Following a short hiatus, Cult of Mac’s weekly must-have apps and games features are back! Here we’ll roundup our pick of the week’s best iOS titles, including our favorite new releases and updates worth writing home about.
This week’s picks feature what is quite possibly the best arcade fighter yet to hit the App Store, awesome updates to Angry Birds Space and Jetpack Joyride, plus a fantastic platformer that I just can’t put down.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 — Universal ($2.99)
One of the best arcade fighters is now available in your pocket, and it’s just as awesome as it was 12 years ago on the Sega Dreamcast. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a full-featured port of the original title, featuring 56 characters from the Capcom and Marvel franchises, bringing together Capcom’s greatest comic book heroes and Marvel’s most popular video game fighters.
The game features a “streamlined” touch control system, 2-player multiplayer over Bluetooth, and loads of “unlockable secrets.” It’s on sale for just $2.99 between now and May 6 to celebrate the release of The Avengers, so grab this terrific title while it’s cheap!
Angry Birds Space — iPhone ($0.99) / iPad ($2.99)
Angry Birds Space got its first update on iOS this week, and it was a big one. There’s 10 new levels — available free of charge — in an all-new episode named Fry Me To The Moon; in addition to a new golden “eggteroid.” What’s more, you’ll also receive 20 free Space Eagles just for updating, then one Space Eagle per day just for opening the game.
If you’ve already played Angry Birds Space all the way through, it’s time to pick it back up again. It’s still not a universal game, though, which is disappointing. Shame on you, Rovio.
Shark Dash — Universal ($0.99)
Gameloft’s latest release doesn’t follow the traditional path of taking a hugely successful console games and copying it as closely as possible without actually ripping it off (though you could argue that it’s game mechanic is very similar to that of Angry Birds). Instead, Shark Dash is a fresh, physics-based puzzler that features a lovable little shark called Sharkee.
The aim of the game is simple: Pull back Sharkee and aim at the rubber ducks floating around in your tub, then release him and hit as many of them as you possibly can while picking up gold coins on the way. The fewer moves you make, the better your score.
There are 96 levels in this release — all of which feature different obstacles for you to contend with — plus a promise of more to come in future update. As you can imagine, Shark Dash is hours of fun, and it’s only a dollar.
Hambo — iPhone ($0.99) / iPad ($2.99)
Its icon features a pig toting an uzi — what else do you need to know?
Hambo is a
pig war hero who needs help rescuing his friend, Bacon (obviously), from the “enemy’s evil clutches.” Despite what you might think based on that icon, Hambo is actually another physics-based puzzle game a lot like Shark Dash, which requires you to fire at your enemies from afar.
There are more than 200 levels to play through and over 5 mission packs, 20 cool costumes to unlock, awesome Retina graphics, and Game Center integration that allows you to compete with your friends.
Spellsword — Universal ($0.99)
Spellsword is a “retro-inspired Hack N Slash survival based iOS game,” and it’s incredible. If it wasn’t for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, this would easily be this week’s best pick. The title follows the path of an “unlikely hero” on his quest to unless the power of his Spellsword.
Join him through 60 missions in this unique platformer that boasts RPG elements, like special upgrades and spell cards, as well as iCade support and lots more.
“Spellsword imbues classic platforming with intense action, light comedy, and endless gameplay that’s a perfect fit for mobile gamers,” its developers say. I agree.
Jetpack Joyride — Universal (Free)
Six months and 17 million downloads after making its App Store debut, Jetpack Joyride got its “biggest and most anticipated” update ever this week. In addition to new achievements and new stats, there are 15 new gadgets for Barry Streakfries, including the Gravity Belt, the Freeze-O-Matic, and the Missile Jammer. (You can read about them all here.)
Halbrick insists this release is a “game-changer” that allows you to “customize your joyriding experience like never before.” If you haven’t already experienced Jetpack Joyride, now’s a great time to get it.
What’s Your Favorite?
So that concludes our list of this week’s must-have iOS games. If you’ve picked up something that you think we should have included, be sure to let us know about it in the comments.