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Lots of great games hit the iTunes App Store this week, so we’ve got quite a haul today. Leading the charge is Bad Hotel, a strange but addictive strategy title that’s beautiful in both its visuals and music. You can read all about it below, but be sure to check out the other four fantastic titles that are mostly inexpensive.
Bad Hotel (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Bad Hotel is something of a strategy title, but it’s a weird one. You’re tasked with protecting a hotel from dive-bombing birds and angry clouds (among other things) by adding rooms to its central core. You can build rooms on any part of the hotel and have different attributes, like guns or earning additional money, but the goal is for them to absorb attacks to leave the central column protected. So Bad Hotel becomes a game in which placement of those rooms is key to protecting your hotel and surviving each level. If it sounds weird and hard to grasp in words, it is. But it’s also a lot of fun and definitely a game that’s a different from what mobile gamers are used to, and that’s a good thing.
Jack Lumber (iPhone, iPad) $0.99 (through Aug. 18)
Most players will immediately notice Jack Lumber’s similarities to titles such as Fruit Ninja – it’s a game about drawing lines through logs as they fly across the screen in order to cut them in half. But the similarities end pretty quickly, because the primary focus of Jack Lumber is to cut all logs with a single long stroke. Things get more complicated as more complex logs are added to the mix, like those that require more than one cut or those that have corners. The result is a fun and humorous title that iterates on a formula we’ve seen before and adds a lot of fast-paced tempo to the mix.
Flip’s Escape (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
The Last Rocket is an entertaining but tough puzzle title in which players guide a rocket through a spaceship before it crashes into a star. In Flip’s Escape, players need to guide that same rocket (named Flip) away from the shockwave of the exploding sun, dodging meteors along the way. Unlike other vertical scrollers, you dodge incoming obstacles by hitting the brakes. If you brake for too long, you’ll get swallowed up. It’s a game that requires expert timing and quick reflexes for Flip to survive.
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
Riffing on the classic simulation title Oregon Trail, in which players had to guide a party across the U.S. in order to start a new life in the west in the 1800s, Organ Trail re-imagines the game as taking place during a zombie apocalypse, tasking players with crossing the U.S. in a station wagon. Like in the original, you need to gather supplies, trade with other survivors, and plan for unforeseen events. There are even “boss fight” situations in which you’ll need to guide your station wagon through dangerous situations to fight off bandits or avoid getting trampled by animal stampedes. Organ Trail is a pretty great take on a fun classic, and players will definitely find it challenging.
Slingshot Racing update (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Slingshot Racing was already a lot of fun before its update. Unlike typical racing games, in which players steer or alternate between hitting gas and brake pedals, your skill was only having the proper timing to help your racer slingshot around curves by tapping the screen to fire a grappling hook at nearby poles. The unique take on the genre makes for a fun time on its own, but the latest update adds asynchronous multiplayer, so you can take on your friends even if they’re not available to play right when you are. New tracks and campaigns, both in single and multiplayer, bring a whole lot of new content to the mix as well. If you haven’t tried Slingshot Racer before, you definitely should now.