retry_853027301_ipad_04Even ignoring the non-gaming new app releases, (like Pixelmator, Infuse Pro and Inbox by Gmail) there is still a load of new games to cover this week, so let’s just dive right in, starting with RETRY. Five months ago, during the heart of the Flappy Bird Clone craze, Rovio soft-launched their take on the crowded genre in the form of this tough-to-control one-touch plane flying game. Now, under their new LVL11 publishing banner, they’ve finally released the game worldwide…the question is, does anyone care at this point?

The new top-down free-to-play zombie shooter, SAS: Zombie Assault 4 encourages players to mow down hoards of brain-dead walkers and comes complete with “upgradeable guns and armor, unique class skills, and 4 player co-op”. It is published by Ninja Kiwi, the same guys who brought us the Bloons TD series.

If killing zombies isn’t your thing, then perhaps Foursaken Media’s match-three / puzzle platforming mash-up will be more your speed. In Puzzle to the Center of the Earth, players use match-3 style gameplay to clear paths, allowing you to dig their way to the center of the Earth and ” find legendary treasure”.

rival-stars-basketball_909480609_ipad_02.jpgIn Rival Stars Basketball players are tasked with building the winningest Basketball Team through a unique mixture of card management and flick-based gameplay. PikPok combines aspects of its usual gesture-based sporting fare (used for dunking, passing and more) with a card collecting and evolution mechanism to enable you to upgrade your players and (hopefully) win basketball games. Players can upgrade their teams either by purchasing blind booster packs of cards (either via in-game currency or real-money IAPs) and open them and add new players to their decks, or use these new players to increase the stats of the existing members of their squad.

This next title, Papercade, is one I was lucky enough to check out at PAX East earlier this year. It has a great, captivating and appealing visual style to it. Using either your own photos or some o the supplied artwork, Papercade is more of an outlet for creativity for people of all ages to craft and share their own playable dioramas. Let your imagination run wild and check out this creative little app.

And the final freebie I wanted to mention this week is Mmm Fingers, which is another of Noodlecake’s smaller publishing efforts. In this game of avoidance, you simply drag a finger around the screen trying to steer clear of the spinning saws, spiked blocks and other dangerous obstacles, with the only goal being to stay our of harms way for as long as possible.

And that brings us to the paid apps…

Black Tower Enigma is a neat looking retro-style puzzle adventure game where you play as an orc, whose wife has been kidnapped and taken to The Black Tower Enigma. You must solve riddles and compete challenges “in order to climb up and find some clues to find your wife”.

mecanic_919122624_ipad_03I’m not sure if they are still popular, but like many kids of my generation, growing up I had an Erector set and loved to build all sorts of stuff from those hole-laden, flat pieces of metal and plastic, using screws, nuts and that awkwardly flat wrench. The new app Mecanic recreates the classic Erector set in digital form including realistic gravity component, 50 models of varying difficulty and free play mode where you can let your imagination run wild. I am very tempted to pick this one up solely for nostalgia’s sake.

Miika is a 3D puzzle game in a similar vein as Monument Valley where players must manipulate the camera’s perspective and utilize optical illusions to help Miika navigate his surreal environment.

Ayopa Games looks like they’ve put a neat twist on the Tower Defense genre with their new title Sleep Attack TD. Like all TD games, players get to build, place and upgrade their towers to stave off waves of attackers, but in this game, the defender can “rotate the battlefield to force foes down a preferred path of destruction”. It certainly sounds like a cool new strategic element and I’m curious to see how it works in actual practice…either way…kudos for innovation.

tilt-to-live-gauntlets-revenge_888853779_ipad_01.jpgOne Man Left is back again this week, not with an update to a previous game, but all-new Tilt to Live action in Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge. Originally conceived as DLC for Tilt to Live 2 to give it its own version of the popular Gauntlet mode from the first game, the project grew too big and morphed into its own separate game. Gauntlet’s Revenge takes the precision tilt controls and several game elements from Tilt to Live 2 and challenges players with “a collection of brutal tilt obstacle courses”. Having played through some of this already, I can tell you this is a fun…but rather challenging new entry in the franchise as you try to dodge flying projectiles and weave among deadly spinning obstacles. I have yet to conquer any of the three gauntlets. If you are a Tilt to Live fan, you are definitely going to want to pick this one up.

If you, like me, are horrible at world geography, then this next app may be an entertaining way to help improve your geographic prowess. Featuring some charming hand drawn info-graphic style visuals, Worldly is a geographical quiz game of facts and stats, questioning “how much you know about our planet, its countries, and the people who live on it?” So whether you are a trivia buff, want to show off your superior knowledge of world geography or just want a fun way to learn, Worldly may be for you.

toca-boo_919097064_ipad_02.jpgListen up kids…Toca Boca is back and they have a spooky new app just in time for Halloween (well as spooky as Toca Boca gets anyways…probably more cute than spooky). In Toca Boo, kids take on the role of Bonnie, a little girl whose family loves to be spooked. You are free to float around the two-floor, six-room house trying to find family members to scare, discover hidden surprises, explore and interact with elements of the house. Toca Boca never seems to disappoint the kids, so if you have little boys or ghouls, this would be a great pre-Halloween treat.

With the first of two new notable digital Gamebook apps which launched this week, Cubus Games brings us an interactive digital version of author Dave Morris’ classic gamebook, Necklace of Skulls (from his ‘Virtual Reality’ series of novels) which follows a man on a journey to retain his soul while seeking revenge for the murder of his twin brother by an evil demon-wizard. It features some nice looking art and animations and a twisting narrative with plenty of decision making.

super-glyph-quest_916793743_ipad_02.jpgWhen it launched earlier this year, I was almost immediately enamored with Alexander Trowers’ free (to try) Match-3 infused Puzzle RPG game Glyph Quest. There was just something whimsical about the graphical style and crazy monsters, and despite it having the somewhat tired core mechanic of match-3, I found it engaging as I tried to combine elemental glyphs to cast spells and attack evil creatures. Now Trowers is back with the bigger and better (paid) sequel, Super Glyph Quest which adds additional glyphs, new spells, monsters and more.

Splot is a new speed run platformer from Frozenbyte, the studio responsible for the popular Trine series of PC/Console games. You are Splot, “a one-eyed blue alien who has crash landed onto a strange planet along with his adversaries, the Hungry Blobs”. You must race against the Blogs to save the Baby Birdlings by reaching all of the captured buildings before time runs out and the Blobs eat them. There will be numerous obstacles impeding your path, and a variety of “splottastic” power-ups to assist you along the way. The game sports some fantastic looking cartoony graphics.

my-very-hungry-caterpillar_894991908_ipad_02.jpgAs I think I’ve mentioned on the site several times before, my daughters are big fans of author Eric Carle and especially his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The folks at StoryToys Entertainment Limited own the rights to producing apps based on Carle’s work and they just launched a great looking interactive 3D app for kids featuring the aforementioned famished caterpillar. In My Very Hungry Caterpillar children get to “care for their very own very hungry caterpillar”, feeding him big pieces of fruit and participating in a number of other activities. If your young children love Carle’s original book, they’ll likely have a blast interacting and playing with the very hungry caterpillar in this app.

The second of the two notable gamebooks this week comes from digital gamebook pioneers, Tin Man Games and it is another entry in their Fighting Fantasy series. Originally written by author Ian Livingston and published in 1984, Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch takes adventurers “to Northern Allansia’s perilous Icefinger Mountains to defeat the wicked Snow Witch”. Tin Man’s digital adaptation features all of their usual bells and whistles like player-controlled difficulty, an automated Adventure Sheet which keeps track of your stats and inventory items, realistic dice rolling, composed soundtrack, beautiful illustrations and “atmospheric new visuals which can be turned off to make the gamebook look like it came off the printing press in the 80s”. If Tin Man’s previous body of work is any indication, then this should be one darn good gamebook!

nhl-2k_863269602_ipad_02.jpgClosely following up last week’s NBA 2K15, 2K Games is back and trading in their sneakers for skates in NHL 2K. It’s been quite a few years since we last saw 2K release a hockey game on iOS, but this return to iOS aims to impress with “a fast paced 3v3 mini rink mode, turn-based multiplayer shootouts and an immersive My Career Mode with enhanced graphics and live roster updates”. There is even iOS controller support as well.

And finally we have the latest strategy game from Hunted Cow Studios, a Napoleonic war game called Peninsular War Battles. Set in the early 19th Century during Napoleon’s campaign to conquer Portugal and Spain, the player can act as the “British, French or Spanish across 5 campaigns with a total of 40 missions”. This looks like a pretty deep tactical wargame with nice attention to historical details.

And…I’m done for this week.
Let us know in the comments if you’ll be picking any of these titles or if there are any (must-have) others which I missed (I’m sure I did).

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