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New releases round-up - The Other Brothers, Badland, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Tekken Card Tournament, and more
By Mark Brown 04 April 2013
Game Name: New releases round-up | Publisher: Steel Media | Format: iPhone, iPad
Every Thursday, we take time out to look at the week's new and noteworthy iOS games via the magic of mankind's two greatest inventions: the written word and YouTube.com.

April has started off strongly, with a slew of games worth checking out. Starting with much-anticipated platformer The Other Brothers and stylish auto-run puzzler Badland.

There's also a pair of free-to-play fighters, an old skool relic that probably wasn't worth digging up from the dirt, and a game about shooting people with guns. Novel!

Anyway. Enough jibber-jabber. Let's get to the video. Text, prices, App Store links, and pretty pictures are down below.



Overkill 2
By Craneballs - iPhone, iPad (Free)

Overkill 2

Overkill 2 is aimed at a very specific type of person. Someone who would get visibly excited at the thought of being able to jam a slightly different end on a Beretta so that he'll be slightly more efficient at murdering people.

An American man, basically.

That's really the extent of this game's loop. So, grind away at bland shooting range challenges until you have enough money to subtly improve your weapon and do a tad better the next time you're set upon by terrorists.

There's a nice 3D interface here for upgrading your arsenal, but the actual gameplay is not much fun. And you'll be stuck in an almighty grind if you don't want to pry open your wallet and invest in a more powerful gun.

The Other Brothers
By 3D Attack - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)

The Other Brothers

No prizes for guessing which 'brothers' are being referenced in this game's name. Yes, this is much like Mario, but without the mad acid trip setting. So, think junkyards instead of candy-coloured kingdoms, and mobsters instead of monsters.

And there are no linear left-to-right side-scrolling levels in The Other Brothers. Instead, you get these huge open stages to explore, where just finding the exit is as tricky as reaching it.

Sadly, the controls are kind of a flop. The floating D-pad makes a nuisance of itself, especially when you try precision movements like clambering up ladders or stamping on guard dogs.

In conclusion, then, not much like Mario at all.

Badland
By Frogmind - iPhone, iPad (£2.49 / $3.99)

Badland

Frogmind's Badland is one stylish game. It's got ambient music, stark silhouette graphics, and gorgeous painterly backdrops. It's worth a buy just to see it in motion - especially on a Retina display.

The actual gameplay doesn't fit comfortably in any particular genre, mind. It's ostensibly an auto-runner. These podgy little birds fly forwards automatically, and you tap to guide them through dangerous terrain (complete with falling rocks and saw blades).

But Badland is also a puzzler, with simple physics problems to overcome. But as you're constantly being propelled forwards, you must quickly solve the puzzles before you tumble off the screen and die.

This game is an odd mish-mash of genres, sure, but maybe that's just what you like.

Tekken Card Tournament
By Namco - iPhone, iPad (Free)

Tekken Card Tournament

The core card game in Tekken Card Tournament is interesting. It's a psychological game of tug of war: part-rock-paper-scissors and part-prisoner's dilemma.

In each round, you have three options: draw a new card, strike with all your cards, or block the first two cards in the opponent's strike. This sets up an interesting back and forth in which you're trying to outsmart your foe, and not waste a perfect opportunity to attack.

Those are just the basics, of course. There are also special cards, 3D Tekken heroes, a whole F2P economy of booster packs, and online play. Card battler fans should definitely check it out.

Run Sheldon!
By Bee Square - iPhone, iPad (Free)

Run Sheldon

My mind started to wander when I was playing Run Sheldon!, the latest woefully generic endless-runner for iOS. On this occasion, mind, the star of the game is the tortoise from Aesop's Fables. Yay.

All I could think about while playing this game was the absolutely futile plight of the so-called heroes in these endless-runner titles. These guys never succeed - failure or even death is inevitable, and you only delay that outcome.

Maybe it's an allegory for life and death? Spending loads of cash might make your life last a little longer. Might make your stay on this planet a little more cozy. But you're still going to die one day... like everyone else.

So, that's Run Sheldon!, basically. 7/10.

Slayin
By FDG Entertainment - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)

Slayin

I think Slayin is best described as 'Super Crate Box the RPG'. It's got all the hallmarks of a role-playing game - swords, shields, slimes, and EXP - but everything moves at an absolutely breakneck speed.

You kill enemies with one poke of your sword, and you'll churn through levels in minutes. You buy stuff by running into the merchant character, while boss fights last seconds.

It's fun stuff, though - due to the absolute chaos of the whole thing - it's never entirely clear how much of your skill is being translated into success. Plus, it soon becomes a little repetitive. Fun while it lasts, however.

Duke Nukem II
By Interceptor Entertainment - iPhone, iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)

Duke Nukem II

Yes, you read that right. There really WERE a pair of side-scrolling Duke Nukem shooters before the infamous (for different reasons) Duke Nukem 3D and Duke Nukem Forever.

They were okay in their day. I actually spent a fair few afternoons playing these games on some decrepit DOS PC. But if this iOS port is any indication, Duke Nukem II has not aged very gracefully.

This is a rather bland and boring shooter, made infinitely worse by a choppy frame rate and dodgy controls. Don't dredge up the past - leave this one as a sweet memory.

Injustice: Gods Among Us
By NetherRealm Studios - iPhone, iPad (Free)

Injustice Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a free-to-play spin on the upcoming console fighter of the same name. In this brawler, NetherRealm Studios pits DC heroes - like Superman, Batman, and Halle Berry - against one another in tag team tussles.

The fighting is massively simplified. You tap and swipe to do light and heavy attacks, and then maybe throw in a quick swipe here and there for a combo move. You can also tag in other spandex-clad super-dorks, and unleash specials.

It certainly looks impressive, and it seems like the same models and animations used in the console edition are present here.

Two big questions, though: How much cash do you have to spend on booster packs to keep up with the competition? For how long will this energy system let me play? Bear those in mind, yeah.

Dream Chaser
By We.R.Play - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)

Dream Chaser

Finally, it's time for your weekly Chillingo game!

This week, say 'hello' to Dream Chaser, a rather handsome little endless-runner with an actual story mode.

So, there are single-player challenges, cutscenes, and dialogue bits. If those elements aren't of interest to you, though, there's also your bog-standard endless mode where you try to run as far as your little legs can take you.

It's a pretty standard entry in the genre. Its only real claim to fame is the game's extremely fast pace - especially when you use boost - and the game engine's impressive ability to keep up with the smooth and speedy animation.
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