What I played this week - Slenderman, and Ice Riders!

Slenderman: Unknown Chronicles is one of a few games or apps on iTunes related to the Slender horror genre. The legend is of a tall, slender man that appears in the background of old photographs that include small children. Evidence of kidnappings surround these events, and the Slenderman is purportedly able to stretch his arms and torso to extreme lengths to capture his quarry. The game is sort of like an iOS version of Blair Witch Project (if anyone remembers that)! Ice Riders, a decidedly upbeat, platform-like snowboard simulation combines custom course design with tricky game physics to create a unique, chilly and fun time-killer... Read on for the full reviews!

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Both games are tiny, and ran fine on my iPad mini, but Slenderman was a little jerky on the iPod touch 4G. Slenderman is a 3D game that begins in a dimly lighted room, presumably a basement. A diary-like story text scrolls across the screen, explaining your need to go out and find new batteries--your battery-meter being near empty.

Finding batteries will pump up your illumination level and keeps The SMan at bay. You will catch glimpses of the faceless apparition around the edge of your vision at first. Getting closer will draw you further toward him. The best course of action is to keep moving and looking for additional batteries. The game has one soft control to move around, while on-screen swipes to pan.

The game sounds in Slenderman alternate between ambient walking sounds and horror show buzzing. It is only mildly scary, but I admit to feeling an elevated heart rate when in the deep, dark woods looking for the ever-elusive battery. The game ends abruptly when SMan appears right in your face, so you really don't have time to be scared, just kind of disappointed when the game end screen pops up. I was expecting something more suspenseful and graphic, but definitely a good effort for a freebie 3D game.

Ice Riders is a much harder game than first blush would indicate. How hard can drawing a line, and then guiding a 2D figure along it really be? When the game adheres to realistic snowboard physics, uh quite hard! Each level begins with a blank canvas featuring dots randomly placed on the screen. You need to draw out a course that will take your snowboarding icon to the dots, preferably during a jump or similar trick, as the higher levels require you to perform a soft-button action when you touch them.

The little Snowboarding dude is controlled by leaning left and right (2 lower-left controls), and grabbing the board will speed you up (lower right). Jumps and flips are easy to execute, but that doesn't make the game easy--the physics are quite accurate, and it will take some significant practice to master staying on your feet, and hitting all the dots. You get several runs to touch them before the round ends and resets. Subsequent efforts will require you to redraw a new course. The game is universal, but has somewhat easier to view graphics on the iPod touch or iPhone than iPad mini.

Both of these very cool games are available at the links posted in the opener above. I really enjoyed Ice Riders (99 cents), though admit I only made it through the first few simple levels. As the game became more difficult, I had a tough time hitting the required marks, so practice will be in order to hit achieve the highest scores. Slenderman: Unknown Chronicles is a freebie that succeeds despite the monotony of a constant search for batteries. I couldn't stop playing until the SMan grabbed me!

That's it for this WIPTW edition, but remember to check back regularly to iPhoneLife for the best in iOS tips, tricks, news and reviews!

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Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.