Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top iPad Games of the Week | Sept. 14

See all of my reviews for iPad and Android over at Appolicious.com. Appi-yummy.

Apps Discussed

Steve Young Football HD: A laugh-out-loud football romp that proves “football and the iPad go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Seriously, I just said that!”

Killer Pool HD: The first must-have pool app for the iPad will snooker you into hours of satisfying gaming goodness.

Guns’n’Glory: Yeehaw! This Wild West take on the familiar tower defense theme is worth all three sawbucks for sure.

Blocks!!: Nearly-perfect Lego building app brings these familiar blocks into the 3D space of your iPad.


Steve Young Football HD ($4.99)

Hall of Famer Steve Young is the wise-cracking hero of this seriously silly iPad romp. Clocking in at just under $5, is Steve Young Football HD worth your wings and beer money? As Steve’s avatar would say, “Duh. I am Steve Young. Buy me. Seriously, I just said that.”

There’s more than 80 levels to explore here, ranging from the basic (aim Steve at the end zone to grab stars and score touchdowns) to the crazy-fun (play against your friends via wireless by throwing down land mines, unleashing wild pigs, digging holes, and setting off earthquakes.)

As Vaporware Labs says, “You haven’t played football until you’ve played it in a pinball machine.” You’ll go up against seriously demented fans, tornadoes, and wild pigs to get into scoring position. There are four unique arenas to play in, from the standard Paradise Field to, yikes, the aforementioned Pactari pinball machine.

The icing on the cake? Every single penny of this silly app purchase goes to the Forever Young Foundation, which helps kids with serious physical, emotional, and financial challenges via athletic, academic and therapeutic resources. Catch a glimpse of the game introduced by the real Steve Young reporting live from… 2070? Yep.

Killer Pool HD ($1.99)

The best pool app in the App Store, Killer Pool HD sports rich graphics, dead-on physics, smooth controls that are easy to pick up, along with five different games that will snooker you into hours of satisfying gaming goodness.

First, choose your poison – 8 Ball, 9 Ball, Killer, Black Ball, and OctoKiller. If you know what those are, you’re seriously addicted. If you don’t, you may want to do a quick Google search to get the jist of the rules. Not every game offers the basic rules inside the app. Guessing this will be fixed in a future release.

Once you get a game fired up, you’ll take turns adjusting your view, aiming for the correct balls, then using the power meter in the lower-right corner to adjust the power of your strokes. The play is clean, landscape mode is recommended, and single player, two player, and multiplayer modes are available.

If you’re hunting for a pool app, then Killer Pool HD should be your go-to game. Here’s hoping additional rules are added soon, and tweaks to the basic view are made to round off the final edges of this gem.

Guns’n’Glory ($2.99)

As if the first hardy Americans to journey West in search of a better life didn’t have enough to worry about (dysentery, anyone?) Guns’n’Glory forces them to endure a tower defense-style ordeal, complete with mobile units, bandits, plus gringos- and Indians-for-hire.

You’ll start by standing in the center of a dry, trenched maze. Settlers enter from the sides, rushing through the maze to get to the other side. Pinch-zoom the field to zoom in, then single-tap your virtual Jesse James or Butch Cassidy closer to edge of the maze to snipe the poor souls running through.

Tapping on each helpless adventurer unleashes your fearsome pistol, and with each senseless killing you’ll earn cash to hire the slumbering bandits peppered through the area. (One nice tweak would be the ability to see how much each gringo-for-hire costs without having to tap them to check.)

Once you get a few gringos on your side (the loco dynamite-throwing Mexican is over the top fun), you can tap them to upgrade them up to three times.

Later on, you’ll also get a shot (literally) at taking out stage coaches and gold trains. With enough filthy lucre earned, you can even set up cannons and (gasp) steam trains kitted out with Gatling guns to really murder your victims in style.

This Wild West take on the familiar tower defense theme is worth all three sawbucks for sure, and a free trial version is available for download in the App Store. Go West, young people! (Or not!)

Blocks!! ($1.99)

Everywhere you turn these days, there’s a Lego game. Whether it’s the raucous Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter-themes adventure games, or Lego Rock Band (family goodness for sure), my son and I have been on the lookout for a simple 3D block placement app.

Blocks!! has finally arrived, and the iPad’s user controls make placing, stacking, and rotating the blocks and Lego figures on a virtual board a whole lot of fun, with some minor drawbacks.

I found the camera to be reversed (with no way to reset it) and it took a few minutes to figure out how to access all the blocks. Hint: Click and hold on the top four buttons to bring up a side menu. When you find the new block type you wish to use, select it and it will fill the available slot.

The undo button is insanely useful, and deleting mis-laid blocks is a simple affair. You can stack blocks up to six standard blocks high, and even make them hang in mid-air. (How? Stack up a bunch, then delete them from the bottom up, leaving the last one in place. Magic.)

The added social media sharing buttons (post an image of your creation to Facebook or Twitter, and even email it to grandma) and save/load controls are a welcome addition to the interface. Lost? Click the ? in the upper right-hand corner to bring up the user manual.

With some tweaks to the view controls, more block types, fixes to some block stacking issues, and the ability to save small sets of blocks in a specific design (say a roof or pillar) for easy copying and pasting, and Blocks!! will be a must-have for the millions of iPad-owning Lego lovers out there.

No comments: