We review three of the best new iOS games that you can download for your iPhone or iPad: Goat Simulator, Twelve a Dozen and Down Among the Dead Men.
Goat Simulator (£2.99)
Goat Simulator is more mental than a barrel full of drunken squirrels and more broken than the hopes and dreams of desperate England fans, but that’s just part of its charm. There’s no ‘point’ to it, no story or main objective; just roam the virtual town with your goat and see how many hidden secrets you can dig up and insane moments you can experience.
The list of challenges gives you something to aim for, be it blasting your goat miles into the air by headbutting a petrol station or winning a butt battle against a champion rival goat. Complete these challenges and you’ll unlock all kinds of bizarre modes and features, our favourite being the ‘tall goat’ mode. It’s a lot more awesome than it sounds.
Every few seconds you’ll encounter some kind of random bug, be it getting stuck in a man or simply falling right through the earth, but they simply add to the hilarity. We’ll give this to Goat Simulator: it’s one of the most fun games to play with a mate, and it never failed to put a smile on our face.
Twelve a Dozen (£2.99)
There’s been a heap of platformers pouring onto the App Store lately, but Twelve a Dozen offers something a little different as it incorporates simple maths puzzles, designed to get kids thinking as well as honing their button mashing skills.
You control 12, a numbery creature thing that can change its value by jumping into pods with his floating number buddies. For instance, leap into an addition pod with a number two (snigger) and you’ll transform into a 14. What’s the point of that? Well, for a start, numbers that have a 4 in them are the only beings that can push large objects out of the way, handy when your progress is blocked.
Presentation is excellent throughout, with a handy spirit guide on hand to explain the rules and help you through tricky brain teasers, plus a rewind button if you foul up. As such, Twelve a Dozen is perfectly suited for kids playing through alone or with their parents, but we found ourselves entertained enough to blast through it ourselves, sans kiddiewinks.
Down Among the Dead Men (69p)
Inkle is fast becoming famous for its awesome choose-your-own-adventure ebooks (including the epic Sorcery!), and Down Among the Dead Men is a blast from the company’s past, one of its first adventures now out for iOS.
Down Among the Dead Men is more of an interactive novel than an actual adventure game, with none of the complex inventory management or battles found in Inkle’s other releases. The story is simply presented as reams of text, with occasional breaks where you make a decision: do you land on an island filled with cannibals to stock up on food, for instance, or risk sailing on with limited rations?
The tale of pirates on the run is reasonably gripping, if a little short. You get a choice at the start of how challenging the game is, so it’s possible to either enjoy Down Among the Dead Men as an ebook or make each choice critical to your survival. Inkle fans may be disappointed by the basic ‘gameplay’, but at 69p it’s a worthy investment to kill an hour.