Under The Radar: February 19, 2011

Back for more, are ya? This week’s Under The Radar is packed to the brim, so get your reading spectacles on and a warm cup of joe. Without further ado, let’s dive into some of this week’s indie games.

Etolis: Arena

Price: $1.99 (Universal)

Our first game is actually a couple weeks old but still great nonetheless. Etolis: Arena is a Halo-esque top-down shooter where you must survive wave after wave of enemies. There are four different games modes, seven arenas, multiple difficulty levels and special conditions, making this game packed with plenty of content to chew on. Some nice touches are the storyline (something usually nonexistent in these types of games) and a ‘Data Bank’ that gives background information on each baddie, environment, and so forth. If you’ve enjoyed shooters such as Revolt this one’s not to be missed.

Buy from iTunes

Bugs Wars

Price: $1.99 (Universal)

More recently published by Chillingo is Bugs Wars, an arcade shooter where the idea is to mow down alien bugs before they can hurt innocent civilians. In a style similar to light gun shooters, you move a reticle around the screen and use a variety of guns to take down enemies. It’s not necessarily difficult, but sending out streams of bullets to explode aliens is hard not to enjoy. Our favorite parts of the game occur once you delve into the later stages, fighting large bosses and using some awesome special weapons that lay waste to the other-worldly foes.

Buy from iTunes

RollBall

Price: $.99

Stepping away from bullet storms for a moment, we have RollBall. This game is similar to the high-score gameplay of Jump O’Clock and its kin. It consists of tapping the screen to bounce the ball from rotating circle to rotating circle, using wall ricochets and power-ups to propel yourself higher. An alternative timed mode where you must get as high as possible in a certain amount of time adds a sprinkle of variety to the usual ‘don’t fall below the screen’ concept. The big downside here is the lack of online scoring, but those who could care less about that feature will still find RollBall to be well worth a dollar.

Buy from iTunes

Infinight: A Thrilling Light-Based Platformer with Multiplayer!

Price: $.99

Infinight is a truly unique little gem of a puzzle game. What makes it so special is the clever way it twists the gameplay: you can only see certain aspects of each level when the lights flicker on. This changes the way you play through the game drastically and, while waiting for the lights to flicker may sound tedious, it works well. As you progress through the creepy environments you’ll uncover text logs that tell the story of why the world around you is deserted and rifts are appearing. In addition to a 50-level story mode is online multiplayer over Game Center and ‘Free Play,’ which challenges you to complete levels until a mistake is made. Sound interesting to you? Definitely pick this up now at the launch sale price of $.99.

Buy from iTunes

Sticky

Price: $.99

Chillingo’s Clickgamer sister company has been throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the wall to see what sticks ever since Angry Birds blew up, so the concept of Sticky is quite fitting. Sticky, an orange goo ball, must save its creator by bopping on the heads of evil grey goo balls. He can stick to walls covered in orange go but will bounce off other surfaces so you’ll need to use the environment to your advantage. A series of power-ups can also be deployed that give Sticky a special ability for a period of time, such as freezing enemies or becoming a huge rolling ball of destruction. This is one of the better games to come out of Clickgamer’s slew of indie titles.

Buy from iTunes

Office Gamebox

Price: $.99

We gave Chillingo a double-feature in this Under The Radar so we may as well do the same for Clickgamer. The publisher also recently put out Office Gamebox, a collection of three office-themed minigames, with each one more inane than the last. First you have a Paper Toss clone with new targets such as office members walking back and forth and the ability to bounce shots off of coworker desks. Then you can ride down a hallway on an office chair with a fire extinguisher strapped to it. Lastly, you can throw a penguin off the roof and try to get it as far as possible. Yes, you throw a penguin off a freaking roof. You can’t help but love that unless, of course, you’re with PETA.

Buy from iTunes

AlienTankz

Price: $.99

AlienTankz is all about blowing planes and– you guessed it– massive aliens out of the sky for money, which you then use to build up your tank with loads of weapons. What makes this game entertaining is the fun and slightly overpowering tank customization as well as varying boss battles against big bad space-dwellers. It’s also simple enough for when you only have a few minutes to play before your boss comes to check up on your productivity. That’s what mobile gaming is for, no?

Buy from iTunes

Ninja Ropes Extreme 2

Price: $.99

Ninja Ropes Extreme 2 puts ragdoll physics in a gear-jumping game. Gameplay-wise it’s more or less what the previously mentioned RollBall would be if turned on its side. However, ragdoll physics and the ability to turn on antigravity if you’re about to die make this game fresh and even more challenging. The antigravity idea is particularly cool, potentially saving the ninja from near-death, since you can regain control of him upside-down. Pre-made and randomly generated levels are both available, as well as online scoring via OpenFeint.

Buy from iTunes

Viking Tales: Mystery Of Black Rock

Price: $.99

Remember the gesture-based gameplay of Vikings Row? Viking Tales is a very similar idea with different types of challenges. You’ll need to swipe, flick, and tap to control your vessel across waters teeming with enemy ships, loot, and drowning vikings who need assistance. The controls take some time to get used to, but once you do it’s tough to put the game down. Plus, we have to mention the silly Viking characters who offer occasional witty dialogue.

Buy from iTunes

Star Rocket

Price: $.99

Our last game in today’s Under The Radar is a simple puzzle game where you navigate a rocket through asteroid fields in order to collect stars. If your rocket touches an asteroid or planet the level ends so it can get quite challenging, especially when you factor in that planets try to pull you in. However, completing levels is rewarding and the design is great. It may not revolutionize puzzle games, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. Sometimes the best things come in small packages as those old folk would say.

Buy from iTunes