star-crusade-ccg_1084636093_ipad_01.jpgIt was a nice week for new game releases, with a number of notable new titles worth mentioning.

We’ll start things off with Star Crusade™ CCG, a beautifully illustrated digital CCG from ZiMAD which I got to see at PAX East earlier this year. The game is set in an original sci-fi universe in which players take command of one of six playable factions, each with their own unique emphasis and play style as they battle “supremacy in an unclaimed sector of space”. The overall layout and gameplay is somewhat similar to Hearthstone, however there are some really neat new mechanics which set the game apart from others in this genre. One of the biggest differences is the variable deck sizes unlike may CCGs, players are not locked into a specific deck size, they can build their deck with as few as 25 cards, or as many as 40 its up to them. However, there is a direct correlation between deck size and health; the bigger you build your deck the smaller your starting pool of health. A larger deck may mean more health, but it also means this means it will take you much longer to cycle through your deck than a possibly leaner, tighter opponent. When starting a match each player may select up to three different Commander Modules. These add things like special powers (triggered using energy), free deployable units and various passive bonuses. With beautiful animations and graphics as well as some nice strategic gameplay, this one is a no-brainer for digital CCG fans to check out.

isoland_1134805859_ipad_02.jpgAfter receiving a letter from a friend pleading for help, you travel to a mysterious island in the Atlantic Ocean. However you soon discover that you too are now trapped on the island. The islands other inhabitants have long since forgotten how they got there, they only know that they live on a beautiful paradise called Isoland. Fortunately as a recent captive, you still have your wits about you and must work quickly to try to figure out puzzles to reveal the island’s secrets. The game features great art and an interesting narrative is revealed as you play through the 2 to 3 hour adventure. You can even complete the game a second time (with a few new puzzles) to see an alternate ending. This is a real bargain at just 99¢! There is a free in-game hint system in case you get a little stuck, but if you get completely stuck on a puzzle you can buy the full solution for a 99¢ IAP (though you prob wont need it). The Puzzles are tricky enough, but never overwhelming a nice little adventure game that is worth checking out.

skyhill_1055684003_ipad_02.jpgA fair bit different from Daedalic Entertainment’s usual point and click adventure game fare, SKYHILL is a really thematic RPG/Roguelike. No sooner do you arrive in the lush penthouse suite in the Skyhill Hotel does a massive bio-weapon wreak havoc on the world as we know it. Hungry for food, you have no choice but to try to make your way down all 100 floors of the hotel. Along the way you’ll scavenge for food and items which can be used to craft weapons, medical supplies, food supplies, items to repair the elevator and more. You’ll have to battle against mutants and watch your food supply for each step you take will cost you 1 unit of food. Return to the VIP suite to rest (though that’s a lot of stairs if the elevator is broken) and recharge your health or craft items which can only be made from the safety of your room. When you eventually do perish from hunger, poisoning or battle wounds, you can give it another go, this time with new perks to help you survive longer or upgraded, strength, dexterity, accuracy and speed stats.

atomic-super-lander_1128940693_ipad_01.jpgCrescent Moon Games’ latest offering Atomic Super Lander is a fun little mashup of genres, combining both platforming as well as a lunar lander arcade/dexterity piece. The Earth is about to be obliterated by an asteroid supercluster and it is up to you to safely land your spacecraft on these alien-inhabited asteroids, plant and arm one or more nukes on the asteroid and then get of the asteroid safely to blow it up before it can reach Earth. All the while you’ll be racing against a clock to blow up the Asteroid before it reaches Earth. Landing on the surface of the asteroid will prove challenging and if your ship takes too much damage, you’ll have to eject before it blows up. Fortunately there is usually a spare (albeit junky) escape pod waiting on the surface. While on the asteroid you’ll be punching out aliens or throwing projectiles at them, avoiding spikes and firey fissures, and trying to not run out of oxygen. I love the ebb and flow of the game as you work your way through the distinct phases of landing, arming and escaping and with that clock running down, there is always a sense of urgency. This is a rather fun and unique title that I am enjoying more and more, the more I play it.

sushi-go_1098207701_ipad_02.jpgDigital board gaming fans just got a delicious new offering from Lummox Labs as they bring Gamewright’s popular sushi-theme card-drafting game Sushi Go! to iOS. Michael Busheikin, head of Lummox Labs’ name might sound familiar, because he is also helped developed Gamewright’s excellent digital ports of both Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert with his previous company Button Mash Games. For the few of you out there who may not be familiar with the game Sushi Go!, it is a super fun, fast light drafting card game where you are trying to form sets of certain types of sushi to earn the most points over the course of three rounds of play. The different types of sushi have special rules for the ways in which they must be grouped in order to score points. So there is a lot of strategy when it comes to deciding which sushi to take on your turn and which to leave in the hand of cards you are passing to the other player(s). The game is played over three rounds and the player with the highest total score wins. The app isn’t just strictly a digital representation of the cards, instead it is made to look like a cute sushi restaurant where players are pulling their selected sushi off the belt, with an adorable octopus Sushi chef looking on. For those who have never played the game before, there is a detailed tutorial. This is a fantastic implementation, complete with solo vs AI play as well as online turn-based multiplayer via Game Center. If you are looking for a light fun card game, this is an excellent choice!

submerged-miku-sunken-city_971608996_ipad_01.jpgFinally, that brings us to Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City, the latest game from Uppercut Games, developers of the excellent EPOCH. series of third-person mobile cover-based shooters. Taking a vastly different approach, Submerged is a third-person combat-free game in which players take on the role of a young girl name Miku who has brought her wounded brother to the city in their small fishing boat. Now you must explore the flooded city via your boat to find the supplies you need to save your dying brother. Some of the early reviews of this one have been a bit rough, but I really enjoyed the EPOCH series, so I’m looking forward to trying this one out for myself.

That’s all I have for you this week.

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