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: 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.



CopterKid: New Face On An Old Favorite

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You've probably played the game before, though the protagonist is usually a helicopter or spaceship and more often than not you're confined to some subterranean tunnel system.  Copter Kids definitely breaks the mold from the perspective of atmosphere, but there's not much else to set it apart from the pack.  A silly back story, cute visuals and decent music are not fully utilized on what's mostly "just another clone".



Arctic Shuffle Is Some Slip Slidin' Fun...

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What do you get when you cross penguins with snow caps, zany physics, and 80 levels that each end with a bull’s eye? Why, you get Arctic Shuffle from Zinc Roe design. This puzzle game is fun, frustrating and rewarding all rolled up in one. The penguins are pretty cute, too!



App-A-Day Project: Ultimate Dungeon

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Due to real life setting in, the developer has put the App-A-Day project on temporary hiatus.  I think this is a good thing, as it will hopefully give him time to reconsider where he's really going with this.  Maybe you'll agree with me after reading my review of his latest effort, Ultimate Dungeon.



App-A-Day Project: Spot The Bug

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Now from the name you're probably thinking this is some boring programmer's game or an insect variation of "Where's Waldo?".  In actuality it's an interesting take on the match 3 genre.  Unfortunately, like most of the games in this series to date, it suffers from inadequate controls and hasty implementation.  Here we go again...



App-A-Day Project: Trounce

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Ready for some demon squishing fun? I was too, but what could have been a simple yet intriguing premise somehow managed to get mired in the details. Trounce is a good foundation for a nice pick-up-and-play game, but until it can move past its App-A-Day roots it really feels like little more than a prototype.



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