halo-spartan-strike_940249281_ipad_02Well it is a big and insanely packed week of new iOS releases with Amazon Game Studios making its iOS debut, Microsoft debuting the Halo series on iOS and 2K releasing the first simulation-based WWE video game on mobile devices.

But before we dive into those premium titles, let’s start with some freebies.

First we have Chillingo’s latest publishing effort, Mega Drift; a single-button endless ‘driver’ where you tap and hold the screen to cause your (automatically moving) car to drift. Your goal is to make it as far as possible, reaching certain checkpoints before time runs out to add additional time to the clock. Coins earned/collected during runs can be used to upgrade and buy new vehicles.

zendots_970179258_ipad_02.jpgLittle White Bear Studios has come up with a fun mix of pinball and Breakout with their new free-to-play game ZenDots. You have a limited number of white balls which you fire at the multicolored rows of balls at the top of the screen (Breakout-style) using the pinball paddles at the bottom to keep things flying. The white ball is the only thing that can break the colored balls free, but the falling colored balls will get in your way and you need to try not to lose the white ball down the gap between the paddles, whilst letting the colored ones filter out. It’s a pretty neat little time filler.

Also falling into that free-to-play time-filler category is Grow Me Up!. It is a quick-thinking food swiping game where objects are flying across the screen at varying height, quantity and intervals and you must swipe only the food down into the person’s mouth below, avoiding accidentally swiping any bombs or non-food objects (think Fruit Ninja). The neat thing about the game is that it is played over 100 rounds where the character on screen ages by one year each round. There are checkpoints every 5 years so you don’t need to restart from infancy each time you play. The developer has done a nice job of making some of the non-foods look pretty similar to the food so that in the frenzy of the action you may make a mistake.

the-paris-dossier_972469117_ipad_02And the final freebie is the first-person, spy noir point and click adventure game The Paris Dossier. Set in 1940s Paris, you are a British Spy named Artemis and you must find clues and solve puzzles to the track down a notorious traitor who is working with the Nazis. You can play the first part of the adventure for free and if you would like to follow Artemis through the streets of occupied Paris, then you can unlock the full game via a $1.99 IAP.

Arcane Tower is another of developer Diego Cathalifaud’s, take on the roguelike genre and has a similar aesthetic to some of his previous games in this genre like Amber Halls. In this latest release, you play as a brave wizard, trying to defeat an evil wizard as you quest through the Arcane Tower, outsmarting his minions.

Got Kids? There are a number of interesting new apps for kids this week.

who-was-adventure_972214208_ipad_01.jpgThe Pnguin Young Readers has launched an educational, cultural icon trivia game app for kids (and adults) based on Grosset & Dunlap’s very popular Who Was…? series of books. Who Was? Adventure will test your child’s knowledge of some of history’s most fascinating figures and maybe even learn a thing or two. Fun, yet educational, this trivia game features 4,500+ questions taken from the book series. The app also includes both level-based and endless play modes, a creative and intuitive UI where pictures of everyone from Albert Einstein to Stan Lee fall from above as you try to identify the person related to the current question. There are also absolutely no ads, no in-app purchases and no external links. If you are looking for a way to entertain your child that is more than just a mindless activity, then this may be a perfect title to pick up.

Sago Mini Toolbox invites your 2 to 4 year-olds to “strap on their tool belts and start building”. They’ll be doing all sorts of cool projects (15 in all) from hammering nails and building a robot to sewing puppets and cutting fabric. Adding to the fun, “they can even ‘play’ the tools like instruments as the sound of traditional tools layer with music to create friendly, fun audio cues that lead kids through each task”. It looks like another super fun a creative title from Sago Sago, which makes me kind of wish my daughters hadn’t outgrown these apps,.

And the final kid-specific app I wanted to mention is Boy and the Seagull, a delightful looking hand-drawn, watercolor interactive storybook about the sea, the Boy, the Seagull and their friendship. The story is aimed toward 2 to 5 year-olds and features fun interactive elements and some simple puzzles.

ipoe-3-cask-amontillado-alone_974147505_ipad_02.jpgWe go from interactive books for kids, to interactive books that are decidedly for a more mature audience with iClassics Productions’ third collection of beautifully illustrated, eerie and interactive versions of Edgar Allans macabre tales. iPoe 3 brings ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, ‘Alone’ and ‘The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar’ to life with their unique and stunning art style. Fans of Edgar Allen Poe should definitely pick this up and even if you aren’t necessarily a fan, the wonderful presentation in this app may convert you. There is also a beautiful Sketchbook featuring some of the raw artwork and finished designs by illustrator David G. Forés. iPoe 3 is available at special launch price of $3.99, or you can pick up an app bundle containing the first two iPoe apps and an Edgar Allen Poe wallpaper app (featuring many of David G. Forés fantastic illustrations) at the low price of $9.99 (a savings of over $6).

Next up, from the creators of King’s League: Odyssey, comes Tiny Guardians, a unique take on the strategy / tower defense genre. It is a fantasy tower defense game…without the towers. Instead you mount a defense by summoning a band of guardians from among the 12 guardian classes (with 4 upgradable levels each). These guardians attempt to protect summoner Lunalie against various enemies as she journeys through Prism in search of her missing aunt, the Sorceress. It is slight, but fun twist on the genre and the art style is quite reminiscent of the classic Kingdom Rush tower defense series. While not a revolutionary change to TD, it is a fun title.

chainsaw-warrior-lords-night_972063786_ipad_01.jpgFor fans of digital board games, this week Auroch Digital has released Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night, the sequel to the Games Workshop cult classic Chainsaw Warrior. Featuring three new decks packed with new traps, enemies, weapons, equipment and even new gameplay, the frantic race against the clock moves from saving New York, to saving the entire world. “This new incarnation finds the eponymous hero once more called on to complete a desperate mission against all odds. He must fight through the jungle, face hordes of Aztec Zombies, dodge deadly traps and finally hunt down the extra-dimensional horror known only as Darkness. To ramp up the challenge; there is just 60 minutes to complete this deadly mission.” If you think you are up for the challenge, there are three difficulty settings including “classic for those who want the truly grueling experience of the original board game”.

On to the premium apps, starting with a couple of surprise iOS Halo releases from Microsoft.

They both appear to be top-down twin stick arcade-style action shooters, with Halo: Spartan Strike being set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552 where you are a Spartan supersoldier who must Lead UNSC troops through 30 challenging missions, “battling against new enemies to save Earth from being overtaken”. The second title, Halo: Spartan Assault, is a brand new Halo story, which allows players to explore the origin of the Spartan Ops program featured in Halo 4. If also contains 30 missions and many of your favorite Halo weapons, vehicles, and armor abilities. Each app will set you back $5.99, or you can save a couple of bucks and pick up both apps in the Halo: Spartan Bundle for $9.99.

lost-within_980274086_ipad_01Perhaps the hottest new release of the week is the amazing looking survival horror game, Lost Within which marks the iOS debut for Amazon Game Studios and comes from Human Head Studios, the development team of the first person shooter, Prey. You must survive a haunted asylum and its creepy, lethal Inhabitants by either stealthily avoiding contact, or defending your life by scrounging for items to craft makeshift weapons. “To escape, you must uncover the asylum’s dark mystery: the shattering secret that led to its condemnation. There are many doors, but there is only one way out”.

Dim the lights, toss on a pair of headphones, and prepare yourself for a fright. The production values on this one are through the roof…highly recommended!

And last but not least…LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE…

wwe-2k_909349642_ipad_02.jpgFinally that brings us to WWE 2K, the first simulation-based WWE video game specifically for mobile platforms. It offers authentic WWE gameplay inspired by several popular elements and modes from the WWE 2K franchise for consoles, but designed especially for mobile. Play as many of your favorite WWE Superstars and Legends, including Hulk Hogan®, John Cena®, Sting®, Triple H®, Undertaker®, Daniel Bryan®, Roman Reigns™, Seth Rollins™, Dean Ambrose™ and Bray Wyatt™ (so many ‘®’ symbols) complete with full WWE Superstar ring entrances and comprehensive move sets. There are multiple game modes including a Training Mode, Create-a-Superstar, Career Mode and Real-Time Multiplayer Matches, plus loads of unlockables to keep you getting up for more.

As the first simulation-based WWE video game for mobile devices, WWE 2K provides an opportunity to experience virtual WWE action anywhere and at any time,” said Greg Thomas, President at Visual Concepts. “Inspired by the gameplay and authenticity of WWE 2K for consoles, WWE 2K offers WWE and mobile gaming enthusiasts a variety of popular WWE Superstars, game modes and more in a premium mobile format.

And that will do it for this week, LOTS of great stuff to choose from, that’s for sure!



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