Angry Birds Space tops iPhone Games of the Week

Mar 22, 2012
Games

You’ve probably already guessed what this week’s best game is: it’s also the biggest release of the week. Angry Birds Space may well make Angry Birds more incredibly popular somehow, and if not, it’ll at least make players relearn the well-worn gameplay formula to defeat new, clever puzzles. Check it out below, but definitely don’t […]

You’ve probably already guessed what this week’s best game is: it’s also the biggest release of the week. Angry Birds Space may well make Angry Birds more incredibly popular somehow, and if not, it’ll at least make players relearn the well-worn gameplay formula to defeat new, clever puzzles. Check it out below, but definitely don’t quit after our first entry: we’ve got four other non-Angry Birds titles that you should certainly give a try as well.

Angry Birds Space (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Sure, the Angry Birds games are good – there’s a reason there have been 700 million downloads of them to date across all platforms – but Angry Birds Space will remind players why they liked Angry Birds in the first place. The game effectively reworks the entire Angry Birds formula by moving away from Earth and throwing out the basic rule of the game: gravity. Or rather, there still is gravity, but it works differently as players shoot birds at floating planetoids. Sometimes there’s one central point of gravity around which birds can curve, sometimes there’s more than one gravity well on a stage, and sometimes there’s no gravity at all. It makes for a bunch of new, interesting puzzles that will have players re-evaluating how to play the game in order to solve them, and that’s pretty great, considering that the Angry Birds titles released up to now are basically retreads of the original. Pick this one up and give it a go.

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TrafficWonder HD (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzle games that require you to draw the paths of objects to keep them from colliding actually do pretty well on touchscreen devices. There’s Flight Control, which has become extremely popular because of the mechanic, and there’s TrafficWonder HD, a puzzler that taxes brain cells with a similar setup. In each stage, players need to direct color-coded cars to their destinations without them crashing. All the cars move at the same time, so the key differences are in the paths they take. The more efficient the paths chosen, the better players’ scores, and TrafficWonder is deliciously difficult. Getting cars where they need to go might be tough, but doing so efficiently will keep players hitting the same levels again and again because of the title’s addictive nature.

Hunters 2 (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

A science fiction setting and some phenomenal production values mark Hunters 2, in which you control teams of mercenaries as they explore an alien world and work to complete their mission. Each turn has you moving your squad around, engaging enemies with your guns or melee weapons, and completing objects. Between rounds, you can upgrade your equipment, decide which abilities your characters learn in order to give them jobs, and even craft your own stuff to deck-out your fighters. There’s a lot of different gameplay mechanics at work in Hunters 2, and should keep customization-minded role-playing title fans engaged while hitting them with turn-based strategy game combat.

Rune Raiders (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Another turn-based strategy game, Rune Raiders has a fun but fairly low-tech art style, but don’t let that fool you – it’s still a deep and intuitive strategy game with a humorous tone. Each level has you hiring heroes to make up your team, then marching them into battle as they travel up a vertical grid. Eventually, you’ll encounter enemies, and how you align your squad members – their formation on the grid in relationship to enemies and each other – determines their effectiveness in battle. You can recruit up to 12 different kinds of heroes to your team, and you’ll also be able to upgrade your fighting force with money you earn in each level to make them more powerful.

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Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Vertical scroller Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape mixes things up from the other addictive members of its genre by giving you with a hookshot at the outset of the game. As Tobe, you get a device that’s basically a grappling hook and allows you to climb ever higher as the game progresses. Jumping up to each new ledge is a careful exercise – do you have time to snag money for points? Can you hit the next ledge from where you’re standing, or do you need to jump to a new one? Hookshot Escape is an interesting take on a tried-and-true formula, with characters to unlock and different ways to approach the vertical scroller genre.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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