angry-birds-transformers_869231055_ipad_02.jpgToday Apple is expected to revel the next generation of iPads and other goodies, and from the looks of it, there will be no shortage of new games to be played on them. Every week it seems to get tougher and tougher to narrow things down to a manageable number of new releases and this week is no exception. We have a nice mix of genres and prices this week, so you are bound to find something new to fit both your taste and budget.

It’s a battle between the AutoBirds and the DeceptiHogs in Rovio’s latest Angry Birds offering, Angry Birds Transformers. As is evident from the title, the game brings together the Angry Birds and Transformers franchises. Not simply another re-skinned sling-shotting affair (like the Star Wars branded versions of Angry Birds), this is a level-based, 3D shoot ‘em up auto-running adventure. Quickly try to target weak areas of the passing structures across multiple 3D planes as your transformer/bird hybrid continuously runs forward. If you like Angry Birds or Transformers, both, or hate one and like the other you should probably give this one a try.

the-silent-age_580991034_ipad_02.jpgIt’s been nearly 20 months since House on Fire launched the free (first) episode of their excellent free atmospheric, time-travelling point and click adventure game The Silent Age. This week they’ve launch an update to the title which adds a (paid) second and final episode to the game which is unlockable via a single $4.99 IAP. I have already played through both episodes in the series and the story is well-written, resolving the unique tale with a satisfying conclusion. The entire experience will take you roughly 3 to 4 hours to complete depending on how long you take with the puzzles. I highly recommend checking out this polished and engaging little point and click adventure.

A bot-filled mix of strategy, puzzle and tower defense, The Bot Squad: Puzzle Battles is Ubisoft’s latest free-to-play entry. Players must act both offensively and defensively, controlling robotic units, searching for orbs in obstacle ridden maps. Sometimes you will be on the attack, trying to make your way through series of traps and towers, while other times you are on the defensive, setting up towers to stop raiding enemy bots before they can reach your orbs and stars. Like many free-to-play titles, the game does appear to have an energy mechanic in the form of batteries, but an infinite battery may be purchased for a one-time $4.99 IAP, which “provides you with infinite points and allows you to play at your own speed through all Stages”.

adrenaline-rush-miami-drive_919426791_ipad_02.jpgBulkypix along with Baltoro Games combine elements of 3D endless runners and arcade racers with 70’s funk and comic books to craft Adrenaline Rush Miami Drive. However, unlike Gameloft’s recently released Asphalt Overdrive players aren’t lane restricted, they can use up any and “all of the space available on highways, including lanes in the opposite direction”. Endless runner junkies looking for a slightly different fix may want to take this one for a test drive.

Speaking of Gameloft, it is worth mentioning that they have just launched an entirely free version of their 2 year-old Halo-like FPS, N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance game with the subtitle ‘Freedom Edition’. It is a little unclear as to the reasoning behind the new release when they could have just dropped the original to free, unless they are just trying to gain visibility on the App Store or have other monetization plans for the title going forward.

Naquatic brings us more free-to-play, first-person target shooting with Shooting Showdown 2 Pro. The game offers a nice mix of target activities as well as Head-to-head online multiplayer. Shooting Showdown 2 Pro will be free at launch with limited ads which will be removed when the game goes up to its regular price of 99¢.

tactical-heroes_615349374_ipad_02.jpgTactical Heroes is another Clash of Clans style turn-based tactical combat game set in an alien world where you create your squad of Assault Troopers, Snipers and Engineers, defend your base from raiding parties and do battle against evil aliens and other players from around the world. I’m not a Clash of Clans fan, but if you like this type of game, then maybe it’s for you.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen something new from the folks at Taplay (whose previous game Monster Mayhem, is one I like to annually load back onto my device around this time of year). This week they launch Bitti Rush – Bitti Cubbi, a quick arcade game of dodging and endurance crafted in their signature retro art style. Simply move your cute little Bitti Cubbi back and forth, trying to keep her from getting squashed by falling fireballs exploding from the local volcano. Subtitled ‘episode one’, Bitti Rush appears to be Taplay’s first episode in a new series of mini games set in their new Bitti Cubbi universe.

Michael Warren’s Red Riding Hood and the Restless Wolves is an interesting looking atmospheric puzzle platforming take on the traditional tale of Red Riding Hood. Dr.Riding Hood (noted particle physicist) accidentally cast through time and space and is now trying to find her way back home. Players use the “right 60% of the screen for movement and the left 40% to jump and onscreen buttons for actions”

Lion Pig is a retro styled arcade-style platform / speed run game. Players help the game’s hero (a cute looking creature that is part lion, part pig) using the left side of the screen to move left, right side to move right and swiping gestures to wall jump and drop from ceilings. It looks pretty charming and right up my ally. I’m curious to see how it compares to some of the other games I enjoy is this genre like the Mikey series and Mos Speedrun…none of which feature the elusive lionpig.

my-little-pony-luna-eclipsed_924058967_ipad_02.jpgMy daughters are big fans of PlayDate Digital’s interactive My Little Pony storybook apps. The studio’s latest title, My Little Pony: Luna Eclipsed is based on episode four of season two of the My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic animated series. Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy try to help Princess Luna get into the Nightmare Night spirit by convincing her that scary can be thrilling. Coincidentally, I just read a (non-digital) My Little Pony book to my younger daughter at bedtime last night which was sort of based on this same story. I had no idea this digital version was coming…she will be so thrilled.

Come on down to South Park and play some pinball. ZEN Studios brings Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and a cast of recognizable characters from the irreverent TV animated series to two ‘kickass’ new tables based on the little mountain town of South Park. The first table South Park’s Super-Sweet Pinball, “focuses on the town’s diverse residents and sweet storylines” including Cartman’s probe, Sarcastaball, and Christmas in Canada. The second, South Park: Butter’s Very Own Pinball Game, “teams you up with Butters Stotch as he lives out his own pinball adventures”. You’ll get to “take on the Coon and Friends as Butter’s alter ego Professor Chaos, steal the Fostealing the Fortune Telling Device from the girls’ sleepover and more:”. These tables feature all the missions, multi-balls, polish and great physics you’ve come to expect from Zen. Each South Park table is available as $1.99 IAPs within the Zen Pinball app (my preferred method) or in a new stand-alone South Park Pinball app for $3.99.

Team17 Software of Worms fame has just published Hay Ewe, a new puzzle game from Rocket Rainbow Studios (which is made up of former PopCap employees). The game is all about helping a sheep named Matilda round up her “rather mischievous group of stubborn lambs”. Using a path drawing mechanic you tell Matilda where to go and then must properly utilize (or avoid) the unique actions of a cast of other farm animals to complete 60 challenging puzzles and achieve your goals. Once you’ve completed these, you can create and share your very own puzzles with your friends or try your hand at several mini-games. The animals are cute and it looks like the type of game that could potentially ratchet up the difficulty as you progress through the levels.

hail-to-the-king-deathbat_883491618_ipad_01.jpgMulti-platinum hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold has just released an action RPG mobile game called Hail to the King: Deathbat. In a recent interview with Polygon the band’s frontman, M. Shadows goes on to explain how he originally envisioned the title as a AAA console release, but after discussions with a few industry friends, he came to the conclusion that mobile was a better way to go and now iOS gamers get this “brutal romp through the darkest depths of the underworld with an epic tale of redemption, devastating melee combat, towering boss fights, 7 hellish landscapes and classic Avenged Sevenfold cuts along with a new and original score composed by the band”. I can’t say that I’m at all familiar with their music, but the gameplay and graphics look pretty good on this one.

NBA 2K15 is 2K’s latest mobile NBA gaming experience. This new edition features NBA MVP Kevin Durant and a soundtrack curated by Pharrell Williams. For the 2015 release 2K has “significantly improved graphics” and created new player animations. They have also improved gameplay in Quick Game mode, expanded the MyCAREER mode and added external controller support as well as the ability to change the size of the virtual controls. If you are a fan of the series,. odds are you’ve probably already bought this.

And finally…

sentinels-of-the-multiverse_923772792_ipad_01.jpgHandelabra Studio, creators of the Sentinels Sidekick companion app for Greater Than Games’ very popular comic book Super Hero themed cooperative tabletop card game Sentinels of The Multiverse have now launched their great, highly anticipated digital version of the game. Sentinels of the Multiverse is a full pass and play (or solo) gaming experience where you control up to 4 superheroes working as a team, drawing and playing cards and activating your superpowers to reduce the super villain’s HP down to zero and take him out. With 10 heroes to choose from build your team, each with their own special powers and deck of cards and abilities, 4 villains and 4 environments this game has loads of replayability.

I have never played the physical version of this game before, but after a detailed tutorial I was up and running quickly and even narrowly defeated the evil Barron Blade in my first game. It’s got cool comic book style and captures all of the fun gameplay of the physical version of the base game for less than half the price. If you are like me and have seen this being played at conventions before and were curious about the game, this iPad version is a convenient way to check it out without having to sit down and read through an entire rule book.

And that does it for this week…have fun.

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