Lat­est iOS games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at this month’s best new re­leases

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

You never know when you might want (or need) a fun new game ready and wait­ing, and thank­fully, there’s no short­age of fresh re­leases on the App Store. Poké­mon Quest puts a dif­fer­ent kind of spin on the catch-‘em-all favourite, while Ark: Sur­vival Evolved is a dinosaur-tam­ing sur­vival epic, Golf Club: Waste­land imag­ines the fu­ture Earth as a golf course for rich Mars ci­ti­zens, and Up Left Out is a charm­ing and re­lax­ing puzzler. Those are just a few of the picks for this month, so click through to the slides ahead to find out more.

1. Poké­mon Quest Price: Free from fave.co/2NSTOIg

When it comes to Poké­mon games on the App Store, there’s the mas­sive sen­sa­tion Poké­mon Go, and then a hand­ful of other odd ex­per­i­ments of vary­ing qual­ity. The lat­est of the lat­ter bunch is Poké­mon Quest, which re­cently de­buted on the Nin­tendo Switch be­fore hit­ting mo­bile. Poké­mon Quest takes vis­ual cues from Minecraft, thanks to its blocky in­ter­pre­ta­tions of fa­mil­iar mon­sters, but it’s re­ally more of a dun­geon crawler on au­topi­lot. You’ll en­ter an area with your crew of Poké­mon, and then they’ll au­to­mat­i­cally ap­proach and as­sault any other Poké­mon in view. You can tap but­tons to trig­ger spe­cial at­tacks, but it’s be­tween the bat­tles that you’ll find more to do, such as equip­ping abil­i­ties and cook­ing unique stews to sum­mon new friends. There’s not much to Quest, re­ally, but it’s an­other cute di­ver­sion for Poké­mon lovers.

2. ARK: Sur­vival Evolved Price: Free from fave.co/2JrX0qI

Af­ter find­ing a huge au­di­ence on PC, Mac, and con­soles, we’re sur­prised to see ARK: Sur­vival Evolved make the leap to iOS so solidly in­tact. This is a mas­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, and while the con­trols and UI aren’t per­fectly suited to touch, it’s still a com­pelling game to snag and give a shot. The task here is sur­vival: you’re dropped into a dinosaur-filled world with no skills or items, and you’ll have to scavenge re­sources and craft weapons and tools to hang around in this volatile en­vi­ron­ment. And then you can tame those di­nos, form tribes with other play­ers, and have some real fun in this world. It’s also free-to-play on iOS, although a paid sub­scrip­tion is avail­able with some big perks in tow.

3. Suzy Cube Price: £3.99 from fave.co/2LlL3ow

Su­per Mario Run is a fun yet stream­lined take on the clas­sic 2D plat­form-ac­tion for­mula, but if you’re look­ing for an of­fi­cial iOS take on Mario’s more re­cent 3D ad­ven­tures, you’re not go­ing to find it on the App Store. Luck­ily, that’s where a game like Suzy Cube comes in. North­ernBytes’ game comes across as a fine trib­ute of its pretty clear in­spi­ra­tion.

Suzy Cube plays a lot like the Su­per Mario 3D Land and 3D World games from a few years back, even bor­row­ing the in­ter­face and feel and flow of the lev­els as you ex­plore var­i­ous worlds, over­come ob­sta­cles, and avoid en­e­mies. It doesn’t pack in quite as much per­son­al­ity as a Mario game, but Suzy Cube con­trols well and is a nice mo­bile al­ter­na­tive that costs only a few pounds.

4. Golf Club: Waste­land Price: £2.99 from fave.co/2LiWCNb

Golf Club: Waste­land is such a de­light­fully odd ex­pe­ri­ence. It is in­deed a golf game, but in­stead of tak­ing place on beau­ti­ful cour­ses, Golf Club takes place among the aban­doned ru­ins of Earth, which wealthy, hol­i­day­ing set­tlers from Mars some­times visit in or­der to play a few rounds.

In prac­tice, Golf Club plays much like the great Su­per Stick­man Golf games, yet with a slower pace and with­out the wacky power-ups. Each side-scrolling hole finds you nav­i­gat­ing the ball through and around the bleak ter­rain to­wards the cup, but these en­vi­ron­ments are full of amus­ing sur­prises and cul­tural ref­er­ences. It’s an at­trac­tive game de­spite the drea­ri­ness, and we also en­joyed lis­ten­ing to its ‘Ra­dio Nos­tal­gia’, a faux Mars ra­dio sta­tion with ‘Earth songs from the 2020s’ and call-in commentary from Mar­tian ci­ti­zens.

5. Up Left Out Price: 99p from fave.co/2L25ElJ

We were big fans of Rain­bow Train’s 2016 puzzler gem Klocki, and now the stu­dio is back with an­other eas­ily un­der­stood yet sur­pris­ingly com­plex orig­i­nal game with Up Left Out. Its chal­lenges are all about ‘un­lock­ing’ the blocks within seem­ingly sim­ple slid­ing puz­zles. Each block must be moved to un­lock it and com­plete the stage, all while you’re work­ing within con­fined lay­outs. But here’s the catch: some blocks can only be moved in cer­tain di­rec­tions – which means work­ing out your pat­tern of de­ci­sions – and then you have to deal with the var­i­ous mod­i­fiers that fur­ther tweak the con­cept. It all adds up to an­other clever gem from Rain­bow Train.

6. West­world Price: Free from fave.co/2NRjxkm

Can’t get enough of HBO’s sci-fi western hit, West­world? Well, the sec­ond sea­son just ended and it’s likely to be some time be­fore the next one be­gins, but maybe you can while away the time with Warner’s new West­world game for iPhone and iPad.

It’s a sim­ple freemium sim­u­la­tion in­spired by the show’s an­droid-filled amuse­ment park, and it’s your task to pop­u­late the park with the AI ‘Hosts’ and pair them with guests. Over time, you’ll un­lock more and more of the park (such as Es­calante and Las Mu­das) from the show while open­ing up new ar­eas be­low the sur­face. If it looks a fair bit like Fall­out Shel­ter, that may not be a co­in­ci­dence: Devel­oper Be­hav­iour In­ter­ac­tive worked on both, and Fall­out pub­lisher Bethesda just sued them for copy­ing the game and steal­ing game code to make West­world. Yikes.

7. Muse Dash Price: £2.99 from fave.co/2kUt­pwj

Many side-scrolling run­ning games get you into a rhythm of tap­ping or swip­ing to con­tinue pro­pel­ling past haz­ards and en­e­mies, but Muse Dash makes it ex­plicit. Here, your ac­tions are timed with the beat of each song, which helps you get into the flow of pum­melling in­com­ing en­e­mies and col­lect­ing items that pass by.

We’ve seen rhyth­mic plat­form games in the past, but Muse Dash is cer­tainly worth a look if you like tap­ping along to peppy jams while colour­ful, car­toon­ish sights fill the screen. The game in­cludes 30 songs at present, each with mul­ti­ple dif­fi­culty lev­els to help you get ac­cli­mated be­fore bump­ing up, and if you don’t mind the anime aes­thetic, it’s a joy to look at and lis­ten to.

8. Sil­ver DX Price: £3.99 from fave.co/2Jr79Ep

Sil­ver­fish DX plays much like a free-form Pac-Man: one phase of the game is avoid­ing en­e­mies and snag­ging items, and then the other turns the tables and finds you pur­su­ing and det­o­nat­ing the very foes you once feared. It looks like an ar­cade shooter, in fact, but like the great Paci­fism mode in the vis­ually-sim­i­lar Ge­om­e­try Wars, it’s all about strate­gic and tense dodg­ing and weav­ing.

Here, you’ll move your lit­tle crea­ture around the squirm­ing swarms of space bugs, col­lect­ing puls­ing items to boost your en­ergy me­ter. Once you fill them, you can ex­act your re­venge for a few fren­zied sec­onds. This en­hanced new ver­sion of an older iOS game of­fers quick bursts of fun.

9. In the Dog House Price: £2.99 from fave.co/2L0vgPX

Nitrome pub­lishes a lot of fran­tic lit­tle iOS games, but In the Dog House is in­stead a me­thod­i­cal puzzler. It’s sim­ple, re­ally: you’ll need to guide a pup (who’s home alone) to his food dish, but there’s no clear path thanks to jum­bled-up hall­ways.

To fill the pooch’s tummy, you’ll need to re­ar­range the parts of the house to cre­ate a route to his din­ner. That’s a pretty straight­for­ward drag-and-drop process at first, but as dif­fer­ent mod­i­fiers come into play, the so­lu­tions be­come much less ob­vi­ous. In the Dog House still seems pretty low-key even on the higher lev­els, but any­one with an affin­ity for pups and play-at-yourown-pace puzzle games might find it a treat.

10. Vec­torMan Clas­sic Price: Free from fave.co/2JsmhB7

The Sega For­ever pro­mo­tion con­tin­ues on with an­other old-school Ge­n­e­sis game given fresh life on iPhone and iPad. Vec­torMan might not be as iconic or fondly re­mem­bered as Sonic the Hedge­hog, but fans of Sega’s 16-bit con­sole re­mem­ber the game as one of the late-era gems – a strong, side-scrolling ac­tion game with im­pres­sive graph­ics for the time.

Vec­torMan Clas­sic holds up solidly on iOS. Sure, the touch­screen D-pad and but­tons aren’t ideal for pre­cise ac­tion games like this, but they do the trick. And if you have an MFi gamepad handy, that’s an up­grade worth tak­ing ad­van­tage of. As with other Sega For­ever re­leases, this one’s an ad-sup­ported free­bie, although you can pay £2 within the app to kill the in­ter­rup­tions.

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