iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

Boasting not one but two legendary comebacks, this has been an exciting week in iOS gaming.

Come on in to test your skills at adventuring, piloting submarines and even performing surgery!

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Ultima: Quest for the Avatar

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar

Among the most venerable game series in history, Ultima makes a stunning appearance on the App Store this week in the form of Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. The good news? It’s Ultima on the go! The bad news? It’s published by EA …

The good side of the coin offers a wonderful action RPG experience, playable alone or in parties of up to three, set in a large and beautifully rendered fantasy world. As you’d expect, the questing leads to riches: tons of weapons, abilities and items allow you to customize your hero and bolster them against the frightening corruption known as The Black Weep.

On the downside, EA’s guiding hand has pushed Ultima into a Black Weep of in-app purchases. It’s not their worst offence, but Ultima features a fair share of pay-to-win systems and some very expensive “key” bundles. If you can stomach or ignore the IAP, then you’ll find there’s a lot of fun to be had in the familiar lands of Britannia.

Price: Free
Developer: EA Games
Download: App Store

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Fetch - A Boy and his Dog

Fetch – A Boy and his Dog

Not since City of Secrets have we seen an adventure game as beautiful as Fetch – A Boy and his Dog. Simply overflowing with charm and style, Fetch combines its presentational prowess with a fantastically diverse story and gripping gameplay.

The story of a boy saving his friend, a dog, is timeless, and Fetch spends much of its time playing like a cross between a beautiful fairy tale and the dream of an imaginative seven year old. The characters are distinctive, and the game’s many environments are detailed and vibrant, encouraging exploration and wonder.

The presence of mini games expands an already broad experience, and taken together the price tag of $2.99 (one-time unlock if you decide you like the intro) seems very generous for the value of this game. Fetch is an incredible game that everyone with an iPhone ought to play.

Price: Free
Developer: Big Fish Games
Download: App Store

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Worms 3

Worms 3

Way back when, the Worms series was known for its irreverent humour and over-the-top warfare between everyone’s favourite wiggling invertebrates. After porting Worms 2 to iOS, Team17 finally made the right decision and decided to build a brand new sequel specifically for the App Store. The result is Worms 3, and it’s worthy of their legacy.

The biggest change from previous Worms games (besides platform) is the inclusion of an optional card dealing mechanic that influences the beginnings and ends of your turns almost like powerups. It’s a creative evolution of the basic mechanics, and does a good job of adding a new strategic layer without compromising the classic Worms mayhem.

While Worms 3 is undoubtedly fun on the go, one of the best features is the inclusion of AirPlay compatibility, which will allow you to stream your battles to a TV cinema-style. Party game, anyone?

Price: $4.99
Developer: Team17 Software, Ltd.
Download: App Store

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Amateur Surgeon 3

Amateur Surgeon 3

At last, we come to the surgery game. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of [adult swim] games. They’re never conventional, and while they sometimes dip into the downright bewildering, they’re always impossible to put down.

Par for the course then, with Amateur Surgeon 3. Playing as the pun-tastic “Ophelia Payne,” you’ll do a lot of slicing and dicing of patients with some … unconventional tools. There are 20 surgeries to perform in different locations, and each one offers a truly crazy assortment of challenges. There are also partners to work with, in case these surgeries weren’t weird enough solo.

Run away very fast if you’re the least bit squeamish, but if you’ve a strong stomach and a good sense of humour then you may find yourself captivated by yet another masterpiece from [adult swim].

Price: Free
Developer: [adult swim]
Download: App Store

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Abyss Attack

Abyss Attack

Today’s final selection is an underwater shmup: Abyss Attack!

While the genre is a staple of the industry, Abyss Attack’s combination of steampunk stylings and wonderfully organic animations and environments create a unique variation on the theme. Controlled by touch or tilt, your submarine (one of six) can equip various weapons and upgrades to vanquish foes. Powerups will help you, and unfortunately there’s also the IAP route if you feel so inclined. Thankfully it’s not very invasive, and the game ensures that you can have plenty of fun without resorting to any “help.”

Fans of schmups and of good game design will be delighted by Abyss Attack, especially if steampunk is your thing!

Price: $0.99
Developer: Deep Byte Studios
Download: App Store

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What Have You Been Playing?

Next week, we’ll be back with another set of App Store all-star games, so don’t forget to come back! Drop a comment down below if you enjoyed this week’s titles or think we’ve missed one worth mentioning.