New releases round-up - Iron Man 3, Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes, House of the Dead: Overkill, and more
By Mark Brown 25 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 both in words and in video.
This week, the headline games are arguably billionaire-in-a-space-suit simulator Iron Man 3, and billionaire-in-a-Batsuit simulator Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes.
There are also games about zombies, dice, robotic unicorns, guns, guns, guns, and monsters.
Anyway. Enough of that. Let's get to the video. Text, prices, App Store links, and handsome screenshots are down below.
Gun Commando By Green Hill Games - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)
Gun Commando is another one of those pseudo-retro games, so, yeh, Green Hill does everything in its power to make this game resemble a shooter from two decades ago.
So, like Duke Nukem 3D, this iOS FPS has cheesy action hero one-liners, a nonsensical story, a repetitive heavy metal riff, and flat 2D enemies in blocky 3D worlds.
But it also features that game's basically brainless gameplay, uninspired gunfights, and maze-like levels for you to get lost in. There's a novel mechanic where your gun gets better as you land shots, but it doesn't relieve the boredom much.
Throw in some wonky touchscreen controls, and you've got a game that should have stayed in the '90s.
Madmonster is a cross between Rampage and a bouncy ball.
This is because whenever your mutant creature hits something, it bounces higher up into the sky. So, to ascend to the highest reaches of space, you need to keep a combo going by bouncing from tank to helicopter to stealth fighter to satellite to space station.
It's a little repetitive and can be frustrating when you fall all the way back down to the ground. Still, it's a clever idea and it's been executed well. The controls are good and the different objectives will keep you bouncing.
But it also gets quite hard, so you can buy extra lives. It's at this point that I threw my iPhone into a lake.
Robot Unicorn Attack 2 By PikPok - iPhone, iPad (Free)
Robot Unicorn Attack was actually one of the earliest endless-runners on the App Store. And it was definitely the gaudiest. All pink and rainbows and stuff. Just like something you'd see on the front of a 6-year-old girl's diary.
This surprise sequel is much of the same. There are some new enemies and unlockable worlds, but it's still about jumping and dashing until your robot head crunches into a wall.
The real changes are evident in its grindy free-to-play structure, its bucket of social features, and the ditching of Erasure's synthpop masterpiece 'Always' in favour of some phoney '80s ditty.
Talisman Prologue HD By Nomad Games - iPhone, iPad (£2.99 / $4.99) [Also on Android]
Talisman Prologue HD is a digital version of Games Workshop's fantasy dice-rolling boardgame Talisman. Funnily enough.
This first iteration is a single-player game, but a multiplayer version is heading our way later this year.
I don't know much about boardgames, so bear with me (and maybe wait for our review from someone who knows his d20s from his meeples, instead).
This one has ten characters from which to pick, and 50 quests. It's got weapons and battles with apes and taverns and all sorts. I'm no expert, but this seems like a pretty good digital re-imagining.
Gameloft is back with another movie tie-in. This time, we step into the hot-rod red shoes of Iron Man, and take to the skies above Malibu.
It's an endless-flyer, so think 'Temple Run in the sky'. With robots. You'll dodge billboards, collect credits, defeat robots, and finish objectives.
It definitely looks nice, but it has its faults. Controlling Iron Man - either via touch or tilt - can be like guiding an umbrella in a hurricane. And the game is absolutely jam-packed with in-app purchases.
I'd say give it a go, but given it takes up nearly 1GB of space on your device, I recommend you save your bandwidth.
Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes By TT Games - iPhone, iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)
If you've never played one of these licensed Lego games before, just know that they're very simple little brawlers for kids. Well, with a touch of platforming and some puzzles thrown in for good measure.
In this latest Lego instalment, there are Batman characters like Bane and Robin, as well as playable Lego versions of other DC Comics heroes, like Aquaman, Flash, and Superman.
If you don't want to wait, you can just buy your favourite characters immediately via in-app purchases.
Random Heroes 2 By Ravenous Games - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)
Ravenous Games and Woblyware have turned churning out pixellated platformers into a fine art. They seem to be able to throw a new one onto the App Store every month.
This time, it's the turn of Random Heroes 2, a plodding little run-and-gun shooter with a huge cast of weird playable characters. Think jesters, nurses, kings, and Abraham Lincoln.
In this sequel, the creators have added diagonal aiming and larger maps. Saying that, if you didn't know where to look, you'd be hard pressed to figure out whether this was actually a new game at all. A very safe sequel, to a very average game.
I'm being very grumpy today, aren't I?
House of the Dead: Overkill - The Lost Reels By Sega - iPhone, iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)
Inspired by cult exploitation flicks, House of the Dead: Overkill was a campy, violent, and wonderfully profane light gun shooter for Wii.
These Lost Reels are set in the same world and feature the same characters, but boast new remixed levels and other bits of fresh content.
It's surprisingly fun. You move automatically, and just line up shots with either tilt or touch. It's simple and shallow, but there's always a sick thrill to capping zombies in the brainbox, isn't there.
This one also has in-app purchases. And despite three levels being advertised in the App Store description of the game, you'll be expected to pay another £1.49 / $1.99 for the final chapter. Naughty naughty, Sega.
Mr. Runner 2: The Masks By GameVision - iPhone, iPad (69p / 99c)
Mr. Runner 2 is an odd little auto-runner. In this game, you see, you press on the right side of the screen to speed up, and on the left to slow down. You'll use this to avoid being squished by big falling platforms.
The original was a pixellated black-and-white affair. This new one is bursting with charm and character. And it's filled with references to retro games and the like.
I haven't played much, but it's definitely deserving of further investigation.