Oh, Fridays. Always full of joy and surprises and games. For instance, did you know that today is Neil Patrick Harris’ birthday? Now you know. And you can celebrate by playing some of the fine new App Store games we’ve collected for you here — and you’ll need a friend for one of them, so grab one and click through!
We may as well jump right in with the multiplayer game — it’s called OLO game and it’s going to get some competitive urges boiling for sure.
Essentially, OLO game is multiplayer digital curling. Wait, come back! It’s tremendously fun, I promise, and you don’t even need to be Canadian to appreciate it. You and your opponent, on opposite ends of one device or playing online, will need to flick your OLOs (the colourful circles) into a target zone on your partner’s side of the board. The physics are sophisticated enough that you can pull off some neat trick shots, and the fact that OLOs come in different sizes keeps things interesting since they respond very differently.
Currently there is no single-player option (which is a bit of a letdown), but honestly, most of the fun of this game is in the hilarity of playing live with a friend. There are some well thought out subtleties built in to keep games from being too easy or too long lasting, and the fact that it’s universal means that you can enjoy it on whatever device you’ve got handy. It’s minimal, focused, and very fun — fans of multiplayer digital board games shouldn’t miss OLO game!
Though it shares a lot of elements with predecessor Doodle God, My Laboratory by weheartprojects.com is a brand new take on the crafting genre and provides a similar experience in a superior interface.
In My Laboratory, you are tasked with the colonization of a new planet and are given four basic elements — earth, fire, water and air — with which to accomplish this. Clearly, you’ll be doing a lot of combining. The alchemical gameplay is interesting and always surprising, and with more than 200 different elements to assemble, it offers a lot of exploration value.
Terrific design and smooth animations make for a pleasant gameplay experience, and the ability to see component elements for anything helps keep your progress easy to follow. There are neat “stories” that can help you if you get stuck by describing a recipe, and the Game Center integration means that you can even earn some achievements while you’re at it. Grab it while it’s still on sale!
Platform-based runners are a dime a dozen, so it takes something special to catch the public’s eyes and fingers. NCsoft has managed it with their new game, Project 83113 (Belle) by infusing the basic formula with a wicked control scheme and dazzlingly stylish visuals.
If you imagine the pacing and endless running of your average game in the genre, add in the glitzy appeal of a Sonic game, and then toss in gesture controls, you can quickly see why the game is more than the sum of its parts. As you control Belle, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by the fluid movement and intuitive gestures you can use to navigate, jump, attack and acrobatically traverse the levels.
Plentiful collectibles can be earned toward the unlocking of secrets and upgrades for your weapons, which encourages you to embrace a more dangerous playing style than you might otherwise. Pulling off cool moves is exhilarating and the entire experience is so engrossing that you’ll find yourself returning to it again and again. This is a very fine title — do yourselves a favour and try it out.
You’ve probably seen ichi around if you’ve been browsing the App Stores recently because it’s been getting a lot of attention in its Mac incarnation. On iOS, you’ll be able to take all the fun and simplicity with you wherever you go!
Hailed as a one-button puzzler, ichi has an attractive sketched art style and offers surprising depth for what is basically a very simple game. You must collect golden rings with a bouncy ball by manipulating elements of the level — rotating panels, smashing rocks, teleporting and drawing lines. The lack of complexity in the controls allows for a surprising degree of sophistication in the levels, which get to be quite mind bending as you make your way through the early ones.
The best part of ichi is actually the level editor, though. Because the basic concept is straightforward, it’s really easy for anyone to dig in and create some truly excellent levels, and then of course share them. Ichi is light and beautiful entertainment, and the fact that it’s available on almost every platform makes it easy to recommend as a game to enjoy with all your friends.
Aliens! With Prometheus out in theatres, I’m sure I’m not the only one with extra-terrestrials on the brain. Probe the Humans lets us imagine what it might be like to be completely ridiculous aliens that terrorize a small town.
Perhaps unexpectedly, this game is actually almost like a runner, except you’re not really controlling the alien craft itself, simply the abduction beam. As you speed across the landscape, you not only have to collect cows, humans and other probe-able material, you’ll also have to avoid explosives, vehicles, buildings and other hazards. When things speed up and more objects begin to populate the screen, Probe the Humans quickly becomes a hilariously frantic experience.
There is a lot of content, including upgrades and unlockable aliens, and the game has such a charming sense of humour that it’s difficult not to chuckle as you play. So yeah … aliens!
What Have You Been Playing?
We hope you’ve got some new games to keep you busy, and we look forward to having you back next week for a brand new batch of titles! Have a great week and drop into the comments with any thoughts — we love hearing from you!