Under The Radar: September 21, 2012

With all the excitement around today’s iPhone 5 launch, and some of the big new games that accompanied it, you might not know to keep an eye out for these App Store Indies. These five games may not be incredibly flashy, or even fill up the new 4″ screen, but they’re clever enough in their own ways to merit a try.

Space Shooter Blitz

The “blitz” style of games, like Bejeweled Blitz, are all about getting a high score in a short amount of time. Space Shooter Blitz lets you log into Facebook to challenge your friends to beat your score. With just one minute on the clock, you have to crazily blast aliens while avoiding their fire. The more kills you earn, the higher your multiplier, but taking damage will reset it to zero. It’ll cost in-game currency to buy power-ups, but if you play well, you can earn it back and then some.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

JAM: Jets Aliens Missiles

JAM is the first game from Crescent Moon’s new Forest Moon label, a way for them to publish more bite-sized indie games. In other words, this is no Aralon or Ravensword 2. JAM is a super-simple shooter where you slide your finger on the left side of the screen to dodge attacks, and press on enemies to lock on. The further you fly in the game, the more “enerjules” you’ll collect, which will allow you to upgrade your ship and lock on to more enemies at once. Note: JAM is, in fact, optimized for the iPhone 5.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Sliding Sam

Sliding Sam is an adorable puzzle-platformer that takes the best aspect of Line Rider and combines it with the three-star collection system seen in many other games. To play, you simply trace a path for Sam to slide on. You can pick up one to three stars on the way, as long as you end up bumping into your penguin mate at the end. In later levels, you can have a lot of fun creating complex pathways for Sam while keeping him from flying off the screen.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Recess Riot

From the makers of Super Mega Worm comes a much less violent (but more pixelated) app. Recess Riot contains two playground minigames, Jump Rope and Dodgeball, with more promised in the future. Each minigame has simple controls that let you jump and kick, and the longer you survive in each, the more coins you’ll earn to dress up your character. You can also purchase filters to make Recess Riot look even more retro, like a two-toned Gameboy filter that makes the screen green and gray.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes

Amp, Watts, and Circuit

You’ve heard of Three Vikings, but how about Three Robots? In this puzzle game, viewed from an isometric perspective, you have to guide three robots to their pneumatic tubes by helping them work together. Each robot can be controlled individually by tapping on their profile at the bottom of the screen, and then tapping where you want them to go. For example, Amp can stand on a switch, removing spikes so that Watts can pass through. We like this game’s unique graphical style, but we would have preferred a control option that let us switch robots by tapping on them directly. Despite that, one neat bonus is that you can create your own puzzles, and share them with other players online.

Price: $.99

Download from iTunes