Archive for April, 2009

Pocket Kite

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Stunt Kite

Wow, this is actually pretty fun; move both handles down for speed and use them kinda like Battlezone joysticks to turn. There are three backdrops (one of which is kind of grainy), three difficulty levels (which provide smaller, more maneuverable kites, as you move up), and three game types (collect balloons, hit sequential targets, and chase another kite, which is the most difficult of the three). It’s not my all time favorite or anything, but the best compliment I can pay the game is that it made me want to try flying a real kite.

Update: I tried flying a real kite at the company picnic and…I SUCK!!!

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Bricks of Camelot

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Bricks of Camelot

Such a perfect thematic fit; bouncing a ball around inside a castle, breaking treasure chests and barrels…just like in medieval times! Okay, okay, while it’s not 100% historically accurate, it is somewhat entertaining. I still lean toward Reflexion, as the most innovative brick-breaker, but as a normal Arkanoid clone, it is enjoyable due to the selection of maps and powerups (although they are exploitable, as you can see).

Update: Added 3 level packs, containing 8 levels each.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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iCutter

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

iCutter

Who says a little round chocolate boy couldn’t fall in love with an adorable little cheese wheel girl? Not me. This physics-based puzzle charges the player with uniting the couple, in each  of 20 levels, by slicing and dicing various parts of the environment. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it makes you think.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Bluebird

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Bluebird

How can a game starring this adorable little bluebird, by the guy that did the amazing Scoops, be so..I don’t know, lame? Maybe my expectations were too high, but the controls are annoying, the collision detection is off, it’s repetitive, and the game mechanics don’t make much sense. Why the hell would a bird lose health for flapping its wings?!? In its defense, the art and soundtrack are good and people online seem to be fans of it, just not me.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Space Ace

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Space Ace

For those of you that grew up in the arcades, in the 80’s, this will be a nostalgia purchase, as it is the follow up to Dragon’s Lair, the L-A-S-E-R-disc arcade game. For those of you that didn’t, both games are brilliantly animated Don Bluth titles, in which the player must tap the correct direction, at pivotal moments, in order to proceed further in the scripted adventure. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear when those pivotal moments are and it’s also not always clear which direction you’re supposed to press the joystick. This leads to a pretty frustrating and punishing game, that may stretch the definition of that word a bit. I bought it, in hopes that they will later release Dragon’s Lair, which is most likely exactly what they hoped people would do, because if they would have released DL first, I doubt people would have re-upped for Space Ace. Neither title was all that great at the time and, knowing what we know now, the genre has not really fared well. The people that appreciate the nostalgia factor will buy it without my lame review, but for you kiddies that are looking for the Brand New Hotness…these aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

Update: They did release Dragon’s Lair much later and I liked it better. Maybe I was too harsh on this one, though, because I always preferred the first one. Boosting to a 3 rating.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Emergency Dangerous: Fire Fighter

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Emergency Dangerous: Fire Fighter

This is a wacky little app, in which the player must use their team of fire fighters to save victims from a burning building. Tap a fire fighter to choose one of four options: axe a door, extinguish a fire, heal a person, or rescue a person. Using the same fire fighter to complete the same action, in succession, to score multipliers. The gameplay is managing the different disasters, at the right time, with the right fire fighter. There are several upgrades you can purchase, including extra fire fighters, which is a no-brainer. It’s wacky and fun, with a great sense of humor (because, after all, people burning to death is Comedy GOLD).

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Peggle

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Peggle

Peggle in your pocket. What are you waiting for?! While it doesn’t have every single level of it’s brethren on other platforms, it has plenty to be worth the price of admission (55 levels and 40 challenges). I actually prefer playing it on this platform, in fact, and it even has a hotseat Duel Mode to play against your mom. Point of fact, the phrase “doing a Peggle” means dropping the price of a killer game down to a buck and it originated with the iPhone version of Peggle, because PopCap did just that. Anyway, the controls are good, the graphics are crisp, and the game itself is one of the most popular casual games ever made. This one is a no-brainer; if any casual game is a must have, this one is; just get it.

Rating: ★★★★★ icon
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Vanguard Storm

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Vanguard Storm

This is Square Enix’s latest offering and it’s quite good. It uses the job system from Final Fantasy Tactics, in a timed, turn-based, boardgame-style environment.  The player must simply keep the monsters that enter from the left from exiting on the right. The player chooses multiple defenders, each with his or her own abilities, which often translates to targetable squares and damage type. Monsters have vulnerabilities and immunities that must be taken into account. This game feels like it was built from the ground up as an iPhone game, unlike their previous effort, and the gameplay is fun and somewhat original.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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StoneLoops! of Jurassica

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Stoneloops! of Jurassica

This is a very polished Zuma clone that sidesteps the control issues experience by similar titles, by using a linear cannon path, instead of a pivoting turret.

Update: After playing hours and hours of this game and seeing many similar titles pass through the App Store, I find myself always coming back to this one. That is why it pains me to say this, but the app has been pulled from the App Store, due to legal reasons. No longer available. *sadface*

Rating: ★★★★☆

iFighter

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

iFighter

You may remember a mention of the lite version of this in a previous post, but the full version is out now. Good graphics, good accelerometer controls, mediocre tap controls with an over-steer problem, and only 4 (albeit large) levels. I know this isn’t really a blazing review here, but I really did enjoy playing through the game. You most likely will too, if one of the three control methods suits you. Personally, I enjoyed the tilt controls, but many people don’t, so YMMV.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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