This is the last week before Christmas, when the App Store stops taking new submissions for the holidays and sales spike as people unwrap their brand new iOS devices. So if developers are still holding on to any big iOS games, this is the time to launch. There’s an epic lineup tonight, so read on for your early looks and links. These will all be available to purchase in the US App Store after 8pm PST, with a few notable exceptions.
This open-world RPG sequel has been years in the making. You play as the lone survivor of a fierce battle against the dark elves. After you wake up in a nearby village, you have to seek out a wizard who might have some clues as to what happened. Arming yourself with a bow, sword, or warhammer, you have to journey across hostile lands, solving quests and gaining new abilities. Ravensword: Shadowlands has great graphics, and a good amount of freedom in choosing your path, so check it out if you liked the first game in the series, or its spiritual successor Aralon.
Price: $7.99 USD
Final Fantasy IV
Square Enix’s RPG masterpiece is over 20 years old, but it has been re-released for multiple platforms, and tonight it’ll be out on iOS. This version seems to use the 3D graphics from the recent Nintendo DS version. FFIV also uses the Active Time Battles system, which lends an action element to the otherwise turn-based combat. The price may be a bit high, but this is a full-length, classic adventure that deserves the attention of any serious role-playing gamers.
Price: $15.99 USD
Before there was Prince of Persia, developer Jordan Mechner made Karateka, the simple story of a kung-fu warrior trying to rescue a captive princess. In a series of one-on-one battles, you have to kick and punch through any guards who stand in your way. This iOS version is the same as the recent Xbox Live Arcade re-release, which recreates the game using 3D graphics.
Price: $2.99 USD
Pudding Monsters is the latest game from ZeptoLab, the creators of the top-selling Cut The Rope. The game features jiggly gelatins who decide to band together to prevent themselves from being eaten. You have to slide the puddings together on the board to make larger creatures, but obstacles on the board will get in your way and force you to think through each move.
Price: $.99 USD
This gory, culturally insensitive game from 3D Realms was their 1997 follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D. If you’re politically correct, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this game. But if you like old-school first-person shooters with blocky graphics, juvenile humor, and ridiculous difficulty, Shadow Warrior is your kind of download. It costs nothing for the first four levels, and then a $1.99 in-app purchase to get the rest. Unlike many of these games, you can download it right now from the US App Store.
Where’s My Holiday?
Disney’s free gift to gamers is a combination of their two popular water-based physics puzzlers: Where’s My Water? and Where’s My Perry? This holiday-themed app offers 12 new levels using characters from the previous two games, and it’s essentially a lite version or free sample of the full versions. Download it if you’ve already beaten every Where’s My level you own, but this puzzle pack probably won’t last you very long.
Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil
The gaming gurus at Penny Arcade once again combine their witty prose and stylish artwork in an iOS app, their first since Penny Arcade Adventures 3. Penny Arcade The Game is a card-battling game that you can take online against other players. This seems to be a digital version of the same Penny Arcade card game you can buy in stores. Since Penny Arcade: The Game is developed by Playdek, the makers of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, we’re expecting this to be a top-quality card game with PA humor added as a bonus.
Price: $4.99 USD