I’m going to come clean on something: I really hate Sudoku.
FlowDoku by HapaFive Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
I don’t know what it is about it; maybe it’s because it’s supplanted my beloved crossword as the go-to newspaper puzzle. Maybe it’s because I suspect that one could throw logic aside and accidentally solve it, possibly while drinking. Or maybe it’s just because it’s popular, and my Grinch heart is two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason, my heart or my booze, I’m not a fan. So I didn’t really expect to like FlowDoku, a shape-focused version of my puzzle nemesis by developer Hapafive. Turns out I was wrong, and I learned a very important lesson about prejudice.
I’ve played as a lot of things in my gaming career. I’ve been vampires, I’ve been space marines, and there was even a brief time back in 1993 where I was a walking circle with sunglasses. I’ve never played as a rock, though, so developer PikPok’s latest offering, Giant Boulder of Death, intrigued me right away.
Giant Boulder of Death by PikPok Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
The makers of the Erasure-loving endless runner Robot Unicorn Attack series have moved the camera around to the back to create an “endless roller” of sorts in which players control a giant boulder on a mission of revenge.
The plot — yes, there is one — is that the denizens of the village below the boulder’s mountain have stolen his girlfriend (a slightly smaller boulder with a bow) and used “her” to make a statue of their local military hero. Boulder immediately swears vendetta, freeing himself from the mountaintop on which he is precariously perched and setting off on a rampage of rolling crushery.
Glu Games (Gun Bros, Contract Killer, Death Dome) has a certain reputation for violent free to play games, but the San Francisco-based developer has quite a variety of game genres to its credit, including fantasy and city-building games.
Zombies Ate My Friends by Glu Games, Inc. Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Zombies Ate My Friends is another free to play game, sure, but it has a charm about it that helps cynics like me look the other way when it comes to the typical mechanics associated with the business model. The artwork is pleasing to the eye and there is a sense of whimsy to every aspect of the game, from dialog to undead-smashing weaponry (there’s a ukulele!), that elevates Zombies Ate My Friends from “yet another cash grab” to “worth a download and your valuable time.”
After releasing on Android this past July, Battle Dragons from Spacetime Games has been doing pretty well, but interested iOS gamers have been out of luck.
Today that changes, as the free-to-play build and battle game comes to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in the App store. It does look quite a bit like Clash of Clans, another highly successful free-to-play game from Supercell, but Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Games, says that may just be an artifact of the trailer.
Gold Diggers is a new take on the endless runner theme, the vertical runner. In it, players are placed at the head of a three-car mining train that actually digs straight down into the earth, picking up gold nuggets and avoiding things like flaming platforms, giant sand worms, and the more run-of-the-mill rocks and walls.
Gold Diggers by Gamistry Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Players move the endlessly descending drilling mine train back and forth across the screen by dragging a finger left or right along the bottom of the screen, where a virtual button sits. The action occurs primarily through avoiding obstacles and chasing down gold nuggets — which can be spent in the game’s store for upgrades and better equipment — as well as power ups that add extra time, distance, or guns to the front of the player’s mine train.
Apple names a new and noteworthy app each week as its App of the Week. This week, it’s Simplebot’s Rise Alarm Clock, a universal alarm clock that’s getting quite a bit of buzz in the tech sector.
Let’s face it, alarm clocks are a dime nickel a dozen, so it’s ironic to see one hit the top spot on the App Store. The app evokes another big buzz app, Clear: it’s well-designed, looks great, and works with simple swipes and taps; what’s not to love?
One of Apple’s Best Apps of 2012, Pixowl’s The Sandbox is a fantastically inventive mobile game that encourages players to create entire worlds and works of art, right on their iOS or Android devices. The Sandbox has reached five million downloads across app stores, and has over 300,000 unique worlds shared in its Online Gallery. That’s a lot of stuff, folks!
The new update for iOS today brings vehicles to the pixel-based world-building game, letting you carry yourself and crafting materials in a Truck from one place to another much faster. Or, if you’re of a combative turn of mind, grab a Tank or twelve and create a battle world to experiences the horrors of war, digitally.
There are new, more advanced contraptions as well, like Conveyor Belts and Multi Electro contraptions, letting you create and manage even more complicated machines and systems within your world.
Video games are often praised right out of the gate due to their amazing graphical fidelity and smooth animation. A less visible but equally important feature of any game, especially in the realm of first-person shooters, is the control scheme.
DeNA / Mobage’s The Drowning, out today as a universal iOS app, has seemingly nailed both of these things in a game that’s taking the iOS gaming world by storm. And perhaps shotgun.
Freak Tower by GungHo Software Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch Price: Free
The developer behind incredibly successful free to play iOS game, Puzzles & Dragons, is back with a new free to play title called Freak Tower.
Launching the game for the first time allows prospective tower builders to walk through a tutorial that gives a decent overview of the game. The idea here is to build a tower, one floor up at a time, and fight off various monsters that climb said tower to steal the food that’s dubiously placed on the roof.
Bad Piggies, the super popular puzzle game from Rovio, has gone free for the first time since it hit the App Store last September. It’s thought to be thanks to the App Store’s App of the Week promotion, so you have seven days to download the game before its price goes back up.