There’s nothing like a few blockbuster games to make the end of your week seem sweeter.
Have a look at this week’s collection of new App Store winners and prepare to drive, fly, shoot and wreck your way to gaming bliss!
As far as racing franchises go, few can stand up to Need for Speed in scale or popularity. Though we’ve already seen a Need for Speed game on iOS, many things have changed since way back in 2009, and the latest iteration — Most Wanted — is spectacular.
Like its console counterpart, Need for Speed Most Wanted is most easily described as the racing game the platform has been waiting for. With 35 moddable cars, breakneck street racing and proper damage simulation, this is easily the most compelling racing game we’ve played on the iPhone. Thankfully, there are both tilt and touch controls for those who have a preference, but either method offers a responsive and predictable way of maneuvering.
As you race against opponents, thwart cops and go social with EA’s Origin service, you may find yourself marvelling at how it’s become possible to get such a great racing game to run on your mobile phone. A showcase title if ever there was one, Need for Speed Most Wanted is a worthy addition to the franchise and a tremendous racing mobile experience.
Following in the footsteps of its well-received film, Wreck-It Ralph is an ingenious title from Disney that takes advantage of the game-centred plot of the film to offer three full arcade game modes that not only tie into the film, but also stand alone successfully.
When you start the game, you’ll see Game Central Station, from where you’ll be able to select a game mode. Fix-It Felix Jr. puts you in the shoes of Ralph’s counterpart, fixing, dodging and hammering your way through the gorgeous retro graphics to fight for a high score. The second game mode, Hero’s Duty, is a straightforward bug hunting game where you’ll face off against waves of “cy-bugs” with a variety of fun weaponry. Last up is Ralph’s own Sweet Climber mode, where you’ll encounter an endless climbing scenario with a cute candy look.
Altogether, the three games are brisk, engaging, and well designed, and they succeed not only at extending the value of the film franchise, but also at providing a legitimately fun way to pass the time on your phone — a rare combination!
Did you know Amazon is publishing games now? Well now you do, and you can play their first one — Air Patriots — right now!
Essentially a tower defense game, Air Patriots is interesting in that you control moving squadrons of airplanes rather than static cannon towers, and thus you must not only work out the best possible defensive formation, you also have to be vigilant enough to take advantage of opportunities to re-assess and shift your positions according to the attacker’s tactics.
Planes can be levelled up and more can be unlocked using gears, but unfortunately gears come at a steep in-app purchase price — an unnecessary and excessive money grab that sours the experience for less patient players. If you’re able to forgive (or afford) the IAP scheme though, then you’ll find a fresh and challenging tower defense game in Air Patriots.
If you’re trying to capture the full experience of something, you may as well go all out. This seems to have been the thought process behind Knights of Pen & Paper, whose creators offer nostalgic gamers the ability to play an RPG that puts them in control of both the players and the dungeon master!
While it may seem strangely circular, this dual empowerment leads to some amazing gameplay as you must carefully consider both perspectives — make the monster encounters too difficult and you won’t be able to win and earn unlockable goodies, but make them too easy and you’ll never progress.
Two separate campaigns are included (with more promised in an update), and Knights of Pen & Paper manages to bring back many fond memories of tabletop gaming while borrowing enough new lessons from the virtual world to produce a fine example of creative game design.
We all love Borderlands, and we all want more Borderlands, so the news that an iOS port would be arriving was tremendously exciting for many fans.
The game in question, Borderlands Legends, has hit the App Store and been met with a hail of criticism, some more valid than others. Perhaps wishing to keep the core first-person experience relegated to the consoles where they felt they could best present it, 2K Games has opted to make their Borderlands mobile game a tower defense title. This in itself is not a bad thing — the game plays well enough and looks beautiful — but the relative lack of content (beyond guns) and story connection make this a disappointingly anemic addition to the franchise.
That being said, 2K will no doubt be quick to respond and you can be confident that coming updates to the game will flesh it out properly and ensure that it earns the right to wear the Borderlands name.
What Have You Been Playing?
With that, I leave you to your gaming, my friends. Drop us a line in the comments if you liked this week’s picks or found yourself playing something we didn’t get a chance to mention. See you next week!