Believe me when I tell you that every single game on this list is a must-own, and would have topped this list if not for the extremely crowded week of superb releases. But like The Highlander, there can only be one, which leaves us with the action-packed Modern Combat sequel as king. We’ve also got a new port of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and a great retro platformer from the 3DS E-Shop, plus three excellent zombie titles, from a brilliant new runner to a strategy game set in the Walking Dead universe, and the extremely long-awaited Minigore sequel.
Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour ($6.99)
The most popular shooter on the App Store has finally returned in all its explosive splendor! You know what to expect by now: jaw-dropping visuals, a solid if linear single player campaign featuring generic but serviceable story, and some of the smoothest multiplayer gun-play on a touch screen. Like with NOVA 3, Gameloft seemed to have focused on the crisp visuals and very lengthy campaign. They seem to have taken some cues from Black Ops 2, adding more futuristic weapons and allowing you to play from the villain’s point of view from time to time. All in all, this is exactly what you’d expect, and you’ve probably already downloaded it anyway!
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ($4.99)
Rockstar’s official port of Grand Theft Auto III signaled the start of a wonderful era, in which all the old Rockstar classics are revived on our touch devices. Even more importantly, it meant that my favorite Grand Theft Auto game, Vice City, was surely right around the corner, and now it’s finally here! Rejoin the smart-mouthed Tommy Vercetti as he rises through the crime ranks of a fictional 80’s version of Miami. While still reliant on a dozen virtual buttons, some of the controls have been improved as well, such as the camera and targeting systems, which shows that Rockstar cares!
Minigore 2: Zombies ($1.99)
I don’t care what anyone says, this is the true top new release for this week. People have been waiting a couple years for this one, and it was worth the wait. The most manly zombie hunter other than Barry Steakfries returns as we rejoin John Gore and his twin-stick shooting ways, only it’s bigger and better than ever. Now we can fight in more arenas than ever, with more weapons and enemies and the most epic of bosses, such as giant crocodiles, lumberjacks, and Communists! The same quirky visuals make a comeback too, with a great new coat of polish. The point is, go buy this.
The Walking Dead: Assault (Free)
This was a very unexpected release. Just as the Walking Dead adventure title from Telltale wraps up with its final episode, we get a very clever tactical strategy game set in the same universe. This isn’t just a standard game with Walking Dead paint. For example, you have to worry about making too much noise and attracting a herd of walkers, which pretty much means game over, forcing you to use melee combat at times. The story scenes are told in comic book pages, and the whole game matches the black and white art style of the comics, making the brightly colored interface stand out that much more.
Mutant Mudds ($0.99)
While everyone is enjoying the very “modern” new releases of the week, the more retro-minded among us can also enjoy this brilliant platformer. It was originally released earlier this year on the Nintendo 3DS E-Shop. The visuals look like they came straight from the 8 or 16 bit era, only with some nice modern touches. As you jump, shoot, and jetpack your way around levels, you’ll move between three layers in the back, middle, and foreground. The level design and touch controls are solid, slightly tweaked from the original for the new format, and you shouldn’t miss out on this one.
Into the Dead (Free)
I know that an endless runner featuring zombies seems like the most derivative sounding game on the block, but when said runner comes from the magical development studio simply known to us mere mortals as PikPok, you should pay attention. This runner is extremely atmospheric, putting you right in the middle of a horde with a first person perspective and combat mechanics. On top of that, you get to unlock loads of weapons to blast your way through the danger. The feedback loop of upgrades and unlocks is very well-paced, making for a super addictive experience.