loot-legends_935089574_ipad_01A strong week for new iOS game releases, we kick off our coverage with Loot & Legends. A brilliant free-to-play, turn-based tactical RPG digital card/board game. Bustling with humor and pop culture references, is a super creative game inspired by the PC hit, Card Hunter and designed with Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering. Lead your team of dwarves, elves, etc on adventurers as they battle increasingly difficult creatures. Play cards from your hand to move about the board and to wager attacks against enemy troops, upgrading and leveling up your characters and equipment as you go. If you have an iPad, you NEED to download this one right away DropForge Games has done a really nice job creating that paper and cardboard aesthetic in digital form.

Next up is a fun little time waster from Battery Acid Games called Baller Legends. Swipe on the screen to thrown the basket ball toward the hoop. Speed and timing is key as you develop a feel for the throw, knowing just when to stop your swipe to execute the perfect shot. Sink enough baskets and you’ll fill your dunk meter and the you can try to perform the perfect dunk for some big points on the board.

apocalypse-meow-save-last_945110684_ipad_02.jpgThe first of two shoot’em up games I’ll be mentioning this week, Apocalypse Meow: Save the Last Humans has got the silly premise nailed as it is literally a battle of cats and dogs. Apparently cats have decided to rebel and attack Humans, destroying our home. Now it is up to you to shoot down waves of enemy spacecraft as well as asteroids and other debris as you try to rescue survivors. While certainly not as outrageous as Shooting Stars, is still a rather well put together SHUMP with some neat RPG elements for upgrading characters, dynamic missions. Definitely worthy of some attention..

After a brief 30 minute appearance on the App Store,
Cool Mini or Not’s digital adaptation of their successfully Kickstarted deck-building space-themed card game, XenoShyft hits the App Store for good at a special launch price of $2.99 (reg $4.99). Xenoshyft is a cooperative game for 1-4 players, with each player controlling one of the divisions of the Nortec military. Your job, as Commander, is to “protect the base while its field operations are completed”. I’ve already picked this one up, as I’m a big fan of deck builders and I’ve heard good things about the physical board game. I haven’t had a chance to play yet, but plan to dive into this one soon.

rockstars-ooo-adventure-time_943632624_ipad_01.jpgThis next one is for all you Adventure Time fans out there. As the name suggests, Rockstars of Ooo – Adventure Time Rhythm Game is a rhythm game set in the Adventure Time universe. Players must get into the groove, tapping to the rhythm along with characters like Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, BMO, and Fionna. The game features 10 original songs composed specifically for this game as well as many popular moments from the Animated series.

For those of you looking for a more calming, Zen-like experience, KOI – Journey of Purity may be just what you are aiming for. With pleasing asian watercolor-inspired visuals and set to a beautiful and serene soundtrack, KOI tasks players with guiding little koi with their fingers to solve puzzles as they are taken on a “journey of mystery and growth”. The peacefulness of the game’s first act is broken by a rough storm, enemies and additional challenges that will put your little koi to the test. Easy to plays, this one does a nice job of drawing the player in and building upon itself as you go.

And now, a little something for the kids…

Billed as “a fairytale of wingless dragons, exploration and evolution”, Toby’s Monster is the second title from Swedish publisher Millenway to feature Toby. Kids play as Toby, a bird in search of an elusive Golden Egg which contains a mysterious creature within. The game looks a bit odd, so I’m having trouble telling exactly what’s going on, but best I can figure you are trying to evolve your monster. You’ll need to collect fish to feed to your monster to get it to grow.

five-nights-at-freddys-4_1023146677_ipad_01.jpgOne series that seems to be popular with both kids and adults alike is Five Nights at Freddys. While I still have yet to play any of the games in the series, the fourth (and final) chapter, Five Nights at Freddys 4 has just been released. Once again you must defend yourself against the evil animatronic fluffies, this time as a mysterious child, armed only with a flashlight. Can you last the night and stay alive until 6am while keeping your ears open and an eye on the doors and fending off any creepy baddies who may “have ventured into your closet or onto the bed behind you”?

A free teaser version was released last week and now a full, paid release of the challenging, particle-infused bullet-hell shooter, .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne hit the App Store. This is a remix of MASAYUKI ITO’s previous SHUMP, .Decluster: Into The Bullet Hell from earlier this year, containing a remixed soundtrack, modified mechanics, redesigned levels, and more. I haven’t played either the original or this new release, so I can’t really provide specifics of what’s new, however .Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne is on sale for $2.99 (40% off at launch).

farming-simulator-16_992051355_ipad_02.jpgThey say that life on the farm is tough and now, thanks toGIANTS Software, you can experience a little bit of it for yourself in their open world farming sim, Farming Simulator 16. “Plant, grow, harvest, and sell five different crops, raise cows and sheep, and sell timber at your own pace. Buy new fields to expand your farm land. Take direct control of harvesters and tractors, or hire AI helps and manage your growing farm from the full screen management map.” I’ve gotta admit that this is a pretty fun game and I’ve spent a good deal of time down on the farm now as my daughters and I worked the fields, taking all sorts of farm equipment out for a spin. This was my first experience with this franchise and it is a fun little game to pick up and explore either in small bursts or (more likely) longer sessions as you lose track of time.

The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign from earlier this year, non-profit Technical Education Research Centers, Inc., has recreated Zoombinis for a modern mobile gaming audience and is designed for players aged 9 and older. I can’t say that I’m at all familiar with the original, but Zoombinis was apparently a popular logic, adventure edutainment title in the 90s. The title characters are a group of small blue creatures whose home has been imprisoned by the evil Bloats and you need to help them reach the safety of Zoombiniville. You do this by solving logic puzzles and looking for patterns. This rebooted version has new gameplay as well as a touch-based interface and “a more modern look” and is ready for a whole new generation to enjoy.

spider-rite-shrouded-moon_767546279_ipad_02.jpgFinally, that brings us to probably my personally most anticipated new game of the week, Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon. I first got a glimpse of this fantastic sequel over two years ago at PAX East 2014, so it’s great to see it finally making it to release. For those unfamiliar with the original game, you play as a spider, exploring the world around you and spinning webs to catch and collect insects. Tiger Style has upped every aspect of the game from new visuals, new challenges and even weather and time of day conditions influenced by your real-world location. And taking things even a step further, cosmetic, the these real-world atmospheric changes actually play into the puzzles themselves adding a whole new level of immersion. There is also a whole story to dive into surrounding the big mysterious mansion that you inhabit. There is loads of gameplay here and a unique, dark, beautiful world to explore. I highly recommend picking this one up, you will not be disappointed, Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon was well worth the wait.

And I’m afraid 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.