If you like side-scrolling platformers, you’re going to want to check out this week’s leading game, Super Lemonade Factory. Its simple gameplay is well-served by its cooperative mechanics, allowing you to control and quickly switch between two characters in order to solve puzzles with their individual skills. It also looks great with a retro style. Read all about it below, plus our four other favorites from the week.
Super Lemonade Factory (iPhone, iPad) $1.99
Set in the aftermath of World War II, Super Lemonade Factory is an interesting little platformer. It has an expressive 8-bit art style that’s coupled with two-character cooperative gameplay, set in a backdrop of adult themes and a story that deals with real issues from the period. Even if you’re not down for a post-war sociology lesson, Super Lemonade Factory is just a solidly-made platformer, in which you control two characters with different abilities. In order to solve each stage you need to make them work together, switching between them on the fly as you guide them both to the exit. It’s a nice marriage of serious and light-hearted that works well and has an addictive quality.
Dark Meadow update (iPhone, iPad) Free
When it was released last year, Dark Meadow got a fairly warm reception. It’s well-regarded for its dark, creepy atmosphere and production values, and it’s not a bad imitator of Infinity Blade’s combat. Even better, the game has just received a massive update that reworks quite a bit of it, adding a third more content. There’s a new map system and new weapons to change the way the title plays. It has also been optimized for the new iPad, which means its Unreal Engine graphics are going to look great on your new Retina display.
Rinth Island (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Puzzler Rinth Island reminds a bit of the original puzzle sensation Portal, not because of the gameplay, but because of the wealth of challenges offered by the game’s relatively modest number of levels. Each Rinth Island stage is a giant puzzle you need to solve by reaching a certain point, completing paths by moving blocks into position in the correct order. But while you can advance from level to level just by solving each puzzle once, the real challenge comes from the level’s alternative modes. One’s a time trial, while another counts how many steps your character takes and requires you to be conservative and thoughtful. Yet another requires you to collect crystals from areas you might not have checked through on your first pass. There’s a whole lot of puzzle-solving to be done on Rinth Island.
Gnu Revenge (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Sure, we only just got Angry Birds Space last week, which had its share of spacey gravity physics. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other great games that toy with gravity, and Gnu Revenge is among them. It’s simple enough to play this puzzler: you need to push the afterburn button, the game’s only control, to boost your gnu through each level. But the trick is to use the gravity of various celestial bodies to navigate, and that means perfect timing and duration on your bursts, lest you go flying off into nothingness. Gnu Revenge is easy to pick up but definitely addictive, and it requires quite a bit of skill (not to mention time invested) in order to press and let go of the button at just the right times in order to reach your destination.
Bitter Sam (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
A casual, tilt-based vertical scroller, there’s just something about Bitter Sam. In each level, you’re tasked with lowering Sam through a pipe filled with dangers. You need to keep him alive by tilting your device and directing him around traps that can kill him, while also planning ahead to grab items and power-ups along the way. While there might not really be much to it, Bitter Sam’s art style and casual gameplay make it a lot of fun. It also requires plenty of diligence and a careful touch to navigate Sam through all 70-plus levels.