Several enjoyable, low-priced games have recently appeared in the App Store and are worth a look from the budget-conscious and the fat-walleted, alike.
Sturmware's GraviTicks [App Store] is a very unique 3D gravity simulation space shooter that comes complete with an interesting backstory.
A newly discovered predator known as a Space Tick is threatening the solar system. These nasty bugs feed off the gravitational field of planets, weakening them and causing the planet's eventual demise. If they persist, their actions will completely throw off the solar system's stability and eventually destroy the earth.
The spacecraft SATEL1 is a multi-nation effort to thwart the impending doom to our solar system. The great scientists of the world developed the first anti-gravity propulsion system that absorbs planetary graviton energy and uses it to seek and destroy the Space Ticks.
The game challenges you to navigate your craft about the solar system, establis an orbit about planets under siege from the dreaded Space Ticks in order to collect Graviton energy and unleash it on the aforementioned Ticks. It's a full range of motion game that requires judicious use of your thrusters and retrorockets as well as a delicate understanding of the gravity of the various bodies in the solar system in order to save humanity.
Getting into orbit about one solar body and not succumbing to the pull of its neighbors is a rather difficult and complex affair, but the patient are rewarded with an enjoyable and truly unique game that is easy to come back to.
See the developer's gameplay video for a look at the orbital action.
App Store Link: GraviTicks, $1.99
Lubos Kulisek's Nukeball [App Store] is an arcade style game that involves two, opposing, movable turrets initially protected by a laser shield. A ball bounces about the neutral zone beyond the shield and the goal is to fire your turret at the ball in order to deflect it into the enemy's shield (five hits and the shield is disabled) and, ultimately, the enemy's turret. The game features three different difficulty levels (it's quite challenging at Medium and Hard) and can be played face-to-face (on the same device) or as single player against computer AI.
The combination of game elements make it rather unique and it's frustrating difficulty level lends it appeal. Online leaderboards allow for player-to-player ranking.
App Store Link: Nukeball, $0.99
Lexis Numérique's Surfacer [App Store] is a simple, fill-the-screen game like Filler. You're using weighted spheres of various textures to get a certain percentage of the screen filled, while avoiding the bouncing baddies that traverse the playfield. Tap the screen to create a sphere and hold to grow it. The trick is to avoid getting hit while the sphere is expanding.
Simple but fun for those that enjoyed Filler (or similar games like Qix) -- and it's free.
App Store Link: Surfacer, Free