angry-birds-stella_875251011_ipad_02After last week’s monster list of new releases, is there anything new to release this week? YOU BETCHA!

We kick off this our coverage with former titans of the iOS charts, Rovio Entertainment Ltd and who are vying to reclaim some of their former glory with new iOS game releases.

Angry Birds Stella is the newest title in the long line of Angry Birds slingshot puzzle games from Rovio Entertainment Ltd. This latest effort features a pink female fowl named Stella and her “super adventurous” friends Dahlia, Poppy, Willow and Luca. You and your team are on a quest to protect Golden Island from Gale, the greedy Bad Princess “who has stolen their scrapbook and is destroying their magical home” in over 120 levels of free-to-play gameplay. The game still uses the same familiar slingshot mechanic, but the freshman cast of characters have a variety of new special abilities. It seems like pretty much the same AB we’ve seen time and time again, but I have enjoyed the little bit I’ve played thus far.

diamond-digger-saga_636511657_ipad_01.jpgNext, if you haven’t already fallen off the money train then you might be interested in their latest free-to-pay (and annoy your social network friends) matching game, Diamond Digger Saga. Trading candies for diamonds, you play as Diggy, exploring a world full of diamonds and hauling away your booty by making groups of 3 or more diamonds, hopefully reaching the target score. Again, this looks like more of the same from King.

Lumo Deliveries is supposed to be arriving on the App Store sometime today, but isn’t quite out just yet. It is a new social location/strategy game where you can play by yourself or compete against your friends in an attempt to be the biggest delivery firm in the world. Starting with just a single driver you try to grow and expand your delivery business, adding new fleets of crazy delivery vehicles as your empire grows and you deliver goods to over 20,000 real world locations.

Armor Games offers up some great looking arcade action this week with their free vertical space shooter, Gemini Strike. With stylized graphics, customizable mix and match weapons and shields, boss battles and some really nice looking physics, this free to play shooter looks like it’ll be a blast.

all-star-quarterback_680555553_ipad_01.jpgFlick-based sports enthusiasts Full Fat are back with a new Football title this week called All Star Quarterback. This free-to-play sports game puts you onto the gridiron calling the plays and working your way up from rookie to 1st string pro with paid sponsors. Choose from 32 teams and experience the star Quarterback lifestyle both on and off the field from training in the gym, to buying luxury items like cars, homes and private jets. Full Fat’s games are usually pretty fun and nice for some quick pick up and play fun.

Last week Tin Man Games launch their fantastic comic book style gamebook Appointment with F.E.A.R. and now this week, Cubus Games brings iOS adventurers a gamebook app version of science fiction writer Kyle B. Stiff’s hit choose-your-own-adventure book, Heavy Metal Thunder. You can set out on the first chapter of this “thrilling journey across the darkest regions of space” for free, or buy the entire story for $2.99.

Time to open those wallets…

We kick off the paid apps with the first of two minimalistic, colorful circle puzzle games, GREG – A Mathematical Puzzle Game. And yes, as the name suggests, there is a little bit of arithmetic involved as you try to combine the numbers in the grid of colored tokens to match value displayed at the top of the screen. Once you match every number, you complete the level. As you progress and the timer ticks down, the game gets more and more difficult as unused tokens start to become volatile. The pressure is always on due to a mechanic kind of similar to what we saw in the word game LEX, where you must ‘cool down’ the unused tokens by using them in a sum otherwise if even just one burns, it is game over. The app is on sale for 50% off for the first week of release.

The second of these puzzle games is Colorbs and comes from Commander Pixman publisher One Minute Games. Combining elements of match-3 and Tetris, in Colorbs you move rows to match orbs (made up of some combination of the 9 colors, 10 orb types, 11 figures) in groups of three or more with new blocks of orbs dropping in regularly from the top of the screen. Make matches to avoid the stacks reaching the top.

mikey-boots_842231156_ipad_01.jpgMikey Boots is the third game in the excellent speed runner ‘Mikey’ series from BeaverTap Games. First he just ran, jumped and slid, then Mikey added swinging to he repertoire in the delightful Mikey Hooks and now in Mikey Boots he can fly! Using a super-responsive Jetpack Joyride-style tap-to-float mechanic you need to avoid all manner of spikes, fireballs, missiles and baddies as you race through twisting and turning levels, trying to lay down the fastest times and dominate the per-level leaderboards. All of the unlockable heads, eyes, faces and boots are back as are the ghosts and now there are even two playable characters (a new girl character). An awesome new entry in this fun series!

Speaking of speed we have Battle Riders a combat racing game powered by Unity, in which players vehicles are equipped with heavy artillery to help them wreck the competition. Compete in over 120 events in career mode to unlock new cars tracks and more and test your driving skills in six unique racing modes including Duel, Battle Race, Survival, Elimination, Clean Race and Time Trial. It offers both tilt and virtual controls, so if you like your racing games with a little more ammo, this one may be worth a look.

star-walk-kids-astronomy-for_907759227_ipad_01.jpgI always like to include an app for the kids and this week we have Star Walk Kids – Astronomy for Children, a special kid-centric version of Vito Technology’s award-winning astronomy app. With cool educational cartoons and professionally narrated fun astronomy facts, this app makes learning entertaining. It also has the same live motion tracking features of the “adult” version making it a fun tool for discussion and bonding with your child. I’m looking forward to trying it out with my daughters.

How about a few digital board games…

These next two apps are digital releases of successfully Kickstarted board and card games and were originally slated to release last Thursday but were delayed due to Apple’s approval process. The first is Yardmaster: Rule the Rails! from Crash Games. Ever since backing the physical version of the game last May, I’ve been super excited for this iOS version to launch (especially since the tabletop version isn’t slated for release until October). It is an easy to learn card game where players collect resources to purchase rail cars containing like resources of differing values which they can load onto the back of their train if they match the rear-most car in either color (resource) or value. The first player to build a train valued at 18 points or more wins. The app supports both local play for up to 5 players and online multiplayer for two (though this seems to be a bit wonky at the moment). Unfortunately there is no tutorial included in the app (an unfortunate oversight), but there is a rule book and this video does a great job of teaching the rules in about 10 minutes. I have been thoroughly enjoying the single player mode and I’m hoping the multiplayer issues get sorted out soon.

province_909566494_ipad_02.jpgProvince (from Laboratory Games) is another Kickstarter project which I backed (along with over 6,000 others) and this one is a fun little two player worker-placement micro-game where you build structures and complete goals in an attempt to score the most victory points. The entire game plays out on a tiny little board. Players take turns until either one player has built 7 Structures, one of each Structure has been built, or all Goal Tokens have been claimed or removed. Province is both fun and a relatively quick. The app currently supports only single-player against an AI opponent or local multiplayer. Unfortunately there is no online multiplayer at the moment, however the developer does have plans to add it sometime in the future once they get a couple of other projects off their checklist. I haven’t tried this app yet as I am still waiting on my free copy as part of the Kickstarter campaign.

Finally that brings us to one of the really nice surprises of the week, Valiant Hearts: The Great War. First published by Ubisoft in June on PC and consoles this puzzle / history / adventure game combines an awesome animated visual style with an interesting story-line and a presentation including narration which feels like a great PBS documentary. It makes for a truly unique and thoroughly entertaining experience. A piece of fiction set during historical events, locations and battles of WWI, Valiant Hearts is a point and click tale of survival, lost love and the brutality of war. This mobile version of the game introduces new intuitive touch controls which add interactivity into the puzzle elements of the game. The iOS version also includes expanded historical content, allowing you to learn more about the real-world events that make up the backdrop of the story. This is an experience that is not to be missed. The $4.99 base app gives you the first episode of the game, with 3 more episodes unlockable via IAP for $3.99 each or in a discounted episode 2-4 bundle for $8.99.

That’ll do it for this week, now go out and download some of these great new apps.

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