New releases round-up - Infinity Blade III, Riddick: The Merc Files, DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot, and more
Hands-on video impressions of this week's new and noteworthy iOS games
At the end of every week, we take time out to look at the new and noteworthy iOS games from the past seven days in both words and video.
This week, we've mostly been fawning over Apple's dramatically redesigned operating system iOS 7.
But we've also found time to play two returning iTunes titans, as new games in the Angry Birds and Infinity Blade series have hit the App Store. Plus, we've had a crack at some new indie games, movie tie-ins, and more.
And there's not an endless-runner or zombie game in sight. Maybe you guys are finally listening to me.
See all the games in action in the video below. Or read on for words, pictures, links, and prices.
Infinity Blade III has everything you'd expect from an Infinity Blade follow-up. Scrappy touchscreen-swiping fights, massive monsters, and incredible graphics. And there's some new stuff, too, like a big dragon, a second character, and some new fighting styles.
But the biggest change is that everything is split into levels. So, where Infinity Blade had one castle and one epic boss fight, this threequel has a whole procession of levels and a cast of impossibly difficult bosses to fight.
As a result, you'll repeatedly get stuck in that frustrating loop of being killed; starting back at the beginning; and slowly improving your skills, your stats, and your arsenal until you're strong enough to win that bout.
I found the whole setup a tad tiresome, to be honest. It worked as an interesting way to frame a short game in Infinity Blade, but constantly repeating everything just feels out of place in a giant story-driven adventure like this.
Angry Birds Star Wars II - in which Rovio recreates the Star Wars prequels as bird vs pig playsets - was about as inevitable as death and taxes, wasn't it?
The gameplay is going to sound awfully familiar. You use a slingshot to fire birds at rickety 2D physics structures in the hope of murdering a troupe of pigs. In this one, though, there are some new special powers for the birds. Oh, and you can join the Pork Side and play as the pigs.
But the really big change for this sequel is that there's an enormous list of 30-odd birds and pigs to play as. You can also tag in your favourite Star Wars characters if you don't fancy playing as Jar Jar Binks. You can rent heroes from the in-game shop, or zap in these nifty Telepod toys.
It's a bit pointless, but it will be fun for kids and Star Wars obsessives. And while the game is pretty much the same thing you've played a million times before, it's always good fun.
Riddick: The Merc Files
By The Gaming Corps - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.99 / $2.99)
As far as I can remember, Vin Diesel video game Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay was well loved. Well, some key members from the Butcher Bay development team have now got together to make a new Riddick game on mobile.
It's a top-down touch-driven stealth game. You tap on the environment to move our gravelly voiced hero. So, you'll make him creep from shadow to shadow, and take out goons with guns.
You'll need to watch out for guard patrol paths, move bodies into shadows, and decide whether it's worth giving up your position to fire off a few rounds with a found weapon. You can also pinch the screen to get a cool strategic overview of the action.
We'll need a bit more time with the game to see if it contains enough ideas to keep you engaged for a full campaign, but - unusually for a movie tie-in - it's off to a good start.
By Jagex - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)
Carnage Racing comes from RuneScape developer Jagex, and is a bit of a scrappy, unpolished racer with big trucks and big weapons. It has this odd "Phase Shift" mechanic where you can leap through time and space by running into rocks.
It's all a bit inconsequential and unambitious, but it works. And it's got enough content to keep you occupied for a while.
Carnage Racing is free to download, but you can upgrade to the full game for £1.99 / $2.99 inside the app.
By Colin and Sarah Northway - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.49 / $3.99)
Indie creature creator game Incredipede is a bit like barmy athletics game QWOP, albeit with weird long-legged bugs. In each level, you play as some ungainly critter with an odd collection of limbs, and you must contract and relax the insect's muscles to move her along.
Eventually, you'll be able to build your own creature in a rather fiddly little level editor. (Overall, the game feels better suited to iPad than iPhone, I should add.) You can also share your Frankenstein creations with friends.
It's all a bit bizarre and sometimes quite frustrating. But it's a beautiful game and it's totally unique. If you want some weird on your iOS device, take a look at Incredipede.
DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot
By Disney - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes - here in DuckTales. Shooting people with a toilet, online, with friends. You might get defeated, but just pay cash and your life will be repleted. DuckTales, oo-oo!
Ahem. Right. So, while console gamers got a re-imagined remake of NES classic DuckTales, we mobile obsessives have to make do with a bizarre online arena shooter, starring various characters from the DuckTales universe.
It's all a bit weird. You might smack an enemy with a tennis racquet while it throws syrupy pancakes in your face. All the while, you're snaffling up gold and transporting it across the map. I have no idea why this game was made.
It's also free-to-play'd into the stratosphere, with so much stuff for you to buy here if you want to get ahead. It's also impossible to find anyone to play with right now, so you'll have to make do with offline missions. It's also totally weird.
By Tiny Lab Productions - buy on iPhone and iPad (£1.49 / $1.99)
Orborun is about a little robot chappy who can roll himself up into a ball, Metroid style. Then, you roll along perilous floating tracks and try not to topple off into the abyss, Super Monkey Ball style.
The controls are okay and there's lots to do. I just hope it gets a little harder in later levels.
We'll have a full review of this up on the site in the coming days. We'll have reviews of all of the abovementioned games up soon, in fact.