This week was a busy one for major game releases, including highly anticipated sequels Real Racing 2 and N.O.V.A. 2.
Real Racing 2 (iPhone, iPad) $9.99
Guess what? The sequel to Firemint’s realistic iOS racing sim is even more real. With some intense 3D graphics and a lot of power behind its engine, Real Racing 2 might very well be your best option for racing on an Apple device.
The game apparently packs something like 10 hours of racing gameplay, and can now support 16 racers on a single track — even in Real Racing 2’s online multiplayer mode. It also contains around 30 real-world cars for you to take out and put through their paces, and some strengthened opponent AI so you’ll always feel a bumper on your back.
N.O.V.A. 2 (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
The sequel to Gameloft’s highly regarded first-person shooter looks pretty gorgeous graphically, but they’re not the only thing the developer has amped up for this second outing of the Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance. It comes packed with 12 new missions, improved enemy artificial intelligence, new weapons and new abilities.
The single-player campaign isn’t the only thing N.O.V.A. 2 has to offer. Gameloft has also upped the multiplayer content of the game, allowing up to 10 players to do battle on a single map over a Wi-Fi connection. And there’s a bonus for series mainstays — if you’ve played through the first N.O.V.A., you get bonuses added to your character in the sequel.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
As an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network downloadable title out last summer, Lara Croft was pretty impressive. It’s part two-stick shooter, part puzzle adventure game, and is fast-paced and intelligent. You’ll pound through enemies with a wealth of weapons and items, and the whole thing is outfitted with a ton of challenges, achievements, and collectibles to run down. Lara Croft is a crazily rewarding game.
You’ll get the most use out of this one, however, if you can get a friend with an iPhone to join in with you to play cooperatively over a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll work together to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Lara Croft is fun to play alone, but with a friend, it’s even more interesting.
SimCity Deluxe for iPad $6.99
The classic city building and management game has been available on iPhone for a while now, but today Electronic Arts has dropped an iPad-optimized version of the game that has been entertaining fans for years.
SimCity comes with new iPad-specific touch controls and includes seven different game scenarios to challenge you and your city running skills, like coping with a heat wave to recovering from natural disasters. The game will also give you pop-up information in the iPad’s dock in order to keep you up to speed on your city even when you’re not playing.
NeoDefender 2 (iPhone, iPad) $0.99/$1.99
In a combination of Space Invaders, retro wireframe shooters like PewPew, and stationary turret defense, NeoDefender 2 has you blasting away at enemy spaceships as they slowly draw closer to you — your only defense is a good offense. You’ll have to keep firing away with touch controls if you want to survive.
In addition to just blasting away at kamikaze aliens trying to take you out, the game also includes role-playing game elements that have you upgrading your ship and weapons, adding some additional depth to your endless blasting.