Ten to Watch: Wednesday, March 3

    If the recent burst of new games means anything, iPhone development has really been ramping up, particularly when it comes to major titles. To offer you a balance, we bring you ten indie titles to try instead.

    Monster RPG 2

    Price: $2.99

    Prior to Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2 being released, the iPhone was a bit lacking in the turn-based RPG department. Now with Monster RPG 2, gamers not fond of Square’s mega franchise can have a retro-style fantasy adventure in their pocket. With a decent storyline, great 16-bit graphics, and optimized controls, this is a great title at a respectably cheap price.

    Vector Tanks Extreme

    Price: $0.99

    The original Vector Tanks, which can now be downloaded for free, had some issues, but the new EXTREME! sequel does bring enough to the table to justify a purchase. Two new gameplay modes, new vehicles and powerups such as choppers and nukes, and positional sound effects do a lot to improve the game. The addition of voice acting is also a plus, although they sound like B-movie clips (we haven’t quite decided yet if this is good or bad). We recommend giving the original a try for free before buying Extreme, as it is an acquired taste and some may be turned off by the fairly awkward control scheme.

    Tilt to Live

    Price: $1.99

    The red blobs have invaded your screen, and all you have is a mouse pointer to fend them off. Oh, and nukes, homing missiles, energy blasts, and spike shields. Plus, highly adjustable, well-tuned accelerometer controls. If you haven’t clicked “Buy from iTunes” yet, take into account the highly addicting survival gameplay, shiny graphics, and online leaderboards. Tilt to Live has had us hooked since we first got our hands on it and we highly recommend it.

    Doodle Blast

    Price: $0.99

    If you can’t get enough of doodle games, a new, fairly original one has just launched. The premise of this survival side-scrolling romp is to blow away enemies as quickly as possible so they don’t get the chance to strike back and knock down a layer of your tank. The longer you stay alive, the higher your tank stacks. Smashing through enemies with the power of 15 giant guns is always quite satisfying.

    Puzzle Devil Touch

    Price: $1.99

    In this tricky puzzler, you must slide blocks over tile-based layouts so that one can find its way into the missing slot before it runs out of moves. Once the number on the tile hits zero, it becomes stuck to the ground, which is either important to help another block reach the goal, or a sign that you made a mistake. An intuitive swiping mechanic lets you retrace your steps, which is a nice addition. There are some challenging puzzles here, so it’s recommended for expert puzzlers.

    Stinger Table Hockey

    Price: $1.99

    If you are a fan of the foosball-style sliding hockey table game, this is an accurate representation, with some extra features such as minigames and team customization only possible in a digital environment. The touch controls work fairly well, allowing you to swing your players around for that superb slapshot. If you have a friend with the game, multiplayer allows you to face off in arcade style. Instead of going the route of simply being a novelty for nostalgia fanatics, Stinger Games really fleshed this into a full game that is well worth $1.99.


    Price: $1.99

    For all the times the tower destruction genre has been redone, we would be hard-pressed to find an effort as adorable as Tumbledrop. The bubbly graphics and personality of the little hamster-mouthed blocks and pastel rainbows make this visually irresistible. On top of this, the levels are well designed. We were a little confused as to why some bricks broke more slowly than others, but otherwise it has the makings of a great game.


    Price: $0.99

    FlipWorld is an absolutely insane concept where you must rotate the phone in circles to keep the ground under a constantly running pink creature’s feet. As you run, enemies pop up that you must jump over. The lack of online leaderboards (not counting Facebook) is unfortunate, but it doesn’t stop the game from being absolutely crazy. A tip: don’t play this with your iPhone plugged in, or you’ll quickly run out of cord.

    Sparkle the Game

    Price: $2.99

    An iPhone port of one of PopCap’s Zuma titles is inevitable, but until then we must live with the various clones available. Sparkle the Game is a great example of this, with an attractive graphical style, the ability to take multiple progression paths, and a wide array of powerups. Amulets allow you to go into the battle with an advantage, and choosing which to use adds a new element to the game. It may not be original, but Sparkle the Game is a lot of fun.

    Crunchy Planets

    Price: $0.99

    We conclude today’s column with a planet-eating game. As moon-munching alien Snacky, you simply need to eat as many planets as possible without crashing into colorless spheres. An array of powerups and other elements, such as cannon planets, has kept us coming back. Delicious!

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