iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

Welcome to a brand new year! It’s still shiny and clean, so let’s try and keep it that way.

Since you’re back at work and probably bored, you’d better stock up on some new games to keep you occupied! Here are our suggestions for this week’s best …

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Lost Treasures of Infocom

Way back when, before games even had graphics at all, the wild world of text adventures kept gamers exploring imaginative worlds entirely in their minds. Now, Activision has unearthed some of the most classic text adventure titles and brought them back to life on iOS!

Lost Treasures of Infocom is a free app that grants you access to a catalogue of these magnificent stories, including the Zork games, Planetfall, Deadline, Cutthroats and more. Each is brought to life vividly with interactive InvisiClues and virtual boxes, manuals and “feelies.” It’s a collector’s dream, and a spectacular fan service.

For ten dollars, you can unlock the nearly 30 separate games for more than 300 hours of gameplay. As a history lesson, a nostalgia trip or purely as an adventure, I strongly recommend you try out at least one of these terrific pieces of history — the first game is free!

Price: Free
Developer: Activision Publishing, Inc.
Download: App Store

Wordament

Microsoft has surprised us somewhat by releasing its all-star word game, Wordament, on iOS as well. While not their first game on the platform, they’ve certainly been careful about what they allow to make the transition, so we’re glad to have this terrific multiplayer experience make the cut.

Wordament is a game of two-minute sessions where players compete in realtime to find words and complete challenges. There’s a surprising amount of strategy involved as you debate whether to aim for longer, more point-laden words, or overwhelm your opponents by sheer number of words found. Either way, your scores are pitted against the thousands of other players, and detailed stats are offered to help you improve your skills.

The best part is that the game is free, and entirely cross-platform in terms of its multiplayer backend. The worst part is that it’s not optimized for the iPhone 5 screen yet — a strange but ultimately forgivable oversight that seems like a small price to pay for access to this superb word game.

Price: Free
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Download: App Store

RAD Soldiers

While it had its fair share of flaws, the console title Brink was really really good at providing an interesting and fresh multiplayer experience. Its creators have since been working hard at bringing a brand new title to the iOS App Store, and it’s finally here — meet RAD Soldiers!

This squad-based strategy fighter is a turn-based multiplayer battle zone featuring unique soldiers, a vast arsenal and IAP that are designed to affect your appearance more than your actual gameplay chances. You still need skill to win these matches. Though the multiplayer is obviously the focus, there is in fact a solid single-player mode that allows you to practise up your strategies.

With Game Center support and a wealth of upgrades, you’ll find lots to do in RAD Soldiers. Bring a friend!

Price: Free
Developer: Warchest Limited
Download: App Store

Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch

They may not be the most cutting edge in terms of genre, but hidden object/adventure games are appealing for their ability to envelop you in their story.

Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch is an example of a good one, from G5 Entertainment. These masters of the art have created another fascinating world filled with ghosts, legends and dimensional travel. There are 32 full locations to explore, and many puzzles to solve. These puzzles are reminiscent of the Myst series, and some are quite challenging. It is not a game for people in a hurry, but that doesn’t diminish its appeal.

While the graphics aren’t the best we’ve ever seen on an iPhone, they are detailed and beautiful and help convey the eerie atmosphere of the story. There’s an ancient evil to vanquish and lost souls to rescue, so get to it!

Price: $1.99
Developer: G5 Entertainment
Download: App Store

Karateka

If the title sounds familiar, it’s because Karateka is the classic side-scrolling fighting game created by Jordan Mechner of Price of Persia fame.

Revamped for iOS, Karateka has been brought to life again with brand new graphics, spectacular music and a touch-friendly control scheme. The combat is rhythm based and satisfying, without becoming bogged down by overcomplicated moves. The three playable characters offer new perspectives on the story, meaning you’ll have an excuse to try it again once you’ve beaten it.

Sadly, that will happen fairly quickly since the game is not particularly long, but if future updates bring some unlockable goodies and expanded length then you may yet find yourself returning more. Until then, fans of the original 8-bit title will be overjoyed by the amazing revival of this classic. The team’s love for the game shines through, and ultimately that’s what any developer should be striving for.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Karateka LLC
Download: App Store

What Have You Been Playing?

Hopefully those will keep you busy for another week as we shake off the holiday drowsiness and get started on our New Years resolutions. See you next week!


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