rad-boarding_962473684_ipad_01.jpgPerhaps due to GDC and PAX East, this is a relatively light week of new releases quantity-wise, but we do have some entertaining and unique new titles just arriving on the App Store.

We’ll kick things off with the latest from Noodlecake Studios, in their “Tiny Wings meets SSX” endless snowboarding game, RAD Boarding. Using Tiny Wings’ touch and hold mechanic to build momentum on hills, meanwhile players also pull off mid-air tricks using a variety of swipe mechanics, with new tricks/gestures progressively unlocked through play. Try to fill your RAD Meter by pulling off sic combos and your get extra boosts which will allow you to outrun the apocalypse a little longer. There are all sorts of cool costumes and milk caps (aka Pogs) to unlock and collect.

Next up is the worldwide release of a pretty polished looking free-to-play 3D action RPG called Taichi Panda. It is “set in a mystical world filled with goblins, demons, bandits and pandas”. Select your hero from a knight, a rogue-like treasure hunter or a panda skilled in the martial arts. The game includes upgradeable gear and pets and players can join in battles and challenges across PvP, Team Dungeons and online multiplayer modes.

I’m not really sure what to make of this somewhat quirky next title.

con-em-if-you-can_923372242_ipad_02.jpgAvailable in separate iPhone and iPad releases, Con ‘Em If You Can is a free game aimed to help improve personal financial capability, self-confidence, and knowledge. Through gameplay and role-reversal, players are educated on the best ways to avoid being conned out of their finances. Con ‘Em If You Can puts the player in the shoes of the Con Artist, trying to successfully con various people out of their money by ‘buying’ and deploying and using traditional tactics. It’s a pretty entertaining and well presented app, developed along with the 501c3 nonprofit Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund.

If you went to college, odds are sometime during your tenure, you probably played the trick taking card game President, or some variation of it, perhaps known by a less regal sounding name. Players are trying to be the first to get rid of all of their cards, with the first to do so being dubbed President, second is Vice President and the final two Vice A**hole and A**hole. The game is played over three rounds with some card swapping based on your social standing. Players can play any number of numerically matching cards to the center pile, either matching or beating the value the current value. 2s are special and end the discard pile, allowing the player to start again. At the end of the third round, the player in the President position wins. Bulkypix has released their version of the game, President – The Card Game, which can be played online against others for post of in-game currency, or solo against AI players. There is a nice tutorial to get you started.

Set in late 19th century Paris, Criminel is a noir mystery detective game where you play as the newly hired (due to your strong stomach) crime scene photographer. Using this primitive forensic technique, you must help to solve a series of gruesome murders, uncover secrets and reveal the killer. The game’s first-person perspective puts you right on Paris’ dark, dreary stone streets and at the murder scenes. The game offers a unique experience and a neat peek into the turn of the century forensic methods that have influenced modern criminology.

blockwick-2_945199694_ipad_02.jpgIt’s been a while since we’ve seen something new from those talented puzzle masters, the Kieffer Bros., but this week they are back with Blockwick 2, the sequel to their 2011 release. Along with a fresh coat of paint, the new release introduces 160 levels of block solving fun in which you must shift blocks around an enclosed (and sometimes obstacle-filled) play area to get the specially colored blocks to touch one another in some capacity. There are lots of tricky special blocks that appear as you progress, keeping the game fresh. Plus for increased difficulty you can try to find a hidden pearl in each level and/or solve the level in a way such that you illuminate all of the glyphs as well. If you like puzzle games, then I think you are probably going to really like this one. Kieffer Bros. always put out quality apps and Blockwick 2 is no exception.

Perhaps one of the most exciting releases for me personally this week is not a new app per se, but an expansion for one of my favorite apps from last year, the space-themed deckbuilder, Star Realms. The $3.99 Gambit Expansion adds 25 new cards to the game, adding to its depth and replayability with new ships and bases, the all-new, super cool Gambit cards. For more details on the expansion you can check out my previous post. The update is available now, so grab it and then buy the expansion.

pixel-heroes-byte-magic_955790173_ipad_02.jpgThat brings us to the retro-tastic iOS port of the RPG/Roguelike Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic. “Explore a randomized world full of hilarious events, deadly dungeons and the weirdest NPCs you will ever meet in a game!” Players select a team of three heroes (from a collection of 30 unlockable hero classes) and set off on their crazy journey, exploring dungeons, meeting odd NPCs with tales to tell and plenty of procedurally generated loot to collect. Both humorous and satisfying, even when you die and must start anew (it includes a graveyard where you can grieve your fallen heroes). Plus the whole game is decked out in a really cool pixel art theme. Even if you aren’t really a fan of RPGs, I think this one’s wit and charm may just win over some skeptics.

Finally, we have a couple of new options for war gaming fans.

Developed by HexWar Games and based on the classic Decision Games board game, Twilight’s Last Gleaming recreates ten historic battles in the War of 1812 between the United States and the British Empire. In this hex-based system, players can choose a side and face many tactical decisions and challenges of varying size and complexity. Lead your infantry, cavalry, artillery, generals into battle and try to “outmaneuver, outwit or outshoot your opponent”.

vietnam...65_948617749_ipad_01The year is 1965 and the US is embattled in a difficult ground war in Vietnam and you, US Army commander, must “wage a counter-insurgency (COIN) war to secure the Ia Drang valley, on the border with Cambodia”. In Vietnam…’65, it’ll take careful planning, patience and a little luck to carry out your COIN mission, and co-ordinate of ground troops, special forces, artillery, mechanized units, local forces and airmobile assets. Destroy the Vietcong (VC) insurgents, and re-stabilize the province. Lead your troops well and win this war soldier.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week…enjoy!

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