CodeRunner leads iPhone Games of the Week

Mar 1, 2012
Games

This week’s best mobile video game almost isn’t. CodeRunner, the leading title from the last seven days, uses your iPhone’s GPS capabilities to create a game that takes place in the real world, requiring you to play a secret agent who spies on, tails and hacks other agents. Of course, they’re all make believe, but […]

This week’s best mobile video game almost isn’t. CodeRunner, the leading title from the last seven days, uses your iPhone’s GPS capabilities to create a game that takes place in the real world, requiring you to play a secret agent who spies on, tails and hacks other agents. Of course, they’re all make believe, but that doesn’t mean CodeRunner won’t have you moving around your neighborhood or another public space, pretending to be in pursuit of the bad guys. Read about it and four other great titles below.

CodeRunner (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

In CodeRunner, the world around you is the video game, which is a cool concept indeed. The game leverages your iOS device’s GPS capabilities and sends you on something of a make-believe scavenger hunt to real locations in your area. Once there, you’ll receive bits of story and information about your “mission,” which is often to follow imaginary operatives and hack imaginary systems. It’s a great concept that lets you pretend to be a secret agent in a public place, without looking like a crazy person. CodeRunner is a very cool idea with a good sense of humor, high production values and a smile-inducing execution – it’s kind of like playing with Nerf guns and other trappings of childhood.

Waking Mars (iPhone, iPad) $4.99

Martian caves sprawl before you, diving deep into the crust of the red planet. You’re charged with exploring it in 2-D side-scroller Waking Mars, a platformer that allows you to navigate using a jetpack and your wits. In each stage of Waking Mars, you’ll need to solve puzzles by planting Martian seeds and spreading life. Waking Mars has a pretty interesting story, strong production values and lots of sci-fi cred to keep players exploring the depths of Earth’s nearest counterpart in the solar system.

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AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

The basic premise of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! has players throwing themselves off buildings to score points. That’s already pretty cool. In each level you plummet at incredible speeds, using tilt controls to fly close to buildings and score points by grabbing “score panels” along the way. And in each level, you’ll need to be careful to deploy your parachute at the right moment to avoid breaking bones as you finish each base jump. Formerly a PC title, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! works extremely well as an iOS title, leveraging tilt and touch controls and bringing a lot of high-speed impacts to players on the iPhone and iPad.

Ziggurat (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Aliens have killed off all humans except for you, and in a daring final stand with an energy cannon, you have to take down as many as you can. Ziggurat is pretty simple – shoot aliens until they overwhelm you – but it has a lot of cool little touches that make it a game you’ll keep coming back to. Aiming is done either in a slingshot fashion as in Angry Birds, or by sliding your finger along the bottom of the screen. The strength and speed of each shot is determined by how long you hold your finger down to charge it, which means you can’t just tap away madly. Instead, every shot counts, and the enemies move in some difficult-to-predict patterns that can make Ziggurat highly challenging. It’s tough, but you get to brag about your alien body count on Facebook and Twitter, and that definitely helps make up for it.

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Circadia (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Puzzler Circadia makes great use of simplicity. Each level of the game is set on a black background with a simple mandate that has players attempting to time shockwaves as they cross the screen. Each level has a white dot on it and colored spots. Each colored spot releases a shockwave when tapped, and the color of the spot determines the speed at which it moves. The goal is to make the shockwaves hit the white dot at the same time by timing your taps on the screen. Levels get more and more complex with additional spots, moving white dots and other variables, but despite its simplicity, Circadia is an addictive and elegant title.

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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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