Mobile Monday №155
Scene opens in the forest. A mysterious castle looms in the background. Hobbling in from the side, a group of three seals carrying machinery on their backs. They know what the secret of mana is, but they're not telling. They're not telling... indeed!
Mysterious Castle (iPhone/iPod Touch) - A game that's technically still in development, but it's already packed with plenty of retro-inspired fun. Mysterious Castle is an isometric game that combines elements of turn-based strategy titles like Final Fantasy Tactics with a traditional roguelike RPG. The world is procedurally generated, and you'll spend most of your time hunting through the forest, gathering items and defeating enemies by being all tactical and such. A good interface that makes use of the touch screen tucks most of the clutter out of the way, but none of the intricacy that makes a roguelike or a tactics game so appealing is sacrificed. You can also try the PC/Mac versions of the game, though they aren't quite as complete as the iOS release.
Secret of Mana (iPhone/iPod Touch) - The SNES/Square classic makes the leap from 1993 into your hands with this port of the huge RPG action adventure. You play a boy from a small village who, unwittingly, draws the legendary Mana Sword from a stone and is banished for what the villagers perceive as an ill omen... and when you get wrapped up in a conflict to save or destroy the world, it looks like they might be right. The real-time combat may feel a little odd to pick up on a touchscreen initially, but quickly becomes second nature, and the huge world combined with the action and colourful environments make this one effortlessly engaging despite an admittedly tried and true storyline.
Seal Force (universal) - A curious little game from Tactile Entertainment that feels like a cross between Jetpack Joyride and a drawing game such as Flight Control. You are in charge of three seals, each with its own color. By tapping and drawing a quick pattern, you can send seals out to collect power-ups and get rid of colored krill that advance towards your position. You can only move one seal at a time, and you've got to be quick about everything you do, lest the krill advance and end your game prematurely. Each time you have at it, your goal is to see how long you can survive as well as see how many objectives you can complete. Also worth noting: Seal Force looks phenomenal, with a visual style that mimics the look of an animated television series.
NOTE: Games noted as 'universal' have been designed for iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone devices alike. Any game not listed for iPad will work on the system, but native full screen will not be present. Games listed may not be available outside of North America. Prices are subject to change and are therefore unlisted. Please see the individual game pages for purchasing info.