Under The Radar: February 22, 2013

Big-name games tend to perform well in the App Store, because gamers often gravitate towards known commodities like After Burner Climax or Gun Bros 2. While we love to review popular brands, we’re also looking for the next big thing from the indie iOS development community. Here are our picks for the new indie iOS games that we think really shine.

Worm Run


You’ve probably met the world-devouring, unholy abomination that is Wojira, the star of Super Mega Worm. But what does it feel like to be one of Wojira’s squirmy snacks? In Worm Run, you have to run (and blast off using your rocket boots) to stay a few slithers ahead of a hungry monster worm. Like most high-score games, you have to replay this game many times to earn enough gems to unlock new items, but the swipe-based controls make the repetition feel frantic and fun.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes


Gangster Granny 2: Madness


When we reviewed the first Gangster Granny game, we thought that it introduced a clever new character, but the level design needed some work. Gangster Granny 2 fixes that problem by making Granny defend central objectives, like statues or a giant donut, and sending waves of enemies after you instead of making you wander through mazes. As a free download, Gangster Granny 2 offers plenty of action, so we can recommend this sequel even more than the first game.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes


Feast or Famine


Feast or Famine brings the thrill of the chase from cave paintings to iPhones and iPads. In this auto-running game, you have to launch spears and other primitive weapons at bison and birds in order to fill up your meat meter. If you don’t catch enough grub, you’ll starve, but if you do well, you’ll learn how to use better tools. The clever use of stick figures, combined with driving drumbeats on the soundtrack, make Feast or Famine feel very unique and primal.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes


Burt Destruction


One thing that really stands about Burt Destruction is the cinematic cutscenes– these animated shorts look like they’d fit perfectly on late night Adult Swim. The gameplay itself is a little less polished, however. You play as Burt, who can transform into a huge, one-eyed Hulk. You have to stop the plot of an evil Bigfoot, who wants to make the whole world hairy like him. The gameplay is the same auto-running, platforming, and jumping on enemies that we’ve seen before, but the delightful characters and animation still make Burt worth a shot.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes


Amelia vs the Marathon


Marathon runners have to face enough adversity– namely, the limitations of their bodies– without other runners deliberately trying to sabotage them. In Amelia vs. the Marathon, you play as a runner who has to fend off attacks from water gun-wielding men in suits. In one-on-one combat sequences, you have to avoid being sprayed while you fight back with taps and swipes. We love the character design, and the fight scenes have potential. You’ll find no shortage of running-themed games on the App Store, but this one goes the distance.

Price: $1.99

Download from iTunes

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