I’m old, so I remember playing the original Double Dragon on a decrepit arcade cabinet at Showbiz Pizza while the Rock-afire Explosion played and lurched in its creeepy, mechanical way in the next room and I just paid attention to the game because I knew that if I thought about the musical robots coming to life and murdering everyone, they would. And that’s how I predicted The Secret.
Double Dragon Trilogy by Hyperspace Yard Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
Anyway, I was never good at Double Dragon. The enemies punched too fast or too hard, or I couldn’t line up my hits correctly, and I swear that stupid machine was broken because it was impossible. Now, we have Double Dragon Trilogy, an iOS port of the brawler series that includes remixed music and some new modes.
And I know this is a good port because I’m still really bad at it.
The universe has a problem: It has all these planets lying around with no life on them. So obviously, the solution is some kind of forced cosmic osmosis to spread vitality throughout the void.
Abductor Pro by Delicious Toys Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
That’s the premise of Abductor Pro, anyway. It’s a new iOS title that puts players in the space boots of Antaris, a green alien tasked with grabbing humans from Earth for transplantation to other, less human-y planets. But the planets are picky, and possibly racist*, and they’re very particular about who gets to live on them.
Your job as Antaris is to make sure the right people get to the right place.
The Inner World is one of those “throwback, but in a good way” titles that reminds us of how good we have it nowadays. That sounds harsh, but remember that a time existed in which point-and-click adventures were everywhere. Very few of them gave you any help or hints, and all of them required you to play Amateur Psychic with the developers.
The Inner World by Studio Fizbin Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
This is what I’m saying (slight spoiler, but it’s the first puzzle): I have no reason to believe that a drunken worm would make for a good slingshot.
And it’s a good thing that The Inner World is so cute and sympathetic to its players or that would really annoy me.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-use reference guide for that giant rock in the sky, Moon Chart is a pretty good one. It’ll show you the phase and point out what scientists have named all those holes and fiddly bits, and it’s all indexed. So if you have a bet with your buddy as to where Flammarion is in relation to Sinus Medii, this app will help you settle that weird, random thing I just made up.
If you’ve ever wanted to make viruses fight, Pathogen will help you realize your dreams. Pathogen is a board game that has you infecting tiles to eventually take over the entire playing field. You can play versus the computer in an increasingly difficult campaign mode or challenge your friends.
Pathogen by Gameblyr, LLC Category: iOS Games Works With: iPad, iPhone Price: $2.99
Perhaps I’m not quite as good at “Go” as I thought I was, but Pathogen’s difficulty is undoubtedly the first thing you’ll notice. The computer in the campaign is prepared to take advantage of your mistakes at every turn.
I’ve frequently been so close to winning a match only to have the computer claim victory because I forgot to take over one of its pieces butting up against my wall of viruses.
Mac gamers rejoice, as Mac game port superstar Aspyr just announced the fantastic news that the latest hilariously bloody Borderlands 2 downloadable content (DLC), “TK Baha’s Bloody Harvest,” is available for Mac on the very same day it is available for PC gamers, bringing us all closer together in our need to blast each other away in 2K Games’ brilliant first person shooter game.
Fans of Games Magazine will know the puzzles in developer Casual Labs’ Paint It Back as “Paint by Numbers.” Owners of the Nintendo DS portable system might recognize them as Picross, and giant puzzle nerds might know them as Nonograms for Non Ishida, the Japanese graphics editor who invented them.
Paint It Back by Casual Labs Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free ($2.99 full-game unlock)
The point is that Paint It Black is not doing anything new; this puzzle type, in which solvers use logic to determine which squares in a grid to fill in to make a picture, is readily available a lot of places. But that’s not to say that this app is a boring rehash.
In fact, whether you’re a fan of Nonograms or picking them up for the first time, Paint It Black has a lot to offer.
Everybody loves the circus, right? You know, except for the animal abuse and the crowds and the terrifying clowns? The rest of it’s alright, though: Trapeze artists and human cannonballs and food that makes you wonder why we ever bothered inventing food before we had batter to dip and fry it in.
Ring Run Circus by Kalio Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99 (launch sale; reg. $3.99)
It’s in the spirit of the good parts of the big-top experience that we have Ring Run Circus, a self-described “ringformer” (like a platformer but with rings) by developer Kalio. It’s a two-button affair where you control one of three acrobats who skate around the surfaces of giant rings to pick up a key and take it to the lock to release the celebratory, end-of-level confetti.
It sounds simple, but its controls belie an intricate, complex puzzle game with impressive variety and challenge.
Everyone loves feeding cute little animals, and mobile-game developers are no different. Games like Cut the Rope and Cat on a Diet are all about bringing food to adorable, tiny faces, and Drop That Candy continues the tradition.
Drop That Candy by Greenfly Studios Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
In this colorful puzzle game, you are tasked with clearing all of the candy in a series of boxes in order to drop them into the waiting mouth of Gizmo, a woodland creature of indeterminate species. You do this by tapping on the candy, and you can clear multiple pieces of the same color with a single tap if they are touching.
It’s an odd setup, but it all adds up to a game that is equally cute, clever, and fun.
You know how it goes: You’re the king, you have prestige and power and piles of riches all around you … and then some goblin shows up and steals your pants.
Trouserheart by 10tons, Ltd. Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
Alright, maybe none of that has ever happened to me, ever, but it is the premise of Trouserheart, a new hack-and-slash action game out today by developer 10tons (makers of the Joining Hands puzzle series).
Given the “epic quest to rescue kidnapped pants” premise, you’d expect Trouserheart to be a pretty light affair. And it is, but it’s also a solid, satisfying experience.