iPhone Game Friday: New Releases

If you’re in the north, you’ll probably be hiding out from the cold like I am. It’s a good excuse to catch up on your mobile gaming, and we’ve got some pretty huge titles lined up for you today.

Click through for the biggest App Store games this week!

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

The LEGO franchise games hardly need any introduction, but it’s still a wonderful thing when one of them makes its way to our iPhones. In this case, it’s actually six games in one!

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is exactly what you’re imagining: a retelling of the entire story through the eyes of LEGO’s whimsy. Episode I is free, and from there you’re free to pay to unlock the remaining episodes (II-VI). You’ll be sorely tempted to do so, not only because of the typical sense of humour and style of these games, but because this franchise is particularly well suited to LEGO’s lampooning and offers a breathtaking amount of content.

Large levels, flexible controls, character switching, and of course Force powers all come together to create a spectacular experience for fans of either Star Wars, LEGO, or both! It’s not cheap if you want to go in for the full package, but it’s worth it for what you get.

Price: $15.99 (Free Episode I)
Developer: Warner Bros.
Download: App Store


GTA: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Speaking of huge games…Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the best-selling PS2 game of all time, is now available for your mobile gaming pleasure. How far we’ve come.

If you’ve played before, you’ll be happy to know that the transition has been very flattering, with upgraded graphics and a wholly appropriate control scheme for touch. If you’re new to San Andreas, you can look forward to 70+ hours of story gameplay alone set across the three cast cities in the state of San Andreas. I cannot overstate how big this game is in scope.

Cloud saves are welcome, and as long as you’re rocking an iPhone 4S or newer, you’re in for solid performance too. One very unique feature that shows the level of attention that was paid to making this an authentic mobile experience is the presence of an in-game music option called “MIXTAPE”; if you select this, and if you’ve previously made a playlist of music on your iPhone called “GTASA” then the music from that playlist will accompany your gameplay.

All in all, San Andreas is a tremendous addition to the blockbuster games category on the App Store and is unmissable at this price.

Price: $6.99
Developer: Rockstar Games
Download: App Store


Galaxy on Fire - Alliances

Galaxy on Fire – Alliances

Galaxy on Fire remains one of the most enduring sci-fi properties on iOS, and its developers continue to patiently develop their world.

Their latest venture is Galaxy on Fire – Alliances, which is a multiplayer title as you might expect. As a commander for one of the three factions, your goal is to conquer the uncharted Shroud Nebula—but you can’t do it alone. As you explore the galaxy and visit its 400,000 individual planets (no kidding), you’ll gather strength and allies and be able to obliterate anyone who stands in your way.

As with all Galaxy on Fire games, Alliances is vast and deeply rewarding. It may not be well suited for micro gaming sessions, but it scratches a more serious itch and provides an amazing way to interact with the game’s growing community of fans. You can play for free, and the IAP are offered gently, without much push. Come for the superb graphics, and stay for the immersive gameplay!

Price: Free
Developer: FISHLABS
Download: App Store


Angry Birds Go!

Angry Birds Go!

There are now 8 Angry Birds titles on the App Store, not counting free trials. Although it may be the most different from its predecessors, the latest of them is also probably the worst.

I call it different not because it’s a fresh concept—kart racing is a well established sub genre—but because it differs from previous Angry Birds titles in its departure from flinging physics. The first thing you’ll notice is the glorious 3D rendering and vibrant environments. Each track is a work of art, where lighting effects and animations simply dazzle.

So where’s the downside? Well…freemium. It’s so freemium it hurts. Not since Disney’s miserable Where’s My Water 2 have we seen such appalling use of IAP. The moronic energy meter returns to haunt us here, allowing you five races at a time—then you either wait a few hours or pay for more play time. Do you want me to play your game or not, Rovio?

Price: Free
Developer: Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
Download: App Store


Double Dragon Trilogy

Double Dragon Trilogy

Ok, back to things we actually do want to play: Double Dragon Trilogy!

If the title means nothing to you then it’s probably because you’re unfamiliar with the cult classic arcade series from the late 80s. It’s the grandfather of the co-op beat-‘em-up genre, and it has aged surprisingly well. The series featured three instalments, all of which are present in this iOS retelling, which retains the look and content and offers it with a serviceable but not great touch-based control scheme.

Three difficulty levels help players of all ages get into the game, and the ability to choose between the original 8-bit or remastered soundtracks is a nice touch. With a game like this, the appeal relies heavily on compatibility with various iOS gamepads, and thankfully DotEmu has already indicated that support for most major controllers is imminent.

So if you need a brawler fix and are feeling nostalgic, Double Dragon Trilogy is the way to go.

Price: $2.99
Developer: DotEmu
Download: App Store


What Have You Been Playing?

Have fun and stay warm, everyone! We’ll see you next week.