Every Friday, Pocket Gamer offers hands-on impressions of the week's best new iPhone and iPad games.
By Smiley Games - download on iPhone and iPad (free)
Quadblast is remarkably similar to Tilt to Live, with one major difference: instead of killing your enemies at one remove, triggering explosions and hoping they get consumed by the blast, you have to shoot them directly with a beam that you can only fire in four different directions (hence the "quad" of the title).
Dealing with tilt and touchscreen controls is tricky at first, but you soon get used to it, and the game is generous with its difficulty, signalling the direction in which new enemies are going to travel when they appear and allowing you to shoot them before they can harm you or move.
In fact, once you realise that you can just hug the wall to reduce your vulnerability by about 50 percent Quadblast becomes almost leisurely. You're forced to make the game difficult for yourself by collecting score multiplying orbs and trying to complete achievements.
Quadblast is a decent minimalist arcade twitch game, even if it's not quite up there with the best of them.
By WeirdBeard - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.99 / $2.99)
99 Bricks Wizard Academy has been on our radar since last August, when we saw it at the Big Indie Pitch in Cologne. This well-polished puzzler is a fairly blatant rip-off of Tetris, even sharing that game's tetromino shapes, but it updates the formula with elements borrowed from Digital Chocolate's Tower Bloxx.
The goal is to build as high a tower as you can using tetrominoes that are falling from the sky. Your tower is affected by gravity, so if you stack your pieces clumsily you'll deprive yourself of a place to drop subsequent blocks, or cause the edifice to collapse entirely. Let three blocks topple over the side and it's game over.
The “academy” component is in the progression – to unlock new stages and powers you need to do well enough to earn diplomas, making the whole game a sort of extended tutorial. The controls work well, the Tetris-with-physics gameplay is fairly unusual, and – best of all for the traditionalists – there are no IAPs.
By Eric Farraro - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)
Tales of the Adventure Company is what you get when you distil a roguelike down to its very essence. The aim of the game is to survive seven dungeons by finding and killing the monster hiding the key to the door between each one and the next.
You have a limited number of moves, each of which allows you to uncover a square on a grid to see what's there. Sometimes it's an NPC, allowing you to do a little quest. Sometimes it's a monster, allowing you to engage in a simplistic bout of turn-based combat. Sometimes it's a campfire, where you can restore your party's health.
The graphics, like the gameplay, are distilled to their barest essence, with pixel-art sprites made up of the minimum number of blocks necessary for the human eye to recognise what they are. The result is a slick, adorable, fast-moving roguelike confection that's easily worth the price.
And, again, it has no IAPs.
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