If you wreck a house during a party,someone has to clean it up. House Cleaning has a kind of warped, hoarder-ish perspective on tidying up that will have your kids shoving all their misplaced mess into boxes. But it might encourage children to try to clean up after themselves if all other forms of parenting fail.
House Cleaning by Roger Dublin Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
After a totally awesome bash, the cutie cleaners in House Cleaning realize they can’t just leave books and CDs scattered throughout the garden of their friend’s home. So, you must dutifully help them sort out the garbage from the decent items before they can move onto another section of the post-party warzone. Plus, they’ll even do a bit of magical yard work when you’re done.
When I saw Tunnel Escape in the App Store my first thought was that it looked a lot like the magic carpet sequence in the Super Nintendo version of Disney’s Aladdin (which is the best version, do not bring your Genesis fanboyism into this). What I wasn’t prepared for was it bringing back all the tension I felt as a kid trying to avoid swells of lava while soaring through increasingly narrow passages.
Tunnel Escape by Darryl Johnson Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Tunnel Escape is decidedly much more relaxed than Aladdin as the only thing you’re fighting against is how long you tap the screen. Each tap raises the little cube higher in the world, and if you don’t tap, it’ll sink down on the bottom of the tunnel. Touching the walls, or top of the screen, means instant death, so you have to feather your taps to succeed.
Now that you’ve played a game about making games to death (Game Dev Story)why not move on to conquer the world of Rock and Roll? Band Stars is another in the long line of simulation/micromanagement games that boils the creation process down to statistics and creativity points. The difference here is that you’re running a band rather than a company.
Band Stars by Halfbrick Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
If you’ve played any creation sim before, you’re likely familiar with Band Stars’ format. You start by creating your band from a basic set of characters then can hire more as you can afford them. Characters have unique stats that determine how useful they are in the recording process, and you can increase those stats through training.
Steam Punks likes Mega Man, and hopes you do too. Even the description of the game on the App Store says it was inspired from games like Mega Man X. And, boy, does Steam Punks play like a Mega Man game!
Steam Punks by Monster Robot Studios Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
You’ll jump, you’ll shoot, and you’ll take out curiously Capcom-like, steam-powered robots in your effort to save kidnapped scientist Professor Clout. You play as Dunns Callahan, an Elite Enforcer assigned to protect Clout. Clearly he doesn’t do a very good job of it as the Bowler Gang easily abducts the professor off a moving train.
Legend of Equip Pants is an episodic adventure/role-playing game that revolved around the acquisition of pants. You play as Sir Pantsalot as he quests to find, well, pants to wear. You start out partially clothed in armor and generally terrorize the innocent populace with your lack of lower body covering.
Legend of Equip Pants by Zach Johnson Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Each episode is fairly brief and has only a handful of solutions. In the first episode, you must acquire a costume or pumpkin pants to enter a party. You can either get a pumpkin and take it to the pantsmith or borrow cursed “underwere” that turn you into an underwerewolf! League of Epic Pants hardly takes itself seriously, and these bite-sized levels don’t overstay their welcome. You really only need a few minutes to appreciate the concept of underwerewolves, and the game’s developer realizes this.
Playing Icycle: On Thin Ice feels more like interacting with a movie than playing a game. You guide the hapless (and naked) Dennis through an increasingly treacherous frozen wasteland with nothing but a bicycle and a warm hat. The world will shift, crack, and crumble all around you, often sending Dennis up an ice flow or down into frozen lakes. The animation is so seamless that it’s almost like you’re watching a cutscene.
Icycle: On Thin Ice by Chillingo Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $0.99
What is more game-like about Icycle is the emphasis on completing level objectives while performing dangerous jumps to collect ice chunks. Doing so will let you unlock new tools and eventually clothing for Dennis to use. I was worried when I started the game that Dennis would just stay naked, so I’m glad you have the option to clothe him. Of course, every time you careen into spikey ice, his clothes miraculously disappear, leaving Dennis to freeze to death on the ice–which is as charmingly animated as everything else in Icycle.
An Infinity Bravura Dash – Knights of the King is a very long name for a straight forward side-scrolling shooter. In I Bravura (the app store title for the game) you play as one of three knights that fire endlessly into an ever-flowing wave of slimes and goblins. One hit can kill you, so your goal is to take down as many baddies as you can while collecting potions and coins that fly toward you.
An Infinity Bravura Dash by Jessika Maria Jardim dos Santos Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Beyond walking right and shooting, there’s not a lot to I Bravura, but that isn’t a bad thing. Your character can walk forward and back a little, which makes it much easier to avoid enemies while diving for collectibles. The simplicity behind I Bravura makes it a very relaxing game to play. Once you gain enough gold and unlock the other knights, your objective is really just to make it as far as you can without dying. You can pick the game up any time and just slaughter enemies to your heart’s content.
I’m usually turned off a game by overbearing mustache adoration, but Puffington appreciates much more than the very impressive mustache supported by the dapper protagonist. You play as Puffington, a sea gentleman who is dismayed when ruffians kidnap the lovely lady worm he’s set his eyes on. Like any love-stricken fish, Puffington sets out to rescue her by collecting coins and gizmos scattered through increasingly tricky levels.
Puffington by Hojo Studio Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone 5 (other devices soon) Price: Free
Puffington is a platformer, and plays like the underwater levels in the Super Mario Bros. games. Tapping the screen makes Puffington inflate, which will make him rise up a bit. Tapping repeatedly will give you a burst of speed which is handy when you’re trying to outrun the edge of the perpetually scrolling level.
Baby Lava is on a rampage. He’ll fly as far as he can and burn whatever lies in his path, but won’t give a thought to how water spells his doom. Once you fire the lava blob out of the starting volcano, you must carefully guide him across tropical islands where he can burn up helpless vacationers and pineapples to keep his fire burning. If you run out of energy, or touch the water between the islands, your fire will go out and Baby Lava turns into a blackened hunk of rock.
Baby Lava Bounce by Jared Bailey Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Baby Lava Bounce plays a bit like Angry Birds crossed with endless flight games like Whale Trail. Your objective is to gather enough energy to collect various idols which you offer up to the volcano. The only control you have is tapping to crash the lava down against an island. If you land on a flat surface, tapping again will let you hop a short distance. If the lava lands on a slanted surface, he’ll shoot up into the air. This will give you much needed lift, but can also make it much more difficult to maintain your energy level.
I’m a big fan of Iron Man. I’ll play virtually any game with Iron Man in it, on it, or around it, so naturally I took a swing at Gameloft’s Iron Man 3 tie-in game earlier this year. And it was a bland infinite runner to sit alongside all the other bland infinite runners released for popular film franchises. I wept.
Thor: The Dark World by Gameloft Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
So when I saw that Thor: The Dark World was not an infinite runner, I decided to give it a go. To my surprise, Thor: The Dark World is a top-down dungeon crawler hybrid that allows you to summon Einherjar, or heroes, to help fight alongside you. So you’ll charge through levels tapping every shiny thing and enemy in your path and can strategically call more fighters to the battle to deal with bosses and ranged attacks.