Under The Radar: April 13, 2011

Every week we take a look at some of the indie gems that probably passed you by while you were busy teeing off with Tiger or jumping around with Pac-Man. We love big franchise games from established companies, but every once in a while it’s also nice to try something new from the App Store’s independent game developers.

Multipods Escalation

Price: $.99

In this crab fest of a strategic puzzle game, you control territorial crabs who have to pick up orbs in a sci-fi setting. You can pinch other bugs to death by tapping on them, but your real goal is to make it through the entire level with your shell intact. This game seems pretty polished, but one glaring bug is that our iPod’s time and power meter blocks the game’s high score counter. Other than that, this is a solid little game.

Buy from iTunes

Pirate Subs!!!

Price: $.99

In the enthusiastically titled Pirate Subs!!!, you have to tap on the Arctic ocean to detonate depth charges that will blow the enemy submarines sky-high. Then, when they’re in mid-air, you can pin them to the side of your screen with high-speed rockets. The combination of tapping below and swiping above is a lot of fun, but you have to watch out for the innocent polar bears and killer whales. Miss three subs or hit three animals, and it’s game over– sort of like Fruit Ninja, but with exploding submarines.

Buy from iTunes

Luminati

Price: $1.99

Luminati is a Connect-4 game with a Twilight-like theme. You play as a werewolf, or in two-player mode, a giant eagle, and take turns dropping tokens into a grid. The goal is to get four in a row, but there’s a twist: You can pick up powerups to destroy rows or columns of tokens, giving you the upper hand. Except for Facebook integration, there aren’t a lot of extra features, but the game does have cool, spooky music and visuals.

Buy from iTunes

Spazcon

Price: $.99

When you’re at work, do you ever feel like you’re just drinking coffee, bouncing off the walls, and waiting for an opportunity to advance? Barry, a lowly data entry clerk, works at Spazcon and wants someday to be president of the company. To achieve this goal, you have to help Barry get to the elevators by drawing walls on the screen, which will bounce Barry to the collectible coffee cups, and eventually to the big office on the top floor. Retro visuals and music really help sell this wacky game.

Buy from iTunes

Kitty’s Tattoo Parlor

Price: $1.99

If you like shows like Miami Ink, you’ll probably also like the time management game Kitty’s Tattoo Parlor. You play as a stylish tattoo artist who has to manage impatient customers while perfectly marking each design on their skin. If you go outside the lines and inflict too much pain, they’ll bolt and hurt your shop’s reputation.

Buy from iTunes

Moving Day

Price: $.99

Don’t take Moving Day’s advice and pack up a moving van while wearing roller skates. If you do, you might hit a garbage can and spill your boxes all over the sidewalk. Simple tilt and touch controls let you guide your mover past obstacles and reach the end of each short level. Moving Day has fun cartoon graphics, and OpenFeint and Game Center high scores to see which of your friends can move the fastest.

Buy from iTunes