The Incident, Dark Nebula sequel among iPhone Games of the Week

Aug 12, 2010
Games

The big gaming news this week was the release of the football giant, Madden NFL 11 by EA Sports ($7.99). But since Madden got its own review already, I won’t rehash any of what I’ve already said about that wonderfully fantastic game in this space. So let’s think of this as the best five non-Madden […]

The big gaming news this week was the release of the football giant, Madden NFL 11 by EA Sports ($7.99). But since Madden got its own review already, I won’t rehash any of what I’ve already said about that wonderfully fantastic game in this space.

So let’s think of this as the best five non-Madden games of the week. While they may not stand up to the EA title, there’s plenty of fun to be had in these apps.

1. The Incident

Big Bucket Software’s The Incident ($1.99) is quite the charming game. From eight-bit graphics (with music that matches) to its humorous premise, the game is one of the more likeable ones you will play. It consists of seven levels, with you maneuvering your character from street level to space. The controls are as simple as you would expect, tilting your iPhone to move from side to side and tapping the screen to jump. Tons of things fall as well (hundreds according to the app’s developer notes), ranging from furniture and appliances to signs and cars. There are both power ups, which consist of things like protective elements and free lives, and power downs. Yeah, it’s really similar to Doodle Jump and all the other vertical games out there, but a fun title nonetheless.

2. Dark Nebula – Episode 2

The arrival of Dark Nebula – Episode 2 ($0.99) on the iPhone should come as surprise to absolutely no one; after all, 1337 Game Design’s first iPhone game was called Dark Nebula – Episode 1. What is surprising is how much better they could make an already solid game. Episode 2 has nearly twice as many levels (19 in the new version vs. 10 in the first game), but also plenty of new obstacles. Even better, the game now challenges you to ‘fight’ enemies by picking up weapons that consist of different colored small balls that float around your orb, with you have to hit enemies with the ball while avoiding their weapon. Like the first Dark Nebula, the game looks great, and the accelerometer-based controls work fantastic. At 99 cents, it is perfect for you casual gamers, and this game is sure to be an app store favorite.

3. Osmos

Released on the iPad last month, Hemisphere Games’ Osmos ($2.99) came to the smaller screened device last week amid plenty of (mostly deserved) praise. First things first, action gamers should stay far away from this one, as it has a sort of laid back appeal you won’t find in that genre. The game requires you to move your circular blobs called ‘motes’, absorbing smaller organisms and at the same time avoiding larger ones. Part of the beauty of this game is its presentation, but the controls are also really well done. You tap the screen to emit mass, causing your mote to go in the opposite direction. In addition to that, you can use multitouch to either zoom in or out and you can speed up or slow down gameplay with a convenient slider. Physics game fans owe it to themselves to check out Osmos, it’s both a unique and interesting experience.

4. Chop Chop Soccer

Chop Chop Soccer ($0.99) is the fourth game in Gamerizon’s Chop Chop series, and while it’s the developer’s first soccer release, fans of the series should know what to expect from this one. If you’re new to Chop Chop you’ll see that it’s completely and totally an arcade game, as it only adopts the most basic idea of the sport – kick a ball into a goal. There are only four players per side, no fouls and no out of bounds, making games quite hectic but also quite fun. The real highlight of this game is the controls, which are entirely touch screen and leave out the virtual d-pad and action buttons. Instead, you simply touch and hold the screen to move players and flick to do things such as pass, shoot and tackle. So in a lot of ways it’s a refreshing change from the FIFA’s and X2 Soccer’s out there, though serious soccer fans will likely feel it’s a little limited.

5. Meow Meow Happy Fight

Quirky is definitely the first word that comes to mind when I think about Meow Meow Happy Fight ($0.99 launch sale price), a dual-stick shooter from Big Pixel Studios. Included in the game’s 15 characters are a vending machine, a noddle cup and something called ‘Cat Ball’. There are 24 levels in the game, with your aim being to kill your opponents more than they kill you. If you do win you earn points which you can use to unlock characters. The graphics are cartoonish, but sharp, and the gameplay is fast-paced and addictive. The huge elephant in the room (surprisingly, not a character in the game) is the lack of a multiplayer mode, but even without it this game is simply too magnificently odd not to recommend.

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