Two Chillingo classics, EA’s Spore Creatures, and other iPhone games of the week

Jan 29, 2010
Games

The developers working on games for Chillingo were rock stars this week, releasing two anticipated titles for the iPhone. Here is a rundown of those sensational products and four additional great games released this week. Also, although not officially a game, I take a look at Pocket God’s latest update.  1. Guerrilla Bob A near […]

The developers working on games for Chillingo were rock stars this week, releasing two anticipated titles for the iPhone. Here is a rundown of those sensational products and four additional great games released this week. Also, although not officially a game, I take a look at Pocket God’s latest update. 

1. Guerrilla Bob

A near flawless shoot ’em up adventure, Guerrilla Bob ($1.99) is a wrongfully disgraced military man hellbent on getting revenge. Equipped with a machine gun, flamethrower, and rocket launcher (sweet!), he works his way up the ladder to confront his nemesis, none other than Minigore’s John Gore. This game uses dual virtual joysticks for controlling character movement and firing your weapon of choice. My favorite aspect (other than the fantastic gameplay) is the action flick storyline and character introductions that give this game personality. If you want a more in-depth analysis, check out my review of Guerrilla Bob here.

2. Cogs

On the heels of Guerrilla Bob, powerhouse seller Chillingo released Cogs (99 cents), a mind-teasing and brilliantly designed 3D puzzle game developed by Lazy 8 Studios. This game plays like an advanced version of Geared ($2.99), both graphically and through its in-game strategy elements. There are two modes: Inventor and Challenge. In Inventor mode you are awarded gold, silver, or bronze trophies. Criteria for prizes is based on how well you finish the puzzle factored by the amount of time, moves, and the overall completion of the invention. Challenge mode is less complicated – you must finish the puzzle in 30 seconds or in a pre-picked number of moves. You must perform some redundant tasks, like re-arranging pipes or gears, but the end result is usually different. After the gears are connected for the Jack-in-the-Box level, the head that pops out and bobbles is surprisingly similar to Mr. Monopoly, the mascot for the timeless board game. Don’t expect to finish these intricate puzzles with ease –this game will challenge your cognitive skills, pun most definitely intended. Plus, Cogs is a certified steal at 99 cents.

3. Trundle

In Trundle (Free) you control a glowing blue ball in a silhouetted realm. You do this by making it move left and right with the accelerometer and jump by tapping the screen. Your goal is simple: complete a series of puzzles (typically one per screen) to advance. Trundle is filled with ominous-looking creatures that will help you along the way (as well as a few vehicles.) Its unique art and addictive quality earned it a sport in this week’s top games. Tip of the hat to developer Mobile Bros., who ensures us that Trundle will feature frequent updates. It’s also free, which never hurts.

Intermission: Pocket God Updated

Pocket God‘s (99 cents) latest installment, entitled “Great Job Ice Hole,” perpetuates my opinion that Bolt Creative created the best Entertainment iPhone app to date. The update includes a new god power–in which you can control the temperature by pinching the screen to move the sun away from or toward the island. When it gets unbearably hot, your pygmies catch on fire and can burn a hole in the Ice Island. If you dangle one of them over the hole, get ready for a new tentacle-laced death sequence.

4. Spore Creatures

The most expensive iPhone game included this week, EA Mobile’s Spore Creatures ($6.99) is an evolution-driven adventure game adapted from Nintendo DS. Just like on the DS, the goal is to develop your creature (I named mine Lorca after the Spanish poet – nerd!), evolving new limbs and abilities by collecting DNA points. After you create your creature, scour the various areas for prey while avoiding larger predators. This is yet another game that operates with tilt and touch controls, but what sets it apart is the player’s ability to fully customize the body shape, color, and evolutionary traits of their creepy-crawly pet. If you liked the DS version, this game is worth purchasing.

5. Gold Keeper II

Eight words best sum up my initial impression of Gold Keeper II (99 cents), the sequel to Gold Keeper developed by Digital Worlds: demon tapping his foot and playing a guitar. That’s the title screen’s animation you first see when introduced to the game’s protagonist, a giant demon whose mission is to protect his treasure trove from the greedy hands of humans. Defeating the waves of Medieval warriors and gold-stealing peasants becomes more difficult as you progress. This is because their strength increases with each round. Collect rage points and unleash your Demonic Fury–a magical attack that damages opponents in a given radius. Also, you can pick up new weapons (including a cleaver, sledge hammer, and others) after defeating special opponents that make the human-bashing even more fulfilling. Gold Keeper II uses OpenFeint, so you can unlock achievements and compete with other demon-enthusiasts. If you strike one of the humans in the direction of ‘the camera,’ prepare for a pleasant surprise. 

6. Bugs & Bubbles

And now for something completely different. Floating Cube Studios’ Bugs & Bubbles (99 cents) is best suited for kids, but it should by no means be labeled “kids stuff”. This is despite the sole character (unless you include the countless bugs) being a young boy sporting a backwards cap. The iTunes App Store stuck it in the Entertainment category, which it very well may be to grown-ups, but a four year old would probably call this title a captivating game. Still, this game’s graphics could appear in the pages of a children’s book. Bugs & Bubbles incorporates touch and tilt controls, which is impressive considering its target audience. In both Blitz and Practice mode, your objective is to stomp as many bugs as you can. The former is timed, and in the latter you are given three lives. If your kids pick this one up, it might be tough trying to pry their tiny fingers off your iPhone or iPod touch. They’ll love it!

Honorable Mention: Necromancer RisingBattle of PuppetsWarheadsProject 72

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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