Today is 11/11/11, but don’t let the release of Skyrim on PC and consoles distract you from this week’s awesome indie iOS games. Here are our picks for some of the best iOS indies that probably escaped your notice.
In this epic turn-based strategy game, you control a vast army of archers, pikemen, and cavalry as you defend your lands from a mystical threat. The controls are well suited for iOS, as moving your heroes is as simple as making a few taps. We also liked the Final Fantasy Tactics-style storytelling, with well-illustrated characters revealing the plot between battles. Ravenmark is a serious game for serious strategy fans.
Fruit Ninja and Cut The Rope have made onscreen slashing common in games, but Cut The Buttons HD for the iPad has its own unique snipping mechanic. In Cut The Buttons, you have to operate a pair of onscreen scissors, pinching your fingers together when you want to cut. Swathes of fabric with buttons sewn on will fly over a cup, and your goal is to cut the buttons and catch them below. There are a few different play modes, including a same-screen multiplayer mode, so check out Cut The Buttons and leave your real clothes alone.
From the makers of Meganoid and Stardash, INC is another retro-styled platformer. You play as a boxy robot who can run, jump, and shoot his way through bite-sized levels by hitting three switches in each. You’ll get up to three stars for killing all enemies, avoiding damage, and beating the clock, and you can even level up your character along the way.
This heartbreaking one-button platformer is all about reuniting a mother hen with her chicks. Those chicks have scattered themselves among the clouds, resting on narrow platforms suspended in the sky. With a tap on the screen to jump at the right time, you have to cross the gaps between you and your chicks. One fantastic detail is the way each jump will play a note on the piano soundtrack, urging you to keep moving forward.
This Picross-style nonogram game offers a bit more than just a collection of logic puzzles. As you fill in grids using a set of numbers as a guide, you’ll also travel the world, enjoy themed scenery and music, and uncover a story about a race of Atlantis-like sea people. It’s a good introduction to this type of puzzle game, too, since the difficulty ramps up at a steady pace.