Welcome to our newest weekly offering, Games Of The Week. We are looking for games on all of Apple’s platforms, both the new popular titles, as well as hidden gems, and helping you figure out if it’s the game for you (if you see something awesome, please let us know!).
This week we have a couple of unique takes on board games for iOS. A classic puzzle game reworked for social gaming. An RPG for hardcore players only comes to iOS. Finally, we have a puzzle game with a unique design.
Bam Fu – iOS(Universal)
Bam Fu is new take on porting a board game to iOS. Instead of a sedate pass and play experience, this game instead is literally hands on. The game is for two to four players, who each have a corner of the device to work from. After tapping to start, a board opens up with a series of stones that are distributed to each player. After starting, each player tries to tap all of the colors on the board that match their own. The game encourages people to push hands, block other players, and generally just act like a jackass. Isn’t it obvious why we love it? The first person to win five stages, wins the match. You can either play a layout for the match, or have random boards each time.
What’s Good: This is an exciting game that offers something unique in the genre. Taking a more action oriented approach to board games is reminiscent of the electronic board games from the 80’s.
What Sucks: Just because there’s always one guy, be somewhat careful because you are playing on your phone, don’t send it flying or hit the screen hard enough to break the glass.
Buy it?: You should buy this game if you ever played pass and play board games on your phone. It’s a fresh approach to the genre, and should have a high replay value. Bam Fu is $0.99 on the App Store.
Draw Team – iPad
Fans of Pictionary or Win, Lose, or Draw have only had games like Draw Something that offers an asynchronous or online version of the game. Draw Team seeks to fix that by allowing you to crowd around the iPad and all guess at what someone’s drawing. Seems fun, but what sells this game is its Airplay functionality, where you throw the image to the television so people can guess. It blocks the clues and drawing UI from the screen, so it becomes a much different experience. The game is free offering two general question packs, and you can unlock more for either $0.99 or all of the for $3.99. There are two modes, either individual, or team based.
What’s Good: The use of AirPlay makes this a great party game. Pictionary clones that works off the same device are a vast improvement over the play by wire clones.
What Sucks: You have to guess the word “exactly as spelled” which means that if the clue is “run” you have to try and make them figure out that it’s not running, runner, etc. They seem to have a bias against active verbs, increasing the difficulty early on. If you don’t have an Apple TV, this game will not be nearly as fun.
Buy it?: This a great party game, and has enough options that it should fit any size crowd. The initial questions packs are free, so try this without risk on the App Store.
Tetris Blitz – iOS(Universal)
Every classic franchise seems to be finding a way to be more social these days. Tetris Blitz joins the likes of Bejeweled Blitz in making a classic puzzle game into a bite-sized version of itself. If you spent any amount of time mesmerized by this classic game, you’re going to be instantly familiar with how to play this one.
The controls seem to suggest that you have to pick one of a few places to place a tetrimino, but if you drag and hold a suggestion you can choose a custom placement. There is an emphasis on power ups that have special effects when you clear them in a line. These power ups cost in game currency (obviously), and there’s in-app purchases for more coins (go figure). There are also special finishers that offer a huge point bonus at the end of your game, that cost quite a bit more. There’s a Press Your Luck style minigame that gives you coins and power ups that you can play for free once a day, or buy more spins for if you’re addicted enough to want to spend your hard earned cash again.
What’s Good: Making Tetris bite-sized seems to be the same as bite sized candy bars, you end up eating ten times as much. You end up just saying to yourself “one more game” long after your lunch has gotten cold.
What Sucks: The power ups aren’t bad, but the badgering for IAPs to buy them and the near constant “special” power ups rival the annoyance of Zynga’s ads.
Buy it?: Tetris fans should grab this, it’s a nice variation on a classic. You can grab it for free on the App Store.
Warhammer Quest – iOS(Universal)
Warhammer is graduate level geekery. Miniatures and vast maps make this game only for those with a huge amount of time and disposable income. It’s become a huge influence in fantasy, particularly on Warcraft. Warhammer Quest is a strategy RPG based on the franchise that was released for iOS based on an RPG offshoot of the series. This is a quest based game, with minimal story. You move through dungeons turn by turn, even when not in combat. As you open new rooms you’re attacked by enemies. The always turned base movement might be a bit slow for some players. Most of the depth to the game comes with state and item management, this is pure old-school RPG. There’s a neat little mechanic where you rotate your device to portrait to access your inventory. By default you have four characters, though you can unlock an additional three classes with an in-app purchase. There’s also a DLC quest you can purchase as well.
What’s Good: An engaging and in-depth RPG with a serious focus on mechanics. This may not have much of a story, but who cares, get the loot!
What Sucks: The day one DLC and characters seem pretty unfair when you’re already paying $4.99 for the game itself.
Buy it?: RPG fans should pick this up, games like this don’t come around much anymore, less so on iOS. You can grab Warhammer Quest for $4.99 on the App Store.
Blip Blup – iOS (Universal)
Puzzle games seem to come in one of a few varieties these days. Different riffs on Bejeweled, Tetris, or other classic games litter the App Store, and while they are fun, originality is always impressive. Blip Blup might have a silly name, but it’s a deceptively simple puzzle game. You are given field tiles and have to send pulses along that change the colors of the tiles. The strategy gets more complex as the fields take shapes that require more forethought than just tapping blindly. As you unlock new sets of puzzles you get new obstacles that make these puzzles even harder. Solving the puzzles is the right mix of difficulty, but actually getting three stars takes a lot more time and thought.
What’s Good: This game shows a lot of design savvy. Not only does it have a unique premise, it’s got a nice look and feel as well.
What Sucks: This will steal a lot of your time, especially trying to figure out some of the three star solutions. There isn’t much in the way of hints beyond the tutorial.
Buy it?: Everyone should check this game out. It’s got a casual feel with a deep complexity that hardcore gamers will enjoy. It is $1.99 on the App Store.