Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Aera

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

This game has really nice graphics, both in the foregrounds and especially in the backgrounds, but the gameplay is somewhat unexpected: it’s not a freeform flight game, you travel along a linear path. This goals is to fly through Pilotwings-style hoops and collect goodies, while avoiding enemies and mines. Pretty fun, actually, but the flip controls take a little getting used to. Due to your wonky angle at some points, it’s not easy to see what lies ahead, which can be frustrating, but it works for the most part.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Horror Racing

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Rock ‘n Roll Racing with somewhat awkward controls.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Mini Golf Wacky Worlds

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Outstanding Mini-Putt game! Vibrant colors, characters oozing with personality (eww), creative full-on 3D level design, and simple, intuitive controls. There are several diversely themed courses, several game modes (although they don’t seem to add that much), and a pro shop, where the player can purchase functional and/or vanity items. This game is far superior to every other direct competitor in the app store, currently.

Update: Some of the levels can be pretty frustrating, due to the insane timing needed. I hate you ice level. Down a star!

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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F.A.S.T. — Fleet Air Superiority Training!

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

This is an amazing flight simulator. A variety of aircraft, each with its own statistic loadout, can be launched into the skies to dogfight a number of opponents. The player can opt for a first or third person viewpoint, but either way, all of the necessary functions are to hand. The fighters have machine guns, rockets, and flack. The controls are really fluid and permit the freedom of movement that a game like this requires. If you are in any way a fan of flight sims, this is a must-have title. I’m not even a flight-sim guy and I like it.

Update: “Don’t Update!” That is my update for you. The developer switched the entire game to an in-app purchase model, but unfortunately it totally borked current users. After updating, it wanted me to re-purchase ALL of my planes for $18! Real world dollars! I earned them and they are gone. I understand that bugs can creep into a game, but this obviously wasn’t tested properly, because this happened to most of the current owners.

Update 2: Supposedly, the bug is now fixed, but I have not reinstalled to check. I’m over it.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Nano Rally

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Basically, MicroMachines on your iPhone; attempt to loosely steer your miniature car around the kitchen table. It has tons of levels and clean graphics, but the complete lack of other racers is a bit off-putting. Just You vs. Celery Stalk.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Snooker

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Ronnie O'Sullivan's Snooker

I’m a sucker for Snooker. I play both this and International Snooker and, at some point, I should do a head-to-head comparison. The most obvious thing when booting this up for the first time is that the engine is really slick. You actually see the Snooker balls drop in the holes, instead of just magically popping out of existence, like most other iPhone pool games. The core concept of Snooker is like pool, but the strategy and scoring is much different. You must alternate between potting one of the many red balls, with the other colored balls, each of which has a different scoring value. This game does a great job of showing which category of ball you have to hit next, with a colored ball at the top-left. It’s not a swipe-to-hit game; instead, you move your view around until you get the line-up you want and then set the strength of the hit, by a gauge on the side. I know it sounds a little lame, but you get used to it. I prefer International Snooker’s granularity of aim control, but this game offers some other benefits. One is a number of different and beautifully rendered backgrounds. The other is that you get to play against the famous Snooker champ, Ronnie O’Sullivan, at various points in his career. This part of the game really makes no sense to. Am I him, playing against a 7-year old version of myself, 40 years ago?!? WTF, dumb. Good game though.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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10 Pin Shuffle (Bowling)

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

10 Pin Shuffle

This is really good game that includes a combination of bowling, shuffleboard, and…cards? Personally the Poker variant in which you in cards by bowling well doesn’t do much for me, but the basic game is great. I actually like it more than most of the “real” bowling games on the iPhone. The physics model is excellent, the graphics are good, and the gameplay itself is really fun. Players can play Peer-to-Peer, using wifi or Bluetooth.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Homerun Battle 3D

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Baseball Slugger 3D

This is a cartoony, home-run simulator, that is surprisingly good. Tilt the iPhone to target the bat icon and time your hit right. Do that a lot and do it well. That’s the core game. It has Training Mode, Classic Mode (basic home-run derby, all or nothing), and Arcade Mode (most hits count for something, except outs and fouls, and there are bonuses for skilled play). The game can be played offline, but online play is where the action is; fierce competition develops for the top leader-board spots in each ranking tier. One unique gameplay element is that achieving pre-defined provides the player with gold balls *cha-ching*, which is used as currency to purchase equipment for your avatar, so the more time you put into the game, the better your avatar will become. By better, I mean the gear actually provides functional changes that will improve play.

Update: This one really turned out much more fun for me than I expected and I played it off and on, for quite a while. Rating increased to 4 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Synth Racing

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Synth Racing

This is a somewhat low-rent obstacle race that came out of nowhere. The accompanying graphics, as you can see, are very Wipeout/Designer Republic influenced. The gameplay consists of flying insanely fast, through a series of obstacles. Speed increases over time and barrel rolls increase it as well. Hit the tilt button to squeeze through 90 degree slots.

Update: The developers have added two new ships and have promised more content too, but it has yet to surface.

Real Racing

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Real Racing

This Firemint racing sim finally dropped and it is outstanding; tons of cars (48, although not licensed), tons of tracks (12), good controls (with several control types), good AI, decent feeling of speed (especially in cockpit view), and online league competition. The career mode is extensive, with almost 80 events in which to participate. An impressive local wifi multiplayer mode allows 6 players to battle it out. Yes, I wish it had a mini-map, but it’s a sim (and I’m a cry baby). This game raises the bar.

Update: Just a point of interest: the shipping version allowed 6 cars on-screen with no slowdown whatsoever, but the Firemint crew did a test to demonstrate the capabilities of the iPhone 3GS and they were able to handle 20 cars on-screen simultaneously!