Fuel Games WWDC Roundup: Lifeboat, Desktop Tower Defense!

We met up with Fuel Games, developers of Vans SK8: Pool Service, at WWDC to hear about their upcoming games. We got our hands on the action-puzzler Lifeboat, and also learned about Fuel’s iPhone port of Desktop Tower Defense. Details and video within!

After a strong start with Vans SK8, Fuel Games is clearly no sinking ship, despite Lifeboat’s setting–a foundering ferry called the S.S. Anchor that’s completely dead in the water.

It’s every man for himself as you try to herd the passengers into lifeboats before the whole shebang goes under. This is accomplished by tilting the phone, causing the tiny victims to tumble downhill into the lifeboats.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, if you’ll forgive the pun. The lifeboats don’t stick around forever–they’re timed, and they’ll depart without anyone on them if you wait too long. Meanwhile, passengers can get stuck in smokestacks or spill into the drink, requiring a quick touch and drag to get back on track.

This kind of coordination, management and triage is not unlike what we experienced in Flight Control. But the game’s main draw is its sense of humor. The flailing passengers crack wise as they abandon ship and spill into the water (“Does anybody have any soap?!”), and there are humorous cutscenes between levels, too.

Lifeboat should reach the App Store in 3-4 weeks, at a tentative price of $1.99 to $2.99.

Fuel Games also told us about its upcoming port of Desktop Tower Defense, which was not ready to show just yet (it’s due out later this summer).

Fuel is working directly with Paul Preece of Handdrawn Games, the guy who put together the original Flash game that launched the entire TD genre.

According to Fuel, the game will feature updated graphics, 15-20 “fun” modes, 15-20 “tower” modes, and other “unique iPhone features” that they were not prepared to discuss.

Desktop Tower Defense obviously has a huge following, so we’ll keep a close eye on this one to see how it develops.