I’ve waxed poetic in the past about my love for “pick up and play” titles. So far that has not changed. Devices like the iPhone are great for short burst of gaming sessions, be it at home, work or during daily commutes. Luckily for me, the folks over at Magic Cube have nailed it down with their latest title Infect Them All.
Late last year an indie team - 7th Sense Studios – surprised everyone by releasing Fallen EP-1 (TMA Review), the first and probably only true Survival Horror for the iDevice to date. Unfortunately due to various reasons the team has been disbanded since and the sequel to the excellent game is delayed indefinitely. But it seems Hidden Games have picked up the flag and released Prisoner 84, a game similar in many respects.
I don’t do it every time, but more often than not when I’m reviewing a vertical scroller I’ll reference 1942. After all, this was one of my favorites in the genre when I was growing up, and it’s still fun to play today when I come across it in an arcade. With such fond memories of this game I was nervous about playing the iPhone version, afraid that it might not live up to my expectations, especially from what I read about the controls. Turns out the controls seem to work just fine. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the game behind it is worth controlling.
Anyone that’s been gaming for a reasonable amount of time knows that this is just about fact – developers can’t make good video game tie-ins for movies. The trend began with E.T. for the Atari 2600 (if not sooner), and still continues today. From time to time a gem emerges, however, and Robert Rodriguez presents PREDATORS™ is one such gem. While it doesn’t quite have the “wow” factor that James Cameron’s Avatar did for me, it’s still an engaging and fun game, and Predators are just about the coolest aliens around when it comes to intense combat games. The main down side is that you loose one of the biggest Predator qualities in the way the game is laid out.
From Foursaken Media comes N.Y. Zombies, another 3D over the shoulder zombie killing fest. This one takes more of the Zombieland approach to storytelling and game play, where a strange something is turning everyone into zombies and you set out to discover what’s going on. I like the fact that even though you play the game from a fixed position you still progress through different areas so it feels like the situation is always changing. I’m not very good at this type of game, so the 360 degree playing field can be a bit much for me at times, but overall this is quite an enjoyable romp and further cements my desires to be a zombie slayer when I grow up (just kidding, because zombies were people once too, you know).
One thing I like about the App Store is that it gives developers room to experiment without a sizable budget, unlike on consoles where it might costs thousands of dollars just to get development software. As a result we get cool little games like RollOut, a puzzle platformer with a unique premise and an old school look and sound. The game “only” has 50 levels at the moment, but getting through it and beating the “standard” time for each level will be two entirely different challenges.
Ahoy, landlubbers! In the game for some booty? Me and some fellow gentlemen o’ fortune found this ole treasure map lying around and are planning to go hunting for it! And a couple of me hearties – Guerrilla Bob and John Gore – have recommended you as a reliable mate to accompany us. Beware, though, some lily-livered sprogs say there’s a curse be placed on said booty. But those child’s tales are not going to stop such swashbuckling buccaneers like us, right? Arrrgh!
As I was playing this I thought to myself “maybe I should have read the game’s description better.” Blaaast sure looks good, but it basically amounts to Whack A Mole in space with a few ultimately annoying extras thrown in. Upon reviewing the iTunes description, though, I realize that it really doesn’t do a good job of explaining what type of game this is, so that makes me feel a bit better. It doesn’t make me enjoy the game any more, however. I’m all for tap shooter, and an alien setting is not nearly as overdone as you’d think, but I’ve played many efforts that are much more fun than this one.
Zombie games are in abundance on the AppStore and vary from simple shooters and other types of casual madness to Action/RPGs to the quite complex tower defence genre. At the same time few of the lot are really worth noting with a lot of developers using the theme to disguise poor artistry or simply a lack of imagination. Is the latest addition to the genre – Zombie Shock worth any special attention? Let’s find out…
I’m still on a quest to find the ultimate scrolling shooter for the iPhone, and so far my top choice doesn’t even have a full version available! So the real question is – where does Assault Squadron rank in my search? Well, it’s definitely not the ultimate shooter. It’s fun, but a bit too short. It also doesn’t push some of it’s concepts as far as it could. I think there’s a lot of potential for the game, but at the moment it rises above but doesn’t tower over mediocrity.