Sunday
Jul152012

Knights of the Round Cable

Knights of the Round Cable is the latest game from Chillingo (Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, etc.) This game features a colorful, hand drawn animated style that we've seen from a number of games lately. At root it's a gem-collecting game done by swinging a knight around the board on a rope (or, a cable?) Collect the gems involves avoiding flying obstacles like dragons and ghosts, all while saving the occasional princesses trapped in cages along the castle wall. At first, I have to say I wasn't too impressed with the game - it struck me as a one-note experience. But after playing a little while I began to see that the real strategy is in finding the trajectory to keep you moving toward the next gems that lie ahead. With good timing, you can maintain speed and hit chains of gems (achieving "fiesta mode", though I'm not sure what this has to do with a medieval castle setting) and rack up points. The ability to reverse direction also adds depth, letting you spin back to avoid flying dragons. After playing a little while, I was hooked. Knights of the Round Cable is $0.99, but you'll definitely spend more on extra coins and bonuses like the "Last Chance" bomb, which you can detonate when you die to regain a heart of health. And if you don't have one, the game gives you an "opportunity" to buy one through an in-game transaction. OK, I have done this...I was so close to that high score!

Thursday
Jul122012

Tiny Wings HD

An update to Tiny Wings HD was released yesterday by developer Andreas Illiger, who rose to fame last year as an independent (actually, individual!) iOS game designer. Illiger's original version won iPhone Game of the Year for 2011, and the fact that he released a version "2.0" upgrade at no charge is remarkable. Tiny Wings HD is a game with one primary goal: "keep moving". You're a bird who can only fly a little way at a time, and you time screen taps to dive-bomb onto down-slopes of rolling hills for boosts of momentum. The 2.0 content update adds several much-needed features and new game modes (Day Trip, Flight School, and Hill Party), and new levels and characters. Unfortunately Tiny Wings still suffers from repetition and limited variety. I would love to see much more done with the environments, obstacles, etc. I kept imagining what the game might be like with variable weather, for instance (flying in the rain? Random wind gusts? Tornado boss level?) iPad users can still check out the original Free version of the game, but purchasing the HD version will set you back $2.99.

Thursday
Jul122012

PEGGLE

Popcap's darling game Peggle is one of their most original and addictive. It's been ported across many different game systems, but it's only 99 cents now on iOS. The game is essentially Plinko from The Price is Right meets classic pinball. Players fire a ball from the top down trying to hit as many colored pegs as possible for maximum pointage. As you play through the tons of levels included in this game, you'll take on the persona of different hilarious characters, and have the opportunity to use their powers, like slowing down time, getting extra balls, or aim assist. There is tons of content in this game, including a very fun multiplayer. My only complaint for the iOS version is the "fire" button is awkwardly placed in the bottom right hand of the screen. It would be nice if you could tap anywhere to fire, or have an alternate location for it. Overall, it's a fun, addictive game with a great sense of humor and style. A must buy.

 

Thursday
Jul122012

Kingdom Rush

The iPad is ideally suited to almost any game in the top-down strategy genre, specifically tower-defense or RTS games. Thankfully, the best tower-defense game I've ever played has been released and recently updated on iOS. Called Kingdom Rush, players strategically place their defenses on a battlefield to defend against a progressively more difficult stream of invaders. The art style is fantastic, bright and cartoony with a great sense of humor - though vaguely reminiscent of the fantasy worlds in World of Warcraft and, more recently on iOS, Hero Academy. The game is incredibly addictive and satisfying as you build and upgrade archery towers, barracks, and cannons in game with cash you get from killing invaders. Between games, you'll want to spend the stars you accumulate from winning to upgrade a ton of perks. Later in the game, when it becomes excruciatingly difficult, you'll have to grind to get those perks to even have a chance of winning. But I didn't mind - it's that much fun. At $3, this game is a steal.

Thursday
Jul122012

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