Posts Tagged ea games

World Series of Yahtzee Review

World Series of Yahtzee Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's always a mixed bag when companies try to reboot a franchise. In this case, the outcome ends up being both flashy and fantastic.

Read The Full Review »

Bop It!, the frantic reaction based game, is quite a hit here with my young cousins, much as it was when I was a kid. So it’s nice to see Bop It! offered in another format. Sure there was an iPhone version earlier this year but what child can resist an iPad version of Bop It!? Exactly.

Priced at $2.99, Bop It! HD offers everything we all know and love about the original Bop It! game. Fast reactions and careful listening are vital in order to succeed with the choice of playing alone or teaming up with friends in the new All Play mode, only available in this iPad incarnation.

Multi-touch controls and the accelerometer ensure that the only restriction here is the player’s ability to react in time. 4 different modes, Classic, Basic, Extreme and Blitz, keeps the action feeling fresh. Players can even unlock Bopjects as they progress.

All the fun with a cool modern twist. The ideal way to entertain the kid and at a mere $2.99. Check it out now.

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-09-15 :: Category: Games

RISK Review

RISK Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
RISK is an epic, sprawling strategy game with a diehard following. But while this app delivers the core of what makes Risk fun, it's also lacking in important areas. No global multiplayer, house rules, or extra maps make this port one of dubious value.

Read The Full Review »

When the iPad first launched, there was some muddle on the App Store about how to distinguish regular iPhone-sized apps from iPad apps. After some experimentation (XL was floated for a while), most developers settled on using “HD” to denote iPad-specific apps. For example, “Angry Birds HD” is Angry Birds…for iPad.

Now EA Games has to go and mess things up with NCAA® Football by EA SPORTS HD. Guess what? It’s an iPhone 4-exclusive title.

Does your head hurt yet?

Look, EA, we get it. Your football game has fancy graphics that take advantage (nay, require!) the iPhone 4′s Retina display. And I know that you’re a gigantic company, but big companies have to follow the rules, too. And the rules of the App Store, informal though they are, state that the “HD” moniker is reserved for iPad titles.

This does bring up an interesting point, though—how do we differentiate between all of these platforms? We have apps for iPad, for all iPhones, for iPhone 4′s; and then we have universal apps, some of which are optimized for the iPhone 4′s Retina display and some which aren’t. And what about the next iPhone and iPad? My guess: other than “HD” for iPad, we’ll have to rely on app descriptions, unless Apple steps in.

Still, EA, as it stands now “HD” signifies an iPad release. You’re doing it wrong!

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-06-24 :: Category: Games :: Simulation

Christmas is quickly approaching, and sadly, so is the end of many of these deals. But don’t despair yet, because the sales just keep rolling in. Namco just kicked off their “winter sale” yesterday, and EA is back in the game, too!

At least this is a nice surprise from EA! EAMobile just sent out two tweets saying, “The following titles will be up to 50% off for the rest of the holiday season! Happy Holidays everyone! Boggle, Madden 10, NBA Live, Rock Band, Surviving High School, Wolfenstein RPG, American Idol, and more!”

“And more?” Shockingly, that “and more” includes the likes of Scrabble, Tetris, and Need for Speed: Shift. Mysteriously, some titles that were supposed to stay at $0.99 ’til Christmas are now at higher prices (Auditorium is still on sale but now at $1.99), so don’t trust that these sales will last…especially on the games not named in that tweet. Grab ‘em while they’re here and all that.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-18 :: Category: Games

$7.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-31 :: Category: Games

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-09-09 :: Category: Games :: Sports

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-26 :: Category: Games :: Simulation

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-19 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-16 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-05-15 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-05-06 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-13 :: Category: Games

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-11-14 :: Category: Games

Today’s Appvent Calender freebie, Sponge Dude, is a physics-based combination of puzzle and platformer. The main character is an elastic sponge, who is sadly missing his arms and legs—meaning that you need to help him reach the end of each level using different mechanics like bombs (open doors and propel the sponge) and balloons (for flying). It looks a bit crude, and certainly isn’t on the level of previous offerings like MiniSquadron, but might be worth a look.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-12 :: Category: Games

Phew…this article is getting pretty long. But one quick PSA: If you own an iPhone and have yet to experiment with a GPS app, you may want to give Copilot a try. Don’t worry—this one isn’t one of those $100+ apps; instead, it’s normally priced at $35 and is on sale for a mere $19.99! Here’s what founder Jeff Scott had to say whilst reviewing it in our September GPS round-up:

“CoPilot live is one of the newest contenders in the iPhone GPS arena. And I must admit that before the iPhone version I had never heard of them before. This could be why I was so pleasantly surprised by this GPS app. It’s fairly full featured, fast, and I think it’s my new favorite GPS app.”

It’s a newbie in the arena, sure, but given both its solid performance and its killer price, brand name doesn’t matter all that much!

$19.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-13 :: Category: Navigation

We have three deals for you folks today. First of all, EA has ten games on sale, many of which are a measly 99 cents. Some of the higher-priced ones are still good deals, too; Command & Conquer, for example, just received a multiplayer-enabling update and is now half-priced! EA Games has announced that these ten sales will last ’til Christmas, with no new ones forthcoming. Check out the list from yesterday’s post here.

cabby_screenshotCabby
Now for our normal Appvent Calender goodies. “Cabby” is a flying taxi game with 3D graphics, and it looks pretty darned good! Here’s the description from the developer:

“Cabby is a side-on 3D thrust-based game which puts the player in the driving seat of a flying taxi! Select from 10 different vehicles and fly through 15 unique levels, collecting customers and parcels as you go. Get your customers to their destinations as quickly as possible to earn a big tip!”

Sporting ten different vehicles, fifteen levels, and both Career and Arcade modes, Cabby looks like a nice little game. And, heck, who doesn’t like flying taxis?

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-11-16 :: Category: Games

Air Cadets
In keeping with the Appvent Calender theme, the developers of Cabby have decided to make one of their other games free, permanently! Air Cadets is a simple airplane simulator with accelerometer controls. If you’re looking for a new toy, you might as well give this one a shot.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-12-05 :: Category: Games

Squarepeg Game
Meanwhile, we have yet another free app for you folks to try! Squarepeg Game is billed as “Sudoku, but with shapes!” It’s a different spin on the traditional peg puzzle, in which you must get all your shapes down their appropriately holes. This free brain teaser comes with 16 free levels for your enjoyment, though you can also download more. The graphics aren’t what I’d call slick, but, hey, it’s a free puzzle, right?

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-07 :: Category: Games

That’s it for today’s Daily Double! Let us know if you plan on delving into EA Games’ mega-sale…I’m curious as to what you think. Personally, I was hoping to get The Sims 3 at a lower price or something, but it’s not a bad deal nevertheless.

Well, well, well. Apparently EA Games doesn’t want to put some of their top-selling titles like Tetris, Sims 3, and Scrabble on sale, because they’ve changed the terms of the 25 Days ‘Til Xmas Sale. Instead of offering a new game for sale each day, ten games will be on sale for the remainder of the holiday season. These are mostly ones that we’ve seen before. Here’s the full list, with brief descriptions:

Spore Origins
Spore Origins is based around the first stage of the Spore PC game, in which you play a tiny creature (your “Spore”) and must swim around the “primordial ooze,” avoiding larger creatures while devouring smaller ones. As you eat, you’ll eventually evolve, adding parts and customizing your creature. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-09-05 :: Category: Games

Snood
Snood is an age-old game that everyone should recognize. While it’s a classic, we unfortunately found this to be a “baffling, inexplicable, and aggravating” port. Besides, there are plenty of bubble-popping clones to choose from if you really, really need this kind of game. If you’re a diehard fan, though, this is probably the time to get it. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-17 :: Category: Games

Auditorium
I’ve repeatedly praised Auditorium for its uniqueness and polish. You manipulate a stream of light to create music using “controls,” which alter gravity, directional flow, speed, and more. Auditorium is both soothing and challenging, and a worthy addition to any library. On sale for $0.99.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-13 :: Category: Games

Sudoku
EA Games’ incarnation of Sudoku oozes polish. Sure, there are free versions out there, but if you’re looking for a well-done paid app with a sleek oriental theme, look no farther. Speed demons might be annoyed by EA’s signature insistence on animating things, but there’s no denying that it look pretty. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games

Connect 4
The iPhone version of Connect 4 doesn’t add anything particularly exciting to the age-old game, though it’s certainly a decent port. The graphics are good and there a few bells and whistles to spice things up, such as a myriad of multiplayer options (local only, though, via Pass ‘n’ Play, WiFi, or Bluetooth). If you’re dying to get it, now’s the time; otherwise, there are more engaging concepts out there than this one. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-27 :: Category: Games

Anytime Pool
It’s pool. With multiplayer. To be precise, Facebook multiplayer, which means that finding an opponent shouldn’t be too difficult. We haven’t reviewed this one, but it looks promising enough that, coupled with the new price, fans of pool games should definitely take a look. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-05-06 :: Category: Games

Zombies & Me
In this little game, you’re in charge of protecting Granny from the hordes of zombies outside her house. To do so, you must run around in circles, attempting to lure the zombies into designated “blast zones.” It’s simple, but the graphics are solid and it should be worth a chuckle or two. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-07-12 :: Category: Games

Jewel Quest Mysteries
This cheesily-themed game is combo of the match-3 and hidden-item genres. It’s managed a rather incredible feat, however, maintaining a 5-star App Store rating. While I doubt you’ll find much innovation here, it looks like it maintains the addictive qualities so important to its genre along with enough polish to make it a contender. On sale for $1.99.
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Mystery Mania
Mystery Mania is a collection of small puzzles with limited challenges and low replay value, but, heck, it’s a quarter of the price it was when we reviewed it. If you’re looking for some light mental exercises wrapped up in a Halloween theme, at least give Mystery Mania’s light version a spin. On sale for $0.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-09 :: Category: Games

Command & Conquer Red Alert
Command & Conquer is a pricey RTS based on the popular franchise, but at least the price has been slashed! We gave it a solid four stars even at its former $10 price point, but if you were on the fence before, there’s no excuse to skip this one now. On sale for $4.99.
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And…that’s the end of EA’s list. Good lord, that should keep everyone occupied for a while…though I am disappointed that blockbusters like the Sims 3 won’t be on sale.

Cheese Collect
Let’s return to normalcy, shall we? Here’s the Appvent Calender’s offering for today:

The cat is trying to attack you again! In this fun puzzle game, you are a mouse who tries to steal cheese without setting off the traps set by the cat. However, everytime you move, the cat would move the cheese away from you, unless there’s no space for it.

I haven’t tried Cheese Collect for myself, though the App Store reviews have been overwhelmingly negative. Oh, well…at least it’s free, right?

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-17 :: Category: Games

That concludes our Daily Double for today!

We continue our Daily Double article with another bonus freebie in addition to the Appvent Calender. While the Appvent Calender is offering Balcassa, a slider puzzle-Rubik’s Cube combo, Gogogic has just released their multiplayer game Soft Freak Fiesta, and it’s only free for today! Not to be left out, EA Games is throwing us a familiar puzzle game, Sudoku, for the rock-bottom price of a buck.

img_00084Sudoku
Oh, Sudoku, the puzzle that took my school system by storm. I think I’ve seen enough of these boxes to last me a lifetime, thank you very much, but if you’re a fan of the games, EA’s version is sure to delight. While it might be one of the older apps in the store, it retains all of the graphical glitz of all of EA’s apps. Unfortunately for speed-demon serious players, the animations might get annoying as they slow you down. We looked at it in February, and found it to be a slickly presented clone of an age-old concept:

“Sudoku’s presentation is top-notch. The whole user interface is very slick and has a nice oriental vibe to it. Actual game play is very refined and the way annotations and hints are integrated is simple and easy to use. Initially three difficulty levels are available. You accrue Sudoku points by winning games and those are used to unlock two additional difficulty levels.

When you start a new game you can turn on error checking. This will instantly reveal whether you’ve correctly filled in a cell or not. In-game hints can reveal a particular cell’s value, and you can ask the game to annotate all cells if you wish. These all reduce the number of Sudoku points earned. In-game help explains all modes and aides.”

It’s not going to get any cheaper than this, folks. Grab it quick!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Games

image006Soft Freak Fiesta
Yeah, it’s not part of the normal Appvent Calender, but you can’t pass on this one! We previewed it a few weeks ago and thought that it had a lot of promise, given a large-enough player pool. Obviously anticipating that a lot of players are necessary to make this game work, Gogogic has made Soft Freak Fiesta free for its first day! Here’s a snippet from our preview article:

Soft Freak Fiesta is a sort of last man standing game take on marbles played out in turn on various game boards. While there are various game modes, they all have you aiming, bouncing, and rebounding your characters in the quest to destroy the players on the other team.

Complete with cartoony graphics, 3 types of Soft Freaks, 3 modes, and 5 levels, Soft Freak Fiesta looks like a lot of fun. You might as well give it a go while it’s free, right? You can connect with friends using WiFi or Bluetooth, or play with anyone on the game’s servers.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-15 :: Category: Games

balcBalcassa
Like I said, Balcassa is a slider puzzle/Rubik’s Cube combo. It looks pretty complex at later levels, so puzzle fans looking to stretch their brains a bit should be interested. Here’s what the developer has to say:

“Balcassa includes a variety of games offering hours of increasingly challenging game-play. The object of each of the games is to rotate a number of cubes into a sequence, a pattern or orientation by moving them around the screen. In some games it may be enough to get each cube into position with the correct side showing, while in other games rotation of the cubes must also be considered. The idea is simple, the solution is not!”

If you’re interested, remember: this “sale” is one day only!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-19 :: Category: Games

Well, the weekend might be over, but the sales certainly aren’t. EA Games has Auditorium on sale for $0.99, and the Appvent Calender is giving away Elf for free.

IMG_0242I think I’m suffering from de ja vu…wasn’t Auditorium on sale earlier this month? It was, actually, but if you missed it then this is the time to get it. I gave it a 4/5 and praised it for having all of EA’s signature polish along with the inventiveness of an indie title. Auditorium is a puzzle “of light and sound” in which you manipulate a stream of light particles to get it to reach its intended destination. Once you fill the “Audio Containers” with light, music starts to play. While it’s a bit hard to explain, it’s incredibly intuitive and very soothing. For $0.99, this is an absolute steal.

“The puzzles will make you think, and it feels almost like an art piece at times. But it’s a vibrant, beautiful game, and thoughtful gamers may find themselves in love. The only downside is the (relatively) short number of included levels, though more can be obtained via in-app purchase.”

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-13 :: Category: Games

788048_2The developer Matmi brings us a jump-higher game with an appropriate theme. Elf’s graphics are light-hearted and well-done, and the game as a whole looks pretty good. Sure, it might not be that different from other App Store mainstays like Doodle Jump, but it’s free, and sports much-appreciated functions like global and local leaderboards. Here’s what the developer has to say:

It’s Christmas morning and there’s magic in the air, enough to send an elf soaring into the stratosphere. While Santa’s away, Irving the Elf like nothing more than leaping skyward, stepping on stars and bouncing on baubles trying to get as high as he can! Build your boost and collect candy canes for a point bonus while you help Irving hit the heavens, but watch out for the twisted tinsel, its pointy prickles will put a real crimp on your day.

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It’s hard to believe that our countdown to Christmas is halfway over. (24 days in December before Christmas, and today’s the 12th!) I hope you all have your holiday shopping done. This Saturday morning comes with our two daily deals. Today, EA Games has Spore Origins on sale for $0.99, while the Appvent Calender is featuring iPharaoh Episode 2 from Studioufo.

spore_origins_iphone-thumb-430x287Early perusers of the App Store may remember Spore Origins. I know that when I first bought my iPod, Best Buy was giving free copies of the game away with every iPod Touch…that seems so long ago! Anyway, while this game is over a year old, don’t let that deter you. Spore Origins is based around the first stage of the Spore PC game, in which you play a tiny creature (your “Spore”) and must swim around the “primordial ooze,” avoiding larger creatures while devouring smaller ones. As you eat, you’ll eventually evolve, adding parts and customizing your creature. One word of warning: it appears to use accelerometer controls without calibration options. If that’s not a problem for you, go ahead and try it out!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-09-05 :: Category: Games

iPharaoh is an original action-puzzler with a delicious mummy theme. I’ll let the game’s description speak for itself:

Your Pharaoh, peacefully resting inside an ancient Egyptian tomb is disturbed by the sound of hammers pounding away at his tomb.
Your mission is to defend your Pharaoh and his treasures from greedy treasure hunters by using the Pharaohs mighty powers to control mummies, giant cube stones, sliding doors and moving walls.

It looks surprisingly good, and it’s far more original than many games in the App Store. You’ll need both strategy and speed to excel here. Listening to the YouTube video, it sounded like the audio might become annoying after a few plays, but the mechanics looked solid and addicting. Heck, it’s free. App Store reviews have been largely positive, and the developer clearly plans to update: an endless survival mode is promised with the next one. Grab it before the day’s out!

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-17 :: Category: Games

IMG_0272Now for a truly awesome deal: Super Monkey Ball 2 is now 50%, which drops it from the premium tier down to an easier $4.99. The original Super Monkey Ball was one of the earliest and most ambitious App Store games, though it was plagued by rocky controls. Its successor has souped-up graphics, 115 levels, and Wi-Fi multiplayer. Be sure to read our review:

“Super Monkey Ball 2 is a huge step from its original self. While some isolated reports have come in of problems with the game crashing on the second generation iPod touch, in my experience of playing on an iPhone 3GS, gameplay was both smooth and fluent. Within superb in-game graphics, and an upbeat infamous sega-esque soundtrack to boot, Super Monkey Ball 2 is just one of those games you can pick up and play.”

Seeing as its original price is $9.99, this is the day to get it if you’re on the fence. The sale is for this weekend only!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-12-01 :: Category: Games

EA Games has given us a great gift in preparation for the weekend: we have not one, but two great franchises on sale for $0.99. Both Boggle and Life have had their prices slashed to just under a dollar, while the Appvent Calender is featuring Crazy Snowboard, a 3D snowboarding game from eZone.

2I looked at Life myself a few months ago, and it’s a great port of the classic board game. Almost every element makes the transition well, from the spinner to the colorful graphics to the fortunate and unfortunate events that happen to your poor character. Playing board games solo can be a lonely experience, but Life’s AI’s are competent and you can fast-forward through their turns; on the other hand, if you actually have a group of friends who want to play Life, EA’s Pass ‘n’ Play is here too. There are no corners cut when it comes to production values, and this is just one more great board game port in EA’s giant stable. Sure, it relies heavily on “traditional” family ideals (everyone gets married, everyone gets a house, unemployment blissfully lasts for a few seconds at most), but if you’re nostalgic for the old game, go for it while it’s cheap.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-13 :: Category: Games

IMG_0114-300x200Boggle is another great game, and one that word fans should love. When we looked at this September, it had all the bones of the great game but sadly it was missing some things:

I was interested to finally see Boggle launch on the App Store and more than ready to try it out. What I found was a good 1.0 game with an interesting approach but lacking a lot of the polish that the veteran apps have added along the way…There are some great features in the Advanced mode of this app, but the rest seems like it needs time and polish.

Take that recommendation with a grain of salt, however. Since we reviewed it, much-wanted updates have brought new features like Pass ‘n’ Play, and some bugs have been ironed out. Plus, hey, it’s Boggle. Any word fan can tell you that along with Scrabble, crosswords, and word finds, Boggle-style games are a nearly-ancient standby. You won’t find this game for cheaper—at least not an official version—so if you’ve been on the fence, this is the time to buy.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-31 :: Category: Games

And, finally, the Appvent Calender brings us Crazy Snowboard. Not Crazy Snowboarding, mind you, but Crazy Snowboard. What can be crazy about a simple board, I wonder?

Anyway, this looks like it follows the familiar track of snowboarding games. The graphics are great, and there’s a lot of content, too; thirty missions are included and you can unlock a number of boards and riders. You can grind on rails, boxes, logs, and candycanes, and it just looks like an awesome freebie for fans of such games. Future updates promise to add Plus+ support and leaderboards. For a sports game, this seems to have quite a bit of depth, and you can’t beat the price.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-10-30 :: Category: Games

Today is a great day for freebies! Not only is the Appvent Calender featuring Blimp, a great steampunk-themed flying “platformer,” but we also have a bonus treat. Elf Command, a simple holiday game, has just been released and is also free. EA, on the other hand, has Mystery Mania discounted to $0.99, but I’d pause before jumping for that one.

blimpLet’s start with Blimp. Like I said, it’s got a steampunk theme, and as such you play the captain “Zed Pelin,” who has his very own airship (er, blimp). The production values are top notch; eye candy and awesome music are both amply present. You have three main tasks: transport passengers, collect war supplies, and bomb enemies including tanks and other blimps. The gameplay is relatively simple but looks rather fun, and you can’t beat Blimp for polish. Make sure you grab this one before the day’s end, because it’s an absolute steal.

$1.99
Released: 2009-06-09 :: Category: Games

Now for EA’s Mystery Mania sale. The good news? The game’s only $0.99, and it’s packed with plenty of puzzles. The bad news? It’s not quite up to par with EA’s other releases. This “spooky” puzzle adventure was dubbed “slow” when we reviewed it in October:

The complete game consists of 27 spooky rooms full of “crazy conundrums, perilous traps, and intriguing secrets”. I can appreciate what they have tried to do here with the puzzles and solving the mystery, but it just was far too lackluster for me. All the puzzles seem to be at level 1, and when you progress from room to room, they don’t seem to get any harder. Most are so obvious and easily solved that you can, at times, feel like you are just going through the motions.

Still, that’s not to say that Mystery Mania isn’t worth looking at; $0.99 is a lot better than $3.99, and fans of lighter, simpler puzzles might find themselves happy.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-09 :: Category: Games

We’ll wrap up today with a bonus freebie: Elf Command, a new game from Retro Dreamer, makers of Sneezies and Eyegore’s Eye Blast. It’s simple, but both addicting and difficult as the game moves on. The screen is split into two halves; each half has a conveyor belt, a robot, and two shipping stations. Pictures flash on the shipping stations’ screens, and you have to direct the robots to snatch the right toys from the conveyor belt. For a free holiday game, it’s surprisingly fun. Definitely check this one out if you need another little time-waster.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-12-04 :: Category: Games

This Wednesday brings us an old port from the PlayStation from EA and a quirky pirate-themed platformer called “Wheeler’s Treasure” from the Appvent Calender. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

IMG_0003Pandemonium – $0.99
I wrestled with Pandemonium when I first reviewed it, I’ll admit. It’s a 2.5-D platformer ported from the original PlayStation, and unfortunately its age shows. The level designs are entertaining at first, but failed to keep me hooked; dodgy controls and annoying lag kept me from enjoying the better aspects of the game. Not everything is bad here, though. Pandemonium does have the nostalgia factor going for it, and it has a certain charm. Supposedly, OS 3.0 helps with the lag, and iPhone 3GS and third-gen iPod users will likely experience better results anyway. I still doubt that it’s worth five bucks, but for a dollar, old fans may want to take a second look.

Here’s a peak at how gameplay works, from my review:

Each “world” had multiple levels, and the goal of each level is to make it from Point A to Point B. Sounds simple, right? A typical collection of enemies conspires to block your path and you have to either kill or avoid them to make it through. I really enjoyed some of the level designs, straightforward though they were. Run, jump, kill things…that’s just about it, but Pandemonium does it pretty well. Using the environment to your advantage is key, whether you’re jumping on bouncy watermelon-like things or riding a geyser to the next platform. Hearts, jewels, coins, and other random items can be found floating in the levels to aid you on your quest for Point B.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-04-28 :: Category: Games

screenshot2Wheeler’s Treasure – Free
What’s this? Might the free game be better than the paid one today? I can’t give a definite opinion on that, but Wheeler’s Treasure certainly looks like one of the better Appvent Calender offerings to date. Your character chases a wooden wheel through the level, trying to keep going for as many “yarrrds” as possible. There are obstacles to dodge, ranging from flying crows and cannonballs to deadly pits and skeletons, and treasure to collect. Some items, like a pirate’s hook, will help you survive your fast-paced travels. The graphics and audio both seem solid, too. Sure, the controls could be more precise, and the premise is ridiculous, but Wheeler’s Treasure looks like a great swashbuckling diversion. And, heck, it’s free. I’m not going to complain. Compared to the mix of apps we’ve seen so far from the Appvent Calender, Wheeler’s Treasure lands firmly in the land of “good.”

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-31 :: Category: Games

img_00233 Today’s Daily Double comes with a real gift from EA Games: Clue for $0.99. Meanwhile, the Appvent Calender is featuring Ickle Count (a kid-oriented counting game), and Gamevil has a bit of a bonus for us, too: Hybrid: Eternal Whisper is on sale for $2.99 for a limited time.

Let’s start with Clue. While this is wrapped in all of the traditional board game’s branding, it’s actually not the game you’re familiar with. Instead of a board game in which you compete against other players or the computer, it’s a one-player mystery-fest in which you step into the shoes of a sleuth. Once again, Mr. Boddy has been murdered, and it’s up to you to figure out which of his devious guests is at fault. We looked at Clue back in June:

Albeit quite different from the traditional Clue board game experience, this app is an excellent mystery solving puzzler. Some have criticized this game for being C.I.N.O., Clue in name only, if you will, but that is a strong criticism for an iPhone adaptation which retains much of the original whodunnit Clue spirit.

Given that this game usually goes for $4.99, this is the day to get it if you’re looking for a detective-style app. Has anyone else noticed that EA is putting a lot of its summer releases on sale?

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-05-15 :: Category: Games

The Appvent Calender’s offering is much less serious. Ickle Count is light-hearted and colorful—and above all, simple. The name of the game is counting. Numbered divers float in the water above a sea monster, and it’s your job to tap them in sequence as quickly as possible before time runs out. From the bright graphics to the silly theme, it’s clear that this one is targeted towards younger children, not older gamers.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-17 :: Category: Games :: Kids

IMG_0019So far we’ve had a morbid mystery and a cheerful counting game. Adding to the mix is Hybrid: Eternal Whisper, which differs starkly from our other two deals. Hybrid is a hardcore combat-based RPG with a fantastic combat system, a good amount of customization, and a heavy emphasis on combo moves. Unfortunately, it’s hampered by heavy dialogue and load screens, but for a serious gamer, the combat makes it all worth it. A recent update also added a great “battle only” mode. While this isn’t technically part of the Daily Double, it is on sale—50% off, in fact, which puts it at $2.99.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-18 :: Category: Games

That brings today’s Daily Double to a close. As always, we’ll be back tomorrow!

Auditorium

Auditorium

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
EA's Auditorium is a musical puzzle delight with all of EA's polish and the inventiveness of an indie studio. While more content would be highly appreciated, Auditorium is still a treat.

Read The Full Review »

Ah, wasn’t the weekend nice? Unfortunately, Monday is here. At least we get some sales as a consolation prize, right? As usual, here are the daily goods from EA Games’ 25 Days Til Xmas sale as well as the Appvent Calender.

img_00096First up is Mass Effect Galaxy from EA, which is on sale for $0.99, down from $4.99. That’s one heck of a price drop, especially from EA. The basic premise, as outlined in our review, is as follows:

The fate of the human race is at stake; alien terrorists are plotting to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy with a deadly biological agent. You assume the role of Jacob Taylor; a biotic-powered super soldier who must intervene in order to preserve mankind’s right to exist.

Bioware intended the iPhone game to bridge the gap between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, and though it’s by no means a necessary buy if you want to understand the second game’s story, it does add some background information. It’s a third-person shooter complete with dialogue and cutscenes. We gave it a 3.5 / 5 back in June. Be sure to read the full review for more a more detailed look at the game.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-06-22 :: Category: Games

media.1Meanwhile, today’s Appvent Calender release brings us Polyhedra, a pastel-colored take on the “fill-em-up” game. (Fans of “Just Fillin,” an early App Store success, will find extremely familiar gameplay here.) You start each level with a colorful screen, empty except for a few bouncing particles. Tap a spot, and a bubble/polygon grows around your finger; release to complete the polygon. If your polygon hits a particle before it’s complete, it pops. You’re given a limited number of polygons per level, and you have to fill at least two-thirds of the screen to progress. As you beat more levels, other “zones” are unlocked with different polygon shapes. There’s also a “toy box” mode for just playing around. If you’re looking for a good casual game, this is one to grab; while it might not be an original game concept, at least the execution is solid.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-11 :: Category: Games

That’s it for today’s specials, but there will be more tomorrow. Check back then!

Well, I decided to call this column the “Daily Double” because of EA’s 25 Days Til Xmas Sale and Blacksmith Games’ Appvent Calender, but EA has decided to mess me up by having two games on sale today: Auditorium and Surviving High School are both on sale for $0.99. Meanwhile, the Appvent Calender is featuring Totemo, a casual puzzle game with some nice graphics.

IMG_0242I actually played Auditorium for the first time last night, and let me say that this game is fantastic. It has all the polish of an EA app with the inventiveness of an indie game. It’s hard to describe how the game works, but once you play it, everything is intuitive. It’s a soothing puzzle game in which you divert beams of light into containers to create sound. The level designs are elegant, and there are multiple solutions to each stage. Once you complete a level, you’re left with a “symphony of light and sound.” It’s beautiful and quirky, even if it is lacking a bit on content. (You can buy additional level packs via in-app purchase.)

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-13 :: Category: Games

Surviving High School is an app-store success in which you take on the role of a high-school student. There are the usual tribulations—fights, girl drama, and so on—that you’d expect of high school life. The App Store reviews are mostly positive, though many have complained about not being able to play as a girl; you can shape your character into jock or nerd, popular guy or hated outsider. Plus, each week brings a new “episode,” introducing new content that replaces the old. It seems to have garnered quite the following.

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-16 :: Category: Games

The Appvent Calender is clearly working as a developer promotional tool; according to Blacksmith Games, the previous apps have all managed to surge into the Top 100 Free list. Today’s offering is Totemo, a puzzle game with good graphics and a totem-pole theme, even if the gameplay isn’t overly original (it’s a twist on the math-3 formula). Totemo includes both a Story mode and a frenetic Survival mode, and should be worth a download for puzzle fans.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-31 :: Category: Games

Daily deals are apparently popular this Christmas season. Between Blacksmith Games’ daily free app from the Appvent Calender and EA Games’ 25 Days Til Xmas Sale, there are a lot of one-day-only specials to keep track of. While EA Games isn’t offering any free games, they’ll be offering up to 80% off on one game per day ’til Christmas, with some games as low as 99 cents. As for the Appvent Calender…well, you’d be crazy to pass up on free games. So, from now on, we’re going to try and update you daily on these awesome deals.

screenshotToday’s freebie is Snorkeling, a game from Alfonso Bonzzelli. I’m still trying to figure out why there’s a fishing bear, but it certainly looks worth a download. Here’s what the developer has to say:

“Snorkeling is a funny, simple and intuitive game. You have to swipe your finger on the screen to move the bear cub and catch as many fish as possible (the good ones!). There are different types of fish, each one worth a certain number of points. Be careful to stay away from the bad fish or you will die and remember that you can’t stay underwater for long without recharging your oxygen.”

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-11-04 :: Category: Games

IMG_0114-300x200

Meanwhile, EA Games has Boggle on sale for $0.99 today. While Billy suggested that fans of the game wait, it’s not going to get any cheaper than this, and Boggle is one of the classic games that all word fans need. The latest update added Pass ‘n’ Play multiplayer, and the game’s wrapped with all the graphical polish you’d expect from EA. An Advanced mode adds some extra strategy to the mix. Make sure to read our detailed review!

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-31 :: Category: Games

And for today, one bonus deal: Ramp Champ is also free. It’s a playful take on skee ball from Iconfactory that should provide some simple fun. It includes four different games, each with points and goals; trophies and prizes can be collected as well.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-08-25 :: Category: Games

We’ll be posting our “Daily Double” feature tomorrow, too. Be sure to check back!

MONOPOLY

MONOPOLY

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
This classic version of MONOPOLY finally brings the real version to the iPhone. While it's got a few rough edges, it's still a good port of a fantastic board game.

Read The Full Review »

IMG_0028For a long time now, I’ve been using the Lexulous app exclusively for my online Scrabble games. Why? Well, even if it had less features, Lexulous was just easier to use.

With Scrabble’s newest update, I decided to give the official EA app another shot. The menus are vastly improved: though some things still don’t make sense, it’s a lot easier to jump into a game. The game’s speed has apparently been given a small jolt, too, and you can now use your own music. But what had me most excited was the promise of “push notifications.”

Okay, EA, for the love of god: are you trying to torment me? These so-called “notifications” don’t exist, as far as I can tell. They certainly aren’t push notifications. And yet, despite this, I receive occasional “tips” telling me to turn Push Notifications on in the Settings app. I’ve checked. There’s no option to do so. I don’t think I’m the only one, either: the current version is being bombarded with angry 1-star reviews in the App Store. I’ve tried restarting my iPod and reinstalling the app; nothing changes in my Settings menu.

I’m not sure if EA submitted the wrong app version or if maybe there’s a bug on certain devices. (I’m running a 2G iPod Touch with 8GB of storage.) But either way, this is strange. Shame on you, EA. I got excited over nothing at all.

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
LIFE is an old classic, and if you like the board game, you'll be delighted with EA's port. It's colorful, smooth, and just like the original. It's nice to see such a good port!

Read The Full Review »
Pandemonium

Pandemonium

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Pandemonium is a port of an old PSone game, and it shows. It's fun at first, but there's nothing special in this 2.5-D platformer.

Read The Full Review »
Scrabble

Scrabble

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Scrabble's most recent update—the full-fledged integration of Facebook Connect—adds some competition to what was already a great word game. While the port does have plenty of flaws, it's still the same amazing game of strategy, luck, and knowledge that's been an incredible success for decades.

Read The Full Review »
Tetris

Tetris

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Tetris is a game with a strong following of dedicated fans and casual players alike. While EA Games has made a decent attempt at porting it to the iPhone, it falls short of its potential thanks to clunky controls and somewhat limited gameplay, which is a shame.

Read The Full Review »
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