Notable Mobiles: iPhone Offerings Worth Attention This Week
This was a pretty big week for games in the iTunes App Store. For iPad owners, Telltale Games finally released the first installment of Back to the Future, which we enjoyed pretty well in its PC iteration. Halfbot’s version of its Flash game, The Blocks Cometh, cleared the App Store review process after a lengthy process of extricating a stolen version of the game from being sold in its place. And Gameloft has pretty faithfully captured the experience of StarCraft on the iOS platform with StarFront: Collision. We’ve been keeping track of what’s worth your attention in the App Store — read on for some of the best this week had to offer.
Gameloft’s take on StarCraft is a pretty deep RTS for an iPhone game — and it may just be that I totally lack RTS skills, but I found it to be pretty f—ing hard. The game packs 20 different campaign missions for the three races (human, biological alien and robotic alien [sound familiar?]), plus a quick-play mode against the game’s AI, and online multiplayer support for up to four players. The game isn’t as complex as StarCraft, but Gameloft made sure you at least have a lot of the functionality you would with a big-time RTS on PC — things like quick key groups make managing the fighting a little easier. Players familiar with StarCraft will pick up on how to play pretty easily, since even the units and their functions resemble their big-boy PC counterparts. For an iPhone game, this is a very solid offering.
It’s free to try, but the full version goes for $6.99.
The Blocks Cometh by Halfbot
The original has hit the App Store, and The Blocks Cometh will keep you hammering away for quite a while, despite repeatedly and brutally killing you. You control a little guy whose world seems to be falling apart from above, with blocks cascading down the screen ready to crush you. In order to avoid your own death (for a while), you need to scale the blocks using a series of jumps, double-jumps and wall jumps. Your goal is to climb as high as you can and beat your own score (as well as post to Open Feint and Game Center leaderboards). Blocks also packs a bunch of unlockable characters that give you some encouragement to go for achievements, and each is a bit of a nod to the trials and tribulations of getting Blocks on the iPhone. You’ll find two characters from League of Evil, goofing on the fact that Blocks was ripped off and stolen in the App Store, but with the main character swapped out for an enemy seen in league; an unlockable Halfbot mascot; and Mr. Destructoid, the developers’ thank you nod to Jim Sterling for drawing the Internet’s fury against the IP thieves who took their game. Oh, and the game is addictive, infuriating, and tons of fun.
It goes for $0.99.
It might not look like much from the image above, but that’s kind of the point — Infinight is all about darkness and light, and making your way through dark environs while attempting not to get killed by the things you cannot see in the darkness. The lighting is a major force in this top-down puzzler; in the first area, a hospital with the power out, lightning is your only illumination of your greater surroundings. Moving through each level and finding the exit is enough to complete each one, but there are also hidden audio cassettes to fill you in on your character’s amnesiac backstory. Infinight gives you 50 levels over five different areas, and while it’s not exactly fast-paced, it makes up for being methodical with good story, and interesting concept, and lots of atmosphere. Oh, and also — there’s an online multiplayer mode.
It goes for $0.99.
Rooms: The Main Building
This one I had to include for the benefit of Phil Owen after he discovered it and its awful title as a Wii game. But Rooms is actually a pretty engaging little puzzle game on the iPhone. You get 80 stages of puzzles for your five bucks, in which you need to navigate out of a trippy set of buildings in which you can slide rooms back and forth to make paths. Move a room sideways and it will connect with another that your character can walk into; move that one so that a ladder lines up with one above and you can climb up. Things get more and more complex over time, and Rooms also includes achievements through Game Center, a Time Trial mode and a Challenge mode once you’ve cleared the campaign.
It goes for $4.99.
League of Evil (free update)
We mentioned League of Evil last week, but it’s worth mentioning that the game has just been updated with about double as much content as it had to begin with — another 50 0r so ridiculous platformer levels. Thirty of the new levels are set in Halfbot’s The Blocks Cometh world in honor of the developers’ crossover efforts, and they might be better than the original 50 levels. You also get another 20 “impossible” levels.