Next week is GDC, one of our busiest weeks of the year, and we’re going to be up to our eyeballs in new and upcoming iOS games. Before we dive into the show, we thought it’d be good to highlight a few notable indie games that have launched recently. Here are our picks for this week.
In this adorable platformer/puzzler, you play as a chameleon with a taste for grubs. One of the main ways this little guy gets around is by swinging from flower petals. Some will disappear when you swing on them, some will only be activated if you’re a certain color, and some will blast you forward. You can collect 1-3 stars on each level, but even with the familiar level layout, we still thought this was a charming physics game.
Apparently a distant (and microscopic) cousin of Ms. Pac-Man, Ms. Particle-Man is on a quest to find the elusive Higgs-Boson particle. This little speck (with a bow) can move around the game’s primitive 4-bit levels with swipes and taps, picking up energy and avoiding deadly beams. The graphics are extremely retro, like Squareball, but we enjoyed the challenging arcade levels and responsive touch controls.
In the world of Gluddle, peaceful alien eyeballs are under attack by a species of hypnotizing bullseyes called The Supervision. You have to launch Gluddles (the good aliens) at the Supervision, and try to knock them off the screen. You can freeze your Gluddles in mid-air to form a bridge to the enemy, but in later levels, the Supervision will be able to freeze you themselves and stop your assault. This is a strange game with some hilarious audio and subtle 3D effects, plus lots of challenge if you try to beat each level’s time and shot challenges.
Invader Hunter consists of a series of single-room battles– just you against some monster invader who wants to board your spaceship. The one-on-one fights feel like a series of boss battles, and between rounds you can craft new weapons and armor for a slight edge. The 3D combat feels pretty solid, with first-person aiming controls and a slick roll move to evade attacks, but the English translation is painful to read.
BlockHopper is one of those rare platformers where you provide the platforms. The last game we played like this was the incredible Kami Retro. As you try to move your robot to the exit, you can pause the screen to place a certain number of blocks in each stage. Some blocks will even begin moving as soon as you unpause the screen. Time bonuses for beating each level quickly give you a chance to hop through each stage more than once, and we really liked the game’s original chiptunes soundtrack and level editor.