New iPhone games - Rayman Fiesta Run, Sorcery! 2, and more

Hands-on with Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, Dwice, and Meltdown (Now with video)

New iPhone games - Rayman Fiesta Run, Sorcery! 2, and more
| New releases round-up
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Every Thursday, Pocket Gamer offers hands-on impressions of the week's new iPhone and iPad games, in words and video.

This week, Rayman has made his triumphant return to the App Store in our top pick.

Plus, we've found ourselves entering the intimidating walled cityport of Khare, styling a Scotsman's tache, and re-building the Death Star.

No one could possibly play all of these games. Well, we do. But that's our job. For everyone else, however, here are some first impressions of all these new iOS releases.

This week's top pick

Rayman Fiesta Run
By Ubisoft - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.99 / $2.99)

Rayman Fiesta Run

This is the much-anticipated follow-up to last year's terrific iOS auto-runner Rayman Jungle Run. The idea is the same: limb-free hero Rayman runs all by himself, leaving you to jump and punch your way through these gorgeous levels.

The big change, aside from Rayman being able to swim and shrink, is the introduction of tough new boss stages. Oh, and the fact that there's a much harder "remix" version of every level. If you thought the first game was a walkover, you'll definitely be pleased.

Also new are in-app purchases. So, yes, there's a questionable boost system here where you can buy hearts and hints with in-game or real-world cash. You don't need them, but they might sour your experience of an otherwise super-fun and addictive platformer.

Sorcery! Part 2
By inkle - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)

Sorcery Part 2

Sorcery! is the lovingly re-imagined app version of Steve Jackson's ambitious Choose Your Own Adventure book. It's all about making heavy decisions, fighting with a clever combat system, and marvelling at the ingenuity of inkle's digital remake.

Part two takes place in the walled cityport of Khare. It's an all-new location, with buildings and sewers to explore. There are fresh gods and monsters, and there's a gambling game called Swindlestones.

You can start the saga from here if you like, or import your character from the Gold Award-winning original.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star
By Disney Mobile - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)

Star Wars Tiny Death Star

Ever wondered how Darth Vader paid for the Death Star?

According to the creator of this Tiny Tower re-skin, the Sith Lord rented out one huge vertical column to a bunch of businesses and private buyers, and got the occupants to foot the bill.

This is an ultra-lightweight sim in which you build new levels, stock your shops with new goods, and even man the elevator. It's practically identical to abovementioned NimbleBit's free-to-play time sink, but there are now Jawas and special Imperial rooms.

By WildSnake Software - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)


Dwice is the latest game from Alexey Pajitnov, the man who has never quite managed to top his most famous creation: Tetris. (Though, I put more hours into Xbox Live's Hexic than I'd be comfortable admitting online).

Dwice is not going to be the game that makes everyone forget about the seminal Russian block dropper. It's very simple - you just pick up circles and drag them into the same circles (and squares into other squares), all the while racking up combos and being careful not to mismatch shapes.

It's fun and often satisfying, but right now it seems a tad too shallow for extended play.

Miner Problem
By Everplay - buy on iPhone and iPad (Free)

Miner Problem

Everplay, of 1001 Attempts and Spellsword fame, is responsible for this week's endless-runner. On this occasion, you're a tiny gem prospector who has to quickly escape from his quarry when the roof begins to cave in.

Everplay is heavily inspired by Jetpack Joyride here, right down to the special vehicles that crop up along your run.

And while Miner Problem is as fun and well engineered as all of Everplay's previous games, there's not enough going on to make me want to crawl through yet another set of minor upgrades.

By Bulkypix - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)


Arcade-style arena shooter Meltdown is one handsome little game. Plus, it's got a great control scheme. You move by tapping, while things like shooting and taking cover are handled automatically.

We haven't had a chance to try the four-player online co-op out yet, but that extra backup will certainly come in handy as the game gets pretty difficult, pretty fast.

By Lukas Korba - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)


Octagon is the latest rock-hard abstract Super Hexagon-esque time sink. But this one feels less original than the others.

Where Pivvot and Impossible Road and Boson X and Expander felt like completely fresh twists on a familiar theme, Octagon is all 'been there, done that'.

Like Boson X, it's an auto-runner where you hop between platforms. Like Project '88, you can flip gravity to land on the ceiling. Like Super Hexagon, it's - erm - named after a shape.

It's still quite good fun, but no points for originality.

Blocky Roads
By DogByte Games - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)

Blocky Roads

Blocky Roads is the latest game from Redline Rush maker DogByte. And it's very, unashamedly, brazenly based on Minecraft.

From the chunky block world to the inarticulate characters to the infamous 'blurp' sound effect for picking up materials, this is dangerously close to Mojang's game.

But it's also not a randomly generated world builder. It's actually a cute little side-scrolling car game in which you navigate jumps and cliffs. It's all about upgrading your vehicles to get farther on each course. Not bad.

Monsters Rising
By Nine Tail Studios - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.49 / $3.99)

Monsters Rising

I didn't think Apple even allowed developers to release games that aren't in widescreen any more. Never mind. This tactical brawler is better suited to iPad anyway.

You control a handful of monsters from Chinese mythology, then go on a rampage around town. You execute attacks via smart touchscreen gestures, and you'll have to juggle all your beasties to fend off the police and military.

Good so far.

Debonair Facial Hair
By Hunted Cow Studios - buy on iPhone and iPad (69p / 99c)

Debonair Facial Hair

This charming children's game is all about styling the eccentric residents of some seaside town. It's a very simple game - you just try to trace your finger over a string of symbols as quickly as possible.

There are obstacles to look out for, like giant cows who wander past to obscure your view and swinging anchors you should avoid. In general, though, this game is probably too simple for anyone above the age of five (as developer Hunted Cow itself suggests).

Also out this week…

Knack's Quest
By Sony Computer Entertainment - buy on iPhone and iPad (Free)

Knacks Quest

A simple match-three puzzler tie-in to upcoming PS4 platformer Knack. Nothing much to it, but do well and you'll unlock upgrades in the console game.

Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies
By 2K Games - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)

Ace Patrol Pacific Skies

Terrific turn-based dogfight sim Ace Patrol is back. Now it's got Japanese aircraft, fights in the Pacific theatre, and - you asked for it - an upfront price tag.

Lego The Lord of the Rings
By Warner Bros. - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)

LEGO Lord of the Rings

You know the drill by now. Like all Lego games, The Lord of the Rings is a cheeky little game where you collect studs, solve simple puzzles, and beat up enemies. We're carrying the game to Mount Review as we speak.

Dark Day LA
By Gamious - buy on iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)

Dark Day LA

This is an interesting single-screen multiplayer game, where one player tries to blend in with a crowd of AI bots and the other has to find her. Sounds like Spy Party or Hidden in Plain Sight. Sounds good.

Aliens versus Humans: Missions
By Leisurerules - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)

AvH Missions

Aliens versus Humans is the closest you can get to playing classic '90s-style XCOM on your phone. This Missions version has turn-based online multiplayer, and is completely free. You can donate 69p / 99c to the dev if you really like the game, mind.

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.