Since the insane Wednesday before the pre-Christmas iTunes Connect freeze, the formerly exciting onslaught of New Zealand releases each week was little more than a fond memory throughout the entire month of January. Thankfully, developers are getting back in to the swing of things and releasing oodles of games. Although, this begs the question- With so few games released in January, did anyone really come out ahead by rushing their games out for Christmas? It's a long way away, but I'll be curious what happens this holiday season. Hopefully it leads to more January releases.
Anyway, on with the show. We're going to be spending the day playing most of these games, and providing a closer look at as many of these as possible. Here's an alphabetical list of the games currently available right now in New Zealand. If you've played along with the Wednesday waiting game before, you'll know how this works. If not, here's the gist- Games appear for download in New Zealand first, then slowly show up on international App Stores around the world before finally appearing on the US App Store at 11:00 PM EST.
Bop It!, $2.99 - [Forum Thread] - The original Bop It! was one of those electronic toy/game abominations that always seems to be out of batteries whenever you wanted to play it and likely has been responsible for millions of annoyed parents stuck in cars with their kids playing a Bop It! for hours. (A Simpsons episode actually makes a joke about this.) You do what the Bop It! tells you do to, whether that's spinning it, bopping it, or many other actions. From the looks of it, the iOS version is very similar. One thing the iOS version is lacking is the sheer durability of Hasbro's child-proof plastics.
Cardboard Castle, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - A clever looking puzzle game with a slick art style based on cardboard cut outs. You assist a knight in his adventures, and come up with clever solutions for dealing with obstacles in your path by interacting with the various cardboard set pieces of the level. It definitely seems like a unique premise for a game.
Devil May Cry 4 Refrain, $1.99 - [Forum Thread] - An ambitious title by Capcom that we spent some time with earlier this month. A simplified control system goes a long way in bringing this console series over to iOS devices. I'm curious what people are going to think once they get this game in their hands, as the Devil May Cry series is one that's not only been difficult, but also has always been played with a physical controller.
Etolis: Arena, $1.99 - [Forum Thread] - An interesting looking Sci-Fi based dual stick shooter from Chillingo that also happens to be universal. I'm excited to bust out my Fling joysticks and give this game a try as I much prefer blasting aliens to shooting zombies.
Kick Buttowski: Loco Launcho, Free - [Forum Thread] - I have absolutely no idea who Kick Buttowski is, but I seem to get sucked in to these kind of launching games in the worst way-- Especially if they've got all kinds of upgrades, which Loco Launcho seems to have. Oh, it's universal too.
League of Evil, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - This pixel art-packed platformer involves jumping through 50 levels saving scientists. I like pixel art, chiptune music, and saving scientists, so I'm really excited for this game. Also, Jared has been spending some time with a pre-release version of the game and won't stop talking about it, which is always a good thing.
Monty Python's Cow Tossing, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - A Monty Python parody of Angry Birds. I'm thinking this game will either come packed with enough Monty Python humor to be funny enough to be good, or be just as mediocre as many other Angry Birds-like games. I'm not sure there's much middle ground, and I'm excited to find out where this game lands.
Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, Free + $6.99 IAP - [Forum Thread] - Gameloft's spin on Zelda is packed with a curious approach we've yet to see the mobile gaming giant take in regards to selling their games. Sacred Odyssey is free to download, which allows you to play about ten minutes worth of gameplay. After that, you've got to unlock the rest of the game via an in-app purchase of $6.99. So basically, you're paying the same price as a typical Gameloft game, but this time the lite and the full versions are merged in to a single version. It will be interesting to see how this tactic plays out.
Zombie Isle, Free - [Forum Thread] Glu has been surprisingly successful since switching gears to freemium, and Zombie Isle is their latest free to play title. It seems to combine the two massive cliches of both pirates and zombies in to one unholy cliche abomination... But there seem to be an awful lot of people out there who love both zombies and pirates, so maybe they're on the right track!