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: 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.



Review: The Tossing Dead by 21st Street Games

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When The Tossing Dead came out I included it in a weekly article called “10 App Store Games To Watch” where I discuss new releases that I think are worth keeping an eye on (or possibly even outright buying).  As no one is perfect, I’m sometimes wrong about my choices.  In this case, however, I’m definitely not.  If you’re a fan of Fruit Ninja style games, you’ll really enjoy this.  If you dig obliterating the undead, why not trying tossing them?  If you like both of the previously mentioned things, you’ll be in seventh heaven with this game.



Review: UFO Adventure by Greg Chaffins

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There was a time when a considerable amount of my gaming focus went to third person adventure game classics from the likes of companies such as Sierra Online and LucasArts.  That time has passed, in large part due to the fact that such games aren’t nearly as prevalent any more, but thankfully developers are starting to see the merit of this genre, and in particular this visual perspective, on modern gaming platforms.  One such developer is Greg Chaffins, and his latest effort, simply titled UFO Adventure, shows he knows a thing or two about what I remember from my childhood and teen years.



Review: Luxor Evolved HD by MumboJumbo

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Because of the Luxor franchise, one of my favorite iOS marble poppers was pulled from the App Store.  A couple of years have passed and I’ve apparently forgotten my mental ban of the company that publishes the games, because here I am reviewing the latest installment of this long running series.  Thankfully the game has gotten substantially better than the first go around, so I guess I’ll let bygones be bygones (especially since the game I liked will probably never see the light of day again).  I’m still not sure I like this quite as much as my current favorite in the genre, Sparkle, but it certainly is a fun and frantic romp.



Review: Lock N Load by Chillingo

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I’m sure before you even clicked on the link to read this review you thought to yourself “do I really need another dual stick shooter?”  After spending some time with the game I’m thinking the answer to that question is “quite possibly”.  Now I’m not going to try and tell you there’s a bunch of revolutionary stuff in Lock ‘N’ Load (though there are at least a couple of things that I don’t think I’ve seen before), but it is definitely a fun romp through an interesting land clearly inspired by B-grade horror films.  I’d say that unless you’re really sick of this style of game play, Lock ‘N’ Load is worth some time to check out.



Review: Frenzy Pop

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Having grown up in the 8 and 16 bit console era, I remember when 2D platform games were all the rage.  Nowadays it seems as though even simple platforming romps need to be embellished with the latest 3D graphics in order to be accepted by the masses.  Thankfully handheld devices like smartphones have made the 2D platform game “in style” again, and games like Frenzy Pop are taking good advantage of that.  The premise is simple, the levels are challenging, and there’s no third dimension to clutter up the fun.



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