After the frantic shopping of last weekend, it will be good to calm down and unwind a bit this weekend with some awesome new App Store games.
We have a selection of the finest new releases, including an extraordinary retro sequel, a game with the weirdest cameos ever, and some serious graphical powerhouse titles. Jump in and enjoy!
Pascal Bestebroer (and the folks at Orange Pixel) really loves the retro gaming aesthetic. After releasing a number of titles in celebration of this style, he’s finally returned to the wonderful Meganoid world with an excellent sequel.
Meganoid 2 is a straightforward continuation of the first title’s difficult platforming, ostensibly telling the story of Meganoid’s grandfather. In practise, this just means that the environments are a bit more old-fashioned. This turns out to be awesome because it means that you’re struggling through tombs, jungles and more. Each level is short but extremely challenging, and there is both a treasure and timing trophy to be earned in each.
While it’s obviously a strong continuation of its predecessor, Meganoid 2 also evokes fond similarities to the outstanding XBLA gem, Spelunky, with which it shares some commonality. The presentation continues to improve with each new Orange Pixel game as they truly push the art style and soundtrack to new heights. For those who like a quick, polished challenge, Meganoid 2 has no equal.
Time for a weird one. What happens if Steve Wozniak (yes, that one) teams up with Danny Trejo (yup, that guy) to create a game? Well … weird things happen, that’s what.
In Woz With a Coz, you’ll play as both gentlemen as they rescue Woz’s wife (called J-Woz) through a colourful place called Fusion City. In familiar platforming style, you’ll be collecting credits as you go along and using a variety of weapons and abilities, which you can thankfully upgrade as well. It’s evident that Woz has a sense of humour since he wrote the story himself, and while it often leans into eye-rolling territory, it is just as often hilarious and always genuinely charming.
Besides the title characters, you’ll also find some other cameo appearances as well, making it an entertaining game to explore more fully. Strange, wacky and amusing, Vengeance: Woz With a Coz is probably the most unusual movie tie-in we’ve ever seen — but that’s a good thing!
Not since Infinity Blade II have we seen such spectacular graphics in a mobile game. Bladeslinger Ep.1 introduces the town of Hammer’s Peak, where you’ll play as a war-weary William Glaston who just wants to save his home from the dark creatures that have overrun the place.
Taking cues from Red Dead Redemption and major fantasy titles alike, Bladeslinger Ep.1 is a compelling game with a lengthy and involved campaign spanning many beautiful environments. The visuals are easily the standout feature here, with the Unity engine powering some of the most detailed, vibrant, and dynamic eye candy imaginable for a phone (you’ll need an iPhone 4+ to run it though).
It’s also worth mentioning the controls, which are thankfully very well designed for touch and require no fiddly virtual buttons — everything is gesture based, and manages to feel just as quick and responsive as you’d expect. Major kudos to Kerosene for that. As an action game, as a showcase title, and as an all-around fun experience, Bladeslinger Ep.1 is not to be missed.
Square Enix is back at it with a cute and simple casual game, Motley Blocks.
This interesting puzzle game challenges you to connect like-coloured blocks, but unlike the usual games of this sort, the levels consist of gigantic block structures that spin in 3D! This makes for a different sort of challenge, and the fact that each level conceals an image reminds us of Blueprint 3D in a way. Five different powerups will appear to help you, each with its own unique ability. The best part of Motley Blocks is the level editor though, with which you can create and share your own custom challenges for friends — an accessible, fun, and easy solution to extending replay value.
Be aware that there’s also a free version available with limited puzzles and a few ads if you want to just try things out before spending on the full game. Whichever version you pick, Motley Blocks is a puzzle game with a fresh twist on a familiar idea, and a valuable addition to the genre.
Famous for their social freemium titles, Glu Games is always exploring interesting gameplay ideas, the latest of which is a dragon combat game called Dragon Slayer.
You’ll play as a noble warrior out to kill dragons (for some reason), and there isn’t much more to it than that. Magic is your primary weapon, with a number of powerful spells at your disposal. As you earn gems and coins (or buy them via IAP of course) you’ll be able to equip new armour and tools, and even enlist pets to help you defeat the dragons.
The dragons themselves are a highlight, not only because of their distinct variety, but also because of their spectacular rendering and impressive scale. Dragon Slayer is a fine looking game, with enough restraint in the design to allow for play even on older 3GS devices. For some fun fantasy fighting, Dragon Slayer hits the spot.
What Have You Been Playing?
We always appreciate your suggestions, so drop a comment below if you have some great games to recommend!