We have some new games for you to play this week. We have one that serves a group of nerds who never get their own genre of games. We have the next addictive iOS arcade hit. Then we’ll close out with the first iOS multiplayer online battle arena, plus a few more in between.  It’s the weekend, let’s get our game on.


Warhammer 40K: Carnage – iPad

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Warhammer was such a titan in tabletop gaming that it had a huge influence on video games. In the last few years the franchise has made its presence felt in video games, including an RPG for iOS.

Recently the company has made a side scrolling hack and slash title, Warhammer 40k: Carnage. The game puts you in control of a Space Marine running a rescue mission on a distressed planet. You’re armed with a sword and a gun, and you go level to level hacking and shooting your way through enemies. The game mixes together hack and slash mechanics with a splash of platforming, resulting in am old school, retro feel.

This game would be at home on the Genesis or SNES. Developer don’t make many games like this anymore. The controls are smooth, especially for a virtual d-pad.

There are characters you can unlock, and replay the game with new, and different experience along the way.

There are some IAP’s that feels a little egregious in a game that’s almost ten bucks. That’s a little hard to swallow. You can buy special weapons, but they’re all priced using an in-game currency that costs real, actual money.

The game has a loot system that triggers at the end of each level, helping you outfit your character with new armor and weapons. Don’t expect anything outstanding though, unless you’re willing to pony up some cold, hard cash.

I can’t help but cringe that even paid games feel the need to resort to this system to make an extra dollar. Just add a few extra dollars to the price of the game at the point of sale.

What’s Good: Fun, retro inspired gameplay.

What Sucks: IAP’s feel like gouging, not done gracefully.

Buy it?: Fans of Warhammer 40K and classic action games should check out Carnage. Grab it on the App Store for $6.99.


2048 Circle of Fifths – Web

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There are plenty of nerd genres that games seek to appease; however, there aren’t many that are made for music nerds. Rock Band built for novices hoping to indulge their inner rock star, not real musicians.

2048 Circle of Fifths, on the other hand, is a Threes clone that can teach you actual music theory. Rather than combining numbers in ever increasing multiples, you combine music notes, going around on the circle of fifths.

Unlike Threes, where you have a pair for every increment, the circular nature of fifths allows you to combine notes together that are the equivalent (Seriously, though, I’m not a music theory guy no angry tweets).

One downside to the game, I think, is that if you aren’t great with the theory, you’re just swiping at random, trying to forge ahead. You can play this game in the browser on an iPad as well.

What’s Good: Interesting take on the Threes model with lots of unique touches.

What Sucks: A little dense on the music theory for novices.

Buy it?: If you like Threes, but are a little bored with numbers, or are a music nerd, check out 2048 Circle of Fifths. It’s free to play on its website.


Faif – iPhone

The puzzle-RPG hybrid has always bent a bit more towards puzzle than RPG in the past. Faif brings a bit more RPG to the mix than most of its predecessors.

Your challenge is to battle a computer character using a grid of icons. The icons: swords, skulls, hearts, and gems, help defeat your opponent. Each player selects five tiles, and then one, chosen at random, will face off against your opponent.

To attack you need to select a number of skulls and swords. The more skulls you select the more damage you do (it’s like a power booster), but the random selector must land on a sword to carry out the attack. Should it land on the skull, you end up taking the damage yourself. That’s the plot twist to the game. You have to select 5 cards, and your selections must be beside other cards you’ve selected, or form a chain. Sometimes you have to gamble and play odds, selecting a few skulls alongside swords to outlast your opponent. It can backfire though.

You can also select Gems and Hearts as well, they deliver money and health. With the gems you can buy spells and attack boosts. So there’s a lot of strategy involved in setting up your board to take advantage of the odds, and increasing the likelihood that you land on something you need in a given moment.

You and your opponent trade off attacks, back and forth, until one of you dies. If you beat four opponents in a row you get a boss battle. These battles force you to fight two opponents at once.

Faif also has online multiplayer. You can play against random opponents or set up a code so you can have a match with a friend.

This is a great addition to the game, though I wish that they had included support for pass-and-play on the same device.

This is a fun little game, but it is not forgiving. Like the dice in a tabletop RPG, the randomness can be your enemy. There are times where I can fly through to the first boss battle, and others where I can’t make it through the first few opponents.

If you’re looking for story, then this isn’t the game for you. This is just combat and stats, there isn’t any sweeping epic to experience.

What’s Good: Excellent expansion on the idea of mixing RPGs and Puzzle games.

What Sucks: High difficulty, no story. No same device multiplayer.

Buy it?: If puzzle quest was a little easy for you, give Faif a shot. Grab it on the App Store for $1.99


Timberman – iPhone

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Timberman is the type of game that would have eaten your entire allowance back in the arcade days. It’s simple to play, has a modicum of strategy, and is extremely addictive. The game has a simple premise: you chop a tree down. That’s it. You chop on each side of the tree and avoid branches as they come crashing down.

You change sides by tapping each side of the tree. There is a life bar at the top of the screen that decreases, and you can only refill it by chopping faster.

Trying to move quickly makes it easier to hit yourself with a branch. I have, however, run into issues where taps weren’t registered by the game on the right side of the tree, so the game could use some more precise control mapping.

There’s a ton of new skins that you can purchase for Timberman, and it’s all based on the amount you play. So even if you don’t walk away with a high score, you will eventually unlock a good chunk of the skins. That’s a pretty small complaint for a game that has become my go-to game for a quick time waster.

What’s Good: Fun and addictive.

What Sucks: Some issues with controls.

Buy it?: If you like fun little arcade time wasters, grab Timberman. It’s free with Ads, or $ 0.99 without ads on the App Store.


Fates Forever – iPad

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Making a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) for the iPad isn’t an alien concept. You don’t have precise mouse movements, and tapping to attack isn’t as carpal tunnel inducing as Diablo. Tablets can be an ideal landscape for games like Fates of Forever.

Fates of Forever isn’t the first MOBA for iPad, but it does seem to be the most polished. There are three battle modes available, Online PVP, online co-op, and a bot match. Online PVP pits two teams of three against each other on a map battling it out for control. Each team has towers that defend their territory, and a spawn of minions that attack your enemies. You chose from a bunch of different characters, and no two players on a team can be the same character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OioYjXR23cY

Fates Forever takes another page from its PC brethren, it’s free to play. There is a rotating selection of characters that you can play for free, but you can permanently unlock them for both in-game, and real currency.

The game even supports voice chat, though I never tested it.

The game also only has a single map. So the game feels a bit repetitive after a few matches. That’s balanced out by daily challenges, as well as leveling up as different characters. The characters are well designed. Each has a distinctive design and set of skills. Though they aren’t fleshed out with any sort of story, they still feel like they have personality.

What’s Good: Good design, variety of game modes.

What Sucks: Only one map.

Buy it?: If you’re looking for a League of Legends you can play on the go, check out Fates Forever. It’s free on the App Store.