Every week, our staff will handpick a game from the past two weeks that we believe is a must-have download for your iPhone or iPad. These games will always be from a wide variety of genres, but they are chosen because our own staff members love it and can’t quite put it down. So here are this week’s picks! Enjoy, and happy gaming!
Are you ready to sit down this weekend with a challenging little Zelda-inspired platformer puzzle game? Then you will want to grab our Game of the Week, Almightree.
Almightree is a game about a world that is falling apart, and it’s up to you to restore balance and order to it through the “Almightree.” Even though the world is crumbling behind you in chaos, the game still looks gorgeous, thanks to the fantastic 3-D world that is filled with bright, vivid color, lush details, and smooth animations. There are even some hand-drawn, cryptic illustrations that serve as clues to the plot, and these are also beautiful. The atmospheric soundtrack is also a delight to the ears, so we recommend getting a nice pair of headphones to really enjoy it.
The game is level based and has 20 stages for players to go through. While this does not seem like a lot at first, there are three difficulties to choose from, and there are 40 challenges to complete that are only available on Hard mode — the Easy and Normal are more like practice.
The controls consist of a simple D-pad in the bottom left for controlling the direction you want to move a space in. The button on the right allows you to use your Dreamer magic to create a portal on a space to warp a block to, in order to get past gaps and other obstacles. Personally, I would have preferred a virtual joystick for movement, but the controls work okay for what it’s worth. New game mechanics get introduced at a gradual pace, so you never miss a beat.
What I really liked about Almightree is the fact that it is a puzzle platformer with a sense of urgency to it, since the world is falling into the abyss behind you. So each level is timed (Easy will be slowest of them all), and you need to make it from the starting point to the end point (where the Almightree seedling is) before it’s too late. Scores are determined by how much of the earth is left intact, how fast you managed to finish, and the difficulty that you were on. There is Game Center for leaderboards and achievements.
We’ve been enjoying Almightree a lot over the past week, and we recommend it to anyone who wants to dive into a challenging puzzle platformer this weekend. You can get it on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.
For more information on Almightree, including clips of the gameplay, check out my full review.
In the mood for a fast-paced, twitchy endless flier in space? Then look no further than our Honorable Mention, ALONE.
The graphics in ALONE are flat and simple, but still incredibly detailed. The details lie within the smooth, flowing backgrounds, dynamic environments, and fluid animations. Even the ship, which seems basic, carries its own with the flickering throttle and regenerating shield. The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful with five adrenaline-pumping songs that are randomized during each run.
The game has five game modes and difficulties available, but only the first one is available from the start. You need to reach a certain distance to unlock the next one, and repeat this four times. Since the first mode, Veteran, is already considered “hard,” the game only gets more challenging from there.
We love the intuitive and responsive controls in the game — as your ship flies automatically, you just need to control the vertical movement. This is done by swiping your thumb up and down the screen. By default, the game uses inverted controls, but this can be turned off at any time. ALONE has a very sensitive control scheme, so in a way, it’s like a twitch reflex game as you dodge the walls, debris, asteroids, comets, and other obstacles that are ahead of you. There is a shield that regenerates over time, but if it’s depleted and you hit something, or just crash into a wall, then that run has concluded and you’ll need to start again.
We are in love with the twitchy endless runner action that is in ALONE. If you’re craving a game that you can pick up and play at any time, but is still challenging, then make sure to get ALONE. It’s on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.
For more information on ALONE, as well as gameplay footage, don’t miss my original review.