iPad games of the week: Raging Spirits edition

It's time for our weekly dose of new iPad game love – past time, actually. We blame the turkey. Anyhow, this week's recent releases include titles on both ends of the studio spectrum – a stylish indie gem and a glossy, big name shooter – as well as a surprising clone of one of the App Store's biggest hits. Plus, we're digging into the back catalog for couple of older favorites, including a bonafide classic that we hope you're already intimately familiar with. So if you're looking to fill up your iPad's new folders (thanks, iOS 4.2!), check out our latest picks below.

Game: Spirits for iPad
Price: $4.99 / £2.99
Size: 42.2MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

The App Store is a perfect platform for stylish and innovative indie gems, and Spirits for iPad is just that: an interesting and visually striking little game that commands your attention from the outset.

Spirits' pale creatures look straight out of a Miyazaki anime film, and the minimalist design and stellar animation look great on the iPad screen, with a style that reminds us in parts of Limbo and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. But Spirits is more than just a pretty face, as you'll utilize little creatures to build ladders, dig tunnels, or blow gusts of wind to get their counterparts to an exit. It's similar to what we've seen in Lemmings or Downstream Panic, but the use of wind and the diverse puzzles keep things fresh and interesting.

Did we mention how awesome it looks? Sorry, we couldn't resist pounding that nail in one more time. We're suckers for atmospheric, hand-drawn animation, and Spirits for iPad more that satisfies that urge.

Price: $1.99 / £1.19
Size: 743MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

We already tackled RAGE HD in its own iPhone/iPad game of the day piece on the day it was released, but we're so tickled by this stunning piece of portable power that we couldn't resist giving it a little more attention this week.

Based in the same universe as next year's highly anticipated multiplatform release, id Software's RAGE HD is another surprising salvo from a big-name studio (following Epic Games' Epic Citadel tech demo) that shows just what the iPad is capable of when you pour a lot of talent and resources into making your app shine. RAGE HD offers a little peek into the world of next year's release, letting you participate in the Mutant Bash TV game show and blast scads of aggressive mutants in an on-rails shooter format.

RAGE HD's simplified format may not be particularly indicative of RAGE's blend of first-person combat and driving segments, but it's an entertaining blast-a-thon on its own and well worth the meager $1.99 asking fee.

Andrew Hayward
Freelance writer for GamesRadar and several other gaming and tech publications, including Official Xbox Magazine, Nintendo Power, Mac|Life, @Gamer, and PlayStation: The Official Magazine. Visit my work blog at http://andrewhayward.org.