iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

We’ve seen a huge burst of amazing games hitting the App Store, and since you can’t play them all, we have collected the very best for you to check out.

This week, you’ll do a lot of punching, a bit of puzzling, some Tetris-style block mayhem (in reverse!) and you’ll be scared senseless. Sound good? We thought so!

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Punch Quest

Punch Quest

Sometimes, you just want to punch stuff. Rocketcat Games (in association with Madgarden) knows this, and they’ve provided you with the perfect outlet in the form of Punch Quest.

This ridiculous action brawler is a straightforward arcade title with a very focused area of expertise. There are two controls, and they’re both for punching. You can do quests to unlock more punching powers, and the combos also revolve around punching. Sometimes, you earn hats. And there’s a dinosaur. But mostly it’s just punching, which is surprisingly rewarding and addictive.

Initially released for free, the game has recently transitioned into a paid format because of very poor income (despite incredibly impressive download figures). Nevertheless, there are also IAP to be had, and while some are tempting, the game is gracious enough that you don’t actually need them to enjoy the experience. If you really enjoy punching, then this game is probably going to be your vision of heaven.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Rocketcat Games
Download: App Store

Dream of Pixels

Dream of Pixels

Among the best games we’ve seen have come from a twist on a familiar gameplay formula. Take something recognizable and well-worn, and reverse it, and chances are you’ll have the seeds of a good game on your hands — like Dream of Pixels.

Imagine your usual block stacking game like Tetris … in reverse. Instead of building, you’re unpacking vast fluffy structures in a dreamy sky. It blends challenge and puzzle value with a profoundly calming atmosphere, resulting in relaxing and enjoyable play sessions. Your goal is to clear lines of blocks as quickly as you can, but there are actually five different game modes with unique spins on the concept.

An interesting addition is the ability to save and share animated screenshots with your Twitter and Facebook friends — a feature that seems appropriate given the soothing and gorgeously rendered landscapes. If you’re looking for an unexpected take on the usual stressful arcade puzzler, Dream of Pixels is an enticing option.

Price: $1.99
Developer: Dawn of Play
Download: App Store

Beatdown!

Beatdown!

You thought we were done with punching? Think again! Punching! Actually, the game is called Beatdown! in this case, but the principle is the same: fantastic arcade-style brawling.

From the makers of the League of Evil series and Random Heroes, Beatdown! is a short and sweet game about a recently-fired employee going on a rampage to beat up his former boss. Clearly there is a lot of cathartic value built into this game. There are bosses, lots of enemy types and a few different control schemes as you’d expect from the developers’ usual attention to detail, but otherwise this is perhaps their most compact and streamlined title. There’s almost no extraneous functionality here, and it’s a good thing.

Though there are relatively few levels in the “main” portion of the game, the Endless Mode seems more fitting as the primary attraction. If you enjoy polish and retro stylings in your arcade brawlers, then give Beatdown! a whirl.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Ravenous Games
Download: App Store

Slender Rising

Slender Rising

In a fascinating case of the Internet giving rise to an urban legend, we find the tale of the Slender Man: a tall figure with no face who appears before the disappearance of children. They vanish without a trace, and the legend is unclear on what becomes of them.

Having spawned multiple media properties, the App Store finally gets one too in the form of Slender Rising. This intensely atmospheric horror game places you in a secluded forest with nothing but a flashlight and your wits. You are seeking a number of mysterious signs, but the more you collect, the closer he gets — don’t look at him, whatever you do.

With a day and a night mode available, the game showcases the Unreal engine awesomely even on older devices, and the controls are tap and swipe based, which keeps the screen’s creepy visuals from being obscured by useless HUD elements. If you’re a fan of horror titles or curious about the legend, Slender Rising offers a compelling glimpse.

Price: $1.99
Developer: Michael Hegemann
Download: App Store

Flea Symphony

Flea Symphony

Last up for today is a cheerful musical puzzle game starring … fleas!

The concept is amazing and requires you to work with the fleas’ musical machines to produce the perfect musical performance for each level. There are five different musical styles available, each with their own challenges, and the presence of more than 100 levels will keep you busy until the next update when even more will be added.

Combining a puzzle game with music and building in this way makes for a very charming combination that rewards even mistakes with pleasant tunes and cute animations. The only complaint is that the game requires you to pay to unlock different “worlds” — an unfortunate choice on the part of the developers. If you don’t mind spending the price of a coffee on a good game though, then Flea Symphony will provide you with hours of good fun!

Price: $0.99
Developer: Majesco Entertainment
Download: App Store

What Have You Been Playing?

That’s quite a selection and we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have. Next week, come back for a fresh set of games and in the meantime don’t hesitate to drop us a comment with your thoughts or with more game suggestions!


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