iPad Game Thursday: New Releases

This week’s roundup includes a few games with names that, for whatever reason, just weren’t selling me on the idea. (I’ll let you guess which ones.) But after I played them, I was reminded why you shouldn’t immediately write off an app based on that alone. Of course, I’m still sometimes guilty of judging an app by its icon, but that’s a whole other thing, right?

Get ready for a bunch of animals who like riding in trucks; rebooted monsters with a penchant for high-rises; some very badly drawn famous faces; fish who aspire to be heroic in the face of tragic kidnappings; and football players with a sense of humor. Hit the jump to check it all out.

Badly Drawn Faces

This addictive game is a lot like what it sounds like it is: you try to guess the celebrity or otherwise famous face that has been drawn really, really badly. And if you think an idea with such a quote, lame, unquote, concept could actually be in hot demand, think again. (Hello? Don’t you remember that whole Snuggie thing?)

So Sharpy the narwhal can’t draw. And yet he loves to recreate the faces of celebs anyway. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess the name of the face and collect fish. (Yes, fish.) The fish are important in case you can’t guess correctly right away. Then you’ll have to feed Sharpy fish in exchange for clues.

There are more than 450 different faces to guess, and did I already mention it’s addictive? Some faces are easy and others are just plain hard. But the goal of figuring out who’s who will make you spend more time playing this game than I bet you anticipate.

Price: Free
Developer: Sporcle, Inc.
Download: iTunes


Big Win Football

You may already be familiar with the Big Win baseball, hockey and soccer games, and if you are, you’ll find Big Win Football lets players have fun with the same “dream team” concept.

Assemble your fantasy lineup with plenty of team and player customizations, earn coins and “Big Bucks” each time you play in order to level up. Rewards come in the form of bronze, silver and gold card packs, which can up your players’ talents (for example, boost throwing performance with an “Arm” skill boost card), or even gift you with new players.

Other features include Big Impact cards, which you can earn, and which, like their name suggests, can greatly increase your odds of winning. Examples include the Iron Curtain, Solid Grip, Soft Hands and Injury Free. Use them to earn the ultimate reward — winning the Daily Bowl.

Price: Free
Developer: Hothead Game Inc.
Download: iTunes


Fin Friends

In this side-scroller game, a boy fish named Ruby (who, by the way, is reminiscent of a certain famous clownfish) is taking on a gang of mean blowfishes after they captured all his friends. Now you’ll have to help him free his buddies from nets and lead them to the caves where they’ll be safe.

The visual style of the characters and underwater environment looks beautifully handsculpted, and the challenge of dodging all the bad guys and other hazards, like blowfishes, squids and crabs, will make you want to play this game over and over again.

To keep things interesting, you unlock new fishy friends as you play, and the game also includes special objectives. Also, the obstacles are randomly generated, meaning you can’t beat a level by memorizing any patterns — which keeps things interesting.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Claybox
Download: iTunes


Snuggle Truck HD

Although the name might give the impression there isn’t a whole lot of action going on in this game, make no mistake, there’s a lot of adventure and skill involved.

Snuggle Truck has taken a simple concept — try to get something (in this case, fuzzy animals) from point A to point B in as little time as possible — and has added complicated terrain, physics-based gameplay, a menagerie of obstacles, and other things like TNT and rocket boosters to up the challenge quotient.

The bottom line is, is you have to save all of your furry friends from extinction by delivering them safely to the zoo. So tilt the truck, blast over hills, avoid armadillos in the road, but whatever you do, don’t let one of those little guys fall out of the truck!

Price: Free
Developer: Owlchemy Labs
Download: iTunes


Super Monsters Ate My Condo

The developers of the original Monsters Ate My Condo have added more details to the graphics, new sound effects and a new time limit: In this super version, your goal is to rack up as many points as you can in just two minutes.

For the uninitiated, the game involves color-matching condos to monsters, with certain condos having special properties. In this reincarnation, new condos like the bank and the clock work to your advantage, while others set you back, for example, the new dog and nuke-generating and acid-spewing condos.

Adding to the mayhem are more than 90 different goals you can challenge yourself to achieve, plus monster power boosts, special hats you can make the monsters wear to earn you more points and more. And don’t worry if none of this makes sense, you’ll understand once you play and become addicted yourself. FYI, fans of the original: This new version is so worth the $0.99.

Price: $0.99
Developer: [adult swim]
Download: iTunes

What are You Playing?

Which games are you hooked on right now? Let your fellow gamers and iPad enthusiasts know in the comments section below!