete the entire game without ever paying a cent and nothing will be held back”. I’m really looking forward to checking this one out.

Perhaps you like puzzle games, but zombie killing isn’t your thing…then you should probably check out Watercolors instead. It’s a game where you try to drag colors around to fill the glowing circles with the indicated color paint. You are given red, yellow and blue paint and will often need to combine them in just the right places and order to get the correct colors exactly where they need to be to complete each puzzle. It reminds me a little of Trainyard, and there are hundreds of puzzles and multiple game modes to choose from involving either solving the puzzle in as few moves as possible (earning 3 stars) or racing against a friend’s time to see who can solve a puzzle faster.

callys-caves-2_857950815_ipad_02.jpgHow about a free platformer? I can’t recall playing the original Cally’s Caves which was released in October of last year, but now the developer is back with a sequel to this rather nice looking NES-style platformer. In Callys Caves 2, Cally’s parents have been kidnapped…again and it is up to you to rescue they from the evil clutches of Dr. Herbert. With 16 unique weapons, 20 enemy types and 6 diabolical bosses spread across 104 levels, this looks like a fun, yet challenging game with a little retro flair.

If you didn’t get enough tank on tank action last week with World of Tanks Blitz, then you may want to check out Tank Titans HD, which looks like it sports some pretty realistic looking graphics.

And the final freebie of the night is Bike Monkey : Race for Bananas, which is exactly what it sounds like in this arcade game where you attempt to navigate your pile of stolen-bike riding simians around a 3D world, trying to collect bananas, all the while keeping a close eye on both the speed and balance of the bike.

magick_657336338_ipad_01Onto the paid apps…

Magick is a retro style platformer from developer Ludonkey, which has been specifically designed for the iPad. You play as a young sorcerer named Oz, who was imprisoned by the evil queen and is now on a quest to escape. Instead your typical virtual joystick, Magick uses a series of taps and holds to control everything. Oz walks and jumps by himself and you simply tap the screen to bring up a crate, or tap on a crate to remove it. Tap Oz to switch directions and tap and hold to stop him in place. It is that simple. The entire game consists of 60 levels, including 5 boss battles. This one looks quite nice, especially for only 99¢.

Oceanhouse Media’s latest ‘Smithsonian Series’ app, Alphabet of Space – Smithsonian Alphabet Books has just launched. From Astronaut to Zenith, and everything in between, this interactive book app allows children to practice their ABCs while exploring outer space and learning about the universe with fun rhymes and colorful illustrations. The app is currently available at a special introductory price of $1.99 (reg. $2.99). It is also worth noting that Oceanhouse’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish app should be going on sale very soon for just 99¢ though Tuesday, July 8th. So if you don’t already own that Seuss classic, now would be a great time to pick it up.

Everplay Interactive is back tonight with their latest mobile offering, Buzz Killem., which is not to be confused with the free endless runner/shooter game Bill Killem which Everplay also developed and which was recently published by Chillingo. However the two titles are related…by blood. You see, Buzz Killem is a retired War Veteran and father of the aforementioned, Bill Killem, and he has been called back into action after an Alien invasion on Earth. The elder Killem’s game is a retro platformer filled with guns, outfits and powerups. If it plays anything like their endless runner, but in a slightly less rushed platforming style, it could be really fun.

kawaii-killer_880113972_ipad_01.jpgKawaii Killer is a sadistically humorous game in which you gruesomely murder cute looking critters, Whack-A-Mole-style with a variety of weapons. These include hitting foxes with a hammer, slicing pink bunnies with knives, using a chainsaw on turtles, jack-hammering the brains out of a relentless rhino and more. More critter cruelty and bloody cartoon violence than you can shake a sharp stick at, and definitely NOT one for the kids. This is a disturbingly fun little game. Think Happy Tree Friends meets Fruit Ninja…let’s just say that now I know what the fox says…”OW”!

Hooligans “The Bravest” is a linear strategy / defense game in a similar vein as Battle of Puppets or Trenches, but with a soccer hooligan theme. You select your hero and use drinks to recruit (deploy) various other types of brawlers to help you fight enemies and capture additional shelters and deployment points to try to work your way up to the enemy base (in this case a bus) and destroy it while making sure your base is not attacked and destroyed. It is a presentation of this genre that might appeal to soccer fans or beer drinkers.

A Life worth dying for is quite an interesting, odd and unique looking kind of memory puzzle game, crafted from the developer Mutlu Isik’s own personal home videos. You are about to die and you must remember a a sequence of cues, which when recalled correctly, trigger short video flashbacks. According to the developer, “these intimate moments add up to form an abstract impression of my life, reaching further back in time as you advance”. The game is meant to get you to ask yourself: what is worth living for? But also, what’s worth dying for? It is an interesting sounding, experimental sort of mixture of life, art and gaming. I am curious to see how this one is received by App Store patrons.

civilization-revolution-2_864880531_ipad_01.jpgFinally that brings us to 2K Games’ Civilization Revolution 2. Somehow I have still never played the original Civilization Revolution, but I know it is a very popular strategy game in which players try to lead their civilizations through the ages. They “wage war, conduct diplomacy, discover new technologies, inspire their nation(s) and try to build the most powerful empire the world has ever known”. Now this sequel takes things a step further. Developed and available exclusively for mobile devices, Civilization Revolution 2 features glorious new 3D graphics, new units, technologies, buildings and scenario challenges which task players with reenacting historic events and battles. Unlike its predecessor, Civilization Revolution 2 is a universal app, though this is a pricey one at $14.99.

And that’ll do it for this week…those of you in the US, have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday.
Look for quite a few App sales going on over the next few days as well.

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