Tesla Model S Plaid arrives E3 2021 schedule Amazon Prime Day 2021 Best gifts for Dad Millions more stimulus checks sent

Skylander Cloud Patrol might be the next big game on iOS

A new game has rocketed up the most popular paid apps list at the iTunes App Store, and its simple addictive gameplay is a recipe for success.

Skylander Cloud Patrol
Swipe across multiple trolls for huge combos, but watch out for bombs. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Skylanders Cloud Patrol (99 cents) is a target-shooting game unlike any other at the App Store, with just the right mix of cute graphics and addictive gameplay to keep you coming back for more.

The concept is simple: tap to fire your weapon or touch-and-slide across evil little trolls to create combos as you complete short quick levels. The game is based around the superpopular Skylanders franchise -- toys and videogames about a group of little monster heroes who defend the skies from darkness.

In the game, you move quickly through levels by clearing floating platforms of trolls. They'll pop up from behind rocks, fly in using jetpacks, and jump in from off screen as you frantically try to shoot them by tapping. Touching and dragging across several trolls targets them all in a combo, giving you more coins to add to your total.

But there are also bombs that will pop up or fly around screen and if you pass your finger through a bomb, your game is over. So while it's a shooting game at its heart, Skylanders Cloud Patrol is also about going for your top score in trying to clear as many levels as possible.

Skylanders Cloud Patrol
You'll also encounter random special levels where you'll need to take out several trolls to move on. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

To add to the fun there are also bonus magic items you'll find, random levels that offer extra challenges, and a leveling element that lets you buy new Skylanders. As you play, you'll see items float in that require a touch to add them to your arsenal. The first bonus items are the Ghostly swords, which quickly slice and dice enemies. As you beat levels, you'll acquire coins that can be used to upgrade your magic items to make them more powerful and give you an advantage. You'll also be able to unlock new Skylanders by leveling and acquiring gems. Each new Skylander comes with its own back story and unique look. Those who have played Skylanders console games or collect the popular toys will appreciate that you can choose from 34 Skylanders, but you'll need to earn the gems to buy them, making for a terrific reason to keep on playing.

Skylanders Cloud Patrol
As you obtain higher levels, you'll be able to use gems to by magic items and more Skylanders characters. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

With fast-paced gameplay, cute Skylanders characters, random bonus levels, and unlockable items, it's easy to see how this iOS Universal game has flown up the iTunes App Store charts. Anyone who likes the Skylanders franchise or just wants a well-made and addictive time-waster should grab this game immediately.