Random musings of the app store

App Alluvion

This week’s only news story also has the sign of the apocalypse and the apps of the week built in – handy, eh? Over a 24 hour period, 453 new games were released! What happened Apple, did someone finally wake up? This is a great disservice to developers, as it’s exceedingly hard for an app to get noticed when so many other good games are released on the same day. Sure, developers can set release dates, but if they do, their app is placed on the latest releases section in iTunes according to approval date not publication date, therefore burying it beneath the first page and limiting valuable exposure. Please fix this, Apple! Anyway, enough ranting, here are some of the most notable releases this week. We’ll try to have reviews for as many as we can in due time, but until then, here’s a quick rundown:

Hybrid: Eternal Whisper

Gamevil’s action-RPG follow-up to Zenonia certainly has great aesthetics and a nice online component, but for me so far, the story has been too intrusive and the gameplay mediocre. At $5.99, you may want to wait for our review. Upon playing more, the gameplay has proven more fun and the story’s role is minimized. Recommended!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Unify

Zach Gage’s first iPhone game is a very stylish Tetris variant with OpenFeint integration. Instead of blocks falling from from the top, the fall into the middle from both the left and the right, where you have to manipulate them using multi-touch controls. Match four or more of the same color to clear blocks. The game starts out slow with only black and white, but quickly becomes challenging with the addition of more colors and faster scrolling. From my time with the game, I can say it’s one of the more fun puzzle games on the App Store.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Aera

This beautiful flight sim had our editor Chris in a frenzy before its release. From initial impressions, it seems the game delivers on the hype, but if you don’t want to shell out the $2.99 now, Chris will have a review up very soon.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Aves
Aves contains some truly magnificent animations and entrancing binaural audio, but with its simplistic gameplay, it plays more like a tech demo. Still, if you want to see some really cool technology, it’s worth the $.99 price of admission, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Ghost LLC’s future projects.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Above and Beyond Air Combat

Young developer Josh Rosen’s followup to SciFly is a totally different beast. It’s still an arcade plane flying game, but it shines with OpenFeint integration, a huge level of customization, open-world gameplay, and shiny graphics. In any normal week, this would easily earn the app of the week award.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Robocalypse – Mobile Mayhem

Robocalypse is a humorous and strong entry into the RTS genre, which is relatively weak on the App Store. Featuring a lengthy campaign and full online multiplayer, Robocalypse is a safe bet for RTS fans.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Alley Gator

Alley Gator is Glu’s entry into the quick $.99 games category with accelerometer-based gameplay.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-09-19 :: Category: Games :: Family

Champion Archer

From the guys who made Sparta comes a port of an addictive online flash game.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Against the Fire!

Meridian’s followup to their smash hit Alive 4 Ever is a similar survival shooter but with theme of a fireman putting out water monsters.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Dungeon Hunter (pulled from the App Store)

Otherwise known as Gameloft’s Diablo clone, Dungeon Hunter was said to be very impressive, but was unfortunately pulled due to a bug in the game. The game should be available for download again soon.

Castle Warriors

Castle Warriors is another nice addition to the RTS genre on the App Store. The gameplay is similar to Galcon and the graphics are very nice overall.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Super Shock Football

After App Store giants Gameloft and EA turned out full football sims, you would expect Chillingo, publisher extraordinaire to follow up with one of their own, right? Instead, developer Steamroller studios has produced a light-hearted throw back to vintage vibrating football games that is ultimately more suited to the iPhone than either Madden or NFL 2010.
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Underground

This Chillingo “shmup” is very stylish but adds little to the genre gameplay-wise.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-16 :: Category: Games

Scarecrow

Scarecrow is Ezone’s take on Doodle Jump and also the latest 3rd party game to incorporate ngmoco’s plus+ network.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-19 :: Category: Games

Apps of the Week

iBlast Moki

iBlast Moki is the best puzzle game on the iPhone, period. This physics-based puzzle game contains challenging gameplay. The goal is to, using bombs and eventually other elements like balloons, get all of the mokis to the exit of the level. It sounds simple, but some of the levels are head-scratchingly devious. There is almost unlimited replay value with over 70 levels, Plus+ integration, and a full-featured level editor/sharer.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

Meteor Blitz

By the same token, Meteor Blitz is the best top-down space shooter for the iPhone, surpassing even the famed Isotope. The dual-stick control scheme is incredibly fast and responsive, the graphics are simply stunning, and the gameplay is livened up by the inclusion of RPG elements and many different weapons. The game also features superlative pause and auto-save functions.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-15 :: Category: Games

Wow, so many great games, and I’m sure I’m missing a few. Of course, I won’t expect any good game releases for the next month couple with reports of month-long approval times.