Under The Radar: November 2, 2012

With the Presidential election just a few days away, Americans have a big choice to make. But while you’re waiting in line at the polling place, why not support some of the App Store’s hardest-working indie developers? Download a few of these new indie iOS games, and you’ll be making the right choice for our future.

ARC Squadron

There are plenty of space shooters on the App Store, but few of them look quite as pretty as ARC Squadron. In this Star Fox-style game, you pilot a one-man fighter craft in the middle of a galactic war. The controls are a breeze– just drag on the screen to move out of the way of projectiles or lock onto your targets, or tap on your targets for a slower special attack. Between missions, you can upgrade your ship and spend space bucks. There aren’t any talking frogs, but if you like the Star Fox or Star Wars Starfighter games, give this one a try.

Price: $4.99

Download from iTunes

Shardlands

In this gorgeous action-puzzle game, you play as an explorer who is whisked away through a portal to an eerie alien world. When you arrive, you have to navigate a maze of rocky platforms, moving them around to give you a clear pathway. Later, you’ll have to avoid the patrols of alien guards, who will chase you down until you can incinerate them at a beacon checkpoint. The graphics alone are worth the price, but we also loved this game’s mysterious atmosphere.

Price: $1.99

Download from iTunes

Green Rage

Green Rage is all about cleaning up the mess that we call planet Earth. You play as an alien who is disgusted by our pollution, so he travels via wormhole to our planet. This game has outstanding 2D visuals that look like a kid’s storybook, and fun Earthworm Jim-style blaster combat, but we also found the controls to be sluggish and the platforming to be frustrating. If you’ve got the patience, we give Green Rage a mild recommendation.

Price: $1.99

Download from iTunes

Stealth Checkers

Combining checkers, chess, and dice, Stealth Checkers is a unique board game where your pieces move differently each turn. You start by rolling the dice, which will give you a chess piece and a number. You can then move any checker in the style of the chess piece that you rolled, but only as far as the number you rolled. So for example, if you roll a bishop and a three, you can move any checker three spaces diagonally. Stealth Checkers is an extremely basic app with very limited graphics and sound, but we still give this game credit for coming up with a unique gameplay mechanic.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

The King vs Knights, Vikings, Wizards, and Other Scoundrels

The King (as we’ll call it) is a free download, and it’s a fun one, too. You play as a king besieged by scoundrels who are trying to climb your tower and take you down. You have to toss barrels off the roof and hit as many of them as you can. Since you can only toss one barrel at a time, you’ll have to aim carefully and make Pachinko-style bounces all the way down to get a high score. As you play, you’ll cross off achievements and earn gold to buy new abilities, like in Temple Run. This game’s got a charming graphical style, plus truly addictive physics, so give it a free download.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes