Weekly App Store Gems – Gamer’s Edition

Every single day thousands of applications flood the the open doors of Apple’s App Store. Some are genuinely good while others are trash that someone has created simply to squeeze a few bucks out of, which causes many of the deserving applications to slip under the view of a casual App Store user. Therefore, in order to shed light on these underrated applications, iPhone Alley has begun to highlight any hidden gems hiding within the arsenal of applications the App Store currently hosts. Whether you’re the kind seeking a worthwhile game to waste some time, or you’re in search of an intuitive utility that bests every other, these weekly guides are your ultimate resource for finding apps that have slipped under the general radar of App Store users.


Mikey Shorts

Mikey Shorts

by BeaverTap Games, LLC

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
0.99 USD

I can’t stress enough the extent to which the App Store is the ultimate utopia for any platformer enthusiast. To make my life easier, simple stated – whether you’re the type of person who likes to sit down, take your time and explore a huge game world, or you’re a fan of games with short, fact-paced levels, the App Store is your cup of tea.

Myself? I’m more into platformers that demand my patience and my every will to resist ripping my hair out one single strand at a time. In other words, games with extremely short levels are my style. Platformers where I’m racing against the clock or have to navigate through terrain for minutes don’t usually float my boat. With Mikey Shorts, however, I’m willing to make an exception.

Although it hasn’t quite gone completely unnoticed since its debut on the App Store, I feel Mikey Shorts is incredibly underrated for its sheer content, level design, graphical style and premise. You’re posed with controlling Mikey as he slides, runs and jumps through 84 levels of against-the-clock platforming action in hopes of rescuing his fellow citizens who are statues. Along the way, you’ll collect coins, which are littered throughout each level, and you can use them to purchase literally hundreds of costumes, hair styles and more.

Mikey Shorts isn’t your traditional platformer. There are no enemies or obstacles that threaten your life. Your only competitor is the clock; as time ticks away, you must successfully tag all of your statue-friends before moving onto the next area of a level. Dependent on how long it takes you to finish the levels, you’ll be assigned a star ranking for each. Things like different kinds of platforms and obtrusive, though not lethal, bots that roam around each level will hinder your progress. Replay value plays a huge part in the game, in that shaving just a few milliseconds off your time can raise your star ranking – within no time you’ll find yourself retrying levels to achieve the highest possible, three-star ranking.

With its retro artwork, Mikey Shorts is a bundle of fun to be had for only $0.99 – a price I feel is definitely warranted by the game’s considerable amount of content and unique gameplay.



Nowadays, you either see the common franchise titles or games with incredibly polished, console-quality artwork dominating the top of the charts. When the App Store first launched a few years ago, all you could find were arcade games designed to dispense thrills in short bursts of time – standing in line, sitting on the toilet, etc.

A popular title of yesteryear was Freeverse’s Skee-Ball. It delivered a fun sensation to all players, and the realistic system of earning tickets for sinking balls in was evidently liked by many App Store gamers at that time.

A few days ago, out of seemingly nowhere, the sequel to the title arrived on the App Store. Once I got the email from my PR buddies, I began to jump up and down a little inside. Skee-Ball 2 is a direct copy of its predecessor with the same overall purpose in mind: try to sink as many of your allotted balls into the holes which differ by point value.

The only difference? The original Skee-Ball has been given a total revamp visually, in overall content and in the social department, and the finished product has been re-branded as Skee-Ball 2. Not only has the game been optimized to fit the resolution of the iPhone 5, but it now has retina-optimized for all iOS devices capable.

You’ll now be able to play with friends with the game’s new multiplayer mode. You find a random or specific opponent, play a round and send your recorded game to him or her. When they’ve got time, they’ll play back. Wins and losses are tallied and the winner is the player with the better record out of three. It adds a whole new aspect to the game.

Part of the thrill of the original title was the ability to earn tickets by playing, which could then be used to purchase quirky items from the in-game shop for the purpose of boasting or simply to collect. The same has been ported to Skee-Ball 2 with a whole array of new items that can be bought.

I’m a bit surprised Freeverse’s newest addition to its App Store lineup hasn’t yet penetrated the top charts. Regardless, it’s a title that should definitely be checked out without further debate.