Alongside the deluge of Halloween updates we’ve seen this week, there have also been some remarkable new titles released.
Let’s work off that candy hangover with some gaming, shall we?
It’s been a long time since I’ve played a space game as engaging as Strike Wing: Raptor Rising. Very much in the vein of Freelancer, Strike Wing is a beautiful piloting adventure.
Focusing on a strong single-player campaign, the game takes you through a variety of environments playing through missions that adapt to your style of play (and skill level) to keep the challenge at just the right level. At this point, Strike Wing feels like a foundation being laid: it’s a framework for an increasingly huge game that can be expanded effortlessly via updates and IAP. What this means at the moment is that there are relatively few ships to pilot and a fairly restrained set of weapons and equipment.
That being said, there is still plenty of content to keep you busy for the next little while, and the wonderful space vistas and synced save information (via iCloud integration) make this an easy recommendation.
Madfinger knows mobile shooters. Following in the tremendously successful footsteps of the first Dead Trigger and the Shadowgun series, Dead Trigger 2 is a superb sequel that manages to make freemium feel okay.
As you might expect, the fundamentals of Dead Trigger 2 are very similar to its predecessor, but everything has been upgraded in smart ways: more varied enemies and environments, even more captivating graphics, and a re-thought set of objectives that ties into the story to make your actions feel more consequential. The gameplay remains linear, but the set-piece action sequences are impressive enough that you’re unlikely to mind.
While there are in-game currencies to earn or buy, there’s no energy system or idiotic social pleading like in the Where’s My Water 2 disaster. This keeps things fun and, while I’m still not a fan of the “pay to win” option, Dead Trigger 2 is kind enough to at least give you a choice in the matter. Go kill some zombies!
Mimpi is a strange and creative platformer that mixes in elements of adventure gaming and, most intriguingly, puzzles!
You’ll play as Mimpi the dog, searching for his master across a variety of surreal and beautiful worlds. So far so ordinary, but where Mimpi departs from expectation is in the clever ways it forces you to use your environment to help bail yourself out of tricky situations. There is no combat, really, but there are some conflicts to resolve. The puzzles are well thought out and require lateral thinking, and Mimpi stays out of your way while you solve them, not spoiling things with easy hints— that said, there are collectible lightbulbs to be found or purchased that will offer some help.
Bones are the other collectible, and between the pick-ups, the platforming, and the puzzles, you’ll be swiftly drawn into the charming hybrid world of Mimpi.
Combat, mercenaries, action, pirates…welcome to Echo Prime.
In the future, an alien menace threatens the universe. Luckily, helpful beings called Echoes have arrived from their own dimension to lend a hand. The thin story is explored through randomly generated campaign levels that take you across a range of fairly staid environments where you’ll take on hordes of enemies. Luckily, touch controls make the action feel responsive and immediate, and there are more than 100 pieces of equipment to mix and match for powerful combos.
The social connectivity is integrated nicely into gameplay, with friends offering you Echo enhancements once you’ve invited them. You don’t need to be social to get Echoes, as they can be obtained in-game, but it’s a good way to make the game’s world feel bigger. Echo Prime is deeper than it first appears to be, and the finely tuned gameplay quickly becomes rewarding and exciting in ways that many others like it can’t offer. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for.
As part of the media industry’s slow burning campaign to prove that small towns are the worst possible places ever, Indigo Lake appears.
First person survival horror is tricky to get right on a small screen, but this is a magnificent exception. Light and darkness are expertly rendered by the game’s graphics engine, and the environments feel lively and organic, even through the gloom. The story is fascinating and patiently told through discovered snippets and and tense moments. One of Indigo Lake’s biggest assets is its open-ended nature; you aren’t on rails here, and the exploration helps keep you on your toes as you never know what to expect. The fact that you’ll be driving around everywhere should give you a sense of just how expansive this game’s world is.
The oddball feature on the list is a picture-in-picture mode that records your reactions to the game’s scares, presumably for the purpose of documenting your screams and funny faces. It’s also worth mentioning that the menu systems are innovatively accessed via tilt gestures rather than buttons, presumably in an effort to keep the interface uncluttered. It works well, unless you tend to tilt your phone around a lot while you play.
Indigo Lake is a difficult, troubling game that fits ideally into the survival horror genre. It feels right at home on the iPhone, and if you’re a fan of Silent Hill or Resident Evil then you owe it to yourself to check it out!
What Have You Been Playing?
Got a recommendation? Drop it in the comments. Have yourselves a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you back here next week!