What's new? Gunner Z, LEVEL 22, The Cave, and more

Hands-on with this week's new iPhone and iPad games

What's new? Gunner Z, LEVEL 22, The Cave, and more
| New releases round-up

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.

As ever, these are first impressions. We wanted to give you a quick idea of what's worth buying and what should be avoided while we work on our full in-depth reviews.

This week?

Well, we've got talking caves, pint-size ninjas, and remote-controlled jeeps. We're hiding in cupboards, matching gems, and building a transportation empire that would put Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to shame.

The video is down there. Words, screenshots, and links to the App Store are down theeeeerrreee.

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By Crescent Moon Games - buy on iPhone and iPad (69p / 99c)


Don't be fooled by Nakama's cute graphics and simple NES-style controls. This is a ruthless little side-scrolling brawler in which the dev quickly ramps up the difficulty with a selection of tough baddies and boss characters.

Your move-set is pretty robust. You can slash, jump, or combine the two. Plus, you've got a Mega Man-style charge attack for extra damage.

If you fancy a challenge and don't mind dying a whole lot, pick up this fun little ninja sim.

By Noego - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.49 / $3.99)


Indie stealth adventure LEVEL 22 stars Gary, a hungover office worker who must sneak back to his desk before his boss notices that he's late.

So, think Metal Gear Solid-meets-Office Space, as you hide in cardboard boxes and supply closets, and knock out suspicious colleagues with sleeping pills.

The game looks absurdly great, and the simple tap-to-move controls make sneaking around easy. It is, however, quite difficult to see what's going on with the zoomed-in camera (I'm playing on iPhone - it might be better on iPad), which leads to you getting caught a lot.

Luckily, the checkpoints are never too far apart. This game is funny and full of promise. I can't wait to play more of it.

The Cave
By Double Fine - buy on iPhone and iPad (£2.99 / $4.99)

The Cave

The Cave is a new adventure game from Monkey Island mastermind Ron Gilbert.

This time, you control three characters (picked from a cast of seven) who must work together to solve simple point-and-click conundrums.

The puzzles are spread out between boring platforming sections, which are an absolute nightmare to control on the touchscreen. Couple that with uninspiring puzzles and flat comedy, and you've got one disappointing game.

The Minims
By A and B and S and A - buy on iPhone and iPad (69p / 99c)

The Minims

Another point-and-click game now. I'm not sure if it's supposed to look like it's made from clay or if those are just bad graphics, but there we go.

The game also contains really obtuse puzzles. Oh, and the game developer fails to communicate properly what you're doing and why your proposed solutions are wrong.

The Minims is also missing a key feature of iOS adventures: the ability to reveal all the hotspots on screen. Put all that together, then, and you've got a really unsatisfying and uninteresting puzzler.

Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign
By Infinite Interactive - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign is not a simple spandex-clad re-skin of the much-loved match-three RPG.

Yes, you're still matching gems to deal damage to bad guys, but this comic book version contains lots of new twists on the formula.

You'll have to neutralise gems in a certain number of moves, unleash special powers, and tag in a trio of Marvel heroes. It's free-to-play, so we'll see how that goes. But it's off to a fun start.

Gunner Z
By BitMonster - download on iPhone and iPad (Free)

Gunner Z

BitMonster may be best known for idyllic island adventure Lili, but the studio is harking back to its Gears of War days in this violent and gory shooter.

You're in charge of a remote-controlled car that automatically drives through ruined city streets. All the while, you're mushing up zombies with a machine gun on a cherry picker. That makes things a bit limited, but it does give you good control over aiming and firing.

Gunner Z gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly, and it's packed to the rafters with in-app purchases for repairs, vehicle upgrades, extra lives, and customisation. It is free-to-play, though, so check it out for yourself.

Transport Tycoon
By 31x - buy on iPhone and iPad (£4.99 / $6.99)

Transport Tycoon

Transport Tycoon is an incredibly deep simulation game, where you get to command a fleet of trains, planes, boats, and more. Your job is to outpace your opponents in the race to build a profitable transportation empire.

The 1994 original has been left largely untouched for this mobile remake, other than the inclusion of a modern touch-friendly interface. And there aren't any in-app purchases to bail you out if you go into the red, either.

Definitely not one for the fainthearted, then. But if you want something with a lot more 'brains' than the average iOS city builder, get on this.

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.