Friday, October 29, 2010

Top iPad Games of the Week

Monster 3D Brick Breaker Revolution for iPad: Monstrously fun brick breaker game sporting fresh 3D graphics, crazy power-ups, and wild boss fights.

Circuloid: Combines Tempest with Arkanoid, adding up to a seriously fun, unique approach to the brick breaking genre.

Battle for Wesnoth HD: Now 80% off (grab it!), this updated app offers the most in-depth strategy RPG for the iPad, bar none.

Galaxy on Fire 2: With a free universal graphics and content update coming soon, now’s the time to pick up this epic space shooter to save some green and get in the game.

Before we dive into this week's reviews: Let's Play Words With Friends on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. My Username is Timothymclain -- click here to get the free app and start a game!

iPad Reviews

You can read all of my past iPad application reviews at Appolicious -- click here.

Monster 3D Brick Breaker Revolution for iPad ($2.99)
This time of year, we’re all itching for a good fright. The developers over at Digital Chocolate (appropriate!) released this monstrously fun brick breaker title on Friday (10/29), just in time for us to overindulge in all its fast-paced craziness.

Sporting fresh 3D graphics, crazy power-ups, and wild boss fights, you’ll find yourself immediately at ease with both the controls and the familiar game play. A sugar rush powered by your kid’s trick or treating can only help you rack up the points. Trust me.

Slide the paddle across the bottom of the screen to keep the ball in play, bouncing between the bricks above to remove them. Some bricks drop power-ups; collect them and click the large icon to activate them.

There’s more than 20 power-ups in play (rockets, fury balls, magnets, nukes, more) along with nine different Halloween-themed balls and levels. Try the Frankenstein, Mummy, and Dracula balls and be prepared for some surprises.

Don’t miss survival mode (endless action with epic boss fights scattered throughout), be wary of the built-in AI that tweaks the difficulty as you play to match your mad skills, and try to unlock all 30 achievements as you go.

Circuloid ($2.99)
There’s only one way to clearly describe this must-have iPad exclusive – it’s the perfect marriage of Tempest (circular play field attacking the center) and Arkanoid (brick breaking with power-ups.) Sure, the standard array of bricks need breaking, but Circuloid wraps a circular track around them, then places two sets of paddles on opposite sides of the play field.

As you slide your finger around (or up and down) the screen, the paddles rotate, allowing you to bounce your ball into the bricks from any angle you choose. Be careful; the power-ups that pop out of these bricks can be tricky to catch!

For a real challenge, change the settings to let you control the paddles using your iPad’s accelerometer. You’ll be rotating your device like a madperson to keep the ball(s) in play, but I quickly found this control scheme to be more effective than the standard setup to score maximum points.

With 54 levels shipping today (more coming soon), 10 crazy-fun power-ups and special bonuses to grab, top-quality graphics with three solid musical scores to enjoy, this is a must-have fusion of old school games lovingly crafted into a fresh app that can only be played in your iPad.

Battle for Wesnoth HD ($.99)
This late-summer smash hit is back on the charts, updated and available for a limited time for less than the price of a cup of coffee. Once you spend a few hours inside this massive war/strategy RPG, you’re going to feel guilty.

That’s because there’s now 15 full campaigns offering a combined total of more than 200 scenarios to experience. And before you consider skipping this app because of its sheer size, reconsider.

There are three levels of difficulty to choose from, which helps the app adapt to both novices with limited time to play and hardcore D&D/strategy veterans seeking a real challenge. Plus, if you’ve picked up this title on your Mac or Windows PC, or even your iPhone, you can easily transfer save games between platforms to keep the action going no matter which device is close at hand.

Right out of the gate you’ll be able to dive into the campaigns, fire up a skirmish, or open a new multiplayer (online or hotseat) game. Fight to regain the throne of Wesnoth, step into the boots of a young officer sent to guard a not-so-sleepy frontier outpost, vanquish a horde of undead warriors, or guide a band of elvish survivors in an epic quest to find a new home. There’s months of content to be enjoyed here.

Take your time to soak up the storylines, upgrade your armor and weapons as you go, and take time to learn how to move, recruit party members, earn gold, and more. For .99, it can’t be beat.

Galaxy on Fire 2 ($6.99)
In a few short weeks, a massive graphical, content, and iPad update will hit for this content-heavy epic space shooter. Now’s the time to grab the current version, save some money, and start experiencing one of best games to be had on any Apple device to date.

Galaxy on Fire 2 has you taking on the role of Keith Maxwell, a Terran space pilot who’s been transported across the galaxy and 35 years into the future after a hyperdrive accident. You’ll need your wits about you to get back to Terran space, defeat the alien Void threat, and take down dozens of pirate hordes disrupting more than 20 solar systems and dozens of individual planets.

Spend as much time as you like on the main story line, or play Maxwell as a Hans Solo-type rogue, taking on mercenary and cargo missions to maximize profits, beef up your ship, and generally make trouble in as many star systems as you choose.

The space battle controls are solid, the graphics (even pre-update) are pretty impressive on your Apple device, and the included voice actor audio files make for a solid gaming experience. The attention to detail is evident in the crafting and trade systems as well.

The icing on the cake? A unique screen capture tool is built in, allowing you to freeze any battle, take a screenie, then upload it to Facebook. OpenFeint and Game Centre integration also allow you to boast of your exploits to a global audience.

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