Faraway has been in the works for some time, but for many, the upcoming indie game first appeared on the scene a couple months back with the release of the alluring teaser trailer included below, which shows essentially nothing of the gameplay experience, yet still hooks viewers with powerful text, audio, and imagery. Luckily, after playing numerous rounds of Steph Thirion's game at the Fantastic Arcade portion of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas this past weekend, I can safely say that the hype built by that slick trailer is well-deserved, as the engaging constellation-creating game is a true standout on the upcoming iOS horizon.
Ever since Ernő Rubik crafted his famous cube in 1974, there's been a certain satisfaction in matching color-coded blocks to one another. Nowadays, unless you're a genius you likely gave up on one of those after 10 minutes or looked up a solution. Qvoid similarly tasks players to combine color-coded cubes, only this time you're pushing a cube around a three dimensional plane and it's a lot more forgiving and fun.
Dutch game developer duo Vlambeer has only been making games since September of last year, but the studio has made a strong impression on fans of independent video games in that short span of time. Part of that impact has come from its games -- notably Radical Fishing and Super Crate Box, a pair of free Flash-based titles that rely on simple mechanics to deliver electric play experiences. Unfortunately, the other part comes from the notoriety of having one of their games copied by another company, which proceeded to take the idea near the top of the App Store charts -- while the studio was quietly creating its own iOS version of the original game.
This mobile games thing is for real -- if anyone anywhere needs one more shred of proof, it’s Bungie Aerospace, a new mobile development arm of Bungie, makers of seminal games like Marathon, Halo, and Myth. Crimson: Steam Pirates is their first title, combining steampunk aesthetics, pirates, and pitch-perfect combat on the iPad.
Tiger Style Games' debut release, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, was one of the first truly original App Store standouts, letting you command an arachnid by flicking it around stages, all the while unraveling a mystery as you spun webs and captured flies. The studio's next big release looks to make a similarly distinct impression on the iPhone and iPad, this time by blending familiar play elements in a very different way with a game that features side-scrolling exploration -- and gardening.
You, Sir Fortix, the lone knight of the kingdom, are called upon to save the land of Artalom from the clutches of the evil mage Xitrof -- alone. Without any help whatsoever. That’s the gist of Fortix 2, an unexpectedly nifty puzzle title -- think of it as a “reverse tower defense” game. You have to control all the units on the map (gates, keys, towers, power-ups, catapults, and so on) by boxing off terrain, which captures anything within it. What’s more, you have to box off the units without disrupting the lines you’re creating -- any interruptions will immediately kill your character.
Gameloft’s slick-looking real-time strategy game Starfront: Collision sure was a hit in the iOS App Store -- the majority of user reviews are for the full five stars. But when we played the Mac App Store port, it was full of bugs and hampered by a weak AI, though the solid multiplayer mode redeems it at least a little.
Groove Coaster is a rhythm game boiled down to its essence. Where Guitar Hero had multiple buttons and Rez married its interactive soundtrack to hardcore shooting mechanics, Groove Coaster is concerned entirely with keeping a beat using its simple one-touch controls to its advantage.
Zombie Gunship may be the first zombie-themed game where I'm not entirely sure the enemies are undead. Ostensibly they are, but that might be what the game wants you to think. Strapped to the gunner seat of an airplane flying over a survivor's bunker, you're tasked with murdering hordes of zombies while trying your best to avoid innocent casualties.
It's only fitting that a creature with the word "squirm" in its name would lead such a miserable existence. A gelatinous orange blob tasked with rescuing his sister trapped at the peak of a mysterious tree, poor Squirmee spends approximately every 10 seconds of his life dying again.