monsters-ate-my-metropolis_961189825_ipad_02.jpgIt was another good week for iOS game releases.

Starting things off, PikPok has teamed up with [adult swim] on a third title in their Monsters Ate My… series of games. Monsters Ate My Metropolis is a deck building card battling game where players select their favorite kaiju, and then create a deck of wacky attacks to try to have their giant monster destroy their opponent’s city. A RPS-style ‘winds of power’ mechanism which shows which class of card directly influences which other class adds a nice little element strategy sometimes forcing players to make some unexpected decisions to avoid powering up their opponent. Humorous animations and easily approachable, and a perfect quick distraction to dive in and out of whenever they have a few minutes of time.

Developed by Phosphor Games (the creators of Horn) the new adventure puzzle game, The Path To Luma is a free ad-utainment title published by NRG Energy. Players must explore planets for hidden sources of clean energy in order to save the galaxy. To do so, players manipulate nicely rendered planets, guiding SAM (Sustainability Augmentation Model) to perform tasks to unlock the desperately needed energy. It’s a surprisingly entertaining little freebie.

Next up is the latest big free-to-play title from
Gameloft, a large-scale online tactical strategy war game called March of Empires. “Fortify your castle, fuel a massive army, and enter the ultimate fight for realm domination! But as your empire expands it’s bound to run into other ambitious lords, and only one emperor can dominate! Do you have the cunning to unify this land under your banner? Or will you watch your kingdom burn at your feet?”

mazecraft_929086914_ipad_01Another new game with a strong online/community component is Liger Games’ Mazecraft. Players build their own deadly pixel art mazes for other players to try to successfully navigate. Hidden pits, locked doors, roadblock riddles and even giant rolling boulders are just a sampling of the traps that you can use to try keep would-be adventurers at bay as you try to build the most difficult maze you can.

Speaking of rolling boulders, Full Fat’s latest offering, Blocky Raider, mixes elements of Temple Run and Crossy Road. Avoid the obligatory Indiana Jones-inspired giant rolling boulder and then navigate a randomly generated endless barrage of spikes, closing walls, falling bridges, buzzsaws and more as you try to quest as far as possible in this blocky top-down endless runner with a very strong Crossy Road influence.

Noodlecake Studios’ latest quick action game is a simple, but challenging single-screen title called Avoid.. Players try to do just that, dragging their finger to move their little rag-doll character around the screen to avoid an increasing number of randomly moving spinning large and small saw blades. While avoiding having a piece of you hacked away by a blade, you can also collect coins which can be used to unlock additional playable characters.

sputnik-eyes_1011987577_ipad_01.jpgAfter seeing some success with his debut game Partyrs last year, developer Shelly Alon is back with another logic puzzle game called Sputnik Eyes where players are space cadets, trying to explore planets in 2072 AD. A classic style puzzle game with a whimsical art style, players must help the multi-colored robotic eyes navigate the connected paths to reach their like-colored positions. To keep things interesting, some paths can only me used in one direction, others can only be used by a specific colored eye robot. There are earn-able per-level medals awarded for using the perfect number of moves, speed and
o for just completing the level.

Let’s calm things down a bit with these next two somewhat meditative experiences.

Barmark is easily the strangest of this week’s new releases. The debut title from Swedish indie game company, Stormhatt Studios, Barmark is more of an interactive zen sandbox than a traditional point and click adventure game. “There are no goals, no points and no death. Players change the world around them in order to achieve harmony and personal perfection”. It’s a unique experience which I suspect will be fairly polarizing as it is not a game in a traditional sense. Even I’m not sure how I feel about this one yet. The app features a beautiful art style and a nice haunting atmospheric score.

gathering-sky_961536528_ipad_01Gathering Sky is a new iPad title which I first got to experience at PAX East earlier this year. Players use a single finger to guide a flock of birds on a windswept journey across the sky. This zenful experience is further enhanced by a fantastic original score performed by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (wear headphones) which draws you in and allows you to feel like you are gliding along with the birds. About all that’s missing to complete the experience is a fan softly blowing in your face.

For the kids this week we have the third title in MarcoPolo Learning’s Discovery Series, MarcoPolo Arctic. Another well-made app, this time kids get to go on an adventure through the Arctic. They won’t even need to wear a coat or worry about frostbite as they tap, drag, and swipe to learn about and interact with over 30 different land and sea animals in three different arctic environments. They’ll feed them, play with them and even get to drive an amphibious vehicle. Setup as an open world, children can explore the Arctic at their own pace, wherever their particular interests may take them. A fun learning tool, MarcoPolo continues to do a nice job bringing fun, yet educational titles to kids.

rollercoaster-tycoon-3_1008692660_ipad_01.jpgAfter last year’s free-to-play mobile coaster builder, RollerCoaster Tycoon® 4 Mobile was met with a good deal of criticism by RollerCoaster Tycoon fans, Frontier Developments has finally brought us a full port of the 2004 classic PC simulation game, RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3. With absolutely no IAPs, you are free to craft and manage your very own amusement park. Either play through all 18 of the original PC scenarios where you try to keep guests happy to earn money, to then build up your park. Or you can pop into sandbox mode where money is not an issue and the sky’s the limit. Design every aspect of your park from pathways to food vendors, kiddie rides to thrill rides. If you design it…the guests will come. The interface can be a little daunting at first, but this is one of those type of games you can easily lose yourself in for hours at a time as you tweak and change aspects of your park and excitedly wish you could really attend it in person.

Finally that brings us to Sentinel Command, a rather meaty looking sci-fi strategy game from GamerNationX, which “blends tactical, turn-based RPG style combat with a real-time strategic simulation”. A galactic war is underway and you have been positioned at the Sentinel space station, tasked with leading your small starship fleet to protect your Neoplatinum mining operation from the enemy raids. With “2 Ship Classes, 26 Unique Weapons, and 6 tiers each of Med Bays, Shield Generators, Armories, and Damage Control Systems” as well as a substantial campaign with multiple difficulty settings, there appears to be quite a few nobs to play with to keep replayability high. This one looks a little too heavy for my own personal tastes, however I can easily see this one being really appealing to a good deal of mobile gamers, specially with its lack of IAP.

And that will do it for this week…enjoy!

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