While last week saw so many quality games I couldn’t fit them all on the list, this week is characterized by big name developers unveiling new games. Both Gameloft and Electronic Arts have new additions in the iTunes App Store, not to mention sequels to the popular games iBomber and Ninjatown.
1. Skate It by EA
Originally a Nintendo DS release, Electronic Arts’ Skate It ($6.99) came to the iPhone this week in an all-around improved form. The game aims to be more of a skating simulation than the Tony Hawk Pro Skater’s of the world, and in many ways it succeeds. But what really makes this game stand apart from the others is its unique controls scheme.
To turn your skater, you use tilt controls; to perform tricks, you make a gesture on the iPhone’s touch screen, leading to a much different experience than you’re likely familiar with. There’s also tons of content, with 20 levels with real skaters such as Rob Dyrdek, and a career mode with challenges such as checkpoint races and games of S.K.A.T.E. The game also has a good amount of customizable options, such as creating your own skater or even your own skate park. How much you like the game will depend on the controls, though it’s hard to say they’re better than the standards set by Tony Hawk, so I’ll just say they are definitely different.
2. iBomber 2
Apparently pleased with the success of iBomber, Cobra Mobile’s sequel to last year’s hit includes a somewhat surprising lack of new features. iBomber 2 ($2.99) does have 12 new missions as well as new weapons and power-ups, but fans of the first game can jump into the newer version without skipping a beat – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The game is set in the 1940s in North Africa and Europe, and requires you to bomb targets before you’re shot out of the air. You can use either a d-pad or the accelerometer to control your plane and you are given one main button labeled ‘Bombs Away’. You can probably guess its purpose. The game will probably appeal more to casual gamers, but its solid game play and nice look will be enjoyed by all. There’s no lite version for iBomber 2 yet, but there is one for the first game in case you want a better idea of what you’re in for.
3. Zombie Infection
Another week, another zombie game. The latest app devoted to the undead is Gameloft’s Zombie Infection ($6.99) a game that bears more than a slight resemblance to the Resident Evil series. As long as that kind of thing doesn’t bother you, I strongly recommend the game for action fans as it’s exactly the kind of game that Gameloft does best; great graphics, a deep storyline and a console-style gaming experience on your phone. One of the biggest potential problems with shooters like this is the control scheme, but Zombie Infection does a nice job of offering tons of options without having too many buttons. You move your character with a d-pad and can swipe the screen to view the environment around you; while the action buttons are limited to a gun button, a punch button and an option to switch weapons. The game has 12 levels and an endless survival mode is available once you beat the storyline mode. Kudos to Gameloft, this is one of their better efforts.
4. Ninjatown: Trees of Doom!
By law, I’m required to talk about a ninja game every time I mention a zombie game. So it’s a good thing Venan Entertainment released Ninjatown: Trees of Doom ($1.99) this week, and an equally good thing that – like Zombie Infection – this is a quality game from a crowded genre. In Trees of Doom, you guide a ninja up two neighboring trees, avoiding obstacles such as slick wood and the villainous Mr. Demon’s evil minions. Your character is simply controlled by touching the screen, with options such as touching the opposing tree to jump from side to side and pulling limbs down to shoot yourself up the course. As you would expect from a ninja game, there’s a good deal of humor involved as well, perhaps never more evident than in the moustache ride special that quickly shoots you up the trees on a magic carpet-like moustache. As with iBomber, this game is probably best for casual gamers, though anyone looking for a quick, simple and fun game should give Ninjatown a try.
Speaking of popular genres, this year has been a big one for RPG fans already. This week ZIO Interactive released an iPhone version of the Korean RPG Axion ($2.99), though the first thing anyone interested in the game should know is that it’s as much an action slasher as it is a traditional RPG. The game takes place in a land where gods and men walk together and a demon named Balinor is out to destroy both. The game’s title comes from the main character, Axion, a demigod who you must build into a fighting machine. The highlight of the iPhone game is probably its graphics, which have been touched up since the original and are certainly a step up from many of its RPG counterparts. Unfortunately, with this being a port of a Korean game, there is certainly something lost in translation and the game is full of lame clichés. Still, if Zenonia 2 isn’t your thing and you don’t want to shell out the $13 for Chaos Rings, this game will definitely scratch your role-playing itch.click here to read skate 3 reviews