November has been such a good month for iOS gaming. While perhaps not as strong as the rest of the month, this week we did get some good new games and awesome updates and new content for existing games like Telltale’s final episode for the first season of their Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series and Asmodee Digital’s free update and complete overhaul of the already stellar Ticket to Ride app which makes it a Universal app, adds new maps for purchase and adds support for multiple cross-platform, simultaneous asynchronous games.
On the Apple TV we saw a couple of new exclusives including SongPop Party – Music Quiz, an all-new up to 6-player head-to-head version of the very popular musical trivia game as well as a fun little avoidance game called Super Puzzle Maze which is free for a limited time.
The first new game I want to mention is Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it was one of the a featured stage demos during Apple’s special iPhone 6S event held in early September. Enhanced by the new 3D touch technology currently found on the iPhone 6S/6S Plus, the game is compatible with several generations of iOS devices. In this gorgeous on-rails shooter, players take on the role of a young Imperial Knight, piloting a giant Pacific Rim-style warrior robot, mowing down enemies with heavy artillery and partaking in hand to hand combat with equally as large and menacing mechs. The game includes 40 campaign levels, each of which is composed of multiple mission objectives. Pixel Toys will be getting a lot of attention for this one, and rightfully so as it’s definitely a must-play title this week whether or not you are sporting one of Apple’s latest 3D-touch enabled iPhones.
Keeping on the theme of wanton death and destruction, we have Hothead Games’s latest free-to-play offering, Kill Shot Bravo. You are a deadly assassin sniper, armed with both the skill and equipment for quick, stealthy long-range takedowns. The game takes you through a variety of scenarios which will require both speed and accuracy. Complete your missions and you’ll unlock upgrades for new gear and equipment as you grind through the game. Perhaps the biggest hook of this title is its rather stunning kill shot camera. After firing off the kill shot, the game enters into a sort of slow motion bullet time, zooming in on the action as the fired projectile sails lethally toward its intended target. The player has full control over the viewing angle, adjusting a birds eye view of the bullet 360 degrees to see exactly how and where it impacts the victim, for the ultimate, customized kill shot experience.
Platformer fans have a couple of new freebies to choose from.
Vertical platformer, Starlit Adventures sees players helping Bo and his steed-like creature Kikki the Starlit navigating 8 worlds in the blocky Lower Lands, fighting enemies and collecting stars which have been stolen from the sky. Unlockable suits don the player with special powers which can be used to help solve puzzles.
If you prefer a more traditional horizontal platformer, there is also Super Dangerous Dungeons, a Super Mario-inspired platformer where you must avoid spikes, pits and other traps as you tackle “puzzle filled corridors” across 48 levels as a little treasure hunter. Retro graphics, an SNES-inspired soundtrack and speed run style leaderboards will keep you coming back for more.
BeaverTap Games takes a bit of a departure from their usual Mikey fare for a silly little single-tap, endurance game called Goat Rider. Forget 8 seconds, you are trying to stay atop a bucking goat for as long as possible by holding down on the screen when the goat moves right and releasing when he moves left. Perform the wrong action and you’ll slide perilously toward the one end of the goat and risk falling off. As you play you can unlock additional rider characters. It’s stupid, silly fun.
Similar to the recent release, Bigfoot Hunter, but in a more expansive and challenging on-rails implementation, Snapimals: Discover and Snap Amazing Animals is a super cute ‘snap the picture’ game. Set during the 20’s you are a newly hired photographer, tasked with capturing beautiful photos of the quirky animals residing on this vast, remote island. The eccentric owner is trying to build “the grandest museums the world has ever seen” and your photos will bring in customers from far and wide. You try to capture certain shots, poses and groupings of animals which will bring in money and allow you to expand the museum and unlock additional types of animals. The game features really cute collection of animals and a unique and charming art style.
There are quite a few titles for the kids this week, which is perfect for keeping them occupied while you are trying to prepare holiday meals or standing in lines for Black Friday shopping. First, for the series’ 30th anniversary, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has released a brand new Carmen Sandiego title for 9 to 11 year-olds appropriately called Carmen Sandiego Returns. I already posted a full review, but spoiler alert…this is a stellar new entry in the franchise which will delight a whole new generation of kids. “They’ve managed to rekindle that core gameplay which won kids (and parents) over 30 years ago, and allow technological updates to simply enhance and further polish the experience.” If you were a fan of this series as a kid and have child in the 8 to 11 year-old range, this would be a great edutainment title to pick up.
Nosy Crow returns to the App Store this week with their sixth interactive fairy tale kids book called Goldilocks and Little Bear. It offers a unique take on the classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, recounting not only the usual tale of Goldilocks
breaking into visiting the Bears’ home, sitting in their chairs, using their beds and eating their food, but also Little Bear squatting in visiting Goldilock’s empty home and using her stuff. Little readers can switch back and forth between the two tales at will. In additional to the beautiful artwork, there are animations, interactive elements and excellent music and voice work to round out the experience. It looks like another great, engaging release by Nosy Crow.
Kids love Dr. Panda and he’s back with yet another a new career in his latest adventure, Dr. Panda Firefighters. Your kids get to be heroes by driving the fire truck to the fires, helping firefighting Dr. Panda race into burning buildings, extinguish fires and rescue trapped animals. With over 30 rooms to explore and real fire fighting tools at their disposal, children get to use their imaginations to learn about the bravery of firefighters and the importance of teamwork.
Released on the 3DS and PS Vita earlier this year, LEGO® Ninjago™: Shadow of Ronin™ made its way to iOS a couple of weeks back. Based on the popular animated series of the same name, the game sees players trying to help the Ninjas regain their memories (and powers) which have been stolen by evil newcomer Ronin and his army of dark samurai via his ancient and mystical Obsidian Glaive. Fans of previous LEGO game titles from TT Games and Warner Bros. will be instantly comfortable with the game’s choice of either touch screen or virtual D-Pad controls. You don’t have to be familiar with the Ninjago animated series to enjoy LEGO® Ninjago™: Shadow of Ronin™, but kids who are will recognize many of the game’s locations. All in all, it is a fun new entry in the LEGO game franchise and well-priced at just $4.99.
Puzzlemasters, the Kieffer Bros. (Spell Rift) take a second foray into wordsmithing with an interesting new word puzzle game called Jollygrams. Players are presented with a short phrase which sounds like absolute gibberish and then must try to unscramble the syllables and sounds such that they form a familiar name, thing or phrase. For instance you might be presented with Plouse Hant which would become House Plant or Slain Cleat which would become Clean Slate. If you like little brainteasers, Jollygrams makes for a fun little mental exercise you can pick up and play in short little bursts or do a couple each morning to get that gray matter going.
The potassium is about to hit the fan with this next title. Arcade action with a crazy theme, in King Tongue, the Banana King has just waged war against the monkeys and you, being lord of the monkeys, must face off against thousands of heavily armed bananas. Using your most…err…tasteful weapon (your inconceivably lengthy tongue) like a grappling hook to hang, swing and fling yourself around Bananaland taking out wave after wave of bananasoldiers as you catapult around 30 different arenas. I don’t know about you, but I’m always up for a little bit of silly fun, especially if it involves monkeys and grappling hooks.
Originally released in 2013, the liquid puzzle game, Puddle gets an all-new app release as Puddle +. Now supporting the Apple TV, this new release replaces the original app (which has now been removed from the App Store) and features beautiful, enhanced environmental graphics and videos and absolutely no ads or IAP. For those who might not be familiar with the game, using tilt controls, players have to guide a puddle of fluid through maze-like levels, triggering switches, avoiding traps and more. Each of the types of fluids you encounter in the game (water, oil, nitroglycerin, molten lava) have their own properties and offer their own unique challenges. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the game in its original incarnation, now’s your chance.
Pixeljam, the team behind Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork, returns to the App Store this week with a space survival game called Last Horizon. You are humanity’s last hope, piloting your space shuttle, trying to find a new habitable world. It’s all about balance as you try to maintain your fuel and oxygen levels and keep your ship in working order. Watch out for asteroids and try not to get stranded out in space and carefully land on discovered planets to refuel and collect life-sustaining oxygen. This one is a lot tougher than it initially looks.
And that will do it for this week, keep an eye out for even more new games next week, along with a boatload of app sales for Black Friday.