mad-bullets_770839469_ipad_02.jpgApps, Apps and more Apps!

Loads more new releases arrived this week; We have a few old favorites returning with sequels or rebooted in a new form as well as ports from other platforms, new IPs and quite a few point and click adventure games.

We start things off this week with the six gun shoot’n action of Mad Bullets, a cartoony free-to-play Wild West shooting gallery game with a bit of character.

Walkr – Galaxy Adventure in Your Pocket tries to make a game out of exercise. Sure it’s not an entirely new concept, we’ve seen zombie walking apps and other walking entertainment apps, but in this app you are using your footsteps to explore “more than 25 fascinating planets, like Caramel Apple, Octopus Cavern, Heart of Flames, and more”. Simply by walking with your phone in your pocket, your steps are measured and help you complete missions, find lost space creatures and more. Now you can get fit, while having fun.

As we eagerly wait for next week’s launch of Modern Combat 5, Gameloft revives a game mechanic that was popular in the very early days of the App Store with their vertical jumper Ninja UP!. Swipe to draw platforms under your ninja to help him get higher and higher and avoid various obstacles. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this mechanic, in fact, the last one I can vividly remember playing was one of the very first reviews I did for this site, Karuki, which used this identical ‘draw a platform to bounce on’ mechanic. I really enjoyed that game at the time, not sure how well it still holds up.

Piano City is a free-to-play rhythm game which appears to be very approachable by players of all ages. However at the moment, the developer Room 8, seems to have forgotten to switch the ‘English’ button, because when I loaded it up, all of the text in the game is in some sort of Cyrillic language, perhaps Ukrainian? Looks fun though.

castle-doombad-free-to-slay_881941481_ipad_01This next release is a little confusing and great at the same time…

[adult swim] is still selling the original (paid release) of Castle Doombad for $2.99. Yet they’ve just released Castle Doombad: Free to Slay, a free-to-play version of their crazy fun defense game where you try to protect your evil lair from annoying do-gooders trying to free the princess you fairly kidnapped. According to the app description, the game contains all the content of the former paid release…and then some, however the free version lists fewer IAP options on the app preview page than the paid version does. Perhaps the paid version is going to be phased out? Suffice to say, if you never previously picked up Castle Doombad due to the $2.99 price tag…now you have no excuse not to give this great game a try.

After 4 years, KONAMI takes over publishing duties for a third helping of Gaia Games’ popular Sword and Poker franchise, Swords & Poker Adventures. Build deadly poker hands to defeat monsters, unlock new weapons, shields, and magic upgrades and get help from your friends. This is always a fun series so you’ll definitely want to grab yourself a copy.

And speaking of sequels, FDG Entertainment is back with Red Ball 4, the fourth installment of their popular rolling, jumping and bouncing level-based platformer for just 99¢.

DryGin Studios is offering a pretty cool looking take on the Plague Inc. / Pandemic simulator genre with their new biomedical strategy sim, Bio Inc.. You are attempting to develop the “most lethal illness possible” and trying to spread diseases across all human systems of your subject. You even get to see the host body degrade in real-time and your disease spreads. Fans of this genre will probably want to pick this one up while it a launch sale of $1.99 (reg $2.99).

bramble-berry-tales-little_893384507_ipad_02.jpgOkay…moving away for death and disease, let’s look at a couple of interactive book apps for the kids.

Loud Crow Interactive returns to the App Store with the third title in their award-winning Bramble Berry Tales series. Titled, The Little People, this latest interactive book follows Thomas and Lily as they encounter the Maymaygwaysiwak, “a group of mysterious and mischievous people from the forest” and try to determine if these strange creatures are friendly or not. This beautifully illustrated series is meant to both entertain and teach kids some valuable life/morality lessons in a fun and interactive way.

Oceanhouse Media lets your little ones live out their seafaring dreams in their latest interactive book How I Became a Pirate. Written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon, this bestseller tells the story of “young Jeremy Jacobs who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew on a voyage where he learns all about being a pirate- buried treasure, sea chanteys, and pirate talk, but soon finds out what pirate don’t do- no tucking kids in and no bedtime stories!”. Oceanhouse has added their usual interactive flare to this digital app version of the tale including the ability to record your own narration (so start practicing those arrrrggggs mateys).

Mimimi Productions had just launched a brand new deluxe version of dawindci-deluxe_893181380_ipad_02.jpgtheir zen, wind drawing, hot air balloon puzzle game, daWindci. The original game was released back in 2011 and this new release has been reimagined with better Retina graphics with all new particle effects, levels have been re-balanced and re-ordered and the frustrations and confusion that players had with the original have been addressed to make for a much more enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately it is not a free upgrade, but rather an entirely new app, so you will have to re-buy it to get these improvements. However, the developer insists that the time and effort that went into recreating this improved experience is worthy of your money. Despite it being honored by Apple, I somehow missed the original, but this sounds like an interesting concept. Plus, I just realized these guys also developed the app version of Whoowasit?, which my daughters and I love playing together on the iPad.

broken-sword-5-serpents-curse_720656825_ipad_01.jpgHow about we embark on some adventures?

Let’s finish out this week’s roundup with a few point and click adventure games. I’m still working on the Blackwell series from last week, so I have no idea how I’ll find time to play them all, but as you’ll see there are a lot of good looking titles to pick from this week!

Revolution has put Broken Sword 5 – the Serpent’s Curse on sale for $4.99 (reg $6.99) to celebrate the launch of Episode 2. The concluding episode of this two-part puzzle adventure is now available as a paid In App Purchase for a $5.99. The Broken Sword series is well produced and if you are a fan of point and click adventure games, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Deep Silver, the studio behind PC/console titles like the Dead Island series now bring their award-winning Secret Files point and click adventure series to iOS platforms with Secret Files Tunguska. “When Vladimir Kalenkow, a high-ranking scientist looking into the unexplained Tunguska catastrophe from 1908, goes missing, his daughter Nina and his assistant Max are drawn into a conspiracy of epic proportions.” This looks like a really great interactive mystery and there are no IAPs or micro-transactions, this is the full game.

red-johnsons-chronicles_893632917_ipad_02.jpgFinally, that brings us to Microids’ latest offering,Red Johnson’s Chronicles. You are private detective Red Johnson, pulled into a mysterious murder case where there is no body. Dealing with the corrupt elements of the city you must solve puzzles, analyze clues, question witnesses and just try to stay alive long enough to solve the case. This one too looks like it has some nice production values and hours of gameplay.

And that will do it for this week, please leave your comments below letting us know which new apps and games you picked up this week (whether or not they were on my list).

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