Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 just hit the iTunes App Store, and if you’re a first-person shooter fan, here’s the bottom line: You should download it. It has great production values, a solid single-player campaign, and some great online multiplayer. Better still, it’s just the first great game that hit the App Store this week. Keep reading to learn about all of them.
N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
The N.O.V.A. series of first-person shooters includes some of the best games in the iTunes App Store, and the latest addition is a worthy one. As usual, Gameloft’s production values for the title are extremely high, with great voice work and some of the most impressive visuals the iPhone and iPad have yet produced. From a gameplay standpoint, Gameloft has brought back lots of what makes N.O.V.A. so remarkable. It has great set piece moments and big firefights with lots of aliens, and even better, it looks and moves a lot like a console game. But where the game really shines is its Halo-like multiplayer, which has been improved. You can play against as many as 11 other players and across six game types, and you and your teammates can even jump into vehicles together to take down enemies. That’s just plain impressive for a game you can pay on your cell phone.
LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias (iPhone, iPad) $3.99
The follow-up to the beautiful LostWinds gets right all the positive elements of its predecessor – intuitive touch controls (with an optional D-Pad for those who don’t like swiping), great visuals and a fun and light side-scrolling platformer atmosphere – and adds new mechanics to make the game even better. In the first LostWinds, players had to manipulate wind to get character Toku across chasms and past obstacles. In Winter of the Melodias, you’ll also have to deal with seasons, using magic to switch between summer and winter to solve puzzles and advance through the game’s story. It’s another fun entry into the side-scroller genre and it helps that the game just looks great on iOS devices.
Pandemic 2.5 (iPhone, iPad) $1.99
Lots of games let you play as a hero, but very few let you take on the role of a serious villain. In Pandemic 2.5, your mission isn’t to save the world, but to destroy it by infecting it with the perfect disease. You start with your germ infecting a single person, and have to mutate it in order to spread it across the globe, dealing with things like closed borders, government crackdowns, shut ports and more. The more people you infect with your disease, the more points you get to mutate it, but you can only add so many traits, so being judicious with them is key. The result is an interesting strategy experience
The King of Fighters-i 2012 (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
The first version of The King of Fighters-i to hit the iTunes App Store was a quality fighting game that saw great reviews and a lot of popularity, but it was really just a port of a version of The King of Fighters XIII. With 2012, the latest version of The King of Fighters-i, developer Atlus has added more characters and, even better, an online multiplayer mode to really flesh out the capabilities of the game. The good news is that everything that was great about the first version of the 2-D fighter, like its well-made touchscreen controls, make it back in this time, too. There are also more single-player game modes, so if multiplayer isn’t your thing, you’ll still find plenty to do here.
Robbery Bob (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
There’s stuff to be stolen in stealth puzzler Robbery Bob, and you’ve got to steal it. As the titular burglar, you have a tendency to steal things that cost less than a few dollars. Your job is to sneak around buildings and avoid guards, and to move as quickly as you can when you do. The game features a top-down perspective to allow you to see the visual range and the paths of the guards you’ll be dodging. As you move through each house and building, you’ll be scored on how well you can remain unseen, the speed with which you finish each stage, and the take you gather from them all. Robbery Bob’s puzzles stages require quick thinking and a skilled touch.