Surprise! It's Wednesday! (I know, it was a surprise for me too.) Aside from the only day of the week where you don't look like a total weirdo making "hump day" jokes, it's also the day that scheduled iOS game releases slowly start leaking out through the international markets before magically appearing for download in the grand ol' US of A at 11:00 PM EST on the dot. If your App Store region is east of us, these games will be available sooner. All of these links (aside from NBA Jam because EA does things differently) will work in every region, so feel free to go nuts clicking links as soon as midnight approaches in your neck of the woods. Oddly enough, tonight's big name releases seem to be more iPad-centric than iPhone for once.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Micro, $2.99 - [Forum Thread] - The highly anticipated iPhone-only version of Sword & Sworcery! We loved the iPad version in our review, and as an added bonus the non-micro Sword & Sworcery EP [$4.99] which is already out should be getting an update at some point today to be universal. Pretty sweet, huh?
Third Blade, $2.99 - [Forum Thread] - This hack and slash game from Com2uS had an oddly huge thread in our upcoming games forum filled with beta testers discussing the game. The general consensus seems to be if you like hacking, slashing, and slaying an endless stream of monsters, this is your game.
Dragons' Den™ The Official Game, $2.99 - [Forum Thread] - While I'll fully admit that there aren't a whole lot of video games out there based on TV shows that are actually worth playing, I'm stupidly excited for Dragons' Den. Based on the BBC show of the same name, players get pitched business ideas then decide whether or not they're sound enough to invest in. Sure, the show likely won't translate very well to a game since the most amusing part (for me) was always the banter between dragons... But hey, it's got 5 player local pass and play multiplayer, you can make your own banter!
Golden Axe II, $2.99 - [Forum Thread] Sega can't seem to go a week without reminding us that they're totally capable of bundling any old Genesis game into their emulator and tossing it up on the App Store. Bluetooth multiplayer could make Golden Axe II a decent amount of fun, but holy cow I wish Sega would release some more RPGs or other games that actually work well given the constraints of their emulator.
PAC-CHOMP!, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - Namco seems to be juicing poor old Pac-Man for all he's worth lately. Pac-Chomp joins two other Pac-Man themed match 3's already on the App Store. Gameplay involves matching ghosts, moving Pac-Man around, high scoring, and wondering why Namco keeps releasing games like this.
Play Kalei, 99¢ / HD, $1.99 - [Forum Thread] - While not a hardcore gamer's game by any stretch of the imagination, I was totally impressed with how clever Play Kalei was when Chillingo gave us a quick look at it. The premise basically amounts to taking a photo, then trying to find where you need to move your finger to make a kaleidoscope image match up with the target image. Since I'm not even sure kids have kaleidoscopes anymore, it's cool to see them being virtualized in a fun iPhone game.
Choo Choo Steam Trains, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - A train building game published by Chillingo. Taking control of your train set you need to pick up passengers and complete various other challenges. As you play, you unlock pieces of track to create your own railway system. As an aside, I'm actually kind of surprised that more people haven't made similar train games, there seem to be so few.
Elemental Rage, $4.99 - [Forum Thread] - Joining Elemental Rage HD [$6.99] on the App Store is a pint-sized iPhone-specific version. Elemental Rage is a Metroidvania style platformer with about four hours of playtime according to people on our forums (who also have enjoyed the game quite a bit).
Chicken Balls, 99¢ - [Forum Thread] - This Angry Birds-like physics game adds a crazy amount of variation with all kinds of different power-ups. Chicken Balls HD [$1.99] was released a while ago, so if the game piqued your interest then but you don't own an iPad, here's your chance.
NBA Jam for iPad, $9.99 - [Forum Thread] - I had a stupid amount of fun with the non-HD NBA Jam [$4.99], and aside from running on the iPad the big feature with this release seems to be local multiplayer. I wish I could play online, but hey, I'll take what I can get. Now all we need is the iPhone version to get updated with multiplayer, better yet, updated so you can play with iPhones and iPads in the same game.
Back to the Future Episode 2 HD, $6.99 - [Forum Thread] - The continuation of Back to the Future Episode 1 HD [$6.99 is here, with Marty, Doc Brown, and the rest of the cast of characters. If you're a Back to the Future fan, these games are a must-have... Just keep in mind, they run substantially better on the iPad 2 compared to the often choppy gameplay on the original iPad.
Final Fantasy III for iPad, $16.99 - [Forum Thread] - Not long ago Square Enix proved that gamers were more than willing to pay $16 for Final Fantasy III [$15.99] on the iPhone, and they're pushing that price ceiling even higher for the launch of the iPad version. Regardless of how enraged that premium price might have you, Final Fantasy III is an absolutely fantastic game, and we really couldn't have asked for a better remake. Now, Squeenix, where's Final Fantasy VI?