Lat­est iOS games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at this month’s best new re­leases

iPad&iPhone user - - ROUND-UP -

Whether you’re look­ing for an in-depth game to curl up with on the sofa, or a breezy one to play in tiny bursts through­out your day, we’ve a fine batch of new iOS games worth check­ing out. Live trivia game HQ has been pick­ing up a lot of buzz, let­ting you vie for some real cash against thou­sands of other play­ers, but that’s not all we’ve en­joyed of late: Into the Dead 2, The Ta­los Prin­ci­ple, and Stranger Things: The Game are just a few of the big­gest new re­leases.

1. HQ Price: Free from­nu9e

Fancy your­self a master of unim­por­tant de­tails? Are you a pub trivia con­nois­seur? And do the words ‘cash prizes’ send your pulse rac­ing? If any of those things are true, then you might be thrilled to hear about HQ. Hail­ing from a cou­ple of the mak­ers of shut­tered so­cial video ser­vice Vine, HQ is a live trivia app that of­fers up a daily com­pe­ti­tion you’ll play on your phone.

Once or more per day, HQ hosts a 15-minute game show that’s free to en­ter and spans 12 in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult mul­ti­ple-choice ques­tions. They’re mostly pop­cul­ture re­lated queries, but they be­come in­creas­ingly ob­scure as they pile up. And who­ever’s left stand­ing at the end splits the cash prize of po­ten­tially hun­dreds of pounds. Ap­point­ment gam­ing? Yes, please.

2. Into The Dead 2 Price: Free from­gL2vt

PikPok has re­leased Into the Dead 2, the se­quel to one of the best end­less run­ners ever seen on the App Store. As be­fore, it puts you in the shoes of hu­man try­ing to es­cape a grisly demise amidst the zom­bie up­ris­ing. You’ll still move from side to side to dodge un­dead at­tack­ers, oc­ca­sion­ally use firearms to help clear your path, and rely on some ca­nine help along the way, but this shifts its fo­cus from the orig­i­nal game’s end­less sur­vival mode to­wards a mis­sion-based story mode. It’s still plenty fun, at least on the out­set, plus the new ap­proach seems to bring in more va­ri­ety as well.

3. The Ta­los Prin­ci­ple Price: £4.99 from

Last is­sue, we saw The Wit­ness (£9.99 from ycuqr7tc) hit the App Store in Septem­ber, and now The Ta­los Prin­ci­ple brings an­other one of the most beloved Mac and PC puz­zle games from the past cou­ple years to your iPhone and iPad. The most ob­vi­ous com­par­i­son is prob­a­bly Valve’s Por­tal, as you’ll solve a se­ries of en­vi­ron­men­tal puz­zles in a first-per­son per­spec­tive.

How­ever, The Ta­los Prin­ci­ple has its own feel and flow, as well as a very dif­fer­ent sto­ry­line. As a ro­bot, you’re thrown into th­ese chal­lenges by your cre­ator, and as you solve them, you’ll dig into a nar­ra­tive about what it means to be alive, and what your pur­pose is.

4. Stranger Things: The Game Price: Free from

StrangerThings is back on Net­flix with a sec­ond sea­son, but that’s not the only thing that view­ers should be ex­cited about this month: there’s also a mo­bile game, and un­like the vast ma­jor­ity of li­censed games, it’s ac­tu­ally good. Even bet­ter yet, it’s com­pletely free, lack­ing any kind of ob­nox­ious ads or in-app pur­chases. Why? We don’t know. Don’t ques­tion it.

Stranger Things: The Game looks like a lost 8-bit relic from the orig­i­nal Nin­tendo days, with an al­most Leg­end of Zelda-es­que ac­tion-role-play­ing ad­ven­ture. As po­lice chief Jim Hop­per and other playable char­ac­ters, you’ll search the town of Hawkins for the kids, deal­ing with threats and puz­zles along the way. It’s a bit repet­i­tive, but it’s ab­so­lutely worth a shot for fans.

5. Sub­sur­face Cir­cu­lar Price: £4.99 from

Fol­low­ing its re­cent Mac re­lease, Sub­sur­face Cir­cu­lar is now also avail­able on iPad – but not iPhone – bring­ing the ac­claimed, sin­gle-sit­ting nar­ra­tive game to tablets. What is Sub­sur­face Cir­cu­lar? Well, it’s a ro­bot con­ver­sa­tion game, which might sound aw­fully dull. It’s not. Sharp writ­ing makes this con­ver­sa­tional ad­ven­ture pop from the very start. As a ro­bot de­tec­tive, you chat with other self-aware ‘bots to piece to­gether the cause of a se­ries of re­cent ro­bot dis­ap­pear­ances, as well as solve some puz­zles along the way. While largely fo­cused on text, the game has a re­ally sharp aes­thetic rang­ing from ro­bot de­signs to the au­dio, al­though it ran a bit slow and choppy on my orig­i­nal iPad Air. Hope­fully it runs smoother on newer tablets.

Even with a few other sharp free­bie games in this is­sue’s round-up, we can’t help but show a lit­tle love for Darts of Fury. De­spite the ag­gres­sive ti­tle, it’s re­ally just a stream­lined, head-to-head take on the fa­mil­iar game, chal­leng­ing you to toss darts onto the board and be the first player to per­fectly hit your tally of 101 points.

There’s noth­ing too spe­cial about the me­chan­ics of the game; your throws are based on your swipes, in­clud­ing speed, di­rec­tion, and re­lease point, and it all feels pretty re­spon­sive. Where Darts of Fury stands out is with its glossy pro­duc­tion val­ues and the idea of a league-based struc­ture, wherein you’ll progress over time and bat­tle like-skilled play­ers.

7. Camp­fire Cook­ing Price: £3.99 from Much like the re­cent pub­lic pool-nav­i­gat­ing game Swim Out, Camp­fire Cook­ing takes a rel­a­tively mun­dane con­cept and makes a re­ally pleas­ing and in­ven­tive puz­zler out of it. In this case, toast­ing a per­fect marsh­mal­low over a camp­fire is a le­git­i­mate re­al­life chal­lenge, but I’m still sur­prised at how well that trans­lates into a struc­tured puz­zle ex­pe­ri­ence.

Here, you’ll move the stick-wielded marsh­mal­low across a grid of squares – some of which are on fire – and try to brown it gently on both sides. To do so, you’ll need to nav­i­gate and flip the marsh­mal­low in the right or­der, which starts off sim­ply enough, but then the game adds mul­ti­ple marsh­mal­lows, mag­nets, fon­due pots, and other tricks. It’s re­ally de­light­ful stuff.

8. Bat­man: The En­emy Within Price: Free from­pd­cht Bat­man: The En­emy Within ar­rives free with the com­plete first episode in­cluded, and you can buy the rest of the sea­son (four more episodes) for £14.99, or snag in­di­vid­ual episodes for £4.99 a pop as they come. As be­fore, this stream­lined ad­ven­ture finds you nav­i­gat­ing con­ver­sa­tions as both Bat­man and Bruce Wayne, as well as tap­ping and swip­ing to take out foes, dodge at­tacks, solve crimes, and fig­ure out puz­zles. And as you make de­ci­sions along the way, while fac­ing foes like The Rid­dler and The Joker, the sto­ry­line will shift ac­cord­ingly. You can carry over your data/ de­ci­sions from the first sea­son, or sim­ply start fresh. We rec­om­mend start­ing with the first sea­son, of course.

9. Frost Price: £4.99 from­bx6g8h Kun­abi Brother has es­tab­lished it­self as a stu­dio that makes in­ven­tive puz­zle games with flex­i­ble so­lu­tions, as first ev­i­denced by the bril­liant Blek (£3.99 from­vgvw4) and now af­firmed with the re­lease of Frost. At first, I wasn’t sure that there was re­ally any­thing to it: you’ll have one or more streams of spir­its on screen, and you’ll need to draw a path to get them to their home planet. Of course, like any good puz­zler, it starts to ramp up the chal­lenge by throw­ing in curve balls and play­ing with the es­tab­lished rules – and then it takes things much, much fur­ther. I’ve only played a lit­tle bit so far and only seen the be­gin­ning of those shifts, but it looks like there’s plenty worth see­ing on the back end of it. Be­sides, they made Blek.

10. Rekt! Price: £1.99 from Rekt! is all about goofy, ac­ro­batic driv­ing, let­ting you whip around a car­toon­ish car in a neon arena as if you were a pro skater in a vast skate park full of ramps and loops. You’re let loose in the arena with a lim­ited amount of time on the clock, and you’ll have to grab big air, flip and spin, and try to notch the high­est score pos­si­ble while us­ing all of your nearby ter­rain.

The con­trols take some get­ting used to: you’ll prob­a­bly land on your hood or side a lot at first, but thank­fully there’s no huge down­side. But once you get fa­mil­iar with the physics and ro­ta­tions, Rekt! proves to be pretty ap­peal­ing for quick bursts of fun. More are­nas, cars, and ob­jec­tives are com­ing, too.

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