We regularly cover the big new iOS games, but there’s even more to the App Store. Every day, dozens of indie iOS games come out of the woodwork. Here are our picks for the best new games from small studios, which you might not have heard of yet.
Even though Lucasarts may have shut down this week, old-school adventure games live on. Gemini Rue is a sci-fi, noirish adventure game that plays like a point-and-click Blade Runner. You are an investigator living in the 23rd century, looking for your brother on a planet in the Gemini system. In addition to walking, talking, and picking up items, you can also use your boot and gun to get extremely physical in certain situations. Gemini Rue is a bit slow-paced and complex, but the art style and storytelling are fantastic. We received an early copy; you can download yours next Thursday on the App Store.
The App Store currently has a glut of auto-running games and gravity-switching games, but Bobbing manages to stand out with its thumping soundtrack and spinning-record level design. You play as a nondescript, circular creature who runs around the inside of a constantly-spinning track. You can tap to jump to the ceiling, or switch your colors to break through barriers. Even though Bobbing may not be entirely original, the music is great, and we thought it was more fun than your typical mobile platformer.
Pipe Trouble for iPad
With all the ongoing controversy about the Keystone XL pipeline, this iPad game is a nice reminder of the tension between landowners and oil producers. Like in other classic pipe puzzle games, you have to connect tiles from point A to point B using randomly-assigned pieces. The twist is that if you use too many pieces, you’ll upset the oil tycoons, and if you demolish too many trees and animals, you’ll upset the landowner and hippie protesters. We like our games with an added layer of social commentary, so we think Pipe Trouble is a clever and entertaining little game.
Pack a Puzzle
If you’ve ever packed a trunk or suitcase and were reminded of a video game, you’re not alone. Pack a Puzzle is all about combining oddly-shaped items to fit in the smallest suitcase possible. If you can solve a puzzle in five seconds instead of a full minute or two, you’ll receive bonus points. You can even log into Facebook and challenge your friends online. In a nice extra, you can pack your bags with more than just travel items– an unlockable option lets you pack a suitcase full of monsters and bugs instead.
Disco Jewels is a funky matching game with an appropriately jazzy soundtrack. A variety of shapes will fall onto the screen, and your goal is to match together the pieces that will create a whole circle when combined. For example, you might have one piece with a half circle, and two pieces with a quarter circle. Once you’ve selected them together, they’ll disappear and earn you some bonus points and sparkling new pieces. It’s a simple concept, but Disco Jewels ramps up nicely over 20 levels and multiple gameplay modes.