Every week in Under the Radar, we look for the undiscovered indie gems that help make iOS gaming great. This week, we’re launching Russian dogs into space, cleaning up the planet with a giant robot cat, and mastering the art of the movie chase scene.
To make the planet a greener place to live, sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, but we’re not talking about planting trees. In this game, Robocat goes on a rampage, destroying bulldozers, highways, and polluting factories. At the same time, you have to avoid accidentally destroying trees to get a good eco score. The 3D graphics are very blocky, but there’s a Katamari-like satisfaction in destroying the puny humans underneath your giant metallic paws.
Physics puzzle games with 1-3 stars to collect are a dime a dozen, or more accurately, about a dollar apiece on the App Store. Soccer Punk has a familiar setup– flick the ball into the goal, collecting stars on the way– but it has a fun hand-drawn art style and increasingly difficult rows of defenders to avoid. Plus, the roar of the crowd when you make a goal gives you a nice sense of accomplishment.
Take My Machete
Take My Machete is a free low-res beat ‘em up where you play as an alien hunter trying to reclaim a metal band’s stolen equipment. In addition to the titular machete, you can also shoot at aliens and UFOs with a bow and arrow by swiping on your character. Take My Machete has cool pixel art and a goofy sense of humor, but some of the action does start to get repetitive before too long.
Have you ever noticed how in action movies, when there’s a big chase scene on foot, a lot of innocent bystanders get shoved out of the way? Shove Pro takes that idea and runs with it, so to speak, letting you toss smooching couples and plein air artists into the path of pursuing henchmen. In addition to the ragdoll physics, what really sells this concept is the goofy behind-the-scenes video, explaining the origin of stuntman Lars Speedwagon’s signature shove.
Most people know that the Russians used to test their rockets with dogs in the pilot’s seat, but not many know about the one-on-one battles that took place just outside of Earth’s orbit. DangleSmash is made to resemble old, grainy Russian footage, and is dubbed over with intimidating Russian military music. The gameplay, where you wind up Laika so that you can smash aliens with a dangling tail, becomes more complicated as you unlock new additions for your spaceship. Pardon the pun, but we Laika this game a lot.