Monster Dash runs to the top of iPhone Games of the Week

Aug 27, 2010
Games

Weeks like this aren’t exactly rare, but it’s still always refreshing to have one with so many big-name titles released. The sequel to Top Gun made its way onto iPhones all across the world, while 2K Sports released its first app in the form of NHL 2K11. And those weren’t even the biggest deal, what […]

Weeks like this aren’t exactly rare, but it’s still always refreshing to have one with so many big-name titles released. The sequel to Top Gun made its way onto iPhones all across the world, while 2K Sports released its first app in the form of NHL 2K11.

And those weren’t even the biggest deal, what with the instant sensation Monster Dash taking over the app store. Read on for details on those games as well as others in this edition of Games of the Week.

Monster Dash

Halfbrick Studios, the makers of Fruit Ninja, has yet another hit to its name. The horizontal runner Monster Dash (99 cents) made its way to the top of the iTunes top paid app list in less than a week, and, like Fruit Ninja, the game’s simple controls and solid gameplay make it a casual gamer’s dream. You control Barry Steakfries, and battle various monsters, such as demons, mummies and vampires. Your character jumps and has weapons. This is the very definition of a pick-up-and-play game, and the fact that it utilizes OpenFeint leaderboards adds to the replay value. A bright, colorful presentation has contributed to its early success. And you thought following the ridiculously popular Fruit Ninja would be difficult.

NHL 2K11

I mean no offense to Hockey Nations, but 2K Sports NHL 2K11 ($1.99) is the hockey game we sports gamers have been waiting much too long for. As you might guess from its name, this is an officially licensed game, so you get real players and can play a full season in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. The game is controlled with a virtual analogue stick and three action buttons that differ on offense (pass/shoot/speed burst) and defense (poke or body check/switch player/speed burst). The game plays quickly and smoothly, and the presentation is notable for its numerous camera angles. This is the perfect game for 2K Sports to make its debut with, given the lack of competition, but setting that fact aside, this is a nice sports game, and one I wholly recommend.

Top Gun 2

Top Gun 2 ($3.99), the sequel to last year’s popular air combat game, curiously enough seems to be attempting to make its own impact as opposed to building on the original Top Gun. But before I get critical, there are some nice additions. You choose from three jets, and each has unique weapons and abilities (both offensive and defensive). The iTunes page also boasts about its graphical improvements, though I’d have to agree with many in saying it doesn’t look much different from last year’s title. The most common complaint is that the game now uses inverted controls, and that’s the only option, again a curious decision when the first game did so well. In truth, this is a good-enough game, it’s just surprisingly different from the first one, and it’s no sure bet that fans of the first Top Gun will embrace Top Gun 2.

Monorace

Craneballs Studios’ Monorace (on sale for 99 cents) is a fast-paced racer that toys with the laws of gravity. Your vehicle is a circle that attaches itself to any surface, and you can make it jump by tapping the screen. The thing is, if you jump to the top of the course, you’ll continue racing upside down, a proposition that might sound tricky, but is pulled off seamlessly in the game. There are 40 levels, as well as a campaign mode that works like a horizontal runner, with your score being based on how long you make it. It also includes three characters (Fat Big D, skinny Gus and hot Jane), and though control-wise they don’t differ’ they do give you different goofy voiceovers to listen to while you play. It’s a pretty basic game, but also a well-executed one that will certainly provide many with hours of fun.

Zombie Escape

For months, I’ve avoided talking about a zombie-themed game in this space, and I regret to inform you that streak is now over. Zombie Escape (99 cents) from Chillingo is a line drawer that is less about destroying hoards of the undead and more about saving people, so I guess in that regard it’s a refreshing take on the genre. The game provides an overhead view, and challenges you to guide survivors to waiting rescue vehicles. As you’d expect, it quickly becomes hectic and difficult. Fortunately, you’re allowed to lose a couple of people before failing a level, and you also have some handy weapons at your disposal. There is a 28-level campaign mode, as well as an endless survival mode. If it sounds like a good deal, it is, and it probably would have been higher on this list if it was called Werewolf Escape – really anything other than the dreaded Z word.

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