Archive for July, 2009

iCollider

Friday, July 31st, 2009

This takes the mechanic found in Super Collider and kicks it up a notch. That mechanic is triggering directionally charged explosives chain combos. What this game adds is that all of the explosives are now moving. Pretty kewl.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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C-kaku

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

This game has a great soundtrack, graphics, and overall style. The dev must be a graphic designer. The core gameplay idea is good and the ancillary systems are also good. You guide the dot around to pick up the squares. Getting 10 squares in sequence, triggers a combo that releases stars that provide more points. The enemies kill when touched, but provide points if you instead hover near them. I really wish you could use that proximity as a buffer to extend combos, though. The control is somewhat slow, intentionally, and a bit frustrating as your finger often obstructs your dot. They really need to opt for Bullet Hell (rRootage) style control, in which you control the dot from elsewhere, but if I were you, I would snag it now, in hopes for an update. It is also possible that this won’t bother you at all and will enjoy it right away.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Taxi Jam

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Much like Car Mania, which I reviewed for the last AppGamer installment, this game falls into what I call the Traffic Control genre, populated with such titles as Flight Control and DrawRace (both cracking good games, BTW). This one has nice, clean graphics and an interesting risk/reward mechanism. The goal of the game is to maneuver taxi cabs around the city, to pick up and deliver patrons, one at a time, to the destination that corresponds to the color if their choice. What’s interesting is that the player decides how many taxi cabs are in operation at all times. More patrons show up? Pull an extra cab out of the garage and notch up your time management skills. Very clever and well implemented.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Blue Skies 3GS

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If you already have Blue Skies and do not own an iPhone 3GS, do not buy this game. It is one of the handful of 3GS-specific titles that have been released so far on the app store (the others being Dark Raider, Rockchinko, Surroundead, and AirCoaster 3D). It adds pixel shaders, which make the game look much nicer. Check out the real-time waves in the screenshot above, as well as the bump-mapped terrain. The gameplay is still exactly the same. I don’t think I’ve reviewed the original, but it is a real simple, pick-up-and-play copter game, and it is a lot of fun. The original is $3 and this one is $1, so that people wanting to upgrade won’t cry a pixel-shaded river, I assume.

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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iNetHack

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Yes, THE NetHack, now on your iPhone in all of its cumbersome glory. Unless you are already a fan of NetHack, or are perhaps looking forward to Diablo III and want to see its progenitor, you probably should steer clear of this title. If you thought RogueTouch had a bad interface, this game makes RT feel like a Miyamoto game. This is what took up hundreds and hundreds of gamer hours, prior to the advent of that WoW game. I’m not really a diehard NetHacker, but I still have spent many, many hours with previous incarnations, and it seems like they’ve included all of the functionality they could jam into an iPhone, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s based on version 4.3 and gives and provides an extensive history and credit roll. It’s a little buggy and it’s inelegant, in just about every way, but it is also FREE.

Update: OMB, don’t get this. Get the newer NetHack instead. It’s a kajillion times better, because it uses swipe controls for everything and it has the original ASCI mode!

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

This game is great. I’m not joking. They turned Space Invaders into a Bullet Hell shooter and it is a blast, has tons of levels, killer powerups, and it makes clever use of your iTunes library.

Update: This extraordinary game just got better: Now OpenFeint enabled, with leaderboard and achievements, facebook and twitter connectivity, additional stages, and “evolved” music stages.

Rating: ★★★★★ icon
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Pipe Mania

Friday, July 24th, 2009

For anyone that has played Pipe Dreams, in the arcade, this is a really solid and full-featured version. The goal is to position a series of pipe sections that guide a river of gooey Flooze from point A to point B. If it all spills out, you lose. What sets this game apart from the slew of clones on app store is the scope of content. There are about 350 levels, which populate a series of diversely themed worlds, and they are unlocked as you progress. You’ll encounter clever puzzles, confounding obstacles, tons of upgrades, and you’ll earn achievements the whole time.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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DropSum

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

This is a really good drop puzzler, similar in some ways to Drop7, which is a good thing. As blocks drop, you have to match up tiles that total 9. What’s fascinating, and non-obvious from the screenshots, is that blocks take multiple hits to break. Getting a match just turns it to a new color, but it takes multiple matches to break the blocks and remove them from the screen. Planning for this is tricky, but my feeling is that this will provide a lot of depth. I haven’t played enough to fully assess the combo system, but I find it very intriguing, so far.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Ranch Rush

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

This is a really fun Time-Management game that is very popular on the PC. You buy the seeds, plant the crops, pluck ‘em up, and sell them. You invest in machinery to turn your tomato crop into ketchup and such. Your property is larger than a single screen, so you have to scroll around to tend your crops, which is a bit annoying. While this is a drawback, it is also a strength, because the freedom to place everything anywhere you please adds to the planning and strategy. Luckily, you can reposition anything at any time for better efficiency and the game pauses for the duration. The game has a total of 80 levels, 20 Trophies to win, and a Farmer’s Market Mini-game; all-in-all a charming and polished effort.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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