Rovio is claiming its newest update for Angry Birds Space ($1) is its biggest update ever, and has given it a fitting name: Beak Impact. The new episode in version 2.0.0 introduces 40 new levels, in addition to 10 bonus levels. Players can unlock bonus levels by, strangely enough, finding NASA research spacecraft within the levels. Lest you think that was the end of astronautical tie-ins in this update, you are mistaken, as there is now a Buzz Aldrin bird. No, that sentence was not a joke. The Aldrin-inspired “Mighty Buzzard” is now in full effect, and it can completely obliterate an entire level.
USM has updated both Catan and the iPad-only Catan HD (both $5) to version 4.0.5. It’s a major update as the game — a port of the already-classic board game The Settlers of Catan — now offers online multiplayer. Players must register on the Catan servers to access online multiplayer. Both the basic game and the Seafarers expansion are supported, with the Cities & Knights multiplayer to be added in the next update. A number of other optimizations and improvements were also included within the update.
Disney recently released Disney Villains Challenge, a new app filled with mini-games featuring popular Disney villains Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, and Captain Hook. The free download includes six mini-games, and the full game can be unlocked for $3. A good comparison for Disney Villains Challenge would be Nintendo’s Wario Ware games — the mini-games come fast and furious with little explanation. If you don’t download the full game unlock, you’ll be through everything in less than a minute.
Gameloft’s newest, Rival Knights, is a Medieval jousting game. Players take control of a knight, which they can name, and are then thrust into battle. Though the presentation is nice, as expected from Gameloft, the gameplay itself is very simple — you time taps to make your horse go faster, then when you’re in the right position, you drag your lance onto an identified weak spot on the opponent. We worked our way through the first “league” in a few minutes. There’s not much variety to the gameplay, but some may get a visceral thrill out of the action. Among the many bells and whistles included are the abilities to unlock and upgrade weapons and armor, and challenge other players in asynchronous multiplayer, which is an intriguing concept. Rival Knights is free, but its IAPs are always lurking.