Another week’s worth of wonderful iPhone gaming awaits you, friends.
Robotic puzzles, paper folding, hidden objects, dead pixels, and perhaps the most fascinating bit of storytelling on the App Store are yours to explore after the jump!
Amanita Design remains one of the most unique developers out there, and they’ve only recently brought their latest title — Machinarium — to the App Store. But it was designed for iPad, even though it was a universal app. Now, they’ve gone back to the drawing board and optimized the game for the smaller screens of an iPhone, giving us the Pocket Edition.
The game itself remains unchanged, thankfully, as it is still one of my absolute favourite titles on any platform. You’ll still control a sweet little robot on his quest through a gorgeously drawn steampunk city, full of quirky characters, humorous situations, and some very difficult puzzles. The puzzling can be abstract, but it never ventures into Monkey Island territory: there’s always a sensible logic to the solutions.
Machinarium’s Pocket Edition offers Retina support, pinch-to-zoom, and achievements, and for only two dollars it’s a steal that should be experienced by everyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of playing.
These guys don’t mess around. The last time I wrote about Simogo, it was a review of Year Walk, which blew me away and remains one of the most memorable gaming experiences of the past year for me. With DEVICE 6, Simogo has continued to challenge the boundaries of gameplay and storytelling.
I can’t tell you anything about the story without ruining it—it’s one of those—so instead I’ll focus on some of the mechanical aspects. For one thing, this isn’t what you’d expect from something called a “game”. It’s more of an interactive narrative experience, similar to a digital version of House of Leaves. In fact, House of Leaves to which DEVICE 6 can be compared on several levels, not least of which is its ability to linger in your mind after you’ve finished it.
It’s clear that Simogo is not interested in the status quo except as a funny thing to leap over on the way to their next masterpiece. DEVICE 6 is bold and bizarre, and pushes the envelope in a way that will alienate traditional game enthusiasts and fascinate the rest. It’s tough to pin down and proud of it. If you play only one game on this list, make it DEVICE 6.
Remember Lume? The hand-drawn wonder from State of Play that they actually drew on paper and filmed to create the animations? Well that game is getting a sequel! But in the meantime, the developers have crafted a smaller-scale puzzle game featuring the same aesthetic. It’s called KAMI.
Influenced by Japanese artwork, KAMI (means paper) is a peaceful game about filling the entire screen in paper of a certain colour. Simple controls, superb visuals aided by extraordinary sound effects make for an engrossing zen play space. Watching the simple animations is a joy, and while the game itself isn’t deep or broad, its simplicity is appealing.
The one major downside is the scarcity of puzzles — only 36 are included in the initial release, and while they do take some time to get through, I would love to see many more. Luckily, updates are already on the way so we can look forward to many hours of soothing fun in the world of KAMI.
We don’t see enough hidden object games around here, and I wanted to remedy that by featuring one of the more intriguing ones I’ve played recently: Mosaika.
Developed by the genre masters at Fire Maple Games, Mosaika is another journey into a wondrous world, full of intricate puzzles and well-honed mechanics. In fact, it’s not so much a “hidden-object” game (tap everywhere!) so much as something akin to The Room (look, think, poke, think more), which makes it far more compelling to adults.
The graphics and general production values remain high, and the presence of both a journal (to record clues) and hint system ensure that Mosaika remains accessible to younger folks too. It’s hard not to emerge from a session of Mosaika without feeling whimsical.
Let’s end with an arcade-y freebie. Mega Dead Pixel is a crazy retro endless faller about a small pixel with big ambitions.
Your goal is to grow your small pixel as you fall through a world of dark shapes. You can paint these shapes by falling close to them without actually hitting, or you can smash right through smaller obstacles if you’re larger than they are. Collecting white blobs helps you grow, and if you paint enough shapes you’ll temporarily become the titular Mega Pixel that can obliterate anything in its path, albeit at the cost of diminishing size.
All in all Mega Dead Pixel is a twitchy, polished, and addictive little arcade game, though you may be put off by the presence of some IAP. Luckily you can play your way around them, and you’ll want to as there are a huge number of unlockables available to extend replay value.
What Have You Been Playing?
Have you been playing something else awesome? Tell us about it in the comments!