iPhone Games Cometh
Apple transforms its Jesus phone into a video game system. Here's some of the App store's many games.
Just in case you haven't heard, Apple just released its shiny new (and super fast) iPhone 3G, along with an Apps store with tons of games and other goodies that make use of the device's motion sensitive technology and touch screen interface. While some are immediately recognizable (Columns, Super Monkey Ball), others, like Comet Cowboy, have us scratching our heads. Some are free, like the limited but amusing iPint, while most cost a whopping $9.99 to play. No matter your taste, however, there is an App for you. Here are some of the more notable ones.
Super Monkey Ball ($9.99)
Sega shoehorns its popular monkey rolling series onto iPhone with mixed results. Although we applaud the company for designing a technically sound and attractive game, the steep learning curve makes playing it frustrating. Like previous versions, the goal is to guide a monkey (encased in a transparent ball) to a goal. You do this by physically tilting the iPhone. It's a novel concept, but the controls are much too sensitive. As a result, you'll probably die more times than necessary.
Ms. PAC-MAN ($9.99)
One of our favorite arcade games comes to iPhone. As the sexy Ms. PAC-MAN, you blaze through 256 stages devouring power pellets and munching on annoying ghosts. Not only can you control the game with a d-pad and arcade knob (via touch screen), but you can also use the phone's accelerometer to move in a desired direction, though we prefer the aforementioned controls since they are more precise. It's a sweet game, but $9.99 for Ms. PAC-MAN? We'll pass.
Bejeweled 2 ($9.99)
Now you can enjoy the gem shattering fun of Bejeweled 2 without waiting for the web app to load. Just download PopCap's addictive puzzle game to your iPhone and play it whenever you want. On the downside, however, the web app is free, as opposed to this $9.99 version.
More tech demo than game, iPint challenges you to skillfully maneuver a pint of beer along a bar without crashing into things or falling off the edge. It features three difficulty levels (with just one level for each), and after you win, you tap the screen to watch an empty glass fill with alcohol. Then you can either tilt the phone to "drink" it, or email a virtual pint to a friend. Hey, we can't argue with free.
Enigmo is a cool puzzle game that tasks you with redirecting the flow of liquid to reach a goal. You do this by pressing the touch screen, adjusting sliders, bumpers and sponges to catch water, oil and lava. Attractive and impressive because of its physics, Enigmo is a cool pickup.
Bomberman Touch: The Legend of Mystic Bomb ($7.99)
Get your bomb on with Hudson's cute adventure game, Bomberman Touch: The Legend of the Mystic Bomb. Using touch screen controls, you guide Bomberman through a series of mazes, flicking bombs at enemies and eventually uncovering the secret treasure of KA-BOOM Temple.
Cro-Mag Rally ($9.99)
One of the few racing games to hit iPhone, Cro-Mag Rally drops you onto nine detailed tracks that take place during the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Eleven vehicles, such as the Bone Buggy, Trojan Horse and Geode Cruiser, await you, and you play by using the phone as a steering wheel, moving it left and right to blast past your opponents and then hit them with weapons like Chinese Bottle Rockets and Heat Seeking Homing Pigeons.
Etch A Sketch ($4.99)
Sometimes, we don't feel like eating ghosts or racing. Instead, we just want to draw, and Etch A Sketch is a cool app that satisfies our inner artists. Using the touch screen to control the knobs, you can draw just about anything, as well as change colors to add more personality to your sketches. In addition to importing photos and drawing funny faces on people, you can also send them to friends. If you hate your drawing or want to start over, simply shake the iPhone to erase.
Although we detest paying $10 for a game that came out almost 20 years ago, EA's Tetris is a good iPhone app. It retains the original's addictiveness and builds on it with new modes and snazzy touch screen controls that let you drag blocks into place. It's cool, but just a bit too expensive.
Bubble Bash ($7.99)
If you played Bust-A-Move, then you already know what to expect from Bubble Bash. You simply aim the launcher with your finger and let a colored ball fly, the goal to link three or more balls of the same color to make them disappear. One hundred levels await you, and things get interesting once enemies (parrots, monkeys, spiders) join the fray.
South Park Imaginationland ($9.99)
Deciding to purchase this game is tough. On one hand, we love South Park. On the other, we have no idea whether Imaginationland is any good. We dig the idea of playing as Butters and bouncing all over the place, but at $10, that's a hefty price to pay for potential crap.
ZEN Pinball: Rollercoaster ($4.99)
From the makers of Pinball FX (available on Xbox Live Arcade) comes ZEN Pinball: Rollercoaster. Score tons of points in this impressive pinball game, which lets you bump the table by shaking the iPhone. With slick 3D graphics and addictive pinball gameplay, this is bound to be a favorite.
Ok, so virtual pets aren't the rage anymore, but for a measly $2, you should check out iGotchi. Downloading the app onto your iPhone lets you care for a fuzzy little critter that needs food, water and love. Pet your new friend by touching the iPhone's screen, and monitor its day-to-day activity wherever you are. Sure costs less than owning an actual pet.