Looking for something different? This week, our top indie picks include funky airport security, a unique twist on crosswords, and a combination of Match-3 and fantasy combat. Support your App Store indies by downloading a few of these hidden gems!
If you liked playing Airport Scanner, you’ll dig the funky beats in Funky Smugglers. You’re in charge of airport security, and your goal is to search everyone’s afros and platform shoes before they get on board. To remove contraband, you just touch and pull it out of the machine, but you have to avoid touching green items, or you’ll lose one of three lives. The soundtrack is outstanding, and so are the Total Recall-style full-body X-rays that are used to screen passengers.
In this side-scrolling, alien-blasting action-platformer, you play as a Chuck Norris-type badass who has to meet a series of random goals. On one playthrough, you may have to detonate alien egg sacs, and in another, you might have to survive a wave of mutants. Every mutant you kill will drop gold coins for you to collect, so you can unlock crazier guns and more gear. The controls are simple, but effective, just like the 16-bit style graphics. If you enjoyed playing Random Heroes, Mutants is worth a try as well.
We’ve already seen Match-3 and fantasy combat combined in Puzzle Quest 2 and Dungeon Raid, but Puzzle Saga adds a twist by letting you charge at rows of enemy goblins and orcs. As you swap around your soldiers on the bottom of the screen, any rows of three or more will charge forward and attack. Once you start making a chain of combos, the action becomes fast and frenzied.
KRIZL is a unique take on crossword puzzles. All the letters are already filled in, but you have to rotate parts of the puzzle so that they spell out an actual word instead of gibberish. Words are grouped by theme, which gives you a slight clue, and you’re scored based on how many turns you have to make to complete the puzzle. In later levels, you’ll be able to rotate more than one part at a time, which can get extremely tricky.
In this free-to-download platformer, you control a small ball on a quest to save his friends from a square world. Square Planet reminds us a bit of the Red Ball series, with similar jumping and tilt-based platforming controls. However, the 3D levels really stand out, with lots of interesting details in the background, like flying bats or evil squares on a fishing trip.