There is a list that sits on my desk that is infamous – at least to me – because it is the list of all the games that I have slated for review. It’s not a bad list, mind you, but rather a constant reminder that I have a lot of playing to do. The problem with this is what has compelled me to write this particular review. I sat down one day at lunch to play one of those games that I’m supposed to review, and I spent about 10 minutes with it. The game was fun, but I was ready to move on. Then I decided to go back to Trundle Unlimited. Before I knew it a half hour had passed and my lunch break was over. I felt like I had been playing for five minutes.
The week that DARIUSBURST SP came out I included it in my weekly “10 App Store Games To Watch” list and hoped that it would be half as good as another Taito “retread” called RayForce (TMA Review) . Well, after spending some time with the game I’d wager to say it’s actually better. At the very least they’ve handled the “too easy” issue amicably, but Dariusburst has a third game play mode, two fighters which need to be unlocked before use and a branching level system – all of which greatly extend the replay value. Sure the initial run through can still be fairly short, but there’s a lot more reason to keep playing this one after you’ve beaten it.
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.
Before I start, I would like to say that for better or for worse I’ve never seen a single episode of Law and Order. Ever. So as I laid my hands on the recent release from Telltale, I was completely unbiased, if a little surprised. It seemed to me that the TV show in question would not survive the transfer to videogaming well, let alone on an iOS device. Boy, was I wrong. But wait, the court’s in session and the jury have yet to reach a verdict on Law & Order: Legacies.
Not too long ago when my mom was really into playing games on her computer she’d often tell me how she was finishing a game for the second or third time. I never really got that, because between beta testing and reviewing I’m lucky if I get through a game once, let alone multiple times. There are rare occasions where I get caught up in something I know I shouldn’t, though, and such is the case with Gardenscapes HD. I’ve already finished the game on my PC, yet I find myself almost to the end of it on my iPad now. It’s possible that I’ve even enjoyed it more this time around as well.
There’s something about the world of Tiny Planet that captured my attention from the very first game screen. The Tiny Bang Story HD is not your typical hidden object game; it’s a bit light on story, and it assumes that you don’t need any handholding. It can also get frustrating at times, even with something as simple as figuring out what to do next. Through it all, though, I found myself hardly able to put the game down. That’s even after playing the first chapter 3 times (once on my PC and twice on the iPad). There were only two significant letdowns to the game – it ended too quickly, and the end was actually a bit anti-climactic.
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.
Sometimes I fear that a particular genre will start to get old, especially when the App Store gets littered with games from that genre. The physics puzzler is one such genre that comes to mind, but thankfully Greedy Penguins isn’t the game to make that fear come true. This cute puzzle game about feeding some hungry aquatic birds can be challenging, but it is also satisfying and often quite entertaining. Control is a bit troublesome, which I have a feeling is due to the small iPod Touch screen, but overall the playing experience has been top notch.
If you needed better encouragement to buy Snapseed than an enthusiastic TouchMyApps review, I can think of no better endorsement than Apple’s own knighting of Nik Software’s Snapseed as iPad app of the year 2011.
But if you need a second opinion – and after a long time with Snapseed, I feel that my opinion is valid – mine is simple. Buy it. That’s it. Snapseed is the perfect companion app for frequent Facebook and frantic Flickr photographers. The reason for this isn’t the very decent uploading interface, but its ergonomic input system.