lonewolf_1031152574_ipad_02.jpgInitially it looked like we were going to have a relative slow start to the New Year, but as the first Thursday release day crept closer, more and more new titles started popping up.

Here are some of the most promising looking new iOS games of the week.

First up is LONEWOLF, the latest new title in the increasingly popular sniping genre.
This one comes from FDG and pretty much follows the standard free-to-play sniping game playbook, except that it wraps the game in a somewhat interesting 5+ hour story revolving a mysterious sniper (you) trying to break his way into a crime organization called ‘The Assembly’, which unfolds as you complete mission after mission, upgrading and unlocking new equipment as you go.

battlehand_1043318628_ipad_01.jpgNext up are a couple of digital board games, starting with Kongregate’s latest free-to-play card-based RPG turn-based strategy game, BattleHand. Players build teams of heroes (elves, mages, warriors and the like) and lead them into battle by playing cards which they’ve collected, leveled up and evolved. A mix of strategy and luck, this freebie is one of the real highlights of the week.

The other digital board game, Emperor’s Dice : Clash of Fate, is a bit of an enigma seeing as I believe this game was previously released almost exactly one year ago under a different name (Conquerors Dice) by a different publisher. The old release appears to have been removed from the App Store and now Triniti Stars has launched their version of this somewhat confusing free-to-play roll and move strategy board game set during the bloodied Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. Players battle to collect all of the brave commanders and soldiers of the Three Kingdoms and become conqueror of all the great lands of China.

basket-fall-endless-dunking_1036088441_ipad_01.jpgA bit closer in scope and complexity to Kumobius’ Duet, than their Bean Quest/Dreams titles, Basket Fall – Endless Dunking Sim is a simple yet challenging one-more-go endless game where you are trying to properly time the release of a swinging sliding or hanging ball such that it drops into the net below. You earn a point for each basket and additional bonus points for using just the net or doing a complex bank shot. Additional themes can be unlocked through gameplay which swap out the ball and net to other fun things like a gold ring and a volcano. It’s a fun (and hard) little time waster.

Pixel Starships™ : 8Bit Space Sim Strategy MMO RPG is the result of Savy Soda’ successful Kickstarter campaign which earned 110% of its $20k funding goal. As the name suggests, it is a starship management simulation game decked out in a glorious 8bit art style. Players “command every aspect of their ships from construction to battles in a single persistent world”.

buried-interactive-story_1014671463_ipad_01.jpgBuried is a great new spooky, branching tale of interactive fiction. You play the part of Roger, a logger who wakes up in the middle of a job site in the middle of the forest. You’ve been out cold for at least 6 hours, you are dazed and confused, you don’t remember what happened, your head is pounding and you soon discovers that your friends and co-workers are missing. Was there an explosion? An accident? You desperately try to figure out what happened through a mix of branching text, photos and “a haunting soundscape”. I’m only partially through the game, but so far it’s been a rather engaging experience.

HABA is well known for their high-quality baby and children’s toys and yellow boxed board games, but many do not realize that the company also has a digital division which creates iOS games aimed at younger children. HABA Digital’s latest app is Unicorn Glitterluck. Inspired by their board game of the same name, the app is a cute interactive educational experience where kids get to create and care for their own unicorn, accessorizing it and joining it on magical adventures and learning their numbers.

tmnt-portal-power_1028610115_ipad_02.jpgFinally that brings us to the last title of the week, TMNT – Portal Power. The latest mobile game from Nickelodeon featuring those pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Swipe to attack, punch and kick waves of new and classic enemies as you play as all four of the turtles trying to foil Shredder and the Kraang’s plans for world domination. This looks like a nice action packed brawler like the ones I grew up playing on consoles.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, but there is plenty more exciting new iOS games on tap for the month of January.

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