uncharted-fortune-hunter_1104415942_ipad_02.jpgAnother week, another slate of exciting new iOS releases…

Kicking things off we have a pair of free mobile games that enable you to unlock free content in their companion console titles.

UNCHARTED: Fortune Hunter™ is a fun, free puzzle game, in a similar vein as Lara Croft GO. Players must guide treasure hunter Nathan Drake through trap laden puzzles to collect the treasure and escape with his life. Each level will require a mix of timing, positioning and economical movement to finish within the designated number of moves. You start out with bullet firing turrets, disappearing platforms and as you progress through the levels, new elements are introduced to beef up the challenge. PlayStation Mobile has put together a rather nice production, especially for a completely free, ad-free game. UNCHARTED: Fortune Hunter™ is definitely worth checking out whether or not you are familiar with the UNCHARTED game series or plan to pick up UNCHARTED 4 for the PS4.

battleborn-tap_1096938298_ipad_01.jpgNext up is Battleborn® Tap, which, as the title suggests, is a clicker set in the same Battleborn universe as 2K’s upcoming FPS title for PC and consoles. In this mobile game, players command a small squad of heroes, using their fingers to TAP to attack waves of enemies and bosses to “unlock new areas and recruit various Battleborn to join the fight”. As you progress through the game, you’ll upgrade your heroes’ stats, weapons, and active abilities, as well as unlock exclusive rewards for the full Battleborn game. While I’m not really into clickers I still like how both PlayStation and 2K are trying to gamify unlockable content via these sorts of mobile gaming experiences.

sea-hero-quest_1034383306_ipad_01.jpgWith their latest release Sea Hero Quest, GLITCHERS and Deutche Telekom prove that you can make a free game for a cause which has nice production values and is fun at the same time. Developed to help promote Dementia awareness and assist scientists to work toward a cure for dementia, Sea Hero Quest is a charming little boating adventure game that will appeal to players of all ages. Apparently one of the first symptoms of dementia is loss of navigation skills and this game tests your navigational skills to try to help determine a “benchmark” for what “normal” is and if someone is getting lost because of the disease, or because of natural aging. There are three distinct level types. In the first, players are shown a top-down overview of a map with numbered boys and then must navigate their ship (using a first-person perspective) to each of the buoys in order as quickly as possible. Then there are levels where you must navigate to a buoy and fire a flare back at your starting point and finally some where you are trying to take the perfect snapshot of a sea monster. The controls are simple, and all data submitted for the study is totally anonymous. If you can do something good while just having fun, there really is no reason not to check this one out.

Speaking of seafaring fun…

hungry-shark-world_1046846443_ipad_01.jpgBack in 2013 Ubisoft acquired mobile developer Future Games of London. Before being acquired the studio had released a trio of titles in their popular Hungry Shark series and now Ubisoft revisits the franchise with the release of Hungry Shark World. If you are unfamiliar with the series, you take on the role of a ravenous shark, swimming around the ocean eating up smaller fish to satiate your ever-rumbling tummy. It is an endless setup and you keep swimming until you starve to death or get eaten by a bigger fish. This latest outing seems to expand the world a bit more with larger locations with more to explore, hidden areas and additional sections that get unlocked as you upgrade to a bigger shark. A fun little stress reliever, somewhat surprisingly, the game is refreshingly devoid of ads, energy meters, timers and any other typically annoying free-to-play mechanics, so you can play to you shark heart’s content.

joan-mad-run_1105426659_ipad_01.jpgOffering a slight twist on the standard 2D endless runner, Joan Mad Run is a gory runner which stacks the three lanes vertically as you run through trap and guard-filled corridors, laying down fire, leaping over saw blades and avoiding lasers. Along the way, random popups and unlockable upgrades will arm you with unique weapons to “cut, explode, burn, freeze, melt, incinerate, squeeze and send your enemies’ souls right into the blazing inferno”. Do well and eventually you’ll reach several different boss battles which will test your reflexes and reaction times. The game can be really challenging and unforgiving and should appeal to fans of the autorunner genre, especially those that like a good challenge.

And now for something completely different…
filmorago-free-video-editor_1019382747_01.jpgThis next title is the only non-game I’m including on this list and it is a new, free mobile version of Wondershare Software’s popular Filmora video editing software. With so much video content being taken on people’s iPhones each and every day, Wondershare wanted to simplify the task of editing videos right on your mobile device. That’s where FilmoraGo comes in. With its simple and intuitive controls, it allows you to quickly add filters, animated titles, music and other effects to give your videos a more polished and professional look. Aside from video content already on your phone the app even lets you import photos and videos from Facebook and Instagram for editing and you can export out your finished product to all the popular social media platforms. It’s a powerful little tool that is definitely worth checking out if you want to give your mobile videos a little extra zing.

block-jock_1096918102_ipad_01.jpgReleasing on both iOS devices and on the AppleTV, Block Jock is a fast-paced arcade game offering single-player, two-player coop and two player head-to-head options where players are racing to pull and then fire colored blocks into place on the opposite side of the board. To play you simply tilt left and right to move your ship side to side (or up and down to move up and down on the AppleTV), tap and hold on the screen to use your laser to grab a block and pull it toward you, then tilt to move and release to fire it into the correct colored location. You are trying to make rows (or columns) of alternating colored blocks. Slamming two of the same colored blocks into one another causes them both to disappear and if you can manage to get an entire row of alternating colored blocks, they’ll all disappear, giving you a big bonus. You are trying not to get shot, or let a cube pas behind you. It really shines in the local multiplayer modes.

my-koi_1086523345_ipad_01.jpgIf you are seeking out a more serene experience, then look no further than My Koi. Sakana Studios’ iOS debut is a virtual Koi pond, where you can tend to your very own Koi pond, filled with up to 12 unique fish. Feed your fish, watch them grow and unlock new varieties. You can select their colors, scales and patterns and even name each one. Go underwater and follow any one of your fish, to see them swimming around and view stats on each individual fish like how old they are, long they are and what they weigh. Even the time of day that you play with the app will effect the light and sound. The fish are beautifully rendered and there are nice ambient sounds leading to a calming and relaxing experience.

inks._1081847121_ipad_02.jpgKnown for their unique sense of style, State of Play Games, the studio behind hits like Lumino City and KAMI returns this week with another visually appealing and rather interesting puzzle game concept. INKS. blends elements of pinball, puzzle and art to form an engaging puzzle experience. Played pretty much like standard pinball, you are trying to catapult a ball around the table such that it comes into contact with all of the colored areas dispersed about the game table. The first time the ball contacts a given colored section, colored paint splatters onto the table with overlapping areas combining to form new colors. Your rolling ball will pick up some of that colored paint on the table, leaving a trail behind you and forming a beautiful piece of artwork. Due to the placement of the colored sections, and periodic black holes that could swallow up your ball, you’ll have to use skill shots and not wild paddle flapping if you want to successfully complete tables, and earn the highest possible (per-level) ranking.

carneyvale-showtime_1052095932_ipad_01.jpgFeaturing a realistic and responsive ragdoll physics engine, CarneyVale: Showtime is a silly, yet challenging platformer in which players take the role of Slinky the circus acrobat, trying to put on the best performance possible. Fling Slinky around the Big Top, touch and hold to have hime performing spins, flips and death-defying stunts while avoiding hazards as he tries to reach the ring of fire at the top to end the show. Outside of just reaching the ring of fire, there are a number of per-level goals to strive for including collecting a specified number of balloons, beating a time clock, collecting a star and not losing a life. Portions of the gameplay feel a bit reminiscent of titles like Major Magnet or Knights of the Round Cable (which is no longer on the App Store), but if you are up for some ragdoll flinging fun, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.

never-gone_978238542_ipad_02.jpgFinally, Never Gone is a dark new 2D beat’em up game from Chinese developer Hippie Game. The game is set in a Gothic world where “humans, vampires and other demons co-exist” but are constantly at war with one another. Brimming with content, Never Gone features a story mode with three chapters and multiple challenge modes (unlockable once you complete the story mode). I found the ornate menu system a bit confusing to navigate. Howerver, you get to explore and discover, craft and upgrade over 200 weapons, equipment and other items. The game has a classic arcade feel to it with a virtual d-pad for movement and action buttons for jumping, attacking and dodging. Swiping between buttons and tapping certain button combinations allow you to pull off cool and sometimes devastating special moves. Plus you can even customize the position of all of the buttons to suit your own personal preferences. The soundtrack for the game is provided by Swedish rock band Therion. It’s clear that a lot of work and polish has gone into the game.

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.