it comes to games inspired by brick-breaking Breakout, Anodia is right up there. The standard ball-and-paddle brick-breaking mechanic
is mixed up with a variety of features: power-ups and power-downs
(that you can't always evade), and a variety of levels, each with
their own interesting brick mechanics. The result is a game that's
rooted in a timeless classic, but is nevertheless clever, fresh and
fun. Throw in some pretty slick graphics and you have a game that's
among the best brick-breakers around.
appeal of the procedural death labyrinth (AKA roguelike) cannot be
And Sproggiwood oozes appeal. Not just because
of the adorable oozy jelly-monsters. You've been spirited from your
peaceful agrarian existence to the land of the Sproggi, who wants you
to solve problems. That overarching narrative allows you to stitch
together a series of quests, in turn-based dungeons, where brain
means just as much as brawn, and where you can grow more powerful
by collecting loot. The combination of adorable art, fun dialogue,
bite-sized dungeons and a clear sense of progression makes
Sproggiwood pretty danged difficult to put down.
and One More Line developer SMG swung One More Dash seemingly out of
nowhere. It's similar to One More Line: You have to get a
ball from point to point along a path. Like One More Line, the
controls are one-touch simple. Tapping flings the ball from node
to node along predefined lines. The tricky bit is getting the ball
safely into the circle: barriers and spikes will bounce you back,
bounce you off into space or kill you dead. Further
complicating matters is the fact that, once your ball is in a circle,
the circle starts to shrink -- you only have a short time to make your next move. It's the same compelling, one-touch arcade fun SMG brought out
in One More Line, and it's probably pretty safe to say that these guys
are on a winning streak.
One More Dash is twitchy tension, Puzzledrome is zen, letting you
relax, take your time and tease out the solution at your own pace.
Each level presents you with a grid of shapes. The aim is to
rearrange those shapes to make each column and row a palindrome in as
few moves as possible. However, there's no limit to how many moves
you are allowed to make, no penalties for making too many and no
timers (as well as no in-app purchases). It's a wonderfully soothing puzzle
Legend of Grimrock, paying homage to (and in fact heavily based on)
1987's Dungeon Master,
is a superlative dungeon-crawling experience. It takes place in
the prison of Grimrock, where your aim is to get your team of adventurers
to freedom. As you explore the dungeons in first-person 3D, you'll
have to solve locked doors and puzzles, collect loot and fight the
monsters lurking in the dark, all the while trying to escape.
hearkens back to the old-school dungeon experience, with its
grid-based layout, real-time mechanics and puzzles that don't spoonfeed you solutions, yet with a modern makeover for a game that feels
both nostalgic and new at the same time.
aren't nearly enough of the old LucasArts adventure games on iOS, but
with the studio remaining open in its bare-bones capacity as a
licensor, hopefully we'll see a lot more.
Grim Fandango, starring
Manny the skeletal travel agent in an adventure that mixes Aztec myth
with noir, is one of the studio's best. As
it was written and directed by Tim Schafer, it's only right and
proper that Double Fine has remastered and re-released it, including a magnificently realised iPad edition.
you've played it before, you probably need no further convincing. If
you haven't, what the heck are you even waiting for, sheesh.
probably fair to say that most twin-stick shooters take place on a
flat plane. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions does not. Each level takes
place on some sort of three-dimensional shape. It's not quite a
bullet hell -- the enemy objects you need to destroy don't fire back
-- but you can move in any direction, and if you collide with an
object too many times, you get the boom explodo death and need to try again. It has, as
is to be expected, production values through the roof. It looks
incredible, with brightly coloured objects and reactive environments, and gameplay is, excuse the pun, an absolute blast.
those of you who play Goat Simulator on PC, GoatZ -- the zombified
goat expansion pack for the game that lets you run around exploding
things as a goat -- is available as paid DLC. For iOS and Android
users, it's a new totally separate game! Lucky!
adds, of course, the zombies, which includes zombie goats and zombie
everything else, a crafting system that allows you to craft weapons, a large new map, survival mode, where you have to eat something every
five minutes, and a bunch of unlockable new goats, because why would
you play an Angora when you could play a Saanen? (That is a silly
thing to say, there are no goat breeds in Goat Simulator. The
unlockable goats look more like giraffes and shopping carts, and have
Tallowmere is another retro dungeon crawler,
this time of the 2D-platformer variety. Lady Tallowmere has a cruel
dungeon just for you to explore, loaded with traps and monsters. But if you can survive, you get to claim the loot. She's just nice
the gameplay is a lot of fun, with clearly mapped, intuitive virtual buttons, I particularly like the game's sense of humour.
For instance, you can increase your max HP. All you have to do is
kill a cute little kitten.
It's also a nice little homage to the old Metroidvania-style platforming, with a difficulty level that can be
adjusted for those of you who like frustration.
long-awaited sequel to 2012's Knights of Pen & Paper has arrived. The original game let you play out a pen-and-paper role-playing
campaign in the style of a turn-based RPG.
This premise allows some
interesting mechanics. For example, each human player at the table has a type that adds a bonus, as well as their character's race and class -- for
example, a jock whose character is a dwarf paladin -- as well as some fun
characterisations, as the players take on their RP personas.
one caveat: The game isn't quite as long as its predecessor and its
expansion, but that doesn't mean more content won't be added in the
Foursaken. You have my attention. The four-brother dev team behind
Block Fortress, Phantom Rift and Heroes & Castles keeps on
Heroes & Castles 2 is, well, not a sequel exactly…
more of an expansion on the same theme. It's a third-person
action-strategy RPG set in a medieval world. You play as a heroic knight, mage or paladin defending your castle
from waves of attacking foes.
This is accomplished partially via
real-time action combat and partially by building a giant army. You can
also customise and upgrade your hero, your equipment, your units and
As you progress through the game, you can summon
more powerful units to fight by your side.
not perfect. There's no targeting system, so staying locked on to a
moving foe feels clunky, and some of the animations need work. It is,
however, filling a niche that needs more representation on the iTunes
app store, and is eminently playable in spite of its minor
Erica is the victim of a cruel prank. She's found herself locked up in
a haunted house with a disembodied spirit whose voice sounds a lot
like Peter Serafinowicz, who is my humour hero, so that's my interest
double-piqued (even though it's probably not him).
My love of Peter Serafinowicz aside, Til Morning's Light ticks a
bunch of other boxes. Spooky haunted house story.
Point-and-click puzzle-solving. Light quick-time combat to
shake the gameplay up a little. An engaging heroine. Gorgeous graphics. Check all those boxes.
It's a little on the fluffier,
younger side of horror as opposed to the more adult survival horror
experience, but there's certainly place for both in the world.
is a very simple little arcade game. A totem pole is running on the
left side of the screen. From the right side of the screen, arrows
will fly. Your job is to tap the right part of the totem for that
section to jump and clear the arrow. That's it. What makes the game
special is how beautiful it is.
The gorgeously drawn totem poles in a
lush green environment looks like something out of Princess
Mononoke. You'll want to play just so you can keep looking at it.
games aren't exactly a rarity, but there's something I like about
SubaraCity. The premise is based on a city. You have a grid of
buildings, and you have to tap on matching areas of colour to distil
them down to a single block, increasing the size of your buildings and the city's population over the years (each
turn counts as a year). Sometimes you have to stop and plan where
you're going to tap. This will determine where the single block is
placed, which means you can carefully align other blocks in turn.
It's something like a more relaxed, more accessible version of Triple Town.
thought that touchscreen skiing mechanics didn't have much more to
offer. I thought incorrectly. Skiing Yeti Mountain is a top-down
slalom challenge in the style of SkiFree
with better graphics and less ear-destroying music).
And the touch controls are pretty much perfect: you steer your
little skier down the slopes with just the faintest pressure of your
thumb on the bottom of the screen -- it's a rare combination of
completely intuitive perfectly designed for the game -- at no point
does your hand obscure on-screen visibility. It seems such a small
thing, but so few developers get it so utterly right.
game is free to download, but you might want to think about making
the one-off in-app purchase to remove ads. The developers have
pledged half the game's profits to earthquake relief in Nepal.