Under The Radar: April 12, 2013

The App Store is a tough place to navigate. If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time and money buying, downloading, and testing games looking for the best indie efforts, we’ve already done that part for you in this week’s Under The Radar. Read on for five new iOS games that we think are worth a try.

Hakitzu: The Code of the Warrior

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Do you want to help prepare your kid for a career in computer programming? Or do you just want to watch giant robots fight each other to the death? Hakitzu lets you do both. In this free download, you have to manually type in coded instructions to your giant robot gladiators, instructing them where to walk, turn, and fire. As you beat opponents online, you’ll be able to earn more parts for your mech. Typing in your robot’s instructions can be slow and exact, but it’s very satisfying to see them come to life and fight in the 3D arenas.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

 

The Spookening

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While most games want you to avoid dying, in The Spookening, it’s all part of a larger plan. You play as a recently-deceased individual whose ghost can wander the streets. You can freak out townsfolk to gather spirit points, which you can then use to resurrect your body and move to the next location. You can even possess objects like trees and cars to really make people scream, and frighten them to death for maximum points. The Spookening plays a bit like a twin-stick shooter, but with more strategy and a lighthearted, creepy atmosphere.

Price: $2.99

Download from iTunes

 

Buckner & Garcia’s Cafeteria Food Riot

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Buckner & Garcia is the musical group best known for Pac-Man Fever, and more recently, the theme song for Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. Their new iOS game Cafeteria Food Riot may look amateur, but it’s actually a bit more sophisticated once you start playing. On each level, you have to fling food using an Angry Birds-style pull and release. However, your goals change from level to level– you’ll have to battle the cafeteria server, knock over cans, or separate a cheerleader from her pom-poms. Flashy special effects also help brighten up the simplistic visuals.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

 

Pili Pili Rush

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If you enjoy single-screen platformers like Muffin Knight and Super Crate Box, Pili Pili Rush should be your next download. Like in those other games, you have to run back and forth collecting objects– in this case, a bird’s eggs. You have a limited amount of time, and you’ll also have to solve simple environmental puzzles while avoiding deadly obstacles. Pili Pili Rush has great controls and adorable graphics– we especially loved watching the mama bird freak out every time your brought her more eggs.

Price: Free +  $2.99 IAP

Download from iTunes

 

Zip

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In Zip, you play as a spacefarer with a jetpack, trying to pick up the components to repair his spaceship. As you run around tiny meteors, you can hit a button to jump straight up to the next floating space rock. Between levels, you can hang out in a giant circular space station, like in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. We really enjoyed Zip’s stylish graphics and one-touch gameplay, but it can be tricky to find on the App Store, since there are so many utility apps with “Zip” in the title. Instead, just click the link below to download this game, or search for the developer’s name, Martin Gimpl, instead.

Price: $2.99

Download from iTunes