Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Summon your inner girl power for Hero Princess in our latest iPad Games of the Week roundup

When I was a kid, our virtual princesses knew their places. They were to stand next to the gigantic ape throwing barrels, or helplessly cling to Bowser while our fat red plumber avatar collected coins and defeated his minions to reach her.

Today’s in-game princesses are increasing going on the offensive against their captors, taking the hero role to fight back and regain their precious freedom. That’s the gist of Hero Princess, who will stop at nothing to repel a never-ending horde or brutish Vikings intent on taking her castle. You go, girl!

There’s also several additional must-have games this week in this fresh set, including an immersive, 360-degree WWII shooter, a colorful puzzle game perfect for kids and adults alike, and a magical line drawing strategy app that will keep you on your toes and beating back the undead hordes for weeks to come.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.


Hero Princess: This is one princess who’s clearly not interested in being rescued! Take command of a sassy lass, throwing rocks and shaking the ladders of an invading Viking horde as they try to raid her castle.

Artillery Brigade: Offers a full 360-degree view of WWII-era battlefields, letting you shoot and rain hot death on incoming forces on land, sea, and air. Take that, Hitler!

Catcha Mouse HD: Do you have what it takes to trap a furry mouse before he reaches the exit holes? This week’s best new puzzler awaits, free of charge.

Avatar of War: The Dark Lord: Defeat the undead army with your never-ending supply of swordsmen, arches, mages, and more.


Hero Princess ($1.99)

Here’s an app that’s clearly trying to go against type. In most games featuring a princess, you take on the role of a noble hero who still stop at nothing to rescue said damsel in distress. Hero Princess, instead, puts you in the role of a feisty lass standing atop the walls of her beloved castle. Down below, the Viking hordes are prepping their ladders to scale the walls and snatch the future queen. Tap the screen to move your heroine from ladder to ladder, throwing down castle bricks to knock the filthy brutes off their perches. When special heavy raiders start their climb, you’ll need to tap and hold your finger on the ladder then shake left and right to throw these guys off. The icing on the cake: special attacks with names like pony, bath, and piano. (Oh yes!) You’ll need quick fingers and all the girl power you can muster to keep the baddies at bay.

Artillery Brigade ($.99)

We’ve all seen them: World War 2-era fixed artillery and heavy gun emplacements, spitting bullets, anti-aircraft rounds, and even rockets at the enemy. In Artillery Brigade, you’ll take your place at the controls of these heavy weapons, rotating a full 360 degrees to locate and destroy the incoming German forces. Sometimes you’ll face light infantry coming in bunches, other times it’s planes, tanks, and other vehicles. The difficulty ramps up nicely as the levels progress, adding additional types of enemies spread out all around you. The game has a lock on replayability, unlocking survival modes for each campaign mission you complete. At a mere dollar menu price, the music, sound effects, and retina-display powered graphics add up to a worthy WWII shooter app for iPad gamers everywhere.

Catcha Mouse HD (FREE)

If you’re a fan of kid-friendly games sporting cartoon characters and wide-open playfields, Catcha Mouse HD will find a welcome home on your tablet. The scenario is simple: A cute, cuddly little mouse is trying to jump into a hole on your screen. Your job is to place mousetraps, one at a time, around the furry guy to prevent him from escaping. The good news? This is a turn-based puzzler, giving you the chance to see his move then counter it by placing yet another trap on the board. With 30 free levels (and dozens more available for $.99), you’ll spend hours mastering each level, with many furry friends slipping through your fingers before you get the hang of things. Hint: Focus on putting traps on the perimeter vs. close to the mouse. There are times the game AI lets you off easy, and other times it’s almost as if there’s another person on the other side of the screen thwarting your every move. Patience!

Avatar of War: The Dark Lord ($2.99)

Fans of tower defense, line drawing, and RPG’s will find a lot to love about Avatar of War. Your job is to defend your castle against the incoming undead army. You can use mana to purchase warriors, archers, mages, knights, catapults, assassins, gryphons, and more. These forces lock horns with incoming waves of baddies, unleashing their weaponry on the enemy. As the game progresses, you’ll need to learn special line-drawing moves to unleash special attacks, upgrade your forces, and earn 15 different magical weapons to add to your arsenal. The game does take some getting used to (a guide to the line drawing moves would help!) and my game seemed intent on scrolling from side to side without my input. Those issues aside, the artwork (reminiscent of Castle Crashers), sound track, battle effects, are all top-quality and make Avatar of War a worthwhile iPad gaming experience.

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