By Werner Ruotsalainen on Mon, 12/15/2008
Before I, finally, publish the iPhone Gaming bible Part I, some news for you all.
ngmoco:) is one of the best games developer for the iPhone / iPod Touch. They're celebrating the upcoming (on 12/18) release of their new, really promising puzzle-platformer title, Rolando.
The (also-excellent) games Dropship (see review and user feedback HERE) and Dr. Awesome are both sold at half the price (0.99$ / 0.79euros) while Topple, a very addictive stacking game *see review HERE), is offered for free. Mazefinger, which has always been free, remained so, too. Go get these titles – they're really worth it.
An AppStore screenshot showing these prices:
I've continued playing the iPhone port of Orions (AppStore link HERE; current price is still $1.99 – quite a bargain!) and found it excellent (see my earlier quick report HERE). While I still think some of the visuals (animations) are better on Windows Mobile (so is the presence of the two add-on packs), I certainly like the higher resolution of the iPhone version. (I used to play Orions on my 4" VGA HP iPAQ 210; on it, the QVGA-only game was hopelessly pixelizated. No such problems on the iPhone.) Also, while it is pretty hard on the battery, it still offers more playing time than on Windows Mobile – at least on the iPhone 3G. (Dunno about the battery life on the iPod Touch 2G, which has a CPU clocked at 520 MHz, though – as opposed to the 400 MHz of the iPhone 2G and 3G.)
It does have some bugs; for example, the click-through bug that was also present in the intial Windows Mobile version. The developer promises a prompt fix for that.
Speaking of future add-ons, it's still not known when they will be released. They surely will be some time in 2009. Also, nothing is known about adding remote (TCP/IP) or local (Wi-Fi) multiplayer capabilities.
You may also want to read THIS for more info.
EA: SimCity slated for this week; Need For Speed only next year
There are some great news on SimCity, the, so far, best mobile phone port of the game. (It's way better than the Windows Mobile port of Simcity 2000 and the Java-based [compatibile with both Symbian and some Windows Mobile MIDlet managers] Simcity Societies – see the quick review & WinMo / Symbian compliance report of the latter HERE.) Depending on how quickly the Apple folks approve the title, it'll turn up in AppStore in a few days. Also see THIS (also discussed HERE) for some additional info.
As far as the highly awaited NFS is concerned, there is bad news for you: it'll only be released next year.
Ever played Fade on Windows Mobile and/or you're an adventure fan?
Then, make sure you check out 1112 (AppStore link). It's a revamped, highly enhanced and rewritten Fade implementation for the iPhone.
I've long been asking the Fade Team (who don't any more seem to exist – their old homepage is dead) to come up with a VGA-specific version of the original Fade. They haven't, which is, after all, pretty understandable, given the low demand for Windows Mobile games (incidentally, this was the reason for Orions' not having a VGA-optimized, high-resolution version either with much cleaner and prettier, non-pixelizated icons and graphics on VGA models.) Not so on the iPhone (and iPod Touch), fortunately. The revwrite REALLY rocks: has high-quality, hand-drawn (!!!) (as opposed to Fade, which was fully rendered) graphics, a lot of different ambient music tracks (just use the tuning knob on the alarm clock radio) etc.
I can only recommend 1112, particularly now that, with the recently-released version 1.1.0, there's an extensive built-in tutorial in the game and the English typos / grammatical mistakes have been fixed.
Note that IGN has published a very bad review of the game. It's (why it's bad and shouldn't be taken seriously) thoroughly discussed HERE. While they're right (along with some AppStore reviewers) that the answers are somewhat repetitive, let me point out that you could interact with a lot of objects in other traditional (textual – I'm not referring to Legend's games released after 1993) adventure games like those of Legend Entertainment. If you don't like the genre, simply don't play the game, it's that simple.
Finally, according to the developer, there will be five episodes, each sold at $4 – that is, half the price of the current, first episode. This is certainly great news – for $8 each, I think they'd be a bit on the overpriced side, even knowing how great Fade is.
I can only hope they also port Acedior for the iPhone. See my related discussion with the developer HERE.
I've also been asked about running old Sierra / LucasArts games on the iPhone. (See my Windows Mobile-specific tutorial HERE). Currently, you can only do this on jailbroken iPhones. Please see THIS and THIS for more info. A related thread can be found HERE.
This also means if you have the secnd-generation iPod Touch, you're out of luck as it still misses the 2G-specific jailbreak.