Sacred Odyssey leads iPhone Games of the Week

Feb 3, 2011
Games

Gameloft’s new Sacred Odyssey is out after much anticipation, and while it goes for the usual premium price of $6.99, it also boasts a long single-player game and some great visuals and sound. If a lower price is more your speed, check out the smaller-scale but well-controlled League of Evil for some bad-guy punching, platforming […]

Gameloft’s new Sacred Odyssey is out after much anticipation, and while it goes for the usual premium price of $6.99, it also boasts a long single-player game and some great visuals and sound. If a lower price is more your speed, check out the smaller-scale but well-controlled League of Evil for some bad-guy punching, platforming mayhem. The two brand-new titles head up the week’s best games, along with three others that will keep you busy and challenged until this time next week, when we’ll have five more games for you to check out.

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden (iPhone) Free (full game for $6.99)

I’ve been anticipating Sacred Odyssey for the last month or so, ever since Gameloft dropped the first teaser trailer for the game. I haven’t worked through the 10-hour campaign just yet — I need to sleep — but what I’ve played thus far is very promising, backing up the company’s claim that this might be the biggest and most ambitious action role-playing game yet launched on Apple’s iOS. As Ayden, you must mount your horse and draw your sword in defense of your land against a growing evil. You’ll gather items, explore the world and battle monstrous enemies in gameplay that’s reminiscent of popular console franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and Fable. What stands out most about Sacred Odyssey, though, are its production values. Some very strong voice talent is on-hand in the game (and there seems to be quite a lot of voice-over for character interaction), and the 3D graphics are lush and very nice. Check out the first 15 minutes or so for free, then upgrade to the full game if it’s something you think you’ll enjoy.

League of Evil (iPhone) $0.99

It might be a pixelated, 8-bit platformer, but League of Evil’s 2D side-scrolling levels are solid, fast-paced, and challenging. Jumping, double-jumping and wall-jumping are your primary functions as you quickly try to clear each level, punching and kicking any soldiers that get in your way and eventually decapitating the stage’s evil scientist, waiting for you at its end. Along the way are lots of traps and gaps, walls to scale and platforms to carefully land upon. League of Evil has some great, responsive virtual controls (which is sadly a lacking feature on many [or most] iOS games) that make it a fun platforming experience on a device that can sometimes struggle with the genre. It also has a great deal of simple personality, from your cyborg character’s body to the squirting digital blood as you disintegrate enemies with a punch or a kick. Best of all, there are more than 50 stages to play through.

BeamOut (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

BeamOut is tough. It’s tilt-based controls are slippery and fluid, making controlling your ground-bound, crashed UFO a lot like trying to play pinball on a sheet of ice. Yes, the game is challenging, but it’s also a fun and interesting take on brick-breaking games. After crashing to Earth, your damaged UFO needs to zip around, bouncing off posts and other obstacles poking out of the ground, in search of sheep to capture. Grabbing sheep and other power-ups earns you points, but crashing into force fields or other objects will damage your ship and destroy you. Mastering BeamOut takes a lot of work and a skilled tilt ability to avoid overreacting to problems or losing control as your ship bounces around. Add to the interesing gameplay a fun art style and a sense of humor, and BeamOut becomes an engaging and well-priced casual game.

Stupid Zombies (iPhone) $0.99

There are 240 levels to play through in this physics-based puzzler, in which killing zombies takes a back seat only to killing zombies with the utmost possible efficiency. From your spot on the left of the screen, you only have a limited number of bullets with which to take out all the stationary zombies standing throughout the screen. Sometimes they’re on platforms, sometimes they’re behind walls, sometimes they’re protected, but there’s always a way to kill all the zombies with a minimum of bullets fired. The game requires a decent understanding of things like geometry, as your bullets will bounce around the level and potentially take out multiple zombie skulls in one shot. You’ll also have to shoot objects like exploding barrels and crates in order to solve all the puzzles. Best of all, Stupid Zombies also has a free iteration that includes 60 levels that costs nothing. Angry Birds fans will have a good time here.

Legendary Wars (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Legendary Wars is a 2D side-scrolling strategy game in which you command different kinds of troops and send them into battle with the aim of routing an opposing force and destroying their fortress at the other end of the screen. And while that’s not exactly remarkable — there are a lot of games like that — Legendary Wars stands out because it contains so many other features, like some deep customization and role-playing game elements, and even some action game elements in which you take control of just one character and give him or her orders. It’s a good change up from the standard 2D strategy game formula and gives players a whole lot to do, making managing your forces more immersive and important than many other iPhone games in the same vein.

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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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