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Out Now: 'Brothers in Arms 3', 'Galcon 2', 'My Om Nom', 'Spoiler Alert', 'Platform Panic', 'Docking Sequence', 'Ultimate Robot Fighting', 'The Taekwondo Game' and Tons More

It's that time of year again, as this is the last release week before iTunes shuts down all of next week for the holidays. There's a massive amount of new games tonight, and I'd guess there will be some stragglers tomorrow and Friday as well. It's been a great year of gaming on iOS, and during the slow time next week you can look forward to what we thought was the cream of the crop. But for now, bask in the warm glow of a ton of new games to check out in the list below...

The Best-Reviewed Game of the Year was...'VVVVVV'?

December 17th, 2014 9:17 PM EST by Carter Dotson in News
$2.99 Buy Now

All sorts of publications are starting to get their 'game of the year' awards out there, and Time had a particularly interesting list. But since the majority of review sites use review scores, and are catalogued by Metacritic, we can get an interesting view of what the consensus game of the year might have been. And the list they've cataloged is topped by an interesting choice: VVVVVV [$2.99] was the highest-rated game tracked by Metacritic this year. The game's a great one, but it might not be on the lists decided at the end of the year, because it's a port of a game that's several years old. Number two was Hearthstone [Free (HD)]. The top 'original' iOS game is Threes [$1.99], at number three. The list has some interesting games that are high up. Bug Heroes 2 [$1.99] was the 6th-highest rated game of the year, ahead of Monument Valley [$3.99] at number eight. Proun+ [$1.99] also just sneaks in at number 25...

More games are going dirt-cheap or even free in this busy holiday period. We covered Skullduggery [$4.99] going free last night, but that's not the only freebie. Gangstar Vegas [Free] from Gameloft has just dropped to nothing, as part of an update making the game free-to-play, with a new diamond currency to earn and buy. Cooperative gang battles and a number of new costumes, including holiday-themed ones, are available as well. Flick Golf HD [Free (HD)] from Full Fat has just dropped to free as well, in case you want to get some golf action in on your iPad...

Simogo has been known to blur the lines between games, art, film, sound, literature and more, so when they took to Twitter today to tease a new project called The Sensational December Machine, it's kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of project it is. All they've revealed so far is the following (extremely lovely) teaser image:..

Rusty Moyher released Astro Duel [$2.99 (HD)] earlier this year, a top-down space shooter built around local multiplayer on an iPad. He then made Astro Party [Free], an iPhone version that was majorly reworked with a simpler control scheme, as well as a new mode, called Pilot Execution. Well, Pilot Execution was notably missing from Astro Duel, and the universe was truly imbalanced. Until now. Astro Duel 1.2 is making its way around the world, and it brings with it the beloved Pilot Execution mode...

I don't think a person needed to be a fortune-teller to see this outcome, but going back to my review of Tomb Raider 1 [$0.99] from last year, I ended it by expressing little hope for a potential port of Tomb Raider 2 [$1.99] fixing the control issues with the first game. It wasn't hard to guess because the problem is neither with the unorthodox and somewhat fussy controls of the Tomb Raider series, nor was it with virtual controls, but rather the marriage of the two that the mobile version offered. There's simply no clear way to map virtual controls to these games in a satisfying way. Tomb Raider 2 only makes that problem clearer with its increased challenge and greater emphasis on pulling off non-stop sequences of moves, particularly in timed situations. It's the kind of situation where I don't feel good about giving it a score, because if you have an MFi controller, this game is an incredible experience at a ridiculously low price, but if you don't, it's just about pointless to buy. Consider the number at the end of this review to be the middle of those two scenarios and apply it to your own situation accordingly...

I've run out of fingers and toes to keep track of all the Plague Inc. [$0.99] updates, as today the tenth major update for the game has been released. The update includes two brand new scenarios, one about the upcoming Christmas holiday and one which uses portals. For the holiday one, called Santa's Little Helper, the setup is that the government has banned holidays, laughter and celebrations. Basically, fun and happiness is now against the law. This pisses off a lot of people, including Santa Clause and the Neurax Worm, who form an unlikely alliance and work to infect the world with happiness again. The worm even renamed himself the Neurax Miracle for this mission! I love the whole idea of Plague Inc.–infecting the world with killer diseases and eradicating humanity–being flipped on its head in this scenario...

'Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War' Review - A Freemium Sibling

As we mentioned earlier this month when we posted the teaser trailer, Gameloft’s Brother in Arms 3: Sons of War [Free] has been a long time coming. Announced in June of 2013, we took it for a spin back in E3 2013 and enjoyed the big changes to the series - namely the transition from a traditional shooter to one that was mostly a cover-based on-rails affair. Fast forward nearly a year and a half later and Sons of War is significantly different than when last we played it. For folks hoping for a significant shift in the series direction, Sons of War may disappoint as it goes back to its traditional roots, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing...

You don't win the tutorial mission in BattleLore: Command [$9.99]. I found that kind of interesting, and in a way, it sets the pace for this strategy board game adaptation. While many strategy games like to puff you up with some early victories before pulling out the Customer Service Bat, this one teaches you the basics of how to play in a couple of turns and then almost immediately comes at you virtually as hard as it ever will. It's a real sink or swim situation, but if you've got the wits and patience to see it through, you'll find a game with a very rewarding core that suffers a bit from its overall lack of options...

'Tales from the Borderlands' Review - Less Loot, More Talk

The idea of Tales from the Borderlands [$4.99] was certainly an intriguing one once it was announced. The Borderlands series definitely has a unique feel to it from its setting, dialogue, and characters that can be easily screwed up by a developer not quite in tune with the way the series operates. The good news is that Telltale Games are experts at story, so the idea that they could approach and do justice to this universe while also expanding on it in a way that isn't just a loot-filled first-person shooter is an interesting proposition...

New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: 'Brothers in Arms 3', 'Galcon 2', 'The Taekwondo Game', 'Ultimate Robot Fighting' and More

Well boys and girls, this is the last Wednesday night release extravaganza before Christmas, or actually, maybe even this year since the Wednesday following the iTunes freeze falls on New Years Eve and it's hard to say how many developers are going to be scheduling their apps for release on January 1st, which is that following Thursday. Like all pre-iTunes lockout weeks, I'd bet money that this isn't even a smidgen of what we'll see released before the week is up:..

'Skullduggery' from ClutchPlay Games is Free

December 17th, 2014 12:02 AM EST by Carter Dotson in News, Sales
$4.99 Buy Now

Heads up! Skullduggery [$4.99] has just gone free on the App Store. This is a platformer where you fling a tax-collecting skull around a number of levels and fight various bosses, trying to collect coins and bop enemies. It's kind of what Angry Birds would be like with its flinging if it was a platformer, and starred a skull, and was about collecting taxes from other skeleton-type creatures. So, not the same, but kind of in the same ballpark!..

Did you hear about the Hearthstone [Free (HD)] news yesterday about the game soft launching on Android tablets in several countries? Did you despair that you were not in one of those countries and that you couldn't download the game right away? Well, Blizzard's Android soft launch was apparently very soft, as now everyone worldwide can download Hearthstone on their 6" and above Android devices on Google Play. Quite likely, if you're in one of the countries without the game, you'll be playing it soon enough if this turnaround time is any indication. The game does feature all of the content of the desktop and iPad versions, and lets you play with your existing account to keep all your cards and decks and play against others...

It took longer than expected due to some delays, but back in July Gameloft finally released Modern Combat 5: Blackout [$3.99], the latest entry in their modern military first-person shooter series. Like other Modern Combat games, Blackout set the standard for fully-featured first-person shooters on mobile devices. It had a somewhat campy but still exciting single-player experience, as well as a fairly robust online multiplayer experience. Since release, Modern Combat 5 has received a few updates, but they've all been focused on either bug fixing or graphical improvements. Today, Gameloft has officially announced the first content update for Modern Combat 5, which is scheduled to go live tomorrow in conjunction with a price drop down to $3.99...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

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