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FREEday 7/27/12 - "FREE Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow”

Posted by Rob Rich on July 27th, 2012

I think this will be my Weird Week. I have no idea why, but most of the games I’ve picked out ended up being somewhat unconventional to say the least. Of course I tend to like offbeat stuff so it’s fine. And if you don’t, well this is as much your list as it is mine, so feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Jurassic Park™ Builder I played the crap out of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis back in The Day. Despite being a derivative theme-park building game in a genre that, at the time, was full to bursting it was actually really cool. I know this isn’t exactly a mobile port of the same game, but it’s darned close what with all the park maintenance and dinosaur escape potential. Plus it’s totally free, so there’s that.

Lunik Swings The slightly children’s book illustration style is what first caught my attention. Then it was the absolutely crazy levels that defy any sense of logic or physics. At the very least this is bound to be the most beautiful looking iOS game about a kid on a swing ever. And since checking it out doesn’t actually cost anything there’s no reason not to satisfy that curiosity.

Bubble Witch Saga Okay, yes, total Puzzle Bobble/Bust a Moove knock off, but it’s also pretty. It also allows players to buy special power-ups. There are even social elements (i.e. compare scores to friends) thrown into the mix. And with over 150 levels and more added weekly, this is one free puzzlegame that should be relevant for quite some time.

Eye Drops from Upstairs It looks retro and it’s completely ridiculous. I’d say I’m sold if this game actually cost anything. I mean if nothing else the idea of trying to get eye drops into a man’s eyes from several stories up by way of some kind of elastic arm is pretty unique. It also seems crazy enough to be fun in short bursts.

Epic Raiders A line-dragging RPG with loads of loot, plenty of character classes, full customization options for every single character in the party, some pretty darned impressive visuals, and a cost of zero. Yup, it’s got my attention. Oh, wait, it also has online multiplayer (PvP). Why are you reading this and not downloading it already?

Dédale Free Every now and then it’s nice to play a game that isn’t exciting. Or rather, sometimes playing a relaxing game can be just what a person needs. And while a game about guiding a music-loving butterfly through 100 handcrafted levels (and an infinite number of procedurally generated ones) might seem weird, it’s also relaxing. Simple, intuitive, mellow, and free. I like the sound of that.

FREEday 7/19/12 - "I Want to be FREE Like the Bird in the Tree”

Posted by Rob Rich on July 20th, 2012

Extra! Extra! Website compiles list of free iOS games! Includes retro shooters, fantasy kingdoms, mutants, demons, and trout! Read all about it!

Fishing Superstars Believe it or not I’ve done a bit of fishing every now and then. And despite the feeling of landing a large fish being second to none, all the stuff that comes before and after than high is pretty boring. That’s why we have developers like GAMEVIL. They can take fairly dull concepts and turn them into time-eating video games like this.

Buster Spirits - Frostbite Retro-styled shooters aren’t exactly rare these days, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be thoroughly enjoyable. Especially when they include five exclusive levels, loads of crazy power-ups, clever “bullet-grazing” mechanics, and an introductory price of absolutely nothing.

Mutant Roadkill Don’t let the title fool you; this is most definitely not a game about freaky, reanimated raccoons or deer. This is actually more of an arcade-style survival racer involving apocalyptic cityscapes and horrifically mutated humanoids. Hungry for flesh, naturally. With self-proclaimed intuitive tilt and swipe controls, as well as plenty of un-lockable vehicles, it’s a slightly misleading game that’s bound to please on a budget.

DevilDungeon Sometimes a person just wants a simple game to pass the time. Perhaps a game that involves two control inputs (tapping and swiping) and nothing but high scores to drive the action. DevilDungeon is such a game, and it’s priced just right to warrant an inquisitive look.

Enchanted Realm I’m well aware of the fact that there’s a glut of town-building free-to-play games on the App Store. However, there aren’t quite so many that involve a fantasy setting. And there are even fewer that incorporate town development along with resource gathering. Plus it looks pretty.

Pocket Army The combination of strategy game, RPG, army building, hack n’ slash action, and social elements is certainly an intriguing one. It makes Pocket Army sound pretty cool, actually. Plus it features a customizable hero and plenty of fancy social gaming type stuff. It looks pretty nice, too. The similarity in visual style to Battleheart is a little disconcerting, but I’m willing to believe it’s just “similar” and not “borrowed.”

FREEday 7/13/12 - "At the Barricades of FREEdom! Shall I Join My Brothers There!”

Posted by Rob Rich on July 13th, 2012

Granted, half of the games on this week’s list fall squarely under my Nostalgia Vision, but it’s my list. So my rules!

Jay & Silent Bob in: LET US DANCE! - I will proudly admit that I’m a rather big fan of Kevin Smith’s special little rendition of New Jersey. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and even the Clerks cartoon have been in my DVD rotation for quite a while. Especially Mallrats. So a tap/rhythm game based in the View Askew universe featuring Jay and his hetero life-mate is definitely something I can appreciate. It’s like it was handed down from God herself.

Sinbad - Ah, Sinbad. I used to watch taped TNT showings of many of his classic barely-colorized adventures constantly. Now I can play them, too! The game offers up many of the experiences one would expect from the timeless hero many often mistake for a washed-up comedian; high seas adventure, a personalized ship, plenty of swordplay with lots of unnatural enemies, and so on. All that’s missing is the Harryhausen visual flair.

My Monster Rancher - So I was a fairly massive Monster Rancher fan for years, even after the series started to slide into lameness (i.e. Monster Rancher 3). Admittedly this doesn’t completely scratch the itch like one of the console originals, but it does a decent enough job of whittling everything down into freemium-style pieces. Plus they brought back Monols, which is just flippin’ awesome.

This is the last stop on the Nostalgia Train, I swear. For this week, anyway.

Doodle Cat - It’s not quite a virtual pet and it’s not quite a game (sorta kinda), but it is mind-numbingly adorable. The way objects can be combined to create new objects, and that being the entire goal, is indeed familiar but now it involves keeping a fuzzy feline entertained. For my money – which actually doesn’t equate to much because the game’s free – I’d consider goofy cartoon cat interactions well worth my on-the-go time.

Spectral Souls - What’s that? A robust, “full-scale” tactical RPG on iOS? Funk yeah! It looks quite good, offers up quite a bit of content, and will doubtlessly please fans of the series. Probably of the genre, too. Full version IAP unlocks be damned, this has the makings of awesomeness.

Galaxy Life: Pocket Adventures - One of the first things that popped into my head when browsing the description for this one was “Man, there are a lot of **Notes**.” The second was a quote from one of the best TV shows ever; “With a warning label THIS big, you know they gotta be fun!” I suppose the colony building and persistent online world with lots of real time battles can stand on it’s own, but my goodness those warnings!

FREEday 6/29/12 - "FREE when I Dance Whit you, We Move like the Sea”

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012

Big Zombie Mole of the Demon Empires edition? Sure, let’s go with that.

Big Win Baseball - Now I’m not a huge sports fan, but I do love me some card games. So combining sports with something akin to a CCG is bound to get even my attention. Cards can be acquired through random card packs, bestowing new players or game-changing special cards. Some can even be used to upgrade a player’s existing stats. You know this sounds cool.

Zombie HQ - I’ve been chomping at the bit to take this one for a spin after reading our own Monica Stevens’ review. Loads of action, zombie killing, outfits for character customization, lots of weapons, survivors to rescue, and a base to decorate is more than enough to pique my interest. Being able to do all that for free makes it a no-brainer. No zombie pun intended.

MOLEHEART - I enjoy a good defense game, especially if it’s free. However, when said defense game involves evil undead moles I find it incredibly hard to ignore. The extensive variety of unit types, special controllable heroes, epic battles, varied skills, strategic unit combinations, and 60+ stages are pretty much just icing on the cake.

Rise of the Warriors - Why hello there, free iOS MMO, how are you? You doing good? Plenty of fighting styles for players to choose from when they make their character? Several different factions to join? Lots of skills to unlock? A good deal of rare weapons and armor sets to find and equip, as well as show off? PvP options to keep bloodthirsty players happy? Yeah? That’s good to hear. We should meet up for lunch sometime and catch up.

Demon Busters - Yes, fine, so it’s another iOS card game. I’ve got a sickness, deal with it. This particular one is like a combination of CCG and Pokemon, where some monsters need to be captured rather than earned through card packs. It’s also more about cooperation rather than opposition as players will work together to take down more powerful demons. Card game or not, I still think it sounds pretty cool.

Star Empires - I’ve yet to come across anyone who plays video games who’s openly opposed to the idea of galactic domination. As such it stands to reason that there are bound to be plenty of people interested in taking a look at this space-themed strategy game. What with the being able to form alliances, building special structures to give an edge in battle, exploring new planets, commanding fleets of ships, and stuff.

FREEday 6/22/12 - "You can Make Me FREE, You can Make Me Smile”

Posted by Rob Rich on June 22nd, 2012

No zombies and no town-building this week, hurray! I did notice once the list was complete that there’s a bit of a focus on combat and war, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence and not indicative of any suppressed urges. Right?

Atomic Pursuit - Pick a faction and start trekking through space. Players have to get their ship to a new planet in order to start colonizing, but they have to be careful. Not only will asteroids threaten the integrity of the hull, but there’s a limited oxygen supply. It’ll require fast thinking and even faster piloting in order to get that rocket to its destination in one piece.

Banzai Blade - We’ve all messed around with finger-slicing games at some point, but not many like this. Players will have to cut down invading demons, redirect projectiles, and otherwise keep the world safe from harm using only a finger. Blossoms collected through play can be used to upgrade swords and armor, as well as game-changing carms.

Apocalypse Knights - These aren’t your typical knights. Yes, it’s all about slaughtering hordes of demons (newly thawed thanks to melting icecaps), but this ain’t the Dark Ages. Players will have access to a host of semi-futuristic weapons and biomechanical mounts as they cut through the invading army, as well as special skills tied to each armament. Collect ‘em all and show ‘em off is the key element here. That and smashing demons in the face.

Fish with Attitude - I enjoy a bit of fishery on my iPhone from time to time, but I’ve never raised fish like this. These aquatic critters sport very different (and extreme) personalities, complete with bizarre outfits and expressions to match. Yes, I said outfits. There’s treasure hunting, various tasks associated with animal care, and the joy of watching some truly weird fish interact with one another. What’s not to like?

Cat War - Cats and dogs are ready to throw-down for our amusement once again. Players assume control of the Cat army; using workers together resources, constructing barracks, training soldiers, hiring heroes, and more in this 2D strategy game. Different units will work better with others, so it’s important to experiment to find a combination that works for a given play style. Plus it’s cats.

ENDI Tank Battle Multiplayer - Ah, multiplayer vehicular combat games. I’ve miss them. Take on friends or total strangers in this toy-themed free-for-all, complete with tank-melting power-ups and several different tanks to suit a variety of play styles. With three different game modes available already and even more on the way, this is one frag fest that’s bound to keep people busy.

FREEday 6/15/12 - "I Shall be FREE FREE, FREE of Those Voices Inside Me”

Posted by Rob Rich on June 15th, 2012

Now I'm fully aware that most of the other games on today's list will end up being eclipsed by Nimblebit's newest release, but let's all try to stay focused here. There are five more games in this lineup, so why not take it slow and give them all at least a glance?

Zombie Carnival - I can’t say that I’ve ever given much thought to running my own undead theme park, but it’s not a bad idea now that I think about it. Luckily I can try my hand with this instead of scouring curio shops for The Necronomicon. Plus there’s bound to be much less mess when I find, combine, and battle zombies digitally as opposed to the alternative.
Grab Zombie Carnival Here.

Pocket Planes - Nimblebit has adapted their super-popular sensibilities and freemium model into a game about running an airline. There’s practically no chance of this not being a major time sink, so we all might as well give in and just start playing. Society will recover from the complete lapse in progress, eventually.
Grab Pocket Planes Here.

Max Astro: Stranded Beyond the Stars - As cute as it may look, the core concept of using piles of alien corpses to climb to freedom is a little disturbing. Of course I happen to like cute and disturbing things, so it all works out. Whether or not anyone else wants to try and get this stranded astronaut home, no matter the cost to the extraterrestrial population, is up to them.
Grab Max Astro Here.

Top Gear: Stunt School Revolution - Stunt driving can be pretty crazy, but it can be even crazier in a virtual space where the laws of gravity and physics don’t really apply. Slapping wings and livestock on top of a car, then ramping over the Grand Canyon might be completely ridiculous but it’s also just insane enough to be awesome.
Grab Top Gear Here.

Terrapets - Collecting impossible creatures is something most iOS users are familiar with at this point. The same goes for creating habitats for them. But not too many games combine creature collection, habitat building, and battling. So hooray for versatility! And hooray for funky monster designs!
Grab Terrapets Here.

Little Wizard - Build a fantasy-themed town, then defend it. All while researching new magics and gathering monsters to summon in future battles. All that’s missing is an emphasis on elements that affects the experience depending on a player’s focus and gesture-based spell casting. What’s that? It has that, too? Ah. Right, well best get to downloading then.
Grab Little Wizard Here.

FREEday 6/08/12 - "Runnin’ FREE Thru the Night in the Street”

Posted by Rob Rich on June 8th, 2012

Don’t ask me why there are two more-or-less collectible card games in this week’s list because I don’t have an answer. I have theories (darn you, Rage of Bahamut), but no solid explanations. Oh hey, look, monkeys!

Duel of Fate - I will freely admit that I’ve become something of a sucker for card games lately, but that doesn’t mean anyone should ignore this one. I mean come on, it’s a CCG. Who doesn’t love a CCG? Not only that, it’s from Gamevil (a more than proven pedigree) and actually has combat animations. Animations! Okay yeah, not much of a selling point but I stand by the CCG and quality publisher comments.

Alexandria Bloodshow - I reviewed something very similar to this a while back, and it was totally awesome. Now we’ve got the chance to get in on the ground floor of the sequel for free. It’s everything that was awesome about Samurai Bloodshow (collectible cards, customizable decks, multiplayer, etc), only now it’s the Egyptians versus the Greeks!

Seawolf 1942 - Fans of the original Seawolf rejoice! Now there’s a way to play not-quite the original (i.e. an “inspired by” game) on the go! For free! Lots of torpedo blasting, ordinance upgrading, air strike launching, and ship sinking to be had here.

Altars - Hey, a puzzle game that isn’t about matching three of a kind. Nice! Although matching is still important as Shade needs to carry various elemental runes back to their corresponding altars (hence the title) while avoiding all sorts of obstacles. The description touts that this game is a “A REAL brain challenge.” I say there’s no harm in putting it to the test.

Battle Monkeys - Plenty of people talk a big game when it comes to controlling an army of monkeys, but just how many of them can actually handle the wesome responsibility? Not many. Thankfully it’s easy enough to put one’s simian command skills to the test while controlling a small squad of customizable tree-swingers in any number of battles against other iOS users. The monkey ninjas are kind of a given, granted, but there are plenty of other bizarre primate costumes to check out.

FREEday 6/01/12 - "How Bad Can a Boy Be if He Sets You FREE?"

Posted by Rob Rich on June 1st, 2012

Boy howdy do we have games this week. Plenty of games to absorb daylight (and nighttime, really) hours free of charge. Enjoy, all!

Heroes Call - People love dungeon crawlers, but the mention of free-to-play typically brings hesitance. Fortunately for all of us, Heroes Call does Freemium quite well in that only new quests and item identification are gated behind real world timers. It’s not as bad as it sounds since completed quests can be replayed while players wait. Besides, the game itself is actually quite fun.

Battleship Craft - I’ve seen my fair share of games that involve building and upgrading an avatar while using it to combat other players, but I’ve yet to see one where the avatar is actually a naval vessel. Until now, that is. Come for the wealth of customization options, stay for the in-depth (*rimshot*) simulation of buoyancy, speed, and so on.

Duckers - I’d say this one’s worth a look simply due to the concept of subterranean water fowls. And if our own Carter Dotson’s impressions are any indication, this is one quality bird-tunneler. Besides, everyone likes digging for treasure. It’s like an inherent human trait or something.

Zombie Purge! - Playing god during a zombie apocalypse doesn’t have to feel awkwardly inappropriate. At least not when said deity is using their other-worldly powers to squash the Undead threat and keep as much of the dwindling members of humanity as safe as possible.

Marathon Infinity - And here it is, the third and final chapter in Bungie’s classic trilogy. More levels, a few hidden levels, lots of missions, a new weapon (the KKV-7 10mm SMG Flechette submachine gun), and online multiplayer arenas can be had by all for the same cost as breathing. I mean “right now” breathing, not “Total Recall” breathing where everyone on Mars had to actually pay for air.

FREEday 5/25/12 - "They Call Me FREE but I Call Me a Fool"

Posted by Rob Rich on May 25th, 2012

Another week of freebies, this time with very little in the way of “Big Name” titles. No need to panic, it’s intentional. Anyone browsing the App Store will no doubt see the more popular games anyway.

Sing Something the Game - Apparently one thing iOS users can’t get enough of is a game that lets them take turns performing specific actions. It worked extremely well for spelling, and just as well for drawing. I suppose it’s only natural that singing would be next on that list. As someone who does NOT sing, I won’t be messing around with this but I know there are plenty of people out there who will. Or should.

Elenints - It’s often the simplest puzzle games that end up being the most fun. A fact tat bodes incredibly well for a game that revolves entirely around grouping little colored balls together in order to get them to evolve into other forms. Okay, not forms but other colored balls.

Zombie Farm 2 - The original game that took the familiar freemium farm-running formula and sprinkled in zombies did quite well for itself. So much so that it’s gotten a sequel. It might feel a bit like more of the same, only better, but better is better. And the fact that withering is gone is a massive step up as far as I’m concerned.

Super Flip Runner - I’m well aware that there are other games that involve running, jumping, and flipping through random and endless environments. I’m also well aware that a lot of people (myself included) have a thing for retro-styled pixilated visuals. And that even more people tend to like free stuff.

Pirates Age - Okay I might still be riding a high from Rage of Bahamut but I’d consider that a mere coincidence. Being able to play a pirate-themed CCG (collectible card game) against friends and strangers alike just sounds awesome. Know what sounds even more awesome? Aside from the whole “free” thing I mean. Zombie Ghost Whales. Check out the screen shots if you don’t believe me. You’re welcome.

Ancient Gears - What might at first appear like nothing more than a simple match three game is most decidedly not upon closer inspection. Granted it’s still a match three game, but it’s configured into a circular shape this time, which is different if nothing else. It also features special bonuses that can be activated as well as a host of cool-looking story illustrations to unlock.

FREEday 5/18/12 - "FREE Your Mind for the Journey"

Posted by Rob Rich on May 18th, 2012

Free games again? Man, I’m really starting to get tired of--who am I kidding? Games! For free! Isn’t that awesome?? This week we’re a little all over the place with genres and content. Something for almost everybody, and it’s all free.

The Sandbox - Come on now, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s a shockingly impressive sandbox (har-har) game that allows players to grow their own environments, and even simple machinery, or destroy it as they see fit. Lots of elements to unlock that play off of each other in interesting ways and a virtually limitless potential for creation make it a must-have even without accounting for the whole being free thing.

Pawns Unleashed - I’m more than a little excited for Dragon’s Dogma, which is due out in less than a week (!!!). Of course I plan to use this location-based treasure hunter fill the (admittedly small) gap, but it can certainly keep people busy even after the console release.

Cuboid Free - I’ve always wanted to check out this game, but never got around to downloading it from PSN. Now that I can try it on my iPhone for free, I don’t really have an excuse to avoid this cube-turning puzzler anymore.

Quest of Magic: An Adventure in Azoth - Dungeon crawlers? Yes. Free dungeon crawlers? Oh absolutely. A free dungeon crawler made in Mac Gamemaker? Well, it’s a bit questionable but I’m open to just about anything. Especially if it’s free!

Rage of Bahamut - Gotta love a free-to-play iOS collectible card game. Especially one with gorgeous artwork and daily updates. Having a choice between single and multiplayer is just the icing on a very delicious-looking and affordable cake. Mmmmm… cake…

Witch Wars - The App Store is no stranger to match-three games, but this is a match-three game about witches. Witches who fight each other. Although what interests me most is the promise of constant character unlocks, multiple modes, and individual (and upgradable) skills that help to set each witch apart.

FREEday 5/11/12 - "Gonna Get Me Some FREE Time, FREE Time"

Posted by Rob Rich on May 12th, 2012

Oh yeah, we’re all over the place this week. But I consider that a good thing. It means more of a variety, in addition to all the money people won’t be spending. It’s a win/win as far as I’m concerned.

Directional - We all know about block-clearing puzzles. Match 3, tapping on groups and so on. This one’s a bit different in that players have to swipe the screen in a given direction to clear blocks with arrows (up, down, left, right) on them. It’s an interesting take on the genre, and with two modes (classic and expert) it’s bound to be something of a time-occupier.

Dora - It might be simple, but how could I not want to try a game about a malfunctioning engine of destruction that’s fallen in love with an inanimate household object and just wants to be left alone? I know, right?

Balloon Getaway - Here we have an iOS rail-shooter (think Panzer Dragoon) set in a world full of dirigibles. It’s a genre that I feel is sorely lacking on the App Store, so it’s nice to see a new one from time to time. And if the three available levels don’t feel like enough, there are always more to be had through in-app purchases.

Punch Hero - I can’t help but think of this as a more interactive version of Fighter City. Gamevil has really been pushing the hand-to-hand combat lately, huh? Still, a free game involving customizable (visually and statistically) boxers and plenty of other expected social freemium stuff is certainly worth a look.

Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering - Okay, first off it’s important to note that this game will only work on the iPhone 4 and higher, as well as the iPad 2. That being said, it’s a good-looking action RPG. Five different mercenaries to choose from, lots of magic spells, plenty of equipment, and so on. It’s just a shame that slightly older devices aren’t supported.

Matching Set - Clear out tiles by connecting matching pairs, all under an Egyptian theme. That by itself sounds fine, but each game is restricted by a time limit. A time limit that can be increased by quickly clearing out more tiles. If that doesn’t scream “Massive Time-Eater,” I don’t know what does.

Animator Free - Maybe this kind of thing has faded into obscurity since my generation (god saying stuff like that makes me feel old), but do kids still play around with making flip-books anymore? Remember those? Drawing little cartoons one page at a time, in sequence, then flipping through the pages quickly and getting no small amount of joy from watching the rudimentary animation? Anyone? It better not just be me who thinks being able to do stuff like this on my iPhone is cool.

FREEday 4/27/12 - "I’m Fancy FREE and FREE for Anything Fancy"

Posted by Rob Rich on April 27th, 2012

I’m kind of proud of this week’s list. I managed to find a bunch of slightly hidden titles. Titles that aren’t featured in New and Noteworthy or any of the other more immediate App Store categories. It’s like digging for buried treasure of a sort. Hopefully everyone gets some enjoyment from my booty.

Wait a minute.

Lil’ Kingdom - If building up a pixilated tower full of digitized denizens is starting to get old (doubtful), now there’s an alternative. Lil’ Kingdom lets players create and run their own subterranean monarchy complete with Goblins and Unicorn ranches. It might seem like it isn’t much more than a thematic change, but some people just like fantasy better than 8-bit reality. Of course, since it’s free there’s no reason we can’t enjoy both options.

DBlade! (Dungeon & Blade) - I find it hard not to get interested in a one-button action RPG/dungeon crawler with randomized maps. I mean, it’s something I could play one-handed on the subway. Plus the random levels means some pretty high replayability. Sure it’s got ads that can be gotten rid of with cash, but MTA commuters such as myself don’t have to worry too much about that. We don’t get much of a signal down in the tunnels.

G.O.D [God of Defence] - When an undead army is trying to escape from the gates of Hell, I can’t think of a better suited custodian than an elemental god. Players utilize upgradeable skills involving ice, fire, and plasma to fight back the hordes made up of 26 different enemy types. It’s a little more “hands-on” (*rimshot*) than the typical defense games involving placing towers and watching the mayhem, but that’s far from a bad thing.

World Guardians - Right on the heels of one defense game we have another. This time players will choose between four different upgradeable guardians, as well as a number of support units, to protect the Earth from a slew of enemies and bosses. Not entirely groundbreaking, sure, but it’s very inexpensive and has a pretty cool visual style. At least in my opinion.

Zombro - Now I’m admittedly a little burned out on “Point A to Point B” puzzle platformers, but Zombro adds an interesting twist. As expected the goal is to get the shambler to the level’s exit, but players have to do it piece by piece. Rather than simply getting him there all at once they have to get his torso, legs, and brain through one at a time. If nothing else it’s an intriguing concept.

FREEday 4/20/12 - "I Will Choose a Path That's Clear, I Will Choose FREEwill"

Posted by Rob Rich on April 20th, 2012

Believe it or not, I actually really enjoy making these lists every week. It’s like a weird little iOS scavenger hunt. I feel like I’m finding little hidden treasures (and some not-so-hidden) to share with everyone. Makes me feel all special. So yeah, more free games this week. Several of them are pretty cool, too.

Bloody Western - In a world full of custom character-heavy freemium PvP iOS games (and lots of abbreviations), it’s important to have a theme that stands out. I’d say a graphically violent Old West stands out. Bonus points for getting to choose between being a law man or outlaw. Also dusters.

ILLUSIA 2 - I’m not entirely sure why Gamevil always releases cool games for free, but I’m not going to complain. And if they want to make the more refined (and gorgeous) sequel to one of the App Store’s premier RPG-platformers available at no cost, they’re more than welcome to. In fact, I think we should encourage this behavior by downloading it.

Kingdom Age - Build and run a kingdom. Fight rival players. Plenty of quests to complete and areas to explore. All of that’s pretty cool, but what I’m really interested in is the whole fantasy theme. What with all the monsters to fight and 100+ (!) units to command. Could be worth a look-see, I think.

A Bird’s Journey - Okay so I’ll admit it, I’m totally noting this one because of the visuals. I’m a sucker for interesting art styles, everyone should know this by now. Shut up! At least it looks cool. And it’s free.

Downhill Xtreme - Know what this reminds me of? The classic PlayStation title 2 Xtreme. There’s just something incredibly pleasing about beating the crap out of people while racing down steep inclines. Being able to do so while on the go just makes it more awesome.

Avon’s Flight - Yes, it’s another top-down SHMUP. Yes, I know there are a number of these on the App Store already, and a good many of them are free. But how many of them have space-bullets that are affected by gravity? Never mind that it’s technically a ridiculous concept because there really isn’t any gravity in space to begin with, it mixes things up and makes what could’ve been more of the same into something much more unique.

FREEday 4/6/12 - "I Wanna be FREE from You"

Posted by Rob Rich on April 6th, 2012

In attempting to avoid falling into any sort of "theme" for this week's list, I've gone and done it anyway. No zombies and (technically) no city-builders, but half of the games featured here share a commonality anyway. I'm referring to their "retro" style, which is to say they're intentionally pixelated. Granted, one of them is a port of an older NES game but still. I suppose I should just embrace themes in the future rather than fight against them, huh?

8bit Ninja - I'm not even sure where to begin. It's like some bizarre combination of avoidance/fruit mangling with RPG elements, multiple characters, various things to buy in a shop, and some sweet retro visuals. Considering all that, how could I not put it up here?

Amoebas Attack - Okay so a side-scrolling twin-stick shooter set inside the human body isn't exactly ground breaking these days. Neither is controlling an antibody fighting off infectious bacteria and the like. However, allowing players to evolve the antibody as they progress (i.e. new abilities and such) along with the clever way they can move vertically between capillaries in order to adjust the difficulty is certainly cool.

Saturday Morning RPG - It's an RPG inspired by Saturday morning cartoons from the 80's. That alone should be more than enough to get people on the App Store and downloading. Assuming it isn't, it's still a stylish JRPG-style romp spanning several episodes. So really, why not?

Parallel Mafia - I'm all for using the iPhone's GPS functionality to create location-based (virtual) warfare. But mixing genres and creating a sort of cyberpunk mafia setting is just all kinds of awesome. That and it's quite possibly the closest we've come to seeing a real new Shadowrun game since the 16-bit era.

Beauty vs Beasts - Simple, cute, and goofy. Never a bad list of features for an iOS game. Players control the titular Beauty as she fends off beasts and smooches princes, all with the tap of a few buttons. It's a simple reflex-based high score kind of game, but that's totally fine by me. Sometimes simple is the way to go.

StarSoldier - I did own an NES back in the day, but I spent more time playing outside than parked in front of the TV with a controller in my hand. For the most part. So I never managed to play this particular 8-bit shooter. Thankfully Hudson has decided to re-release it on iOS devices, a decisions that's bound to make more than a few fans quite happy. Heck, it might even create new ones.

FREEday 3/30/12 - "FREE Your Mind and Feel the Passion, Baby"

Posted by Rob Rich on March 30th, 2012

I'm so proud of myself. This week I managed to compile a sizable list of freebies without resorting to freemium city builders or anything with zombies in it. Well okay, the jury's still out on Monster Factory ENG (there might be zombies in there) but the rest are assuredly zombie free. I think. Yeah. No. Yeah. Definitely maybe.

Dark Meadow: The Pact - I still have fond memories of the original game, but when they toss extra content into the mix I can't help but get excited about the new stuff. The fact that the game is also available in a free-to-play model now sweetens the deal for everybody. It's a bit hefty in size, but it's definitely worth checking out.

Cordy Sky - The original Cordy was a whimsical (and quite well-made) platformer. This little spin-off is more akin to a vertical jumper, but that's no reason to expect any form of diminished quality. Seriously, it's looking great and it's free. Why the heck not?

Tree World - This one's pretty good from what I hear. It might not have much in the way of adult-oriented staying power, but Tiny Tower + Pokemon? Yes. Absolutely yes.

GangHound - Okay, this one's definitely not friendly for all-ages but it offers plenty of action. Upgrades, missions, daily rewards and rivalries, too. It seems tailor-made for those who are getting a little tired of all the G-rated iOS offerings out there and just want to shoot stuff in a gloriously bloody fashion.

Armado HD - Roll a young armadillo around a number of varying environments as he attempts to play the hero. Armado HD also sports some nice visuals and the choice between accelerometer and touch controls. It's everything the original is (literally), but dressed up to make better use of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. In other words, it's prettier. Also free.

Monster Factory ENG - It's hard to get specifics from the poorly translated description, but Monster Factory ENG is a defense-centric game with some fairly interesting looking visuals. And since it's free, no one really loses out on much if they take the time to check it out. "... like a chief" indeed.