galcon-2-galactic-conquest_898558158_ipad_02.jpgAs we head into our final week of new releases before Apple locks down the App Store for the holidays, we have quite a few new titles arriving on the App Store, especially sequels.

So let’s dive right in with Galcon 2: Galactic Conquest, the latest title in Phil Hasey’s popular, frenetic space strategy game series which has players frantically sending swarms of ships from planet to planet trying to capture the entire galaxy before their opponent. While the gameplay looks very much the same, this latest outing is free-to-play and appears to add a new clan mechanic. If you are a fan of the series, then you’ve probably already downloaded this, if you are a newcomer, then this could be a fun place to start.

Gameloft is back for a third tour of duty in Brothers in Arms® 3: Sons of War. This is the studio’s popular WW2, third-person cover-based, tactical squad-based shooter with some nice production values and it is free-to-play.

mini-motor-racing-wrt_938559570_02Originally released in 2011, I was a huge fan of The Binary Mill’s little racing game, Mini Motor Racing. Now the studio is following it up with Mini Motor Racing WRT, a free-to-play sequel with an RPG-style career mode where players build up a garage full of vehicles, that they can tweak and tune, form Race Clubs with their friends and hit the track to take on other racers from around the world. The game even features officially licensed vehicles from Nissan, KIA and Choro-Q (penny racer).

SimCity BuildIt is a new 3D, free-to-play classic building construction, Sim City experience from Electronic Arts. You need to carefully layout your city, “strategically placing buildings to keep the taxes flowing and your city growing”. As mayor you’ll also have to deal with traffic issues, pollution problems and more. You can even create and trade resources with friends and other cities to help them out as well. I am thrilled to see the “real” SimCity (that I used to play on the PC growing up) make another appearance on mobile again, and not more of that The Sims garbage. However, after the whole DRM fiasco when this game at launched on the consoles, I have significant concerns about the free-to-play mechanics messing with player enjoyment. I guess we’ll see.

wheres-my-geek_897407655_ipad_02.jpgFor a while Ivanovich Games, was (fairly regularly) releasing a number of fun Where’s Waldo-style hidden person puzzle games, filled with pop-culture references and decked out in their unique pixel art style, but unfortunately we haven’t seen a new one in a while…until now. Based on their hit game Time Geeks, the newly released Where’s my geek? offers up a 200+ level Story Mode as well as 50 levels where “you will have to find zombie celebrities, aim at them using the accelerometer and finish them off”. There are also 7 retro arcade games to unlock, same-device multiplayer and Internet-based weekly tournaments. Always a fun time, this should be an instant download.

Reliance Games, who previously brought us Pacific Rim, Real Steel and Real Steel World Robot Boxing enter the mechanical battle arena once more with Ultimate Robot Fighting, a 3v3-style tag-team brawler where players assemble their teams from a collection of 45 of the deadliest battle machines. Use gesture based controls to deliver attacks, combos and finishers as you battle through nearly 250 challenges including boss-battles.

Still have some fight left in you? Then challenge your local and distant friends in cross-platform martial arts matchups in Taekwondo Game Global Tournament. Utilizing the movements from motion-captured taekwondo professionals and utilizing the Olympic rules the developer, Hello There, has stayed true to the discipline to offer an authentic experience.

spoiler-alert_575634541_ipad_02.jpgSpoiler Alert is comedy platformer, based on a rather unique premise in which your adventure starts where most platformers finish. “The big bad boss has been defeated, you’ve collected all the coins, and the princess has been saved. Now it’s time to do it all again – but in reverse, making sure to uncollect every coin and unkill every enemy, to avoid any nasty time paradoxes.” With its Adventure Time-ish cartoony art style, Spoiler Alert looks like a really fun, wacky and fresh take on the traditional platformer.

How would you like to design and plan your own virtual fireworks display? With Fireworks Simulator, you get to select the types of fireworks and position your racks to combine over 100 authentic effects. Light’em up and watch the sparks fly as you combine them with your music and direct the show from up to 6 different camera angles. You can even save your favorite shows as videos to share with friends.

Bulkypix, who recently mmade a pile of their apps permanently free, have launched a couple of new titles this week, one of which is The Drive : Devil’s Run. It is a retro, cell-shaded point to point racing game that pays homage to classics like Test Drive. I’m not sure how it holds up to more modern fare, but those looking for a nostalgic drive down memory lane, may want to check it out.

stair-slide-blocks-to-ascend_930230855_ipad_02.jpgStair: Slide the Blocks to Ascend is a somewhat intriguing looking dexterity/reflex platformer in which players are trying to progress upwards by dragging out blocks from the side of the screen for their jumping character to land on. As you play you come across blocks which can’t be moved and some with spikes on them which must be avoided. It looks like a neat take on the climb higher genre, with a good deal more player interaction than the usual mindless tilting.

It is nearly Christmas, so how about a few for the kids?

From SlimCricket comes Cricket Kids: Christmas Presents, a collection of 12 educational Christmas-themed minigames for 2 to 7 year olds featuring the two little Crickets “and their mischievous antics”. Each game is packaged within a gift and are designed to help teach and reinforce certain skills, while entertaining the child. There are color by numbers, music games and more. It is cute and feels like it is probably more suited for kids trending toward the younger end of specified range.

toca-kitchen-2_943869618_ipad_01Toca Boca is back with Toca Kitchen 2, a second helping of their 2011 food prep hit. Now there are even more tools and utensils to choose from, new foods and a new crop of hungry (and sometimes picky) eaters to feed, with stronger reactions. It is on sale at a special launch price of 99¢ and I can’t wait to surprise my girls with this one when I sneak it onto the family iPad mini.

Designed specifically for the more casual pinball players, Pinball Planet Pro offers up some unique mechanics not found in the more realistic pinball sims. The game includes three unique tables ( a pirate ship, a mine and a graveyard) which combine elements from real classic pinball tables and new digital elements that could never exist in analog form. Players are tasked with completing a rolling set of dynamic missions which allow for varied gameplay. For those of you that aren’t fans of the traditional style pinball games, Pinball Planet Pro’s cartoony, arcadey style might be a little more up your alley.

I had never even heard of the sport of lacrosse until I got to college and in the years since then, it seems to be getting more and more popular and widespread. So I’m a bit surprised to see that it has taken this long for someone to develop a mobile game based on the sport, but College Lacrosse 2014 claims to be the “first ever full field lacrosse video game for iOS”. The player takes control of his or her team for a 14 week season hopefully passing, checking, dodging and shooting their way to victory. From the screenshots, it looks pretty polished.

my-om-nom_942990867_ipad_01Finally that brings us to My Om Nom, a new virtual pet app from ZeptoLab, featuring the adorable candy-loving little hero from the Cut the Rope series of puzzle games…Om Nom. You get to take care of your very own Om Nom or Om Nelle, feeding it, playing with it, buying it new furniture and toys, bathing it and interacting with it. I’ve had chance to play with this a little and Om Nom’s reactions are really cute and he’s rendered in 3D and full of character. I could easily see a child spending a lot of time with this. While My Om Nom is not free, like some of the other interactive pet apps out there on the App Store, it DOES NOT contain ads in-app purchases so parents need not worry about unexpected charges.

That’s all the new stuff I have for you this week, don’t forget to keep visiting Our Complete Guide To iOS App Store Holiday and End of Year Sales as there are loads of great deals right now and I’ll be updating frequently to add new bargains as they are announced.

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