We’ve been MIA for a few weeks, but now our Under The Radar feature is back! We’ve gone through the App Store’s newest games and honed in on a few undiscovered gems from quality indie developers. Click ahead for this week’s picks, and purchase a few to support your App Store indies!
In The Lighthouse, you play as a lonely lighthouse operator who has to keep ships from crashing into the rocky shores. Unlike in Harbor Master, you can’t just draw a path and let the ships navigate themselves. Since it’s dark out, you have to keep your finger held on the screen in front of the ship to shine a light on the sea. Later levels have giant squid for you to avoid, lending a fantasy element to this otherwise calm and semi-realistic path-drawing game.
Soul Tamer Kiki is an original iOS action-RPG from the makers of Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia. Kiki is a bit cheerier than Exitium, with a nice anime art style, but plenty of the same hack-and-slash monster battling. You play as a young trainee whose parents have gone off to battle the Demon King. As you learn new combat skills, you’ll be able to tame wild animals and have them help you in battle.
Tower defense games may not differ too much from one to another, but Elf Defense has a few clever additions. First of all, the characters are all boxy, smiling elves, which gives this game a unique, kid-friendly art style. You can also earn in-game currency, called holy leaves, to unlock mercenaries that will help you repel the human invaders.
One of the zaniest games we’ve played lately, Tweet Land is a frantic high-score action game where the obstacles and power-ups are all created by users on Twitter. For example, every time someone on Twitter types the word “meteor”, a meteor will fall from the sky in front of your car. If someone tweets the word “health”, you’ll see a health pack, and if someone tweets “terrorist”, car-bombs will pull alongside you. The unpredictable nature of the gameplay, along with the entertaining distraction of new tweets popping up, make Tweet Land an intensely wild ride.
Head Soccer is a bit more like Pong than Real Soccer or FIFA. You’ve got just one player on each side, and if the ball gets behind you, it’s probably going to mean a point for your opponent. To score, you can jump, kick, and use a power shot that refills over time. The AI is very aggressive, and will often leave your large-headed players bloody and bruised at the end of each match. If you like simple, arcadey sports games, Head Soccer is fairly fun, and it has online multiplayer through Game Center as well.
In this incredibly funny music game, the ghost of piano maestro Frederic Chopin rises from the grave only to find himself in a modern-day musical war. A series of well-animated cutscenes introduce you to Frederic’s quest and the bizarre characters who challenge him to classical music competitions. The game itself plays a bit like Guitar Hero, where you have to time your taps to notes that fly from the top of the screen, and the game’s humor, graphics, and classical remixes are all honed with an artist’s precision.