Defend the planet with indie music in Loud on Planet X [Reviews]

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Blast aliens while you dance a little on Planet X.
Blast aliens while you dance a little on Planet X.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been smashing aliens with multiple eyes for a good while now, and the fantastic indie-flavored soundtrack of Loud on Planet X has invaded my brain.

A mashup of rhythm games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero with lane-based tower defense games like Plants vs. Zombies, Loud on Planet X will scratch that music game itch, getting you to tap your way to victory while getting to play as your favorite indie band, like Tegan and Sara, CHVRCHES, Lights, Purity Ring, and Little Dragon, just to name a few.

iPad port of magical miniatures game should be the next big thing [Reviews]

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Bring all the fun of an analog board game to your iPad.
Bring all the fun of an analog board game to your iPad.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If I ran the world, Krosmaster Arena, a fabulously fun and deep strategy game that started out as a board game with delightfully sculpted miniature figures, would be topping the charts right alongside stuff like Clash Royale or Angry Birds.

Of course, I don’t, but I’m hoping each one of you reading this tries it out on your iPad so you can experience the joy of playing it digitally.

Awesome 360-degree space battle game puts you right in the action [Reviews]

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Stellar Wanderer is a space sim with both action and style.
Stellar Wanderer is a space sim with both action and style.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Stellar Wanderer gets right into the action with space battles from the very first mission, which takes place in the full 360 degrees of your spaceship viewport.

You’ll take to the vastness of interstellar space, populated by huge space stations, rugged traders, and (obviously) hordes of space pirates to complete missions given to you by mysterious individuals and then taking the reward money to upgrade your craft and piloting skills.

There’s a lot of space in space, and you’ll feel every kilometer of it when you drop into Stellar Wanderer on your iPhone or iPad.

Check out the gorgeous launch trailer below.

Kick or Die makes kung-fu fighting look easy [Reviews]

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Kick or Die
This looks so dangerous.
Photo: Boomfire Games

Super-elaborate, open-world games with stats, exploration, or an engrossing storyline are great, but sometimes you just want to put your foot in some ninjas’ faces. And that’s where Kick or Die really delivers.

This mobile title has been out for a couple months, but it’s just received an update that adds some new challenges and bosses. We didn’t play the earlier versions, but the new one is a fast-pased, dead-simple kickstravaganza that will keep your thumbs on their toes, even though that sounds completely stupid and impossible.

The game’s fun, though.

Stack blocks to save the galaxy’s cutest robot in clever Atomi

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Atomi
The day I don't want to help a cute robot is the day I stop living.
Photo: Studio Baikin

If you can look Atomi‘s super-cute robot hero in his single, perfectly round eye and say that you don’t want to help him get home, then you may be a monster. I’m sorry you had to hear it from me.

Atomi needs to gather atoms to repair his busted spaceship, but he has a few things in his way. Specifically, he can’t climb or jump, and some of those things he needs are on very tall platforms. But that’s where you come in. And the time you spend getting the little ‘bot where he needs to be is both fun and charming as it sounds.

5 new iOS games that will destroy your weekend

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Smack your weekend right in the face with these great new iOS games.
Smack your weekend right in the face with these great new iOS games.
Design: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s a new year and a new you, and your iOS device just might be crying out for some new gaming titles to keep you fat and happy while you manage all those resolutions.

Whether you enjoy a deeper role-playing and crafting adventure to keep you tapping well into the evening over a long weekend, a musical adventure that you can create yourself, a Mad- Max-inspired demolition derby, or a quick brain-booster puzzle or two to keep your wits about you, we’ve got the five best on offer right now.

In no particular order, here are the best new iOS games that we’ve culled from a long list on the App Store.

In Rogue Agent, you’ll do more running than spying

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rogue-alert-gameplay - 4
This fun new puzzle game will give you a healthy dose of anxiety.
Photo: Roguebox Studios

You aren’t just any agent. You’re a rogue agent. And you’re trying to escape before the enemy agents find you. That’s the plot behind — you guessed it — Rogue Agent, a thrilling new puzzle game on iOS.

With 52 different worlds, several mini-games and a few power-ups, the spy game makes you constantly try to escape without getting caught. Don’t worry about whether there’s a concrete reason for that because, trust me, you’ll get hooked anyway.

Lara Croft Go puts exciting tomb raiding at your fingertips

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Lara Croft Go screenshot
You're about to murder so many snakes, you have no idea.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

I’m anxiously awaiting Lara Croft’s next outing on consoles this fall with Rise of the Tomb Raider, but in the meantime, developer Square Enix is tiding us over with Lara Croft Go, a miniaturized adventure starring the iconic graverobber and dinosaur fighter. It’s out now for iPhone and iPad (reviewed version), and like its predecessor, Hitman Go, it’s more about strategy than all-out action.

This game diverts slightly from Hitman, however, doing away with the board game/diorama theme and just sticking our hero into an ancient, turn-based ruin. But that doesn’t diminish its charm or fun at all.

Picorama puts a cute face on tricky strategy gaming

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Picorama for iPad
Picorama's cute, but it will also mess you up.
Photo: MicroCosmos

I like strategy games as much as the next person, but they’re all missing something. Like maybe they could use a pink bunny that tickles opposing pieces to death, or a little, blue, tentacled … thing that can distract enemies with its soothing singing voice. And for good measure, maybe they could throw in a green guy who can fire deadly shots out of his head and an orange monster that eats lightning and fireballs.

Picorama has all those things, and it’s as weird, silly and fun as it sounds. But the iOS game’s innocent art and adorable characters belie a title that will quickly test your strategic and problem-solving skills and have you staring at your iPhone or iPad trying to plan your next move.

This War of Mine brings the horrors of conflict to your iPad

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Make difficult choices in this compelling survival game, now on iPad.
Make difficult choices in this compelling survival game, now on iPad.
Photo: 11 bit studios

Phenomenal survival game, This War of Mine, is now available on your iPad (and select Android tablets).

The team did a fantastic job of creating the atmosphere of war from the perspective of the civilian’s caught up in it. The game’s visuals, music and play mechanics all work together to create an utterly compelling experience as a non-combatant trapped in a war zone, hungry and vulnerable.

It’s something every one should play, and now that it’s on sale for mobile tablets, everyone can. Check out the launch trailer below.