March: Favorite Games of the Month

March comes to a close, and this month’s best iPhone games are listed by our writers.  And instead of just featuring one or two games for the Game of the Month, we just state what we were playing throughout the month.  So without further ado, here’s our favorites for the month of March.

Matt: They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, and that seems to have been the case for the month in app store gaming. The Game Developers Conference kicked off the month with a roar, teasing us with glimmers of games to come later in the year. Following GDC, things quieted. The month was not without a few good titles, though. Aftermath is the best survival horror game I’ve played on the iPhone, slouching head and shoulders above the hoard of other zombie titles in the app store, and winning my vote for overall Game of the Month.

Despite my lukewarm review of the title, I’ve also spent a fair amount of time playing Caligo Chaser. I stand by every word of my review, but I’ve been enjoying the game despite its shortcomings. And speaking of shortcomings, I returned to playing the first Zenonia this month in anticipation of the sequel. Bolstered by the hype, I had hoped the month might go out with a roar as it had come in. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be. While Zenonia 2 improves on the original in a number ways, it also suffers many returning flaws, mostly owing to the game’s origin as a Korean cell phone title. While I appreciate the game’s redesigned menus and customizable interface, the low-resolution graphics, poor animations, recycled content and stiff controls are all issues that should have been better dealt with. It’s still a title I expect to enjoy, and it’s surely one of the month’s noteworthy releases; it just could have been so much more.

Travis: March was more about news than actual releases with some tid bits trickling in from GDC, but there were a few good titles that stood out. The biggest and most pleasent suprise was the release of Dinosaur Slayer. As a Patapon fan I was instantly attracted to this little gem. What I found behind that impressive art style was so much more: a complex and deep castle defense game that has to be one of the best on the platform. The boss fights alone are worth the purchase. Each boss presents a different challenge and when it’s over you really feel satisfied with the fight. One hundred levels seems like a lot, but before you know it you’ll be halfway through the game and craving more. I can only hope that the game sees enough success to give the developer incentive to keep updating the game, hopefully with new levels and bosses! I’d gladly pay for level packs just to see what new boss fights they come up with. This is truly one of the genre’s finest.

Daniel: It’s the calm before the storm; March just happens to be the calm. But above all the games released in March, I would have to say that I’ve enjoyed Ragdoll Blaster 2 the best, and it’s definitely worthy of being called a sequel. There’s a reason this game took home the Must Have award, and anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch should be playing this title from Backflip Studios. Along with that, I’ve been enjoying Zenonia 2 as of two days ago when I first received my build, but I must admit it isn’t the best. But still, Zenonia 2 is shaping up to be a quality sequel for those wishing to continue the legacy of Regret, and it’s definitely up there with the high-end RPGs on the App Store. Still, it would have been nice to upgrade the graphics and the animations, to show that Zenonia looks even better on an iPhone than a Korean cell phone.

Hope: Though March was supposed to have some heavy hitters in our midst, many of them disappointed for one reason or another. I found myself saying “awww” far too many times for what turned out to be an overly hyped release. But despite that, I found a few gems that definitely deserve mention. The biggest big name release for me snuck in at the last moment – Bounce On 2. The marketing strategy with the lite released a couple weeks before the full version worked perfectly for me because it definitely had me yearning for more. Bounce On 2 also matured from its predecessor of a year and a half ago, and many lessons were learned and implemented to make not just a sequel but a new game experience. A player has the choice of taking shortcuts to reach the final boss, skipping over levels that are not needed to complete the progression, or playing the full experience with many in game achievements, collectables and the plus social network implementation there is something for everyone.

But by far more prevalent for me in March were the handful of casual pick up and play games that I find I have been spending far too much time playing. These include G. Blacksmith, Mad O Ball 3D, and Chain Link Pro.

Evan: Based on the games that I’ve gotten a chance to play this month my favorite has been Street Fighter IV. I have been a huge fan of the Street Fighter series for a long time, and could even call past interaction with the games addiction. This port was very well done- the controls surprised me very much with their level of compatibility and ingenuity on the iDevice platform, and the graphics and framerate are fantastic even on my 1G! I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to play SFIV on demand; just by pulling my iPod out of my pocket.

Honorable mentions are Hit N’Run, Chop Chop Runner, Captain Ludwig, and Sailboat Championship PRO.

All the titles listed above should definitely be bought/played, and you know they have our full recommendation.  And that’s it folks, check back next month for our April Favorites Games of the Month.

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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