What I played this week - Ichi and more gaming news

This week, I review Ichi; advanced pong/puzzle game rising fast in app store popularity, and as about as simple as a game can get and still provide devilishly mind-twisting fun. Also, some important news: for those who have heard me ranting but not yet sampled the Galaxy on Fire 2 space adventure (SD version)--99 cents for a very limited time (expires June 15th, 2012) so do not tarry too overlong to snag it. In other iOS gaming news, Bank Job side-runner freebie has been released, and a new 3D racer called Bounty Racer coming this summer. I hope to review both in an upcoming WIPTW column, time permitting. Read on for the Ichi review and full game news releases...

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

In Ichi, the concept is to keep the bouncing vector away from the pointy areas, while cleverly clearing out all the dots. Your control is accomplished by turning the angled cogs to the correct orientation (they rotate in a single direction). Though all you do in Ichi is tap screen at the appropriate times, the timing and skill required to solve each puzzle keeps you coming back for more.

Grading is based on a standard letter system, and you achieve better scores by clearing the dots with the least amount of passes around the course. Striking the jagged wall areas will destroy the vector and require you to start over. Blank walls allow a bounce, and keep the round alive, and other transient objects also add to the fun. If you get bored with the game levels provided, you can even create your own, and share them with the Ichi community. Several thousands of levels have already been created since Ichi hit the app store.

In summary, Ichi is simple but time-killing fun. The background music, a kind of light jazz/musak mix, is a good fit to the overall timbre of the game. The graphics, physics and effects, though minimal, are all expertly coded, eye-catching and create an ambiance to the game that compels you to continue past just a few levels. I give it my iPhoneLife stamp of approval, and hope to see it go far on the app store.


Bank Job

Bank Job, just released is a scroller that puts you in the position of trying to get loot out of the bank and into your coffers without getting nailed. Created by Screwtape Studios: a team made up of ex-games degree students and ex-studio devs. Full press release follows...

“Bank Job is a Free-to-play,challenging, fast paced, running game that is easy to pick up and play and has a unique toon inspired style with a swinging jazz soundtrack.

Help bungled burglar, Paulie Barbosa, escape the high security vaults while collecting as much loot as possible. Reach checkpoints to deposit loot or get hurt and lose it forever. Climb up and down between the vaults and sewers all while avoiding high-tech security lasers, spikes, anvils and spinning grinders.


Bounty Racer

Quadsphere's Bounty Racer is another indie title that looks like cart-dodging and racing action to be released sometime in Summer 2012. I grabbed Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D recently and have been having a ball with it. I look forward to trying out Quadsphere's racer. Full press release follows...

"The Quadsphere, indie developer of Icarus-X and FMX Riders, is proud to announce Bounty Racer for iOS devices this summer.

Bounty Racer is an Arcade Off-Road Racing Game that packs both a full Single Player experience and engaging Multiplayer challenges, with a unique Drift,Jump and Bounce gameplay.

The game spans a wide difficulty range through 4 Leagues, starting with forgiving gameplay for younger rookie players

and climaxing with breathtaking, furious races for the more experienced drivers. With a deep Game Center integration, Bounty Racer puts you in a worldwide competition, offering bounties for beating your friends and the world's best times.

Key features:

  • 5 Game modes and 72 unique events
  • Random Challenges and Bounties
  • Driver customization with over 1 million possible combinations
  • Online Multiplayer with up to 4 players
  • Game Center Leaderboards and Achievements
  • Shareable replays via Game Center
  • Encode and upload your replays to YouTube directly from the game
  • Intuitive Tilt and Touch controls
  • Optimized for Retina devices
  • Universal

That's all for this week's WIPTW review and news roundup, but stay tuned to our iPhoneLife blogs for great reviews, tips, news and much more!

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

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.