SHADOWGUN tops iPhone Games of the Week

Sep 29, 2011
Games

The great-looking third-person shooter based on the Unity engine, Shadowgun, has finally hit the iTunes App Store. It’s beautiful and quite a bit of fun, and it leads this week’s best iPhone games. It’s a mite on the expensive side though, so we’ve populated the rest of this list with some fun, cheaper offerings to […]

The great-looking third-person shooter based on the Unity engine, Shadowgun, has finally hit the iTunes App Store. It’s beautiful and quite a bit of fun, and it leads this week’s best iPhone games. It’s a mite on the expensive side though, so we’ve populated the rest of this list with some fun, cheaper offerings to give your wallet a break, too.

SHADOWGUN (iPhone, iPad) $7.99

A third-person shooter built on the beautiful Unity engine, SHADOWGUN brings a console gaming feel to the small screen much in the same way as other big name titles, such as Infinity Blade. SHADOWGUN channels the big console hit Gears of War, with much of the same sensibilities – a sci-fi setting and a cover system in which players hide behind objects to keep from getting shot. It also packs some great production values, with some quality voice acting, sharp controls and lots of stuff to shoot. The game does ape Gears of War pretty substantially, so regular gamers might feel like they’re playing the same game on a smaller screen. Still, if you’re going to copy a game, Gears is a pretty fun one to draw from, and SHADOWGUN distinguishes itself with some cool settings and enemy varieties. Best of all, it’s beautiful.

Cowboy Guns (iPhone, iPad) $1.99

Holster your irons, it’s time to go to work in the Old West in Cowboy Guns, a dual-stick shooter with missions and a story. You play the role of a wandering gunslinger named The Kid who joins up with the local sheriff to take on outlaws, blast bosses and generally bring justice to the Frontier. In addition to the story, the game also packs a bounty hunter mode, in which you’ll hunt down boss outlaws, and an endless mode where you’ll fight bad guys until you can’t. The more enemies you take down and areas you explore, the more money you’ll be able to use to upgrade your weapons and even buy new ones. There’s a whole lot of shooter action to be had here.

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Jelly Defense (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

You’ve probably got a handful of tower defense games on your iOS device at this point, but Jelly Defense is worth a look just for its art style and goofy soundtrack. The game also reworks the standard tower defense rules by adding color-coded enemies – red enemies require red towers to destroy, blue enemies need blue towers, and so on. Some of your towers can take on both, others are specialized, and you’ll need to sell some towers you purchase later in each level in order to deal with a new threat. Jelly Defense packs Game Center support and lots of campaign levels to exercise the strategic portion of your brain.

Pixel Ranger (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Aliens are attacking the Wild West, and you’ve got to stop them, Pixel Ranger. This arcade shooter has an interesting twist – for every shot you fire to take down alien scum attacking you in each level, you use pixels. Once you run out of pixels, it’s game over, so you’ll need to collect as many as you can from the enemies you blow apart with the various weapons you pick up in each stage. And that’s in addition to jumping and dodging enemy attackers to keep yourself in one piece. Pixel Ranger includes more than 50 levels to work through, as well as an endless survival mode that lasts as long as you do.

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Space Junk (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

There’s just something about the movement of objects in outer space. In Space Junk, you’re one of those objects, floating around under the power of a jetpack that can send you careening into objects or flying off at high speeds. Your job while you’re out there is to blast space junk before it slams into you, clearing it out with your weapons while also fighting off aliens. To maneuver, you’ve got to carefully fire your thrusters so you don’t use too much power and go flying out of control, or too little and find yourself unable to avoid collisions. With a cool-looking retro vector graphic style and some bright neon colors, as well as a few goofy space jokes mixed in, Space Junk is a good time at a low price.

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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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