iPhone Life magazine

Game-Centered Special Edition: 4 Stellar New Games

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

Welcome to a very special installment of Game Centered. Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This week, we are treated to a special installment with four highly anticipated, blockbuster game titles making their debuts in the App Store.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas ($8.99)

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

To this day, some of those old Zelda video games remain my favorite games of all time. So it’s hard for me to convey the joy I experienced playing this new and absolutely entrancing game, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas. Oceanhorn harkens back to the Nintendo classic Zelda: The Wind Walker and comes complete with captivating visuals, strong plot and character development, and outstanding gameplay that has been fine tuned for the iOS platform. In the game you’ll explore various islands peppered with colorful characters and no small amount of peril. As you set sail for further shores you’ll be battling villains, solving puzzles, and building your character while the plot unfurls.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.
 
 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

Having been playing Oceanhorn with fervor since it debuted in the App Store last night, I can honestly say this game is money well spent. If you are a fan of the acclaimed Zelda series, or if you happen to be looking for one of the coolest new exploratory RPG/Action/Puzzle games in the App Store, then Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a must-have.

 

Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf: Blood on the Snow ($4.99)

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

Even though author Joe Dever has a huge fan base, I understand that not everyone is familiar with Dever and his Lone Wolf book series. Nonetheless, after spending some time with this unique new game I feel safe in saying that this is a game that will enthrall longtime fans and newcomers alike.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

This highly interactive tale is a mixture of graphic novel, RPG, combat-based action/adventure, turn-based strategy and a well-written choose-your-own-adventure story, where the choices you make have definite and sometimes dire impact on how your own personal tale is told.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

The graphics of this game-book (and do keep in mind, this is a game-book, so there is a good deal of reading and page turning involved) have an archaic and medieval feel with dark and dangerous surroundings and awesome detail and depth. The battles feature unique and innovative control mechanisms, well suited for the touchscreen environment and shining over all, is an amazing story, where you are the hero, on an epic quest to secure a victory against all odds and as you'll discover, at all costs.

Like many episodic games out there Lone Wolf's three follow-up episodes can be purchased as separate episodes, or as a bundle for a respectable 20 percent discount at $9.99.

 

GT Racing 2 (free)

Let me start by saying, as I often do when it comes to freemium titles, I am growing to dislike the freemium game model more and more as it becomes more pervasive. I'd rather shell out some money for a game that doesn't harass me to make in-app purchases with real world money or annoyingly limit my progress if I don't succumb to the temptation to spend real-world monies. But they are what they are and they remain hugely popular. And admittedly, some are less repressive than others when it comes to hobbling players. GT Racing 2 is one of those freemium titles that delivers such compelling gameplay and such stunning graphics that it's impossible to deny the fact that it is a truly impressive and immersive racing game, on par with most console games.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

While most of the App Store reviews so far for GTR2 have sounded overwhelmingly positive, the hardcore gamers who have chimed in with reviews all complain about the same limiting elements, which naturally, encourage folks to spend more and more real world money to advance. That said, there is a definite consensus that GTR2 is the best realistic racing game in the App Store, with many racers saying it is as good if not better than the hugely popular Real Racing 3.

Indeed, GTR2 pushes the limits of what our iOS ecosystem is capable of. With its stunning graphics and adrenaline-pumping gameplay GTR2 is a stellar example of what can be done in an iOS video game and helps make it clear why iOS is the gaming platform that is becoming world-dominant in the gaming industry.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

If you have the time and patience to bear with high-priced and time-delayed upgrades, the need to purchase mechanics to even upgrade in the first place, and constant reminders of how much better the game would be if only you threw down some more cash, then this game is nothing short of spectacular and well worth the download. As a side note to the game’s publisher Gameloft: years ago I gladly paid full price for the earliest versions of the Asphalt racing series, and I would still gladly pay six or seven dollars for a great racing game that wasn't based on the current high-profit, purposefully limiting, freemium model. I know I am not alone in this sentiment.

 

Epoch 2 $5.99

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

Following in the post-apocalyptic footsteps of the original Epoch RPG, our hero, Epoch, is back, continuing the saga of his adventures in the wasteland of what's left of our world.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

It's a classic tale of devotion and sacrifice set in the ashes of a world gone to scrap metal. Whether you played the original Epoch or not, Epoch 2 is a game that you can pick up and immediately embrace and sink your teeth into. Through the course of gameplay you’ll quickly get brought up to speed on any critical plot elements you may have missed if you skipped the first installment.

 A Very Special Edition, Featuring Four Stellar New Games.

Powered by Unreal Engine 3, Epoch delivers the same pulse-pounding FPS action/adventure RPG of its predecessor, continuing the tale with even sharper and more impressive graphics, and familiar but tweaked gameplay. Epoch 2 promises to be a worthy successor to the critically acclaimed original.

Email icon
Want more? Get our weekly newsletter:
Siva Om's picture
Siva Om is a freelance writer and blogger. He's covered the latest trends and developments in mobile tech for over a decade. Siva founded iDoc Tech Support computer services in 2002. He has been an avid gamer ever since getting his Atari console in 1977. When not working, Siva enjoys adventuring off the beaten path.