Under The Radar: May 12, 2011

Every Thursday in this column, we take a look at some of the cool new indie games you might have missed. This week we’ve got giant mecho-gorillas, penguins eaten by whales, and an oil spill under the Gulf that isn’t going to cap itself.

Big Pollution

Price: $.99

A little over a year ago, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico devastated the region. Now, you can recreate all that drama with Big Pollution, a clever little “falling” game similar to Squid Drop. You have to steer the oil well cap down 5000 feet, avoiding fish, whales, squid, and man-made obstacles like submarines and mines. Every 500 feet, you’ll hit a checkpoint, but capping the well isn’t an easy task, as we all remember from last summer.

Buy from iTunes

Doodle vs. Brute: Word Domination

Price: $.99

If you liked Destructopus, you’ll probably also enjoy Doodle vs Brute, a game that’s also about destroying city after city. You play as a giant mecho-gorilla with a hatred of hand-drawn city backgrounds. Your goal is to smash the stick figure soldiers defending their turf, and earn enough points to upgrade your monster in the lab. The controls are a bit simple at first, but we love the Retina-enhanced doodle graphics. It also comes in a free, ad-supported version.

Buy from iTunes

Panda BBQ

Price: $.99

To be clear, this is not a game about putting panda meat on the BBQ. Instead, you play as a panda chef who has to make veggie skewers. In typical Match-3 fashion, when you get three of the same veggies in a row on your skewer, they disappear. There are puzzles, a time trial mode, endless mode, and online high scores through both OpenFeint and Game Center. Plus, the pandas themselves are adorable.

Buy from iTunes

Zombie Glider

Price: $.99

Zombie Glider combines two popular genres on the App Store: zombie games and flying games. Your goal is to glide your zombie into enemy territory, a castle filled with soldiers, archers, and nobles. You can pick up the humans and eat their brains, then throw them back into other humans for more points. The graphics look a bit amateur, but we still think this game has promise.

Buy from iTunes

Hey, That’s My Fish HD

Price: $4.99

This universal app contains one simple but highly replayable board game. You place your team’s penguins on an ice floe covered with fish. Each turn, you can move your penguin as far as you want, as long as they don’t hit another penguin. You’ll then collect the fish, and the floe you were standing on disappears. Before long, your moves are limited, and penguins are getting eaten by killer whales left and right because they’re out of moves. The team with the most fish at the end wins. You can play with up to four players, human or computer, but we’d like to see some more modes or online multiplayer to justify the game’s high price.

Buy from iTunes