Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Mobile Gaming: Roundup

I really need to move the App Store button in my iPod Touch to somewhere other than the front screen. It’s just too tempting. Frankly, I’ve been downloading and playing games much, much fast than I can review them. Also, my time and resultant attention span is even more fragmented right now than usual. In light of that, here’s a roundup of what I’ve been playing recently that’s earned the T+L seal of approval:

Shoot dem Zombies!

Shoot dem zombies!

5. Zombieville USA: This one is simple enough. There are zombies. You are not a zombie. You have a gun. You shoot the zombies. Also, you loot the other houses in your neighborhood. Kill a bunch of zombies, get better guns, rinse and repeat. My only complaint is that the 3 difficulty levels probably could have been better balanced – Normal ramps up much too quickly from Easy, and oddly enough Insane mode just doesn’t feel… well, insane. Even so, cartoony graphics and a slightly humorous take on your traditional zombie game make this one a worthwhile purchase.

Flight control, we have a problem.

Flight control, we have a problem.

4. Flight Control: Suffice to say this is one of those game where you don’t really want to admit that you like it, but heck, it’s a crazy-fun game. I suppose it’s something of a time-management game, though there’s a bit of a puzzle element as well. You’ve got jets, prop planes, and helicopters, each with respective areas they must land in. You’re the flight controller who guides them to the ground. The game moves a little slowly at first, but there’s a handy fast-forward button to help you get to the good part – namely, where your screen is so full of planes and choppers that every single second is a nail-biter full of frantic repositioning and crossed fingers. Good times.

Includes sweet bullet-time visuals! Act now!

Includes sweet bullet-time visuals! Act now!

3. Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D: Though not out yet, this game promises to win the hearts and minds of all you baseball fanatics out there. Heck, I don’t even like baseball and I’m addicted to this game. The basic, “try to get as many home runs as you can” gameplay is fleshed out with an RPG-like system of achievements, combos, and upgrades, as well as an awesome multiplayer mode. Look for this game to drop relatively soon from Com2uS.

Here at T+L, we (I) love tie-ins.

Here at T+L, we (I) love tie-ins.

2. iShift: This is also available online, though it lends itself well to platform. It’s a series of puzzles, solved by using the chief game mechanic – the Shift function. Every time you press it, there’s a 180 degree flip. The ground becomes the sky, and vice versa. Anything you were previously running on you can now move around inside of, which is pretty handy when a key which you need (to move a platform to access the area where you can jump and finish the level without dying by moving spikes) is located there. The black, white, and occasionally red (whenever you die) color scheme lends itself well to this art-y and thoughtful puzzler.

Shoot funky space-hermit-crabs-things.

Shoot funky space-hermit-crab-mollusk-things.

1. Star Defense: awesome graphics for the platform, though it murders my battery every time I play the game. I suspect it will fare better on the new hardware when it comes out this summer. Gameplay is fun – tower defense, but on a 3D object. It might not sound like a big change, but not being able to see all of your real estate at once really amps up the pacing. You’re constantly moving back and forth between the main patch of towers you’ve inevitably built near the beginning of the path and all the others towers you’ve haphazardly placed elsewhere when some of the baddies get past your defenses. Throw in 7 worlds and 5 towers (upgradeable 2 times each), along with a variety of enemies with various resistances to your different tower types, and you’ve got a pretty good game. Toss an achievement and challenge systems on top of that, and you’ve got a GREAT game.

There you have it, folks. Five great games that have been consuming way, way too much of my free time. Get ’em while they’re hot.


June 15, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch | , , , , , , ,

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