Once a week, we take a break from the big, brand-name games to find the indie gems that get lost in the shuffle. We haven’t fully reviewed these games yet, but we did play them enough to know that they’re worth your time. For more recommendations, check out previous installments of Under The Radar by clicking here.
A Catch-22 is a problem where the remedy is impossible due to the situation, and that loosely translates to a game about jumping glass marbles. The problem: You have to pick up glimmering gems as you circle around a planetoid. The situation: You’ll also switch control between two different marbles, and the other marble mimics your previous moves exactly. The remedy is for you to figure out, and it involves a lot of careful timing and anxious replays. Catch-22 is a simple high-score game, and this brilliant concept won an award at the Global Game Jam in Amsterdam this year.
With games like Where’s My Water? and Sprinkle, there have been plenty of fluid-based puzzles for you to solve on the App Store. LiquidSketch is a little different, though, because it adds a splash of color. You have to tilt and turn your iPad to make water flow from one part of the screen to another, but some puzzles require you to mix the water with paint to change the hue. Later, you’ll have to add blocks to direct the flow. LiquidSketch also has a sandbox mode, where you can craft your own watery physics puzzles.
Boomtime Baseball hearkens back to the early days of the sport with its vintage color scheme and old-timey uniforms. It’s essentially a homerun derby game, like Homerun Battle, with a freemium scheme and online multiplayer. As a bonus, you can spend casino chips to take a whack at special items and extra currency. Plus, it’s a free download, which will cost you less than a box of Cracker Jacks in 1920.
Bank Rush is yet another flying game where you launch your character and then bounce and soar your way to freedom. What sets this game apart is its amusing art style and backstory: You play as a bank robber who is trying to bust out of jail. First, you’ll launch into the exercise yard, whacking other convicts and guards, until you make it to the bank for a quick heist. Then, if you have enough momentum, you’ll keep going out into the streets. Bank Rush is very easy to play, and we kept hitting retry to earn just a little more cash to fuel our rocket boot-powered escapes.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a helicopter pilot, but don’t have the steady hand or perfect vision that’s required, check out PIlot’s Path instead. You play as an ex-military officer who tries to start a new career as a pilot for hire. You have to run errands across an island for a shady boss, like picking up “nosy tourists” and making other deliveries. We enjoyed the game’s tiny yet crisp graphics, and keeping your chopper from hitting power lines or palm trees makes for a fun challenge.