Ant Raid tops iPhone Games of the Week

Jan 26, 2012
Games

This week has seen an abundance of strong contenders for the best games of the week list, so much so that we’re holding a few back for next Thursday so that they all receive their dues. In the meantime, amuse yourself with this group of quality titles, starting with Ant Raid, a casual strategy game […]

This week has seen an abundance of strong contenders for the best games of the week list, so much so that we’re holding a few back for next Thursday so that they all receive their dues. In the meantime, amuse yourself with this group of quality titles, starting with Ant Raid, a casual strategy game that first appeared on the iPad and is now available to players on all iOS devices. It offers a lot, whether you’re into action games or strategy games. Check it out, and four other great offerings, below.

Ant Raid (iPhone) $0.99

Formerly just available for the iPad, Ant Raid has made its way to the iPhone, bringing along the casual strategy gameplay that made it so fun on the iPad. You’ll have to defend your ants’ strongholds by dispatching soldiers to fight off incoming threats, using touch controls to select groups of ants and choose their targets. Sometimes, you’ll also need to send ants to recover their fallen comrades to heal them, or use your tapping ability to squash bugs yourself. Ant Raid packs great graphics and easy to learn gameplay, adding just enough strategy components to be compelling to lots of different kinds of players.

Niko (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Niko doesn’t stray too far from the side-scrolling platformer premise we’ve seen working well since the days of Super Mario Bros., but that’s part of what makes it effective. Some of the time, you make Niko, the game’s protagonist, run around and avoid obstacles, but occasionally you need to direct an important jump to put Niko on a wall or platform. When flying through the air, Niko sticks to surfaces, changing up the way the game plays and allowing you to think vertically as well as horizontally as you navigate the world. The game is at its best when it’s sneaking in hidden stuff for you to find; most of the objectives you need to get the best score are off the beaten path. There’s lots to explore in Niko, making it a rewarding way to spend a buck.

READ  Report: PopCap Games to be acquired for north of $1 billion

Smash Cops (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Top-down touch-controlled driving title Smash Cops is a challenging entry to the iTunes App Store. As a police officer, you need to navigate the streets, avoid running into civilian cars, and most importantly, ram criminals off the road. The controls are simple but take a lot of getting used to, since you steer basically by moving your thumb just behind your car to dictate where it’ll go. Your performance is judged on speed and efficiency, and Smash Cops never lets up on requiring you bring your best skills to bear. There’s a lot of driving action to be had, and smashing cars and sending them flying through the air is quite enjoyable.

Puzzlejuice (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzlejuice is actually a combination of three well-known games in the puzzle genre: Tetris, Bejeweled and Word Search. The game starts with Tetris, dropping geometric blocks on you that you need to arrange at the bottom of the screen to form rows. Complete rows turn those blocks into letters. But each block has sections of different colors, and if you get enough of one color together, you can tap on them to reveal letters as well. Once you’ve done that, you need to clear the letter blocks by finding and creating words. The longer the word, the better the score, and the more blocks disappear along with your word. It’s a tough game that requires some really fast thinking, making it great for puzzle aficionados.

READ  Amazon dodges Apple’s content rules with web-based Kindle Reader

Triple Town (iPhone, iPad) Free

Another puzzler that mixes genres, TripleTown will at first remind you of match-three titles like Bejewled. The game screen is set up like a grid and you need to tap different spaces to place objects. Get three objects together in a group and they disappear, adding points to your score and creating a new object. But all the objects you place actually are building a town on the game screen, and every time you create a new object with a group, you can use a group of that new object to make an even better object. The result is an exercise in planning and puzzle-solving: making grass groups creates a bush, making a bush group creates a tree, making a tree group creates a house, and so on. But often, you’ll need to start at the bottom to get to the really high-scoring objects. It’s a great, addictive take on puzzling and it’s freemium, which means you don’t have to pay for the unlimited version unless you want to.

Search for more

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.

    Home Apps Games