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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fresh iPhone Apps for June 21: Fish Heroes, Centipede Origins, Trivial

It was another big game night in the iTunes App Store, with a new set of interesting titles for your consideration going into the weekend. Leading the haul is Fish Heroes, a 3-D take on the popular Angry Birds formula, followed by a re-imagining of the classic arcade title Centipede, Centipede Origins. Finally, there’s a Trivial, a trivia game that integrates with Facebook to allow players to take on their friends and families.

Okay, it’s another Angry Birds-alike title in which you fling animals at other animals and structures. Let’s go ahead and get the similarities out of the way. Where Fish Heroes is different, and worth a look, is that it places players in a 3-D world. Your goal is to use various kinds of fish with different powers to take down sharks, and the goal is to use the fewest fish to beat each level.

Fish Heroes mixes up the genre first by throwing various kinds of sharks into the mix, each of which must be dealt with in different ways. Its levels are also built in such a way as to require a lot of strategic thinking to get the best scores, and are often challenging in a different way than most similar titles. There’s also Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards.

At one time or another, everybody has likely played the classic arcade title Centipede. In it, players control a defense tower that shoots enemy bugs as they streak toward the bottom of the screen and attempt to kill you. Centipede Origins reimagines the game in touchscreen-compatible form with a whole new art style, putting you in control of a gnome that has to fight off bugs to protect his homeland.

Centipede Origins also awards players with coins that can be spent on power-ups at the opening of each level to boost your abilities. You can obtain special powers as well as different gadgets, and each has a different effect on the battlefield. You’re scored on how many bugs you can take down as they come at you in waves, and those scores can be shared on Game Center leaderboards.

Challenge your Facebook friends and family members to trivia competitions with Trivial. The app users your Facebook connections to help find you opponents, and then lets you challenge them to quick, timed matches of eight questions each. The game is asynchronous, so your opponent doesn’t have to be playing at the same time as you to accept your challenge.

Trivial holds itself apart from other trivia game titles by allowing players to buy and use power-ups in their games. You’ll earn coins each day automatically, and can purchase more, then trade them for items that can give you an edge – slowing down the timer to keep your score high or eliminating false options from the list of choices. Your scores are tracked in the app, and the better you do, the higher you’re in-game IQ goes on your profile.

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