Saturday, January 29, 2011
My weekly iPad game picks run the gamut from survival and interactive horror to princesses and… Checkers?
From Alien to The Thing, millions of sci-fi fans flock to movies that combine future tech with horror. Gross monsters on spaceships? Disgusting alien virus that alters our DNA or *gasp* combines our bodies with others? Sign us up!
This weeks’ collection of the best new iPad games caters to this crowd, offering up a pair of purchase-worthy games that center on both survival and interactive horror.
Add to that a combination kingdom simulation and time management title complete with a damsel in distress, plus a laid-back take on Checkers, and it all adds up to four solid reasons to put down your snow shovel and curl up with Apple’s gamer-ready tablet!
IPAD APPS REVIEWED
Dead Space for iPad
Must-have survival horror title that’s a worthy addition to the growing Dead Space family of intensely gory, visually stunning games. (Hint: Play over a table, you may drop your iPad in fright!)
My Kingdom for the Princess 2
Princess Helen, kidnapped? It’s up to you to save her in this combo time management and kingdom simulation.
Hysteria Project 2 HD
Horror fans will thoroughly enjoy this unique iOS gaming experience, combining interactive videos with 360-degree environments filled with clues and puzzles.
Fans of solitaire and Checkers who enjoy spending hours solving logic problems in the guise of a game will find a lot to love in Pebble Jump.
Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.
IPAD GAME REVIEWS
Dead Space for iPad ($9.99)
For several years now, Xbox 360, PS3, and even Wii owners have been playing Dead Space games on their consoles, navigating horrific sci-fi locations to exterminate legions of Necromorphs (altered humans who are equal parts zombies and bezerkers.) They don’t so much want to eat your brains as infect them to turn you into one of their number.
Dead Space for iPad is the prequel to Dead Space 2 (360/PS3), and it’s a wholly original, crazy-scary addition to the franchise, and a full extension of the original Dead Space.
You’re a willing pawn in an unfolding conflict between EarthGov and the Church of Unitology, and you’ll need every gun that’s near at hand to fight your way out of this one. (Hint: Play over a table, you may drop your iPad in fright!) The graphics are console-quality, the action is intense, and -- with headphones securely in place -- anyone who picks up this survival horror title should be ready to be scared. Very scared.
My Kingdom for the Princess 2 ($4.99)
Fans of time and kingdom/civilization management games will feel right at home in My Kingdom for the Princess 2. In this 60-level monster, you take on the role of Knight Arthur, who starts the game by traveling to the South Sea with his beloved Princess Helen. Within hours, Helen is kidnapped by Longbeard, a villainous dwarf, and it’s your job to work with the locals to harvest resources (gold, food, wood), build structures, patch roads, span gorges with bridges, and more. It’s all part of your epic (10+ hour) journey to get back to Helen, which unfolds in an easy to follow sequence of plot points. There’s also two fun mini-games which pop up from time to time, adding up to an absorbing experience that will keep you coming back for more.
Hysteria Project 2 HD ($1.99)
Horror fans as sure to enjoy this (short!) iOS gaming experience, combining interactive videos with 360-degree environments filled with clues and puzzles. For two sawbucks you’ll get about an hour of entertainment, leaving the first game’s forest location behind in exchange for a creepy research laboratory. You’ll awake in a live-action movie, and need to be super-quick to make the right decisions as each scene unfolds. Make a good choice, and the story continues. Choose poorly, and a death scene awaits. The soundtrack matches well with the horror themes, while mini-games, interactive elements, and hidden items add to the overall experience. While this second edition is a marked improvement from the first game, I’m hoping future editions will sport better mini-games, solid camera work, and elements that make it more replayable.
Pebble Jump ($.99)
Horror and time management games not your cup of tea? Fans of solitaire and Checkers who enjoy spending hours solving logic problems in the guise of a game will find a lot to love in Pebble Jump. The premise here is super-simple: jump your game piece over others so your final move lands you in a specific spot. It’s a bit like coordinating a series of Checkers moves to result in a King, all without your opponent getting a turn in edgewise. Each level is presented in Angry Birds-style sequence (1-1, 1-2, 1-3, etc.) leading the player from challenge to challenge, ramping up the difficulty along the way. Don’t forget that you can undo your moves, and even start a level all over again if you run out of moves. With 120 puzzles to solve, it’s a dollar-menu download that’s perfect for a snow day, an afternoon at the beach, or your next plane ride.