This week’s leading games are fronted by 4th & Battery’s new free offering, Allied Star Police, which plays a little like Plants vs. Zombies and owes its creation to a 9-year-old. It’s also free, like all of 4th & Battery’s “experimental” offerings as an offshoot of PopCap Games. Read all about it and a few other awesome new titles, like the free-to-play online two-stick shooter Deadlock: Online, below.
Allied Star Police (iPhone, iPad) Free
A collaboration of PopCap Games’ 4th & Battery studio and 9-year-old creator Owain Weinert, Allied Star Police is a little like Plants vs. Zombies. It’s a 2-D castle defense sort of game, in which the screen is divided into lanes. Your job is to deploy different kinds of vehicles into each lane to take on vehicles coming from the enemy base, with the goal being to destroy everything you can. You get access to different kinds of vehicles as you earn money for destroying enemies, which allows you to deploy more and cooler ones over time. The whole thing is pretty simple but fast-paced and enthralling.
Deadlock: Online (iPhone, iPad) Free
Deadlock’s major offering is its 8-player online mode, that allows you can team up with allies or take on everybody in a top-down two-stick shooter. The whole thing has a bit of an urban setting, making it feel almost a bit like Call of Duty but from a different perspective. Racking up kills earns money to buy and upgrade new weapons, adding a level of customization and improvement to the game as well. The multiplayer mode is the star of the game, but Deadlock also includes two single-player modes: a survival mode, in which you have to fight off waves of enemies, and a mode that lets you play against computer-controlled bots. Best of all, the whole thing is free-to-play and free to download without ads for a limited time.
Shake Spears! (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Infinity Blade handles sword combat on iOS, so Shake Spears! has taken on Medieval jousting. The game puts you on horseback in a 2-D match in which you control two aspects of the joust: the level of your spear and the location of your shield. The idea is to line your shield up with the spear of your opponent, while moving your spear to try to dodge your opponent’s shield. Defeating enemies earns you money to upgrade your knight and his weapons, and you can purchase various magic spells that can be deployed mid-joust to give yourself an edge. Shake Spears! is simple but oddly compelling and addictive, especially as you start to gain the ability to upgrade your fighter.
CurveBot (iPhone, iPad) $1.99
Puzzler CurveBot is all about cutting. You play a robot with a cutting tool for legs, tracking your way around levels of various shapes and cutting chunks out of them. The goal is to cut the level down to the smallest piece possible, while making long cuts and hacking off big chunks to earn points. But you also gain multiplyers for making cuts of more than about 1 percent of the total area of the level, so the game becomes about planning your cuts to maximize points. Add to that the challenge of fighting off enemies called drones that try to knock into you, steal your multipliers and disrupt your cuts, which means you’ll need to move fast and think ahead to make strong moves and score points.
Xtreme Wheels (iPhone, iPad) $3.99
The controls for Xtreme Wheels are simple – one button hits the throttle for your motocross bike, another is the break, and a slider controls its tilt forward or back. But just because the controls are simple doesn’t mean the gameplay is. Xtreme Wheels is all about riding through 2-D courses as quickly as possible, hitting ramps, pulling wheelies and avoiding injuries and maiming along the way. The faster you complete a course, the better, but points are awarded for stunts and style, too. You’ll use the tilt controls to make sure you don’t go flying off your bike when you pull stunts, and you’ll also need to be careful about running into debris by going too fast. Xtreme Wheels also looks great, which definitely elevates the fun level of the whole experience.