It’s a day of big-time video game releases in the iTunes App Store. Grand Theft Auto 3, one of the most controversial (and extremely fun) games ever created, just landed this week for the incredibly low price of $5. It leads this week’s gaming selection, followed closely by an iOS version of Sonic CD, the platforming classic from 1993 from Sega. After that is a new Adult Swim title in the Angry Birds style called Snoticles, and a new brick-breaker title from Atari called Breakout: Boost.
Grand Theft Auto 3 (iPhone, iPad) $4.99
The controversial third-person action game that has riled up parents and politicians for 10 years has finally jumped the gap from consoles to Apple’s iOS platform. That’s right, this is THE Grand Theft Auto III, the game in which you can steal cars, pick up prostitutes and get hunted down by the cops. It’s the PlayStation 2 title that took the world by storm, shrunk down to the size of your iPhone or iPad. Obviously, it’s more for adults than children.
Developer Rockstar Games has optimized the game for iOS with new touch controls and Retina-supporting HD graphics. It also has a huge amount of content – everything that was available for PlayStation 2 players way back in 2001, which is hours and hours of missions, a huge locale to explore in Liberty City, and lots of hidden stuff to discover. If you like video games at all, you owe it to yourself to give Grand Theft Auto 3 a try.
Sonic CD (iPhone, iPad) $1.99
Another classic ported from the video game consoles of yesterday is Sonic CD, hailing from all the way back in 1993. Optimized for touch controls and packing a ton of classic side-scrolling Sonic action, this is a must-have for platforming fans and a great port from a developer, Sega, whose other games brought to iOS from other platforms can sometimes leave something to be desired.
Sonic CD has been optimized for iOS and touchscreen controls and packs HD Retina graphics for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users. It also includes both the original U.S. soundtrack, as well as the Japanese soundtrack for the game. On top of all that, Sega has secured Game Center support, which brings leaderboards, achievements and friends lists into the equation, too.
Snoticles (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Taking a page from physics-based arcade games like Angry Birds is Snoticles, a game in which you control as many as four somewhat gross cartoony characters in a title that’s all about flinging things at other things to earn points. All four of your heroes (ones a pimple, ones a ball of snot and the other two are kind of unidentifiable) throw different implements of destruction and their weapons have different properties. You’ll have to use the right tool for the job to get maximum points as you clear each level of enemies by blowing up the “alpha” enemy in each one.
Snoticles packs “dozens” of levels across five separate worlds, each mixing an Angry Birds-style arcade feel with puzzles to solve. It also packs Game Center support, providing you with leaderboards and achievements that allow you to check your abilities against those of other players.
Breakout: Boost (iPhone, iPad) Free (with $0.99 in-app purchase)
There are lots of brick-breaker titles in the iTunes App Store, but not all of them are free – or at least partially free. Atari’s Breakout: Boost, on the other hand, comes with its first five levels for free. It also packs plenty of classic arcade action. You control a plate with by sliding your finger around, bouncing a ball toward the top of the screen and using it to break a bunch of bricks planted up there. The more you blast, the more points you earn.
After the first five free levels, you can purchase another 65 stages for $0.99. You also can earn a mess of power-ups in true brick-breaker fashion to add to your score, and see how you stack up against other players thanks to Game Center achievements and leaderboards.