Because I often use this introduction to talk about upcoming gaming news, I’d be remiss not to mention that we’re less than a week from the scheduled release of Sonic 4. And for you really old-school gamers, Bubble Bobble Double is on the way as well.
But, as always, the Games of the Week list is about current games, not future ones. So here goes.
Texting of the Bread
Texting of the Bread ($1.99) can only be labeled as edutainment, which is sort of unfortunate given that that label will likely scare off a few gamers. But one has to appreciate a game that is done this well, even if it is attempting to teach us something. The game from ScrewAttack divides your screen in two, with the standard iPhone virtual keyboard taking up the bottom half and the top half showing your character (armed with a gun) being attacked by gingerbread zombies. The enemies have words above them, and you have to type the word before they get to you. There’s a ton of content included, with 75 levels, three game modes and leaderboards. As interesting as it is that there’s a game made around texting, it’s even more interesting that it’s actually fun.
Real Soccer 2011
This weekend’s release of Real Soccer 2011 ($6.99) marks the third iPhone game from that series. The Gameloft game has plenty of additions in this version, most notably high-def graphics optimized for the iPhone 4 and History mode, which allows you to replay some of soccer’s greatest moments. Real Soccer is also officially licensed, so you get real players from 350 teams across 14 leagues, as well as most major national teams. The Enter the Legend mode returns this year as well, which you can check out in the free Real Soccer 2010 lite release. The history mode sets this game apart from FIFA and X2 Soccer, and while I’m far from saying this game is better than those, it at least belongs in the conversation.
Capcom’s Mr. Bill ($1.99) is based on the late 1970s SNL character, though the younger of you may recognize him from Subway and MasterCard commercials just a few years ago. Fortunately for those who have no clue what I’m talking about, the game is perfectly playable for you as well. In this app Mr. Bill has been employed as a human cannonball by Sluggo Big-Time Circus, and you have to keep him from slamming into the ground across nearly 30 levels. Those who do remember the original skits will appreciate cartoon-style graphics that perfectly fit the Mr. Bill world and plenty of similar humor. The app strikes me as a somewhat run-of-the-mill physics game that will appeal mostly to fans of Mr. Bill, but overwhelmingly positive reviews suggest it may have a wider appeal.
Monster Falls ($1.99) from Ticking Box Studio has many of the elements of a hit iOS game: a cute character, colorful display and incredibly simple gameplay. The premise of the game is that your monster is falling down a cave, and using tilt controls you have to guide him through it as quickly as possible. You collect orbs that boost your score along the way, while hitting a wall slows you down and deducts points. There are 19 caves in all, with the replay value coming in trying to best your previous high score and the inclusion of online leaderboards. If it sounds like the typical game aimed at casual gamers, that’s because it is – and at $1.99 I would recommend it for just those people.
While I’ve never become hopelessly addicted to ngmoco’s We Farm or We Rule, it’s clear that many of you have. The company’s latest release is a free release called We City, which focuses on building a modern city. The very basics of the game have you earning money through a factory, producing things such as chips and action figures, which you then sell. With that money you buy things like colleges, stores, additional factories, trees, fences, etc., etc. In-app purchases are also a big part of this release, with you being able to spend real money on ‘zap’, which allows you to instantly produce goods instead of waiting five or so minutes for them to be made. It’s actually pretty similar to the recently released Virtual City, and comparable to SimCity in only its most basic elements. I think there are more appealing options out there, but given ngmoco’s history of app store successes, it’s likely that We City will be yet another notch in their belt.