It’s Thursday, and the App Store is again filled with the week’s biggest game releases. Leading the pack is X-Men, an update of the 1992 arcade classic that’s as difficult today as it was 19 years ago. Next is Mighty Fin, a side-scrolling running game similar to popular games such as Tiny Wings, followed by Icebreaker Hockey, a game that pits players against defensemen in a bid to juke and dodge their way to the goal. Last up is Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting, a 3-D game from Capcom that brings lessons from the popular sword-fighting app Infinity Blade, and applies them to fighting things like dragons. Read about all of them below, then get your downloads going.
X-Men (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
Just in time for the release of X-Men: First Class in theaters this weekend, game developer Konami has released an iOS version of the 1992 arcade beat-em-up classic, X-Men. With five characters to choose from, X-Men epitomizes the arcade genre from the early 1990s – it’s all about punching and kicking waves of bad guys on a 2-D side-scrolling stage, built with the philosophy of parting children from many a pocketful of quarters. As one might expect, the game is tough as nails.
Konami has done a little to mitigate that, adding a variable difficulty mode (so you can ratchet it down to easy) and adding virtual controls that are pretty responsive. The game also carries support for Game Center and OpenFeint, which provide leaderboards and achievements, and you can join the battle with up to three friends using a local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.
Mighty Fin (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Think Tiny Wings but with a fish and you’ve pretty much got the concept of Mighty Fin, a member of the side-scrolling running game genre with simple touch controls. In each level, your goal as a fish called Fin is to collect as many bubbles as you can to score points. Along the way, you’re dodging all kinds of dangers, ranging from boats and icebergs to hungry penguins. Touching and holding the screen makes Fin dive, releasing makes him jump. The rest is just timing and reflexes.
A big part of Fin’s appeal is its cardboard cutout-looking art style – it’s pretty great-looking – and the fact that running through its several levels allows players to locate, collect and unlock different outfits to make Fin wear, increasing his cuteness quotient to dangerous levels. The game also carries Game Center support, making leaderboards and achievements available.
Icebreaker Hockey (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
Hockey violence and fast-paced action are on offer in Icebreaker Hockey, a game that skips full-on five-on-five hockey games in favor of defense breaking challenges. As players take on each of the game’s “waves,” they’ll take control of a player who skates up the ice toward the opposing team’s goal. Defenders skate forward to take the player on, but they can be beaten with quick timing and an ability to read the situation, using Icebreaker’s touch controls for juking, spinning or sprinting.
Tilting your iOS device steers your player as you move up the ice, and avoiding getting checked or tripped on the way to the goal earns you points. So does taunting your opponents and firing off shots from specially marked squares on the ice that offer a point bonus for finishing the challenge with a goal. Icebreaker distills the hockey experience into bite-sized bits, and lets you compare your scores to those of other players using Game Center.
Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting (iPhone, iPad) $4.99
Capcom’s latest entry into its Monster Hunter series takes a page from ChAIR’s Infinity Blade, and that’s definitely a good thing. The game is a made up of a series of battles that pit you, a monster hunter, against giant monsters. Your weapons are generally a sword and shield, and you’ll use touch controls to dodge attacks and land blows to defeat your prey.
In between battles, Monster Hunter provides you with new items and materials to forge into new weapons, allowing you to upgrade your warrior so you can handle even bigger and more imposing prey. There are 40 different weapons and 13 different armors to gather throughout the game, and Monster Hunter also includes a cooperative mode that allows players to double up against the worst fiends using a local Bluetooth connection.