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Now that the holiday season is behind us, we get to sit in that awkward bit of time at the end of the year. That time that is so utterly devoted to reminiscence and top games of the year lists. As such, it’s hard to find out about notable new releases, and most developers avoid this time like the plague. Thankfully, last week was so utterly packed with releases that there’s enough for a second list. I mean, there was a new game from ZeptoLabs, creators of Cut the Rope, and that wasn’t even on last week’s list. So here we go with the last, but certainly not least, new iOS games of 2012.
Pudding Monsters ($0.99)
After the massive success that was Cut the Rope, developer ZeptoLabs has gone against all conventions and branched out in a brand new direction with a new IP. Everyone was probably expecting a Cut the Rope 2, but instead, we get a brilliant puzzle that has you sliding pudding blobs together into bigger pudding blobs. It’s not as quite casual as Cut the Rope, with a slightly higher difficulty that should appeal to a slightly more mature gamer, but it is still charming and adorable with puzzles worth every penny. Definitely don’t miss out on this one.
Only in the open and accessible world of iOS development have we seen projects like this. An ancient eighties fighting game revitalized and re-released as a gesture and timing-based adventure from the creator of the original (who also created Prince of Persia). There are plenty of old references mixed in with the new look and feel of the game, appealing to both modern and old school gamers. There is an elegant simplicity in the violence at play here, and while I don’t foresee it being crazy popular, there is a modern classic to be found in this one.
Middle Manager of Justice (Free)
DoubleFine Productions, with their buckets and buckets of Kickstarter money, are still doing what they do best. They make smaller titles that offer a lot of creativity and charm. The creators of Brutal Legend have no branched into the iOS realm with this wonderfully funny freemium simulation. Only DoubleFine would think of such a hilarious concept as superhero middle management. Yes, it is a freemium game with freemium elements, but DoubleFine has done their best to lessen the brutality of them, and in the end this is a very familiar game with a sense of humor.
Shadow Warrior (Free)
3D Realms, creators of Duke Nukem, have been having a pretty good time releasing their old games on mobile devices. Their latest release is that of the controversial 1997 shooter, Shadow Warrior, based on the same engine as Duke Nukem 3D. The controls for Duke Nukem 3D’s port weren’t very cooperative, but it seems like they’ve been vastly improved for the bloodbath that awaits you here. It’s retro ultra-violence at its best. The game is only decent overall, but it’s still worth playing if you miss the simpler shooters of old.
Pixel Defenders Puzzle ($0.99)
It is a rare day that I promote a match-three game on this weekly list. I’ve never seen a genre get so popular so quickly before dying off just as quickly as I saw with match-threes. Luckily, the developers of Pixel Defenders Puzzle know just how to scratch my gaming itch. Essentially, this is more like a Triple Town, but it isn’t a blatant clone, and simply builds on those solid mechanics. For another thing, it involves a retro RPG pixilated world, with magic, wizards, undead, and the rest. I’m pretty much guaranteed to pay attention when I see such an aesthetic. As it so happens, the game itself is really well done, and worth playing!