Despicable Me, NCAA football, space deathmatch, and more: New iPhone games of the week

A little something for everyone: puzzle-solving Minions, the college gridiron, aircraft-carrier gridlock, and a third-person shooter...in space!

I know it's summertime, but there's only so much fresh air and sunshine a person can take. Sometimes you just want to hole up in an air-conditioned room and play games till your brain rots. Then, back outside for fresh air and sunshine.

With that in mind, let's take a look at four new games sure to rot your brain--er, keep you entertained--during these lovely summer months:

Despicable Me: Minion Mania: I always find it a little strange when a movie tie-in arrives before the movie ("Despicable Me" opens July 9), but when it's as cute and original as Minion Mania, I can't complain. Working in Gru's laboratory (Gru's the titular character), you have to help train the funny little Minions by working through various puzzles (some of which are no picnic!). I'm really impressed by this title, but before you splurge on the $4.99 full game, grab the free two-level Lite version.

Exo-Planet: Fling yourself into space or use your grappling hook in dazzling third-person zero-gravity deathmatches.
Exo-Planet: Fling yourself into space or use your grappling hook in dazzling third-person zero-gravity deathmatches. SGN

Exo-Planet: Three words: deathmatch...in...space. (Capture the Flag, too.) If you like Unreal Tournament, Quake Live, and other fragfests, grab Exo-Planet now. In a ridiculously cool twist on standard deathmatch fare, Exo-Planet sends you to outer-space platforms where the only gravity comes courtesy of your magnetic boots. To jump across platforms, you fire a grappling hook! Exo-Planet is all multiplayer: Battle 1-on-1 via Bluetooth or 2-on-2 over Wi-Fi or 3G. This game is crazy-fun, and it's free!

NCAA Football: Are you ready for some (college) football? As with Madden 10, EA's got the licenses for real-world teams--but you can also use the Team Editor to build a new one from the ground up. The gameplay looks and operates just like Madden 10, which is good if you like that game--or bad if you were hoping for something other than Madden: NCAA Edition. NCAA Football costs $6.99, but iPhone 4 owners should definitely pony up an extra buck for the HD version, which has Retina-optimized graphics.

Who knew that even aircraft carriers encountered gridlock? Help your planes launch in Warship: Flight Deck Jam.
Who knew that even aircraft carriers encountered gridlock? Help your planes launch in Warship: Flight Deck Jam. SGN

Warship: Flight Deck Jam: Anybody can clear a traffic jam--let's see how you handle gridlock on an aircraft carrier! Kind of a naval edition of the classic puzzle Traffic Jam, Warship charges you with clearing the flight deck so planes can take off. If you don't finish the job in time, boom--incoming missiles take out your carrier. (There's also a "relaxed" mode for those who can't handle the pressure.) Definitely a fun time for fans of Traffic Jam and/or military aircraft, and reasonably priced at 99 cents.

OK, those are my picks. What are you playing this week? Hit the comments and talk up your latest iPhone/iPad/iPod game obsession.

 

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