The other half of the new gaming console coin drops today, so just like last week we’re here with some iOS game recommendations to help you pass the time while you pick up your pre-order, stand in line, or totally ignore the big consoles!
Click through for some incredible adventures, including one very familiar looking RPG…
Sequels are plentiful on the App Store, but it’s always great to see developers being patient with their work and taking their time to create ambitious updates. EPOCH.2 is one such follow-up, continuing the story of it predecessor released two years ago almost to the day.
EPOCH is a robot caught between a global conflict between warring mechanical factions. As you begin, you’ve finally found the princess Amelia, but there are more questions than answers and throughout the game you’ll slowly uncover the story of humanity’s downfall and what role the princess plays in its future. Gameplay is as fun as before, with intuitive swipe controls and thrilling arena combat.
EPOCH is upgradeable, which opens the door to IAP unfortunately, but you might be too busy gawking at the environments to notice. Powered by the Unreal 3 engine, EPOCH.2 is a visually sumptuous game with detailed and hauntingly beautiful depictions of a post-apocalyptic earth. With additional play modes, game changing items, and a big coating of extra polish, EPOCH.2 is a worthy successor and a great game.
Missing persons, mysterious artifacts, a grand ocean, a young hero…sound familiar? You’re forgiven for thinking that the game in question might be the Zelda classic Wind Waker, because Oceanhorn—one of the App Store’s most promising action adventure games—is not shy about its inspiration.
The borrowing of elements is a double-edged sword. Where it works, as in the style of the visuals and music, it works incredibly well. But where it falters, it brings the rest of the game down with it: the one-button-for-all-actions scheme that works well on consoles is incredibly annoying on touch screens where the controls are imprecise enough as is. The fact that it looks like an ideal version of Zelda brought to iOS is encouraging, but the actual gameplay design is never as clever or as endearing as the famous series’.
For $9, you’re buying the closest thing to a Zelda game that your iPhone is ever likely to see—and that’s pretty amazing. It looks right, it sounds great (they got none other than Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito to write the music!), and it has a lot of content, but the game doesn’t quite manage to translate the spark of its inspiration into the touch world.
That said, it’s worth it just to follow the excellent story and explore the beautiful islands and their inhabitants. You can easily spend 15 hours doing so, and despite it not being 100% of the way to Zelda quality, getting 90% of the way there still makes for a great adventure.
Air Supply – 1bit Run was one of the earlier retro runners to hit the App Store, and its sequel has been a long time coming.
Air Supply – Infinite maintains the art style of its predecessor, but takes the gameplay in a refreshing new direction, eschewing linear levels in favour of round worlds and obstacles approaching from all directions. This simple change has transformed the game into an entirely different experience that demands more of your attention. The story follows Sam from the first game as he seeks Infinity Cups, each of which will teleport him to the next planet.
With air running out and nothing but smart bombs and his wits to protect himself with, Sam’s new plight makes for some fine mobile gaming. The music is a suitably authentic accompaniment to the visuals, and the ability to unlock more colours as you progress keeps things fresh as you progress. If you’re into retro runners and want to experience a new spin on familiar mechanics, then Air Supply – Infinite should be on your list.
I’m a sucker for stealth games, and while I appreciate the pacing that comes naturally to most of them, it turns out that stealth games can indeed work at the frantic speeds of a platformer. I know this because I’ve been playing Stealth Inc.
To be fair, I was initially playing it on the PS Vita where it originally launched, but the game has since made its way to iOS and brought its full retinue of tough, quick, gory fun with it. Enemies are brutal, traps are devious, and puzzles are viciously unkind. 80 levels may not sound like much, but as soon as you start you’ll realize that making it to the exit each time is no easy feat.
It’s strange to have to be both sneaky and quick, but keeping to the shadows in this game often means being ready for some quick dashes. Sharpen up your reflexes and prepare to die a lot as you play Stealth Inc. Whatever you do, don’t miss it—this is a standout title.
Last up this week is a visually arresting space game from Firebrand Games. Solar Flux Pocket is the iPhone edition of the game (look for HD for you iPad), and it’s wonderful.
Your task is to save suns from extinction by firing plasma balls into them. You’ll first have to collect those plasma balls, of course, and do so without being incinerated by the extreme heat of solar flares. Surfing gravity wells and precisely launching plasma feels exhilarating despite the relatively peaceful pacing, meaning that the game can be enjoyed by a wide audience of differing skill levels.
Solar Flux has 80 levels, with more promised in free updates. You’ll also have leaderboards to compete on and achievements to collect as you go, and all of this with no IAP bothering you—a good deal, I’d say.
What Have You Been Playing?
Tell us what you’ve been playing this week in the comments!