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Twas The Week In Gaming Apps Before Christmas

It’s almost Christmas, and that means new games and new devices to play them on! Perhaps that’s why I’ve been busting my arse playing the nine games spotlighted in this Week in Gaming Apps — gotta make room for more, right?

On top of a handful of great games like the inventive shooter Alpha Zero, the tower offence brilliance of Anomaly: Korea and the simple charm of Scribble Hero, I also managed to pen three of this week’s Gaming Apps of the Day, take care of two 18-month-old children and finish my Christmas shopping, all while juggling knives and cats, often at the same time.

What can I say? I love you guys. Consider these suggestions your Christmas presents. Feel free to go in on a gift for me. I like islands.

iOS

Alpha Zero
A space shooter with a unique control mechanics — drag the ship about with your finger, aim with the other. Quite touching!

Scribble Hero
Mindless shooting fun with a page-crease direction-changing feature.

Anomaly Korea (also on Android)
The follow-up to one of the best defense-style games on mobile, the sequel is bigger and better than ever. More on this later.

RAD Soldiers
From Splash Damage, the developer of the console shooter Brink, a turn-based tactics game with collectible heroes and online multiplayer. Beautiful.

Mighty Wardens
2D hack-and-slash combat with some incredibly sharp graphics. I like it.

Ravensword: Shadowlands
I need a lot more time with this mobile answer to The Elder Scrolls.

Minigore 2: Zombies
Mowing down endless hordes of zombies with your cube-headed hero. A bloody good way to waste a few minutes.

Android

One Million Monkeys (also on iOS)
Collaborative fiction has always been a passion of mine. Multiplayers craft rando stories, words at a time.

Ninja Royale (also on iOS)
Stretching the definition of “action RPG”, Ninja Royale is is a mix of simple collector card game mechanics with ninja-fied mini-games. Not too shabby.

Gaming App of the Day — December 17-21, 2012

Grown-Up Strategy Gaming Goes On A Diet, Comes To The iPad

If you’ve ever played a turn-based strategy game on the iPad, chances are you’re playing a game with PC controls and/or design shoe-horned onto the touch-screen device. Some are OK, some can even be good, but you can never shake the feeling that you’re playing a game wearing somebody else’s ill-fitting shoes. More »

This Challenging Puzzle Game is a Crossbow Bolt to the Brain

I nearly let the fact that Ludomo Gamestudio’s Quiver looks like a shareware PC game from the mid-90s stop me from playing. Had I given in to my graphics snobbery I would have missed out on one of the most inventive puzzle games available on Android. More »

Now You Don’t Need Friends to Play the Penny Arcade Card Game

I’ve been wanting to play the Penny Arcade card game from Cryptozoic Entertainment for ages. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con I spent a great deal of time wandering past the Penny Arcade booth, holding the cards in my hand or casting longing glances from afar. Had Jerry and Mike noticed me there, they might have been assumed I was stalking them. More »

The Most Fun You Can Have With Pudding Without Somebody Getting Naked

Riding high on the continued success of Cut the Rope, developer ZeptoLab serves up victory pudding, only this pudding doesn’t want to be eaten or smeared on the naked bodies of unpleasant people. Pudding Monsters want to be free. More »

Classic Apple Game Karateka Makes a Fun but Flawed Return to iPad and iPhone

The original version of Karateka launched on an Apple II two decades ago and helped show that video game design could deliver idiosyncratic, narrative experiences. Back then, both Apple and video games were in their toddler stage, stumbling around trying to figure out what they could do. More »