August is behind us now, and since it can be depressing to watch the seasons change, it’s a good thing you can count on us for new games to spend time with.
This week, we look at a huge and very famous RPG that’s come to iOS, along with the adventures of a crazy granny, some racing robots and the absolute most flat-out bonkers game we have ever played on our iPhones.
First up, the blockbuster RPG title that reminded everyone of why SQUARE ENIX is as famous a company as it is: The World Ends With You. The “Solo Remix” version that has come to iOS is an intelligent port that maintains the DS original’s feel but revamps the combat and polishes the visuals to suit the new medium.
Whether you’re new to the game or a fan, you should know that it’s an extremely vibrant and visually arresting game, sometimes excessively so; the Japanese cultural elements are piled thick and heavy, wrapped in a signature anime art and audio style. The game itself follows the story of a young boy trapped in a mysterious game that takes place over seven days in the city. There is a tremendous variety to the missions and gameplay, and the game’s rich world makes it a treat to explore.
Touch controls are brought over from the original, and combat has been streamlined into a single-screen affair, which arguably improves the game overall, and in any case makes this a solid title. The one glaring downside is the extremely high price, for which you don’t even get a universal build — pretty weak.
Major kudos are due to the folks at Mediocre AB, whose name couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to representing the quality of their games. Granny Smith is their latest title, and it’s absolutely spectacular.
You play as a very acrobatic granny who can’t stand thieves taking her apples. Through 36 well designed levels, you’ll perform impressive stunts and collect coins to help equip granny with some tools to assist her. The game’s physics are a highlight, with extremely dynamic crashes, exciting camera angles and motion blur helping to emphasize the sense of speed.
The controls are dead simple, and the availability of replays makes it fun to try for a clean playthrough so you can watch it through the cute vintage filters. Granny Smith isn’t a hugely innovative game, but it’s impeccably crafted and will make you smile.
Now we get to McPixel. There’s no real way to describe McPixel without sounding as insane as the game itself is, so suffice it to say that we consider it a must-play title and that you should expect the unexpected.
Broadly speaking, it’s a combination between WarioWare style micro scenarios and a point-and-click adventure style system where you must use and combine items available to you in … um … interesting ways. Your goal is consistently to prevent things from exploding, but the settings and scenarios vary wildly and range from the mildly bizarre to the hysterically ridiculous. Each level (of which there are about 100), gives you only twenty seconds within which to accomplish your task.
McPixel is without a doubt among the most odd and entertaining games we’ve ever played. If you caught the PC version, you’ll know what we mean, otherwise you’re in for a strange treat.
It’s hard to innovate in a genre like the racing game, but Robot Race manages by challenging the notion of having one consistent vehicle throughout the competition.
You play as a robot — one of seven unique models — and can race across six different tracks. The catch is that each robot can transform into either a road or air vehicle depending on how you choose to tackle the level, each presenting its own challenges. This makes for some very exciting races and allows for strategic players to rely on more than just memorizing the track layouts in order to best their opponents.
There are of course powerups and weapons to be had (including via IAP if you like), as well as in-game badges (achievements, basically) and while there is no true multiplayer yet, the game is at least a universal build so you can play it on whichever device you happen to have on hand.
Our last title for the week is a mighty fine puzzler from Illusion Labs called Blast-A-Way.
Starring three adorable robots, your mission is to retrieve the scattered “Boxies” from each level by making use of a number of devices including bombs, portals and rebuilders to make your way through. Each level can be quite challenging, and the game is not for those who need their puzzles fast paced and obvious: Blast-A-Way enjoys making you ponder a bit.
It also happens to feature some of the most beautiful 3D visuals and physics we’ve seen in a while for the genre. The art direction is minimalistic, but perfectly suited to the game’s spirit, though the controls aren’t as clear as they could be. Nevertheless, this universal puzzler is charming and compelling, and the lack of IAP helps justify it’s premium price tag. You get what you pay for!
What Have You Been Playing?
Tell us what you’ve been playing this week in the comments!