Under The Radar: September 22, 2011

Every week, too many decent iPhone games get overlooked in the App Store. We pay plenty of attention to the big games each week, but what about the indie gems that you haven’t heard of yet? Here’s this week’s round-up.

Dead End

In most high-score zombie games, you play as a the cool-headed hero who faces down the undead with nerves of steel. Dead End is probably a little more realistic, as most of us would run around screaming, firing our guns randomly at the ghouls. You have limited control over your character– pressing on the screen will make him stop, spin, and shoot, while letting go will make him run in a straight line. This clever control scheme adds an element of chaos, and in another amusing twist, all of the weapon sound effects appear to be made using the developer’s voice. “Pyew, pyew! Boom!”

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Milk Addict

Everyone knows that aliens abduct cows, but now we finally know why– it’s so that thirsty baby aliens can have fresh milk. Instead of tractor beam technology, these aliens use pneumatic tubes to vacuum up those delicious cows, so you have to create winding tubes to join your UFO to your bovine victims. You can even leave a few unsealed ends, as long as they’re pressed against the fence to create enough suction. Pick this one up (for free!) if you enjoy Pipe Dream-like puzzles.

Price: Free

Download from iTunes

Tiny Defense

Plants vs Zombies visits Super Mario World in this adorable defense game. You play as the Minirobots, a team of pint-sized turrets who can generate resources and blast away the evil Machines. As you progress, you’ll fill the screen with oversized bullets and up to 40 different minibots. With both ground and air troops to worry about, and a unique 2D perspective, Tiny Defense quickly grows into a huge challenge.

Price: $2.99

Buy from iTunes

Space Junk

Tomorrow, NASA is letting a six-ton spaceship crash to Earth, but there’s a lot more junk in our orbit that needs tending with. That’s the premise of Space Junk, an Asteroids-like shooter where you have to clear waves of debris like Virgin’s civilian space planes, Laika the dog’s capsule, and Fox News broadcast satellites. While this fun game currently lacks online high scores, the excellent vector graphics help make up for it.

Price: $.99

Buy from iTunes

Zombie Pirate Robot Attack

In this “perfect storm” of genre cross-overs, you have to face not just one, but three types of crazed, mindless enemies. The gameplay in Zombie Pirate Robot Attack couldn’t be simpler– you just tap on the screen to fire or switch weapons– but throw in a range of enemy types, like fast zombies riding Segways, and things can get hectic fast. For its simple, tap-to-shoot gameplay, this game has some elaborate sound design and visuals. Zombie Pirate Robot Attack is for the iPad only for now– sorry, iPhone owners.

Price: $1.99

Buy from iTunes

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