iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

The incredible games keep flowing in this new year, and we’re keeping an eye on them for you.

Click through for a fresh collection of titles that’ll keep you running, building, flying and puzzling through your spare time!

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Little Amazon

Lily is a fine protagonist. Not only is she adorable, but she’s a strong female character and a more personable figure to control than the cardboard cutouts from other runners. She is the Little Amazon.

The game’s plot focuses on the aftermath of the kind of fairies being dead; in order to wrestle power back from the evil demon who took over the kingdom in his stead, Lily travels her world collecting coins, completing missions and using her skills to eliminate the demon’s henchmen. There are helpful spirits in the forest who will assist Lily and grant her abilities, and the controls make it easy and reliable to exercise your skills.

One interesting feature is the ability to play the game at 720p resolution when you stream to an AppleTV — an experience I recommend if for no other reason than to appreciate the marvellous visuals more cinematically. The personalization elements are nice, and thankfully it’s only this sort of cosmetic upgrade that can be bought via IAP. Little Amazon is a runner with personality and enthusiasm, and earns an easy recommendation.

Price: Free
Developer: Cazap
Download: App Store

Time Surfer

Among the most personable developers in the business, the folks behind Kumobius have finally released their much-anticipated new game: Time Surfer.

Building off the idea of Tiny Wings, Time Surfer puts speed above precision and then, to help defend against the ensuing mayhem, grants you the power to rewind time. To say that the pacing is frantic would be an understatement: this game is hilariously fast and utterly drenched in ’80s campyness. The levels feature the expected obstacles, enemies, etc. but the true appeal lies in the strategies you must form on the fly to traverse these hazards using your time rewind.

Better still, there are a zany number of unlockable pets awarded upon successful completion of missions and space cakes to be earned (or bought) to feed them with. The replay value is broad, the game is engrossing and the presentation is up to Kumobius’ impeccable standards. Do not miss Time Surfer!

Price: $0.99
Developer: Kumobius
Download: App Store

Noble Nutlings

Noble Nutlings is strong debut title for Boomlagoon. These folks aren’t just any old group of developers though; they’re former Rovio employees who’ve struck out on their own.

Accordingly, it’s not surprising to see that Noble Nutlings shares much of the spirit of Rovio’s most recent title: Bad Piggies. Still a physics puzzler and still focused on vehicles, this interesting title challenges you to collect three stars in each level by guiding the squirrels across the environment in a custom-designed buggy. These carts quickly evolve from generic to ridiculous as you earn coins and spend them on upgrades. IAP feel a bit too necessary to make any progress, however, though the slot machine is an excellent way of quickly scoring some coin — if you’re lucky!

The controls and art direction are unsurprisingly top-notch. Tilting or buttons are available to choose between, and they’ve made an interesting choice to use Facebook as a sync method — which may not appeal to those who aren’t members of the social giant. Either way, Noble Nutlings is a polished riff on some familiar themes that’s definitely worth trying.

Price: Free
Developer: Boomlagoon
Download: App Store


Lean mean game design is where it’s at these days, and sometimes it comes from amazing places — like the 16-year-old mind of Zack Banack, whose retro timed race, jtpck, is one of Apple’s “New & Noteworthy.”

For such a simple game, there’s a ton of content packed in: a dozen unlockable characters, twenty different items that can positively or negatively impact gameplay, and three game modes including a day/night feature. Perfect for short gaming sessions, jtpck’s levels are 30 seconds long and your goal is to fly through as many gates as possible without hitting any obstacles. Those items you’ll find hurtling toward you might help out with time dilation or screw with gravity to distract you.

As you struggle for a highscore, you’ll be able to look forward to fifty different achievements and a tremendous amount of energy and quality. This is one impressive indie title, and its appeal is entirely in its perfect execution of a straight-forward concept. Free from ads and IAP, this is an incredible value — spend the dollar.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Zack Banack
Download: App Store


In the days of board games, Upwords was a superb word game published by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro) that combined the word-building of Scrabble with the brilliant twist of being able to stack letters and thus adjust words as the game progressed.

Years later, Upwords has now made its way to iOS as an amazing entry into the word game genre. Besides the game’s core functionality, you’ll enjoy online multiplayer against friends or strangers, push notifications, a dedicated in-game chat, and an utterly unique way to keep your vocabulary sharp. When you’re creating a game, there’s a useful ability to challenge previous opponents, which makes rematches with fiendish strangers a breeze.

If you’re into word games and have always wanted a more 3D spin on Scrabble, then Upwords may well be the title you’ve been waiting for!

Price: $1.99
Developer: Lonely Star Software, Inc.
Download: App Store

What Have You Been Playing?

That’s it for this week. Keep playing and don’t forget to drop us a comment if you have any thoughts or suggestions!