New games flood App Store before impending holiday release freeze

The App Store is in constant danger of new release bombardments, sure, but many companies adhere to a regular, weekly bombing run beginning each Wednesday, through the wee hours of the night (UTC), dropping their new iPhone and iPad games on Apple's marketplace while many of us are snoozing. Last night was no exception -- actually, scratch that. It was exceptional!

Pending the start of the "iTunes Connect Holiday Shutdown" next Thursday -- a six-day lockout period when developers will be unable to release or update apps, including games -- an army of companies, armed with their big holiday releases (for little iDevices), launched a massive attack on the App Store last night. What began as a few warning shots yesterday grew into a full-on assault, led by Gameloft's crisp clones, NOVA 2 and Shadow Guardian, and Square Enix's surprise (and apparently rushed) port of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

Even Sega couldn't resist launching a few more classics in Altered Beast and Sonic Spinball. And what's this ... Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3? Hey, if Street Fighter IV worked ...

Pursue our complete list of new release highlights after the break, and then make double-sure "Santa" knows you've been good enough for an iTunes gift card this year.

App Store Game Release Highlights for Dec. 15–16:

iPhone
  • The 7th Guest (Trilobyte) - $2.99 [iTunes]
  • Altered Beast (Sega) - $2.99 [iTunes]
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (EA) - $0.99 [iTunes]
  • Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time (BBC) - $3.99 [iTunes]
  • Doodle Jump Christmas Special (Lima Sky) - $0.99 [ITunes]
  • Hook Worlds (Rocketcat) - $0.99 [iTunes]
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (Square Enix) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • NOVA 2 (Gameloft) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Real Racing 2 (Firemint) - $9.99 [iTunes]
  • Scrabble Free (EA) - FREE [iTunes]
  • Shadow Guardian (Gameloft) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Sonic Spinball (Sega) - $2.99 [iTunes]
  • Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (EA / Warner Bros.) - $6.99 [iTunes]

Universal (iPhone/iPad)
  • Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD (Crescent Moon) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Broken Sword - The Smoking Mirror: Remastered (Revolution) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Dungeon Defenders: First Wave (Trendy) - $2.99 [iTunes]
  • Geared 2 (Bryan Mitchell) - $0.99 [iTunes]
  • Tron: Legacy (Disney) - $0.99 [iTunes]

iPad
  • The 7th Guest for iPad (Trilobyte) - $5.99 [iTunes]
  • Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time HD (BBC) - $4.99 [iTunes]
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 HD (Gameloft) - $9.99 [iTunes]
  • The Game of Life for iPad (EA) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Helsing's Fire HD (Clickgamer) - $1.99 [iTunes]
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light HD (Square Enix) - $9.99 [iTunes]
  • Monkey Island Tales 1 HD (Telltale) - $6.99 [iTunes]
  • Riven: The Sequel to Myst (Cyan Worlds) - $5.99 [iTunes]
  • Pix'n Love Rush DX (Bulkypix) - $1.99 [iTunes]
  • Pocket God: Journey To Uranus (Bolt Creative) - $4.99 [iTunes]
  • Shadow Guardian HD (Gameloft) - $9.99 [iTunes]
  • Space Miner HD (Venan) - $2.99 [iTunes]
  • World of Goo (2D Boy) - $9.99 [iTunes]
  • Yoot Tower (DigiToys) - $7.99 [iTunes]
  • ZombieSmash HD (gamedoctors) - $2.99 [iTunes]

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This article was originally published on Joystiq.