Saturday, November 06, 2010
Top iPad Games of the Week
iPad Games Discussed
NFL 2011 HD: A must-play for all football fans, taking its rightful place as the king of NFL apps on the iPad. Madden, watch your back.
Sushi Boy: A fresh, fun action arcade title that’s fun, fast, and hard to put down. (Pass the soy sauce, please!)
Hungry Helga: This Nordic lass has an insatiable appetite for fresh fish. Fire your cannonballs to stun schools of fish, then scoop them up to keep Helga from starving. Poor thing.
Kiko: The Last Totem HD: Help Kiko get the Lost Totem of the Gods back, before it’s too late! More than 150 levels make this a puzzle game for the ages.
You can read all of my past iPad application reviews at Appolicious -- click here.
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 Game Apps Reviewed
NFL 2011 HD ($6.99)
Starting this week, football fans now have two choices for getting their game on: EA’s Madden NFL 11 ($12.99) and Gameloft’s NFL 2011 HD ($6.99).
Both offer vastly improved graphics over last year’s versions (think clearer stadium and player renderings), better sound effects and overall audio samples, plus superior on-screen controls thanks to the iPad’s huge screen.
While Madden offers lots of features that cater to casual fans (GameFlow is the app’s ‘Easy Button’), purists will appreciate Gameloft’s GL Choice option. As each game unfolds, you’ll need to choose your plays and routes; turning GL Choice on keeps the game’s playbook open to view, allowing you to easily choose suggested plays and tweak the pass routes to your liking.
It may take more steps to set up each play, but Gameloft’s iteration does a solid job of keeping you in control, vs. EA’s sometimes over-active AI. Plus, the pacing and action of each play as it unfolds doesn’t suffer from EA’s uneven frame rate, and the controls are more responsive.
The final verdict? Pick up EA’s Madden for your iPhone, but stick with Gameloft’s NFL 2011 for your iPad. That’s the ticket to pure football nirvana wherever you and your iDevices may roam. And here’s hoping both 2012 editions go universal, offer more responsive controls, and continue to increase the graphical quality of both players and stadiums.
Sushi Boy ($.99)
Beyond the usual array military shooters, physics puzzles, top-down shooters, side-scrollers, and adventure titles, occasionally a truly original iPad game comes along and steals your heart based purely on the “fun” factor.
This week, it’s Sushi Boy, and boy are you in for a treat!
The concept is charmingly simply: sushi rolls are falling from the sky. It’s your job, Sushi Boy, to race back and forth across your screen to catch each tasty morsel as it tumbles by.
Pro Tip: Hold down the virtual buttons on the sides of the screen to move left and right more quickly. Simply tapping repeatedly to move as the game suggests is the surest way to drop pieces on the ground and end your round with a serious fail.
Avoid the metallic mines and other inedible items that tumble by, while picking up several yummy pieces in a row to trigger power-ups and launch quick mini-games. (I find myself smiling through each round; the soundtrack and super-silly animations remind me of the NDS classic, Elite Beat Agents. GO!)
Best of all, this is a tasty app that fills in any amount of time you have to spare. It’s great for a quick round, or longer play sessions where you can quickly work your way through tougher levels to earn special hats and pets (yes, pets!) to give you new powers to tame the never-ending sushi drops.
The icing on the cake: Sushi Boy is universal. So pop it onto your iPad and iPhone, then take it anywhere you go. Yum!
Hungry Helga ($1.99)
Every man knows that the way to a woman’s heart is through diamonds. Or fish. Lots and lots of fish.
That’s the premise of Hungry Helga HD, where you take on the role of captain Kjirk, who’s brought his stout Viking wife on board his equally stout vessel for an all-you-can-eat dinner cruise.
You’ll need to stay one step ahead of the schools of succulent fish swimming below your boat, lobbing cannon shells into the briny deep to kill as many as you can. As they float to the surface your first mate Gunkel automatically scoops them up with a net and tosses them into the waiting mouth of hulking Helga.
As the levels progress, icebergs appear to get in your way, along with all kinds of scavengers, including sharks and pesky seagulls. Do your job well, and Helga will sing an increasingly happy tune until the bright halo around her head spins joyfully; tap it and one of her special powers will be triggered to help you catch even more dinner.
But disappoint Helga and she’ll throw a temper tantrum, jumping up and down until your boat cracks in two and you all sink to the bottom, weighed down by your utter lack of skill. (Hey, life’s tough, and Helga’s as high-maintenance as they come. Buck up and do better next time!)
Grid Monsters has outdone themselves with their first App Store release. The graphics are first-rate, the soundtrack is spot-on, and you’ll find Hungry Helga very hard to put down.
Kiko: The Last Totem HD ($1.99)
The special totem protecting Kiko’s home island has been swiped by Yaru, Lord of Forbidden Mountain. Can Kiko get it back?
Of course he can, but not until after he and his friends work their way through 150 sliding puzzles. Basically, it’s your job to get each character on the screen to its home square. You can move each character up, down, left or right, but you’ll only stop when someone or something gets in your way.
And that’s where the puzzles come into play. Kiko and his pals won’t stop on their home squares unless something is there to stop them from moving. And with two or more characters to move into place, each puzzle becomes a multi-layered affair.
The rich graphics and island-themed soundtrack will keep you on track as each puzzle unfolds. And if the main game gets cumbersome, you can easily switch gears and try your hand at making levels of your own.
The built-in creation tools are clear, easy to use, and sharing them with others is a breeze. You can even create multiple player profiles so you and your kids can create their own levels (and save their games) on the same device.
So puzzle fans, run, don’t walk, to the App Store and snap up Kiko. You won’t be disappointed, or bored, anytime soon.