Archive for June, 2009

Jabeh

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Jabeh

This is an excellent version of the logic puzzle called Shinro. The first shot shows how a game begins and the second shot shows an almost complete puzzle. There are 12 stones hidden on the board. The beginning of each column and row shows exactly how many stones the corresponding column or row contains. Arrows point toward one or more stones. There are not 12 arrows. The player uses logic to determine where all of the stones lie. The interface is clean, there are three levels of difficulty, and new puzzles are downloaded automatically. Unfortunately, there is no record of what puzzles you’ve played, so I have no idea how many there are total.

Kolonists

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Kolonists

Hmm, looks familiar…oh, I know, it’s Settlers of Catan. I have no business reviewing it, as I haven’t played it enough to know how successful the developers were. I wanted to give you guys a heads up fast, though, because sometimes clones like this get pulled. In fact, just recently someone lifted the free code for Flow, from the deisgner’s website, and then released a near-exact copy for 2 bucks. I digress. So far, I love the game, though. Be forewarned, it does differ from the Catan you know, in several ways; no dice, for one, but I actually really like the changes.

Update: Kolonists was pulled from the App Store when Catan was released. No real reason to go back and update the review. *sadface*
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Must.Eat.Birds

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Must.Eat.Birds

This game is awesomesawse; crazy Japanese-flavored madness. You’re the little orange dude and you have to slingshot yourself into the birds, to eat them before they eat your cake. You can also lob yourself up into the air and then eat yourself to get bigger, which will net more birds. Different birds present different threats. The controls are actually really good; real subtlety is required to do well.

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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Archon

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Archon

As a fan of the original Archon, by Electronic Arts, I was first delighted and then dismayed about this release. The original is a classic combination of strategy and tactics, which had the player battling Good versus Evil on a Chess-like board with a variety of pieces, each with their own special abilities. I think this title could have been resurrected, if it weren’t for several bad design choices and the overall sluggishness of combat. D-Pad or Accelerometer movement on the battle board…really? It just feels clunky and the projectiles are abysmally slow. No multiplayer?!? I’m done.

Tradewinds 2

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Tradewinds 2

This is almost exactly like Chocolatier; buy ingredients at a low price, sail to another port, and then sell them for a higher price. Instead of the chocolate shop mini-game, it has a kill pirates mini-game. There are various buildings in each port that provide missions, tips, and gear. It’s good, although the graphics are a bit off-putting.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Combination

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Combination

This a good puzzler with a ton of levels. It is played on grids of various shapes and sizes. Each of the game pieces has colored nodes that emit beams of the corresponding color and direction (the nodes have various layouts too). The goal is to place all of the discs onto the board, without off-color contact. The difficulty scales pretty well and it becomes pretty challenging on later levels.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Mevo and the Grooveriders

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Mevo and the Grooveriders: Galactic Tour

This is a rhythm game for people that shy away from the insane difficulty of many rhythm games (see BeatRider “Crazy” setting). The music is groovy, the character is stylish, and the gameplay is simple and fun. The only problem is that there is not nearly enough content here. You play through 4 levels, get a new suit that has an unnecessary special ability, that doesn’t look as kewl, and then you play through the same levels again on a harder difficulty. It’s got a very kewl vibe, but it’s not quite there. You can download the soundtrack for free, from their website, BTW.

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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Turbo Subs

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Turbo Subs

This is another Time-Management game, similar to Chocolate Shop Frenzy, tap the patron’s menu bubble, wait for their order, cook their order, serve it, and then collect the tip. Screw up an order, throw it in the garbage. The challenge, as the genre title suggests, is to take mutliple orders at one time, without anyone getting angry and short-tipping you. There are a variety of upgrades, that are mildly interesting, but not as good as Cake Mania 3.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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