It’s Game Week here at iPhone.AppStorm, and all this week we’re going to have tons of reviews, giveaways and other good stuff, all centered around the gaming world!
Whether you’re rocking a brand new iPhone 5 or just looking for some fresh material to enjoy on your previous generations, we have an incredible collection of new App Store games this week.
Alongside some terrific adventure games, we’ll have you surviving recess at school, crushing zombies and battling your friends medieval style!
If you imagine an alternate Zelda Wind Waker universe where Link is a girl named Lili who loves to pick flowers, then you’ll be well on your way to grasping the general feel of BitMonster’s latest Unreal 3 title, popularly featured in Apple’s keynote for the new iPhone thanks to its support for the stretched screen.
For starters, Lili is truly gorgeous to look at and listen to, with a detailed and supremely charming world filled with interesting looking characters and environments that blend organic elements with glimmers of steampunk. It’s amazing to see what talented developers can do with the platform. Production value aside, the game itself plays like an action RPG where combat is replaced by a sort of aggressive horticulture, requiring you to catch lumbering wood spirits, jump on their backs and then pluck flowers and dodge bombs rodeo style to “win” the encounter.
It sounds a bit strange (and it is), but the controls facilitate the actions and you’re unlikely to be frustrated by the difficulty, allowing you to focus on progressing and exploring. Though the questing feels somewhat shallow after a while, it seems likely that future updates will help flesh out the beautiful island world that Lili introduces us to.
Although Rayman, as a character, belongs to the previous generation of gaming icons, Ubisoft’s limb-lacking hero has been treated extremely well by the company, with Rayman Origins recently earning them numerous awards for its brilliant design and gameplay. And now, they’ve brought that same engine to bear on Rayman’s iOS debut: Jungle Run.
Using touch controls to keep the screen open for the bright and colourful visuals, Rayman Jungle Run is an action platformer like Origins was, but finely tuned for the iOS world and designed to keep the action streamlined. As usual for a Rayman game, you’ll be able to unlock abilities as you progress and use them to access new areas. The levels are diverse, decorative and filled with little details for the curious eye to catch.
Game Center leaderboards make an appearance as well, along with iCloud saving (including multiple save file support). All in all, Rayman Jungle Run is a truly premium iOS title that — miraculously — is unburdened by IAP! An effortless recommendation.
It’s been fairly quiet on the development front for Deceased Pixel, creators of Super Mega Worm. But it turns out that these all-star App Store heroes have been toiling away at their next creation, a distinctive jump rope schoolyard game named Recess Riot.
In characteristic retro style, Recess Riot is an arcade style game with endless stages that centres around the schoolyard art of jump rope. While maintaining your perfectly timed hops, you’ll have to deal with issues like moving ropes, incoming dodgeballs and even changing rope speeds. It all gets very hectic, but never overwhelmingly so, and the delightful ’80s feel combines nostalgic charm with the kind of tight gameplay that made Super Mega Worm so appealing.
Also available are a huge swathe of character customization options, unlockable via IAP coins or earned more slowly by playing the game. An amusing extra is the ability to change the “type” of retro visuals, with filters that mimic various generations of old school gaming devices. ICade support completes the circle of authenticity. If you enjoy a challenge and trust Deceased Pixel to continue their legacy of great games, then you owe it to yourself to check out Recess Riot.
Zombie apocalypse again, yes, but this time you’re taking on the horde in your battered old vehicle. This cross-country adventure was originally a popular Flash game, but it has been extensively overhauled for its iOS debut, and the results are amusing and appealing.
In one of eight fully customizable vehicles, you’ll be doing a lot of driving around the desert squishing zombies. The game’s 2-D graphics nevertheless feature a well developed ragdoll physics simulation that makes the actual zombie squishing tremendously satisfying. Hit them with enough speed, and you’ll send the gruesome foes flying. Though essentially a shallow game, it’s extremely successful at its focused goals, providing endless entertainment in brief spurts.
Once you’ve completed the Story Mode, you’ll still be able to enjoy an endless mode that lets you continue driving until you’re destroyed or left stranded without gas. Not Doppler, the developers, have also been kind enough to provide the game without IAP, meaning that your dollar buys you the full experience — as it should be.
Strategy games are more fun with friends, and while wireless multiplayer is fine, the best kind of games are the ones you can play with your friends in person. Games like Castle Raid.
A real-time strategy game, Castle Raid focuses on battles between two neighbouring kingdoms; you’ll develop an army, train magicians, gather resources and aim your castle’s cannon toward the enemy for long distance mortar bombardments. Besides the single-player mode, the multiplayer shines with its ability to host split-screen battles on the same device.
While it lacks the depth of content that many other RTS games on the iPhone boast about, its streamlined design helps keep the sessions quick and exciting. Either as an introductory RTS, or for those who want to play with friends but don’t have time for half-hour matches, Castle Raid is a portable wonder worth playing.
What Have You Been Playing?
As you enjoy these fine picks, take a moment to leave us your thoughts on them or suggest other sweet games you’ve been playing this week!