iOS Gaming Watch List: The Act, Astronot and Magic 2013

We're taking a look at the most promising iPhone and iPad releases for June 21, 2012.

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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 does offer a quick selection of games and upates that show promise or look interesting for one reason or another. 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.

Unfortunately, since these are pre-release games, App Store links are not available, but if you search for the title within the App Store tomorrow, it should pop up.

The Act

Can't say I've ever seen a game like The Act. It's sort of like Leisure Suit Larry meets Dragons Lair. The idea is to control the emotions of the game's dorky hero by sliding your finger left and right. You're looking for a sweet spot for each scene, depending on whether you're supposed to act shy, aggressive or suave. The goal? To get the girl, of course. This all plays out in traditional hand-drawn animation, a rarity these days. Definitely worth taking a look. (Universal app, $2.99)


There haven't been too many stellar Metroidvanias on iOS, so I attempt to gobble each release as quickly as possible.Astronot is one of them, but instead of going the HD route like Shadow Complex, this game goes even more low-fi than the NES was capable of. Yes, it's the Atari 2600 Metroidvania that never was! Open world, weapon upgrades, boss battles ... everything you could want from the genre, and all without a single polygon to be found. (Universal app, $1.99)

Magic 2013

It's hard to imagine any newcomers to Magic at this point, but if you're going to start, might as well start with a free iOS app before investing your life savings in booster packs. This year's installment adds over 200 new cards and a handful of new campaigns to play through. And yep, you can play online against another person over Game Center. Pretty sure the Black Lotus is still banned, though. (Universal, free)


Adult Swim Games seems to have a stranglehold on addictive, quirky arcade games. The publishers' latest isVelocirapture. As god, your objective is to wipe out the dinosaurs, thus ensuring that humans inherit the earth. Like any good deity, you do this by zapping dinosaurs with lighting. Swipe across multiple dinos for bonus points and to unlock different levels where more beasts are waiting to be smitten. (Universal app, $0.99)