Ayopa Games is a mobile games publisher that actually has its roots in Chillingo. Founder Johnny Coghlan was a former head of publishing there until Chillingo was acquired by EA. Coghlan has brought his mobile game-finding expertise to Ayopa, and this company's slate is almost as enticing as Chillingo's usual offerings.
First up was an update to Dungeon Crawlers, a turn-based RPG developed by Drowning Monkeys. Version 1.1 of the title will add in-app purchases, a feature that was always planned but that the devs "knew wouldn't be in there for launch." The update basically adds a store to the game where players can spend gold either earned from inside the game or purchased with real-world money to pick up extra loot or other helpful items.
Version 1.2 is due in another month or so, and that will add multiplayer functionality to the title, bringing in leaderboards and an Arena Mode. Players have also asked for a bestiary of the game's enemies, so that's coming too. Dungeon Crawlers is already a fairly popular title -- though like all turn-based strategy RPGs, it can be a little tough -- so it's good to see the team is supporting it with some sizable updates.
Escape from the Age of Monsters is another title from Ayopa. Developed by Massive Joe and made by the same team that made Age of Monsters (plus comic artist Jeff Matsuda), that rock/paper/scissors style fighting game from a ways back. Escape is a endless running game, but while there are walls to punch through and pits to jump over, the big twist is you're running along with a few small children. The game's gag is that you only need to run faster than the children from the monster that's following you. If the monster eats three of them, it's just you left, so you then need to run as long as possible without getting caught.
As with Age of Monsters, Matsuda's work brings the whole thing a great graphical look. While gameplay seems somewhat superficial, we'll have to play the title when it arrives in April to see how deep it goes.
There were two more games that I thought worth mentioning, and Patchwork Battles is the first one. It's another turn-based battle game, a tactical RPG, but the heroes of the game are made completely out of found materials: things like cloth, foil, and other crafted items. You can combine any five body pieces to customize your characters (or "mimics," as the game's lore calls them). Put a healing arm on a rogue's body, for example, and you'll have a healing damage dealer. The story sounds expansive, and the RPG system seems very deep, so Patchwork Battles could be really amazing. The game should be out sometime this summer, with multiplayer and other features expected post-launch.
Pocket Heroes is the last title Ayopa showed off. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see too much of it in action, as it's an online-only title and the Internet wasn't playing nice that day. But it sounds good: a multiplayer, co-op only RPG in which you explore a 16-bit 2D fantasy world with your friends asynchronously. We'll have to wait until the end of the month to see how it actually plays online.
Ayopa is a relatively young company, but Johnny Coghlan's talent for picking great iOS games at Chillingo appears to have transferred well. I have no doubt we'll see a few of these games topping the charts in the future and quite a few more quality titles getting published by this company very soon.