We had yet another Apple launch, last week, so hopefully these games can keep you entertained while waiting for your new device. (Though one of these is really only for you madmen brave enough to bring a laptop to a long line.)
Ubisoft finally brings their mostly insane mascots to iOS in their first proper game. After that, we have a web game that brings a memory leak to life. We have a quiet puzzler for more casual players. Adult Swim brings yet another wacky twist on a genre to iOS. Finally the new Batman Arkham game gets a spin off on iOS to promote it’s release.
Hopefully there’s something here to keep you busy in line on Friday.
Rabbids Big Bang – iOS
Poor Rayman. Though his franchise has seen a bit of a resurgence, he lost the spot light long ago to the Rabbids. Insane screaming little rabbits probably should be more annoying than entertaining, but the franchise continues to spawn sequels. The Rabbids finally get a real game on iOS with Rabbids Big Bang. Oddly enough, rather than a zany collection of mini-games, you have an orbital mechanics game. NASA may not have thought about the possibility of using cartoon characters hitting each other into space as the successor to the space shuttle, but it does work.
The controls are fairly easy, you aim your rabbid swing them up into orbit. You then use your fingers to activate the projectile Rabbid’s jetpack. You use this to power your orbit and escape to other planets in the system. Each set of levels is a set of planets, with each level giving you a specific challenge like doing a certain number of laps around a specific planet. There’s enough variety to keep this game interesting, and you can buy new power ups and customizations for your rabbids with both in game currency and IAP.
What’s Good: Fun take on an orbital puzzler with screaming insane cartoons.
What Sucks: People looking for the Rabbid’s trademark mini-games are going to be disappointed.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for a neat take on some familiar characters, or looking for a spiritual successor to Solar Jetman, grab Rabbids Big Bang.
Code – Web
Code is the Brave Little Toaster meets The Matrix. You are a single variable, @, and you have to navigate lines of code to make your escape. You bounce against variables to change their values, meeting certain requirements to complete formulas and load the next level. It takes a bit to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing as the game is missing all forms of instruction.
The game doesn’t take long to ramp up the difficulty, you’ll need to know some basic coding to figure out some of the more difficult puzzles. Even then, it might be a bit of a challenge if you don’t have your textbooks laying around. It makes for a unique game concept, though obviously not a mainstream one. Though it really pushes at the edge of the concept of a game, it’s a really intelligently designed game. You have to think really deeply about how to solve problems.
What’s Good: Unique concept with creative approach to design.
What Sucks: Zero instruction, unforgiving difficulty curve.
Buy it?: If the idea of coding as a puzzle game excites, you should check out the Unity powered game on the developer’s website.
Super Squares- iOS(Universal)
Super Square is the opposite of Code. Where that game is fiendishly cerebral from the outset, Squares is almost meditative. You connect squares together in pairs, making sure to highlight all of the stars with one of the three colors. You get some obstacles with blocks that need to be blown up, but with a limited amount of bombs, you’ll need some strategy. The levels never get too difficult, but with 300 free levels and hundreds of paid levels, you might find them get a little more difficult much later on.
The free level pack is the default out of the box, but you can unlock all of the available levels for $3.99 IAP. The later levels expand the numbers of squares, which creates a different feel to the game. There are also IAP to unlock more bombs per level, as well as a host of other power ups. What’s refreshing is that none of these IAP are ever in the way of just solving the level the old fashioned way.
What’s Good: Calm puzzle game with a ton of levels.
What Sucks: Game doesn’t have a lot of variety.
Buy it?: If you like games like Dots or Circles, check out Super Squares
Giant Boulder of Death – iOS(Universal)
One of the best things about Adult Swim Games is that they are able to turn genres on their head and remake them into something a little more twisted. In the case of Giant Boulder of Death, they tweak the endless runner to reformat it as a boulder crushing an alpine kingdom for turning its beloved into a statue of their military dictator. You rampage down the mountain as you crush soldiers, fences, yetis, and almost anything else that gets in your way. Beware of spiked walls and mines, as they’ll break apart your boulder and end your gravity fueled rampage.
As you crush things you fill a meter on the left side of the screen, the boulder will double in size and you’re now able to crush anything in your path, including former threats. You can upgrade your boulder and power ups as you play, using coins scattered in the game. This game may not hit that reward button enough for a genre dotted with a host of free to play games. However, they have already released a recent update that allows you to play as a pumpkin, so it is more than possible that the game will continue to receive new content to keep players interested.
What’s Good: A fun twist on the genre, balances being zany with good game design.
What Sucks: Early progress feels slow.
Buy it?: If you’re a fan of Adult Swim, or looking for another endless runner to occupy your time, grab Giant Boulder of Death.
Batman: Arkham Origins – iOS
There still seems to be a fair contingent of mainstream game developers that believe that iOS is little more than a successor to the Game Boy. So they treat their iOS projects as little more than advertisements for big releases. So we have Batman: Arkham Origins on iOS, which is basically a punching and kicking take on Infinity Blade. There isn’t much of a story to the game, there is a pretty nice opening sequence that details the array of villains you’ll face, but little else. Which is fine, as you’re that goddamn Batman. Each level has an array of missions you’ll need to complete, brawling with a series of enemies.
You can fight in offensive or defensive stances, and you tap to punch and kick. When you string a combo together, you will be prompted to slide your finger a certain way to complete a bonus attack. Your enemies will counter attack, including a special attack you can only lessen the damage of by blocking. This may lack the finesse of the more complex Batman games; but for what it is, it is well done. However, it still feels like a commercial for the console/PC version.
What’s Good: Combat is nicely crafted. Good amount of bonuses to unlock.
What Sucks: Only has brawling, lacks depth.
Buy it?: If you like games like Infinity Blade or are looking for for a Batman Fix, grab Batman: Arkham Origins. It’s free.