New releases round-up: Tabletop Defense, Fetch, Snoopy Coaster, and more
By Mark Brown 21 March 2013
Game Name: New releases round-up | Publisher: Steel Media | Format: iPhone, iPad
We're doing something a little different this week.
Don't worry: we're still going to show off this week's most noteworthy new iOS releases in nifty video form. It's just that we're going to write about them, too.
It has been an uncharacteristically 'slow' week in iPhone land. Especially when sandwiched between last week (Ridiculous Fishing, Super Stickman Golf 2) and next (Nimble Quest, Dungeon Hearts).
But we do have papercraft blimps, lost dogs, tiny helicopters, puzzle-solving robots, and Snoopy to talk about. So, all hope is not lost for the App Store.
Let's get to it, shall we...
Tabletop Defense By Immanitas Entertainment - iPhone, iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)
It feels like it's been ages since we last saw a new tower defence game on the App Store. In fact, we've been so bogged down with endless-runners of late, a new TD game seems positively original.
Tabletop Defense is a pretty standard entry in the genre. Waves upon waves of cars, tanks, planes, and blimps trundle towards the exit, so you must spend wisely on defensive towers that will destroy them.
It's real claim to fame is that winning arts and crafts aesthetic, where the terrain is made of corrugated cardboard, and all the weapons and enemies are papercraft models.
Unmechanical is a charming little puzzler, starring a pint-size robot with a tractor beam in his nether regions. That means he can pick up light objects like crates and iron girders to solve a succession of clever environmental puzzles.
It's got a great isolated atmosphere, and some spiffy visuals delivered via Unreal Engine 3.
If you like games like Metroid or Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, then pick this PC port up yesterday.
Plasma Sky By Spikepit Games - iPhone, iPad (£1.49 / $1.99) [Also on Android]
John Dunbar must really like making games. For the past however long, he's finished his day job working on PC role-player Torchlight, and come home to work on his iOS and Android shmup, Plasma Sky.
Now, that's dedication.
Plasma Sky is drawn in old vector graphics from ancient arcade machines and forgotten home consoles. And Dunbar also borrows bits and bobs from different shooters - enemy patterns from Galaga, and bullet waves from DoDonPachi.
It won't set the world on fire, but it's a fast-paced and responsive little number, and a comfortable recommendation for shooter nuts.
Snoopy Coaster By CGMatic - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)
Ever get that lucid feeling that you've done the exact same thing before?
No, I'm not talking about déjà vu. I'm talking about the fact that Snoopy Coaster is little more than a Peanuts-themed remake of Chillingo's other roller coaster game Madcoaster.
Seriously, it has the same design, the same menus, the same objectives, and even the same sound effects. All that's really new is some Snoopy add-ons like voices and collectible comic strips. And actually more obnoxious monetization.
Save your buck and get Madcoaster instead.
Star Wars Pinball By Zen Studios - iPhone, iPad (£1.49 / $1.99) [Also on Android]
Have you seen these Zen Pinball tables? They're awfully good. I mean, they've got 3D models, loads of bonus bits, big morphing backdrops, and even retro-style dot matrix displays up in the corner.
These Star Wars ones seem pretty fun, too. Given I'm neither a Star Wars fan nor a pinball aficionado, mind, I couldn't be less informative right now if I tried.
This app is a standalone version of the downloadable Star Wars tables from Zen Pinball proper. You don't save a penny on the purchase, but you do get a nice themed app, and an interesting light side / dark side meta-game with which to fiddle.
Chopper Mike is a cute and charming little helicopter game. The controls are surprisingly responsive for a touchscreen game, so you'll be whizzing about these simple environments - scooping up gems and dodging blocks - in no time.
There's a lot in there, including loads of levels and a bunch of helicopters from which to choose. But I can't help feeling that the presentation needs some work.
There's a fine line between simple and just plain amateur, you see, and this game wobbles on that line like an inebriated tightrope walker.
Unreal Engine 3. The technology behind such epic experiences as Mass Effect, Infinity Blade, and, uhm, a bowling game set in some tacky downtown alley.
The actual bowling in Kingpin Lanes isn't that hot. It's kinda slow paced, and you've got this weird "mojo" stuff where you can force push the ball if it's heading towards the gutter.
I think I'm more interested in the snazzy 3D environment in which you can walk around, to be honest. You even play arcade games and darts, and there are little details and secrets to find. Way more fun.