Fresh iPhone Games for Apr. 19: Streets of Rage 2, Air Penguin, Percepto

Another of Sega’s classic titles from the era of only 16 bits, Streets of Rage 2, leads today’s Fresh Games list. It’s a side-scrolling beat-’em-up of the highest order, and now you can play it on your iPhone in all its original glory. We’ve also got the skinny on Air Penguin, a new casual flying bird game that has dethroned Angry Birds and Tiny Wings in their App Store chart top spots. Read about both, and more, below.

Streets of Rage 2 (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Sega’s classic 16-bit, side-scrolling beat-’em-up has gotten the iOS emulator treatment, bringing one of the best action arcade games of the 1990s to your iPhone. The game is all about pounding on bad guys, using all kinds of different weapons and objects, as you work to save the hero from the first Streets of Rage, and put the hurt on a whole lot of henchmen.

Streets of Rage 2 also features Bluetooth multiplayer on newer-generation iDevices, allowing you to take to the streets with a friend as well as on your own. As with Sega’s other ports, Streets of Rage 2 also lets you change between transparent buttons or a smaller screen, so you can choose between the larger screen or keeping your fingers out of the way of the action.

Air Penguin (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Another casual game involving birds has stormed into the App Store and up the sale charts. Air Penguin is a tilt-based game in which you steer a penguin through a variety of obstacles on his quest to collect fish and save other penguins. To progress, you have to tilt your device forward and sideways to steer your penguin as he jumps from ice flow to ice flow — hit the same flow twice and he’ll fall into the water and you’ll have to restart.

There are a variety of obstacles to dodge and variations of the gameplay formula. If you land on the back of a sea turtle, for example, you can steer that through the water until you run out of open ocean and jump back to ice flows, or skate over snow. Air Penguin also packs Game Center integration, so you can share your best scores on its leaderboards and unlock achievements.

Percepto (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Percepto is a puzzle game in which perspective is everything. The game, at first, appears to be 2D, and your only goal is to swipe one way or another to move your character toward each level’s exit door. But before long, you start to find obstacles in your way, and by tapping the screen, you can actually change the landscape from two dimensions to three. In 3D, you can rotate the room, then snap everything back to 2D — rearranging the makeup of the level to bring the door closer to you, or to remove obstacles from your path.

It’s really a fascinating, challenging way to play a puzzler. Percepto tracks the number of moves (including switches between 2D and 3D) and tallies them for your score on each stage.

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