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: Draw Breaker by Elevate Entertainment

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It used to be that I’d start every review about a brick breaker style game saying something about how I don’t really like the genre but… I think I need to stop doing that now.  Either I’ve become more selective in the ones that I try or they really do keep getting better, because I’m actually finding myself enjoying the concept more each time I write a review.  This time around the subject is Draw Breaker, the latest game from Elevate Entertainment, and this game is a blast!  It’s cute, creative and different than any brick breaker I’ve played in the past.



Review: NinjaBoy by 2 Ton Studios

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There was a day long before the mobile revolution when video game consoles reigned supreme, and many might have even said that computers were no good for anything other than causal games or low action fare like adventure games.  I did a lot of console gaming back in the 8 and 16 bit eras, and one thing that was common among many games was that they were hard.  It could be fair to say that some bordered on being impossible.  Ironically, that was part of what appealed to gamers back then.  The folks at 2 Ton Studios are clearly a product of that era as well, as evidenced by their premiere release Ninja Boy.  My feelings towards the game shift at any given moment from intense enjoyment to sheer frustration, but in the end I’m almost positive I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent with it.



Review: Flying Princess by Aleph Games

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The cliché, of course, is that the knight in white shining armor rides in to save the damsel in distress and everyone lives happily ever after.  Flying Princess severely bucks that trend with a sniveling “hero”, an overly ambitious princess and a cannon!  Personally I think love might have drifted from being blind to teetering on the edge of insanity, but it makes for a great game, so who cares?



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.



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