Thursdays always mark big game releases in Apple’s iTunes App Store, and this week follows that rule. But it also saw the release of Food Network Cupcakes!, an iPad app brimming with cupcake recipes to help fuel your game binges. Once you’ve got your baking out of the way, it’s time to move onto games, starting with twin-stick shooter Lock ‘n’ Load, a beautiful 3-D title with lots of horror references and a goofy story. Illusia 2 successfully melds role-playing, platforming and action gameplay into one 16-bit package with an immersive story, and MacGuffin’s Curse manages to combine werewolves and comedy to make an effective puzzler with a fun story to work through.
Food Network Cupcakes! (iPad) $2.99
Food Network has packed more than 100 recipes for cupcakes into its aptly named iPad app, Food Network Cupcakes!, and if you’re looking to start making desserts, you might want to begin with the information found here. All the recipes come from Food Network stars and range in flavor and ingredients to meet the needs and cravings of just about anybody.
Food Network Cupcakes! contains recipes divided by their creator and their popularity, so the most searched-after recipes are easy to track down. It also includes informational guides to teach you the ins and outs of cupcake-making, like applying frosting and decorating your cupcakes. You’ll also get essentials like a list of tools your kitchen should have to make cupcakes, a conversion chart, videos and more.
Lock ‘n’ Load (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
The latest offering from Chillingo is stylish and often funny twin-stick shooter Lock ’n’ Load. The game packs some solid 3-D graphics and puts players in the role of a heroic, hockey mask-wearing janitor tasked with cleaning up a monster infestation using tools such as a machine gun and a chainsaw.
Lock ‘n’ Load packs 16 missions to play through plus an additional nine-mission campaign that can be unlocked through the course of the game. It’s cartoonish but has some great horror-inspired visuals and pretty high production values, including good voice acting and a fun story. Most of all, though, it’s just filled with shooter mayhem, and packs Game Center support for leaderboards that show you just how well you’ve done against the rest of the world.
Illusia 2 (iPhone, iPad) Free
Mixing platforming elements with The Legend of Zelda-style hack-and-slash combat comes Illusia 2, a casual role-playing game with beautiful 16-bit visuals. Players choose one of three characters at the outset of Illusia 2, each with different abilities: one’s a good melee fighter, another is built for ranged attacks, and the third uses speed and evasion. Each offers a different play style as you take on quests and venture into Illusia’s world to fight off monsters and defeat evil.
Illusia 2 has its fair share of RPG elements to go with the platforming and action-based gameplay. You’ll find plenty of loot along the way, for example, and work through an engaging story with lots of characters. Illusia 2 also includes multiple game modes, including an asynchronous multiplayer mode in which you can take on players from around the world thanks to Game Center support.
MacGuffin’s Curse (iPhone, iPad) $1.99
Puzzler MacGuffin’s Curse bills itself as a “comedic werewolf puzzle game,” and it delivers on all fronts. The story and characters are pretty fun, the dialog is spirited and funny, and there’s definitely a werewolf. In fact, changing into a werewolf is key to solving the game’s many puzzles. MacGuffin’s Curse has you playing the titular MacGuffin as he breaks into a museum to steal a priceless amulet, but that amulet winds up turning him into a werewolf. Luckily, you can switch between human and wolf forms and can use each to help you solve puzzles and beat the museum’s security.
MacGuffin’s Curse features hand-drawn artwork that’s a great fit for its top-down, swipe-based gameplay. It’s also packed with unlockable content to find and view throughout the game, ranging from post-game challenges to Easter eggs to developer commentary. There’s also Game Center support to provide achievements to earn along the way, as well.