Under The Radar: March 23, 2012

Every day, we receive dozens of review requests for new iOS games. We can’t possibly cover them all, so we focus on reviewing a few of them throughout the week and highlight some of the rest in our Under The Radar feature. These indie games have some promise, so check them out if you like their style, subject matter, or genre.

Burning Run

When you’ve got a lot of frantic activity going on, sometimes people use the phrase “running around with your hair on fire,” but we’ve never seen that phrase applied literally to cute bunnies and elephants. In this bizarre game, you have to douse animals with water before they burn up from too much sun. You can use water buckets, which require Fruit Ninja-like swipes, or heavy-duty water guns, which you can tap to shoot. The visuals in Burning Run are adorably disturbing, and the gameplay ramps up quickly as you unlock new firefighting tools and animals.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Node.Hack

A strange combination of Pac-Man and Geometry Wars, Node.Hack is an abstract action game where you have to hack a network and steal cash while being chased by security bots. You move from square to square, pausing over nodes to collect enoguh cash to open the exits. When the exits open, you have a limited amount of time to escape before the whole grid explodes. In addition to the retro-styled graphics, we liked the scrolling news ticker that reveals how much valuable client data you’ve stolen.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Air Monkeys

Air Monkeys is an absurdly hyperactive spin on Breakout, where you control a paddle across the bottom of the screen. The screen scrolls upwards as you play, and instead of a ball, you have to bounce around a number of monkeys. You can acquire more monkeys as you climb, pick up magnetized suits or helium balloons, and unlock bonus multipliers in the in-game shop. Turns out, juggling monkeys is just as challenging and fun as it sounds.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Rune Raiders

A turn-based strategy RPG, Rune Raiders features a novel gameplay mechanic where the board is laid out on a grid. Each turn, your characters will scroll forward one space, but you can also move them from side to side. Combat is automated as soon as enemies get in range, and each of your heroes has a different attack pattern, like in chess. As you start to uncover each enemy’s attack strategy– for example, minotaurs like to charge ahead in a straight line– you’ll be forced to think carefully to keep your heroes alive.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Carota!

In this puzzle game, you play as a cat/rabbit creature who falls into a deep pit after trying to steal a farmer’s carrot. To escape, you have to cross a grid of tiles, which will disappear if you linger to long. You can drag the tiles around and double-tap to rotate them, similar to the mechanics in PipeRush or Pirate Gunner. Carota’s main character is just too cute, and as he faces down traps and bosses, you’ll really feel the need to see him through safely.

Price: $1.99

Buy from iTunes

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