So far, December 2011 has been an incredibly busy month for App Store developers and consumers. Tonight sees the launch of a 1993 Sega CD classic, the world’s most famous carjacking simulator, a new movie-based game from Gameloft, and a lot more. Read on for your New Zealand buy links (which will take you to the live app in the US App Store after 8pm PST tonight), along with some recommended reading.
In 1993, Sonic CD seemed like the killer, must-have app for Sega’s doomed CD add-on to the Genesis. 18 years later, you don’t need a bulky CD-Rom based console– just download Sonic CD to your iPhone or iPad and take it on the go. Sonic CD has impressive (for the mid-90s) graphics, with the added dimension of traveling forward and backwards in time. Plus, there are a few 3D running sequences that will really make you flash back.
Get ready by reading/watching: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review
Grand Theft Auto 3: 10th Anniversary
GTA3 is a landmark of modern gaming. It was one of the first 3D, truly open-world experiences. Nobody forgets their first virtual carjacking, murder, or high-speed chase. GTA3 has a masterful soundtrack, storyline, and city to explore, so even if you’ve beaten it before, you still might want to take it on the go. Let’s just hope that Rockstar managed to make the controls work and keep the frame rate running smoothly.
Get ready by reading/watching: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars review
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – The Game
Because Spielberg’s CG movie The Adventures of Tintin first debuted in Europe, the Gameloft iOS game has been available in European App Stores for over a month. Tonight, Gameloft is finally releasing it in the U.S., and we’re looking forward to it. Tintin is an action-adventure game with a lot of clever minigames and tasks, like picking up floating coins during each cutscene. The graphics are spectacular, so pick this one up if you love the visual style of the movie.
Get ready by reading/watching: Tintin hands-on preview
If you’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire, you know how scarring the first World War was for the soldiers who fought it. Not to minimize their sacrifice or anything, but tonight EA and Thunderworks Games will release their lighthearted take on the Great War. This strategy game sequel includes more units, nations, artillery, and modes, including online multiplayer.
Get ready by reading/watching: Trenches review
Last year, Cave released Mushihimesama Bug Panic, a twin-stick shooter starring the Bug Princess. This year, they’re releasing the original arcade game for iOS. Bug Princess is a hectic, fast-paced shooter firmly situated in the “bullet hell” philosophy of game design. If you love a challenge, and have a relatively up-to-date iOS device, go rescue this princess.
Get ready by reading/watching: Mushihimesama Bug Panic review
From Kairosoft, the developers of Game Dev Story, Hot Springs Story, and Pocket Academy, comes their ambitious take on SimCity. You have to build a sprawling metropolis, including houses, businesses, and public spaces. Your citizens (don’t call ’em Sims) will live their own little lives, working, playing, and possibly even winning the lottery.
Real Soccer 2012
Gameloft’s big sports franchise, Real Soccer 2012 (or Real Football 2012 outside the United States) is going freemium this year. You’ll be able to download the game and start playing with no money down, but extra teams, arenas, and jerseys may be locked up behind in-app purchase. This year’s Real Soccer also has more of a fan focus, with a community section that keeps you up-to-date on real soccer news worldwide.
Get ready by reading/watching: Fifa Soccer 12 review