iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

Summers are always kind to gamers, and as June draws to a close we have the opportunity to play a number of huge new iOS titles that are sure to delight, frighten and frustrate in all the right ways.

With everything from indie darlings to studio blockbusters to look forward to, click through and get ready for a weekend of gaming!

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Home – A Unique Horror Adventure

Hailed as one of 2012’s essential PC games, Home is an eerie and unsettling horror story that has made its way to iOS, where touch controls help immerse you in the chilling world.

As many horror games do, this one begins with a bit of amnesia: you wake up in an old house that you don’t recognize with a storm incoming and no sense of what’s happened. From there, the story unravels with patience and cleverness to create an atmosphere that gets more and more creepy as it responds to your playing. Entirely story driven, Horror’s controls are simple and invisible — this is all about tension, and you may be surprised at just how creepy these retro pixels can get.

With old-school sensibilities and a great sense of polish, Home will captivate you for the two or three hours it will take you to finish it. I highly recommend playing in one sitting with headphones to maximize the immersion. Needless to say, you’ll want the lights off too …

Price: $2.99
Developer: Benjamin Rivers
Download: App Store


XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Perhaps the most ambitious port ever to make it to iOS, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the multi award-winning game that thrilled audiences on PC and consoles last year. Not only has it made the transition to iOS unscathed, it actually thrives in the touch-based world and offers those who haven’t played it an excellent opportunity to do so.

XCOM is a series centred around the idea of a united pan-global military organization dedicated to protecting the planet from alien threats. The action strategy gameplay revolves around the careful creation of squads, bases, units and tactics that you unleash against foes in randomly generated missions. The plot is engaging and the depth of gameplay flies far beyond the casual superficiality of most iOS games.

It’s worth noting that XCOM is a very demanding game; it runs best on the very newest hardware with no other apps running. At peak performance, it looks respectable and, while not as good as its console cousins, still more than pretty enough to enjoy. With intelligently optimized touch controls, hours of gameplay and a terrific premise, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a console game on your iPhone. Worth every penny.

Price: $19.99
Developer: 2K Games
Download: App Store


Where's My Mickey?

Where’s My Mickey?

The folks working in Disney’s mobile division are bright people. After releasing the supremely successful Where’s My Water, they’ve used the game’s newly-earned clout to buoy an older property: Mickey Mouse. The result, Where’s My Mickey, is a charming follow-up that introduces enough new elements to feel fresh while keeping the core intact.

Fans of the first game will probably notice the new art style first; it mirrors the new TV series Disney is working on and has a wonderful nostalgic charm to it. The gameplay goal remains consistent, with a story-based progression helping to guide you through the new episodes. One compelling addition is the presence of a weather system that allows you to control rainclouds and wind — an excellent extension that adds a new layer to the challenge.

Of course, each level has the familiar three stars to earn, and there are a number of collectibles and bonuses to unlock as you go. Disney has promised plenty of new updates and characters, and if their track record is any indication, Where’s My Mickey has a ton of great content for you to look forward to. For you or your kids, Where’s My Mickey is a dollar well spent.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Disney
Download: App Store


Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage

Nitrome’s Flash games are popular and very well made, and one of their best has recently been ported to iOS and has the honour of being the first published title from Rovio’s new publishing division. On a hot summer day, you can enjoy some cool puzzles in Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage!

Rather than make a straight port, Rovio Stars has significantly updated and expanded the game’s content and optimized the controls for touch. The superb art style and clever action puzzle gameplay remain though. Playing as a viking apprentice, you’ll use taps and swipes to slice through a lot of frozen landscapes, and make use of cannons, rope, slime and even chickens to carve a path for your fellow vikings so you can all return safely to the longboats.

95 levels await you, and some entertaining bosses and side quests help diversify the already broad scope of the game. Icebreakers is a superb publishing debut from Rovio Stars and represents a perfect port for the developers, whose game truly shines on iOS. Beware of IAP, but don’t let them deter you from trying this game!

Price: $0.99
Developer: Nitrome
Download: App Store


Pocket Mobsters

Pocket Mobsters

We very infrequently feature MMOs, mostly because there aren’t that many companies embarking on the difficult task of bringing one to life on iOS devices. Massive Damage has done just that with Pocket Mobsters though, and it succeeds as an amusing pixel sim of gang warfare.

Perhaps the most interesting system is the mild location awareness of the game, which transforms your surroundings into a pixel version of a Chicago neighbourhood. You’ll struggle to build a strong crew, team up with real friends to take down difficult foes, form alliances with other groups and chat with others as you experience the changing world of Pocket Mobsters.

Needless to say, as an MMO, it is online only so don’t expect to play this on any remote cottage trips, but if you’re after some great social gaming on your iPhone and have a soft spot for mobsters, then this is one title you want to keep on your hit list.

Price: Free
Developer: Massive Damage, Inc.
Download: App Store


What Have You Been Playing?

Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you enjoy our selections or think we missed a great game. See you next week!