For this week’s Under the Radar, we’ve picked five interesting indie games that are worth your attention. Here are some games that may have slipped by you like spare change under the couch cushions.
While many Match-3 games opt for gem-swapping, others have you matching colors and objects in different ways. In Swivel, you rotate a 2×2 square of tiles left or right in order to create a chain of four or more similar tiles. There is also a multiplayer mode that allows up to three other people to compete via Game Center– an awesome addition, if you ask us. The game has the right amount of simplicity and a high level of polish that makes it look like a solid purchase for $.99.
Niji The Endless Rainbow is for the tripsters out there. As the screen scrolls to the right, you must tap on flowers, birds, and other colorless objects to make them colorful once again. Power-ups are handled in an interesting way: Some of them make the conditions of play tougher but award you more points. For example, one makes the screen ‘trippy’ while another has you follow the path of a rainbow for as long as possible with your finger without missing any uncolored objects. All this while a strange soundtrack speeds up in the background. It’s one game that’s out of this world.
Labyrinth clones haven’t been the big thing ever since Labyrinth 2 came along, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be some quality competition. Zen! doesn’t do anything new for the genre, but it’s more relaxing than most other entries, with beautiful art direction and a soothing soundtrack with a wide variety of music. The manual save system isn’t ideal by any stretch, and the lack of calibration is an issue. But it’s still worth buying if Labyrinth clones are your thing.
You may have never solved a Rubik’s Cube before, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play Cubetastic. This Rubik’s Cube-inspired puzzler is all about rotating sides of a square until a path leads from the light to the goal. There are tons of levels and multiple modes, plus some interesting twists, including locked cells and multicolored blocks. We’re having a hard time putting this game down.
We’re starting to see more cross-platform play between Facebook and smartphones, and Buddy Rush is the latest game to use this feature. It plays like a simplified Pocket Legends, with the big difference being that you can use the characters of your Facebook friends to aid you in missions. While multiplayer is asynchronous instead of online, and you’re limited to using characters near your level, it’s still fun to mess around with for a few minutes at a time.