Out next week on iOS: Waking Mars, Adventure Bar Story, and more

Next week's best-looking iPhone and iPad games

Out next week on iOS: Waking Mars, Adventure Bar Story, and more

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

The App Store has been a bit of a ghost town this week - probably because developers would rather not go head-to-head with a brand-new console from Sony, and its raft of impressive launch games.

But, with the PS Vita now in the rear-view mirror, app makers are coming out of the woodwork, meaning next week is going to be a doozy.

IGF finalist Waking Mars, an English version of PSP time sink Adventure Bar Story, a mobile edition of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!, a remake of Prince of Persia, and lots more are heading to an App Store very near you.

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

Waking Mars
By Tiger Style - coming to iPhone and iPad next week


Developer Tiger Style describes its red planet epic as an "action-gardening adventure". As such, you'll delve deep into the core of Mars not with a laser rifle or an industrial sledgehammer, but with a bag of seeds and an encyclopedia on Martian plant life.

In each area, your job is to throw a spanner in the works of natural selection, and use a handful of seeds to tweak the environment, allowing alien flora and fauna to thrive. You'll change the way plants behave, cultivate new lifeforms, and feed hungry critters, thus increasing the area's biodiversity.

You'll have to do all that while zipping about enormous caves on your jetpack and avoiding the planet's more hostile creatures.

The developer has kept Waking Mars close to its chest, making a game that's almost as enigmatic as the red planet itself. But, given it created the elegant and artful Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, we can't wait to try Tiger Style's latest and find out what really lurks beneath the surface of Mars.

Adventure Bar Story
By Rideon Japan - delayed out-next-week-adventure-bar-story Note: Adventure Bar Story has been delayed by at least one week, Pocket Gamer has learned.

At first glance, Adventure Bar Story might look like any other RPG. Pixel-art characters traipse around dungeons and fields, get into fights with sentient blobs of slime, and dole out damage in a turn-based battle of attacks, guards, and potions.

But, when you win the fight, you don't just get cash and XP: you get bags of flour, cartons of eggs, handfuls of carrots, and a handy recipe for salted cucumber.

That's because you're running a restaurant, not saving the world. Fighting monsters and exploring dungeons are simply two ways to stock up on ingredients and recipes for tomorrow's meals. So, item shops sell frying pans - as well as swords - and your inventory will contain both pizza and potions.

It's half-Kairosoft-style simulation, and half-traditional RPG. You'll need to think about how you'll survive the next random encounter while also thinking what food you're going to serve customers tomorrow; how you're going to triumph at a culinary competition; and what foods you can cook up to improve your party's stats.

There are literally hundreds of recipes to find, buy, and experiment with, and you'll eventually start fishing and farming to increase your bar's stock. It's a massive game, with a seriously smart idea that has been executed well. If you're hooked by RPGs and find simulations addictive, this game might just eliminate your free time altogether.

Kids vs Goblins
By Stolen Couch Games - (maybe) coming to iPhone and iPad next week


The long-awaited (and, painfully, much-delayed) tactics caper Kids vs Goblins should finally be coming to the App Store next week.

The game kicks off with a trio of kids shipwrecked on a monster-infested island. Their baby brother is snatched by the hungry goblin king, so the youngsters don heroic outfits (and a bear costume, for some reason) and give chase.

What unfolds is a pretty standard RPG, where you'll wail on goblins, crabs, necromancers, and other such token nasties. There are three classes to choose from: attack, support, and heal. Each of these gives characters special moves or spells.

There's no traditional levelling-up system, though. Instead, you can spend gem stones you earn or find during missions on bigger and better moves. There are more than 80 different spells to choose from (and they can be mastered and combined).

From our first impressions, Kids vs Goblins might be a good game to ease dungeon-crawling newcomers into the genre. But, by shying away from depth and more complex strategy, this light slice of RPG probably won't do all that much for goblin-bashing veterans.

AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration)
By Dejobaan Games - coming to iPhone and iPad next week


Dejobaan obviously didn't learn from AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity or AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome that an endless string of vowels is not the most Google-friendly game name in the world.

So, we end up with AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration) on iPhone and iPad (though we'll call it AaAaAA!!! from now on, so as not to wear out our 'A' key): an app that's near impossible to search for, and even breaks the boundaries of our website, giving the tech team a big headache. So, thanks for that, Dejobaan.

The name is not without merit, though. This is a base jumping game, and that's exactly the sort of noise one makes when hurtling towards the ground, barely dodging giant hunks of metal and hugging up close to skyscrapers. Trust us.

In each level, you'll want to survive the descent by dodging obstacles (using tilt) and popping your parachute at the last moment for a clean landing. To boost your score, though, you'll need to dive through hoops, scrape past buildings, give a thumbs-up to your fans, and flip the bird to your critics.

It's also well worth noting that Dejobaan teamed up with Snuggle Truck developer Owlchemy Labs to make the iOS port - so, AaAaAA!!! is in very good hands.

Prince of Persia Classic
By Ubisoft - coming to iPhone and iPad


The Prince of Persia wasn't always a buff Hollywood hero played by Jake Gyllenhaal. And he didn't start out as a cel-shaded scarf wearer voiced by Nolan North. Back in 1989, he was about 20 pixels high, and his animations were based on Jordan Mechner's brother.

You'll be able to relive those glory (?) days with Ubisoft's remastered Prince of Persia Classic, which will hit the iOS platform next week. For real this time: the game's momentary App Store appearance late last year was a mistake. Whoops!

You start off locked up in a dungeon at the very bottom of a massive castle. Your job is to escape, fight a whole heap of enemies, dodge a bunch of traps, and save the princess before the Grand Vizier Jaffar takes over the kingdom.

There are three modes - Normal, Time Attack, and Survival - on offer. You'll also grab achievements in Game Center, and you can post your best time on leaderboards.

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.