This week’s best iPhone games are spread evenly over a number of genres, but the top spot goes to a 3-D hockey game filled with instant replays of guys getting run over and falling down. It’s Icebreaker Hockey, and it smartly takes dodging defenders and shooting goals out of the larger hockey game equation to create small, mobile-sized challenges for players to take on. Solid controls, a fun premise and the satisfaction of spinning clear of a devastating body check put Icebreaker Hockey in this week’s top slot. We’ve got four other solid titles for your consideration as well. Read on to get your gloves on all of them.
Icebreaker Hockey $2.99
Stick in hand, puck at your feet, your only goal in Icebreaker Hockey is to skate toward your opponent’s half and rocket a shot into the net. Trouble is, the other team’s only goal is to stop you. Icebreaker is broken down into challenges, dropping the larger hockey game setup of five-on-five to put a single player up against the defense. Using the game’s touch controls, you’ll juke and deke past other players before zeroing a shot. Points are awarded in each challenge for schooling your opponents, making fools of them by taunting them, and making shots from certain points on the ice. Icebreaker neatly distills the kind of 3-D hockey gaming experience players get on video game consoles into a mobile experience that can be as long or as short as players need it to be. It’s also sufficiently violent and challenging.
Toshi’s back! The Japanese popstar incapable of walking from the challenging and brilliantly designed 3-D physics puzzler Save Toshi DX has returned, but this time, in zombie form. In fact, this time around, players have to use the rules of Save Toshi – destructible and moveable blocks of wood and stone that you can interact with by firing tennis balls at them – to kill off the Toshi zombies in order to save the real Toshi. The game includes all the same quality puzzle-building of Save Toshi, with a new direction for its puzzles that makes the whole endeavor seem fresh. And Popstar Physics is still free to celebrate its launch.
The “brick breaker” game formula has been around for a long, long time, and games using its basics (a paddle controlled by the player and a bouncing, destructive ball for crushing bricks scattered across the screen) fill the App Store. Anodia makes use of the formula, but mixes in some innovative level design to freshen up the entire endeavor. Players will use Pong-style gameplay to take out hanging lamps or bouncing colored circles, all of which move and react differently in each of Anodia’s numerous levels. The result is a game that takes tried-and-true brick-breaker standards and brings new challenge and strategy to the game for players.
Konami’s 1992 arcade classic brawler, X-Men, is back in iOS form. Players who remember the old arcade title will immediately recognize the look and gameplay, all of which are preserved from the original. Players can choose from the five X-Men to work through the game’s campaign of fighting robots and evil mutants on the path to take on supervillain Magneto. The game is as hard as it was 19 years ago, too, when it would pummel young players into submission to keep them pumping quarters into arcade cabinets. In bringing the title to Apple’s mobile platform, Konami has included support for local multiplayer as well, allowing players to use a Bluetooth connection to recreate those classic arcade moments. It’s not quite as fun as pounding buttons and using joysticks on a cabinet, but it’s not a bad substitute.
Mighty Fin $0.99
A couple months back, a little game called Tiny Wings stormed the App Store and temporarily dethroned Angry Birds from the top spot on Apple’s charts. Mighty Fin is similar to Tiny Wings in all the best ways. It’s one of those 2-D side-scrolling runner games, in which the character moves forward continually and the player is responsible for keeping him alive. In the case of Mighty Fin, simple touch controls make Fin the Fish dive or jump, allowing players to avoid hazards and grab bubbles to rack up high scores. An easygoing style, beautiful art direction and high cuteness factor make Mighty Fin a fun diversion and a good way to kill a few minutes, just like Tiny Wings. Also, you can put a top hat and a monocle on a cartoon fish. Download this now.