iPhone Life magazine

Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.

Review: The Gwaii - 3D Comic Book by Mobad Games

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I’ve primarily stuck to reviews of games in the past, because that’s mostly what I do with my iPod Touch.  However, I have been a comic book fan for a long time, and when I got the chance to review this cool looking “3D” comic book, I jumped on it.  To its credit, the book is pretty cool.  However, I think the 3D aspect of it is more gimmicky than practical or useful.  Still, to get an 84 page full color graphic novel for under $6 these days is a pretty good deal, and having it narrated thanks to its electronic format is a cool bonus.  If you’re really hoping for some slam-bang 3D effects you’re not going to be so impressed, but if you just want a decent story, slick 2D illustrations, and good voice work (at your discretion), The Gwaii is a solid choice for you.



Review: Mushihimesama Bug Panic by Cave

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From what little I know about Cave, they’re pretty famous for make excellent games that fall under the category of “bullet hell” scrolling shooters.  Bug Panic is certainly a far cry from that style of game play.  That doesn’t make it any less challenging, mind you, and actually goes to show that Cave is more than a one trick pony.  More importantly, it’s actually a nice change of pace from the typical dual stick shooter, which is the category it actually falls into.  The anime style cut scenes and overall cuteness might night be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a challenging dual stick shooter that doesn’t just feel like a clone of the rest, Bug Panic is a good choice for you.



Review: Corpse Granny by BulkyPix

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Would you believe me if I told you Corpse Granny was another physics-based puzzle game?  Of course you would, because it’s been at least a couple of days since I’ve reviewed one of those.  This game does well what any physics based game should do – it lets the player manipulate objects to drop on, bounce into or otherwise dispose of various targets.  In this case those targets are zombies, which is just a nice bonus.  There are some great ideas in this game, but the pacing is a bit off and the introduction of new items is somewhat haphazard.  It hasn’t grabbed me quite as well as some other puzzle games, which is a shame because there is lots of potential.



Review: Blobster by Chillingo

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If you’ve been an iPhone gamer for any decent length of time and managed to go without playing a game from Chillingo (or Clickgamer), I’m both impressed and a bit scared.  For the rest of us, we know by now that they have a pretty good knack for choosing fun, light hearted puzzle / platform / physics / whatever style games, and Blobster is no exception.  I’m not sure that there’s anything here that’s really new, but it’s all put together in a way that is both entertaining and fresh.  As long as Chillingo keeps publishing games like this, you can expect me to be along for the ride.



Game Review: Dark Meadow

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I watched the promo videos for this game and decided it was something I really needed to try.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  At once this game is both intriguing and frustrating.  I feel like I’m spending too much time traipsing over the same hallways over and over again, yet every time I find a journal entry or news clipping I really want to know more about what’s going on.  I think this game is as much a product of its environment as anything, because I really don’t believe it would be nearly as much fun to explore if it didn’t look so good, yet it’s easy to lose a half hour or forty-five minutes wandering the hallways of Dark Meadow in the blink of an eye.



Review: Fling A Thing by Big Blue Bubble

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Are you ready for the ultimate bubble popping experience?  Forget all those games that simulate bubble wrap and prepare to fling your thing.  This new game from Big Blue Bubble is odd, quirky and probably one of the most entertaining bubble related games I’ve played on my iPod Touch.  The things are goofy, the power ups are cool, and the whole atmosphere just exudes addictive causal game.  Unlockables take a bit of time to acquire, but that’s really my only gripe so far.



Review: Last Temple by Gamelab

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Last Temple is one of those matching games where you must drag your finger across three or more adjacent tiles of the same type to clear them.  It’s actually a pretty solid implementation of such game play, and the challenges are certainly quite a challenge.  However, Last Temple doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre.  I remember having lots of fun playing a similar game called Azkend, and I just don’t get the same sense of addiction from Last Temple as I did from that game.  If you love this type of game play (or are new to it) then Last Temple is a decent choice, but if this sub-genre of matching games has kind of warn on you, it might be better if you waited for Azkend 2.



Review: Invasion Earth: 1953 by 285 Digital

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Most side scrolling shooters involve aircraft of some sort, but few are taken from the viewpoint of the “bad guys”.  This is, however, the scenario of Invasion Earth: 1953, a post-Roswellian look at aliens trying to take over our beloved planet.  That’s basically it for a plot, and there’s not a lot of variety to the action.  What keeps drawing me back into the game however, are the (sometimes insane) goals and that need to try “just one more time” to reach them.  Invasion Earth doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles of many of its peers, but it has a satisfyingly addictive quality about it anyway.



Review: Kula Blox by TransGaming, Inc.

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I’m not an animal lover, but I’m also not one to see innocent little creatures get consumed by vicious predators – at least not as a general rule.  Unfortunately, Kula Blox makes the whole experience rather compelling.  This cute “falling” game actually adds a couple of cool twists to the whole genre and in the process it manages to create an entertaining casual game.  I honestly didn’t know much about Kula Blox before agreeing to review the game, but now I’m glad I volunteered for this adventure.



Review: Sprinkle - Water Splashing Fire Fighting Fun by Mediocre AB

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These days, physics games seem to be mainly of two varieties: destroy everything in sight or collect stars and candy.  From that perspective Sprinkle is a breath of fresh air, because your goal is to help a bunch of cute (and often annoying) aliens put out a bunch of fires that are going to devastate their village.  It even has different game mechanics than what we’re used to in the typical physics game.  My biggest problem with the game is that the difficulty of some of the levels is insane, and your progress in the game can completely stop just because you can’t pass a particular level.  To me physics games should be casual fun, and that’s hard to have when it takes a ridiculous amount of tries to pass a level.



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