.the ramblings of a radman.

Category: Video Games (Page 3 of 8)

Infinity Blade II – ClashMobs, Facebook, and Anger… OH MY!

I was a huge fan of Infinity Blade and when Infinity Blade II arrived, it brought a number of amazing enhancements to the game that greatly improved on the formula. I really loved the enhanced story, especially after having read the Infinity Blade: Awakening ebook which bridged the two games.

I was even more excited for the teased ClashMob feature. When it finally arrived last week, a lot of people complained about the fact that Facebook was required to play (rather than, say, Game Center). However, it made sense to me for a number of reasons:

  • Facebook was already a part of the first Infinity Blade, which allowed others to view your character on Facebook
  • Requiring users to sign up for accounts specific to Epic Games or Chair Entertainment would have been cumbersome and required additional infrastructure
  • Most Facebook users also have a significantly larger pool of friends than Game Center, Open Feint, Plus+, etc.
  • Game Center likely has missing functionality in its API that ClashMob required

My only concern about using Facebook for ClashMob is the restrictions Facebook has on child accounts. Children under 13 that quite enjoy the Infinity Blade series can’t participate unless they lie about their age to create an account. Further, privacy is always a concern with a company that exists solely to mine data for ad sales. Privacy concerns and age restrictions aside, Facebook is a very robust platform for this specific feature. It didn’t take long for my Facebook friends to start appearing in my ClashMob. Those that are truly concerned could easily create a false profile specifically as a gaming network and use it to find people to play with while keeping their personal information off the service altogether.

All in all, I’m quite happy to have the ClashMob arrive and can’t wait to see what other features are coming in the future.

Diary of a Light Warrior – Final Fantasy for iPhone

More than a year ago, I began playing the original Final Fantasy for iPhone and during the course of the game, I made a series of posts to GetGlue as I accomplished various milestones. I had always intended to flesh them out into a journal of sorts from the point of view of the Light Warriors, but I could never quite get the right inspiration. So, instead, I’ll just leave them here. Enjoy!

March 28, 2011 – 20:32Z
The music for this game just gets better and better with age.

March 29, 2011 – 14:37Z
Knocked down Garland. Pilfered the pirate ship. Now searching for the Dark Elf.

March 29, 2011 – 23:07Z
Dark Elf slain. Revived the Elf Prince. Restored Matoya’s sight. Helped a crazy dwarf explode a small part of the continent. Exploring the far side of the world.

March 30, 2011 – 18:35Z
Dusted a vampire. Met Sadda the Sage. Buried Lich, the Earth Fiend. Entered the Earthgift Shrine.

March 30, 2011 – 19:43Z
Reached the bottom of the Earthgift Shrine. Decimated by Two-Headed Dragon. Seeking easier prey.

March 31, 2011 – 15:38Z
Found the circle of Sages at Crescent Lake. Extinguished Marilith, the Fiend of Fire. Found a Levistone in the Cavern of Ice. Checking want ads for used airship.

March 31, 2011 – 20:43Z
Stole an ancient airship. Quested for a rather disgusting token of courage. Blessed by the Dragon King. Ran a number of errands. Going mermaid fishing—I mean, hunti… err, HELPing.

April 4, 2011 – 19:15Z
Fileted Kraken, the Fiend of Water. Bought Level 8 magic spells. Leveled everything. Cleared the Earthgift Shrine of a Two-Headed Dragon, Ahriman, Cerberus, and Echidna. Found an ancient tower in the desert. Checking it out.

April 2, 2011 – 21:20Z
Stilled Tiamat, the Fiend of Air. Did the “I Restore Light to the Crystals” dance. Checked out the Chaos Shrine. Decided to let the world suffer a bit longer. Journeyed to the bottom of Lifespring Grotto. Died. Going back to saving the world.

April 3, 2011 – 16:06Z
Knocked down Chaos. Saved the world. Restored the Light. Loading old game to finish bonus dungeons.

April 6, 2011 – 22:54Z
Delving deeper and deeper into Whisperwind Cove. Death Manticores flee from battle. Twenty floors to go.

April 7, 2011 – 15:46Z
Served Orthros up as sushi. Ten more floors to go.

April 7, 2011 – 18:08Z
Reached the bottom of Whisperwind Cove. Finally. Found the Ultima weapon. Accidentally broke it pulling it from the chest. Returning to Lifespring Grotto, grumbling all the way.

April 7, 2011 – 20:09Z
Returned to Lifespring Grotto. Again. Pulled the power core from Omega. Back to the surface. Shinryu is next.

Infinity Blade and clones showdown

When Infinity Blade was released for iOS, iPhone and iPad gamers all over the world became very, very excited. Here was a game with incredible graphics, marvelous gameplay, and an exciting (albeit threadbare) story. And, as can always be expected when a genre-defining hit is born, the clones slowly began to surface. It took some time, as Infinity Blade was quite unlike any other game that had come before. While games that required you to swing your character’s sword in a specific direction at a specific angle had existed on the Nintendo Wii already, they were nowhere near as engaging as this. And, unlike those that had come before, Infinity Blade was a graphical marvel that you could carry around in your pocket.

Thankfully, Infinity Blade was a massive success, because some of my favorite iOS games exist simply by virtue of Infinity Blade’s inspirational combat. I’ve included a list of the games I’ve played in this swipe-fighter genre, as well as my thoughts on each, below:

Infinity Blade ($2.99) – The granddaddy of them all, Infinity Blade vaulted Epic Games and Chair Entertainment into the forefront of the iOS community. I was already quite impressed with some of Chair’s other work, specifically Shadow Complex for the Xbox Live Arcade. Infinity Blade’s portability, interesting take on death and rebirth, and emphasis on collecting and mastering all of the weapons and items in the game really appealed to the RPG gamer in me. The combat was one of skill, however, which meant that the more I played, the better I got, so that I could take out The God King (the game’s villain) using the weakest of all weapons, if I was willing to put in the work. I did, by the way, and earned an achievement for it in Game Center. Infinity Blade may not be the best game on this list, but it’s certainly the most important. And, if you haven’t played it, then you should definitely pick it up before you do play the best game on this list.

Infinity Blade II ($6.99) – This is the best game on this list. The story in the original was, like the best undergarments, barely there. The creators of the series did their best to rectify that situation this time around. They even released a novella (Infinity Blade: Awakening) to bridge the gap between the two stories and pre-introduce you to characters that would make an appearance in the sequel. In fact, the end of the novella and the beginning of the game overlap. I recommend the book simply because it makes the rules of the game world much clearer than the game does itself. Plus, it’s a fun read. As for the game, it takes the initial formula and builds on top of it, giving players the opportunity to use two-handed weapons or wield a weapon in each hand. Your weapon choice also determines your fighting style, changing the way battles play out rather immensely. Plus, instead of traveling on an endless loop through the same castle, players can choose varying paths to arrive at different destinations, each of which must be completed to truly move forward. I won’t spoil any of the story, but let’s just say that it reveals a lot about the character of the original game and really is a compelling tale.

Dark Meadow ($5.99) – Almost a year after Infinity Blade was released, Dark Meadow hit the scene as the first true clone. While the sword combat was less complex, Dark Meadow added a crossbow that could be used to attack enemies from a distance as they slowly lumbered (or sometimes sprinted) into melee distance. Instead of armor and helmets to choose from, players wear amulets to increase health and also add stat boosts. Instead of a linear progression from start to finish, players are tasked with exploring an abandoned hospital full of grotesque, twisted creatures. While the game is clearly inspired by Infinity Blade (with special thanks to Chair included in the game’s credits), it stands on its own thanks to its excellent storytelling and incredibly creepy visuals. Plus, if you are already a fan of Infinity Blade, this game is just different enough to scratch that itch without making it feel as though you’re playing the same game over again. If you are looking forward to giving this game a go, but aren’t sure that the $5.99 is worth it, the developers will be releasing a free version of the game that has a few ads and supports in-app purchasing for gold (something that is already available in the original). I was quite happy with the game as a paid version, however, and highly recommend it.

Batman Arkham City Lockdown ($5.99) – I’ll admit that when I first bought this game, I was a little disappointed in it. It seemed at first that the gameplay was lacking and the developer was hoping that the Batman license itself would carry sales. After playing through the entire campaign in a rather short period, I felt like the gameplay left a lot to be desired. Then I realized just how much was left to upgrade for my character and as I began the upgrade process, the gameplay started to come alive. Suddenly, in combat, I could throw smoke grenades to choke enemies, giving me a free attack. Or if I were so inclined, I could send a swarm of bats into the face of my opponent damaging him and interrupting his attack. As I leveled up Batman’s gear, I found myself drawn further and further into the game. The real kicker came with the most recent update, however, which added an additional level with a new boss. I had stomped Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, Deathstroke, and The Joker into the dirt so many times that I was rarely having trouble with them. Thankfully, the update added Harley Quinn as an additional boss. The biggest difference between Lockdown and the other Infinity Blade clones is the way combat is a fairly unique affair. Instead of tapping dodge buttons or shield buttons, players simply tap or swipe down on the screen at the right time to turn the tables in Batman’s favor. Once a thug is stunned, Batman can proceed to deliver skull-cracking blows in rapid succession, with combos adding to the damage that can be delivered. While the game may not have the same staying power as Infinity Blade II, fans of Batman will certainly enjoy seeing the characters come to life on their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

RobotGladi8or ($2.99) – I’m still on the fence with this game. It’s different enough from Infinity Blade that I give the developer credit, but the combat doesn’t feel as fluid or intuitive as any of the other games on this list. You play as a former soldier abandoned on a space station full of robot gladiators fighting for your life and the amusement of the galaxy. I’m still only a little bit into the game, but a key difference in this game is the way you can explore the world by walking around like a traditional first-person shooter. However, there isn’t a great deal to find and can actually lead to frustration, as you try to find your way around some of the more cluttered areas of the game. I’ll stick with it, but I suggest waiting for a $0.99 sale. The developer is the same as the iOS game dream:scape, which is an adventure game with a pretty cool story and some creepy, though sometimes frustrating, gameplay.

Blood & Glory (Free, with a heavy emphasis on in-app purchases) – This is the absolute worst cash grab I have ever personally played on the iPhone. This is a free-to-play clone that is set in ancient Rome. You play as a gladiator just trying to make his way through daily combat. Unfortunately, this game is bogged down by either an excessive amount of grinding to afford new weapons and armor, or by spending real money to speed the process. One nice advantage of Blood & Glory, however, is that it’s available for the Mac, as well. If you have either a Magic Trackpad or a MacBook with a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can simply slide your fingers across its surface to perform attacks. However, unless you have nothing but free time, I suggest buying one of the paid apps above so that you can make progress without feeling like you’re wasting your day with nothing to show for it.

Happy Chaos Rings II Day! — Also, The Ides of March

It’s the Ides of March, and you know what that means! It’s time to open our Ides of March presents! Hey, wait… why did you get me a sharp, stabby thing? Ow! That really hurts!

Wait, I get it. You’re trying to draw a parallel to the most important Ides of March gift of all: SQUARE-ENIX releasing CHAOS RINGS II ($17.99 for iPhone/$19.99 for iPad)!

CHAOS RINGS is a series of JRPGs (that’s a role-playing game in the Japanese–rather than Western–style, such as FINAL FANTASY or CHRONO TRIGGER) exclusively available on iOS. While the original was not as robust as most traditional SQUARE-ENIX RPGs, it had an engaging story, beautiful graphics, incredible music, and a rather intelligent combat system the focuses on pairs of heroes taking on monsters individually or as a duo, inflicting (and receiving) damage based on if they were paired up or not. It is actually a very fun system that requires players to decide if they wish to do one action on their turn with significant performance gains (at the risk of taking more damage, as attacks will hit both characters), or take two separate, but weaker, actions and potentially split the attacks between the two characters.

Since CHAOS RINGS was initially released, SQUARE-ENIX has followed it up with a prequel that delivered much of the same gameplay as the original, but with (mostly) new characters and a larger campaign that was added to over time via regular updates. CHAOS RINGS Ω ($11.99 for iPhone/$14.99 for iPad) was an excellent little taster to hold over fans of the series while they waited for a true sequel. Well, that time has arrived. Late last night, CHAOS RINGS II was released into the App Store. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but considering how excellent the first two games in the series were, I’m expecting great things. I highly recommend fans of the series scoop this up quickly.

Also, to celebrate the death of Julius Caesar (and probably the release of CHAOS RINGS II), SQUARE-ENIX has also put the original CHAOS RINGS on sale for the day. Pick it up for the iPhone for $3.99 and the iPad for $4.99.

UPDATE (3/16/12): CHAOS RINGS Ω is now also on sale. You can grab it for $4.99 on the iPhone and $5.99 on the iPad.

iPhone apps worth a look — Spring Break edition

Yesterday, I mentioned how excited I was about the new iPhoto and updated GarageBand for iOS. But, those aren’t the only new apps I’ve been spending some time with or have been excited about. Some were updated to be Universal, giving me the opportunity to use them on my iPhone, others were new or just became free, giving me a chance to check them out that I might not have taken otherwise. I’ve listed them below with a brief description and links to iTunes.

GroupShot (Currently Free) – This is an app designed to help you fix all those group photos in which someone blinks, looks away, or forgets to smile. It lets you take two or more flawed photos, take elements from each, and merge them into one fixed image. Honestly, it feels like magic when it works and it’s currently free to celebrate SXSW. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Assassin’s Creed: Recollection (Free) – I’ve never played any of the mainstream Assassin’s Creed titles. However, there have been several iPhone titles in the past. One of them was a multiplayer only game that was truly terrible and has since been reborn as Assassin’s Creed Rearmed. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but judging from the reviews, a lot of the issues with the title have been resolved. AC: Recollection, however, is a new breed of game for the Assassin’s Creed universe. The game is based on the premise of traditional trading-card games, but is played in real time, rather than being a turn-based affair. Players start with a basic deck and use in-game currency to purchase card packs to improve their deck. Players can also use in-app purchases to gain additional credits, if they feel they are earning them too slowly. I love it so far, and I believe it’s the best card game currently available for the iOS platform.

The Bard’s Tale ($4.99) – I picked up a used copy of this game for the original Xbox a while back and quite liked what little of it I had time to play. I picked up this title so I could have the opportunity to play it anywhere and to also get the original The Bard’s Tale games from the ’80s. Honestly, it’s an incredible package, and well worth the five bucks it costs. The new game is a top-down hack-and-slash similar in style to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and X-Men Legends. It also has a rather healthy sense of humor that is refreshing. The original titles from the ’80s are traditional Western RPGs. Played from a first-person perspective and controlling a party of adventurers as they delve into dungeons and face off against mystical beasts, they are robust and entertaining titles.

RobotGladi8or ($2.99) – Infinity Blade and it’s sequel have had a few clones since its release, but most have been haphazard and rushed by comparison. RobotGladi8or isn’t quite at the same level as Infinity Blade, but it’s still a great way to get your fix. Plus, it offers some additional gameplay elements beyond simply slashing and stabbing at your foes that may appeal to gamers that feel the genre already growing stale.

There are plenty of other games that I could take the time to tell you about, but then we’d both be here all day. Instead, I suggest checking these out for now and reading through my older posts for more apps to explore.

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance

Anyone that knows me well knows that I have a very sincere love for the hack n’ slash genre. Perhaps love is not a strong enough word. I have a rabid obsession with the genre. From Diablo to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance to X-Men Legends to Torchlight (also available on Steam). I’ve spent many, many hours in the genre, which has both bolstered and been bolstered by my love of dungeon crawler board games (Warhammer Quest and HeroQuest being the two biggest culprits).

So when the iPhone first got the ability to run 3rd-party applications, I waited impatiently for a Diablo clone to appear. Eventually, several did. Unfortunately, in the beginning, they were severely lacking in both controls and visual appeal. Then, along came Gameloft’s Xerox process, bringing the very best of the genre to the iPhone. The controls left a bit to be desired at first, but were improved soon after release. Once I got used to the idea of using a virtual joystick on the iPhone, I flew through the campaign.

Soon, a sequel followed, and brought with it multiplayer features. My oldest son and I played it quite a bit and loved it. When it was announced that the original Dungeon Hunter was coming to PS3 as a downloadable title, with 4-player coop, I got a little jealous of my PS3-owning brethren. But, thankfully, the game made its way to the Mac App Store.

And now, to the meat of the article: it’s currently on sale for $0.99. If you love the hack n’ slash genre at all, or even if you just want a fun Mac game to pass the time, you should definitely use that $1.08 (tax will, of course, vary) that’s been burning a hole in your digital wallet and pick it up.

UPDATE 2/13 (11:16 am CST): It would appear that the pricing on this may have been in error. I’m already receiving reports that others are getting an error when attempting to download the game. Perhaps Gameloft priced it at $0.99 in error. Anyway, if you managed to pick it up while it was on sale, congrats. If not, keep trying until the price officially reverts.

UPDATE 2/13 (3:16 pm CST):The first person to inform me of issues with purchasing has confirmed that he was able to download it just moments ago. So, the sale is apparently still available.

Mole Kart: an iOS review

I recently downloaded Mole Kart on the App Store (I am not linking to the app, as I’m not endorsing this product and don’t want anyone to buy it on accident.

It is a testament to how desperate people are for Mario Kart on the iPhone that anyone has bothered giving this game a 5-star rating. The controls are decent, but the physics are inconsistent and unintuitive.

I could forgive this game if it had been “heavily-inspired” by Mario Kart. But it is a direct rip-off. Every level is a poorly cloned copy of a level straight out of Mario Kart. All of the items are simply new graphics with the same functionality as those of Mario Kart.

Everything about this game screams “rush job”. There are simply too many reasons not to waste your money on this.

I want a solid kart racer on iOS, too, but this isn’t the way to get it. Thankfully, Sonic Racing is actually pretty fun. Not the best, but better than the rest.

Awesome Free Games (and one app) for iOS (today only)

So, I like to share when I find out awesome apps are free to download, but I usually do so via Twitter. The main reason for that is because it’s faster to just post a link with a brief description and name. However, today there are some truly awesome apps available to download to celebrate Halloween (or Samhain, in the Old Language) so I dedicated a blog entry to them. Let’s start with the games:

The Creeps! / The Creeps! HDThe Creeps! was one of my early recommendations for the iPhone, and while its place on my home screen has been usurped over the years, it is always a solid recommendation for anyone looking for a great tower defense title. In the game, you build defenses to fight off monsters that are pouring through from a closet door to Hell and trying to reach your bed. The various weapons are unique compared to other tower defense titles, both in design and utility. The developers have continued to support the game by creating loads of add-on level packs, but even without them, the game is totally worth its usual asking price of $1.99. You really should get it while it’s free.

Scre4m / Scre4m HD – So, I didn’t even know this game existed until today, and I’m so glad I found out about it. You get to play as the killer in this delightful isometric, tap-to-kill bloodbath. Move Ghostface around the screen by tapping where you want him to go, sneak up on unsuspecting high schoolers, and cut them to ribbons, all while avoiding the cops (or killing them, too). I highly recommend downloading it as soon as possible.

IN TIME – So, I didn’t even know about this movie, and I don’t know if I really care. I love JTims and all, but he’s never really sold me on his skills as a dramatic actor. This game is kind of fun, but not fantastic. I enjoyed it for about 30 minutes, because it was free, but I never would have paid for it. It’s an endless running game, but in 3-D. You are running forward, trying to grab time capsules to increase your life, while trying to escape from the time police, and giving away seconds of your life to citizens in an attempt to boost your score multiplier. It’s actually kind of cool, but believe me when I say that it’s not worth its initial asking price. Get it while it’s free and trash it if you think it sucks.

The Terminator – This is a rather basic dual-stick shooter, that feels less like an iOS game and more like a Super Nintendo or original Playstation game, due to the fact that you don’t actually aim in 360 degrees, but rather in 8 directions. That doesn’t take away from the fun of slaughtering wave after wave of skinless T-800s. It’s free for Halloween, as well, so snatch it up!

And now, the one app:

Incredibooth – The advent of digital cameras saw the decline of photo booths across America. But now, thanks to the power of the iPhone 4/4S and iPod touch, you can enjoy a digital photo booth in the palm of your hand! This app recreates the photo booth experience by taking four pictures in succession via the front-facing camera and creating a photo strip that you can then export to your camera roll or share via email, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s fun, it’s fancy, and it’s free (for a short time).

“Ugh… my eWallet is empty again. Guess I won’t buy that.”

The number of times that Microsoft and Nintendo have lost out on “impulse buys” from me on their respective game stores due to the fact that they use virtual currency is mind-boggling. I’ve probably spent several hundred dollars on the iTunes App Store simply by virtue of being able to hit a button marked “Buy” and having my card get charged. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to premeditate. I simply push “Buy”, enter my password, and press Return. There are a number of times that I’ve been interested in picking something up on Xbox Live Arcade and decided against it because I would’ve had to put points into my account first. The act of pulling my card out of my wallet, typing it into the computer, waiting for the points to be added you my account, and then going back to purchase the game acts as an actual barrier to purchase in many situations. Plus, then there are points just wasted and sitting there when I can’t use them all. I’m sure that Microsoft and Nintendo love holding on to my “money” for me, but I would have easily given over much more money if I didn’t have to think about it so much.

I probably spent around $250 on Wii virtual console and WiiWare games during the first year–maybe year and a half–that I had the system, but that was mostly due to the number of free points cards I received as gifts. I currently have around 1800 apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on my computer. Most of them were free when I got them, but I’m sure a couple hundred cost $1, and more than 20 or 30 cost several dollars. Now, of course, Microsoft and Nintendo are terrified to “undervalue” games at $1 (and I understand that), which is one of the reasons I’ve spent as much money on the App Store as I have, but even at $1, pulling my wallet out to add “points” to an imaginary online wallet would still prohibit me from spending as much money on the App Store as I have.

“I’ve got an iPhone 4S, now what?”

So now that the iPhone 4S is in your hot, grubby little hands, what do you do with it? Well, obviously, you load it up with games and apps and spend all day, every day, playing with it. I’ve compiled a list of the absolute best premium games on the App Store, to make it easier for you to find them, although the hard part will be deciding which to play first.

MONSTER HUNTER Dynamic Hunting – This one is at the top of the list simply because it’s on sale for $0.99 through the weekend. Monster Hunter is a series of fantasy action role-playing games from Capcom that started with a release for Playstation 2. The latest iteration for iOS is similar to Infinity Blade in that you take on monsters in one-0n-one combat using a series of taps and swipes. Combat focuses on learning each monster’s patterns and weaknesses to take ’em down. While the graphics are not amazing, the gameplay is. For its current sale price, I highly recommend it.

Infinity Blade – This is one of my favorite iOS games, and one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen on any mobile device. And it looks even better on the iPhone 4S, thanks to the A5 processor. Utilizing the Unreal engine, Infinity Blade takes you on an action-RPG romp through a castle filled with baddies while seeking out the God King. Gameplay is simple: dodge, block, or parry incoming attacks and when the enemy opens up, swipe and tap to settle the score. This game was the first to truly showcase the power of the A4 processor and with the upgrades available for A5 devices, it is even better. Even more exciting is the information that a sequel will be coming this holiday season, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Dead Space™ – If you’ve played the Xbox 360 or PS3 title of the same name, then you already know what to expect from this game. If you haven’t, then it’s truly one of the scariest over-the-shoulder shooters you’ll ever play on the iPhone. Invest in a nice pair of headphones, find a dark room to play, and don’t be surprised if you feel just a little creeped out 30 minutes later. While it’s not a very long game, it is a lot of fun and is another game that looks gorgeous on the iPhone.

Aralon: Sword & Shadow HD – This is a HUGE action-RPG with an enormous world to explore, lots and lots of quests and treasures, and so many hours of gameplay, you’ll wonder how it fit in your pocket. I have never been a big fan of the combat from Elder Scrolls titles like Oblivion, but Crescent Moon Games does an excellent job of creating a combat system that is fun and easy to use on a touch-screen device. These are the same people that also created Ravensword: The Fallen King, but you can clearly see where stepping out and publishing their own titles had a significant improvement on their work, as Aralon is far-and-away the better experience.

Dungeon Hunter 2 – Do you like Diablo? I love it. Gameloft is the App Store’s most prolific copycat developer. The sad thing is, they’re really good at it. Dungeon Hunter 2 is miles above the original, with better graphics, better treasure, a better story, and much improved gameplay. The original suffered from staleness toward the end of the game, but the sequel presents you with plenty of ways to keep the game interesting, primarily the ability to play cooperatively through GameCenter or over your local network with up to 4 total players. This is the biggest selling point for the game, in my opinion and is the reason that my family loves it so much.

N.O.V.A. 2 – Another Gameloft title, this one is directly inspired by Halo. And again, this time the sequel is far superior to the original. The first game was an excellent multiplayer title for family gatherings, but the campaign could get fairly boring. The sequel has much more going for it in both departments. First-person shooters can take a little getting used to on iOS, but the N.O.V.A. series stands out as having better controls and excellent use of the gyroscope for fine-tuned aiming.

Warm Gun – I haven’t played Warm Gun yet, but I have played the “lite” version, Carnival of Bullets, which has the best graphics I’ve personally experience on any mobile device. Unfortunately, Carnival of Bullets has very little in the way of gameplay, and the controls were a little awkward, though I’ll admit I didn’t spend much time playing around with the settings to see if I could improve them. If, however, you are able to comfortably play the free version, then I’m sure you’ll find Warm Gun to be a singular experience.

Shadowgun – Some consider this game to have the best graphics on iOS, though I can see where Warm Gun would give it a run for its money. Even still, the gameplay here is similar to the Gears of War series, so if you’re a fan, give it a download. I don’t know much else about this game, as I haven’t played it, yet. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think.

Order and Chaos Online – Hello, my name is Jared, and I’m a World of Warcraft addict. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true, but I certainly have spent my share of time making Blizzard rich. So, imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Gameloft was making a WoW-inspired MMO for iOS. Needless to say, this is my favorite Gameloft title and the one I’ve spent the absolute most time with. There are still some improvements that could be made (say, for example, a matchmaking system for people looking to quest together), but you can’t beat the price. $6.99 nets you the game and 3 months of gameplay. After that, you can pre-pay for play time: 1 month for $0.99, 3 months for $1.99, and 6 months for $2.99. The only drawback is that it requires a Wi-Fi connection to play, but if you don’t have an unlimited data plan like me, you’re probably thankful for that. No need to blow all your bandwidth on one game. If you decide to pick this one up, then please please leave me a comment so I can you to my friend’s list so we can quest together.

Rimelands – Here’s another Crescent Moon Games title, and this one is one of my favorite games on the entire App Store. It plays a bit like a tactical board game, with dice used for combat, but has gorgeous graphics and an awesome story. I can only hope that Crescent Moon Games makes a sequel or a spiritual successor to the game, as I can’t wait to play more in the future.

Starfront: Collision – Gameloft is at it again, this time going after Blizzard’s Starcraft series. While this title benefits from the larger screen of the iPad, the iPhone version is no slouch in the gameplay department. While it may not unseat Starcraft or Warcraft as the kings of the RTS throne, it is easily the best RTS on iOS, and I’ve played nearly all of them. There’s a free version you can download if you want to give it a shot and the full game can be unlocked via in-app purchase. But, I think it’s cleaner to simply download the full title up front.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – This is the same game as what you may have already played on Nintendo DS, however that shouldn’t preclude you from buying it for iOS. This is the best Grand Theft Auto title I’ve played since the original and its sequel on PC. The only downside is that it struggles a bit with saving your progress mid-mission if you leave the app. However, since most missions are short, it’s only truly irritating if the mission is difficult and you just passed the rough part only to be interrupted and having to start the mission over.

Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden – This is Gameloft’s take on the Zelda series. Not as awesome as Order & Chaos, but they can’t all be home runs. Try out the free version of this, as well, and if you like it, pick it up. But I won’t blame you if you wait until the next time it’s on sale.

Final Fantasy III – There are three Final Fantasy titles on the App Store, but this one is the best. It is a port of the Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III, but the graphics look much better on iOS. It’s also available for the iPad, if you feel like you simply need the larger screen. If you’re looking for something more classic or retro, check out Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, which are the best versions of both games I’ve ever played.

Chaos Rings Ω – I spent a rather lot of time on the original and consider it to be one of the best RPG experiences on iOS, despite its relative ease and repetitive nature. However, the prequel is both more of the same and something new. No more are you playing through the game with each couple trying to find all the endings. Now, instead, you play as Vieg throughout the entire title. This prequel also has a lot more gameplay due to the fact that Square-Enix has continued to raise the level cap and add new content through free updates since its initial release.

This is by no means a complete list of games I recommend for the iPhone, but it’s currently the best of the best if you are looking for a more robust gaming experience. If, however, you just want a great casual game, go download Tiny Wings and kiss your productivity goodbye. Also, if you want a fun “toy”, check out iPredict Plus (or the free Lite version) for a humorous and entertaining fortune teller from the guys over at Room 12 Studios (disclaimer: I’m one of them).

« Older posts Newer posts »