iOS gaming recap: Is that Pokémon Go meets… basketball?

Plus, a new Subway Surfers game, and what to play this week.

This week, there’s a new Jurassic World game to sink your claws into, a new Pokémon Go-meets-basketball game to figure out, and a promising downhill biking game coming soon.

There’s also a new Subway Surfers game coming to Apple Arcade and a must-play indie puzzler called Hook 2.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Life finds a way

The Jurassic Park / World saga has come to an end this month with Dominion, it seems, but if you’re still in need of some dino action it’s worth checking out Jurassic World Primal Ops.

It’s a top down action-adventure where you set about rescuing precious dino cargo or stopping dino traffickers by completing various missions. Best of all, you use a menagerie of dinosaurs to attack the bad guys, in addition to your slightly feeble tranquilizer gun.

Starting with a raptor-like Troodon by your side — someone says “clever girl” in the first five minutes, callback fans — you then adopt bigger and better dinos to join your squad, setting them on enemies with pretty spectacular results.

It’s fun stuff as you’d expect from developer Behaviour Interactive, which also made Fallout Shelter and Dead by Daylight Mobile.

A slam dunk for Niantic?

It’s been a weird week for Pokémon Go maker Niantic. On Tuesday, it announced an NBA game, which is essentially Pokémon Go for basketball. It’s called NBA All World and Niantic says players will be able to “find, challenge, and compete against today’s NBA ballers in their neighborhoods, then recruit them to their team before proving themselves on the court.” Sounds pretty weird, right?

Then, the very next day, reports emerged that Niantic would be laying off up to 90 staff and canceling four games in development, in anticipation of what CEO John Hanke called “economic turmoil.”

It’s a little hard to believe Niantic is struggling enough to have to lay people off. A quick look at reliable data source Sensor Tower suggests the company made $78 million in June alone, and in November last year, it landed a $300 million investment to continue to create some new AR tech called Lightship.

So yeah, weird week for Niantic. We wish everyone affected by the layoffs well, and hope they find another job quickly.

It’s all downhill from here

Descenders, the hit downhill mountain biking game, is coming to mobile on Aug. 4. Which is great news!

It’s a free riding game where you pop tricks while trying to stay upright as you hurtle down tracks filled with hazards, bumps, and jumps. The tracks are procedurally generated, too, so it’s different every time you play.

The mobile port is being handled by Noodlecake Games, who really know what they’re doing, so this should be great.

Apple Arcade signs new Subway Surfers game

A quick word about Apple Arcade in July, too. The standout game for the month is Subway Surfers Tag, a new spin-off of the infinite runner that somehow continues to top the downloads charts despite being a decade old.

As we reported earlier this week, it’s coming on July 15 and takes the constant movement of the original Subway Surfers and opens it out into Tony Hawk-style arenas, where you pick up collectibles as you skate around dodging guards. Should be fun.

What else to play this week

It’s all about one game for us this week: Hook 2. No, it’s not a long-awaited follow-up to the 1991 Robin Williams film, but a sequel to a cool, minimalist puzzle game from low-key indie developer Maciej Targoni.

We’re suckers for an elegant puzzler, and Targoni has made several: Push, Klocki, Naboki, Up Left Out, and, of course, the original Hook.

Hook 2 starts out super simple, just how we like it: Tap the dots to retract the hooks in the right order to clear the screen with a satisfying click, whirr, and ping. The white noise-like ambient sound and subtle birdsong as you clear the screen are lovely, deft touches, too. It’s a serene game to fill an idle moment that anyone can play.

Until next time!

- Neil Long

Read more at iMore.

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