At their iPhone 5 announcement on Wednesday, Apple also announced that there are over 700,000 apps currently on the App Store. That’s a staggering amount of software, so you’re going to need some help in finding the best new games. Every week in Under The Radar, we find the indie gems that get buried under all the shovelware. Click ahead to see what we found this week!
Quantum Legacy HD is a slick-looking space shooter, but it’s not nearly as complex as Galaxy on Fire 2 or Dangerous. All you have to do is tilt to the left or right to steer your ship, and tap on the screen to fire missiles or activate your shields. Acceleration is handled automatically, but the visuals make you feel like you’re engaged in a crazy three-dimensional space battle. It’s a simple mechanic that works very well, and we were stunned by Quantum Legacy’s gorgeous high-res graphics.
Space Holiday is a puzzle game developed by Powerful Robot Games, who have also developed online games for Lucasarts, Pixar, Disney, and other big-brand license holders. Space Holiday is a clever little brain-teaser that feels like connect the dots with a twist. You have to draw lines between stars so that you can open a rift in space and travel through it. But at the same time, you can’t capture any asteroids in the rift, or cross any lines, so there’s usually only one right way to solve each puzzle. Later in the game, you’ll encounter ninja stars, shooting stars, and even stars with plungers attached that will let you rearrange the constellations.
If you enjoy ball-rolling games like Labyrinth 2 and Dark Nebula 2, you should take a look at Look Out – Blizzard. In this game, you control a snowball by tilting your device. As you try to pick up snowflakes, roll to the exit, or survive a countdown timer, you’ll be bombarded with fireballs and other projectiles. The controls feel fairly precise, which is important for an accelerometer-based game, and we enjoyed the background rock music and chilly aesthetics.
Spirit Catcher is a puzzle game that plays a bit like Angry Birds crossed with Cut The Rope, with a bit of Flight Control thrown in for good measure. You play as a jungle warrior who has set traps in the trees to squash evil monsters. With a swipe on the screen, you can cut your chains and send heavy orbs flying onto your targets. Once they’re squished, you then have to trace a path on the screen for their souls to be captured (and for you to pick up some extra bonus points). As you play, you’ll slowly level up your character’s abilities, so there are some long-term benefits to grabbing every last spirit point.
Home Alone is a Match-3 shooting game, similar to Zuma or Luxor. The story seems nonsensical– you play as a robot butler who is trying to keep household items from escaping by picking them up and sorting them into groups of three or more. You can snag a ball, then shoot it somewhere else to form a match. The game is set in someone’s house, so you’ll be able to earn some special shots by aiming into the fireplace or other hot spots. The gameplay’s fairly routine, but we appreciated Home Alone’s cartoony soundtrack and visuals.