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EA Special: Competition

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
Win a $10 iTunes Gift Card*

Need for Speed Undercover reviews will be accepted

iFoneReviews in Association with Electronic Arts are giving you a chance to win a $10 iTunes Gift Card in celebration of the latest game released, Tiger Woods PGA Tour.

As you have seen two Electronic Arts games have already been reviewed and during the competition we will have four or more reviews of Electronic Arts games out.

How To Participate-
1. To Participate in the game I thought I would see how good our viewers are at reviewing games.

To enter you must review one of Electronic Arts iPhone games that are on the below list
Trivial Pursuit
Spore Origins
Yahtzee Adventure
Tiger Woods PGA Tour
Need for Speed: Undercover
American Idol
Anytime Pool
Star Trek

(Lemonade Tycoon and Spore Origins Lite are not available to be reviewed in this contest sorry)

You can review as many of the above game as you would like, but there will only be one winner. Reviewing multiple games may improve your chances. The best review as deemed by myself will win the competition.

All entries must include TEXT only.

All entries are to be emailed to me at ifonereviews.comp@gmail.com before the closing date

The competition is now started and will run until the review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour is posted. An estimated date is Thursday 14th May 11:59pm PST.

The $10 iTunes Gift Card is available for US Residents only.

The winning entry will be submitted to see if it has been plagiarized from another site. If this is the case the entry will be disqualified and another winner will be chosen. If you own a site and wish to use one of your own reviews then you will have to verify that you are in fact the owner of the site (Having a custom email address from that site is one way)

Any questions can be emailed to me at damon@razorianfly.com

Good Luck, iR

EA Special: SimCity

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
This is the second of two reviews leading up to something really cool from myself in association with Electronic Arts Mobile. Stay Tuned in the next few hours to find out what it is.

iTunes Link

SimCity is a building game by Electronic Arts. $5.99

Like Electronic Arts other games on the App Store, SimCity is a game based on a previously made game. SimCity is a kind of time management game that has had massive success in particular on the PC. Many people would have heard about the game and possibly even played or own it. Unlike games such as Scrabble and Monopoly, I have never played SimCity so I was interested how easy the iPhone version would be to pick up. After playing SimCity I gave the PC version a crack and it was good to see that SimCity was not just ported over, but totally re-made. I found the in-game tutorial for SimCity very helpful and provided a great starting point for first time players. There are many advisors that specialize in something related to the city who give you advice while the game is playing. SimCity has a massive replayability with an unique city and terrain to be created everytime, and success isn't always guaranteed. The game starts off in the year 1900 with buildings and transport that was available at the time, but as the years progress, so does the technology so better things can be built. SimCity takes quite a few goes to master building a successful city, but it is worth it.

Anyone who has played the previous games in the SimCity range would know that they are incredibly busy. This game is no different, and the quality of the graphics is just amazing. With so much detail needed in a large city of 500,000 people you could expect the game to be slow with dodgy graphics. When zoomed in the buildings are so detailed and superbly made. When the game is zoomed out the buildings are obviously harder to see, but the industrial, commercial and residential areas are easy to distinguish with the unique buildings in each area. SimCity isn't a large city with no one living in it however. When zoomed in you can see the bustling life of your Sims with helicopters and planes flying, boats arriving and people driving cars. No one however, is poor enough that they are forced to walk around.

SimCity isn't one of those games that you can just pick up and play without any prior knowledge of how to play it. The optional tutorial at the start of each new city is a great way to get to know how to play the game and provides good starting blocks for a successful city. All items such as zoning areas, roads, utilities, buildings, parks and bulldozers are accessed on the left hand side of the screen. Once some time has been spent playing the game, everything is alot easier to find in the menus. Each main icon has more options that can be placed onto your terrain. This is done by selecting it, then clicking on the desired place on the screen. Once there is can be moved with two fingers and enlarged in certain cases by one finger. There are many options down the bottom of the screen that can be accessed like the budget, advisors and help menu. I haven't mastered the using these tools and is probably why my city looks the same 115 years on and $500,000 in debt. To zoom in/out of your city you can either double tap the screen or pinch/push outwards with your fingers.

For a game that requires you to spend hours upon hours fine tuning your city to make sure the whole population is happy, the music for the game is pretty basic. There is a nice tune that seems to go on endlessly, but nothing that you would want to listen to for longer than a few minutes as it isn't very exciting. When closer into the city you can hear sounds from your city but that is about it. I would listen to your own music playing SimCity or none at all.

The basic aim of SimCity is to build the biggest and most profitable city that you can. While this sounds easy, the way to build a successful city is very hard. To start with you can either choose one of two pre-started cities, to start from scratch with one of three difficulty levels or a tutorial city. The pre-started cities aren't that fun as the building has all happened, but the likelihood of it being successful is higher. The difficulty levels only mean you start with different amounts of money. The tutorial city starts you off from scratch but gives you a good base for a successful city. Multiple cities can be being built on one device, so family members can take it in turns building their own city, or sabotaging others.

The way to build your city is kind of based on the same principal that real cities are based on. Cities are started small with designated areas for residential, commerical and industrial zones. These areas don't magically start getting buildings on them with nothing else done to them. Water and electricity needs to be supplied to the entire town, as well as some method of transport to all areas. Sims don't like being near pollution, so it is best to have industrial zones far away from the residental. I can go on and on about all the requirements for a successful city, but half the fun is working all of this out by yourself. SimCity to me is a massive time management game that blows all the other games out of the water. Sometimes, when a tornado strikes your city, this can literally blow you away.

SimCity is one of the most time consuming games to complete, and for the lower price of $5.99 it is definitely worth it. I have had a city running for over 120 years (Sim time) and there are still improvements that need to be done to it. This took me about 3 hours, and I basically zoned the entire terrain, provided alot of water towers, electricity and roads and left it to sit and develop. Obviously I have a poor population and am seriously in debt but with more time and effort put into the game is can turn into a major project. SimCity for the iPhone is an amazing game that could rival some of the older PC SimCity games. With a massive amount of replayability, great graphics and gameplay, anyone who likes a challenge or previous experience on SimCity should buy this. One of a few games that will keep you coming back for months on end.

Gameplay- 9.5/10
Graphics- 9/10
Sound- 5/10
Overall- 8.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Build-a-Lot

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is an EA Mobile Association Event!

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

EA Special: Scrabble

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
This is the first of two reviews leading up to something really cool from myself in association with Electronic Arts Mobile. Stay Tuned in the next few hours to find out what it is.

iTunes Link

Scrabble is a word game by Electronic Arts. $4.99

Everyone knows and the world famous board game Scrabble. Most people would have played the game and probably own it. Board games are slowly going out of fashion with Electronic Arts releasing many games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee and this onto the App Store. What really brought Scrabble into the attention of everyone with an iDevice is its revolutionary Facebook connect system. This system soar Scrabble skyrocket in sales, and rightly so. Facebook connect allows users to play games online against people all around the world who are playing on either their iDevice or the Scrabble Facebook Application. Competition against players from all around the world is a great way to play Scrabble, as playing the CPU on easy all the time does not give a good gaming experience. I throughly enjoyed playing people all around the world in a game that doesn't force you to play for three hours at a time. I have had games which have been going for over a month as the players just check the game once a day to make their turn and it slowly progresses along. As well as this online gaming sensation there is are different modes to play by yourself, against the CPU or with up to three other friends. Electronic Arts have pulled off this classic game very nicely.

I was surprised that Electronic Arts made the board so it was easy to see and the words on it without the need to zoom in. While Scrabble is not one of those games that much can be done to it graphically, so instead it has stayed true to the board game counterpart. Scrabble has a simple layout that easily shows what squares are Double Word's etc. with different colors for each one. The game has a bit of animation when you get a double letter etc. or if you get a bingo (Placing all seven of your tiles in one go), which makes the game that little bit more interesting. When the game is zoomed in to place tiles it doesn't lose any clarity and the board is even easier to read, but you obviously can't see all the spaces at once.

The controls for Scrabble are very easy to get used to. To place a piece on the screen when it is zoomed out you just drag it to the area you with to place it and the screen will automatically zoom in. Generally it won't land in the right place so it can then be moved around. The other way is to zoom in first by placing two pinched fingers on the screen and pushing outwards, like using Safari. To remove pieces from the board you can either press the recall button to bring back all placed pieces or drag and drop into your bar of tiles below the board. With blank pieces these must be first placed before choosing what letter it will be. This game can be picked up and played the first time you use it because of its simple controls.

There isn't really any sound in Scrabble, just some basic sound effects. Placing letters and revealing the other places word give you some sound effects, but nothing spectacular. This is a game that should be played while listening to your own tracks, or silently.

For those who have absolutely no idea what Scrabble is, I will run through a basic description. The aim of Scrabble is to get a higher score than your opponent(s). You do this by making words on the board that must include one or more letters that are already on the board, except the very first move. More common letters like vowels only add 1 point to the word if it is placed but less common letters like z and q are harder to place and therefore more valuable giving you 10 points if placed. To increase your points even more there are bonus spaces on the board giving you double points or triple points for either the letter on that square or for the whole word depending on the bonus. If all of your tiles are placed on the same turn then it is called Bingo and you get an extra 50 points. There are many different ways to play Scrabble as you will get to play on the iPhone version. There are many different variations on how to play Scrabble. To start off on Local Play there are three game modes, Solo Play, VS Computer and Pass 'n Play. For each of these there are five game modes. Classic mode is what most people usually play on the board game. You basically play until no one can make a move or until someone has gotten rid of all their tiles, and none are left in the bag. 75-point and 150-point are basically first to that number of points. These are great for quick plays that you don't want to finish later. 8-round and 12-round are similar to the last two game modes except you play the designated number of rounds and the highest scorer wins. In solo play and VS computer you get four lives and you can opt to use one of these lives whenever you please. These put the best words on the board for your turn so you earn maximum points. VS Computer mode gives you the choice of difficulty setting. You can also choose what type of dictionary to use, but I usually start on the pre-selected dictionary. In Facebook connect and Multiplayer over the same WiFi it is always Classic mode, but with Facebook connect you can choose out of three game styles. These are slow play, medium play and fast play. These depend on how many turns you expect to happen a day, so people know they don't have to commit to a long game session. In these modes you have a teacher that tells you what the best word would have been instead of the lives tactic in local play.

Scrabble is another great board game brought to the iPhone by Electronic Arts. The different ways to play against people from all over the world, or just in the same room make it an excellent experience. The addicting gameplay is smooth and the only time I found Scrabble to crash was during the loading of Facebook Connect. This rarely happens to me and waiting for it to load is worth it. I hope to see future games use these multiplayer modes, as it greatly enhances the playing experience. Smooth graphics and some sound is also included, keeping to the high standard of games by Electronic Arts. The one thing I would like to see is the option to have different game boards, as I believe the UK version has a different board instead of the classic version. I would recommend that you buy Scrabble if you are a fan of word games, board games or just trying out the great new Facebook Connect technology available!

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 8/10
Sound- 5/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Monopoly: Here and Now World Edition

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is part #2 of the EA Special- SimCity Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

Preview: Baseball Sluggers- Home Run Race 3D

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

Baseball Sluggers is the upcoming game by Com2Us in Early May. We have some of the first available screenshots and a gameplay video to show as well as some great information.

Key Brand Powers
• Online matchup mode (Multi-player)
• Cool slamming 3D camera and sound effects
• Identified look for each players in the matchup world: character customization
• iPhone/ iPod Touch optimized control: tilt and touch (touch-motion control)
• Partnership with one of the official bat of MLB, for real baseball equipments
• Item balls enable players to attack and defend their games in the matchup mode

1. Four different play modes: Matchup, Arcade, Training, and Classic modes
2. Head-to-head online match-ups with friends and rivals
3. Seven item balls with different traits and benefits
4. Player customization (self-ID creation)
1) Body: face, hairs, skin, etc.
2) Look: jersey, pants, cleats shoes, glasses, eye patches, etc.
3) Baseball equipments: bats, gloves, helmets, etc.
5. Social networking
1) Friend register
2) Message inbox (expected to be available from v 1.0.2)
6. Virtual item store (expected to be available this June when Apple opens SDK 3.0


Gameplay Video

Car Jack Streets

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Car Jack Streets is a top down shooter by Tag Games. $4.99

The wait is finally over. Car Jack Streets is the long awaited Grand Theft Auto game to hit the App Store. Car Jack Streets is similar to the game by Apex Designs called Payback, but some different features brings this game out on top. Car Jack Streets follows the story of Randal Meyers, who owes $1,000,000 to casino owner Frankie. He has given you a chance to repay your debt by giving him $50,000 every week until it is paid off. If by the weeks end the cash isn't paid, Frankie's men will come after you and will end up killing you for good. Any of the whiz bang mathematicians will figure out that if you get through the entire game without dieing it will take 20 hours to complete. The way the game has been set out greatly extends the value that Car Jack Streets will provide you, and the storyline along puts this game way out in front of Payback. For those who don't know, Payback has many different game modes where set scores are to be earned to unlock the next level/city. While there are more modes and areas to explore, I don't believe it lives up to Car Jack Streets. This game has brilliant graphics and a great soundtrack from upcoming artists to match. Killing people has almost never been as fun, due to the console game Grand Theft Auto taking that position.

Car Jack Streets has killer graphics. The graphics have more of a cartoony look about them opposed to Payback's 3D graphics. I found Car Jack Streets to be alot more detailed and generally better looking. The amount of detail provided for everything is Car Jack Streets is really good for what is basically a mobile port. The game is usually running without any glitches or lag in the final build. We previously played a old build and it had alot of problems with the game freezing. The build we reviewed Car Jack Streets on still has these problems, but I generally only find the game freezes after 30 minutes or more of gameplay. This shouldn't be a problem as Car Jack Streets is designed to be played for about 15 minutes at a time.

All the controls for Car Jack Streets are located on the screen itself, and work surprisingly well. To walk around there is a D-Pad located on the left of the screen. To pick up weapon, disguises and health you just walk into them. To shoot there is a button on the right side of the screen. Some guns have auto-target on them so when standing still you will automatically rotate to aim at nearby civilians. To hop in a car a button will appear when you are close enough to one. To drive instead of using the D-Pad they have separate the controls. To go forward or reverse the buttons are on the right side of the screen and the turning controls are on the left. The final build includes a Turbo button that puts you to top speed for a short period of time. In the first build I played there was no turbo button and you could drive without the need to hold your finger on the accelerator. I found this a great idea, but apparently others did not.

Car Jack Streets provides you with the full city life experience. There is a heap of sound effects in this game. While walking you can just hear your footsteps as the bustling city life is happening all around you. Tag Games has gotten music from some great upcoming artists for the fully fledged radio stations that you can listen to while in the car. This is close to the standards of GTA, where I assume they got the idea from. Unlike Payback I found it to have more of an actual 'radio' feel to it rather than just music playing while driving.

The way the game works is that to earn back the $1,000,000 owed dollars you must make it through missions. These missions are obviously not, help the lady across the road missions, they include killing people, blowing up gang members and other illegal crimes. These missions are all optional to complete, as after a few days you will have multiple options to try and complete. Some missions are spur of the moment things and generally have bigger awards. These include Going Postal and killing 10 people in 30 seconds or blow up enough cars within two minutes to attract the polices attention. As well as missions you can get money for completing tasks or 'felonies'. These include things like Car Jacking x amount of cars or Killing x amount of gang members. Each felony has 3 levels so they take a few weeks to become a true gangster. Like GTA and Payback, if you start killing too many people you will earn a star and police will start coming for you. If you lay low for a while they will forget about your crimes. Gang Members will also come after you if they find you, and the one sure way to get rid of them is a shot to the head. Many different guns are available around the city to use, from Machine Guns to Flame Throwers. Another side objective in the game is to find all the 50 mystery packages around the large city. I haven't found all these so I can't reveal what you get.

As you can probably tell I can talk for hours about everything that happens in Car Jack Streets. This is an amazing game both in the way of gameplay, graphics and sound. This is by far one of the best games on the App Store, and certainly one of the longest games. Car Jack Streets has perfected what I need from a Top-Down GTA game, not only being cheaper than PayBack but far better. After a long wait time for the game to be approved I would seriously recommend buying this. A heap of non-stop real time fun! Do you think you can survive to pay Frankie's debt? I sure hope so!

Gameplay- 10/10
Graphics- 9/10
Sound- 9.5/10
Overall- 9.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Payback

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is an EA Mobile Association Event!

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

Silent Hill- The Escape

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Silent Hill: The Escape is a horror game by Konami. $7.99

iPhone_Reviews re-reviews Silent Hill: The Escape by Konami, as his opinions of the game do not match those of Arron's. This review as well as the original review by Arron on Razorianfly are located [HERE] The review will be shorter as a lot of the stuff is covered in the original review.

We thought It'd be great to give you a second opinion. Unlike Arron, I have never played the original Silent Hill games on the console version, mainly because of what I heard about them from friends.


Not playing the console version seems to make the experience of playing Silent Hill: The Escape more enjoyable. I was expecting what I received, a dungeon crawler where you had to shoot the coming enemies, just like the recently released Dead Man's Dungeon. What I wasn't expecting from this game was how scary it is. There are some games I enjoy playing at midnight in abandoned hospitals, but Silent Hill just isn't one of those games.

I was not expecting Silent Hill: The Escape to be so scary. Even after level 1 you are already turning corners and having faceless nurses right in front of you. Being impatient when gaming I usually charge around the corners and when I find a nurse or wheelchair in front of me, I was known to drop my iPod out of fright.

The objective of Silent Hill: The Escape is to escape through all 10 levels of the what appears to be haunted hospital. There are five different maps which are used for two levels each. For the second time it is used there is always a graphical change and some things are added, such as bars blocking some ways through. There are no boss levels in the game and once you finish the 10 levels you unlock a new character. There are two characters to unlock in total.

The aim of the game is to find the key and get to the exit without being killed. There are many corners in the levels and turning around them quickly can be deadly. To be killed the enemies just need to walk into you. You have a flashlight that needs to be constantly refueled by batteries to stay bright. If you go for long enough the game will become really dark and alot harder to know what is around you.

You get rated after each completed level on your accuracy, time, distance traveled and an overall mark. There is no need to get a certain mark to go to the next level, but it gives you something to aim for if you decide to go back and play the levels again. I found myself getting bad marks because of how frightened I was getting. Turning around corners is the worst feeling, not knowing if you will walk straight into a nurse or whether it will be safe.

This is a good game graphically. Each level has a different theme about it, and it is good to see as I was expecting one layout for the whole game. Alot of detail has gone into the graphics, and it definitely shows. All the different enemies have been made to give a certain effect. All the ones I have seen are pretty much faceless and just plain creepy. I like the way they got past Apple's gore restrictions with grey blood.

Playing Silent Hill: The Escape with sound is obviously one of the main ways to get scared. It sounds like there is a dodgy radio in the background that gets louder as enemies get closer. Only the music in Silent Hill and Hysteria Project have managed to be even slightly frightening, and good use of music has really made this game enjoyable to play, while maybe not at the time.

I like the way controls have been implemented to suit the iPhone. The only bad thing is the way to walk by dragging your finger around the screen. I would like an actual D-Pad on the screen. Shooting is fine with the accelerometer to aim and tap on the actual target icon on the screen to shoot. When you run out of bullets you have to recharge, which is done by tilting the device until all the shells match up with the actual gun. This is a great idea as you panic when enemies are coming at you and sometimes none of your bullets will fall into the gun. Apart from the controls to move it is implemented to the theme of the game very nicely.

I enjoyed the game, and I found it to satisfy what I expected from Silent Hill. Unlike Arron, not playing the console version hasn't made me expect it to be to the same standards. If you haven't played the consoles versions you are more likely to enjoy this. For those who have played the console versions, just be expected for a corridor crawler.

The US version of Silent Hill is $7.99 but compared to the rest of the world's prices it should be only $5.99. I think Silent Hill would sell better at $4.99 or $5.99 but it is up to Konami. I found Silent Hill very challenging and a great game for those who like horror games. Just don't expect to find your way to the cupboard to get a torch without panicking if the lights go out!

Gameplay- 5.5/10
Graphics- 8/10
Sound- 9.5/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Dead Man's Dungeon

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is an EA Mobile Association Event!

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

Baseball Superstars

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

This is a modified post from TheAppEra

Baseball Superstars is the first baseball game on the iDevice that has caught my attention. Apart from the SGN free game, iBaseball, there was really nothing any good in the baseball sector until Baseball Superstars 2009 came out. There is now 9 Innings: Pro Baseball and MLB Word Series 2009 out. This game doesn’t give the real MLB feel but is a very good cartoon version of the game. With Flick Baseball coming for probably $0.99, I am sure you are wondering why you shouldn’t just wait for that? Well basically this game has weeks on end of playing to get through it all. Add the fact that it has a very addicting gameplay.

This game has 10 competitive teams to play with, 4 unique stadiums to play on, 5 different game modes to master, 3 difficulty levels for your own level of skill and 12 hidden players to choose from (more on this later)! As you can see from all the variations in the game, you will be playing with it for a long time. I have had it for over 50 days and am still playing it daily.

There is a single game mode where you choose your team and your opposition and play 9 innings or more if need be. This mode is the only one where you bat for every player and also pitch the whole time. Great practice for beginners. There is a season mode where you choose your team and play through a season of 36 games to try and win the championship. I don’t really know why this is an option as the Career mode is far better and plays on the same principal.

Career mode is where you will mostly be playing. You create a character and play through his whole career starting out as a lowly skilled batter or pitcher. You can’t be both. You need to work your way up to 16 seasons. You get to buy new equipments for your that improve his stats as well as train him and go to events like dates and interviews to get more money and popularity. This is a lot of fun and is really the only mode I have given much play time with. You can have one batter and one pitcher in career mode at one time, but I mostly play with my batter as it is quick and easy to play matches.

The next mode is a home-run mode where you have nine balls to get as many home runs as possible, and extras if you get combos of more than one home run in a row. This mode is really only to get G-Points to get special upgrades for your career player and to unlock special characters.

The last mode is mission mode where you complete Batting and Pitching missions to again earn G-Points for your player.

The game uses nothing apart from an onscreen controller that is designed specifically for Baseball Superstars. They aren’t in the way of the game and are easy to use. On the left of the screen, there is a d-pad for the menu and for moving your player or ball when batting and pitching. On the right side there is a large button for hitting the ball, a button for canceling a run, one for bunting the ball and a button for running another base if the player has stopped/special powers hit. These don’t take long to get the hang of and are really needed for a game like this.

This game screams out mobile port which it exactly is. Knowing that it was ported means I’m not going to be as harsh as I would be with this game. In my previous review on iFoneReviews I said this “The graphics are certainly cute and are good for the cartoon baseball feel, but they are a bit pixelated. I would have like to seen a bit more of a change between the mobile and iDevice version but they are still nice to look at.” After reviewing the game, Gamevil has responded to this and totally revamped the graphics, providing a greater experience as well as a slight gameplay change. This change is that the batting and pitching is further away from the screen.

This game has alot of sound effects and in-game music to listen to, but I didn’t really enjoy it. While they put a lot of work into everything, there is a few parts which I disliked. First of all, everytime you touch the screen a very annoying beep is made. The sounds would be much more tolerable without the beeping noise.

This is a super fun game. I really enjoyed playing this game as it is quick and easy to play quick matches, but it can also hook you for a whole season or two. For those a bit skeptical about the game there is a lite version to try, but I would go straight for the full version at $2.99. It is worth it!

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 9/10
Sound- 7/10
Overall- 8.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- 9 Innings Pro Baseball

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is Scrabble

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

Preview: Star Defense

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

A majority of us would have heard about the latest game by the amazing iPhone developers NgMoco:). Here is a little preview on their upcoming game, Star Defense

Star Defense

PUBLISHER: ngmoco:)
GENRE: Action & Strategy
DEVICES: iPhone™ & iPod® touch

The Universe is in Your Hands – Created exclusively for the iPhone & iPod Touch.
Beautiful, dynamic 3D environments provide the backdrop to incredible action in Star Defense, ngmoco’s innovative strategy title coming this May to the iPhone and iPod touch.
Use multitouch to spin and zoom entire worlds, examining the terrain to determine optimal locations to position your forces. Select from a broad range of turrets that unleash everything from burning hot plasma to high voltage decimation and defend against an unrelenting onslaught of invader waves. Maximize your recon and plan carefully – each planet has unique pathways to protect, weapons to deploy, and enemies to overcome.
As commander of the Star Defense forces, you must be decisive, brave, and – above all – cunning. The S’rath invaders are shrewd adversaries, regularly fortifying their troops with new unit types, new formations, and new armor. Survival depends on your ability to respond to their maneuvers in real time, strategically optimize your defenses to each world’s distinct layout, and build a mixture of weapon-types that counteract all known alien units and resistances.

Developed by Rough Cookie, Star Defense is being created exclusively for the iPhone and iPod touch by ngmoco :)

• Build your defenses by selecting from 15 weapon-types each with their own specific attributes, firing ranges and reload frequencies.
• Secure and defend an entire galaxy comprising 7 breathtaking worlds. Distinct path layout, enemy types and immunities, and weapon choices combine to create a truly unique gameplay experience on each planet.
• Earn Medals and unlock Commendations by achieving glory in battle and accomplishing specific feats.
• Go for the ultimate survival record by pitting your skills against an infinite number of S’rath invaders, providing endless hours of tower defense action.
• Stunning graphics and 3D environments showcase an amazing galaxy of beautiful planets and backgrounds, incredibly detailed alien invaders, and meticulously crafted towers – this is tower defense like you’ve never seen it before!

2XL Supercross

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

2XL Supercross is a motocross game by 2XL Games. $7.99

This is a modified post from Razorianfly

2XL Supercross is the first game to be released on the App Store by 2XL Games. 2XL Supercross is brought to you by the people who made Motocross Madness, ATV Offroad Fury and MX Unleashed. The tracks are created by Motocross champion Stephane Roncada.

Being one of the few games that have recently been released over $4.99, 2XL Supercross brings the first 'true' motocross game to the App Store.

2XL Supercross is just an amazing game which shows a bright future on the App Store. The game is set in different Motocross stadiums around the USA as you try and beat every track. The game is just amazing in the graphics department looking like it is a game off a console. These by far are the best graphics on the App Store. The game features motorbike sound effects and noises from the crowd. These sound realistic and highly detailed, one of the better games in sound.

I was slightly disappointed with how the game is set up. There are 3 race modes which you can choose to race the 12 tracks and 1 training ground. There however is no career mode, which I would have liked to unlock the tracks instead of its current process. Once I started playing though the racing itself made me forget all about this little let down.

The way to play 2XL Supercross is to try and come in the top 2 of each track to unlock the next track. There are twelve original tracks to unlock. There are some differences between playing this game on the iPhone/iPod Touch 1st Gen and the iPod Touch 2nd Gen. On the iPhone/iPod Touch 1st Gen you are only racing two other riders so unlocking tracks is alot easier, but the game isn't as fun. On the iPod Touch 2nd Gen you are racing four other riders so unlocking tracks is harder but the game provides you with more of a challenge. This is due to some frame rate issues and having less riders will keep performance levels even on all devices.

Practice mode is exactly that, practice at a course. You can practice any course but I generally only use this mode at the Training Grounds. This is as close as you can get to a free ride mode as there is no time limits and no need to rush, a great time to appreciate the graphics in the game. I found this a perfect time to hone your skills with tricks, which I will go into later, and if you are changing your bike, again I will go into that later. While this mode won't be used much on the actual tracks, if at all, it is great for people who want to much around in the Training grounds.

Time Trial is also a fairly self explanatory mode. After choosing your bike and track you are then in a race against time to try and get as fast as possible. There are no other riders and an unlimited number of laps to do. After completing your first full lap then a ghost of your previous time will ride around the course also. This is good because it gives you something to aim for and a knowledge or where you should be on the track to beat the time. This is a good way to practice tracks without the need to worry about other riders wrecking your ride.

The final and best game mode is the race mode. The race has the most options to customize the race. You can choose your difficulty level and how many laps you must complete. The tracks start off very easy with not many corners but as you progress the tracks become longer and more challenging. The objective of the races are to finish in the top 2 which unlocks the next track, but I try and finish first before moving on. These races are alot of fun as there can be hits and crashes that happen between the riders. While there should also be another mode with a career and storyline, maybe to win a world title, these are all very fun modes.

On the tracks there are three main parts to the tracks. They are small bumps, corners and big jumps. On the larger jumps you have the opportunity to do tricks. Currently there are only two different tricks to do. One of these is a tail whip and the other one is a backflip. I will explain how to do them in the controls. These two tricks show how more tricks could be implemented, maybe like the tricks in Vans Sk8. A trick track would be really awesome for 2XL Supercross.

Finally there are three different types of bikes that you can choose. The bike categories are 125cc, 250cc and 450cc. There are so many bikes in each category but all that changes is the color. The bikes have slightly different results on the tracks. I found the 125cc to be slower but better at corners while it was reversed for the 450cc. This is a great way to provide variety in the games.

I'll put it out there right now and then, this is the best game graphically at the date of review. The amount of detail in the tracks and riders is extraordinary. The game is really smooth with no glitches or lags what so ever. I have never had 2XL Supercross crash on me because of their decision to keep the game to a standard that can run on the particular devices. The game looks like it has been ported from a PS3 with the quality of graphics. Not many games at $8 can state that 280/300 or so reviews have given it five stars, and this is one of the main factors.

2XL Supercross features both great music and amazing sound effects. On any of the menu screens and while the game is loading you will find yourself listening to music that you may find at a Crusty Demons event. There are multiple tracks that play in a random order so it never gets repetitive. In the game itself there are bike and crowd sound effects. The crowd will cheer when you overtake someone and boo if someone overtakes you. They are always on your side. The bike makes realistic noise for a real life motocross bike. Being realistic meaning that the sound actually changes depending on what you are doing. For example while in the air or taking off the jump the sound disappears just like it would in real life. The other bikes have their own sound as well and can be heard behind you or in front of you depending on where they are.

The controls for racing are very simple. There are different set ups that you can use so I will go through them each. The one I use is where you have a green button to go and you either let go to slow down or press the red button to brake. To turn you tilt the device left or right and to lean forward or backward you tilt it forward or backward. There is a preload button that if you press it before jumping then you get more air and is helpful when trying to do tricks. There is also an option to use these controls but without the preload button. The other two options feature a slider on the screen or an analog stick to control the steering. All these controls are available in either left or right handed.

To do tricks I found quite challenging. There are to tricks, a tail whip and a backflip. To do a tailwhip while in the air you must tilt you device quickly to either the left or right and back again to land in a straight line. I found this challenging and usually get side on before landing and stacking it. The other more challenging but cooler trick is the backflip. While writing this review I actually managed to pull two while doing a lap of the hardest course, Las Vegas, and I still don't get how they work. Basically you need alot of airtime to complete a backflip. The instructions say to tilt forward before quickly tilting back and the backflip will happen itself. I have yet to find the way to do them except trying that and getting the occasional backflip. These tricks are really fun to try and land but I would like to see more tricks, maybe using the finger swiping method used in Vans Sk8: Pool Service.

This is one of the very best on the App Store. 2XL Games are the first to bring a Motocross game onto the App Store and with quality like this there may be no need for anymore. This is a super game with the great graphics, sound and really fun gameplay. Any Motocross fans or even anyone who has seen or heard the word Motocross should buy this game, thats how good it is. Don't let the price turn you away, if over 90% of people in the US who have put a review on the App Store give it 5 stars then there has to be something good about it.

I can't recommend this game highly enough. It shows what we have to look for when superb racing games like Need For Speed (Out Autumn 09) and Real Racing (Out April 09) and released. Buy this.. NOW

Gameplay- 9.5/10
Graphics- 10/10
Sound- 10/10

Overall- 9.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Motochaser

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Slotz Racer

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Slotz Racer is a racing game by Freeverse. $4.99

Slotz Racer is a unique game on the App Store that has a totally different perspective on what racing games can be. While we all think of racing games as something like Asphalt 4 or Fast & Furious, Slotz Racer takes the action down to our childhood memories with Slot Cars. Alot of us will remember the days of slot cars, a very simple process using one button so anyone could play. Freeverse has taken this concept and turned it into an all out competition featuring multiple cars, tracks and competitions. A free app called Slotz Track Editor lets anyone make their own tracks which can be played on Slotz Racer after entering a simple code. Slotz Racer also incorporates some actual racing features that we aren't used to in Slot Cars like the need for pit stops. At last count the game comes with 23 pre-made tracks varying in difficulty. Some of these tracks are made up for the purpose of the game while others are based off real life tracks. One example of this is the track called Yokohama Test Track. These 23 tracks make up 15 different competitions, ranging from endurance competitions to normal races. For $4.99 this game has quite a bit of content, and the other games modes will keep you playing for a while.

Slotz Racer has quite good graphics and is actually more detailed than I expected for a game based in someones bedroom. The track is always set up on a table and has walls in the background to resemble a room in a house. What really makes this an awesome game is the scenery such as crowds, trees and other objects that make this like a Bird's Eye View of an actual race. In the track editor these items can be added and taken away as pleased and some really cool places can be created. For a game that I didn't expect much in the graphics and really detailed and pleasing to see. The game is very easy to control. There is only one button to do everything. While this doesn't sound very fun it is a challenging game and a a knowledge of how to use the button effectively helps. The one button controls acceleration. You press and hold down to accelerate your slot car, to slow down for sharp corners so you don't crash you just let go of the button. When you are required to refuel your car you let go near the finish line and the car will stop after a short distance. This is a very engaging process as you are continuously braking and accelerating.

Slotz Racer has alright sound effects. While I have yet to find a car game that has got it right, Slotz is one of the better game in regards to how realistic it sounds. Instead of the boring noise of real life Slot cars, they have added sounds that make it sound like an actual car race. The sound effects included are acceleration and crashes. These are alright, but nothing to write home about.

The big thing that appeals to me in Slotz Racer is the amount of game modes available. The three main modes are quick play, single mode and multiplayer. Quick play automatically chooses your car and track and puts you in a 3 lap race. This is good for those who want a quick go while waiting at a bus stop or something. Single player gives you more options to play around with with race modes including Single Race, Championship and Practice. Single race lets you choose your type of race, either from race, time limit endurance and night race as well as the number of laps or time limit as well as how many competitors you are versing. Championship mode gives you a set number of certain tracks to compete in over a same lap or time length. You get points for your placing and if you win you get more tracks, cars and unlock the next championship event. Practice mode is an unlimited race on whatever track you like. There are different types of cars available and are sometimes only available in certain race types. Finally multiplayer lets you play aginst 1-3 other friends on the same iPod, which can be really fun. The same options of track choice etc. still apply. There are many options to play around with including difficulty and CPU crash likelihood, so all races can be changed to alter your experience level. The final part is the track editor, which is also featured in a free side app for those without the game called Slotz Track Editor. This lets you edit and create your own tracks with really the only rule being is that it has to fit on the table. Again this will gives you hours of fun. The tracks can be uploaded to any Slotz Racer game by entering a simple code.

Slotz Racer is alot of fun. If this had no options or different tracks etc. it would be a really boring game. The amount that you can play around with is amazing and and a one of a kind thing. Freeverse are known for the amount of content they stack into their games and of course Slotz Racer is no different. This is great for people of all difficulty levels with the amount of tweaking that can be done to make the game fair for anyone. Those who like racing games should pick this up, but for this really against racing games this may bore you with its simple controls. Those looking for the thrill of building your own track should buy this as in the free version you can't race and test what you build. Excellent work Freeverse.

Gameplay- 8.5/10
Graphics- 8/10
Sound- 6/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Days of Thunder

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Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

[As originally posted on TheAppEra]

iTunes Link

Bugz is a chain reaction game by Didev Studios. $0.99

Everyone knows Sneezies right? They are those cute balls of fluff that you have to save by setting of a chain reaction of cute sneezes. Bugz is based on this very same principal, but with a few altercations like no sneezing! The other main difference between Sneezies and Bugz is that without a doubt Bugz doesn’t look as good and the amount of content. The main thing that attracted me to Sneezies is how good the game looked, all bright and colorful, but Bugz just doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor. Bugz makes up for this with a far better gameplay with many more levels and special items and… Bugz of course.

Bugz is a very simple and addicting game. The aim in Bugz is to pop a designated number of Bugz to progress onto the next level. This sounds just like Sneezies, but unlike Sneezies the game goes a lot faster and getting the timing right isn’t a necessary. The other great new thing that wasn’t in Sneezies is special Bugz and items in the game. During some levels you are required to pop x amount of Bugz as well as two specials Bugz to progress to the next level. Later on, this is made even harder with flowers moving around the screen that will temporarily stop Bugz from moving and can break a chain of pops.

Unlike Sneezies, there is only one game mode. The game involves popping your way through 102 challenging levels, with up to 60 Bugz on the screen at one time. The levels run in a kind of pattern that happens throughout the whole game. On the first level you start out with having to pop at least 1 out of the 5 Bugz. This then gradually increases until you get to needing to pop at least 53/60 Bugz. One it reaches this then the next few levels increase by needing to pop 54/60, 55/60 etc. until you have to pop 60/60. Once you complete this then the whole cycle starts again with added items for increased difficulty. These are either the need to pop a silver Bug also or it adds a flower to the gameplay to disrupt your chains.

The game is more fast paced than Sneezies, with the Bugz being smaller and obviously more agile than the cute Sneezies. I found the game quite easy to be honest, completed all 102 levels without much difficulty. In the 102nd level, I managed to wipe out all Bugz on that level a total of 13 times. What makes this game easier is that the Bugz are much faster so there is more chance they will make it in time to reach one of the rings that are created when the Bugz are being popped. The popping action is much faster and happens at exactly the same speed as the Bugz move, so the game isn’t super easy to finish.

There really isn’t that much you can say about Bugz, because once you have completed the one game mode once I didn’t find much of a reason to actually go and complete them again. The one thing that may bring people to play the game multiple times is the achievements which are made when you pop all Bugz on a level or pop so many Bugz in total. They don’t have any significance to the gameplay though.

Bugz is one of the easiest games to pick up and play, as there is only one button that you need to worry about. While the game is going, all the Bugz are roaming around the screen. You then must make a decision of where to start popping. When you decide touch that spot on the screen, a big bubble will expand before shrinking into nothing. If any Bugz hit the bubble they disappear. This chain reaction is then started and keeps going until either all Bugz are popped or no more Bugz come in contact with a bubble to keep the reaction going. Each turn only gives you one touch of the screen to make the wanted total for that round. If you don’t make the minimum number then the level is restarted. The controls are the same as in Sneezies classic game mode so anyone will pick it up with ease and know how to play first time. Even babies can play this game!

This game is pretty basic in terms of graphics. Unlike Sneezies where they have these bright backgrounds, the Bugz background is just a white screen. I would have liked to have seen a large leaf or something instead of a blank background. The Bugz themselves are pretty basic ladybugs that are different colors. Calling it basic doesn’t mean they look dodgy at all. The main graphics in this game are the bubbles which appear when the Bugz are popped. The bubbles appear in all different “transparent” colors. With lots of these popping the games looks quite cool, as you can see from the screenshot below. Overlapping the pieces also alter/mix the colors as well which is pretty cool.

The sound was really not what I was expecting. I will start with the sound effects. When the Bugz are popped they make a popping noise that sounds kind of like it is Bubble Wrap. This sound is fine but I loved the in-game music more. The music is hard to describe, but it to me seems like a cross between a very happy moment in a cartoon and country music. It gave me a warm feeling inside me and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. It just repeated itself the whole time but just has something about it.

Bugz is a good attempt at a chain reaction game. Sneezies for me is an all round better game with more challenging gameplay and better graphics, but if you are looking for some variety in the game get Bugz. The silver Bugz and flowers are a great addition to the game, but I found the game really easy to complete. I would recommend this game if you have already bought Sneezies, enjoyed it, and wanting more action. For those who haven’t bought Sneezies then buy this if you are looking for an easy game that your little kids can play and prevail on. If you want a challenge then this game probably isn’t for you.

Gameplay- 6/10
Graphics- 7/10
Sound- 9/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Sneezies

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews and some ideas to improve the reviews will be appreciated! Stay tuned, next up is 2XL Supercross

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Space Trader - Moon Madness

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Space Trader: Moon Madness is a trading game by HermitWorks. $0.99

Many of you would not have heard of this game. Basically Space Trader: MM is one of those Dope Wars/Stock market games in a full 3D environment. You may have downloaded Prohibition 3: Candy Wars when it went on the sale price of ‘free’. That game involved travelling around buying candy and selling it at other places for a profit. Space Trader takes this concept to another level adding in three whole environments to explore with something around every corner. Space Trader: Moon Madness is a shorter version of the PC game by HermitWorks called Space Trader: Merchant Marine.

Space Trader: MM is a very addictive game. The game is designed for short play and to have alot of replayability, which it has. It has been designed so it is simple enough to whip out while waiting for a bus or something similar and basically play through the whole game. For those who want to have a longer experience then the exploration part of the 3D environments will add a longer play time to Space Trader. While I found it to be the best game of its genre, it leaves me wanting more than what it has. There are only three areas to travel to and one game mode, I believe there could me more implemented from Space Trader: Merchant Marine in future versions.

As said above, there is only one game mode to play. The objective of Space Trader: MM is to make $300,000 in the amount of time given. Once that mark is reached then the aim is to beat your current high score. You are given 131 days to make this money by the form of buying low and selling high. You begin the game on the moon and a Greeterbot asks you if you have any questions about the game, if not you say so and carry on. You then have to either walk around the space station finding floating objects, with abandoned commodities inside them or to find contacts, or you can take the quick option and choose a contact out of your list on the menu bar. You start off with about three contacts in each space station but as your worth improves, more people will want to trade items with you.

When you get to a contact you are shown a list of items they have to buy. The list shows the item, the price it has recently gone up or down, the percent in change, the current price and a star will be next to it if it is a good deal. Don’t always trust the stars as sometimes there are great deals that aren’t labelled as such. You can start to work out a strategy once you start playing, but each time you play the prices and fluctuations are randomly generated, so each time is unique. After you have made your purchases you then must travel to either the space station in between the Earth and the Moon or Earth itself. Each of these have a different travel time, generally ranging from 7 to about 25 days. Once you have landed on your new station you are free to roam around looking for new ‘hidden’ people such as bartenders that give you information for a price and more abandoned commodities or to go directly to your contacts to sell your items and buy some more.

One variation on gameplay is the Mechanic. He is available at every space station and can be used at any time in two ways which may make or break your game. For $25,000 he can put turbo boosters on your ship so travelling time is shortened. This is good in the long run as it can give you that one extra trip. Doing this at the right time once got me from 500k to 950k. The other option the mechanic provides is to upgrade your Cargo Hold by buying this one item off him. Holding these means you can have more commodities than the 75 maximum you start with.

The game runs like this for the whole time basically, hopefully making your way to a large sum at the end of your trip. Some of the game is based on luck, with the randomly generated item prices but a strategy can help. I tend to buy the dearest thing I can afford 75 of that has gone down in price, so it is basically guaranteed a price rise after travelling. This doesn’t always work as I can go from a round where I am ranked Grand Trader then the next turn I end up being a Bum Trader. There are also supposedly secret missions to complete, but I have yet to discover them.

The controls are not the best. When selecting something to trade or an option when talking to someone, you must first click on the item and then press select. This is alright as it means you don’t make mistakes but can get on your nerves a bit. The only other controls you really need in this game are for walking around the various space stations. I find this terribly set up and needs to be thought out more for the iPhone platform. First of all there are two squares on the screen, you move your fingers in the same direction until you find that you are moving the desired way and not looking up at the ceiling. I find it hard to get where you want to do and would rather the accelerometer or even a D-pad to control you movements. It is very frustrating and needs to be improved in the next update. These controls stop me spending time to look at the view, as they have put alot of effort into their graphics, why waste them?

The 3D world is very well done for a $0.99 game. There is alot of detail and it is bright and defined. While some of the furniture and people are a bit pixelatted around the edges after being ported onto the smaller screen, there are no problems with it. This looks like it could be some type of adventure/rpg game rather than a simple trading game. This is where Space Trader stands out from the rest, and so it should.

Being a space themed game with human traders, I expected some cool out of this world music and the traders talking. I was severely disappointed when I found out that there is basically no sound at all in this game. You get a very basic sound effect when pressing buttons, a cash register sound when buying and selling trades and that’s it. I would have liked to see some effort made in the sound department, but sadly there is none.

This is a great game, and a well welcomed change from the boring text trading games we have seen on the App Store. I love how Space Trader has incorporated the explorable environments into a game based around trading. The unique gameplay that you get everytime keeps you coming back for me, and that high score is always very tempting to try and beat. It has a high replay value, but after a while don’t expect to be playing it too much with only one game mode. With some options to change the time limit, required limit and more space stations, this would be a great game. I would also like to see an online leaderboard to see who the best traders are in the whole galaxy. For those out there who enjoy these type of games, throw out all your other ones and buy this immediately. There is no need to have another trading game, this is a outer space experience you all should have.

Gameplay- 8/10
Graphics- 8.5/10
Sound- 3/10
Overall- 6.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Prohibition 3: Candy Wars

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Vans Sk8 Pool Service

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Vans Sk8: Pool Service is a skating game by Fuel Games. $4.99

Vans Sk8: Pool Service [App Store] is the first game to be released on the App Store by Fuel Games. Vans Sk8 was created to include some big names in skating, with Bucky Lasek and Omar Hassan featured in the game. This is the next step in skateboarding on the App Store, after Illusion Labs brought TouchGrind which focused primarily on rails and tricks on the ground.
Vans Sk8 takes skating to the skies. The game is set in an empty swimming pool instead of the local skate park’s bowl. It is a great change that fits in well with one of the missions, which I will get to later. The game is great in the graphics department and with all the different tricks and movement in the game, it doesn’t lag or glitch up at all. The game has lots of different songs to listen to while playing the game instead of boring sound effects of rolling wheels. Bucky and Omar also feature with some voice input after the game.

This game is one of the best that I have seen graphically. While there is only one pool to skate in, it has been lovingly created and has a lot of detail. It is good to see that games of PSP/DS quality graphics are being made by developers that aren’t well known on the App Store. Games like Vans Sk8 show what the future of the App Store will be, and at the moment it is looking bright. The two characters, Bucky and Omar, have been crafted to actually look like them. I would be proud of this game if I was one of the skaters featured on it. It’s just a superb game.

Fuel Games has done very well to make this game completely reliant on what the iPhone provides instead of putting a dirty D-Pad on the screen. Instead of the old press A-Left or B-Down to pull a trick, you use the touch screen to decide what trick to do. Using one or two fingers, depending on the trick, you touch in the middle of the screen and drag your finger up, down, left or right. If the trick requires two directions then each finger must go in that direction. This is a great idea and makes it very simple to pull tricks. While there are a lot to remember and some challenges require certain tricks, pausing the game lets you have the option to look at the tricks list. To move your skater in the pool you tilt in the desired direction. This is very realistic to real skating as you can’t do quick U-turns in the same spot. While in the air you can tilt left or right to spin while doing tricks so that Lien Air can soon turn into a 720 Lien Air, giving you extra points. Last but not least is the most important part, Grinding. Grinding provides you with a higher number on your multiplier for Timed Run and helps out a lot. To grind you have to hold down two fingers either before you hit the lip or while in the air. You will start to grind as soon as the board gets to the lip. You must tilt left or right to stay upright, otherwise you will stack. To change to a boardslide you take one finger off the screen after already grinding. I have managed to grind for the whole 90 seconds, but it is certainly a challenge.

The soundtrack on the game is done by artists who I believe have tracks in other skating games. I will be playing or even on the menu and think to myself, I’ve heard this song. The game is played with music instead of sound effects of skating. Almost all games like this do that as it heightens the ‘coolness’ factor of the game if it has great music in the background. The songs change regularly and I really enjoy listening to them.

There are two modes of play. One is career mode and the other is free ride. You will be spend 95% of your time in career mode as the only thing quick play offers that career mode doesn’t is skating without a time limit.

Career mode focuses around one event called Timed Run. Career mode starts you off with a very good tutorial to get to know the controls and how to play the game. The tutorial starts with text instructions on how to play the game before taking you into the pool itself. There are some set instructions to do such as steering, grinding and doing tricks. The tutorial can be completed at any time in career mode under the event called ‘Training.

The entire career mode is based around the ‘Timed Run’ mode. The objective of this is to get as many points as you can, as well as achieving certain objectives to unlock more challenges. There are nine other different modes ranging from getting so many points by grinding to picking up trash from around the pool. Each of these nine challenges are unlocked by doing three certain achievements. The challenges can be unlocked in any order depending on what achievements you unlock. For example some of the achievements require you to perform certain tricks or get so many points in the 90 seconds or in your entire career. Getting so many achievements unlocks new skateboard decks for you to use and completing challenges unlocks different wheels to you to use. Currently they do not have any extra attributes or anything attached to them. The challenges are generally a lot harder to complete than getting achievements so it takes a lot of practice to actually win some of them.

The actual game itself runs very much like a console version when the skater is in a bowl, but with different controls. The basic moves are all available likes spins, grinds and aerial tricks. No tricks can be made while skating in the pool however. I don’t want to delve into how the tricks are made as it will all be covered in the Controls section, but they work very well for what the game is trying to deliver. The physics of skating are done well, as on the first time you get air you can’t get high enough to successfully pull off a trick, but you can afterwards. One thing I did find though is that if you land sideways you don’t crash, but I suspect that in real life you would do that while skating. Other than that it is a great game, which has been crafted to give the ultimate skating experience.

This as you can probably guess is a superb game to get. $4.99 for this game is a complete bargain, as I would expect paying upwards of $7 for it. While the amount of variation in gameplay isn’t much, I heard that there are meant to be more bowls and such coming. This is as close as we can come at the moment for a complete skating game like Tony Hawk on the iPhone, with free roam and the ability to do tricks on other ramps and such, but this is an excellent starter. It shows games like this are possible on the iPhone and will hopefully developers will strive to improve. An amazing game in all aspects, right down to the garbage bags that disrespectful people leave in the pool. Anybody who enjoyed Touchgrind or is into skating should check this out. You will have a ‘radical’ experience!

Gameplay- 10/10
Graphics- 9.5/10
Sound- 9.5/10
Overall- 9.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- TouchGrind

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews and some ideas to improve the reviews will be appreciated! Stay tuned, next up is Space Trader: Moon Madness

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Time Crisis Strike

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Time Crisis Strike is a first person shooter by Namco Networks. $5.99

Time Crisis Strike was one of the first FPS games to come onto the App Store. Personally I'm not a big fan of this genre, preferring racing and sport games, but I don't mind playing one every now and then. After playing this for the first time on easy I noticed one thing, it is REALLY difficult! This game generally has a theme of three for everything. There are three game modes, three stages in the main mode, three difficulty levels and three lives. The difficulty levels are different to most games, where you would usually expect the enemies to be weaker or slower. Instead of that, it determines how many hearts or hits you can take before you lose a life. On hard you only have three hearts, on medium you have four hearts and on easy you have five. The game is quite short, but the difficult gameplay and addictiveness of this game means that you will be playing it repeatedly.

This game has the best graphics I have seen by Namco in the five games I have played by them. The game is extremely detailed and has sharp, crisp characters and backgrounds. The graphics could easily look great on slightly older consoles or in arcades, where the game I assume originated from. There are different types of people shooting back at you, ranging from the normal guys to ones with more health that wear different clothing. If this game was as short as it was and the graphics weren't up to scratch, I wouldn't give it a second look. The controls are very simple yet effective. To shoot you just tap on the screen where you want to shoot. I found this a very good option for this game, as quick reflexes are needed instead of trying to fiddle around with where your gun is pointed. To reload and hide from your attackers you tilt the device either forward or backward, depending on your setting. I personally tilt it backward as I can still see and prepare for my next attack. You move from hiding place to hiding place automatically as all enemies are killed in that section.

One big advantage with ported games is that they really don't have to redo the graphics and sound much. Being from an arcade environment, Time Crisis Strike is loaded to the brim with awesome sound effects. There is alot going on in the game, with many sounds of guns being fired from all directions. A few voices are heard during the game, generally a guy telling you to reload. Time Crisis Strike is a joy to play with the sound on, and I have yet to get sick of it.

The game has three different game modes. They are Arcade, One Stage Trial and Crisis Mission. Arcade leads you through the entire game, trying to survive 3 stages that vary in difficulty. The first stage is quite easy and doesn't involve many multiple hits to kill enemies. There is one kind of 'boss' on this level but it is very easy to defeat. The second stage has no 'boss' as such but I found harder than the first stage. The final stage revolves around defeating an extra strong guy at each location in the stage. This is super hard and I have yet to finish it on easy after many attempts. One Stage Trial is the same as Arcade but instead of playing the whole game, you just choose a stage to play. The stages you can play depend on if you have completed them in Arcade, so I can only attempt the first two stages. Crisis Mission is totally different to the other modes. It has all these different missions that you can complete, I believe there are 5 in total. They require things like to kill x amount of people in so many seconds or shoot only the yellow enemies. I have tried it a few times and since they are locked until you complete the one before it. They are as difficult as the rest of the game, and I have only completed the first two. Everything has their own high score board with preloaded high scores. They are set very high and I have only managed to get one of my own score onto these once. Again it sets you another challenge

Time Crisis Strike is a very addictive game. Unlike other games that are easy to complete, Time Crisis Strike provides a great challenge. The game is super smooth and has never crashed yet. This is a great game for those who enjoy needing to play it multiple times before they master it. The gameplay is very fun and the ways the controls have been implemented are very well done. I love the graphics and sound and I believe it is more fun on the iDevice than it would be on a big screen at the arcade. Amazing game, I recommend that you check it out if you enjoy these types of games. Just don't expect it to be an easy experience.

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 9/10
Sound- 9.5/10
Overall- 9/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Metal Gear Solid Touch

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Mini Touch Golf

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Mini Touch Golf is a putt putt golf game by Try This Networks. $0.99

I really wanted to play a Mini Golf game on the iDevice to see how it would work. Since Mini Touch Golf had been out for a while I really wanted to try it out. I was impressed at how the game was played on the iDevice, but it really lacked some key elements to make it a good game. Firstly there only thing you get to do in this game is pull your finger back, let go, and see the ball move. There is no person actually hitting the ball, and this turns into more of a puzzle game with golf elements. The biggest turn off from this game is the lack of holes. There are only 18 holes in the entire game, no more courses or unlockable holes, you are basically stuck with a single course. As you would expect it is quite easy to master the different obstacles and soon this becomes a waste of space on the iDevice. The only thing that may keep you coming back is the online leaderboard, which is flawed anyway, but I will get to that later.

This game has one thing going for it that other games of the genre generally don't have, and that is decent graphics. The game is bright and detailed with all the different obstacles you find around the course. I found nothing to be pixellated and all quite good to look at. Sadly though this is as good as the game gets. The controls for the game are very easy to use, but the way the camera angle shows the game it can be quite frustrating. To hit the ball you start with your finger on the ball, and pull the opposite way to where you want to hit the ball. The further you drag your finger back, the further or harder the ball will be hit. Once you pull back you can change the angle of the shot if it doesn't look like it will work. The only back thing about this is that if you wish to do a bit shot and your finger gets to the edge of the screen, there is no way to cancel the shot or move the camera back in the desired direction. Overall the controls work quite well for this type of game and the bird's eye view you have on the courses.

The game has some in-game music and sound effects. The sound effects for Mini Touch Golf involve the basic sound of a putter hitting the golf ball, even though there is no putter anywhere in the game, and sound when the ball rebounds off objects. The in-game music is what I can describe as an almost circus like tune that replays itself the whole time. It is quite relaxing to listen to, but nothing spectacular.

The game as stated before is very short. The one course is played with the objective to get the lowest score possible. The pars are very hard to reach if you play this game correctly, but there is a serious flaw that automatically makes the game a waste of time. The leaderboard is obviously full of people who have used this tactic. When playing a hole, and you make a bad shot or the ball doesn't go into the hole then you can quite easily select the restart option from the menu. This doesn't restart the game, just the hole and the already made shots are wiped. This one bug just ruins what was left of this game for me. If you don't use the cheat then the game is quite a challenge. I often found myself struggling to make par on alot of the holes. If there were more courses this would be a great game, but sadly it just doesn't feel my needs at the moment.

A very polished game with great graphics and gameplay, but lacking in content. If I were you and wanted to buy a mini golf game, I would try to find a game with alot more courses and for a price like $1.99. The game below that I would say to buy this game if you liked that one, I would get that instead as it has more courses and has promised more to come. This is quite a challenging game, I was just very disappointed in the outcome of the final product though. It's best to stay away from Mini Touch Golf for the time being.

Gameplay- 4/10
Graphics- 8/10
Sound- 5/10
Overall- 5.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Mini Golf Ace

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Fast & Furious

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
This is my first review from Razorianfly! As with my review I brought over from TheAppEra, I generally won't have the reviews doubled up :) Enjoy

Fast & Furious [App Store] is the latest game to hit the App Store from iPlay. It was released to coincide with Fast & Furious opening in cinemas on the same day. I found Fast & Furious to be everything their first racing game, Fast & Furious: Pink Slip, is kicked up to a whole new level. The amount of content with more cars, races and tracks is a welcome improvement.

Inspector Gadget

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

iTunes Link

Inspector Gadget is a platform game by Namco Networks. $4.99

I was quite looking forward to playing this game. What really attracted me to this game was that it was Inspector Gadget, so there would be alot of different gadgets to use. There are a few issues that let this game down though, but could easily be fixed as just a few tweaks need to be made for a 'great' experience instead of just a good one. The biggest turn off factor I found in the game is that you can save your progress, so unless you are doing a quick play level it is a game that must be finished in one sitting. That aside and a few other tweaks that I will address later on, this is quite a challenging and addictive game. There are six levels filled with action and danger. These are played in the same order in the main game and are then unlocked for quick play once you have reached that level. With alot of practice the very last few levels can be unlocked for quickplay.

This game looks and feels exactly like a 2D platformer, which it is. There is alot of detail in this game with all the various obstacles and treasures. The graphics are sharp and bright and provides a very enjoyable experience. Namco didn't take the back door out either and have a different theme for every level. The controls for this game are not what I would have liked. While they work I find that there are too many buttons on the screen if that is the option you are using, as they can be hidden. To walk you must touch the screen in the middle left or right of the screen. To jump there are two buttons in the upper corners which when pressed make you jump that way and both at once lets you jump straight. Two buttons at the bottom let you crouch to avoid enemies and to crawl through small openings. Two buttons are next to the walking arrows and let you use your weapon if you have one. Lastly you can change your weapon in some of the later levels down the bottom. A few changes I would like to see to these buttons are involving jumping, crouches and weapons. Jumping I would like to see no button except you press the left corner to jump the way, same to the right and the middle to jump straight up. Crouching should just be touch anywhere on the bottom of the screen and weapons should be just in the middle of the screen. These are just my thoughts but with its current set-up I am happy playing with them.

The game has some sound effects while playing and a tiny ounce of in-game music. These are pretty basic but give the cartoon feel quite nicely. I would have liked to voice effects like 'Go Go Gadget Umbrella' for example. Overall it is alright, but there is nothing spectacular so I generally jam to my own tracks.

As I said above the game has two games mode, normal 'level' play and quick play. Normal play involves playing up to six levels to save Inspector Gadget. The game ends when you lose all of your 3 lives that you can't get any more, but I found that you can replenish your health somewhat when you find love hearts in the levels. Each level is loaded with many items which boost your score. These aren't needed to finish the level, just to get high scores so if you want to survive I will generally will forget all about collecting them all. In quick play mode it is a good time to collect these items. The six levels vary in what you must do in them. Some of the levels are your classic platformer to escape with some twists. For example one level you must get through the level using two characters in that level, and another lets you change your weapon of choice. There are shorter yet more challenging mini-levels which involves some of Inspector Gadget's cooler gadget's such as the helicopter hat and roller skate shoes. Quick play mode lets you play any already reached level on normal mode. The object of this game is to get the highest score possible.

All in all this is a very fun game, while there are some tweaks I would like to be fixed, most importantly the auto save feature, it is still an addicting game. I found Inspector Gadget very challenging and will keep you coming back again and again for quite a while. The different gadgets are very cool and really make this stand out from other platformers. While some other games like Toy Bot Diaries may be better in my eyes, fans of the series will enjoy this game alot and see similarities between the show and the game. For those not into Inspector Gadget you may find this game less enjoyable but still a good challenge.

Gameplay- 6.5/10
Graphics- 8.5/10
Sound- 8/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Archibald's Adventures

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews and some ideas to improve the reviews will be appreciated! Stay tuned, there will be a Namco Triple Dose with Tamagotchi and Time Crisis Strike sometime along as Vans Sk8 Pool Service for Razorianfly as well as Braineous & Mini Touch Golf

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