Fresh iPhone Apps for Nov. 10: Epoch, Gangstar Rio, Evertales, Hotspot Shield

Nov 10, 2011
Games

It’s another big game day in the iTunes App Store, with a new Unreal Engine 3 game hitting this morning. It’s EPOCH, a cover-based, arcade-style shooter filled with robot-on-robot violence. And speaking of violence, up second is the adult-oriented Gameloft title Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, a Grand Theft Auto copy with a whole lot […]

It’s another big game day in the iTunes App Store, with a new Unreal Engine 3 game hitting this morning. It’s EPOCH, a cover-based, arcade-style shooter filled with robot-on-robot violence. And speaking of violence, up second is the adult-oriented Gameloft title Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, a Grand Theft Auto copy with a whole lot to do within. Finally in games is Evertales, a side-scrolling fantasy role-playing game with a wry sense of humor. We’ve also got details on a mobile security app called Hotspot Shield VPN that can help keep your web browsing safe when you’re out in the world.

EPOCH (iPhone, iPad) $5.99

Yet another great-looking title employing Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 (the graphical engine behind the hit Infinity Blade), EPOCH puts you in the middle of a world destroyed by the uprising of robots. You’re kind of like Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: You’ve got someone important to protect, and you’ll blast your way through lots of other robots to do it. As you do, you’ll earn money that can be used to upgrade yourself.

EPOCH is an arcade-style shooter, and while it employs cover and a third-person perspective, it’s not exactly a cover shooter in the same sense as Shadowgun. Instead, in each of EPOCH’s levels, you take cover behind one of three positions. Your goal is to blast enemies, and in the meantime, to roll around behind cover to give your enemies the slip so you can stand up and destroy them, unmolested. With solid, easy-to-learn mechanics and a great graphical style, EPOCH has a tendency to charm you by seeming simple and keep you engaged with its slow-burn story, increasing difficulty and interesting look.

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Gangstar Rio: City of Saints (iPhone, iPad) $6.99

The latest in Gameloft’s series of Grand Theft Auto-like iOS games is Gangstar Rio: City of Saints. Think GTA set in Rio de Janeiro and you have a rough idea of what City of Saints has to offer. It might not be too much different from its predecessors (and the actual GTA series off which it is based), but City of Saints offers a whole lot to do, some story missions and a whole huge city in which to wreak havoc.

Gangstar Rio features its campaign missions, sure, but it’s also a sandbox game that allows you to wander the city, doing whatever you want. Side quests and driving missions give lots of extra stuff to do, among other things, and if you get bored, you can always run some people over and spend a few minutes escaping the cops. Just note that Gangstar Rio isn’t for younger players. There’s some coarse language, as well as adult situations within.

Evertales (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

A light-hearted side-scrolling role-playing game, Evertales puts you in the role of either an overweight knight, a senile wizard or an arrogant elf rogue, then starts sending you through levels along its sword-and-sorcery story. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously though, inserting jokes into cinematics and boss fights alike. The goofiness makes the game pretty fun, though, and helps it become a little something more than “just another weirdo fantasy story,” like many other similar RPGs.

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In addition to picking from one of three heroes at the outset of the game, you’ll also find and earn more than 20 weapons and you’ll be able to customize our hero with clothing, armor and more. In addition to Game Center support for online leaderboards and achievements, Evertales also supports a lot of cool iOS 5 features, including AirPlay and iCloud syncing for saving your games and playing them on different devices.

Hotspot Shield VPN (iPhone, iPad) Free (with subscription of $0.99/month)

Most people don’t think too much about mobile security, but as recent stories suggest, the iPhone might not be quite as secure as Apple would have its users believe. At least one way to protect yourself is with Hotspot Shield, an app that helps facilitate secure web browsing when you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot with your device.

The app also works to compress your iOS device’s data bandwidth, allowing you to get more bang for your buck on your (non-unlimited) data plan as you surf the Internet. Hotspot Shield functions as a gateway between your device and the hotspot, allowing you to browse securely and privately regardless of where you’re connected. The download is free and you’ll get about a week to try the app out when you snag it, but after that, you’ll have to pay an in-app subscription fee of either $0.99 a month or $9.99 a year.

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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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