If you've been waiting for Final Fantasy Tactics for the past few months… Tonight is the night. In fact, there's so many awesome games coming tonight that I'm just skipping the normal pleasantries of easing everyone into the game releases via a smart introduction.
Instead, I'll just go over how this works for first timers out there. iOS developers are able to set specific release dates for their games/apps. Since the App Store is a global market with tons of different regions, and time zones exist, that particular date arrives earlier in some corners of the world than it does other. New Zealand due to their proximity to the International Date Line gets first crack at new releases, followed by Asian markets, then European markets before things finally appear in the US App Store at 11:00 PM Eastern.
Arenas, Trial of Valor, $3.99 - Forum Thread - This universal online turn based strategy game has a feature list that has piqued my interest. There's both a PvP and PvE battle system, five types of arenas, ten available races, thousands of unique objects with more on the way, along with hundreds of different spells and creatures. We'll have to see how big of a component the online stuff is, as a $3.99 price tag combined with a (somewhat) obscure online game never seems to be conducive to building a large online pool of players.
Colosseum Heroes, 99¢ - Forum Thread - These sidescrolling beat 'em ups have been surprisingly popular on the App Store, and Gamevil seems to have nailed the formula very well. Multiple skills to use, along with several playable characters fighting their way through seemingly endless waves of varied bad guys. It looks like there's oodles of things you can customize, with 7 levels of 126 different spells.
Cut The Rope: Experiments, 99¢ / HD - Forum Thread - ZeptoLab seems to be following in the footsteps of Rovio's Angry Birds Seasons and are going it alone in self publishing this Cut The Rope pseudo-sequel. Anyway, it's safe to say that if you even vaguely enjoyed Cut The Rope, this is a game you need. More of the same with a few new twists is hardly ever a bad thing.
Desert Quest, Free - Forum Thread - I'm not entirely sure I'm sold on the gameplay of this game, but I think the art style is really slick. It's free too, so it seems worth checking out if for no reason other than it has a cool look to it.
Emberwind, 99¢ / HD - Forum Thread - This game puts you in charge of a gnome fighting off a legion of gremlins. It sounds crazy, and it looks crazy from the above trailer which seems oddly reminiscent of obscure 16-bit era action-centric platformers. We'll see how that all translates to gameplay, and I'm curious to see how the controls work.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions, $15.99 - Forum Thread - This game hardly needs an introduction. It's Final Fantasy Tactics… Finally on the iPhone after months and months of delays. We're overjoyed it's finally here.
Frankenstein Matchmaker, $1.99 / Lite - Forum Thread - This word game comes with the odd premise of needing you to match various words in order to make Frankenstein some love connections. Hopefully its difficulty level is adult-appropriate, as it seems like it could be a little on the simple side.
Kickin Mama, $1.99 / Universal HD - Forum Thread - If you've found yourself awake at night wondering what would happen if you combined Peggle-like gameplay with kicking babies… Well, here's what happens. This game.
Ninja Fishing, 99¢ - Forum Thread - Despite a hefty amount of drama with Radical Fishing, Ninja Fishing looks like it could be pretty cool-- Especially if they deliver on all the planned updates mentioned in the iTunes description.
Puerto Rico HD for iPad, $7.99 - Forum Thread - This game is based on a board game which I have no experience with but it's apparently won all kinds of international gaming awards. It's rated incredibly highly on boardgamegeek.com, which has a massive amount of information on the game.
Shift 2 Unleashed, $4.99 / HD - Forum Thread - We loved all the previous Need For Speed games for iOS devices that EA has released in the past, so it would stand to reason this one would be just as good. Like most EA franchises, this seems to include tons of incremental improvements and boasts Origin support as well.
Snowball Run, 99¢ - A simple looking endless running avoidance game, only this time you're running towards the camera instead of away from it… And you play as a yeti.
Super Granny, Free - Forum Thread - The iTunes description is a little vague on how the digging mechanic of this game works, but it sounds a lot like Lode Runner and it looks a lot like Lode Runner. And hey, I remember my grandma liking Lode Runner, so it makes sense in a roundabout way.
Taco Master, 99¢ / HD - Forum Thread - This time management game puts you in charge of making… Tacos! (If the title wasn't a big enough clue on that for you.) Also, the trailer seems to be voiced by the guy from Zombo.com.
Toss The Ball, Free - Forum Thread - Namco's latest foray into casual gaming involves, as you may have guessed, tossing balls. It's free, and offers different bonuses for coming back every day, but the question is, is tossing balls compelling enough for you to want to?