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.”

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