Saturday, March 12, 2011

Land-a Panda will melt your heart in our iPad Games of the Week round-up

Angry Birds. Cut the Rope. Trucks and Skulls. All instant iOS classics, providing a massive set of levels to clear, ramping up the difficulty along the way, but never forgetting the fun factor.

This week’s top new game, Land-a-Panda HD, takes cues from all three, only this time you’ll need to guide Yang Guang, a lovestuck panda, to his dream partner, Tian Tian. Throw in some barrel blasting from Donkey Kong Country, add in some Mario coins, and see how quickly you can clear each level and help this pair get together.

Add in another Japanese-themed stacking game (with sushi!), plus a fun puzzle game sporting 3D, geometric shapes, and a final crazy-fun take on Pong, and you’ve got my list of the top new iPad games for the week.

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


Land-a Panda HD
Pandas need all the help they can get in the baby department. Help a lovelorn pair of black and white cuties connect across dozens of levels in this combo puzzle and physics game.

Sushi Stacker HD
How high can you stack the sushi? Here’s a time killer that combines two of my favorite things: sushi rolls and Japanese artwork!

GeoSpin HD
This geometric 3D puzzle game will have you spinning your way through tons of levels across score and time attack modes. (You knew that geometry class would pay off someday!)

Anger Management ‘_’
One part Pong and one part instant cult classic, this crazy (and I mean insane) app challenges you to keep a flaming potato bouncing across your iPad’s screen while the AI randomly messes with you. You’ll manage to like it, if you can cure your anger issues. Trust me.


Land-a Panda HD ($1.99)

Pandas: cute, fuzzy, and endangered. Now you can do your part to bring a pair of lovesick pandas together to help propagate this beloved species. Yang Guang needs to find his way across each play field in Land-a Panda HD to reach his dream partner, Tian Tian.

This crazy-cute, fun, and addictive title takes its cues from Angry Birds (level design and stages), Cut the Rope (physics puzzles), Donkey Kong Country (moving barrels), and even Super Mario Brothers (coin collecting), to create a wholly original experience that will keep your glued to your iPad for weeks to come.

You’ll need to grab every love coin, time your mating dance moves perfectly to clear each obstacle, and land on the final hearts with a hero stance to win Tian Tian’s affections. The retina graphics are stunning, the sound effects are spot-on, and the overall game play will appeal to iOS gamers of all ages. Time to get your panda on!

Sushi Stacker HD ($.99)

My son and I have been enjoying Sushi Boy for many weeks now. There’s something about an action-packed “how many sushi pieces can you grab” app to get the blood pumping and the fingers flying.

Sushi Stacker HD takes the same yummy theme, wraps each luscious piece of heaven in a to-go box, and challenges all hunger comers to stack these individual happy meals on top of each other. How high can you go? You’ll need to center each box on top of the last as precisely as you can, taking into account gravity and the occasional breeze that will send your pricey tower crashing to the ground.

The artwork is decidedly Japanese, with a fun musical score to keep you on your game along the way. Keep your eyes focused and your finger poised over the screen to maximize your chances to keep the tower climbing. Add a dash of luck and a ton of fun and you’ve got another sushi-game combo plate that’s sure to please palates young and old.

GeoSpin HD ($.99)

Back in the day, I spent many months playing Tetrisphere on the Nintendo 64 console. It was one of the first 3D puzzle games I’d ever played, and spinning a ball covered in Tetris-shaped pieces and dropping matching layouts on top of them to clear each level made for a fun, addictive challenge.

GeoSpin HD brings a similar experience to our Apple tablets, only this time you’ll be spinning a geometric shape covered in colored bocks, triangles, and other shapes with your finger, then dragging and dropping matching shapes on top. Drop the same shape and (oops!) colored piece on top of another, and they’ll both disappear.

You’ll be spinning your way through tons of levels across score and time attack modes for many weeks to come. Compare your score with others via OpenFient, enjoy the 60 frames per second game play, and watch your fun and matching skills increase exponentially!

Anger Management ‘_’ (FREE)

In today’s gaming world, there’s always room for a healthy dose of originality. Anger Management is probably the most crazy-unique, teen-rated game (for language) that I’ve played in a very long time.

Start by selecting your “anger level” to set the mood: hipsters, teen angst, pink eye, PETA, or baggage fees. Next, the app’s instructions give you a clue of what’s coming next: “1. Use the joypad to play Pong. 2. The computer will mess with you. Deal with it. 3. Control an overwhelming urge to destroy everything.“ Got it?

Once your game of pong begins, you’ll need to keep a flaming spud bouncing across the screen (filled with an image of President Lincoln bobbing his head) while the app inverts your controls, speeds up the little carb-bomb, makes it invisible, slows it down, or abruptly changes its direction.

After a few games, I found myself gritting my teeth through a sincere smile. As one early reviewer wrote: “[Developer Super Boise] invented a game like pong but you don’t have control over the damn thing!” Silly fun!

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