iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

Spring is in the air, and we’re happy to welcome the balmier weather (in some parts of the world!) with a collection of new games we’ve been enjoying from the App Store.

Join me for a look at the finest new titles for this week!

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The Other Brothers

What would happen if someone were to make a game about a pair of plumber brothers today? The folks at 3D Attack Interactive decided to explore the question and have ended up producing one of the most incredibly refined side-scrollers on the iPhone.

A 16-bit art style and an impressive level of polish secure your attention immediately, and The Other Brothers continues to delight with its careful homages and striking balance between old and new gameplay ideas. The levels, for example, are side-scrolling, but feature a terrific non-linearity that encourages exploration.

Borrowing from the modern puzzle game tradition, The Other Brothers features a three-star level rating system and many details that make the game’s environments worth revisiting. While the virtual D-pad controls may not be to everyone’s liking, there’s no denying that this is one game that shouldn’t be missed.

Price: $1.99
Developer: 3D ATTACK INTERACTIVE
Download: App Store

Badland

Like the mobile cousin of Outland, Badland is a similarly-styled side-scroller with jaw-dropping visuals set in a mystical forest.

There’s something wrong with the paradisiacal world though, and you’ll play as a cute inhabitant of the woods on a journey to discover and correct the imbalance. The campaign features 40 levels filled with engaging platforming action buoyed by a slick physics system and a consistently appropriate audio treatment.

Multiplayer is under continued development through updates but promises to be a very fun addition to the game, and the fact that the game is universal and iCloud enabled means you can take it with you wherever you go — and you’ll definitely want to!

Price: $3.99
Developer: Frogmind
Download: App Store

Overkill 2

Guns are the name of the game in Overkill 2, so if you were craving a new shooter for your mobile gaming sessions, you’re in for a treat.

Overkill 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor but broadens the experience with new weapons, a detailed upgrade system with tangible benefits, and an extremely impressive graphical presentation in full 3D. The game is in love with its guns, as evidenced by the presence of a showcase and various opportunities to pore over the details of your realistically modelled firearms.

While there is a story of sorts, it’s little more than a basic framework that sets up a vague context for the action — which is all that’s needed for this straight-forward brawler. It’s not a brainy game, but for those moments where you just feel like a good shooter, you’ll want to turn to Overkill 2.

Price: Free
Developer: Craneballs Studios LLC
Download: App Store

Slayin

One of relatively few good action RPGs on the App Store recently, Slayin is takes an interesting “endless” approach to the genre that presents you with a similar setup of picking a class and venturing forth to level up and defeat enemies, except that in Slayin your deaths are always permanent.

This brings up a number of interesting considerations that affect how you play the game. Firstly, you can’t get too attached to your characters since you’ll be losing a lot of them as you play. Secondly, it encourages more bite-sized play sessions where you focus on progressing as far as you can in each session before succumbing to the increasingly fearsome enemies.

There are plenty of spells to learn and tools to collect along the way, but the true charm lies in the challenge of conquering the 100 challenges without being defeated. This pixel paradise is a perfect homage to retro ARPGs, and offers a legitimate challenge for hardcore players.

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

Run Sheldon!

While endless runners have become quite common, everyone once in a while one comes along that stands out — Run Sheldon being a prime example.

The reason has to do with its combination of finely tuned gameplay and amazing production values. Bee Square manages to pull off AAA quality mobile graphics with fluid animations rendered in a friendly art style with plenty of colours and subtle details. It helps that there are many environments to run through, each with its own personality and set of hazards. The profusion of power-ups will assist you as you push for a higher and higher score, but it’s the sheer charisma of Run Sheldon that is likely to keep you coming back for more.

Achievements and Game Center integration for leaderboards ensure that you can unleash your inner competitive streak against friends, and the fact that the app is free makes it an effortless recommendation for fans of endless runners and all around great games.

Price: Free
Developer: Bee Square
Download: App Store

What Have You Been Playing?

Thanks for playing! See you next week with a new set of picks from the App Store — but feel free to leave comments with your new discoveries in the meantime.


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