It seems like everyone is trying to get their new releases out before Thanksgiving, so there is no shortage of new iOS games this week. Many of the titles employ some sort of constant forward motion mechanic to keep the pressure on and test those reflexes(which will no doubt become slow and lethargic due to overeating next week). Pixel art also features pretty heavily this week as well.
We kick off our coverage with a modern, charming and addictive take on the arcade classic, Frogger, called Crossy Road. Using a series of taps and swipes you try to get one of 50 different animals across endless busy highways and floating log filled streams. Delay too long and a ginormous bird flies in and takes you out. A brilliantly fun game and easily one of the best adaptation of Frogger-style gameplay on iOS to date.
These next few titles may leave your head spinning as they all have rotation mechanics.
In Checkpoint Champion, the clock is always ticking, the pedal is floored and you must skillfully rotate left, rotate right or turbo your way forward to steer your car into a series of checkpoints in this easy to play, but tough to master little car game.
Instead of trying to hit things with your car, Blitz Racer is a game of avoidance. Your car is constantly moving forward and you must tap on the left and right sides of the screen to rotate it clockwise and counter-clockwise to navigate the windy, blocky path ahead and avoid obstacles. You will die early…you will die often…you have been warned.
One More Line is another ‘play…die…repeat’ game which adds a grappling mechanic to its forward motion, with players swinging and spinning to avoid a random scattering of rainbow-colored obstacles while listening to a space disco soundtrack.
And finally Wild Wild West is an 8-bit endless walker/shooter set in the old west. As your cowboy makes his way through town you move him around as he shoots at an unending supply of varmints and bad guys, picking up coins which can be used to upgrade stats and abilities to help you go further in future plays. To keep things interesting, there are also some tough boss battles along the way.
Pair Solitaire is a neat new take on the solo card game. Instead of removing cards that are one higher or lower or building runs of sequential cards, players are presented with one long string of all 52 cards. Your goal is simple, remove as many cards as possible, by extracting single cards from pairs of the same suit or rank which are separated by only one other card. While it sounds easy enough, it does take some planning so that you can line up combos of cards which can then be removed sequentially. It’s a cool little variant and the game can be played in either portrait or landscape mode.
Do you have quick drawing skills? Impossible Draw combines elements of drawing with Hole In The Wall, and tasks players with quickly drawing the identical shape, number or letter that is displayed on a rapidly approaching wall. Fail to make a satisfactory replica in time and it’s game over.
I still don’t get why Clash of Clans is so darn popular, I just didn’t find it at all appealing. However a lot of people seem to disagree with me and a number of other companies have taken their popular franchises and tried to use them to build their own CoC-like game (with varying degrees of success). Activision appears to be the latest publisher following this model with its new release, Call of Duty®: Heroes, which takes its popular shooter out of the FPS genre and into the world of 3D combat strategy. I will say that as a CoD fan, this one does have me bit curious and I may actually give it a go.
After a few false starts, this week Phoenix Online Studios finally launched The Last Door: Collector’s Edition on iOS. It is an episodic point and click horror game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Set in Victorian England, the game follows “the story of Jeremiah Devitt as he uncovers the dark secrets surrounding his late childhood friend”. Looks creepy, 8-bitty and good.
NinJump Dash is a real-time racer from Backflip Studios which pits you against either friends or strangers in a 4-person multiplayer foot race as you run and jump along rooftops collecting power ups to use on the other ninjas to slow them down so that you can finish the race first. I’ve given this one a go and it is pretty fun and frenetic.
Onto the paid apps…
Full Ahead! is a level-based game, which utilizes both the tilt and motion controls of your phone to create a Wii-like gaming experience. You are on a rescue submarine and are the operator of the V3RN, a mechanical rescue ball device which you must toss/guide to collect cogs and gears and try to land within certain areas of your surroundings. You actually swing your phone to toss the V3RN. The gameplay kind of reminds me of a ball tossing carnival game, or playing Skee-Ball with a really bouncy ball. It’ll get you up out of your seat, just make sure you hold onto that phone.
Swing Tale is a Cut the Rope style puzzle game where you are a cute little creature who can use his tentacles to grab things and swing. You tap on target points to get the creature to grab them with his tentacles and draw a slash though a tentacle to get it to release. You are trying to collect three stars in each level and reach the plant at the end, which you cause to bloom when you land on it.
Quetzalcoatl is a colorful little minimalistic puzzle game where you must drag snake-like objects around a gridded board. The snakes have little colored circles on them and you must line up the circles with their matching colored squares on the board. Looks like great time filler and some of the puzzles in the trailer look pretty challenging.
You, the captain, have just been trapped in Space after your ship exploded and your crew is scattered about. Instead of just immediately giving up and dying, you want to honor your “no one dies alone” pact, so now you must try to gather your crew by hopping and using your jet pack to go from planet to planet, dealing with unpredictable gravity and tethering yourselves to one another. Since a rescue is out of the question and endlessly drifting in Space is not an option, once you have all your shipmates, you can all jump into the flaming sun and burn up together. Sunburn! was made by a small a three person studio, has a quirky premise and great looking pixel art, all of which make it look like a winner to me.
A hugely popular title, the original Five Nights At Freddy’s was a horror game where players took on the role of the new overnight security guard for the under-performing Chuck E. Cheese-like restaurant. Over the course of five nights you have to watch the security monitors and make sure you don’t run out of power otherwise the murderous animatronic robots loose in the store will get you. In Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, a new crop of deadly animatronic characters join the cast at Freddy’s.
Finally that leads us to my most anticipated title of the night, Kingdom Rush Origins. This is an all-new tower defense adventure set in Ironhide Game Studio’s fanciful world. Having played through a good portion of the game already, I can tell you that this is easily the toughest entry in the series thus far. Even at ‘Normal’ difficulty it’ll take some careful planning when placing of your towers if you want to keep from getting overrun by baddies. Excellent animations, a huge amount of polish, dynamically changing levels and fun new towers enemies and more this is another must-have tower-defense title for all iOS owners!