Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bubble Bunch for iPad leads the iPad Games of the Week

Ever play Hungry Hungry Hippos? Of course you have. Bubble Bunch for iPad brings the same frenetic, family-friendly action to your tablet, but turns the tables on those hungry mammals.

One to four players grab a corner of the screen and fire bubbles into the center of the screen, gunning for maximum color matches, collecting power-ups, and more. It’s the perfect rainy Spring day app!

Add an 8-bit, adventure game that’s super-unique, a Peggle-inspired romp featuring a flying pig, and a fresh sports title that deftly combines handball with hockey, and you’ve got yourself our set of the top iPad games for the week.


Bubble Bunch for iPad
The Bubble Wars will be televised. It’s multicolored bubble shooting fun that’s perfect for the whole family.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Old school adventure game fans who dig retro 8-bit graphics will have a field day with this 100% unique offering.

Pixel Pig HD Retro Edition
Peggle fans will instantly enjoy this fresh take on removing virtual pegs, while chomping copious amounts of food, and flying through rings before plopping into the lovely mud below.

Speedball 2 Evolution Free
Get a taste of the full version of this mobile sports game, that fuses ice hockey with handball and throws in gobs of violence to keep things interesting.

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.


Bubble Bunch for iPad ($1.99)

If there’s a board game that’s been made into a iOS app, it’s on my iPad. That’s why my family and I were so excited to give Bubble Bunch for iPad a whirl on a recent rainy afternoon. Within a few minutes, it was clear that the visibly-worn Hungry Hungry Hippos setup would be staying in the closet for the foreseeable future. The basics: Tap your corner of the screen to sign in (or tap a second time to assign an AI player to the spot so you can play solo against the computer), then place your finger just below the colored button sticking out of your bubble gun. Move your finger around to aim, then tap to fire into the center. A mass of bubbles is waiting there. Focus on making the maximum number of color matches you can, collecting and using power-ups, and boosting your sky above your opponents. Pro tip: Bounce your shots off the walls to really stick it to the other players. With three game modes – Aquarium (go for matches), Rogue Drone (a center drone shoots back at you), and Domination (color supremacy is the goal) – Bubble Bunch is truly the perfect, family-friendly rainy Spring day app.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP ($4.99)

As a child of the 1980’s, it wasn’t hard to fall madly in geek love with Superbrothers. Here’s the perfect iPad app confection for old school adventure game fans who dig retro 8-bit graphics. You know you’re in for a treat when the app launches – an honest to goodness vinyl record spins in the center, urging you to scratch and play with the music. Throw in some headphones, and tap the Play button to begin. You’ll quickly learn than the app is masquerading as an “experimental treatment for acute soul-sickness,” challenging you to double-tap the screen to make your way through the 8-bit fantasy landscape. Taking on the role of an adventurer, you’ll meet interesting people along the way, swing your sword, interact with the environment, and become one with this unique offering. There are embedded moments in the game that can only be experienced once, and they’re deep moments to boot. Carve out 20-30 minutes, jump into a comfy chair, and live in the moment. You won’t regret it.

Pixel Pig HD Retro Edition (FREE)

Peggle, how you vex me. And it’s clear the developers of Pixel Pig are obsessed with you as well, and I mean that in a good way! In this unique take on the “peg removal” genre, you’re in control of a portly pixilated pig, whom you can launch into a game grid just as if you’re standing in front of a pinball machine. Pull the plunger, let the pig fly, and watch him work his way through the pegs. Press the Gas button to give him some gaseous green lift to score more points, touch food items to add to your score, fly through the available rings to increase your multiplier, and finally tilt your iPad to control how he lands in the mud below. The better the landing, the more bonus points you’ll earn. Of course, a litany of score goals, achievements, and medals will keep you pig-farting for many days and weeks to come. If you love the app, it’s super-easy to upgrade to the full version, sans-ads.

Speedball 2 Evolution Free (FREE)

Get a free taste of this popular newcomer, which will appeal equally to retro arcade game lovers coming of age in the 1980’s and sports game fanatics alike, with an added layer of cartoony violence and mayhem that will make any adult gamer smile. The game is simple and simply fun. Your team of footballers faces an opponent on an open field. A metallic ball is launched, and it’s your job to tackle the other team members to get it. Once you’re snatched it, head for the goal, making strategic passes and power-up picks along the way, and fling it into the net. Score! The subtle touches of grandstand food sellers shouting out there foodstuffs for sale, and some seriously retro sound effects, and you’ve got yourself a throw-back app that will keep you glued to your tablet for days to come.

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