It’d be an understatement to say that the Apple App Store is a big place – there are thousands of new titles hitting its digital shelves each and every week.
It’s an unprecedented situation that often results in great games being overlooked, buried under a mountain of soulless endless runners, tepid Candy Crush clones, and uninspired MMOs.
With that in mind, we want to shine a spotlight on those games fighting the good fight. Here are this month’s most interesting new releases.
You’re a mobile gamer, so you’re no stranger to endless runners. But what about endless, er, pinballers?
It’s not exactly a phrase that rolls off the tongue, but that’s exactly what PinOut is: a never-ending journey through a neon flavoured pinball machine of seismic proportions.
Much like your classic game of pinball, the aim is simple: use a pair of paddles to keep the ball in play and amass points. The only difference here is that PinOut’s digital tabletop is infinite, so you’ll have to beat the clock as well as the board if you want to rack up a world-class score.
Download PinOut! for iPad and iPhone
Guess what? You’re going to the ball. And not just any ball, but the annual grand costume ball! We knew you’d be thrilled.
Actually, we should probably warn you, because there is one catch. People like to dance at this ball. At least, we assume they’re people. We haven’t actually seen behind their masks.
They’ve also got atrocious balance, which means you’ve been put in charge of leading the lively shindig. All you need to do is help your fellow revellers stay on their feet and everything should turn out fine. Don’t worry too much about the magic masks, either. We’re sure they’re quite harmless…
Download Masky for iPhone and iPad
The golden age of rhythm gaming might’ve ended when the likes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band lost their star power, but there’s still some life in the old dog yet.
Epic Orchestra is proof enough of that. One of the simplest rhythm games you’ll ever play, the streamlined one-touch title uses four basic commands to put you in control of a charming, retro orchestra. Even on the hardest difficulty setting it’s hardly taxing, but that feels like that point.
See, Epic Orchestra doesn’t try and baffle you with an endless stream of overly complex instructions. Quite the contrary. It’s a relaxing, zen-like experience that’s more concerned with serving up tiny slices of musical escapism, and that’s exactly why we love it.
Download Epic Orchestra for iPhone and iPad
Anyone who’s forced to catch the tube on a regular basis will know how much of a nightmare it can be. That’s why there’s a 100 percent chance you won’t believe me when I say that a tube simulator can be…fun.
You heard me right. Mini Metro proves that the rigours of underground transport management can provide warm, fuzzy entertainment. It also proves you can create a game about inner-city infrastructure that looks and sounds stunningly beautiful.
Download Mini Metro for iPhone and iPad
EGGGGG – THE PLATFORM PUKER
The bizarrely titled Eggggg – The Platform Puker is one of the strangest morsels I’ve come across in quite some time. Why? Well, as the name suggests, the game is a platformer centred around one odd mechanic: puke.
Look, I was sceptical at first. But once you get past the undeniably peculiar concept, you’ll find a rewarding two-touch platformer that puts most of its competitors to shame.
As for the puke, there’s a simple explanation. Gilbert – the star of this show – has a pretty visceral egg allergy. The poor guy just can’t keep them down. Alas, it just so happens they give him the power he needs to survive in a world populated with angry cyborg chickens. Swings and roundabouts, really.
Download Eggggg – The Platform Puker for iPhone and iPad
VIKINGS: AN ARCHER’S JOURNEY
If you like your platformers with a little bit of bite, then Viking: an Archer’s Journey might just be for you.
What initially looks to be a by-the-books endless runner is elevated thanks to some slick projectile combat, power-ups, and elementary platforming. It’s a formula that works well, and although it’s hardly overflowing with originality, it’s one that’s undeniably compelling.
What makes Viking’s a must have is the procedural world around it, with each of its randomly generated levels sporting a gorgeous, wintery coat steeped in minimalist beauty.
Download Vikings: An Archer’s Journey for iPhone and iPad
OH…SIR! THE INSULT SIMULATOR
If verbal sparring and interplay, by which we mean expertly forged insults at fellow humans, is your jam, then Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator is the game you’ve been waiting for.
A delightfully kooky experience that challenges players to get one over on their opponent by stringing together a series of inspired insults, Oh…Sir! truly is a game unlike any other. In fact, I don’t have a single bad thing to say about it. How terribly ironic.
Download Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator for iPhone and iPad
LEVEL WITH ME
As we all know, life is a balancing act. But it’s nothing compared to the perplexing challenges found in Unept’s tilting puzzler, Level With Me.
Seriously. Have you ever tried balancing bowling balls, motorcycles, dynamite, and even people using nothing but bubbles. It’s pretty difficult, you know, especially when you’re trying to stop a whole gaggle of humans from being blown to smithereens.
Think you’re up to the task? Yeah, so did I.
Download Level With Me for iPhone and iPad
BANNER SAGA 2
Over two years after Stoic burst on to the mobile scene with gorgeous handdrawn RPG The Banner Saga, the studio is back with a follow-up that proves the best things in life really are worth waiting for.
Picking up where the first left-off, The Banner Saga 2 – inventive titling there, team – builds on the series’ captivating choice-driven storytelling with new characters, races, and improved turn-based battles. The fate of an entire civilisation is in your hands, so it’s worth remembering that there’s no coming back from some decisions. Choose wisely.
Download The Banner Saga 2 for iOS
Sorcery! 4 is the final instalment in Inkle’s text-driven fantasy adventure series, and by now the studio really has nothing left to prove. With that in mind, you won’t be surprised to hear that the fourth entry is just as polished, well-written, and captivating as its predecessors.
The sense of dynamism and depth found in Inkle’s open-world saga has yet to be matched on mobile – or anywhere else, for that matter – and while we can’t wait to unravel the final chapter in our own fantasy yarn, it’s going to be a bittersweet farewell.
Download Sorcery! 4 for iOS
BATMAN: THE TELLTALE SERIES
After taking on likes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Minecraft, storytellers-at-large Telltale Games have been given the keys to Gotham City. The studio’s latest might’ve taken a little longer than expected to land on mobile, but patient fans can finally step into the fractured, tormented mind of Bruce Wayne – better known to Gotham’s more unsavoury characters as Batman – in Telltale’s gritty take on DC’s long-standing detective.
Download Batman: The Telltale Series for iOS
BURLY MEN AT SEA
A colourful, easy-going folktale that wouldn’t look out of place in Wes Anderson’s whimsical portfolio, Burly Men at Sea is an interactive vignette centered around, you guessed it, burly men at sea.
Perhaps the best thing about Burly Men… is that each vibrant adventure is designed to be completed in one sitting, making it ideal for those fleeting moments of mid-week downtime. Although we should point out that the game’s branching narratives, charming animations, and delightful score make repeat viewings an absolute must.
Download Burly Men at Sea for iOS
PEWDIEPIE’S TUBER SIMULATOR
If you’ve ever wanted to be a YouTube sensation, with all the fame, fortune, and bizarre catchphrases that come with it, then PewDiePie’s ultra-realistic Tuber Simulator might just be the game for you.
The second mobile title released by the eponymous Swedish star, Tuber Simulator is an undeniably addictive affair that’s more fun than it really has any right to be. Sure, it’s preposterously silly – case in point: there’s a pug pachinko machine – but as far as mindless entertainment goes, you could do a **** of a lot worse.
Download PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator for iOS
60 SECONDS! ATOMIC ADVENTURE
How well would you survive in a nuclear wasteland? It’s a question we’ve all asked over a spot of Sunday lunch, and now you can find out the answer (without starting World War III) in Robot Gentleman’s atomic adventure. As the name suggests, in 60 Seconds! you have one minute to gather as many supplies – including your family members – and get to your fallout shelter before the bombs drop.
The choices you make in that first minute will go on to shape your thermonuclear life, so maybe you should think twice about grabbing that toaster. Once you’re bunkered in, you’ll have to decide how to manage those resources: who eats, who drinks, and who gets to venture forth into the wasteland in search of hope and giant cockroaches is all down to you. Good luck, vault-dweller.
Download 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure for iOS
Weird physics puzzler Zip-Zap the latest ingenious title from Sometimes You Die and Squaredance developer Philipp Stollenmayer, better known as Kamibox. In Zip-Zap, the mission is simple: manipulate the digital meccano to slide, hop, and roll your way towards each level’s glowing end goal. Smart design and an intuitive UI elevate this squeaky premium puzzler above its App Store peers.
Download Zip-Zap for iOS
THE DARK MATTER
Dodge the dark matter, collect the tasty orange matter, and hop through the micro-universe in pursuit of that unbeatable high-score.
It sounds so darned easy on paper, but you’ll need to be on top-form to made any headway in Leven Lab’s all-too-addictive high-score chaser. That’s no bad thing, mind, and there are power-ups aplenty to help you become the best bouncing blob you can possibly be. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.
Download The Dark Matter
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