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Most anticipated iOS games of 2013

by Phil Hornshaw

We’re a week into 2013 and this is already shaping up to be a big year for gaming on iOS. A few of the developers behind these forthcoming games raised funds through successful Kickstarter campaigns.The rise of the crowd-funding service in 2012 also gave rise to a number of developers and games that might not otherwise have had the money to ever see the light of day. So here’s a handful of games that we should be seeing in 2013. These are the reasons you should be excited for gaming on your iPad or iPhone during the next 12 months.

Double Fine Adventure

The game that really blew the doors off Kickstarter last year was Double Fine’s relatively ambiguous project, Double Fine Adventure. We do know that it’s an adventure game, but the record-breaking project – which raised more than $3.36 million – mostly was sold on the pedigree Tim Schaeffer and Ron Gilbert, the project’s well-known and hilarious developers.

Schaeffer and Gilbert have received serious acclaim for their work on classic adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island, and they have a pretty huge, excited fan base (hence the huge Kickstarter bankroll). With all the extra money it earned through Kickstarter, Double Fine promised fully-voiced, mobile versions of Double Fine Adventure. If you’re at all a fan of adventure titles, especially the old LucasArts ones from the 1990s, this should have you very, very excited.

République

Another Kickstarter campaign that received a lot of attention, République is a console-quality, graphically gorgeous game in the making. A stealth-slash-survival horror game, République has players not controlling the protagonist, a woman named Hope, but instead hacking into cameras and electronic systems to help her progress. It’s an interesting concept, to say the least. Check out their video:

République managed to raise more than $500,000 for its Kickstarter campaign, and while we don’t know a huge amount about the game just yet, we do know that it looks gorgeous. It seems like an ambitious project for developer Camouflaj and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. In fact, I backed it on Kickstarter.

Infinity Blade Dungeons

The next installment in the hugely popular Infinity Blade series is called “Dungeons,” and it sounds like a fundamental rework of the gameplay we’ve seen in the first two titles. That could be a good thing – as fun as Infinity Blade and Infinity Blade II are, a third, identical installment might make them a bit stale. In any case, ChAIR’s Unreal Engine games for the iPhone and iPad have basically defined mobile gaming up to now and have really showcased what that hardware is capable of, so there’s no lack of excitement over what’s coming up next.

So far, it seems that Infinity Blade Dungeons will be a lot like top-down role-playing titles such as Diablo, and if anything, that should greatly expand the gameplay and capabilities of players. After all, you can’t even walk around in the first two games, so the opportunity to explore Infinity Blade’s lush environments is a welcome one. Hopefully ChAIR isn’t straying too far from the tight combat formula that made the games such hits.

Star Command

One of my favorite PC games of 2012 was an indie title called FTL: Faster Than Light. The game has players commanding a starship from evil forces, but the gameplay involves jumping from location to location and interacting with other ships, dealing with meteor showers, and so on. Players issue orders to a group of crewmen, as well as operate the ship’s weaponry and maintain its defensive shields.

Star Command looks a lot like FTL and seems to play similarly, too. Perhaps there will be a greater emphasis on the game’s narrative. Players command a ship in a sort of Game Dev Story-style simulation game, but you’ll also be sending crewmembers to halt hostile invasions while you battle other ships. If the game manages to capture the feel of titles like Game Dev Story and FTL, it will be a great addition to the simulation genre.

Year Walk

Last year, developer Simogo released Beat Sneak Bandit, a title that was among 2012’s best (if not the best). They also developed the charming Bumpy Road, and with a pedigree like that, the developer’s next title should be on everyone’s radar. That game is Year Walk, and it sounds strange and delightful. Trailers for the game show a trippy, possibly even frightening experience. See for yourself:

The game’s website features a screenshot of a horse in a pond, wearing a suit. With dead eyes. I’m excited about the possibilities. Year Walk is a side-scrolling adventure title set in 19th century Sweden, it concerns things like the occult and alternate dimensions, and it has a great art style.

Of course, there are more great iOS titles on the way not mentioned here, and the great thing about mobile gaming is that there are a lot of surprise hits that will surely land in the iTunes App Store this year.

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