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: Pigeon Squadron from I-Play

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I don’t go for the “farting is fun” application genre on my iPod Touch.  I think it’s silly and juvenile, and just further crowds the App Store so that good games don’t get noticed.  For that matter, I’m not big into the defecation appreciation games as a whole, but something about Pigeon Squadron intrigued me.  I’m not sure if it’s because at its heart Pigeon Squadron is really just another target bombing game where the weapon of choice happens to be bird feces, or what drew me in to wanting to try the game.  Well as it turns out, despite the fowl droppings premise, Pigeon Squadron is actually a rather entertaining game.  It’s also quite challenging, so don’t think you’re going to just coast through this defacing experience with a gold medal for no effort.  Are you ready to join the pigeon army?



Review: Buganoids by Backflip Studios

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This is the perfect example of how to do a freemium game right.  I'm not saying the game itself is perfect, but it is a lot of fun.  And, nothing pops up every five seconds asking you to pay to remove the ads.  In fact, the first time I played the game I thought the ad banner was just the top part of the framework.  I didn't actually realize it contained ads.  If you want to get rid of them you just go into the options, push a button, and confirm that you don't want any more ads.  In fact, this is only the second game I've ever felt compelled to purchase IAP from.  So enough about that, on to the game itself.



Preview: Pig Shot by Nexx Studio

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In the next couple of weeks Nexx Studio will hopefully be releasing Pig Shot, a great casual game for the iPhone / iPod Touch.  Here's a brief look at what you can expect...



Review: Gravity Runner by We Are Colin

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The promo email I received for this game touted that Gravity Runner was “Canabalt with Gravity Manipulation”.  In all honesty, I think that description does a disservice to the game.  The reality is that if this is to be considered just a “running game” like Canabalt, it’s one of the most complex running games I’ve played.  In some respects it feels more like it wants to be a platform game, but if that’s the case it’s a little bit on the lite end of things.  Whatever the case it’s an interesting, challenging and almost always fun game that will certainly give you a run for your money (see what I did there?)



Review: Bermuda Triangle Saving The Coral by Bulkypix

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It’s that time once again where I take a look at yet another match 3 game to recently enter the App Store market.  This time around we have Bermuda Triangle: Save The Coral, released by Bulkypix and developed by Northpole Studio.  Once you get past the whole PSA about the destruction of coral you’ll find that there’s a decent little match 3 game to be played here.  While probably not the strongest candidate on the App Store, it far outweighs the myriad of poor Bejeweled clones and decent but lacking non-Bejeweled matching games.  Let’s find out what it takes to save the coral.



Review: Vertex by Calculator Games

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To its credit, I will say that I don’t think I’ve ever played anything like Vertex on my iPhone before.  Conceptually it’s actually a sound game.  Unfortunately, I really don’t find it all that interesting.  Additionally, the time allotments are crazy and there’s no timer-less mode with any incentive to play it.  I think with some embellishments on the different game play modes there could be something here, but right now it feels more like a highly polished late stage alpha game than a truly marketable product.



Review: The Hero from Chillingo

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The first time I played The Hero I didn’t quite get it.  The character seemed like a cheap knock-off of Mr. Incredible, and I wasn’t overly impressed by the fact that you could fly around and bash things.  I mean let’s face it, those are pretty base level when it comes to superhero powers.  I quit after the first level, and didn’t look back for a long time.  Now that the first major update is out I’ve picked up the title again, and it’s actually quite fun.  I don’t know how much is new and how much was already there, but I like what I see.  It turns out there’s room for this Hero on my device after all.



Review: The Screetch by Piston Games

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Hey, I think it’s been over a week since I’ve reviewed a match 3 game.  And if not, oh well.  This time around the victim of my scrutiny is The Screetch, an oddly named match 3 game for sure.  That’s okay, though, because the game itself is actually kind of fun - if not fairly derivative of your basic match 3 formula.  The one thing that makes the game stand out is the screetch itself, and for now that’s enough to keep me entertained.



Touch Magic: A Little Touch Of Magic

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For me personally, Clickgamer hasn’t had the best track record with games on the iPhone. You can check out my review of Enigma to see what I consider a low point for them, but other titles such as IO, Tankz and Hacker Evolution didn’t really work for me, either. On the other hand, they’ve managed to have a few slam dunks, such as Dragon Panic, Gears Of Gravity and most recently Zombie Vs. Sheep. Thankfully, Touch Magic does a pretty good job of fitting into the later category. I think it’s missing one key feature, which I’ll get to in a bit, but what’s there is a nice take on puzzle games that I’ve not experienced before, and I quite enjoy it.



Turbo Subs: Makin' Sandwiches At High Speed

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If you’re familiar with Cake Mania, your first impression of Turbo Subs is going to be “isn’t this Cake Mania in a sub shop?”  In some ways it feels like it, though as far as I’m concerned that’s merely a testament of how well the Cake Mania format of game play works.  Turbo Subs has its own atmosphere, its own set of challenges, and its own rewards.  Best of all, it’s just as fun as Cake Mania.  Game play can get quite frantic, but in the end it’s all worth it and the game is a delight to play.



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