After a week’s break, we are back with our weekly Ten To Watch column. Here are ten notable releases that we think you may enjoy.
Gameloft’s latest major release was surprisingly kept on the down low prior to its sudden launch, especially considering how The Settlers series has garnered quite a following on the PC. This iPhone adaption allows you to rule cities of Romans, Vikings, or Mayans and control them in an RTS-like experience to complete tasks. Much like similar civilization games, there are tons of possibilities: trading, going to war, forming alliances, or just being self-sufficient. An extensive tutorial brings you into this deep game, so it is welcoming to new players. Our full review is coming soon.
One of what we like to call the IUGO trio along with Implode! and Zombie Attack! Second Wave (all three games were released in one week), Cliffed stands out with its adorable, cartoony characters. The platform-falling concept here has been done plenty of times before, but an extra layer of polish makes the difference. Also, avoiding rocks in the way and double-tapping to sprint around the screen keeps the challenge level high. Cliffed even sports online multiplayer with up to four players, where the goal is to either be the last one standing or get to 1,000 feet first. However, no match-ups or Bluetooth play mean it is luck-of-the-draw when it comes to pairing. If you are in need of a new Doodle Jump, check this game out.
IUGO also released Implode!, an explosive physics puzzler where you place bombs along different sticks in order to blow them apart in different ways. The goal is to level the structure so that it gets under a line while not hitting surrounding buildings. We previewed this game in more depth, so feel free to read that to make a more informed decision.
After a struggle with Apple due to a work-around that activated BASIC in the app, the Commodore 64 emulator has finally found its way back to the App Store. We’ve previewed the game in depth before, but now there are also three extra sports games included, with more to be available via in-app purchases. This is a free update to anybody who snatched this before it was pulled. While today these games are seriously outdated, we highly recommend this if it makes you feel nostalgic.
Fore is a whole new type of golf game that could only be done on the iPhone’s touch screen. Instead of playing a golf simulator like Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Fore is portrayed in an impressive top-down view. To hit a ball, you drag your finger back on the screen and then swipe it forward in a fluid motion. Depending on how you do this, plus variables like the wind direction/power, which club you are using (usually auto-picked), and tilting to put spin on the ball in the air, the ball will react differently. There are three 18-hole courses to play through on multiple modes, including peer-to-peer multiplayer. Overall we really enjoyed this game, but for those still unsure we have a full review in the works.
Fore is also Plus+ enabled, the social gaming engine quickly rising to the top with prime spots in hits such as Eliminate, Skee-Ball, and countless others, including the next game in this column: Harbor Havoc 3D.
In Flight Control, one of the main issues was that planes all seemed to be flying at the same level, which is not realistic. When Harbor Master came around, though, we had trouble choosing which of the two to play. Harbor Havoc 3D is a remedy for both of these issues. In this game you guide helicopters, boats, and submarines to their destination with the tried-and-tested path-drawing mechanic. Each of the vehicle types have their own layer, so in theory you are playing three games at once. There are some twists as well, the most apparent of which is rocks, which cannot be bypassed by submarines. The graphics are rendered in 3D with crisp textures and models. Plus+ brings along its usual feature selection, as well as direct push notification challenges to friends to beat your score. We understand many of our readers are burned out on this genre, though, so our final impressions are coming soon.
When we previewed this puzzle game, we found it to be enjoyable in a lighthearted way. We especially loved the freaky tiki, which seems to think the player is a spirit god. While hardcore gamers should stick to deeper titles, those who need a fresh diversion that can be played in short bursts and has a lengthy selection of levels will enjoy combining different types of tiles to clear the board.
Indy has gone on plenty of whip-cracking, snake-slithering, hat-fetish-filled adventures throughout his days, but now he must explore ancient ruins in search of treasure. The catch: every tomb is full of puzzles and he has called upon you to guide him to fortune and glory. These puzzles are completed by jumping on tiles, avoiding snakes, spikes, and other treacherous obstacles, and collecting power-ups. We are still playing through the game, but expect our verdict on whether this is more like the first or fourth movie soon.
SpringFling is best described as Doodle Jump with a physics twist and touchscreen-based, slower controls. We went into this title in great detail in our preview, and since then have came back many times in order to see what awaited us as we reached new heights. One of the highlights is character customization. There are hats, glasses, and facial hair to unlock, and this aesthetic change gives a simple spring a ton of personality.
Ante up! Its time to play for poker’s biggest prize, even if it is only virtual. Glu’s officially licensed Texas Hold’em game based on the World Series of Poker tournament (the most prestigious of its type) is packed with content for its premium asking price. As far as single player goes, there is a full career and quick play mode so you can jump into a game fast. There are even real cutscenes that appear when relevant. A pretty strong AI keeps the single player interesting. Online and Bluetooth multiplayer both work seamlessly, setting the standard for other poker games. If you want to take a visual look into this game, check out our video shot at Glu’s recent press event.