If it weren’t for the fact that other publishers release great games as well, I could easily spend my game time just playing titles from Chillingo. The advantage to being latched on to a publisher is that you’re more likely to get a wide variety of game styles to choose from, and in this case we have a one touch platformer with a hero that looks like something out of a little animated segment you might see in between live footage on a kids’ program from the 80s. Growing up with the gaming industry and watching the need of designers to try and cram more buttons and triggers onto a controller, it always amazes me when someone can make a fun and challenging game where you have one control. That’s why I like One Tap Hero so much.
In my humble opinion, if ever there was a style of game that shouldn’t be so fun or addictive, it would be the mini-game collection. After all, doesn’t such a design simply mean that the developers couldn’t come up with enough material for a full fledged game? Well, okay, I am being a bit harsh, and I really don’t believe that, but it still amazes me that I fall so easily for this type of gameplay. The latest captor of my time is Tap The Frog 2, and this game is insanely addictive – even though concept wise it’s so simple a little kid could grasp it with ease. I just wish I had the native iPad version, because I find that my overcompensated fingers like the big screen better. Thankfully, the app is remarkably playable on 2x mode on my iPad 2.
One of the staples of my game playing diet growing up was the adventure game, whether it entailed a text only affair like Zork or a sprawling 16 color extravaganza such as King’s Quest. Sadly, it seems as technology has gotten better the gamers’ taste for epic narratives and thoughtful puzzle solving has diminished, or so the folks in charge would have you believe. Thankfully the mobile renaissance has rekindled the spark for puzzle games, and amazingly enough it seems even for the full fledged adventure game. One of my favorite original IPs in this genre where iOS devices are concerned has always been The Secret of Grisly Manor, and after playing through its spiritual sequel – The Lost City – I can’t wait to see what this developer offers up next.
These days it seems like when you visit a web site dedicated to “adventure” games they’re talking about the latest hidden object game from Big Fish or the newest FPS from whomever. When I was growing up, however, adventure games were a lot more special. They were about stories and talking to interesting characters. There were interesting settings, and several sometimes mind boggling puzzles. It’s clear that the developers of Yesterday grew up in that same era, or at least have done their research. I also thank BulkyPix for helping bring this tale to my iPad screen.
There was a time when I was really into the original Diablo, and like many players I thought I was going to wear out my mouse with all the button mashing. Mad Acorn is that game for my iPod Touch. In fact, sometimes I get worried that I’m going to leave a finger indentation on the screen where my thumb is most active. Then I forget about my concerns as the next wave of bad guys roll by. I’ve never been a fan of Tap Tap Revenge style games, but when a game in an established genre tightly integrates music into the mechanics, that’s a whole different story. Not to mention that Mad Acorn is the cream of the crop in that regards.
Apple officially unveiled iOS 6 earlier today at the WWDC, calling it “The world’s most advanced mobile operating system”. Hardcore Android users and Google may beg to differ, but one thing’s for certain: iOS 6 will come loaded with over 200 new features, including an all-new Maps app, improved Phone functionality, a smarter and more capable Siri, and much much more. The next gen OS is set to drop this fall and will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S, iPod Touch 4th gen, and iPad 2/3. Here are some of iOS 6′s more notable features:
Haunted Houdini is the first title in the Midnight Mysteries series that I’ve had the chance to play, but it certainly won’t be the last. While in general hidden object games are becoming more like “true” adventure games every day, Haunted Houdini takes storytelling within a hidden object game to a new level. Combine that with many diverse locations to explore and a fine balance between hidden object scenes, object based puzzles and mini-games, this has become one of the most enjoyable from this genre that I’ve played in quite some time.
Not too long ago before this review I wrote a preview for Azkend 2, so I decided to start over and play the game on my iPad this time around. I was about half way through the game on my iPod Touch, but the truth is that I’ve had just as much fun the second time around with this match 3 from 10tons. Actually, I think it was a bit more entertaining because I found it easier to pull off massive combos on the larger screen. Still, whether you’ve got an iPad or just a small screen device with which to play iOS games, Azkend 2 is definitely worth your time.
There was a time where it seemed like developers weren’t interested in making platform games for iOS devices, or the ones that were available weren’t that great. Now we’re not only seeing a steady influx in this genre, but many of them are of a quality that’s on par with or even surpasses console games. Such is the case with JAZZ: Trump’s journey. Not only is it graphically in line with many console favorites, but the level design is quite intriguing and the difficulty makes me think the developers might have been Mega Man fans! Overall the game has been quite entertaining so far.
The tower defense genre is one that has always eluded me. Sure you have to construct towers (or some sort of defense) and possibly upgrade them during a level, but a bulk of each round is spent simply watching as hordes of monsters parade along a route and your equipment picks them off. Thankfully, though, over the course of time there have been a few that have bucked this trend, Kingdom Rush being one of them. Between constant interaction, interesting level design and a ranking system that allows you to buy permanent upgrades to your defenses, Kingdom Rush takes enough simple steps forward to push it ahead of the crowd.