Pretty much every week, new puzzle games hit the App Store. It becomes increasingly hard to find innovative titles or puzzle games that are just plain fun. Is the game too hard? Too easy? Do I even care to get past the first twenty-plus stages? Help Me Fly [Free] from Funtomic is probably one of the smartest puzzle games I’ve played in a good while. The cartoonish visuals may seem like the game was designed for kids, but this title is filled with circuitry delights that will appeal to even the most diligent, puzzle-solving aficionado...
You’ve got your iPhone 5S and you’re all giddy for the awesome visuals and gameplay in Infinity Blade III. Life is grand. But you know what? Those 8-bit style games that budding developers spark on Unity are still good too. When I first spotted I Am Level [$1.99] on the App Store, I mildly shrugged my shoulders. I’m always up to venture back to my NES roots, but the game didn’t seem like it had much to offer. Thankfully, this oddly amusing and deceptively challenging puzzle platformer pleasantly surprised me. ..
If you’re into turn-based strategy games, or more specifically hex-battlefield games like Civil War 1863 [$1.99 / Free], you may have heard of Hunted Cow Studios. The studio has steadily carved out a niche in the hex-strategy genre over the past few years. Ancient Battle: Rome [$1.99] is the company’s latest iOS adventure. It’s chock full of historical tidbits, challenging maps, horses and even a few elephants. That’s right, you get to fight with horses and elephants. Are you excited yet?..
There’s been an outbreak of ninja fever on the App Store of late. We’ve checked out rhythm games like Audio Ninja and Arcade titles like Ninjin. Now, it’s time for a little tower-defense ninja action. Come on, you know you wanted it, right? The developers at Eutechnyx smashed together everyone’s love of ninjas, samurais, and household pets to come up with Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs [$2.99]. For the price of free, you get nine levels to explore these four, age-old rivalries. Drop the extra $0.99 and you can unlock the full game, with no further IAPs required. Love that...
Quark Games, the development team behind Valor, is no stranger to fantasy-based strategy games. The company’s latest PvP game, Champs: Battlegrounds [Free], gives you a squad of knights, archers, fiendish ghouls and other Arthurian-style characters to do battle with on a chessboard-like playing field. The nearly real-time combat is the kind of fast action you want to enjoy on an iPad, but may just be a little too cramped for iPhone play. ..
With The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary and spinoff upon us, it’s no wonder that developers have been capitalizing on the brand to create new iOS games. OzDefence is Dorothy’s latest over-the-rainbow adventure. It’s got one of the best art styles of all the Oz games. Fanciful toy soldiers, vibrant monsters with bumpers, health restoring bunny rabbits, blade twirling horses and other sinisterly sweet creatures are lurking in every board. If it weren’t for the dreaded pay wall and the lack of level diversity, this would have been one Oz adventure to be remembered. ..
Sometimes you want your villain to have a face. Perhaps it’s Voldemort, Thanos, Zod or some creepy dude with a villainous “muahahaha” laugh. Then, there are the villains who have no faces. In the case of Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar [Free], you’re up against The Black Weep. No, this isn’t a group of Templars; rather, it’s a vile sickness - much like Resident Evil’s T-Virus - that turns its infected into headless-undead abominations. You’ve got to become the Avatar of Renown and save the world. Let the hero’s quest begin...
Tell me if this game sounds familiar. You walk around in a top down map, command cute creatures to fight other cute creatures, capture those creatures and choose when they can evolve. You guessed it… Pokemon. But that’s not the name of the debut game from Little Box Apps, the new company of Bryan Mitchell, the developer who made Geared. This game is called Monsters Invade: Oz [Free]. Yes, as in The Wizard of Oz, minus everything you know about L. Frank Baum’s beloved story, save the yellow brick road and Toto. ..
When I tell you that ExZeus 2 [$6.99] gets almost every arcade-action gaming mechanic right, I’m probably understating the truth. This is one of the most fun action games that I have ever played on iOS. As a giant flying robot, you blast your way through legions of aliens just before landing on a building to kick some alien tail - Bruce Lee style. Gameplay switches up on a dime, with intuitive controls. One minute you’re riding a motorcycle in the city and the next, you’re taking the fight to space in a game of R-Type. The balanced leveling system keeps you empowered as the challenges continue to grow. ..
Who doesn’t like planting crops and a little cross-pollination? It’s the kind of relaxing fun that got thousands hooked on Farmville, until those Facebook alerts got unbearable. Bloom Box [$1.99 / Free] is the new plant-based puzzle game from Nexxstudio. If you plant your seeds in the right sequence, you can set off a chain reaction that brings your tiny garden to life. It’s an intricate setup for a game that isn’t as complex as it wants to be. ..
Man of Steel [$4.99] infuses the power of Infinity Blade [$5.99] into the hands of Krypton’s last son. If you played last year’s Avengers Initiative [$1.99] game, you’ll find this one vaguely familiar. Unfortunately, since Man of Steel draws heavily from the movie of the same name, this game is limited by the number of environments and villains you face in your quest to save Earth from a Kryptonian invasion. Still, it’s a blast knocking General Zod’s soldiers through barn walls and into gas tankers over and over. ..
If you tried to open up Clash of Clans [Free] this morning, you may have seen an interesting "maintenance break" message appear, which temporarily prohibited you from upgrading your camp. What's the deal? ..
Hyper Breaker Turbo [$1.99] drums up warm, fuzzy feelings of Breakout and Arkanoid. But the game is so much more – and not just because I’m no longer playing on a TI-82 calculator or Windows 95 machine. This is an indie upgrade from beJoy developer, Barry Kostjens, who also developed another blocky iOS game called Push Panic! [Free]. Multi-tiered levels, three delightfully distinct worlds, inebriated power-ups and 75 stages had me breaking bricks, circular doodles and neon triangles in Hyper Breaker Turbo for a good many hours...
I’m a sucker for throwback games. The original Mario Bros. Tank. Ms. Pac-Man. Crystal Castles. I love them all. Starship Battles drums up fond, and not so fond, memories of Missile Command, which I played the hell out of on Atari 2600. Destroying lines that fell out of the sky with blue-purple explosions was a guilty pleasure. Well, that is until the entire screen was filled with lines and my base was wiped from the face of the galaxy. Sigh. ..