iPad Game Thursday: New Releases

Who’s ready for vikings to take over as the next big thing and replace zombies? I know I am. If you feel the same, you’ll be thrilled to know that vikings have landed in this week’s installment of iPad games. So get your helmet and your longboat oar, and then get ready: It’s going to be a very icy, but fun, journey.

There’s also a slew of battles about to take place that have nothing to do with vikings. You’ll be a modern soldier, a Knight of Pen & Paper, and a member of a futuristic elite task force called XCOM. Could there be any more going on in this week’s edition of games? Oh yeah — trains! Click “more” to get rolling.

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Bridgy Jones

You don’t have to have any experience in engineering or architecture to build a bridge when it comes to helping Bridgy Jones, his canine pal Bonner, and their train drive across rivers, valleys and other chasms.

Pull together tools and resources like wooden beams, tracks, ropes, concrete blocks and more to craft a bridge of the appropriate length and strength to help the duo haul their cargo quickly and efficiently without running — er, falling — into trouble.

Over the 32 levels, enjoy many different scenarios and landscapes, including woodlands, caves and mountain ranges, and take it all into consideration as you attempt to build the best bridge Mr. Jones and Bonner could hope for. As you’ve probably already guessed, if your bridge doesn’t work out, the results will be, well, disastrous.

Price: $0.99
Developer: Chillingo
Download: iTunes

Bridgy Jones


Knights of Pen & Paper

This much-loved turn-based RPG with retro-style pixel art has added new dungeons, more character actions, and an extended campaign filled with additional content and adventures. Plus, you’ll get to experience playing with the all-new Tavern, a place where you can conveniently stash your heroes and swap out party members — something you can incorporate into your strategy.

If you’ve never played before, here’s the 411: You’re assuming the roles of in-game players who are taking on the roles of their characters in a pen and paper (ah ha!) RPG. Yeah, I know. It’s so meta. And since you’re both the in-game characters and the dungeon master, you can choose which battles to fight, create your own scenarios, and reap all the rewards of battle.

In addition to choosing your characters (from multiple classes), you can decide which quests, monsters, items and equipment you want to take on or ditch. Keep leveling up for more gold to unlock novelties and resources.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Behold Studios Jogos Eletronicos LTDA ME
Download: iTunes

Knights of Pen and Paper


Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour

The list of what hasn’t changed in the update to this game would be shorter, but well, that’s not what all the fun is about, is it? The latest incarnation of this first-person shooter features three new maps (Barcelona Train Station, Barcelona Streets, and Antarctica Research Facility), plus a new specialization: demolition.

The demo specialty includes a lot of fun new features, too, like the ability to carry a special heavy-duty ammo pack, set some nasty traps, reload at a super-fast speed, drop a grenade whenever you die, trigger mega-explosions when shooting machinery, and others. And oh yeah, if you die from an explosion, your streak doesn’t reset. Sweet.

There are also two new weapons (the SFS CTK-12 and 40mm Thor GLP), and two new team multiplayer modes: Bomb Squad and Destruction. Now pack up and move out, soldier.

Price: $6.99
Developer: Gameloft
Download: iTunes

Modern Combat 4 Zero Hour


Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage HD

A clan’s worth of vikings has become stranded throughout their vast land, with each one surrounded by trolls, traps and other dangers. To rescue every last viking, you’re going to have to solve some puzzles, break some ice and gather them all together again in their longboat.

By swiping your finger across the screen to strategically slice through ice, rope, cannons, explosives, animals, trolls and, yes, troll snot, you can free each little viking and reunite him with his brothers so they can be on their merry, viking way.

Entertain yourself with 95 different levels, featuring a menagerie of characters and settings. And of one thing you can be sure: There will always be a lot of ice. Use it wisely to unlock viking secrets and successfully achieve side quests, plus use special god powers to your advantage in extra-challenging levels, and conquer bosses, such as the dreaded mountain troll.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Rovio Stars
Download: iTunes

Icebreaker Viking Voyage


XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The governments of Earth have formed XCOM, an elite paramilitary organization designed to protect mankind from threats made by a mysterious and disturbing enemy. As commander of XCOM, you have your work cut out for you: You must build and manage the base, research alien technology, plan combat missions and lead your soldiers into battle. Not to mention, humanity is kinda sorta in your hands. No pressure.

It’s got to be good to know, at least, that your soldiers are the best of the best. And why are they the best? Because you’re the one recruiting them. Pick your would-be trainees and work with them to level up. As your recruits progress through the ranks, they (and you) will discover new weapons, new technology and new strategies as you take on complex and randomly generated missions.

How good are the graphics in this game? Well, the developers have made it a point to remind you the game’s content is purely fictional. All right, so that was probably just something their legal team made them include, and in no way suggests that our world’s governments are preparing for a possible attack from extraterrestrials. Right?

Price: $19.99
Developer: 2K Games
Download: iTunes

XCOM Enemy Unkown

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!