shooty-skies-endless-arcade_962993853_ipad_01.jpgIt was another nice week of new releases, and starting things off we have Shooty Skies, a cute and delightful endless, top-down shoot-em up game from the developers of Crossy Road. Featuring the same 3D pixel art style and an adorable unlockable cast of characters like its predecessor, Shooty Skies is instantly approachable by kids and parents alike. The unlocks will keep you coming back for more while the game’s risk/reward element with super charging your weapon allows for a little strategy in this otherwise twitch arcade game. A fun new entry definitely worth checking out.

Next up is EA’s latest entry in the Need for Speed™ franchise, Need for Speed™ No Limits. Its gorgeous visuals are tempered a bit by free-to-play trappings and somewhat uninspired gameplay. Fans of the franchise may want to check this one out, but others may be better served with something like Asphalt 8 or Horizon Chase.

mos-speedrun-2_835098788_ipad_01.jpgPhysmo is back with a second helping of their stellar speedrun staple with the release of Mos Speedrun 2. They’ve brought back everything you loved about the original including dead-accurate touch controls, speedy gameplay and wonderful 80s arcade music goodness. Race against ghosts and try to get the fastest time or take your time and try to collect all of the coins or find the hidden golden skulls, or go for the illusive daily charm. With 30 levels, leaderboards, unlockable costumes and multiple goals per level, there is plenty speed-running fun to be had.

tower-in-the-sky_936504469_ipad_02.jpgNewcomers Three Brothers Games, make their iOS debut with Tower in the Sky. It is a cute, but frantic lane-based RPG/real-time defense game in which players build their party of heroes (each with their own unique stats and weapons) and do battle against waves of crazy magical creatures. There are dozens of different enemy types which keeps things interesting and requires you to not only change up your strategy but also switch out the heroes in your party as some might be better against certain enemies than others. To fight, you simply tap and drag your heroes up and down to swap them into various lanes and attack the approaching monsters in that lane with either their primary weapon or powerful spell, each of which has a cool-down time after deployment. The difficulty can be toggled to accommodate players of all skill levels. There is some humorous dialog in the cut scenes between levels as the lengthy campaign unfolds. This is a fun little game that will give your fingers a workout as you frantically try to swap characters around to attack and kill all of the monsters. The developers are promising to add an additional 2 hour side campaign to the game for free, once it reaches 1000 downloads, so even more content is likely on the way soon.

the-martian-bring-him-home_1019838009_ipad_02.jpgSince I haven’t had a chance to read the book or see the newly released film adaptation starring Matt Damon, I haven’t really explored this next title too much yet for fear of spoilers, however it does sound like an interesting concept so I wanted to highlight it here. The Martian: Bring Him Home is an interactive adventure game based on the best-selling novel, THE MARTIAN about an Astronaut named Mark Watney who finds himself stranded on Mars and the quest to bring him home safely. Players take on the role of a NASA communications specialist who is Watney’s sole contact with Earth. You, the player communicate with him using a special messaging system and guide him through “crucial and difficult decisions to ensure his survival”. It is up to you to keep him safe and healthy and the game even features an Apple Watch component where you can keep an eye on his real-time vitals. It sounds like a really neat and immersive experience which takes full advantage of Apple’s complete lineup of mobile platforms.

care-bears-sleepy-time-rise_1009220677_ipad_02.jpgFor the kids we have another licensed property…The Care Bears, in
PlayDate Digital’s latest offering, Care Bears: Sleepy Time Rise and Shine. Kids can learn good morning and bedtime habits by playing with these cute and cuddly Care Bears. Your cubs can enter the ‘SLEEPY TIME’ and ‘RISE AND SHINE’ Care-a-Lot worlds with 14 of their favorite Care Bears including Funshine Bear, Share Bear, Grumpy Bear and more. Participate in mini-games, activities and songs to help the bears wake up, or go to bed.

camel-up_919119741_ipad_02I love digital board games and one surprise release this week was Outline Development’s digital version of the 2014 Spiel des Jahres Winner, Camel Up. Players take on the role of members of Egyptian high society, wagering on which of the of the colorful camels will win the race. The initial release features single player and same-device multiplayer modes. However, it is lacking both a tutorial and online multiplayer, but hopefully these will be added in future updates, because Camel Up is a fun, light-weight family board game. It is worth noting that the same developer has confirmed that they are also working on digital versions of both Qwixx and The Game which were 2013 and 2015 Spiel des Jahres Nominees respectively. So if you enjoy digital board games, Outline Development looks like a studio to keep an eye on.

tweetbot-4-for-twitter_1018355599_ipad_01.jpgFinally that brings us to Tweetbot 4. The fruition of eight months of work, Tapbots has just released an all new Universal version of Tweetbot with some nice new features including landscape support (w/ column view), a new statistics and activity view, split view multi-tasking on iPad and a number of other tweaks and enhancements. I know paid updates can be a bit of a sticky subject, but Tweetbot has been my go to Twitter app for several years now, so it was a no-brainer for me. Tweetbot 4 is on sale for $4.99 (50% off) for a limited time.

And 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.