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LATEST iPHONE FEATURES
Upcoming iPhone games - Defender Chronicles II, Empire of the Eclipse, and more
By Mark Brown 18 May 2012
Game Name: Upcoming iOS games | Manufacturer: Steel Media | Format: iPhone, iPad
Every Friday, we like to finish off the week by looking ahead and talking about the iPhone and iPad games that are just over the horizon.

Next week will see the launch of some serious time sink games. The original Defender Chronicles had tower defence fans in raptures for months, and the sequel looks to be packing even more content.

As for Empire of the Eclipse - an ambitious MMO with thousands of players fighting over one enormous galaxy - who knows how long it will keep us busy for. But, just how many gamers will pay £1.49 every month for the privilege?

Note: Dates, prices, and features are subject to change at the whim of the developer and Apple's approval team. Dates were correct at time of publication.

Slingshot Racing
By Snowbolt Interactive - out on iPhone and iPad in May (source)

out-next-week-slingshot-racing

We've seen lots of clever ways to control cars on iPhone and iPad. You tilt the device in Real Racing, sketch out a path in DrawRace, and trail your finger behind the paddy wagons in Smash Cops.

But, Slingshot Racing, from Cambridge-based upstart Snowbolt Interactive, serves up something else entirely.

As you zip around the game's icy tracks, you latch onto giant metal posts with super-strong cables. Then, by touching the screen, you can pull the cable taut to swing around corners like Spider-Man.

The developer describes its unique control scheme as "easy to pickup," but "difficult to master". Slingshot Racing will also accommodate four players on one iPad, with each driver pressing his pinky down on a different corner of the screen.

The game will also have a bumper career mode, with oodles of tours and loads of tracks. Game Center leaderboards will let you share your best times with pals.

Josh Presseisen, founder of Slingshot Racing's publisher Crescent Moon Games, told his Twitter followers that the racer has been submitted to Apple, and "should be out next week".

Empire of the Eclipse
By ZarkSoft - out on iPhone and iPad on May 25th (source)

out-next-week-empire-of-the-ecipse

This ambitious MMO has travelling along a rocky road to the App Store. ZarkSoft's sci-fi game has been rejected by Apple twice, and while the third submission was accepted, it momentarily sneaked onto iTunes a week before its official release date.

When it finally launches next week, it will be a massively multiplayer take on Civilization or Master of Orion. Cosmic colonisers can fright, trade, scheme, and vie for universal domination with thousands of other players per game.

You'll conquer planets, create black holes, collect alien artefacts, and build your empire. You can win through many different means: brute force, economic superiority, cultural transcendence, or galactic exploration.

Each game can contain hundreds of thousands of planets to explore, in dynamically generated universes that range in size from 2,500 to 90,000 sectors. It's one seriously big game.

Empire will be available to download for free, but you'll need to cough up a monthly subscription to play.

"This allows us to run our servers, and provide a competitive online strategy experience without ruining the game experience through the sale of power-ups and other in-game advantages," the studio explains.

Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia
By Gimka Entertainment - out on iPhone and iPad on May 24th (source)

out-next-week-defender-chronicles-2.jpg

About a million years ago (well, in 2009), Gimka released a compulsive tower defence game called Defender Chronicles. It got good reviews, received lots of follow-up content, and acquired a rather rabid fanbase.

Next week, it's finally getting a full-on sequel.

Like its predecessor, Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia is tower defence with a vertical twist. As waves of goblins, orcs, wolves, and grunts make their way to your base, they'll have to scramble up the side of a mountain.

Along the way, you'll station defensive units - archers, warriors, wizards, and the like - to keep the bad guys at bay. As you kill off enemies, you'll earn gold to upgrade your outposts.

There are also heroes - and you can pick from four of them. These hardy units deal out massive damage, and have their own stats and abilities to upgrade. It gives Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia a nice slice of RPG number crunching.

The sequel will be packed with content, including new factions and units, hundreds of artefacts to find, and loads of different maps to defend. Game Center achievements will mark your progress as you work your way through the story.
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