The idea of being a martial-arts master has always sounded cool to me. But not the Zen-like, pensive, thoughtful type. If I’m honest, I’d really just kinda like to be the guy in the movies who can walk into a room full of generic dudes and beat them all up while they attack him one at a time. And I’m not particularly proud of that, but I challenge you to picture yourself doing it and not once think, “Yeah, that would be pretty neat.”
Dragon Finga by Another Place Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price:Free
But one thing is standing between me and that dream. Alright, maybe a few more than one, but one major thing: I am completely uncoordinated. I don’t have the balance or grace to execute any of the amazing fighting maneuvers I see in movies, and so I watch them with a sad sort of wistfulness and self-disappointment. And this feeling extends to video games, in which physics and animations unbound by natural law allow for inhuman feats of martial prowess about which my clumsy limbs can only dream. If limbs dream, I guess.
Anyway, Dragon Finga, the recently released fighter by developer Another Place, did not inspire those feelings of inadequacy in me because it contains the least graceful fighting system I’ve ever seen.
I’m really not a fan of trivia games. Any time someone drags out Trivial Pursuit at a party, I’m the first to come up with an excuse not to play. But You Don’t Know Jack was always different. It’s a trivia game with attitude, a sense of humor, and a weird bald mascot. What’s not to like?
The original game launched in 1995, and now it’s on iOS with a new title: You Don’t Know Jack Party. This is a new, live multiplayer version of the trivia game that lets you connect up to four different iOS devices to one Apple TV and play together in the same room on the big screen, via a secondary, free JackPad controller app.
Sure, there’s also a single player experience, but it won’t be as much fun.
If you love tanks but find your standard-size garage and local laws too restrictive, you might want to check out Boom! Tanks, a free-to-play armored combat game by developer Codemasters.
Boom! Tanks by Codemasters Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
This love letter to all things treaded and turreted tells the story of one group of people with tanks squaring off against a less-good group of people with tanks, and — look, it’s called Boom! Tanks. You can probably guess what you’re signing up for.
Combat in Boom! Tanks works like this: At the beginning of the round, you drag and hold an aiming cursor over your enemy in order to lock it into your targeting system. Once this is done, you will always hit; the question becomes how hard. And you figure that out with a timing-based minigame in which you try to stop a marker as close to the middle of the meter at the bottom of the screen as you can. Stopping it directly in the middle grants you a “Perfect Shot” which does more damage. Meanwhile, the game drives your tank around; you don’t even have to worry about that.
Where’s My Water? 2 by Creature Feep Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
A company that famous for creating, maintaining, and promoting franchises really should have known better than to end the first game of an almost guaranteed series with a question mark. So then the sequel comes around, and it’s called Where’s My Water? 2. Look at that 2. It’s just stuck out there alone, looking all awkward. I really feel bad for the little guy. I don’t know why Disney didn’t just call this game something like, Seriously, Where’s My Water?. Total missed opportunity to raise the stakes.
Evan loved it, which made us want to try it. And try The Room we did, finding it to be a gorgeous, brain-engaging, Myst-like exploration of the puzzle genre, with some amazing 3D mind-benders to solve.
Here’s our video showing us solving the third chapter; we’ve condensed it a bit so that you’ll still have to do your own puzzle solving, though.
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.