Sunday, May 15, 2011

Starfront Collision does a ‘zergling rush’ into our iPad Games of the Week

Mine resources, build a base, train troops, defend against rushes of baddies, and attack. If the basics of Starfront Collision HD sound familiar, they should. Starcraft fans will feel right at home in this thinly-veiled knock off from GameLoft that may be the very best iPad game to hit the App Store since the iPad’s launch.

This week, grab the fresh Dofus app that grants iPad owners entry into the World of Twelve MMORPG, set your hair on fire in MetalStorm Online, a Top Gun-inspired dog fighting game, and round things out with the App Store’s first-ever interactive cartoon collection with Super Toonies of the Forever. (Your kids will love it!)

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


StarFront: Collision HD
Starcraft fans will feel right at home in this thinly-veiled knock off that may be the best iPad game to date.

Dofus: Battles HD
Enter the World of Twelve and enjoy this bloody (literally) good fusion of MMORPG, strategy, and tower defense game styles.

MetalStorm: Online
Channel your inner Iceman and Maverick to get your Top Guns thrills in this free, quality dog fighting title from Z2Live.

Super Toonies of the Forever
What do you get when you combine kid-friendly interactive cartoons with quality character design and animation? Super Toonies, of course.


StarFront: Collision HD ($6.99)

Only real Starcraft fans have held on to dedicated Windows XP hardware just to play the game. (Yes, count me in that lot.) That said, there hasn’t been a week that’s gone by when I wish I could play this classic RTS on my modern Apple tablet. Terran, Zerg, and Protoss aficionado’s, your wait is over. Gameloft has shamelessly recreated the Starcraft experience in Starfront Collision HD, and it’s worth every penny of the mere $7 price tag.

All the usual controls are here, made even more interactive by replacing your well-worn mouse with simple screen gestures. Use two fingers to draw a box around your troops, set a squad shortcut, then send them off to do battle. Use the mini map to keep tabs on your game, complete objectives, build up your base, and be sure to upgrade your defenses to stay in the game.

Xenodium is the scarce resource at the heart of the game’s conflict-rich storyline, and you’ll employ it to build 8 unique structures and 10 special units per race, which include the Myriad, Wardens, and The Consortium. (You can guess which is Zerg, Protoss, and Terran-like.) Your iPad’s generous screen is perfectly sized for the app, and with full 4-player multiplayer matches available via your home network or GameLoft live, there’s nothing standing in the way of this newcomer taking the top spot as the iPad’s best game released to date. Period.

Dofus: Battles HD ($5.99)

iPad gamers, behold the very first “Science Friction” game you’ve ever played. This French MMORPG-inspired title combines elements of the best strategy games with solid tower defense. You’re presented with a series floating platforms, which contain spaces to place your attacking and defending heros.

In turns that feel more like waves, you’ll need to search out Jeff Stobbs and the demon (Naz T. Peaseawerk, sound it out) who gave him the inspiration to take over the world. Your hero units (both attackers, healers, and defenders) join Animakhal the Dragon in never-ending battles against legions of baddies who will put your gaming chops to the test. Be sure to pick up the fragments that drop from each fallen foe, you’ll need them to bring new units into the fray. The artwork is jaw-dropping, while the sheer uniqueness of the controls and depth of the game will keep you riveted for months to come. It’s important that serious iPad gamers reward game developer innovation that results in a pitch-perfect experience; pick up this newcomer and do your part to support quality apps!

MetalStorm: Online (FREE)

Like the iPad itself, MetalStorm Online gives you everything you want in a Top Gun-inspired game: a never-ending supply of upgradable planes, tech, and weapons, easy tilt controls, and both solo and local and online multiplayer game play. Ignore the ads and pleas to spend cash to rush through the tech/upgrade tree, and focus on the battle-ready graphics, explosions, and easy lock-on missiles.

Maverick and Goose would feel right at home in Z2Live’s world of air combat, and if you stick to the computer AI battles, the stock planes will suffice. Challenge your real world pals to a few skirmishes, and spending anywhere from $1 to $50 for in-game currency to grab better gear will be hard to resist. The secret to life or a Goose-inspired death upon ejection? Swiping your screen to perform barrel rolls and other evasive maneuvers. With just the right amount of scenery depth and graphical detail, super-smooth accelerometer controls, and non-stop fighter jet action, MetalStorm Online is a no-cost, must-download for iPad gamers everywhere.

Super Toonies of the Forever (FREE)

It’s hard to categorize this kid-friendly “game” from Mongadillo Studios. After a solid year of effort, this innovate developer brings this inspired interactive cartoon to Apple’s Store, with lots of room for growth in the future.

Sporting quality character design and animation, the app is more of an interactive canvas for kids to create their own fun than a traditional game title. There’s a raft of animated characters and a starter scene in which to place them. The initial no-cost release gives kids their first Toonie character, along with some crazy squirrels, hoppy bunnies, and a fun-loving Sasquatch. It’s up to you to place everyone in a virtual forest, and watch them interact. Be sure to seek out the secret awards, and read up on each character’s likes, dislikes, and favorite foods. As more scenes and characters arrive in future updates, your youngin’s will be able to mix and match these assets to create truly unique funscapes. Thrown in original musical scores, and there’s truly no end to the creative products your kids can create inside Super Toonies of the Forever. Grab it today!

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