Every week, an overwhelming number of new games pour onto the App Store. We can only cover so many through our normal reviews, so we also try to feature five indie games that stand out for their extraordinary graphics, gameplay, or concepts. Here are our weekly picks for Under The Radar.
Indiana Stone: The Brave and the Boulder
When you watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, did you ever cheer for the giant boulder that nearly squashed Indy? If so, you’ll get a big kick out of Indiana Stone. You play as the boulder, tilting left and right to avoid traps and run over the locals. When you finally catch up to that grave-robbing archaeologist, he’ll fly away to the next level, and you can give chase through multiple environments. Indiana Stone has a fantastic sense of humor, with chunky pixel art that feels like an unofficial Lego game.
Just like how Zombieville USA lets you annihilate cartoonish zombies, Fangz lets you do the same with vampires. This side-scrolling beat ‘em up is extremely gory, but the vibrant visuals still made us smile. Give it a try if you enjoy arcade-style games like Double Dragon, X-Men, and The Simpsons Arcade.
When we were younger, we used to love puzzling out rebuses– word puzzles that use a bit of art to portray a popular phrase. Though we don’t see them very often anymore, Rebus Puzzler is a great collection of visual puzzles, including some old classics. You can get a clue or skip ahead using in-game currency, but other than that, this is a bare-bones puzzle game presentation.
While most ball-rolling games don’t require a story (there wasn’t much of a narrative in Marble Madness, for example), Mazement goes that extra step to make you feel compassion for the blue ball you roll around the screen. It starts off with an epic introduction about a war between rounded shapes and squared shapes, which has led to the spheres being imprisoned in a castle. By tilting your device, you have to navigate through the castle’s mazes and break out your friends. The high-altitude visuals might cause vertigo, but we still think this is one of the best-looking ball-rolling games on iOS since Gears.
You might have already played Hungry Shark and Jaws on iOS, but the shark in Reef Run is a pescetarian– he only eats fish. After his marlin buddy is captured by a giant octopus, you have to guide your shark (creatively named “Shark”) through rocky underwater crags. We liked the ability to gain power-ups as you play, which will allow you to throw jellyfish back at the octopi during boss battles. In addition to the story mode, you can also replay levels in an endless Reef Run mode.