I’ve been waiting with a great deal of interest for Year Walk from developer Simogo since it was first announced some months back. It’s finally available on the iTunes App Store, and as expected, it’s as beautiful as it is totally weird and somewhat disturbing. Year Walk kicks off the best games we’ve seen this week, but it’s in good company, with mellow puzzlers and fast-action running and gunning titles to balance things out.
Year Walk ($3.99)
Simogo (Bumpy Road, Beat Sneak Bandit) is known for its quality experiences and great visuals, so it’s not surprising that Year Walk sports more of the same high-quality. The game puts players in the first-person role of a protagonist experiencing a vision quest at night in Sweden, navigating the eerie and frozen landscapes by swiping back and forth and solving puzzles. What makes Year Walk fun is that the entire game is intuitive (there’s no tutorial), so you’ll have to be clever and creative in order to solve the game’s puzzles. Year Walk is also speckled with horror themes and imagery, so it’s probably not great for kids, but its dark weirdness makes it great for everyone else. Simogo even developed reference app Year Walk Companion, a guide to the creatures and mythology you’ll encounter.
Worm Run ($0.99)
You might be saying to yourself, “Great – another running title and/or giant worm game.” You aren’t wrong in being a tad disdainful, since such games are in heavy rotation on the App Store. Luckily, Worm Run sets itself apart early with its simple but intuitive controls scheme, requiring players to swipe in the direction they want to run or jump. The simplistic controls actually make the frantic experience of running to keep ahead of a huge, ravenous space worm a lot more enjoyable and even more tense, with players’ moves like sliding down walls actually working against them as they try to flee the worm.
Puzzler Sporos is infectious. Each level begins by presenting players with an arrangement of cells, connected to one another in a specific pattern. Your job is to place your “sporos” on the grid in order to make them infect the all the other cells, with each of the sporos infecting adjacent cells in a different direction. You’ll need to put the right sporos in the right places in order to complete each puzzle, with the levels growing more difficult all the time. The fewer moves you make with each cell, the higher your score. Sporos takes a mellow approach to its gameplay while still being challenging, and it looks great. It’s the kind of puzzler that’s perfect for when you’re waiting in line and want to kill a few minutes.
Gun Bros 2 (Free)
If you liked the first Gun Bros, you’re going to dig the second one. Back are the solid controls and plenty of guns you can use to take on the forces of T.O.O.L. as one of two Gun brothers. Just like last time out, you can join up with a friend and blast enemies in a cooperative two-player mode. The sequel to Gun Bros adds lots of other features, too – more guns and bad guys, primarily, but also additional gameplay modes that let you get more mileage out of Gun Bros 2. For a free multiplayer game, Gun Bros 2 is an explosive time.
Puzzle Restorer ($0.99)
Another logic puzzle game, Puzzle Restorer requires players to complete pixelated paintings, all of which are set on a grid. The trick is that you have a limited number of “brush strokes” and only so much paint with which to complete the images. You’ll be able to see what picture you need to make, and are required to drag a finger from one of the painting’s existing pixels to fill in the space between them. You’ll need to carefully plan your moves, and you can only start and stop painting at certain locations. As levels get more complex, puzzles become tougher. Like Sporos, Puzzle Restorer is another great way to spend a few minutes challenging your brain. You can even test the game with the free version.