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.

App-A-Day Project: GardenGrow

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Last time I talked about Tic-Tac-Bacon, an odd variant of a classic children's game.  Today's piece is on a game called GardenGrow.  According to the developer's blog, this game was inspired by his girlfriend.  Makes sense, I suppose, because I couldn't see too many guys designing a simple gardening game on their own accord.  After all, we like to kill things with big guns, right?  Anyway, I do have to give this game credit for one thing: it's better than Tic-Tac-Bacon.  Sadly, not by much.  The game starts off with a similar loading time to TTB, though I think it's a bit faster.  Once the game's ready you get a splash screen explaining that you are to use music to make the plants grow, and there's a nice big Begin button in the middle of the screen.  Press start and you're off... to a screen with grass and some colored buttons at the bottom.  It turns out that if you press those buttons, they make music!



App-A-Day Project:: Tic-Tac-Bacon

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In my increasingly sickening quest to assimilate all games iPhone, I ran across an interesting web site: the App-A-Day Project.  The original directive of this project was that the developer was literally going to release a project each day (by 11:59 pm) to the App Store for 30 days.  As happens with most projects like this, the developer has simmered down a bit.  The new goal is to take the equivalent of a day's worth of work (4-5 hours) to complete each project, though an individual project might not necessarily be coded all in one day.  The concept intrigued me, and the developer offered promo codes to anyone wanting to cover the games, so I figured "why not?"  I will do my best to cover the games in the proper order, but given his new philosophy of spanning certain games over more than one day, there may not be a proper order to everything.  At any rate, the first game that I'm going to cover in this series is Tic-Tac-Bacon.



Toki Tori and Knights Onrush go lite

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Toki Tori and Knights Onrush are currently two of my favorite Chillingo games, as evidenced by my recent reviews (Toki Tori and Knights Onrush). Understandably, though, at a price point of $4.99 many people are hesitant to take the plunge regardless of glowing reviews. Chillingo has thankfully addressed that problem by providing lite versions of both applications. Here's what they have to say:



Review: Joyland Bounce

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There's something to be said for developers that stray from the norm, and that something is "thank you".  I've recently had the pleasure of playing Joyland Bounce from Gamesmith Studios, and despite the casual, no-die nature of the game - something unusual for a platform style game - I've been quite captivated.  Some will find the lack of enemies and ultimate destruction a turn off, but its nice every once in a while to play something with a purpose that's also relaxing.  Joyland Bounce fits the bill quite nice



App Treasures: New Independent Label Formed

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I was recently contacted by Noel from Snappy Touch to let me know about a new software label being formed by several prominent independent developers.  Now I could ramble on in my own words about it, but thankfully he was kind enough to provide me with a press release, so here goes:



Review: Treasures Of Montezuma

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The reality is that match 3 games - the genre made famous by the game Bejeweled - are currently a dime a dozen in the App Store.  So what does a developer need to do to make their take on the match 3 game stand out from the crowd?  I'd say that taking lessons from Treasures Of Montezuma would be a great start.  I have several of the hotly anticipated iDevice titles that have come out over the past couple of months sitting on my device, yet I find myself continually drawn to playing TOM instead.  To me that speaks to both the addictive nature of the genre and the creativity the designers employed to make TOM a match 3 experience unlike most others on the iDevice.



Quick Look: Eat Will Grow

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Eat Will Grow was one of those "hey, it's temporarily free so let's grab it" type downloads. As it turns out, I'm glad I did. The premise is simply to last as long as you can before colliding with what I would describe as a mine. Along the way you'll collect rings for points, but the rings will cause you to grow over time (it's sort of like the old snake game except you grow bigger around rather than longer). You can also collect a power up that will temporarily either speed up or slow down the flow of the game.



Two Tribes B.V. and Chillingo Announce Toki Tori Promotion Contest

Toki Tori Enthusiasts Win Awesome Prizes For Promoting the Game

In preparation of the May 22nd Toki Tori iPhone launch, in conjunction with the celebration of the one year anniversary of the WiiWare™ game, Two Tribes and Chillingo are inviting gamers to show off their creative skills in the newly launched Toki Tori Promotion Contest. The contest challenges entrants to think of cool ways to promote the game.



Review: Flower Garden

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My hope was to get this out before Mother's Day was over - at least by me - but I missed it by "that much".  Anyway, I thought I'd take a couple minutes to talk about a relatively new iPhone application called Flower Garden.  I hesitate to call this a game, because the only thing in it that's reminiscent of gaming is the need to unlock the various types of flowers you can grow.  I suppose a better classification for this would be an "entertainment" package.  In the end, though, it's really mostly one of those Zen like relaxation packages.&nb



Quick Look: G.I. Joyride

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Since the iPhone world seems to be filled with causal gamers, I'm really surprised G.I. Joyride got overlooked.  The game is made by Trapdoor Inc., and it's the kind of mindless, humorous entertainment that can keep you busy for minutes... or hours if you're not careful.



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