Under The Radar: November 8, 2012

The App Store games section has become divided into two camps– big-name games from established developers, and indie/amateur unknowns. While we cover the big new game launches on Wednesday and review them throughout the week, we try to give a regular shout-out to undiscovered gems that might otherwise pass you by. Here are this week’s Under The Radar picks.

Zombie Toss

The full name of this game is actually Zombie Toss(ed) in a Red Wine Sauce, and it’s a culinary-themed treat. The gameplay is practically identical to Fruit Ninja, where you swipe on the screen to slice and dice flying objects. In this case, though, the objects are zombies, and you’re a butcher who’s collecting the meat for his post-apocalyptic delicatessen. To get a full order of meat, you’ll have to perform timed combos and activate special moves. Zombie Toss has an outstanding graphical style, which is gory and gross but also cartoony and appealing.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

Word Wonders: The Tower of Babel

If you combined two Must Have puzzle games, Scrabble and Puzzle Quest 2, you’d have something like Word Wonders. In this game, you have to climb the Tower of Babel by battling creatures and bandits with letter tiles. You each take turns building off eachother’s words, inflicting damage with skulls on each letter and collecting magic with the lightning bolts. You can even develop your character by adding new words to a meta-board that expands over time. Overall, Word Wonders seems like a thorough melding of puzzles, style, and story.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

McBank: The Puzzle of Money and Freedom

McBank is an allegorical puzzle game where you have to free grayed-out citizens from the mind control of a big, evil corporation. Each scene displays a bank terminal, with wires that have enslaved the population, and oppressive propaganda advertisements. The game itself is a sliding puzzle game, where you have to match three icons together. Once you do, you can either free the citizens, which restores color to their lives and makes them happy, or bring them under your control, which earns you money. Buy this game if you think your iOS library could use more references to Orwell’s 1984.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

Chip Chain

Chip Chain is a colorful matching game where you have to place chips on a grid. There are multiple gameplay modes (only a few of which are free on a given day), but we had fun with all of them. When you make a match of chips, they combine into one chip with a higher number. This allows you to create combos and earn cards, which let you perform special moves. It’s a bit like Triple Town, but you’ve got more control over where the new chips appear, which makes it seem a bit easier to rack up a high score.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

Total Recoil

Not to be confused with the mediocre Total Recall FPS from this past summer, Total Recoil is a twin-stick shooter where you have to clear out waves of enemies on an oil rig in order to earn promotions. The better you do, the further you’ll be able to progress in the game, but you’ll have to replay older levels to get enough experience first. The graphics and controls are spot-on, and Total Recoil certainly sports an unusual kind of level progression. We’re not sure if this repetitive mechanic is a winner, but there’s still enough to enjoy about Total Recoil to make it worth a try. Total Recoil will launch next Wednesday night, so consider this to be a sneak preview.

Price: TBD

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