iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

What an incredible week it’s been for iOS games — quite a variety of new releases to enjoy, and we’ve picked our favourite five to share with you.

You’ll be busy building bridges, defending kingdoms and controlling a rampaging octopus, so stretch those thumbs and click through!

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Bridgy Jones

Bridgy Jones

When strong mechanics and good humour meet, you almost always have a hit on your hands. Bridgy Jones is destined is a classic example of the effect.

It’s increasingly common to see action puzzlers that include their own level editors, but it’s less frequent to see them integrated as a crucial part of the gameplay, which is the case in Bridgy Jones. Bridgy (and his dog Bonner) are navigating some tricky terrain with their locomotive. It’s your job to build up the tracks in front of them so they can safely traverse each level. You’ll get four building materials — planks, ropes, concrete and tracks — and must creatively use them to build bridges that are secure enough to hold the train and its cargo.

Besides the 32 main levels, you’ll also face additional objectives (more than a hundred of them!) as well as eight unlockable bonus levels. Universal, beautiful and addictive, Bridgy Jones is a perfect mobile game.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Grow App
Download: App Store

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Kingdom Rush Frontiers

Kingdom Rush Frontiers

In 2011, an incredible Flash game called Kingdom Rush was released and became an incredibly popular title. Ironhide Games, its creator, soon brought the title to iOS, and now — two years later — introduces us to the mighty sequel: Kingdom Rush Frontiers.

As with its predecessor, Frontiers is a tower defense game featuring superb presentation and a healthy diversity of towers, enemies, and environments. The towers have very fun abilities, and the game tosses in player heroes as well. These heroes (all nine of them) are upgradeable, and will prove to be a tremendous asset to your forces. Likewise, the environments sometimes have unique hazards of their own, meaning no level is just a static playing field. Gameplay remains exciting and dynamic throughout, and the addition of an in-game encyclopedia and selectable difficulty level ensures that no one gets left behind.

After setting the standard for a good iOS tower defense game, it’s great to see Ironhide Games return to the field with more than just a formulaic sequel. Kingdom Rush Frontiers is an effortless recommendation.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Ironhide Game Studio
Download: App Store

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Crush!

CRUSH!

Two things set CRUSH! apart from its peers in the match-3 puzzle category: extreme difficulty, and a superb and interesting tilted playing perspective.

The essence is barebones: remove like-coloured blocks to clear the screen as fast as you can as new blocks pour in. The trouble starts when you realize that each tap summons new blocks, making it crucial that you keep alert and execute combos. There are three game modes, mostly differing in pacing: Think is the most patient, React is is a quick survival mode and the titular Crush is a ferocious challenge requiring peak performance and skill. There are also a few different powers you can use, each of which affects the way the gameplay unfolds, though never enough to fundamentally change the core appeal.

With no IAP nonsense or extraneous fluff, CRUSH is a lean, mean and incredibly polished title that will delight and infuriate puzzle fans. I couldn’t put it down.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Radiangames
Download: App Store

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Star Thief

Star Thief

Certain to make everyone smile, Star Thief is a charming and cheerful arcade game for your iPhone.

The deceptively childish art style is incredibly vivid and alive, and each of the game’s 50 levels feels real and responsive. You tap or swipe the screen to collect stars, and this mechanic evolves through the use of cages, obstacles, hazards and sometimes sheer time constraints as you struggle to collect them all before the level scrolls past. Co-op play is a welcome addition, and you can play locally.

Game Center integration offers achievements to unlock, but otherwise the game is mercifully devoid of distractions: no ads, no IAP, no notifications — just good gameplay. Don’t be fooled by the cutesy graphics: this is every once a premium game, and one that marries style and substance well enough to keep you occupied for many play sessions.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Bright Night Games
Download: App Store

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Quadropus Rampage

Quadropus Rampage

If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a 4-legged octopus, you’ll be happy to know that Butterscotch Shenanigans (the developers) have a great answer to that question for you in the form of their latest game, Quadropus Rampage.

An action brawler, Quadropus is a game where you use a sweet arsenal of procedurally generated weapons to, I quote, “hit enemies in their stupid faces.” Not much in the way of subtlety going on under this ocean. The endless gameplay model is fantastic, and since even the enemies and levels are procedurally generated, it doesn’t get old. The action is broken up by boss fights, and you’ll be able to upgrade your cephalopod avatar with orbs and artifacts as you stab, smack and swirl against your foes.

Simple to pick up and play and perfect for quick moments of mobile gaming, Quadropus Rampage is an entertaining and even amusing action game with a freemium model that makes it easy to try out.

Price: Free
Developer: Butterscotch Shenanigans, LLC
Download: App Store

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What Have You Been Playing?

Have fun with those and don’t forget to check back next week for a new selection of fresh games for your iPhone!