Each week the iOS Gaming Watch List will inform you of some noteworthy releases coming to the App Store. Major releases tend to hit on Thursdays, so we'll be coming at you every Wednesday with the games to look out for, as well as some of the bigger content updates on the way. While this won't be a comprehensive list of games releasing for a given week, it will offer a quick selection of games and updates that show promise or look interesting for one reason or another. It's worth noting that we have not played many of these games, so you shouldn't take these as short reviews. Think of this more like a helpful guide of games to investigate as they launch on Thursday.
Angry Birds Star Wars
You may scoff at the Angry Birds phenomenon. You may say that it's for grandparents and small children. And yet, quietly, Rovio has been transforming the franchise into a relatively mindless physics puzzler into a legit game. Angry Birds Space was absolutely terrific, and Angry Birds Star Wars looks to continue the trend. As an added bonus: Star Wars! And original trilogy, no less! (iPhone, $0.99 / iPad, $2.99)
Dig Drop7 or Tripletown? Chip Chain is the unholy combination of the two. Essentially you're placing down poker chips which, when paired with two of the same value, rank up into the higher level chip, yielding potential combos. It's simple, elegant and full of strategy, especially when you factor in bonus cards that can augment the chips on the board. It's also free and offers a surprisingly large amount of content before you have to pony up some dough. (Universal, free)
No one has quite nailed the Diablo-style hack-and-slash on iOS, though the Dungeon Hunter series has come close. Wraithborne is another attempt, this time from newcomer Alpha Dog Games. The graphics look terrific, but how will the touch controls hold up? Hard to say until we've had a chance to play it. (Universal, $2.99)
In the spirit of frustratingly enjoyable games like Canabalt and Gravity Hook comes SuperTinyLeap. The objective? Place blocks by tapping the screen, thus allowing your bouncing hero to climb higher and higher into the stratosphere. The free version offers ten plays of the game, but for a dollar you can unlock infinite plays and two even more difficult modes. High score addicts should definitely check this one out. (iPhone, free)
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
What's this? A blast from the past? iOS veterans are probably aware of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. But, if you have managed to go the past two years without downloading it, this is the week to rectify that mistake. The iPhone/iPod Touch version is free this week and, given that it's one of the best damn iOS games ever made, there's no reason your life should be without it. Oh, it also happens to look gorgeous on an iPhone 5. (iPhone, free)