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: Pocket Warriors by Rainbow Game

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Some have reasonably argued that full fledged RPGs are a bit too overwhelming for the portable market where the majority of users only spend minutes at a time playing games.  Several developers have attempted to provide the RPG fix without the RPG commitment, and Pocket Warriors is one of those games.  It actually fits the mold somewhat well, except for the fact that it’s so watered down the game play becomes redundant and boring rather quickly.  At least it looks pretty and sounds halfway decent, though.



Review: Splash Ball by Sergio Flores

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I try to be extremely patient with the games I review and play as much of them as I can before writing anything down.  I guess you’d call it giving them the “benefit of the doubt”.  Sadly, that benefit ran out for Splash Ball after playing level 2 for roughly the 30th time.  I really want to like this game, if for no other reason than it takes the marble rolling game and gives it a different look, but I just can’t deal with terrible controls on a game that offers absolutely no leeway before dying.



Review: Pickpawcket by Loopycube

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It appears that Loopycube has taken the concept of a cat burglar quite literally.  The art world has gone to the dogs, and it’s up to you to infiltrate their most famous museums and take back the precious paintings the bowsers have stolen from you.  This cute puzzle game actually manages to provide a decent challenge while not becoming overwhelming or ever feeling too basic (the first couple of levels aside).  There’s not much new here, but it’s a nice combination of elements that work well together and make for some entertaining sleuthing.



Review: Split Apple by MKO Games

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When I was a kid I never really cared for gym, and this feeling intensified when I got to high school.  However, one thing I actually enjoyed was archery, even though I wasn’t very good at it.  Thanks to Split Apple I can relive those “care free” high school days, including my lack of skill at hitting a bull’s eye.  A little bit of variety and the presence of even an AI opponent would certainly help liven up things a bit, but even without that Split Apple is an entertaining little game.



Review: Space Ship Ion by iniGames

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I did a review of Space Ship Ion back when it was SSI:Zero, it was free, and it turned out to be only a two  level preview of the full game (which wasn’t available at the time).  Now that I’ve gotten my hands on the full version I’ve reached basically the same conclusion I had before – this game is a blast.  I’m not quite ready to say it’s my favorite vertical shooter for the iOS, but it certainly ranks up at the top.  Between cool enemy design, and neat upgrade system, and well balanced game play, there’s a lot to like in this war against the aliens.



Review: Kickin Momma HD by Hothead Games

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So what happens when a weird blue alien decides she needs a string of pearls but has no money?  Why she kicks her kids around the world, that’s what!  In this rather interesting take on the whole Pachinko genre, Kickin Momma has you catapulting your poor children around a variety of environments in order to collect gems that you can turn in for your desired jewelry.  Why not just wear the gems?  Who knows?  In any case, with excellent games like Peggle and Dog Pile on the iOS market, you really have to work hard in this genre to stand out.  There’s no question that Kickin Momma separates itself from the pack, but I just wonder if it’s a bit too over the top.



Review: Greedy Bankers by Alistair Aitcheson

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The more I play mobile games, the more I realize that sometimes simpler is better.  I don’t mean a game that’s easy, mind you, but a game that doesn’t have a lot of options or settings or menus to mess with.  Greedy Bankers is one such game, and it’s very easy to get lost in once you get started.  It’s also one of those games that will often have you gritting your teeth down to the very last second… assuming, of course, you make the last second match to move on to the next level.



Preview Corner: Idyllic and Goop

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Welcome to the preview corner.  This week’s specials are a jumping game and the tale of creatures called eeps.  Both are coming soon, and both provide game play a little bit different than what you generally see on the App Store.  I would say they are both worth keeping your eye on, even if you don’t run out and buy them the moment they are released.  First up…



Review: Pirate Mysteries by Kristanix Games

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With companies like G5 Entertainment and Big Fish Games churning out quality hidden object games one after another, the market is quickly getting rather saturated.  This means that the little guy has to do that much more to make their game stick out from the crowd.  While Pirate Mysteries is certainly no eye sore, it doesn’t do a whole lot to distinguish itself in a more positive direction either.  Still, amusing dialog and several variations of object seeking help the game to be a fun and solid, if not overly original, title.



Review: Kona's Crate by indiePub

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When UPS just won’t do, apparently the way to deliver packages is via a platform with little jet engines in it.  Silly premise aside, Kona’s Crate is an interesting physics game that takes the lunar lander concept to the extreme.  The game has 60 levels and the three star, two tier scoring system is sure to keep most patient folks busy for a while, but the control scheme is somewhat frustrating and the time to beat for three stars often feels a bit outlandish.  While at first I found myself willing to try and fight for that third star or a “no bump” run, it eventually got to the point where I just wanted to finish a level and move on to the next.



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