Never one to miss an opportunity to offer some great price reductions, Gameloft has announced a sale in honor of Halloween.
Six games in all are on offer at a bargain price of $0.99 each. The selection is a bit of a mixed bag, however.
For the kids and general movie tie-in fans, there's the choice of Shrek Forever After available in both iPhone and iPad varieties. The same discount is offered for the rather dubious Iron Man 2, again with a choice of iPhone or iPad.
We'd recommend giving those two a miss. However, do consider MMORPG Order & Chaos Online which is a pretty special homage to World of Warcraft.
Racing fans may want to consider Driver, the iPhone adaptation of the popular getaway driving console title.
There's a discount for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater clone Skater Nation too but it might be best left to the avid skateboarding fans, desperate for a similar title.
When in Paris, we also got to see Hero of Sparta II from Gameloft. And I must admit, I wasn't originally all that interested in it. While I know that Hero of Sparta was a very good selling game for Gameloft, it didn't really click with me. I didn't see anything wrong with it, it just wasn't for me. So you must understand that when I took a look at Hero of Sparta II, I was surprised when I was completely blown away. Hero of Sparta II was the hit of the night. This is one killer game.
Hero of Sparta II is a third person hack and slash game, much like the first one. The difference is that we've had 18 months since the first one was released and the iPhone platform has matured immensly since then. With that maturity, game studios like Gameloft have the ability to put more resources into creating killer games. And that shows in Hero of Sparta II. This game has great gameplay, an amazing look, and very refined engine. Throw in an interesting story and multiple tasks to accomplish along with the main storyline and I'm guessing this will be an even bigger seller for Gameloft than the first.
Hero of Sparta II picks up after the first episode ends. King Argos is sailing back to Sparta, his homeland after escaping Hades. He will of course have to pay for this and will face 12 new levels set in 8 different environments once he reaches home.
There are three levels of difficulty you can play the game at, easy, normal and heroic. You must complete easy or normal to unlock heroic. The good thing about heroic is that all of your weapons are with you from the start. The bad thing is it's really really hard. There's also a special mode called the Arena, outside the main story line that you can unlock, if the game thinks you are good enough. Not really sure how this will work, but I'm intrigued.
To help King Argos in his quest, he has 5 different weapons he will gather along the way. He starts out with the sword and shield, then come the wings, flaming claws, meteor crown, and the lightening spear. Each of the weapons are upgradeable by gathering items during the game. In addition, each weapon has a special unique attack that you can use once enough energy has been charged.
Hit the jump for a video walkthrough of the first few minutes of the game and more details.
This weekend, in a protest against supposedly 3400 emails complaining about the $2.99 price of their app Alchemize, Schiau Studios raised the price to $39.99 for the weekend. Yes, it's a hilarious protest against whiners who complain about spending a few bucks, but Schiau is not entirely in the right. Alchemize was originally priced at $9.99 and then quickly lowered until it was only $.99 for a short time. I can't blame people for waiting for another sale. If Schiau truly wanted to protest App Store pricing, they would have come up with a fair price, stuck to it, and never changed it amid protests. By acknowledging the whiners, Schiau has granted them some legitimacy.
Sometimes it's good to take a look at our beloved App Store's rival, the PSP Mini store. The store has launched and two of its biggest name games have already made an appearance on the iPhone (and for cheaper): Hero of Sparta and Fieldrunners. In addition, Chillingo and Mountain Sheep's Minigore is on the way. What do all of these games have in common? In my estimation, they're three of the most overrated games on the App Store. Hero of Sparta had good visuals for its time, but the dull one-button hack and slash affair has so many pre-rendered cinematic animations it's like watching a movie. Fieldrunners has a great art style and was admittedly one of the first open-path TD's on the App Store, but there's only a few enemy types and tower types, and it lacks the depth of the genre luminaries such as Sentinel 2 and Defender Chronicles. Minigore has nice aesthetics as well, but it's an average two-stick survival shooter with little depth, easily outclassed by games such as Alive 4 Ever. Sony, wake me up when you manage to get some good games.
Nimblebit's Freebie Friday
This Friday, Nimblebit lowered all their apps to free in celebration of their newly launched site App Classics! Even if you missed the deal, the apps are still worth buying; Nimblebit is the best in the business at creating fun, short, and addictive games such as Scoops and Textropolis. This move was interesting from a marketing standpoint, and certainly created buzz. In fact, Ian Marsh reported via Twitter that Saturday's sales were double normal and more than made up for Friday's losses.
This week's upcoming app that looks frickin' awesome!
This is the inaugural issue of this feature where I'll be showing off some upcoming games that look awesome (though I've been doing it unofficially for quite some time). This week, we have Jet Car Stunts, an awesome-looking racing game in the vein of Track Mania. The game is due to be submitted within the next week. Enjoy!
This week's sign of the apocalypse
A few weeks ago, Chris used this space to talk about how happy he was that Glu's awful Family Guy cash-in was doing poorly in the App Store. Well, times have changed, and apparently Stewie is enough to make a poor game reach #9 on Top Grossing Apps.
App of the Week
Soosiz is without question the best platformer yet on the App Store. The game uses gravity-centered gameplay, like that of Gomi, but much more fast-paced, to turn a good platform adventure into something extraordinary. The level design is excellent, and the difficulty curve is just right. Controls are great as well. There's only a left arrow, a right arrow, and a jump button, but they are all perfectly responsive and work brilliantly in unison, making you almost forget you're playing on a touch screen.. The graphics are cartoony and playful, and the only big flaw of the game is the sometimes overly-childish music. Other than that though, Soosiz is a magnificent achievement is App Store platforming, and it's one of the most fun games I've played in a while, coming highly recommended.