Welcome back to Game Friday, folks!
If you’ve been in withdrawal then I’m happy to report that we have a sweet set of games for you this week. And we miss your recommendations too, so let us know what you’ve been playing this past week after you read.
Hyperlight is a beautiful, TRON-like arcade game that both feels and sounds like it should be housed in a real arcade console. Its 2.5D graphics and the fact that it’s on an iPhone bring it to the modern world, but there’s a definite old-school vibe about it.
The best way to get a feel for the game is to jump in and play. The gameplay consists of using the tilt controls to dash about a grid and defeat enemies while collecting power-ups. Tilting past a certain point activates faster-than-light speed, which you’ll need to achieve in order to damage your enemies. It can get pretty claustrophobic and intense if you don’t take care of the baddies quickly, and the smooth and colourful animations make it easy to get lost in the levels, whether you’re playing Arcade or Endless mode.
The arcade-style voice-overs are a bit annoying, and the game could definitely use a more streamlined tutorial system to get you up to speed with what’s going on, but both those issues can be circumvented and don’t ultimately impact the core gameplay, which remains a lot of fun.
Here’s an innovative puzzle game. The folks at Molecube have put together an interesting hybrid between a stacking game and a tilt-based system, and the result is Monstruction.
In a beautiful hand-drawn art style, you’re tasked with building a tower and withstanding the assault of one of three amusing “monsters”. In each level, you’ll get a set of building materials and an area that represents the goal of where you must build to. Once you’ve managed to construct your structure (within the time limit, of course), a monster will come to try and topple your design. This is where the tilt controls come in: use them to keep your building balanced and survive the onslaught to win.
It’s easier to grasp when you’re playing, and luckily there’s a nice tutorial to help you get started. The combination of an innovative gameplay mechanic and charming art is a good one, and Monstruction is worth picking up.
If you like your puzzlers brain bending, the Woozzle is your new best friend.
Not entirely unlike Aqueduct and similar route-the-flow type games, Woozzle asks you to direct a series of coloured balls to the correct receptacle. There’s not much more to the core gameplay, but within the first five levels (out of more than 60), it becomes evident that it’s far from a simple game. Keeping track of the colours and paths will test your awareness and challenge you.
All this is wrapped in lovely eye candy, making it a polished package all around. This one has me completely addicted.
Grove Keeper is the strange child of Angry Birds and a tower defines game, clothed in a Zelda-like art style.
Your goal, playing as the magical keeper, is to ward off encroaching armies by making use of various magical deterrents including 6 defensive and 6 offensive spells. You’ll have help in the form of archers and other helpful allies, and you’ll need them because things get challenging as you progress through the 80 or so levels.
Achievements and Game Center support help add some extra incentive to get good scores, and the slick Retina-ready graphics lend some extra sparkle to the art. It’s an unusual combination, but Grove Keeper makes it work, and there’s a lot of content crammed in despite the price.
Back to bird tossing. Chicken Balls shakes things up by introducing a little more variety to the gameplay with powerups and the powerful Farmaggeddon move.
You play as a single bird too, one with a backstory, and aliens are your enemies. Tormenting the farmyard with their abductions, it’s up to you to bash open their containment pods and release the captured animals. Collecting eggs while you do this will give you access to the Farmaggeddon super-move, which helps you rack up the extra points.
The usual slew of Game Center achievements and OpenFeint leaderboards rounds off this derivative but well polished physics flinger. It’s a fun spin on the formula and worth a look if you’re after some variety in the genre.
What Have You Been Playing?
While you’re pondering those, drop us a line in the comments and let us know what you’ve been playing and if we’ve missed and sweet games. Keep your eyes peeled for another review next week, and the next Game Friday the week after. Until then, happy weekend!