Ten to Watch: Wednesday, January 13

The slow month of January has continued to plod along, leaving us little more in terms of major games than a premature leak of Assassin’s Creed 2: Discovery. However, various indie developers have taken this window of opportunity for easy visibility and a speedy App Store review process. Here are ten of their games that caught our eye.

Battle Blasters

Price: $2.99

In this retro-style arcade shooter, you control one of six unique characters and, through a series of swipes and taps, send futuristic ammunition flying at your opponent. While the single-player campaign and quick play modes don’t offer tons of value due to its limited scope, we did enjoy the head-to-head multiplayer on a single device, something this style of game is perfectly tuned for. Fans of fighting games looking for a unique offering should target Battle Blasters on the App Store.

Kim Rhode’s Outdoor Shooting

Price: $2.99

iShoot developer Ethan Nicholas, who became one of the first gaming success stories on the App Store, is back with a new free-roaming FPS hunting game, Kim Rhode’s Outdoor Shooting. The graphics are fairly poor, but we still found ourselves highly entertained by the array of guns, from pistols to miniguns to RPGs. Each level is fairly big and sports unique game, plus a variety of achievements and unlockables give players incentive to keep on shooting. As long at hunting games are your niche, Outdoor Shooting is a solid purchase. Look for our full review soon.

Doodle Bomb: Physics Puzzle with a Bang

Price: $1.99

Physics puzzlers are plentiful on the App Store, but few have obtained the instant gratification and simplicity of Doodle Bomb. The general objective is to place your bombs near blue boxes to turn on blue switches. These activate levers, wheels, and other machines, allowing you to reach the green switch and finish the level. However, other elements such as army men looking to shoot the bomb and tiles that blow up the bomb on impact are steadily introduced, increasing the complexity across 50 levels. Puzzle fans should look no further than Doodle Bomb.

Bird Strike

Price: $1.99

Gerald the bird is on a mission: launch himself as high as he can into the air by way of rockets, collect as much swag as he can find, and drop back down into a sewer (and miraculously survive what should have been a fatal fall every time). The 3D models and tilt controls are both finely tuned, and we have found ourselves going back again even after unlocking new levels. Unfortunately, no endless mode means you will be replaying the same few levels over and over. We’d be hard pressed to find a more charming suicidal bird than Gerald.

Fishtropolis

Price: $1.99

Textropolis is one of the most critically-acclaimed word games for the iPhone. The idea was that you had to pick apart as many words as you could from a base word, building up your city a little more each time. However, it seems the excitement of building up a city with words doesn’t translate well to catching fish. For a reskin with half the content at the same price, we’d recommend sticking with Textropolis this time.

WordCrasher

Price: $0.99

A vocabulary test that did intrigue us was WordCrasher, the Tetris of word games. Here, buttons of different sizes fall from the sky. Each contains a letter, and you must create words in order to remove them and stop the pile from reaching the top of the screen. We have been hooked and can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys word games.

Compression

Price: $0.99

In an interesting twist on Match-3, you must drop blocks onto the game board to clear the hollow tiles while the walls continually compress. While the game didn’t have much else new to offer, this compression factor does force players to acquire new strategies. Our full review will be up soon.

Little Metal Ball

Price: $1.99

The top-down marble rolling subgenre has been thoroughly covered by Labyrinth 2 and Dark Nebula, but fans of those games may also enjoy Little Metal Ball. Despite an annoying (albeit forgiving) timer, lack of an online leaderboard, and nonadjustable controls, we did enjoy rolling around the twisting levels.

Zwirn

Price: $1.99

Zwirn is a puzzle game where you must weave a piece of string over every black dot and end on an opposite white dot. To do so, you must place pins to curve around. 21 levels, many of which are very easy, likely won’t warrant the $1.99 price for many people, though.

Vector Runner

Price: $0.99

Similar to Cube Runner, in this speedy survival game you are sent flying down a randomly generated path of neon lights. You can play the identical flash version here, which does control a bit better. But if you want to use your fancy new iDevice to run retro-classic games, check out Cube Runner.

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