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: The Secret Of Moonwall Palace - Viva La Future Revolution HD

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The third and final chapter of the Moonwall series (originally called “The Train”) has finally arrived on the iPad, and I couldn’t wait to dig into it.  I’ve always been a fan of the series thanks to its intriguing story, even though part two had a few annoyances where the game engine was concerned.  This last episode seems to have fixed those issues for the most part, and continued to uphold the tradition of strong story and some challenging puzzles.  There were even a couple of innovative uses of the device, at least where adventure games are concerned.  My biggest disappointment, however, besides the fact that this was the end, was how it ended.  Still, up until the last few minutes of the game the journey was certainly worth it.



Review: Teething by William Robinson

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Retro seems to be a popular thing on the iOS platform, and Teething does a great job of personifying that mentality.  Between the pixilated graphics, bouncy chip tunes and simple game play I feel like I’m delving into a first generation NES game or maybe even an LED marvel with supped up aesthetics.  Either way it’s an amusing game to play, at least for a while.  I’m just afraid that without much fluff it won’t have any staying power.



Review: Voroflow by Abstratum

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Someone once I asked me how I pick games to review, and obviously without being able to play them there’s a lot of trust in screen shots and descriptions, whether from the developers themselves or from forums and other such public avenues.  Once I finally get my hands on a game the focus then becomes the fun factor.  However, I also try to focus on games that are unusual in a positive way, because these are the ones that tend to become classics once people stop overlooking them.  Voroflow definitely falls into the “unusual” category, and as a match 3 lover I’m glad the developer was kind enough to bring it to my attention.



Review: Unicorn Rush by Mind Juice Media

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I apologize from the onset, but I’m going to be sexist and say that when I heard the title Unicorn Rush my first thought was that this was going to be a “girlie” game.  If it is, then I guess I’m letting my feminine side out, because I’m hooked.  In ways the game is not much more than your basic infinite runner, but it’s amazing how much little things like achievements and the ability to shoot can add to what should really be a somewhat boring genre of game play.  Prepare to remember why you enjoyed the genre so much in the first place.



Review: Oz for iPad by Podotree, Inc.

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I’ll be perfectly up front about this – while I had some interest in this application, I mainly downloaded it so I could fill in a quick survey and get a $10 iTunes card.  As it turns out, even if I didn’t get my survey submitted in time to get the gift card, I’m glad I made the purchase.  I don’t know how close the story is to the original book, but it’s certainly more interesting than the classic MGM film starring Judy Garland (no offense to the film, which I do enjoy).  Additionally, the interactivity with the images on screen – and occasionally the words – is actually quite fun.  Now I just need to let my kids look through it…



Review: Sprinkle Junior by Mediocre AB

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I’ve actually had this game for quite some time, and I even considered reviewing it “on my own” at one point.  I finally got brave and let my son use my iPad (well, a screen protector contributed to that decision as well), and I’m glad I did.  While I found the game amusing, it was a delight to watch my son discover the quirkiness of each new level and figure out how to beat it.  The only down side to Sprinkle Junior is that there are only 30 levels, but that’s okay because my son has played through it twice already and is wanting to go back for more.



Review: Mystery Lighthouse by Digi-chain Games

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Being a computer geek in the 80s, I spent much of my mid-childhood engulfed in the world of adventure games.  Sure such things exist today (if you look beyond the fact that many publications call anything they don’t know what to classify as an adventure), but back then there were companies that were actually known and praised for such fare.  Mystery Lighthouse pays homage to such games, and it actually does it quite well.  This is a far cry from Digi-Chain’s previous effort, Dungeon of the Damned, and in my opinion a much better game.



Review: Crossworlds The Flying City by G5 Entertainment

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Let’s just skip the formalities – G5 has another hit on their hands with Crossworlds: The Flying City.  There’s nothing really new in terms of game play, but the game play is certainly as solid as ever.  What makes this game is the locations, and while I’ve only visited three spots so far (with several screens of exploration each), I like how vastly different every setting feels.  I wouldn’t say Crossworlds is G5’s strongest offering, but it certainly keeps them on their winning streak.



Review: Blocks Hurt! by Luca Giusti

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I often find myself in a position where I get a game to review, and then I just don’t get to it for a long time, but when I finally do I think to myself “boy do I wish I would have played this sooner”.  Yep, Blocks Hurt is one of those games… at least that’s how I felt when I first started playing it.  A few levels into the game I couldn’t decide if I still wanted to embrace it or if I was ready to chuck my iPod Touch out the window.  Fortunately I’m not in a position to go the latter route.  As it happens Blocks Hurt is one of the most creative matching / combat games I’ve run into on my iDevices, so I’ll tough it out for now.



Review: Bubble Pig by Donut Games

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Donut Games is the king of causal arcade games.  They often manage to take a silly premise and turn it into quite the enjoyable product, which is exactly the case with Bubble Pig.  The idea of an overweight pig bouncing around a forest consuming everything edible in sight and avoiding foxes doesn’t really sound all that enthralling, but when you put the patent Donut Games spin on it the game becomes both interesting and quite challenging.  I’m not going to put this at the top of the Donut Games’ chart, but it certainly has their trademark quality level.



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