New games that take advantage of the iPad's enhanced features
At this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March, much of the buzz was centered on the iPad. Everyone was eager to get in on what Apple executive Scott Forstall called, "a whole new Gold Rush for developers." However, these game developers were encountering a problem: Apple had not provided even the biggest third-party companies with early iPad devices to test their applications. Developers instead had to rely on computer emulation, without the security of knowing how their games would play on an actual iPad.
The first thing you’ll notice about Defender Chronicles is the orientation of the game. Where most tower defense games are played from a top down perspective, Defender Chronicles uses a side view to tell its tale. It’s a nice change that allows more detail to be displayed. The next major difference is that all building locations are pre-determined. Instead of dragging a building where you want to construct it, you simply click one of the many flags littering the landscape and then select the troop type whose barracks you wish to have constructed there. The game starts out with only archer and swordsmen barracks as options, but as the game progresses other choices become available.
First released in the mid-70’s, Snake is a video game that challenges the player to move around the playing area “eating” objects and avoiding the walls and other objects. As the snake “eats” it grows longer and it becomes harder to avoid the obstacles. I was never a fan of this type of game until Snake Galaxy came along, adding 3D graphics to the game and making it more fun.
In our current economy, 99 cents don't go as far as they used to. In fact, you'd be lucky to find a name-brand chocolate bar for under a dollar these days, and you can pretty much forget about quality entertainment for such a price. Because of this sad state of affairs, I think it's especially important to note the 99-cent iPhone apps that really shine - especially the lesser-known ones. One such app is Must.Eat.Birds., created by European developer Mediatonic.
Dr. Seuss on my iPhone was great, my son loved it but The Lorax ($2.99) on my iPad is out of this world! This ebook is just more good stuff from Ocean House Media, see my previous post on The Cat In The Hat. The Lorax is the same well designed reader with a new story.
Hollywood has led us to believe that adventurers hunting for treasure are the good guys and ancient pharaohs, mummies and the like are bad. The roles are reversed in iPharaoh, and it’s up to you to use mummies, giant cubes, sliding or rotating walls and booby traps to defend against the adventurers hunting for the pharaoh’s treasure.
Playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was a stroll down gamer memory lane, though actually this title was popular after I had pretty much outgrown video games (so I thought). I came home on leave one Christmas, and my nephew got this game as a gift. We played it quite a bit, if I remember correctly. If you have not previously become acquainted with Sega’s zippy blue hedgehog, then allow me to introduce you.
There have been countless variations on the Tetris theme over the years, and quite a few have made their way to the App Store, but Block Knights is one of the most original. Unlike the original, it uses all four sides of the screen as the playing field, and does so in an effective manner. (I don’t have to twirl my device around and get all caught up in the headphone cords.)
As a reviewer, a beta tester, and an addicted gamer, I install a lot of apps on my iPod touch. I keep the ones I love and delete the ones I don’t, but there’s a third category of games. These are the ones that I play briefly, like, but then forget about when other priorities demand my attention. These are all good games that deserve more attention than I’ve given them. I’d like to take this opportunity to do a more thorough review of five of my favorites. Having said that, some of the reviews might seem a bit short. This was originally intended to be a single article in an issue of iPhone Life Magazine, but due to scheduling circumstances it had to be cut. They've given me permission to print the article on my blog instead, and I wanted to keep the actual reviews intact from the article (obviously this first paragraph has been changed!)
I love Hangman, especially on my iPad that I can take anywhere. If I have a few minutes to wait, I pull it out and play a round.
Custom Hangman is a bit different than some of the others I have found in that you can add your own custom word lists. You can play them yourself and share them with friends. You could even help your kids learn their spelling words by using this app!
Included in the app, are twenty word lists and game categories, including SAT words, which are the ones I especially enjoy. The app works with iPhone and iPod Touch. Check out the video below: