Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Bubble Island, Theme Park, Hellfire, Zombie Driver THD, Peppa Pig and more

It's time for our weekly roundup of new games for smartphones and tablets, this time covering iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The week's pick of new and notable games includes racing, bubble-popping, theme-park-managing, LOTS of undead-shooting, fantasy football, monsters, slot machines, sharks and Peppa Pig. A varied mix, you could say.

Note, prices are included for the first time this week – they apply to the initial download, so when a game is "Free", it may well include in-app purchases. All prices are correct at the time of writing (1 November), but may have changed if you're reading this a few weeks or months down the line.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (£4.99)

EA has released the latest incarnation in its street-racing franchise Need for Speed, with a characteristic mix of high speeds, dodgy cornering and vehicle customisation. This time round, you can touch or tilt to steer for more thrills, and it all ties in to EA's Origin community for social features and challenges. The link above is for Android, but here's the iOS version.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Bubble Island (Free)

It's been fun to see bubble-popping emerge as a hot social-game genre in 2012, if you've been playing incarnations of Bust-A-Move / Puzzle Bobble for years and years. Bubble Island comes from Wooga, and has been a huge hit on Facebook. As on there, you're firing bubbles to make others disappear, while bagging power-ups and competing against Facebook friends.
iPhone / iPad

Theme Park (Free)

EA reinvented its classic Theme Park game as a free-to-play game for iOS earlier in the year, but now it's available for Android too. You have to build your own theme park, acquiring and repairing rides, stocking shops, and then trying to part punters from as much money as possible. In-app purchases fuel your expansion plans.

Hellfire (Free)

Mobage's latest social game sees you trying to close the Gates of Hell by harnessing Fire, Water, Death and Earth. No pressure. That's accomplished by summoning creatures of varying ferocity and exploring 600 chapters of adventuring.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Zombie Driver THD (£4.35)

"Cars, speed, explosions, blood and zombies". That about says it all for this visually impressive Android game, which takes up 1GB of storage on your device, but justifies it. You'll be racing against other vehicles as violently as possible, from bulldozers to tanks.

Gizmonauts (Free)

Gizmonauts comes from Backflip Studios, which had a huge hit with its free-to-play dragon-breeding game DragonVale. Here, you're focusing on something more techy: robots. The game involves building bots, customising them with parts, then sending them out to battlt those of other players.
iPhone / iPad

Chrono Trigger (£6.99)

Square Enix's famous Chrono Trigger game sparked plenty of appreciative oohs and aahs from iOS RPG fans when it came out on that platform. Now it's on Android too, sending you adventuring through dungeons to fight monsters, reveal secrets and pop in to a Dimensional Vortex. As you do. Lots of old-school RPG fun to be had here.

ARC Squadron (£0.69)

If you've been itching for an addictive shooter on iOS, ARC Squadron may fit the bill (and if not, read about the next game down in this roundup). In traditional 'one pilot against the galaxy' style, it sees you swooping and shooting through 64 levels battling bosses and upgrading your ship along the way.
iPhone / iPad

Dodonpachi Maximum (£7.99)

Having been ported from Windows Phone, Japanese developer Cave's Dodonpachi Maximum remains a game for hardcore shoot 'em up fans thanks to its hellish amount of bullets and clever combo-based scoring system. That said, there's an Easy Mode for newcomers to this sub-genre of shooters. Eye-popping visuals and excellent background music add to the fun.
iPhone / iPad

Peppa Pig Theme Park (£3.99)

Okay, not a game for (most) adults: this is for children who can't get enough of Peppa Pig and her family/friends. It's a collection of mini-games all set in a theme park, which will have kids making candy floss, riding hot air balloons and bumper cars, and playing music on a magical water fountain.
iPhone / iPad

Knights of Pen & Paper (£1.49)

I covered this wonderfully creative RPG when it came out on Android, but now iOS gamers can play too. It's a roleplaying game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, right down to your ability to play dungeon master, of a sort. The gameplay involves plenty of dungeons and monsters, while the visuals are pixel-art-tastic.
iPhone / iPad

Legends of Loot (Free)

More dungeons here: a dungeon-crawler game with mazes, monsters and traps galore – more than 100 levels to play through, with a clever combat system and the ability to keep up with your friends' achievements when they're playing, through an in-game calendar.
Android / iPhone / iPad

Halo 4: King of the Hill Fueled by Mountain Dew (Free)

The title may make hardcore Halo fans cry, but this is more than just a branded tie-in. Yes, there are brands involved: the gameplay includes scanning Mountain Dew and Doritos products, as well as hanging around 7-Eleven shops. But there are some interesting location-based ideas going on here too, in terms of taking the world of Halo into, well, the real world. At least, there are if you're in the US or Canada.
iPhone / iPad

Borderlands Legends / Borderlands Legends HD (£2.99 / £4.99)

Here's another big name from the console getting a mobile spin-off, this time from Gearbox Software. It's a brand new game, but featuring characters from the first Borderlands title, as you fight enemies, earn in-game cash and upgrade your abilities.
iPhone / iPad

Tower Raiders 3 (Free)

There are plenty of tower defence games to choose from on Android, but Tower Raiders 3 has the makings of one of the better ones. Released in beta to get feedback from players it looks stylish, with lots of tactical flexibility in how you defend your bases. A nice twist: sign in to Facebook, and the humans you save will be your actual friends.

Nutty Fluffies (£0.69)

Anyone who played the Rollercoaster Rush on mobile phones or online may raise an eyebrow at this, which on the surface looks similar: a rollercoaster-racing game seen from a side-on perspective. However, there's more here: rockets, magnets and other power-ups, for example, as well as a variety of tracks to race through. It's the work of innovative developer RedLynx (of Trials fame) and publisher Ubisoft, which is a partnership worth watching.
iPhone / iPad

Big Buck Hunter Pro (£2.29)

Big Buck Hunter will pass most Brits by, since we don't spend much time hunkered down in forests trying to shoot "whitetail bucks". However, it may go down well in the US, where it's the latest Windows Phone game to tie into Microsoft's Xbox community.
Windows Phone

iBomber Attack (£1.99)

Cobra Mobile's iBomber games have found a healthy fanbase on iOS, and the latest version – published by Chillingo now – looks set to win some new people over. It sees you blasting your way through 24 levels in a tank, upgrading its weapons as you go, with neat top-down graphics giving you a bird's eye view of the action.
iPhone / iPad

Monster Warlord (Free)

This is the latest freemium card-battler game, which as the title implies involves all manner of monsters. There are hundreds of beasts to collect and combine, with a clan system to spice up the online multiplayer elements. It's a port from the existing Android version.
iPhone / iPad

Zombiewood (Free)

There are more zombies to be diced, sliced, shot and generally treated with abject impoliteness in Gameloft's Zombiewood, which is set in Los Angeles (hence the name). Its Android version follows hot on the heels of the action-packed iOS version, taking the form of a dual-stick shooter. The sticks, of course, are virtual.

Collapse! Blast (Free)

GameHouse's Collapse games might not be quite as big as Bejeweled, but they're still one of the most enduring and popular match-three puzzle franchises. This is based on the latest incarnation on Facebook, as you bust coloured blocks and compete against friends.
iPhone / iPad

Totem Runner (£0.69)

Dragons, rampaging rhinos, mighty eagles and "malevolent darkness". A good night out in Bishop's Stortford, yes, but also the key features of Chillingo's horror game. It sees you running, fighting, and transforming into the different beasts, accompanied by striking visuals.
iPhone / iPad

Monster Mall (Free)

"Ever thought about managing your own shopping center?" asks the Google Play Store listing for Mobage's new strategy game, optimistically given the existence of several very-popular managing-your-own-shopping-centre games on mobile. The twist here is in the name: the customers are monsters. It's a Halloweeny take on the shopping/tower genre, with social features like visiting friends' key to the action.

Big Fish Casino UK (Free)

Big Fish Casino has been making headlines this week, as it's one of the first examples of a casual games publisher (Big Fish Games) moving into real-money gambling. Here, that means a virtual slot machine game called Year Of The Dragon, where you can bet and win real cash. However, if that's a bit edgy for you, there are play-for-fun games here too.
iPhone / iPad

M.U.S.E. (£1.23)

Nothing to do with the band: this blends elements of roleplaying games with a third-person shooter, with lots of action, a "badass agent" hero, and waves upon waves of cyborgs to shoot your way through.

Hungry Shark: Evolution (£0.69)

There is an official Jaws mobile game, but it seems to have proved much less popular than Hungry Shark from Future Games of London. Now it's got a sequel, although sadly that title doesn't mean your shark is sprouting legs and rampaging round seaside resorts. Although that gives me an idea for a film... Here you're playing a Great White Shark, completing undersea missions and growing as you chomp through creatures and humans.
iPhone / iPad

Off the Leash (£0.69)

Miniclip is famous for its web games, but it's making a move into mobile too. Off the Leash sees you playing a dog, trying to outrun the police after a ban on all things canines is introduced, while rescuing your four-legged friends. One twist being that you get to play different dogs, starting as a Golden Retriever before unlocking others. It's colourful and very fun.

SlotSpot (Free)

More slot machines here, but play-for-fun ones. The game is based on developer Blitzoo Games' Facebook title, as you play through a series of levels and machines.

NBA: King of the Court 2 (£1.49)

The second location-based game from Ogmento this week, sitting alongside the Halo 4 game. NBA: King of the Court 2 is a sequel, seeing you shooting virtual hoops, while battling with other players in your real-life location for king-of-the-court status. There's a solo mode for practising, too.
iPhone / iPad

Boomlings (Free)

For all the whizzy 3D console-style games coming to modern smartphones and tablets, traditional puzzlers are still one of the most popular genres. Boomlings might not be a famous name like Bejeweled or Collapse, but it deserves attention, with cute characters to match, lots of power-ups, and online challenges and Facebook leaderboards to compare your skills with friends.

That's our selection, but what are you playing this week on your smartphone or tablet? Make your recommendations, or provide feedback on the games we've chosen, by posting a comment.

Stuart Dredge © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



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