Under The Radar: November 17, 2011

What’s new this week in indie iOS games? In addition to the big games from established developers, we’ve got ninja raccoons, Cthulu-crossing professors, and a girl with a heart of… what, exactly? Read on for our top indie iOS picks this week.

Raccoon Rising

Those kung-fu pandas in the movies could learn a thing or two from these ninja raccoons. In this 3D vertical platformer, you have to guide an acolyte raccoon through his training by aiming his jumps precisely. You’ll smash through blocks, avoid spikes, and change direction in mid-air to make it through the gates. Unlike Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, Raccon Rising is level-based, with 1-3 stars awarded for each short segment. This game has excellent visuals and a fun climbing mechanic, so like a novice ninja, it has a lot of potential.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

BallAHolic

While we’re not fans of the title (it sounds like a terrible addiction indeed), we did enjoy BallAHolic’s unique graphics and gameplay. You play as Uberhero, a dumber version of Superman who accidentally shrinks himself to the size of a germ. You have to guide Uberhero, now transformed into a Slinky-like creature, through each microscopic ball towards the exit. With swipe controls, you direct a laser pointer, which Uberhero will chase around like an excited kitten. If you can look past the game’s odd title and intro cutscene, there’s a lot to like about BallAHolic.

Price: $1.99

Buy from iTunes

Katana Jack!

Katana Jack! is being billed as the first game to use graphics hand-drawn (fingerpainted?) on the iPad using the app Brushes. When you’re not playing the game, you can watch a series of making-of videos to see how the backgrounds came to life, one touch at a time. In the game itself, you can press down on the screen to activate Jack’s jetpack, which he’ll use to swipe at lanterns and avoid enemies. Katana Jack! has a great visual style, but the arcade gameplay might be too simple for more advanced ninjas.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Elder Sign: Omens

College can be a terrifying place, as students and faculty regularly have to deal with finals, student protests, and the Old Ones who awaken from a thousand years’ slumber. Based on the work of HP Lovecraft, Elder Sign: Omens is a board game where you have to prevent Cthulu from coming to life by sealing him with the mystic Elder Signs. You obtain Elder Signs by battling monsters in the hallways and classrooms of your school, matching up icons like skulls and scrolls to banish the beasts.

Price: $3.99

Buy from iTunes

Girl With A Heart Of

In this tenderhearted adventure game, you play as a little girl in a world full of magic. Your mother is struck ill by a mysterious white light, and you have to seek help from a wizard who knows a bit about your true origin, and the magical artifact that keeps you alive. Girl With A Heart Of has beautiful, eerie visuals, plus a lot of branching dialogue that lets you choose how to proceed.

Price: $2.99

Buy from iTunes

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