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This week’s big game releases cover lots of genres. Up first is Waking Mars, a side-scrolling platformer in which players have to help revitalize the red planet with by spreading life and solving puzzles. AaaaaAAaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! puts you in the first-person role of a base-jumper who leaps from tall buildings to earn points, while Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus is a shooting range-type title ported from Nintendo’s WiiWare platform. Finally, Invader Hunter puts you into a third-person shooter to fight a whole ton of huge boss enemies.
Waking Mars (iPhone, iPad) $4.99
Turns out, there’s life on Mars, and you’re part of the team sent in to study it. As an astronaut on a mission of discovery, you delve deep into Martian caves to study harmless, helpful and volatile Martian life in Waking Mars. As the story progresses, your goals become mostly about spreading life to solve puzzles and save yourself from the hostile Martian environment.
Waking Mars is a side-scrolling platformer at its heart, but with an interesting sci-fi storyline to push it forward. It also requires coordination and brainpower to find your way through the Martian depths and decode signals and make discoveries as you go. The game also packs Game Center support to provide achievements along the way.
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
The intensity is on high in AaaaaAAaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration), a game that’s all about base jumping. The game puts you in a first-person perspective and has you diving off high buildings, scoring points along the way by using tilt controls to hit “scoring panes” along the way. You also earn points by being a reckless daredevil, flying close to buildings and even flipping off people protesting your crazy stunt ways.
In each level, players earn points that can be used to unlock new abilities and new stages as they go. All the unlockables are arranged in a grid, which means you’ll need to plan which items you unlock, since you can only unlock items adjacent to other spots on your grid. The game packs 47 levels in total (that you’ll need to revisit to grab the highest scores), plus a pretty great sense of humor and Game Center support.
Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus (iPhone, iPad) Free
Formerly a title for the Nintendo Wii, Zombie Panic is a shooter in which you play a girl finding herself amidst a zombie apocalypse. It’s something of a shooting range game, with your character positioned in the foreground, firing away at zombies slowly marching toward you. You’ll move your thumb around the screen to adjust your aim (zombies die when you hit them in the head, don’t forget), as well as tilt and swipe to move your character around to avoid danger.
The more accurate and deadly you are with your gun, the more points you earn in Zombie Panic. Each level is hugely destructible, too, so it helps to keep an eye out for stuff you can take out with your gun (including buildings) for more points. Eventually, you’ll unlock seven characters to take through zombie-smashing levels, and track your progress with the help of Game Center’s leaderboards and achievements.
Invader Hunter (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
Third-person shooter Invader Hunter is basically a series of boss fights. Each level has you, a regular-sized soldier in a suit of spiffy futuristic armor, taking on massive enemies that carry huge weapons and frightening attacks. Your goal is to dodge clear of them, pick your moments, and blast away at them with rifle you carry. You won’t be able to score hits too often, though. Invader Hunter is all about floating like a butterfly to avoid taking damage, and stinging like a bee when the opportunity presents itself.
As you take down bosses, you’ll earn components and gold that can be used to craft new equipment for yourself. You’ll need a variety of weapons and armor components to power up and take on more and more powerful bosses in each of Invader Hunter’s levels. The game contains more than 100 weapons and other items and 40 levels to work through, as well as some cool-looking stylized 3-D graphics.