It’s the weekend again friends, and we’re back with another round of Game Friday, featuring everything from ghosts and rodents to Mayan adventure.
Click through for our five favourite App Store games of the week!
The older folks among you may be stunned to recall that this year marks the 30th anniversary of one of gaming’s classic titles: Pitfall. Although it’s seen a number of reboots over the years, Activision has seen fit to bring it to the iOS landscape at long last.
Though more a spiritual successor than a straight-up port of the game, Pitfall returns to the world as a free runner, somewhat like Temple Run though less frantic. Many different environments and hazards will be faced by the iconic Pitfall Harry, and succeeding in overcoming them will earn you experience and diamond that you can exchange for new abilities and vanity items.
The controls are responsive and the cel shaded look is an interesting and attractive choice. Although it doesn’t break much new ground, Pitfall is a flattering but safe reboot that stands to gain if its makers choose to take its ongoing development in more ambitious directions.
Something like a cross between an arcade game and Spelunky, Super Mole Escape is the latest addiction from adult swim and stands as one of their very best titles.
As you try to burrow out of jail, you’ll play as one of seven prisoners and have a spectacular arsenal of power-ups and individual abilities at your disposal. Digging through the procedurally generated environments is quick, exhilarating and always surprising as the huge variety of obstacles and visual elements fight for your attention.
The game’s presentation is extremely polished and really emphasizes the sense of speed you’ll feel as you go on digging. Super Mole Escape is a tremendously fun and rewarding game, and you can even play with friends in versus mode if you’re feeling social. Both thumbs way up for this one.
Speaking of resurrecting old franchises, XMG Studio has proudly released Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast, an augmented reality game for all iOS devices with a camera and gyroscope.
Though seemingly a niche market, the augmented reality world is an exciting one for game designers, and while XMG hasn’t exactly brought forth any revolutionary gameplay mechanics in Ghostbusters, it has provided a fantastic ghost hunting simulator with many familiar and never before seen ghosts, missions and pieces of equipment.
If you’re a fan of the series, or just like ghost games, then Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast is for you. Just be aware that you’re going to look fairly ridiculous waving your phone around in public places to vanquish bad spirits!
Have you ever felt the urge to micromanage the lives of a colony of squirrels in a big tree? If not, you’ll wonder why after playing the immensely entertaining Happy Squirrels, Chillingo’s newest publication.
As the overlord of a giant oak tree, you’ll be adding rooms, building services and managing the daily lives of the happy squirrel inhabitants. Several things set this game apart from others like it; firstly, you have the ability to customize your “squirrel foreman” so that your avatar has some personality, but there are also a number of clever minigames integrated into the main experience to offer some variety in the gameplay. This not only keeps things from getting monotonous, it also reminds you to keep exploring the game — because there are plenty of hidden items to uncover.
Game Center leaderboards let you compete against other tree builders, and the fact that it’s free and universal make Happy Squirrels an adorable and accessible management game for all ages.
Last up is Kairosoft’s latest entry into what is quickly becoming one of the most important game catalogues on the App Store. Cafeteria Nipponica offers you a chance to manage your own Japanese restaurant — or several!
As usual, you’ll be intimately involved in all aspects of your restaurant’s design and functionality, placing items and decorations, hiring staff, researching new recipes and acquiring increasingly exotic ingredients.
It may be a new coat of paint on a familiar formula, but Kairosoft are masters of their craft and Cafeteria Nipponica remains a brilliant example of how it is possible to make rewarding gameplay with plenty of replay value in this genre without resorting to intrusive IAP or other gimmicks.
What Have You Been Playing?
Have you been playing something we didn’t mention? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us what you’ve been spending your gaming time with! See you next week.