Out next week on iOS: Kale in Dinoland, SCZ: BeyondDead, and more

Next week's best-looking iPhone and iPad games

Out next week on iOS: Kale in Dinoland, SCZ: BeyondDead, and more

Every Friday, we like to finish off the week by looking ahead and talking about the best-looking iPhone and iPad games that are just over the horizon.

It's a good bet that most of our time next week will be cooing over the PlayStation Vita. Hey, can you blame us? It's not every day that a new piece of lush gadgetry passes across our desks.

But we'll definitely take an hour off from fiddling with its dual analogue sticks, rubbing our fingers over its rear touch pad, and gazing lovingly into its OLED screen [steady - Ed], to try these iOS releases.

Remember, these games should hit the New Zealand App Store on Wedensday afternoon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we'll have to wait until midnight to actually get them on our App Store.

Note: Dates, prices, and features are subject to change at the whim of the developer and Apple's approval team.

Kale in Dinoland
By The Rotting Cartridge


There are plenty of classic Game Boy games that deserve to be ported and re-released to the App Store. Nintendo's foray into the world of handheld offered so many treats that have been lost to time, and now would be a perfect time to rediscover them.

And at the top of that list sits 1992's Kale in Dinoland. Wait, you do remember Kale in Dinoland, right?

That unforgettable platformer, originally released for the monochrome Game Boy by SkySoft? It featured Kale, who had to race to the top of a mysterious island called Dinoland, break into Mr. Dino's lair, and rescue his girlfriend, Terra.

I can't believe you don't remember this game. The one where you could ride enemies to control their powers. The one that Nintendo Power dubbed "a fun, expansive romp with a new mechanic and fresh feel."

Okay, we'll level with you. There was no Kale in Dinoland. Developer The Rotting Cartridge made the whole thing up, complete with a press release packed full of lies and even a developer diary about how it wants to do justice to a childhood favourite.

The review quotes from EGM and GamePro are totally fabricated, and the studio's previous projects - including Tom-Tom and the Castle of Light for GBA and Karma Phala III on SNES - don't exist.

It's a pretty brilliant way to market a retro-style platformer, and the poker-faced developer has stayed dedicated to the ruse. The actual game - made in 2012, not 1992 - will feature six themed areas, 50-odd levels, ultra old-school art and a chip-tune soundtrack, when it hits the App Store next week.

Towers N' Trolls
By Ember Entertainment


There are, to put it mildly, a lot of tower defence games on the App Store. Something about annihilating waves of enemies with some well-placed turrets has struck a chord with the iOS fanbase, and as such TD games are a dime and dozen.

But when the guys behind games like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and XBLA strategy gem Toy Soldiers are making one, it's time to pay attention to the genre again.

Those developers have spun off and founded Ember Entertainment. The startup studio's debut game is called Towers N' Troll,s and it will hit iPhone and iPad on February 23.

It's a pretty typical tower defence game, with no obvious gimmick in sight. You're simply erecting catapults and magical towers and cannons to stop waves upon waves of trolls.

That's the ugly, fantasy monster brand of troll - not the people who go on message boards and goad fanboys by trash-talking Final Fantasy VII.

Towers N' Trolls's strong suit looks to be its animations. As you can see from the game's trailer, every enemy plods through your defences with cartoonish, exagerated movements. Baddies trapped in blocks of ice drag themselves to safety, and explosive kegs sends trolls flying in all directions.

SZC: BeyondDead
By Monster Robot Studios


The similarities between SZC and Metroid are hard to miss. This action-heavy app features abandoned space stations, ice beams, and bulky space armour that looks about as comfortable as wearing a rusty iron g-string.

There's also a huge map to explore, upgrades to find, more powerful guns to wield, and big ugly space aliens to shoot. We wouldn't be surprised if the big twist ending revealed that you'd been playing as a girl the entire time.

But while Monster Robot Studios is obviously crafting a love letter to Samus Aran, it's also brought plenty of its own ideas to the table.

Alongside the familiar ice beam is a gravity beam, where anything you shoot - be it a zombie, a big chunk of the scenery, or some broken-down lift - will float up into the air.

There are little puzzles that you'll need to master to get through doors and, unlike Metroid's solitary story, there are plenty of characters to yabber to as you blast away at aliens. We'll find out whether it can hold a candle to the original, next week.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.