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Friday Five: April 2nd, 2010

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on April 2nd, 2010

Phew! It's been a busy week. We've had two good sequels to two amazing games, as well as quite a few peculiar titles that piqued my interests. To top things off, we even have an iPhone app that's meant to work alongside its new iPad brother! Here's a quick sampling from this week's new releases. As always, our Friday Five doesn't represent all of the fantastic new apps that have hit the App Store in the past few days, so feel free to chime in with your own suggestions.

Bounce On 2

The sequel to one of the App Store's first great platformers, Bounce On 2 is another fun romp through a 2D land populated by enemies, obstacles, platforms, and power-ups. Taking on the role of a red rubber ball, you have to roll and jump through the levels, many of which contain creative twists. You'll find tons of new features: Plus+ integration, gravity switches, brand-new power-ups, and even the option to use touch controls. If you're a fan of old-school platformers, be sure to check out Bounce On 2.

Zenonia 2

Zenonia, Zenonia...I think it's safe to say that Zenonia was also a "first-of" title, though this time I'd call it the first good RPG in the App Store. Zenonia 2 improves upon the original in almost every way, and features a similarly epic storyline, fun real-time battles, and tons of quests and abilities. Plus, it now features four different characters, each with their own storyline and character class, and the new Hard and Hell modes are also slated to come in a future update. The resulting game is fast-paced and deeply satisfying. Zenonia 2 is a great RPG, and once again raises the bar in the App Store.

Poetry Everywhere

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor (pbs.org/poetry) is bringing its free poetry performances back to TV, the Internet, and now the iPhone. On TV, the project airs short poetry performances during unexpected moments in public television—personally, I think it's a really cool idea. Now, you can download the free app and have access to numerous poetry readings. Poetry probably isn't something that most of us think about every day, which makes the opportunity to carry around a bit of poetry in your pocket all the more valuable.

Babo Crash

We've all seen match-3 games before—you know, Bejeweled and its ilk—but Babo Crash brings some fresh new twists to the table. It's fast-paced, frantic, and features tons of crazy power-ups, which in turn create ridiculous chains of multipliers. It doesn't hurt that graphics are awesome, either. If you think you're tired of match-3's, don't let that deter you. Babo Crash is incredibly high-tempo, which makes it a great departure from the ordinary lethargy of Bejeweled.

Scrabble Tile Rack

I had to include this one, even though it won't be of use for most of us, just because it's a fantastic idea. Meant to work alongside the iPad's Scrabble app, the tile rack app allows you to play a true multiplayer game on the iPad without revealing your letters to your opponent. You use the iPad as your game board, and then your letters appear on your iPhone, safe from others' prying eyes. You can then "flick" them onto the board to have them appear on the iPad's screen. I know, I know—hardly anyone has an iPad yet, right? Still, it's a really cool idea, and I'm dying to see how close to the "real game" this will bring Scrabble's app. Can you tell that I'm a Scrabble fanatic?

Zenonia 2 In-Depth Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on March 31st, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GREAT RPG
Zenonia 2 is a great RPG. Though it can no longer claim the title "best of the App Store" with ease, it's still an excellent, traditional romp through an old-school world. If you like traditional RPGs with real-time combat, get it. It's not perfect, but i
Read The Full Review »

Gamevil Releases New Zenonia 2 Trailer,

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on March 25th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EXCEPTIONAL RPG :: Read Review »

Gamevil's hit RPG for the iPhone, Zenonia, is getting kind of old...actually, it's been on the App Store for almost exactly a year. While I loved it at the time, the App Store moves quickly, and the passing time has allowed competitors like Inotia 2 to try and steal a piece of the RPG pie. Often, they include features that the original Zenonia lacks.

It's good news, then, that the folks at Gamevil are preparing to answer their adversaries with the long-awaited Zenonia 2: The Lost Memories. The sequel is being submitted to Apple's approval process by the end of this week. To add fanfare to the upcoming release, Gamevil has also released a new promo video. Careful...it's got a scary butterfly-girl in it.

The video covers some of the game's new features as compared to the original Zenonia title. We've heard many of them before: you can play four different characters with different storylines and abilities; there's asynchronous multiplayer; in addition to Normal mode, dedicated gamers can also take on Hard and Hell modes. I don't recall hearing about the "costumes" before, though. Check the video to see the new perks narrated by a perky Asian girl with butterfly wings. I kid you not.

Gamevil Announces New Details For Zenonia 2: The Lost Memories

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on January 14th, 2010

Zenonia made its debut back in May as one of the first "real" RPG experiences for the iPhone. The months haven't done much to tarnish its popularity, which is hardly surprising given its quality. (Check out our review.) Now, the folks at Gamevil are teasing us with details about the upcoming sequel, which will be titled Zenonia 2: The Lost Memories.

The game is expected to launch in March and comes with a list of new features. First, instead of playing at the generic Regret from the original Zenonia, players will have the option to chose from four distinct characters, one each from the Paladin, Shooter, Magician, and Warrior classes. These new classes should add some variety to the gameplay...especially as the Shooter and Magician classes will feature ranged attacks. Zenonia 2 will also feature new difficulty modes: Normal, Hard, and Hellish. Playing Normal will be a decent choice for new players, but only within the Hard and Hellish modes will players be able to get unique loot and access a hidden boss stage. Terrain effects (water, snow, ice, etc) will also add a bit of a twist to the realm.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is the addition of asynchronous PvP. While it's not quite full-fledged live battling, you'll be able to download your friends' characters to compete against. We don't know much more yet, but this sounds like a tantalizing new feature.

With a tentative March release date, Zenonia 2 is quickly approaching. The first Zenonia was an exceptional game that still marks a standard for iPhone RPGs; I can't wait to see what Gamevil finally produces for its sequel. This is one to watch!

Zenonia 2!

Posted by Chris Hall on August 28th, 2009

I'm sorry... this one is mean of me. Zenonia 2 for the iPhone isn't even in production yet and isn't expected until sometime next year. Again, I'm sorry for getting you all so worked up. I found this poster on Gamevil's Facebook page and just had to post it. Enjoy!