First (major) update to my roundup of multiplayer games posted.
In it, I add some 5 games and elaborate on the different networking models used
by these titles.
You've probably played the game before, though the protagonist is usually a helicopter or spaceship and more often than not you're confined to some subterranean tunnel system. Copter Kids definitely breaks the mold from the perspective of atmosphere, but there's not much else to set it apart from the pack. A silly back story, cute visuals and decent music are not fully utilized on what's mostly "just another clone".
What do you get when you cross penguins with snow caps, zany physics, and 80 levels that each end with a bull’s eye? Why, you get Arctic Shuffle from Zinc Roe design. This puzzle game is fun, frustrating and rewarding all rolled up in one. The penguins are pretty cute, too!
I also played with Imagine Poker Touch, a crazy game that lets you play Texas Hold ‘Em with Lincoln, Napoleon, Mona Lisa, Little Red Riding Hood, and other historical or fictional characters. You compete as one of the initially-unlocked characters, with a stake of $200. When you beat the players at one table, which isn’t always that easy, you move on to another.
Virtual Pool is a great 3D pool simulation that’s available for a variety of platforms, now including the iPhone/iPod touch. Although it’s pretty easy to get started, you still have to get used to the look of the table. The cue ball always appears slightly larger than the ball you’re aiming it at, and you have to develop a “feel” for how hard or soft you have to hit it. You don’t win at your local pool hall by simply flicking your thumb over your phone—you have to figure out how to wield that cue stick!
Texas Hold ‘Em is Apple’s version of the popular poker variant. It includes near-lifelike videos of each player’s tics and tells as they decide whether to call, raise, or fold. Unfortunately, after playing with the same dozen or so characters, I still have no consistent feeling for who’s bluffing.
Reviews of Texas Hold 'Em, Virtual Pool, and Image Poket Touch
Even with the bad economy, I’ve made over $300,000 since the beginning of the year! Unfortunately, these are virtual dollars, not real ones. I’ve amassed this fortune playing Texas Hold ‘Em ($4.99) and Virtual Pool ($1.99) on my Apple iPhone.
The only drawback that I could find to Firemint’s Real Racing is the iPod’s small screen. The game graphics and special effects are so good that I was wishing I could play it on a much larger screen. The sights, sounds and detailed racing scenery are all exquisite. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read more to find out why you will want to grab this fabulously intense racing game with on-line leagues, YouTube video syncing, WiFi head-to-head action and more.
I saw some decent reviews for this one in the App Store, and the price was low, so I figured I’d check it out. Armageddon Squadron is a decent game overall, and I warmed to it more with time. It offers a lot of play options and scenarios that are engaging. For example, gameplay is not restricted to a front aerial view. Some of the missions require you to switch to a top-down bomber view so that you can accurately place bombs on targets below.
Armageddon Squadron: Bogie at 12 o’clock (left), and bombing a supply factory (right).
Hellfire takes you back to the cold war era, when the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. were locked in an escalating race for military supremacy. The original Hellfire game for the Windows Mobile platform came out around 2004, and was dubbed Hellfire: Apache vs. Hind. The title is misleading—it makes it sound like an air-to-air combat game between two helicopters. It’s listed in the category of strategy games by the vendor, but most of the game involves direct combat between a helicopter you control and “bogies” controlled by the computer. (You choose to pilot either the Apache or Hind.) The original game was nicely executed and fun to play, and so is the newer version.