It’s a big game day for the iTunes App Store. We’ve got four great new entries into the category, starting with EDGE Extended, a reworking of the quality platformer EDGE with new levels and a new 3-D engine. Contre Jour is next, mixing lots of different elements from games such as Bumpy Road and World of Goo. Sprinkle is a physics game a bit like Angry Birds, but instead of shooting weapons and animals, your job is to put out fires with a big fire hose, and Treemaker puts you in a platformer-puzzler hybrid in which you swing around like a gymnast, trying to drop on specific platforms.
EDGE Extended (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Armed with a new 3-D engine and reworked for mobile devices, EDGE Extended is a new, amped-up version of EDGE that has seen light on iOS and PCs before. What’s on offer is a simple action game, in which you play a cube navigating cubic levels. Dragging a finger this way or that sends your cube rolling end-over-end to move around. You can climb surfaces that are as tall as your cube and gather up smaller cubes to score points, but the real goal is to cross each level as quickly as possible to reach an exit.
EDGE Extended comes with 44 levels, a 21-song original soundtrack, and a lot of technical power beneath the hood. It plays pretty well on the iPhone and has also been optimized for the iPad 2. It also includes Game Center support with leaderboards for your best clear times and score totals.
Contre Jour (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
With an art style and game play reminiscent of the critically acclaimed World of Goo, with aspects of Bumpy Road and Cut The Rope, Contre Jour is in good company. Half puzzle game, half platformer, your goal in each Contre Jour level is to gather up three pockets of light and guide a round character into a portal to exit each level. Directing the round character around the level is done by lifting and lowering portions of the ground beneath it, requiring some fast actions and plans to get through.
There are a lot of other objects to interact with along the way, as well. You’ll swing your character on ropes, both stretchy and not, and use other things like slingshots to get what you need. There are some interesting and deft puzzles to be solved with lots of different objects along the way.
Sprinkle (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Sprinkle takes physics games in the vein of Angry Birds – shooting things at other things in a 2-D space – and adds a new and interesting wrinkle: the thing you’re shooting is water, and the thing you’re shooting it at is fire. The result is a race-against-the-clock puzzler in which you need to figure out the best way to get water to fires before the huts of cartoony villagers get burned down.
Spraying water on fires is the majority of the game, but how you get to all the fires will strain your brain. You’ll sometimes need to use water to push objects and activate switches, other times to divert streams to hit hard-to-reach places. Scores are based on how fast you can put out the flames with as little water as possible.
Treemaker (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Treemaker is a bit of a platforming game with shortish levels, based mostly on swinging your character on a rope from platform to platform. The goal is to fire ropes to start swinging, then cut them in order to drop onto platforms where there are nodes that cause trees to grow by touching them. Ropes are fired by touching surfaces they can hit, but you only get a limited number in each level.
How well you score in each level of Treemaker is determined by how few ropes you can use to get through the level, requiring careful manipulation of the game’s physics and good timing to be successful. You can also swipe the screen to swing faster in order to score better.