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: Earn To Die HD by Not Doppler

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Around the time that Earn To Die came out it seemed like several such games came onto the App Store.  I tried some of the other ones as well, and for some reason this one seemed to catch my attention the most. The concept as a whole is fairly redundant: race until you run out of gas, upgrade your vehicle and repeat.  Still, Earn To Die has managed to suck me in every time I load it up, and as far as I'm concerned that's the most important feature a game should have.



Giveaway: MacX DVD Ripper Pro

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Until November 30th, Digiarty is giving away version 4.0 of their DVD ripping software, MacX DVD Ripper Pro.  Among other things you can use it to rip DVDs to iPhone and iPad compatible video formats.  For more details and to grab yourself a copy of this software, check out this link: MacX DVD Ripper Pro giveaway.



Review: Pilot Brothers HD by G5 Entertainment

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I’ve been a fan of adventure games since before adventure games had graphics, but nowadays the industry seems a bit unclear on what constitutes a member of the genre.  The big push these days seems to be towards hidden object games, and while I’m a fan of that particular offshoot as well I still like to indulge in the more puzzle / character oriented fare like the old King’s Quest games.  Ironically enough Pilot Brothers doesn’t really fall into that category either, but instead has kind of invented its own style of game play.  It’s a two character single screen puzzle adventure, and it’s one of the best games in the overarching genre of adventure games that I’ve played in quite a while.



Review: Where Is It? by Look And Feel

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I’m a huge fan of hidden object games, but there’s no question that they all begin to feel the same after a while.  “Where Is It?” blends the hidden object game with the art of optical illusions to create what to my knowledge is a unique experience on the App Store.  I was a bit disappointed that the animal category seemed so easy, but the people and objects categories have more than made up for that to provide an overall decent and interesting challenge.  Replay value is a bit limited, but hopefully the proposed monthly updates will take care of that issue.



Review: Swingworm by 10tons

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In general I'm a big fan of 10 tons and the games they release.  At first I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like Swingworm, because it just didn't seem to have the same polish as the other games I was used to from this company.  It turns out I was wrong about that for the most part.  Swingworm is actually a rather interesting game with a unique concept, cute artwork and a pleasing soundtrack.  Unfortunately it suffers from one significant flaw - terrible controls.  They haven't deterred me from playing the game yet, but they sure can make it frustrating.



Review: The Last Driver by Chillingo

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Okay, I told you my “series” on infinite runners wouldn’t be coming out 5 days in a row.  In fact, this is part two and I think I’ve published 2 or 3 other reviews in between.  At any rate, this time around I’m taking a look at The Last Driver from Chillingo.  Apparently you are the last driver in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies, UFOs and dinosaurs.  Thankfully you have an upgradable vehicle that jumps and has weapons attached to it, so theoretically you’ll be okay.  In practice, though, that isn’t so much the case.  Still, it can be quite entertaining for those few moments you stay alive between menu screens.



Review: Gibbets 2 by HeroCraft

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Back in the day HeroCraft was one of my favorite PocketPC / Palm game developers, so I’m happy to see that they are becoming active in the iOS market.  While they still haven’t ported one of my favorite games over to the platform yet they have definitely selected some interesting titles to release for the device, and Gibbets 2 is no exception.  This archery game has you freeing the poor sods that would otherwise be the victims of the hangman’s noose (yeah, apparently that same guy that likes to torture innocents because other people can’t guess words quickly enough).  You’ll have to skillfully wield a bow and arrow across more than fifty levels to help set the hanging men free.



Review: Saving Yello by dreamfab

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If I had to speculate about what kind of twisted game the little girl from Finding Nemo might dream up to play with her fish, this would probably be it.  If you have any objections to animal cruelty, even if it’s only electronic, you might not appreciate this game.  Along the way poor Yello will get spiked, frozen, torched and all around beaten up, even though ultimately you’re “kindly” returning him to his bowl.  The rest of you that can deal with that should actually get a kick out of this game.  “Stretch and launch” physics games have become a dime a dozen on the App Store, but ones like Saving Yello still manage to make the genre fun.



Review: Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix HD by G5 Entertainment

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I know it's possible to have more than one really good game in a given genre but as far as hidden object games on the iPad are concerned The Cursed Heart has set an extremely high bar that's going to be hard to reach let alone beat. Tales From The Dragon Mountain doesn't even come close in that regards, and in a way it's unfortunate that I chose this one as my next hidden object game to play.  On the other hand, it actually does a couple things really well, and in the end manages to suck you in until the final battle with Strix.  You just have to look past a few things like aging graphics, relatively short play time and overly simple mini-games.



Review: Super Penguins by Supersolid Ltd.

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I have a problem, and it’s called infinite runners for my iOS device.  I don’t recall which one I first latched on to, but especially since the dawn of the Temple Run style game I’ve gotten hooked on so many I could probably fill a couple home pages up with them.  To that end I’ve decided to take a week long look at the latest offerings in this genre.  Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get reviews for a week straight, but rather my next five entries will be related to this addictive style of game play.  The first entry in my series is Super Penguins, the premiere offering from newcomers Supersolid Ltd.  I have to say they’re off to a pretty good start.



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