Weekend App Store Discounts and Freebies

This weekend has seen a few notable App Store discounts. Here’s a quick roundup of the stand-outs.

Ozone — $2.99 → Free, Ozone HD — $4.99 → Free [ review ]

Geardome is offering both the iPhone and iPad versions of Ozone [iPhone, iPad], their clever game of precision problem solving, at no cost for a limited time.

Ozone puts you in control of an inflatable ball that can be moved about various maze-like levels by way of touch-directed bursts of air. The goal is to collect all of the yellow orbs strewn about each of the game’s more than 50 pseudo-3D levels in order to exit each maze. But there’s more in each level than just yellow orbs. You must negotiate a wide variety of obstacles and enemies in order to make your way through each level. There are, among other things, moving traps, doors to unlock, weapons to collect and use, spikes to avoid, and end-bosses to contend with. A steel ball power-up renders your ball impervious to damage and able to plow through certain walls for a short period. Some pathways require you to deflate your ball in order to fit through, and then it’s fingers-crossed that an air pump is just around the corner, because when you’re out of air, you’re out of luck. And those bursts of air that move you hither and yon — they’re not freebies; each burst lowers your air level just a bit.

We reviewed Ozone a year ago and just loved it. I still consider it one of the most engrossing iOS games out there. Don’t miss your chance to grab it for free.

Game Dev Story — $3.99 → $0.99 [ review ]

Kairosoft has dropped the price of their excellent Game Dev Story [App Store] in honor of their follow-up title, Hot Springs Story [App Store], which was released in late February.

In Game Dev Story you’ll play the president of a fledgling game development company as you direct your crew of designers, artists, and coders in an effort to create a string of successful video games over a 20 year time period. Beyond just making games, you’ll need to grow your own brand name by running a game convention booth, attending awards shows, advertising, and managing an ever-changing fan base. As your company expands, you’ll have the opportunity to move into larger offices and hire a bigger team of employees, all of whom can be leveled up and trained (at the expense of  higher salaries) so as to create better games. If you really become a big company, and have employees with the right skill sets, you can even create your own console and compete with the well established big boys in the hardware game.

Tapper World Tour — $1.99 → $0.99, Tapper World Tour HD — $2.99 → $1.99 [ review ]

In celebration of a major expansion pack on the way, Warner Bros. has dropped the price of Tapper World Tour [iPhone, iPad] for a limited time.

Tapper World Tour is a remake of the 1983 arcade game Tapper that preserves the fast-paced action of the original while enhancing it and wrapping the entire package in the wonderful art of legendary animator Don Bluth.

Tapper World Tour has you playing as the quick-on-his-feet bartender Sam from the original game, or his equally capable daughter Nikki. Gameplay involves manning several bar counters at once and serving drinks to the patrons whom are slowly approaching the end of each bar. Dishing out drinks sends these folks back down the bar from which they came, and a level is complete when all patrons have been served and cleared out.

The game takes place across 11 different cities in 3 different countries, each with their own unique drinking establishments and customers. The game just oozes all sorts of personality, and it’s hard not to just sit back and enjoy what’s happening on the screen during play. If you were a fan of the original Tapper games or if you enjoy a good fast-paced arcade experience, then Tapper World Tour will satisfy.

Operation Wow — $0.99 → Free, Operation Wow HD — $1.99 → Free [ review ]

If you remember shoveling quarters into Taito’s Operation Wolf back when you were a kid, you’ll probably want to grab Ivanovich Games‘ loving tribute to the classic, Operation Wow [iPhone, iPad], while it’s a freebie for a limited time.

Operation Wow has been lovingly crafted in the vein of Operation Wolf. The graphics have been drawn by hand giving it a cartoonish look, and the thin storyline of the original has been axed, but everything else about Operation Wowwill tickle your nostalgia bone if you were a fan of its inspiration. The 6 stages in the game follow the same themes as the arcade game, and there are similar enemy soldiers and vehicles like armored tanks and helicopters firing at you from just about every direction. Gameplay involves simply tapping to shoot, but Operation Wow takes advantage of multitouch allowing you to shoot up to 10 bullets simultaneously.

Operation Wow really succeeds at being a loving tribute to fans of the original game, but even if you’re unfamiliar with Operation Wolf it’s still a pretty solid arcade game in its own right.

Sam & Max Episode 1: The Penal Zone for iPad — $6.99 → $0.99

Inspired by Steve Purcell’s comic series Sam & Max, Lucas Arts in 1993 released the SCUMM-based adventure Sam & Max Hit the Road to much critical acclaim. Sequels followed and the odd, starring duo gathered something of a cult following. Those in the cult may want to take a look at Telltale Games’ take on the digital duo for the iPad, Sam & Max Episode 1: The Penal Zone [App Store] while it sits at such a major discount.