The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Ticket to Earth

With Apple's "Celebrating Indies" promotion running for the past week or so, this has been one of the highest concentration of great game releases that I can remember. I often complain about how hard it is to pick just one Game of the Week, but for realsies this time guys, this was a hard one. In the end, it was Ticket to Earth [$3.99] from Robot Circus that won my heart over. It's something of a hybrid of turn-based strategy, matching, and RPG, and being that those are three genres that I don't particularly care for I can't believe just how well they go together to form something that I'm truly in love with.

Ticket to Earth plays out on a grid from an isometric view, with you and your opponents each taking turns either moving, attacking, or performing some other action. The grid itself is made up of colored tiles and this is where the matching game comes into play. Similar to games like Dungeon Raid, you'll drag through a line of same-colored tiles to move your character across the board. Longer matches give you bonuses, and depending on which color tile you're matching you can build up your character's different abilities.

I've heard Ticket to Earth described as a "match-3 with a twist!" which is right up there with "WARNING: Addictive!" with tired mobile game tropes. However, calling it a match-3 in any way doesn't do it justice. True, it uses that drag-to-match system as a main mechanic and it adds an extra layer of strategy to how you play, but this feels first and foremost like a strategy RPG. Don't let the matching comparisons fool you or scare you away; this is a truly tactical game that will test your turn-based strategy skills.

This is all wrapped up in a cool sci-fi world with fantastic music (seriously, turn the sound up) and a really neat comic book-esque art style. Along with an engaging story, a deep system of items, weapons, and upgrades scratches that RPG itch, and although this is only Episode 1 of 4 planned episodes (which are being released as free updates and are all already well into development) there is a TON of content here. I've been helplessly engrossed in Ticket to Earth since its release, which was a pleasant surprise as it didn't strike me as my type of game. Don't take my word for it though, as players in our forums have been loving it too, and in an incredibly strong week of new games Ticket to Earth has battled its way into our Game of the Week spot.

  • HelperMonkey

    I concur.
    High praise on a week like this.
    This came out of nowhere and blew me away with the high level of quality.
    AAA indie greatness.

  • morgawr

    I find it kinda cheap, am I playing it wrong or do I just suck at it?

    • rslowe

      If you spam attacks, you're going to die quickly because you only get two moves per round, and your attack power is dependent on running tiles.

      Run a long line --> attack an adjacent monster seems to be the typical round. You can typically only kill one monster per round, so you have to be pretty strategic and pick them off one at a time.

      • morgawr

        When my turn comes up I only seem to be able to move a couple spaces. Then I have to stand there and get beat on while waiting on my next turn..

      • logical-fallacy

        There is an RNG component, certainly.

      • rslowe

        Sometimes your first round you'll need to spend both turns moving, just to get to a better location. (Keep in mind that enemies can only move on a single color, too, so it's often possible to move somewhere where they can't follow you.)

        But yeah, the RNG in the first round can be annoying, esp. if you're going for one of the "speed run" target scores in a level.

      • morgawr

        I must say, I'm glad I didn't delete from my iPad, after taking your advice it's much more fun to play...:)

  • rslowe

    Daaaang the third next episodes are going to be free updates?! If that's the case, this game is an amazing value. Very dynamic, challenging while still being fair, and beautifully made. I definitely recommend it.

  • http://javatune.co drunk_vader

    Worth every cent! Such a fantastic game.

  • Tychaeus

    Can't remember how many times I've posted praise for this game in a single week. Can't say it enough...this game is superthanksforasking. With FOUR free future updates...and it alrdy has a good amount of content for the sale price point. Get this...seriously.

    • logical-fallacy

      Only THREE future updates. But still a fantastic deal.

  • yachris

    When I first saw the name, I thought it would be a "Ticket to Ride" clone in space. Wow, was I wrong 🙂

    Yeah, as everyone says, FANTASTIC game!

  • Ken_Rodbender

    Fun game, simple controls, fantastic art style and story. I'm very impressed.

  • listle

    Where is the next episode??? Need fix.