Like other popular games ported to iOS, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has spawned an abundance of "me too" clones attempting to cash in on the game's prolific momentum. Block Fortress certainly looks like just another carbon copy to throw on the pile, but it's a very different experience once you dig beneath the surface. Instead of grand exploration and adventure, this frenetic tower defense game mixes first-person shooter combat, base building, and an addicting RPG progression and unlocking system to create something that feels fresh and fun.
Liberation Maiden has all the makings of a title by Goichi Suda (a.k.a. Suda51), the eccentric creator behind console games like Lollipop Chainsaw and Killer7. In this iOS shooter, you play as a Japanese schoolgirl named Shoko and blast robotic terrorists aboard your flying mech suit; on top of that all, she’s also the president of New Japan, set 100 years in the future. Its bizarre premise brings with it shooter action that’s beautiful to look at and fun to play, but ultimately leaves you hungry for more.
Sonic the Hedgehog's rough modern history on consoles is well-documented, and his traditional iOS entries have likewise been hit-or-miss. Lately, Sega's tried to improve the blue blur's fortunes on the App Store by pairing his iconic look and abilities with tried-and-true mobile formulas. Sonic Jump aped the Doodle Jump formula with middling results, and now Sonic Dash aims to put the hero into a behind-the-back endless runner. While it's certainly a better thematic fit than the former title, this awkward entry never quite finds its footing.
Thanks in no small part to the perpetual success of Angry Birds, the puzzle game has mutated its own amazingly popular block-breaking sub-genre. Not content to simply ape the competition, Toy Story: Smash It! takes that concept into three-dimensional space, and in doing so makes for one of the best games of its kind on iOS devices. It's a simple concept that makes great use of a familiar property: Buzz Lightyear lobs balls at toy block play sets in Andy’s room, attempting to knock over all of the squeak-toy aliens in as few throws as possible.
It's no wonder that the endless runner genre has flourished on the iPhone: simple concepts and control schemes tend to work best on touch devices, and running for your life is about as basic a game premise as you can get. Luckily, thanks to inventive developers, we haven't tired of this fast-paced template, as there's a wealth of variations on the theme in the App Store with many even available for free. Need a getaway game that can send you vaulting up the leaderboards while you're actually just sitting around? Here are our picks for the 10 best endless runner games available today for iPhone.
Shaking up the classic hard-boiled detective story formula with a supernatural twist, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller's gritty adventure game yarn about a psychic FBI agent makes a bold attempt to set itself apart from the status quo. Colorful language and violent encounters punctuate this tightly wound murder mystery geared towards more mature players, but while Episode 1: The Hangman has some pretty intense high points, it gets bogged down by dull stretches and technical issues.
As it stands, 2013 isn't looking like a particularly stellar year for games based on the Aliens franchise. Alien vs. Predator: Evolution is not quite the high-profile disaster that Aliens: Colonial Marines was on other platforms, as it does a valiant job of creating a longer-form brawler for iPhone and iPad – but the game is sadly plagued with consistent crashes and occasionally infuriating mechanics. Somewhere under the problems, there may be a really enjoyable title here. But without some polish, Evolution will remain a mediocre allusion to a beloved old PC game.
Former National Football League linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer witnessed the attachment of professional athletes to video games during his playing days, and now he's the president and co-founder of OverDog, a startup that aims to connect star players and their fans by letting them play online games togehter, all via an iOS app.
Set to launch to the public later this year, OverDog today launched a Kickstarter campaign that will help fund the endeavor while also allowing eager fans to take part in a closed beta period this April. We recently spoke with Hillenmeyer and OverDog co-founder and president Steve Berneman to learn about the service and how they plan to deliver unique and streamlined off-the-field player interactions.
It's surely difficult to craft the follow-up to the most spectacular iOS racing game ever produced, and doubly so when ditching a price point for a divisive free-to-play model. Electronic Arts attempts both with the anticipated Real Racing 3, and largely succeeds on both fronts, delivering a hugely impressive free racer. You've never played a free mobile racer that's half as robust or refined as Real Racing 3. Building upon the fantastic previous iteration, the game pumps even more gloss and detail into its simulation, providing a great sensation of speed and realism as you blast through real-world tracks in licensed super cars.
When you consider that city-building games tap in to our innate desire to build, it’s little surprise that they’re so popular. None hold the cachet of Will Wright’s seminal SimCity series, which has been running strong for nearly 25 years and will launch a long-awaited fifth main entry on Mac later this spring, but all manage to turn a task as tough as urban planning into a fun pastime. Here are 10 interesting iOS city builders that’ll have you plotting roads and zoning residential land in your sleep.