Under The Radar: November 4, 2013

Every week, dozens of new games launch on the App Store. We can’t review all of them, but we always keep an eye out for the surprise indie gems that we think could be the next big hit. Here are this week’s picks, which will let you pan for gold, infect humans with a zombie virus, and fight monsters while only half-dressed.

Prospectors – Nature’s Slot Machine of Diamond & Gold Treasures

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If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand as a prospector, sifting through rocks and silt to find precious metals, this free app will give you that opportunity. You can shake your iOS device to tumble river rocks and reveal flecks of gold or tiny diamonds. Then you can have the material analyzed, cut diamonds into pricy shapes, and sell them on the virtual market. As you become more successful, you can upgrade your gear, including jeweler’s loops so you can admire your treasures. We enjoyed this game’s original premise, and shaking the device feels intuitive, so give Prospectors a try if you want to pretend to strike it rich.

Price: Free

Download from the App Store

Crowman and Wolfboy

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In this eerie auto-running game, you control two characters at once, who jump together like Banjo and Kazooie. Your goal is to escape the encroaching darkness, which is always just a few steps behind you. You have to carefully time your jumps, and if you hold your finger on the screen, Crowman will flap his wings for a bit of extra lift. The silhouetted art style resembles Limbo or Contre Jour, lending this spooky platformer a touch of artistic merit.

Price: $2.99

Download from the App StoreĀ 

Trouserheart

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10 Tons, the publisher of unique games like Azkend 2 and King Oddball, have created an action game where pants are optional. You play as a king who wears nothing below the waist except a pair of heart-covered boxers, a fashion statement pioneered by Sir Arthur in Ghosts’n Goblins. Using an onscreen joystick and attack button, you have to thwack and evade monsters within a single screen. Then, you can move on to the next screen, collecting coins and boosting your equipment along the way. Since it’s very linear, you can’t get lost, but the action is simple and fun, and the graphics are wonderfully lively.

Price: $1.99

Download from the App Store

Infectonator: Hot Chase

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Help the zombie apocalypse reach its apex in this simple high-score game. You play as a zombie who has to collect minions and run as far as possible before losing momentum. Snacking on humans is the best way to keep running, and you’ll have a chance to pick up mutations that will transform you into an even more terrifying monster. Between rounds, you can improve your zombie’s health and running skills. It’s a fun, free download, but if you want more zombie action, you can purchase the original Infectonator and spread your infection worldwide.

Price: Free

Download from the App Store

Pillman: The Loops of Fire

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Pillman is tiny superhero who fights infection from within your body. You have to control his path by tapping on microbes that will attract or repel him along the correct pathways. The goal is to loop around nasty-looking diseases to make them explode. We were surprised by the polished quality of the game’s graphics, but some of the design choices– especially Pillman’s toothy smile– are a bit unsettling.

Price: Free

Download from the App Store

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