Welcome back to Game Friday, friends!
Luckily, unlike Hollywood, mid-October isn’t a dry season on the App Store — we have a fantastic lineup of games for you this week, including some puzzling relationship work, a stormy masterpiece and even a planet builder … click through and have a look!
I had the opportunity to play Girls Like Robots a few months back at PAX East when it was being shown off on the floor, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release ever since because it was one of the most innovative and charming titles I’ve seen in recent memory.
The basic premise of the game can be summed up in its tagline: “Romance! Adventure! Seating Arrangements!” If that sounds quirky, it’s because it is. The game truly is about seating arrangements; your job is to figure out a configuration of girl, robot and nerd blocks on a grid that keeps everyone happy and maximizes exposure to pie in each level. That’s a pretty good life philosophy, if you think about it.
The surprisingly challenging game has a superb sense of humour and is utterly engrossing. There are more than 100 puzzles and even a hidden minigame, so expect to spend a lot of time with these cute blocks. It’s like highschool cafeteria politics condensed into a sliding block puzzle — on your phone!
Kumo Lumo is an easy fit in Chillingo’s publishing roster. Developed by Blitz Games, this is the story of a cloud and his quest to save the planet.
The game is simplistic in the sense that you’re mostly either raining on things or striking them with lightning, but the game wins you over with its beautiful papercraft visuals and light-hearted whimsy. You’ll be growing loopy trees, raising mountains, filling teacups and zapping cutout baddies with your increasingly cool powers.
While IAP make an unfortunate appearance, they aren’t exploitative and they seem fair given that Blitz took some big risks making this game. As a casual game, friendly for all ages, Kumo Lumo is artistic and refreshing.
When we play games on our iPhones, it’s hard to remember the days before this technology. I find myself marvelling at this while playing Topia, from Crescent Moon Games, because it demonstrates that we’ve gotten to the point where we’re creating entire virtual worlds on our phones!
Created in association with one of the creators of the Populous games, Topia World Builder is a peaceful simulator more than a game — you are given a blank canvas (or a randomly generated one) and the tools to shape it into the planet of your dreams. All of which is rendered by one of the most gorgeous looking game engines I’ve yet seen on the iPhone. Besides altering the landscape, you can place creatures on it and observe their interactions. Without defined goals, it might be hard for some gamers to get into, but the simulator crowd will go wild for Topia, with good reason.
Personally, I would much rather have more creature types and a more profound set of interactions between them rather than any linear gameplay additions, but the latter are already promised in an upcoming update, so look forward to an expanding experience as Topia’s development continues.
Ever wanted to be a defense attorney? No? Well you might change your mind after playing Devil’s Attorney.
Without a doubt one of the most artfully produced and unusual games you’re likely to see this week, Devil’s Attorney features excellent voice acting, a sweet ’80s cartoon vibe to the visuals and even a musical score — complete with cheesy but appropriate lyrics. You play as Max McCann, a charming but unscrupulous attorney whose rise to glory is chronicled through the game. As you pick strategies to use against key witnesses in the turn-based trial sections, you’ll earn money you can use to upgrade your apartment and make progress.
Not only are there no IAP (so you actually have to earn that money!) but the apartment upgrades aren’t merely cosmetic; they win you a bigger ego, which in turn unlocks more sophisticated (or audacious) courtroom techniques to bamboozle your way through more difficult cases. Devil’s Attorney is legitimately funny, rewarding and unlike any strategy game you’ve played before — an unmissable game.
When it comes to inspiration, there’s a fine line between unashamed and shameless, and I feel that Polyroll stays safely on the morally sound side of the line. Looking like a cross between Sonic and Mario, it nevertheless establishes its own personality and stays true to its satisfying gameplay core.
A quick platformer, Polyroll features only 28 levels, but they’re sprawling wonderfully designed locales with plenty to see and explore including hidden gems that unlock secret paths. The boss fights are a highlight, reminiscent of some of the classic Castlevania encounters, and the levels vary wonderfully in their visual aesthetic, all presented in a gorgeous pixel art style.
The main character and the game’s icon are unfortunately quite ugly looking and stand out alongside the rest of the design, but like Clash Force before it, Polyroll is an excellent retro platformer that provides a familiar but timeless gameplay experience.
What Have You Been Playing?
Spend some time with these week’s games, they’re awesome! As always, your feedback is appreciated so let us know what you’ve been toying with and what you make of our suggestions. Until next week!