What qualifies a game for Under The Radar? It has to be a new indie game that you’ve probably never heard of, and it needs to be fun enough that you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your dollar(s). Here are this week’s picks.
Instead of a typical marble-rolling game like Gears or Dark Nebula, X-Rat puts you in control of a lab rat who has been abducted by aliens. You can collect three stars on each level by collecting cheese, and tapping the screen will whistle, luring enemies towards you. The characters are charming, and we really like the way that illustrations in the background will subtly guide you to the exit.
A high-score game with a cool Oddworld feel, Arno the Hunter stars a crab-like alien who can fire arrows and roll to avoid being blasted by enemies. The graphics are gorgeous, even though there are only three levels, and we really enjoyed the way each level is capped off by a big boss fight. It’s a simple shooter, but it’s got a lot of style.
In this clever puzzler, you have to guide a firefly to pick up stars by turning on and off lights. You can get a golden leaf on each level by using as few taps as possible, which unlocks extra bonus levels at the end. It’s an easy-to-grasp, original concept for a puzzle game, which means that it might just become the next Cut The Rope.
Great things can come in small packages, like Great Little War Game HD. It’s a turn-based strategy game on a hexagonal grid. You have to move your adorable little soldiers into position, and eliminate the enemy one move at a time. Claiming the high ground is the best strategic advantage in the game, and scrambling up platforms looks pretty good, too. This game first launched a few months ago, but it was recently updated to include skirmish and pass-and-play multiplayer modes.
A combination of Implode and Angry Birds, Propaganda tells the story of the birds vs. pigs war from the other side. Birds have taken over and enslaved the pigs, and put up giant statues to proclaim their greatness. Your job is to blow up the statues and eliminate all birds on the level, without touching the pigs. It’s tricky, but Propaganda contains at least one novel idea: You can swipe to set the explosives off in a particular direction.
Please, don’t try this at home! Pigeon Siege is about a grumpy old man who takes to swinging his golf club at pooping pigeons. You have to wait until the pigeons are close, then swipe to knock them into your neighbors’ apartments. The graphics are great, but don’t let this game inspire you to club actual birds. Pigeon Siege is currently free.