Upcoming iPhone games: Angry Birds Space, The Hunger Games, and more

Next week's most promising iPhone and iPad games

Upcoming iPhone games: Angry Birds Space, The Hunger Games, 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.

Flight Control Rocket is not the only well-worn iOS series to get a space-themed spin-off this week. The stratospherically popular Angry Birds is getting a fourth game, and it's the biggest update yet: Angry Birds Space.

But, it shouldn't set you back much more than a few pennies, which you can spend on next week's other big releases: a gusty art game, a turn-based epic, a movie-tie in and a pair of RPGs.

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

Angry Birds Space
By Rovio - out on March 22nd (source)

Angry Birds Space

It's fair to say that Rovio has settled into a slightly predictable rhythm with Angry Birds. We've had two straight years of new fortifications to knock over - just in different locations, eras, and involving a few new birds.

But, who would have guessed that the game's first major do-over would change the most fundamental building block of them all - the physics. Everything we've learned about Angry Birds's gravity, inertia, momentum, and destruction has been scrapped.

Instead, birds and pigs and broken bits of stage pirouette through the cosmos in complete weightlessness.

That is, until they come under the gravitational influence of a planet or a giant space rock, which will tug on objects, bending and warping their trajectory. This introduces new tactics, letting you sneak into a planet's orbit to take out pigs hiding around back.

Angry Birds Space's astrophysics aren't the only tweaks to the Angry Birds formula. The entire cast has undergone a transformation, and most birds have new powers. Red can spy the optimal flight path to cause maximum destruction, while Yellow has a Geordi La Forge-style uni-goggle to plan laser-guided attacks on pigs.

Blue still splits into a flock threesome. Big Brother (now "The Incredible Terence") is just a great big wrecking ball. Bomb Bird, on the other hand, has a heat shockwave that incinerates everything in his blast radius. The all-new Ice Bird freezes enemies solid.

Battleloot Adventure
By Digital Tales - out in March (source)


What's the best reason to go off on a rooting-tooting fantasy adventure? Glory? Honour? Nah, forget that - Battleloot Adventure is all about chasing gold.

This deep turn-based strategy game from Digital Tales has all the trappings of an orthodox RPG. You'll do battle with gremlins and bandits. You'll level-up a band of different class warriors, and equip them with awesome weapons. You'll master a tree of special skills.

But, instead of wanting to save the world from some gnarly über-villain, the game's mercenaries are only motivated by wealth, fame, and lucrative tax relief. No matter whether you're taking on quests or pledging allegiance to a city, it all comes down to your bank balance.

The game has already been submitted to Apple, so with any luck it will be available on iPhone and iPad from next week.

By Touch Foo - out in March (source)


Update, March 20th: Swordigo will be released on March 22nd, Touch Foo has announced.

Look out: it's another game without a firm release date. But, like Battleloot Adventure, it's currently waiting in line at Apple's approval gate, so fingers crossed it will be accepted in time for next week's app dump.

Swordigo comes from Touch Foo, the developer of respected platformer Soosiz. And it's apparently the answer to a question posed on Facebook: "What would happen if the makers of Soosiz created an RPG?" Yeah, we ask ourselves that every day.

So, here's what would happen: a super-streamlined role-playing game that focuses more on character development and world exploration than tiresome stat swapping. Your blue-haired heroine bounds about some cartoony locations, getting in scraps with Mario-style meanies.

In fact, it all looks very platform-y. Double-jumps, rotating platforms - the works. But, there's a strategic backbone here. Enemies have levels and life bars. You nab XP for beating monsters, and find more powerful weapons as you go.

It's RPG-lite, then, taking out almost everything that can make role-playing games a little dull, while keeping in all the stuff that keeps you wailing on rats for hours on end.

Hunters 2
By Rodeo Games - out on March 23rd (source)

Hunters 2

We quite admired the original Hunters here at Pocket Gamer. We said it dealt out "solid, in-depth turn-based tactical gameplay," though with a slightly wonky mission structure.

The sequel definitely looks to fix that niggle: it's got a proper campaign mode this time around, and a series of scripted missions that follow the tale of a new character: Caius Black. But, more than that, it's got new enemies, new environments, and even a fresh graphics engine.

The development team - four industry veteran friends who used to work at Criterion, Codemasters, and Lionhead - is also giving you a mini-gun that fires ten-round bursts. That will give you a nice chance to check out the sequel's projectile system, which lets you see every round that's fired.

The game was supposed to hit the App Store this week, but "something has come up in the 11th hour," Ben Murch, Rodeo Games's co-founder, said. "We're holding the release until next Friday."

The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire
By Adam Atomic - out in March (source)

out-next-week-hunger-games Update March 20th: As we guessed, Girl on Fire will hit the App Store on March 22nd, a day before the movie hits cinemas.

We really don't know anything about this game. In fact, all we know is that movie tie-in apps are usually not worth the bandwidth it takes to download them.

But, this might be the game to buck that trend. It's all about the sheer talent behind the production: a veritable indie developer dream team. First up, Canabalt-creator Adam Saltsman is heading up the development, while Doomlaser (Space Barnacle), is fleshing out the design.

Super Crate Box dev Paul Veer is the lead artist (and, yes, it has a scrumptious pixel-art aesthetic), and Super Meat Boy music man Daniel Baranowsky is composing an original soundtrack, inspired by the film. Which is about Hungry Hungry Hippos, I think.

The only morsels of info we have on the game are that "the focus of the game is more on marksmanship and strategy," and that you'll be defending Katniss Everdeen from attackers by leaping through treetops and firing your bow.

The game is supposed to come out at the same time as the movie, which is coming out - hey, whaddya know - 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.