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more iPhone games

I was growing tired of my old iPhone games so I bought some new ones. I play only on an iPhone, not an iPad. I was mostly looking for quick fix games, not anything to rival a console game.

Tetris

Gold star. It’s a little tricky controlling the pieces the traditional way, but fortunately there’s a one touch mode. About four outlines are shown for suggested placement. You tap one. Boom, piece is in place. Makes complicated maneuvers involving twisting and sliding very easy. Perfect touch adaptation. Well worth 99c. One of the great things about Tetris is it’s constantly reminding me that no matter how many times I swear I’m not going to make the same mistake twice, there I go again, because some bad ideas are just irresistibly appealing. Entertainment and lessons in humility, all in one.

Infinity Blade

An action RPG. You fight a series of knights, one at time, slash and dodge style, earning money to buy equipment and experience to level up. Then you fight the boss, he kills you, and you start over (retaining stats). It’s fun for a while, until you realize that in game level grinding is going to take forever, and the game is really designed to make you spend real world money on in game gold coins so you can buy the mega ultimate sword and beat the boss. Sorry, but no. For 99c, it’s not bad, but there’s no way I’d even consider dropping 6.99 on the sequel. Still play it from time to time, now that I think of it as just an endless series of sword fights, and not something that can be beaten.

CSR Racing

Live your life a quarter mile at a time. There’s not a whole lot to the game. The car drives itself, all you have to do is tap shift when it lights up. And again. And once more. Then your 13 seconds of fun are over. More than anything, this game is clearly designed to separate you from your real world money. You can earn upgrades the hard way in game, or just buy them outright. That’s annoying enough on its own, but the game also keeps pushing alerts at you. Even with push turned off, it apparently can still set timeouts and buzz you whenever your car is full of gas, or Pimp Daddy wants to race, or whatever. At 3am. Deleted from my phone within 24 hours.

Sims Freeplay

I’d kind of wanted to try a Sims game, even though they’re clearly not quick fix type games, but didn’t want to pay too much. Hey, this one is free. As I should have known, that basically means it’s a scam to get you to buy something to make the game enjoyable. Not sure what that actually is here, because stealing a page from the CSR Racing playbook, Sims Freeplay also woke me up in the middle of the night to announce that Carol hadn’t laughed today. Deleted.

Flow Free

A puzzle game. Connect the dots. It’s mostly pretty simple, though some of the larger grids are challenging. It’s ad supported and also offers expanded level packs for 99c, but free to start and includes a pretty serious collection to start. Recommended. Perfect quick fix. It’s intuitive and many levels can be cranked through in about 30 seconds.

The Heist

A variety of puzzles in one. Sliding blocks, picture grid shuffle, picto-Sudoku, push the block with the robot. Graphically, it’s pretty slick. It’s based on a theme of breaking into some bank vault, which in my opinion was kind of annoying, because after every so many puzzles, Sofia calls you up to say some nonsense. Still, well executed.

Gear Jack

Kind of like Sonic the Hedgehog, but with simplified controls.

Galaxy on Fire 2

I have the free version. There’s an HD version for 4.99, but I wouldn’t bother on a phone. I only a played a little. You fly a ship around space, first person, and shoot pirates. It has traditional console controls, on screen joysticks on the left and right bottom corners. I’m just not very good at dealing with that. It’s one place where touchscreens really fall down. Your thumb slides around and you can’t really tell if you’re pushing up or down anymore. Plus it blocks a fairly large portion of the screen. Meh.

Infinity Field

Like Asteroids, but with souped up over the top graphics. Every time you shoot something, every OpenGL trick they could think of is unleashed on the screen. It looks cool, but I very quickly found myself dying after shooting a bunch of enemies because one would slip through and there’s no way you could possibly see it through the retina melting shrapnel that fills the screen. Also suffers from having onscreen dual stick controls. This could be fun on an iPad, I’m not sure.

Lili

Adventure I think. Have only played a little. I don’t think I’m the ten year old girl target audience, but it’s fun enough. The in app purchases are ever present, but don’t seem necessary to enjoy the game. The price seems to vary. I picked it up for 99c. Unless you know a ten year old girl, who might really love this game, I’d wait for a sale.

Plague

Make a disease and kill off humanity. Fun times! My primary complaint is that it takes a little too long and involves a considerable amount of hurry up and wait. You’re spreading and spreading, killing people left and right, collapsing governments, but then you notice somehow Madagascar was never infected. Oops. You kill off 6.5 billion people and still lose the game. There’s a rather narrow window to infect everybody on the planet before they shut off transportation and develop a cure. Basically, decisions made in the first minute of the game determine whether you win or lose, but you won’t know the result until ten minutes later. Also, the fun disease types are initially locked. Still pretty fun for 99c.

Lazors

A good looking puzzle game. Something of a twist on sliding blocks. In terms of quick fun, it’s great, like Flow Free, but way better looking. Free, no ads, pay for hints if needed.

Square Enix

Not any particular game, but a gripe against their whole catalog. They charge a lot, frequently more than $10, which is even fair considering these are serious games you can expect at least twenty hours out of. Except they never update them for new iOS versions and for some reason, their games all crash on any version of iOS released after the game. Reading the reviews, they get nothing but one stars now. I’m disappointed in both Square and Apple.

In App Purchases

I’m also disappointed by the number of games that are nothing more than money extraction schemes. I know why companies do it, it’s clearly profitable, but this is an area I wish Apple would start policing. Some of these games are outright scams. I occasionally check out the top grossing games list, figuring if it’s making money, there’s a chance it’s good. But then I see that all of them are supposedly free. No way. Reverse course.

Posted 06 Dec 2012 06:29 by tedu Updated: 09 Mar 2013 18:15
Tagged: games review roundup