I have nothing against simple games. I don’t even necessarily care if the look or sound the best (as long as they look and sound better than something I could do). However, when a game doesn’t play well all the rest sort of really doesn’t matter much. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with Alien Strike. What could have been an all right Defender clone has such a wonky control scheme that it’s almost not playable unless you set it to indestructible mode, at which point it’s no longer any fun anyway.
My first experience with Mina’s adventures, which are loosely based on the stories of Jules Verne, was with Return To Mysterious Island on a Windows Mobile device. It was one of my favorite portable adventure games, and the iPhone version proved to be an even slightly better experience. Imagine my delight, then, when I found out that there was going to be a sequel on the iPhone. I couldn’t wait for this game to come out, and now that I have it I’m not quite as excited. It’s nice to be back in Mina and Jep’s life again, but I’m not finding this adventure quite as engaging as the first time around. I also still don’t see some much needed tweaks to the game engine from the first time around. Still, Secrets Of Mysterious Island should provide some thoughtful game time for true adventure gamers. As a bit of advance warning, there might be a spoiler or two in this review, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The past is now present—and the future looks even brighter!
For several years now, the PC gaming world has been lamenting the death of the adventure game. The funny thing is that the genre is alive and well; it just doesn’t thrive as much in the commercial world. However, it appears that developers are interested in reversing that trend and, in part, are using the iPhone platform to do it. Over the last several months, quite a few adventure games have been ported to the iPhone, ranging from the first adventure game ever made, to one of the most beloved. I’d like to share my thoughts on some of these translations, and where I hope this trend is heading. This is my look at the state of the adventure game on the iPhone.
1. I’ve added a video of Line Racer by inXile Entertainment, a line racer game, which received Wi-Fi / BT local multiplayer support some days ago. TouchArcade discussion HERE; I especially recommend THIS mini-review .
2. As far as multiplayer game sales are concerned, Warfare Incorporated (the excellent RTS) is at a $1 sale – go get it!
Apple has recently added a new listing in the App Store called Top Grossing apps. It appears in the right margin under the listings of Paid Apps and Free Apps. Simply put, the top grossing apps are the ones that are making the most money — an indication of how much they're valued. If somebody's willing to plunk down $9.99 for Call of Duty, the current top-grossing app, it must be pretty good. If you look at the ratings for the top apps in this category, they're typically very high.
1. Gameloft, in addition to Blades of Fury, has made some other multiplayer-enabled games $1 for the holiday season
; all of them well worth this price:
Real Tennis 2009
Note that there are some other single player titles too; please see THIS
for more info. The following single-player titles are on sale:
Castle of Magic ($1.99 -> 99¢)
Terminator Salvation ($4.99 -> 99¢)
One of the best Street Fighter clones is Blades of Fury (iTunes link) - no wonder I've featured it in my recently-published "Everything you’ll ever need to know about multiplayer games" (and also the paper version of it, which, hopefully, gets published in the newsstand version of iPhone Life). Now, it’s offered for $1 only during the Thanksgiving season. For this price, it’s a steal!
NOTE: Please see Chapter 6, Updates to this article, for more info on how this guide is updated. Current version / last updated: 11/22/2009.
Ground Effect is a vicious dichotomy of everything that should be right about racing games and everything that is wrong about them. It boasts some of the best track design I’ve seen in a mobile racing game to date, yet this same track design makes the races aggravating and seemingly impossible to win at times. The game encourages you to think outside the box and then punishes you for doing so. Luckily the game gorgeous to look at, has a cool soundtrack, and despite its frustrations can be quite fun to play. If you understood all that you probably don’t need the remainder of this review, but for the rest of us…
Tetris proved to be quite an addictive game and was clearly well loved, as evidenced by the myriad of clones that followed over the years. I will unashamedly admit that I too was a junkie, but the one thing that Tetris lacked was a real purpose. Of course nowadays the developer would probably just throw in a bunch of achievements and “voila”, you have a purpose. That doesn’t really count. Thankfully, Tumble Jumble has come along to remedy the situation. It’s clear that the developers hold some respect for Tetris in their hearts, but they also seem to realize that such a game can be made with a purpose. And a couple of amusing characters, to boot!