Under the Radar: January 4, 2013

It’s our first Under The Radar of 2013, and after a great year of indies, we’re back for more. This week’s iOS games were chosen for their unique style or gameplay mechanics. We’re always looking for new indie gems, so if you have a suggestion, let us know in the comments.

Swarm!

Swarm! is a goofy ball-rolling game that uses your iPad’s accelerometer. You play as a hotrodding sphere collecting coins on streets and in sewers. Occasionally, a swarm of police-bots will appear to give you chase. By attracting a certain amount of heat, or by zapping them on electrified fences, you can open up new pathways. Swarm! has a nice graphics engine and fast gameplay, so we enjoyed its zippy style.

Price: $1.99

Download from iTunes

The Grading Game

It drives teachers crazy when you mix up “their” and “there”, or “its” and “it’s”, and years of punctuation and spelling errors have taken their toll on Professor Snerpus. He’s now out to fail every one of his students as quickly as possible. As his teacher’s assistant, you have to tap on students’ mistakes within a short time limit, or Snerpus will direct his wrath at you instead. If you want to practice your speed-reading and editing skills, The Grading Game is actually quite educational and might help you master your next essay.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Crumble Zone

Crumble Zone is a cute arcade survival game that reminds us a bit of Kosmo Spin from Simogo. You control a robot on the surface of a small planetoid who has to blast upwards to destroy incoming asteroids. You can set off chains of explosions, which will cause diamonds to fall from the sky. The controls are simple, the graphics are charming, and there are plenty of achievements to keep you coming back for another round. There’s even a two-player mode, where you can face off against an opponent on the same device.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Pixel Defenders Puzzle

Pixel Defenders Puzzle takes the strategic Match-3 concept from Triple Town and brings it to the next level with a dash of fantasy combat. Like in Triple Town, you have to place identical items next to each other so that they form larger, better objects. In this case, though, the bigger objects you create are sorcerers, vikings, and ninjas. Then, you have to activate their powers so that they’ll fight back against orcs and other monsters who appear at the top of the screen. If you like your puzzle games with a bit of action, and think Triple Town is terrific, check out Pixel Defenders Puzzle as well.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Last Knight HD

Last Knight is the new game from Crescent Moon Games, the makers of Ravensword: Shadowlands. It’s an auto-running game featuring a knight on horseback, who can jump, joust, and steer to avoid obstacles. Unreal Engine graphics power your knight and the surrounding scenery, and it looks pretty amazing for such a simple game. The best part, though, is when you lose– your horse and rider will crumple up with ragdoll physics. If you’ve already mastered Temple Run and Agent Dash, consider giving this challenging variation a download.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes