Ten to Watch: Thursday, January 28

The year may have started off slowly, but now publishers big and small have opened the floodgates and unleashed a wave of games onto the App Store. Now that the iPad is out of the bag and you no longer have a torrent of speculation to keep you occupied, you can pass the time waiting for its release by playing some of these new games.

Broken Sword: Director’s Cut

Price: $6.99

The folks at Revolution software are at it again. Just months after releasing Beneath a Steel Sky, they’re back with a port of another highly acclaimed point and click adventure. With new art from Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons and full voice acting, the game is looking and sounding better than ever before.

Hangman RSS

Price: $0.99

If, after playing Guess the News, you didn’t think reading the news could get any more fun, then you were gravely mistaken. Hangman RSS, by the same developers, does pretty much the same thing as Guess the News, but in the style of the morbid childhood word game. Headlines are streamed into the game whenever you have an internet connection, but a word is missing from each one. Spell out the word before the drawing of the hangman is complete, and you win. You might even learn a thing or two.

Spore Creatures

Price: $6.99

The Spore franchise began only a little over a year ago, but it has already spawned enough games and merchandise to choke a dinosaur. Spore Creatures, a follow-up to Spore Origins, is the latest entry to the party. Like Origins, Creatures is about finding things smaller than you to eat, and using the digested DNA to evolve and improve your abilities. Only this time, it’s on land. We weren’t wowed by the game, but if designing critters and foraging is your thing, you might want to check it out.

Anrufen Online

Price: Free or Subscription

A serious MMORPG for the iPhone? Yep. This free-to-try potential time-suck lets you play as a knight or a wizard and plow through tons of quests in a fantasy world. The free trial limits you to just a few maps, but they should be enough to let you decide if you’d like to proceed. A full subscription will run you $12.99 every three months. One thing’s for certain: judging by the number of people in the starting town, this game is catching the interest of a whole lot of people.

iPirate

Price: $1.99

iPirate is a surprisingly deep cannon-shooter. We didn’t think those two phrases would ever end up side by side, but there you have it. You man four cannons on a pirate ship and destroy all ships that enter your view. Each ship that goes down earns you cold hard cash that you can use to buy different kinds of ammo, upgraded cannons, and ships. The bad guys shoot back, but you can swat down their cannon balls with a well-timed tap. Just like in real life.

Raging Fist

Price: $1.99

If you fancy yourself to have cat-like reflexes or are really good at rock, paper, scissors, then Raging Fist may be just the game for you. With gameplay based entirely on reading your opponent’s move and tapping the button to beat it before the timer runs out, this pseudo-fighting game has loads of personality, but seriously lacks gameplay variety. Cool cartoony graphics, exciting music, and crazy baddies make Raging Fist stand out. Just don’t plan on playing it for more than fifteen minutes.

Project Void

Price: $1.99

Project Void looks suspiciously like Tetris, but don’t let that fool you. The goal of Project Void is to fill up all the black spaces using the random shapes that appear at the top of the screen. Shapes can be placed anywhere in the puzzle, but once you lay one down, it can’t be moved. You can lay other shapes on top of ones you’ve already placed, but doing so deducts from your points. It might seem easy, but it’s not. Your brain will have to kick into overdrive to succeed in this game, but for some reason we keep coming back for more. Oh, and the music is great, too.

Battle of Puppets

Price: $1.99

This is a tower vs. tower game in which you send your puppet soldiers out onto the stages of opera houses to battle the enemy’s puppet army. While the war wages, you must manage your resources and line up more soldiers to send out to make sure your marionettes succeed. The excellent music and graphics, along with the unique premise of the game, make it stand out in the crowd.

Sky Siege

Price: $3.99

Augmented reality games has been plentiful since the 3GS arrived. However, none have managed to stand out from the pack. Sky Siege takes that step forward by integrating an aerial combat experience into the genre. Your goal is to locate army planes with the 3GS compass and shoot them down with artillery. Two options of backdrop include a pre-made battleground and a camera view. Also, as an added bonus, you can unlock an RC helicopter to fly around your room, much like a virtual iteration of what we saw at CES. If you are the proud owner of an iPhone 3GS and want a look at a cool game that utilizes the built-in compass, give Sky Siege a whirl.

Tri Peaks Explosion

Price: $1.99

We were hoping for a bit more of a hook than what’s offered in TriPeaks Explosion, but if you want to play cards by yourself, you could do worse than download this game. You have one card in play in this version of solitaire, and you tap on cards in the playing field that are either one higher or one lower than your card. More cards are gradually uncovered, and you move onto the next round if you clear the board. The “explosion” part is that the card patterns come in various arrangements. It’s not revolutionary, but we appreciate any well-designed tripeaks game.

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