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Games worth your time: Three undiscovered iOS gems

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The iOS platform is a wonderland for gamers, but as we’ve all rather quickly learned, it’s pretty challenging to find good games without swimming through a stream of, shall we say, not-so-good titles. Today begins my new series focusing on unknown, or at least, little-known, iOS games that you should be playing ASAP.

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Let’s start with some simple fun with Timberman, a Universal title (iPhone & iPad) which uses simple graphics to place you in the work boots of a cartoon lumberjack. Your goal is simple - cut chunks out of an infinitely growing tree as fast as you can before time runs out. The controls are easy to grasp - tap left or right to whack away at the appropriate side of the tree. Cut a chunk out of the tree, and try to dodge the branches as they come closer to you. Get whacked on the head by one, or, as I often do, bump into one by moving to the wrong side to quickly, and it’s “game over.”

Timberman is an addicting little game, and while some might compare it to Flappy Bird, it’s not nearly as frustrating. The basic game, which uses ads to pay the bills, is free, while you can pay 99 cents for an unlocked full version, without ads.

- Timberman on the iTunes Store
Free: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id871809581

“Gold Edition” (99c, no ads): https://itunes.apple.com/app/id871809581

How would you like a little RPG with your Poker game? That’s exactly what’s on offer with Konami’s aptly named “Swords & Poker Adventures,” another free (offers in-app purchases)title on the App Store. The game uses a Poker-styled “hand” gameplay for its battles. When it’s time to fight a monster, you’ll be presented with a grid of traditional Poker cards laid out with a few unused spaces. You place cards from your hand in the unused spaces to form rows that are based on actual winning hands in a real Poker game. As you get further in the game, you’ll be able to use currency, earned from winning battles, to buy weapons that boost the damage done by specific Poker hands. New weapons also offer extra abilities when certain hands are played - for example, a “3 of a Kind” might, along with damaging the enemy, also heal you a bit, or a Flush might allow you to bypass all your foe’s defenses.

As weird as it might sound, Swords & Poker Adventures is a lot of fun. Check it out for free (with in app purchases) on the iTunes Store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id808589838?mt=8

For my last undiscovered gem, we’ll take a look at Tiny Dice Dungeon from Spring Loaded Software. If you’re the kind of person who only really enjoys the combat part of a Role-Playing Game, then this game is perfect for you. It’s a fast pick-up-and-play game where you bring a party of characters into a pixellated dungeon, and use dice as your weapons to fight monsters and earn loot.

The gameplay is simple at first, you start with a hero who enters the dungeon with a few dice to use as weapons and a set amount of hit points. When you meet monsters, you tap on the dice to stop them from rolling. The number on the die or dice (you’ll earn more dice as you play)is how much damage you’ll deal to the monster. You can keep rolling the dice, as your damage is cumulative, or, take what you’ve rolled and end your turn, dealing damage to the enemy. If you roll a one at any time, or end your turn, the enemy gets his turn to roll his dice and launch his counter-attack. It’s simple enough at first, but as you play, both you and your enemies will unlock dice with special powers, offering protection from rolling a “1” for example. Along with earning more dice, you can also capture monsters to join your adventuring party, each with their own special powers, reflected in their dice. Of course, being a dungeon-crawler, it offer loot, which adds more special powers to your team!

Tiny Dice Dungeon is the kind of game that seems simple on the surface, but as you sink more and more time into it, you find an incredible amount of depth. At times, you’ll kick and scream as you roll a “1” after having just stacked up dozens of points of damage to throw at an enemy, but that’s the fun of the game, the tension of deciding “Do I roll just one more time?”.

Tiny Dice Dungeon is another free title, supported with additional in-app purchases. Check it out on the App Store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-dice-dungeon/id734013611?mt=8

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