It’s another heavy week for new iPhone and iPad games, with several big-name releases intermingling with intriguing indies. A port of BioShock brings the classic console and PC shooter to iOS, plus Madden NFL Mobile takes another shot at freemium football and Tiny Tower Vegas adds gambling to its addictive sim concoction — and don’t miss the promising Nightmare Cooperative.
What's the fastest way to get the space bucks needed to get your giant galactic battlestation fully operational so you can terrorize the galaxy? Opening up a snack shop and peddling womp rat stew, apparently. Tiny Death Star leans heavily on its adorable pixel art presentation and silly personality to suck you in, as the cutesy Star Wars-skinned take on Tiny Tower reimagines the Death Star as a strip mall of sorts. And keeping it running smoothly is fun — assuming you don't expect any action, explosions, or space battles.
Cuteness comes in many forms, but is it possible to apply it to a moon-sized space station designed for the obliteration of billions of lives? With Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, developer NimbleBit certainly seems to hope so, and there's a good chance it'll be able to considering the studio's success with free-to-play iOS games like Tiny Tower, Pocket Trains, and Pocket Planes.
Building a budding railroad empire is hard work. You have to take whatever jobs you can get, which means hauling everything from giant vats of maple syrup and pickles to arcade cabinets and ethanol to maximize your profits. Growing your snaking network of train routes – and fleet of trusty engines to traverse them with goods in tow – hits a delightfully upbeat stride in Pocket Trains, the adorable spiritual successor to Pocket Planes and Tiny Tower. Despite the similarly cutesy sheen of this new venture in the world of pixelated "bitizens," plenty of depth, fun, and accessibility are balanced throughout the clever design.
It seems like every week the Mac|Lifecrew is addicted to another app. It's not affected by genre, price, or even the amount of fun we're having, but rather what we've downloaded most recently. The sharing process usually starts the same too, someone says "Hey other editor, have you played this game?" And then all the sudden everyone's playing it and we can't stop. But of all the addicting apps we've found, these are the ones that we just can't stop playing, no matter how hard we try.