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Favorite Four - Scariest Apps 2009

Posted by Chris Hall on October 26th, 2009

Alive 4-Ever
Sure, it may not the scariest thing ever, but it's really really dark, and your chances of beating it are really really bleak. The story is your typical Resident Evil style experience with a pharmaceutical company creating a drug that unintentionally turns everyone into a zombie. Keeping to script, you are in charge of zombie destruction, and can either play as one of the two government agents or one of the two survivors of the zombie infection. The game is a top-down shooter, like iDracula and MiniGore, but with some RPG character building elements built in. Expect a ton of blood and some intensely awesome gun fights.

Hysteria Project
Hysteria Project was an interesting app to play through. It's not the newest app in the store, but it is one of the first, and best, attempts to create a super creepy movie-like horror experience on the iPhone. You start the game tied up on the ground, and without an idea of what's going on, you must frantically run from a creepy guy with a hatchet that, for whatever reason, wants you dead. As I said in the review, "There is always a driving sense of urgency, even at the beginning of the game when the axe murderer has yet to be revealed. You just know that, at all times, the axe murderer is right behind you and ready to strike."

Hysteria Project isn't the longest app in the app store, but the high quality video along with the intense sound effects might just provide the scariest experience in the app store.

Doom: Resurrection
Sure, maybe it's not a typical horror game, and it may not be indie enough for some, but Doom: Resurrection provides some of the most intense horror/action sequences in the app store. Unlike any other game in the series, Doom: Resurrection is an on-rails shooter that makes sure to put you in the worst situations possible to kill the monsters around you. The controls are tight, the graphics are quite impressive, and the sound effects are just the right amount of creepy. Make sure you play this one with headphones, because the sensation of hearing something growl behind you but not being able to turn around right away is surprisingly creepy.

Resident Evil: Degeneration
I just had to do it. What list of horror games is complete without Resident Evil? Being the most successful horror series in video gaming, we were quite excited to play Resident Evil on the iPhone. Fortunately, we weren't disappointed by the experience. Expect your typical fare of creepy zombies and even creepier sound effects, along with a 'made-for-iPhone' experience. One thing that was disappointing though was the lack of blood. If I shoot something in the head, it should explode in a shower of red, not a whole lot of nothing.

Besides the blood, RE: Resurrection provides one of the creepiest experiences on the small screen. It's definitely worth the price of admission.

Hope you enjoyed the list! Join the discussion about the definitive scariest iPhone app ever on our forum. I'm never wrong, but I do like others opinions. Ha. Happy Halloween!

Monday Morning App HQ

Posted by Will on August 17th, 2009

Random Musings of the App Store

More stupidity from Sony

An interesting article over at PocketGamer this week reveals some measures Sony has been taking to combat Apple's wildly successful (but far from perfect) App Store and to make their virtual download service, the PSN, more appealing for both consumers and developers. Sony might be doing fine with consumers, as the reported top limit of 5 euros is less than the App Store imaginary limit of $9.99, so if consumers managed to stomach the outrageous price of $250 for the PSPgo, they should be pleasantly surprised with the game pricing. The question is, however, will there be any games worth buying. The upper limit of 5 euros is simply awful for developers. For any quality games that are worth buying to a consumer, the volume of sales just needed to break even is immense. This is one of the biggest problems of the App Store, but it has managed to get away with it - for now - because of the huge reach of the store - there are simply a massive amount of consumers who are willing to buy a lot of games. I can't imagine the PSPgo will sell as many units as the iPhone and iPod Touch combined, so I can't imagine how hard it will be for developers to turn a worthwhile profit. Just ask the Google Android - the entire Android store probably has seen less downloads than any of about 500 iPhone apps. To make matters worse though, Sony is taking huge control over the games, requiring a two week QA test and regulating release dates, further discouraging indie development. Sure, most people don't see the iPhone in the same light for gaming as the PSP (though I could recommend you a couple of titles that might change your mind), but with the new insanely powerful iPhone 3GS and help like this from Sony, Apple might just eat away at Sony's share of the portable gaming world.

Snood arrives in the App Store

Last night, Snood, a classic PC/Mac Bust-a-Move clone, was released by EA into the App Store. Despite some strange Facebook requirements, a quirky landscape interface (the game is played entirely in portrait view), and the fact that it's an EA port, Snood has made it to the iPhone in all its highly addictive goodness... with online multiplayer nonetheless! Best of all, there's not even a stupid cross-over promotional Pocket God pygmy in sight! A friendly warning: I lost many hours of productivity on this game back in the day. I've not spent enough time with the game (ok, basically none) to give it a recommendation, but we'll try to have an official 148apps patent-pending review up soon (or not...I didn't get that checked out with our editor, Chris. He might have some sort of strange anti-Snood bias).

App Store Fire Sale

It seems that in the App Store lately, everything must go! Developers have been slashing their prices to new lows, some even making their games free for a limited time. Rather than typing more, I thought I'd let our fancy boxes do the talking, so here are some notable price drops:

(Full disclaimer: I really don't like NFL 2010)

This week's sign of the apocalypse
[caption id="attachment_15880" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hmm, why does this look so familiar?"]

The game Ricky is currently sitting at the number 33 spot in the App Store. The description tells me that if I like Super Mario Bros, then "surely I will like Ricky." Well Ricky, the only thing I'm surly about is your game. Ricky is a blatant Mario rip-off (ported horribly I might add). The hills have eyes, the main character is an italian plumber, and oh yeah, the icon is the 1up mushroom. Really Apple, you saw no possible copyright infringement going on. It just makes you wonder how apps like this get through while quality games like iMech and A.D.D. are held up in the approval purgatory for months.

Apps of the Week

This week was a great game week, and while I was hoping Duke Nukem 3D would hold a spot on this list, unfortunately the controls are among the worst I've seen for a big title on the iPhone. Nevertheless, a duo of great games, one new, one old, made my list for the apps of the week.

Spider: the Secret of Bryce Manor
[caption id="attachment_15881" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Spider, a beautiful, elegant game"]

Spider is simply a work of art. The main gameplay, spinning webs to catch and eat bugs, is very compelling, especially with fantastic touch controls, but what makes Spider truly great is the multi-faceted story. The story is a human one that rivals many novels, but it is told through subtle clues found throughout levels. Items of seemingly little consequence can fill in a crucial missing piece. To top things off, Spider comes with many secret area to levels plus a secret room that it will take a true adventurer to unlock.

Civilization Revolution
Earlier in this article, I mentioned the addictive nature of Snood, but that is nowhere as addictive as the classic turn-based empire building game Civilization. Once I start a game of Civilization, I literally am not capable of doing anything else until I've finished the game. The iPhone version is slightly watered down, making it more accessible to newcomers, and it does have some interface/control issues (no performance issues over here on my iPhone 3G), but it's still Civilization, and it's still awesome.

That's it for this edition of MMAHQ. Next week, I hope to have some super secret exclusive content for you all that I've been working (or should I say waiting) on. Enjoy your week!

DOOM Resurrection

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Will on July 1st, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: PLATFORM SHOWCASE
This is not the DOOM you remember. Though it's a bit short, DOOM Resurrection is an incredibly engaging and fun "on-rails" shooter that contains some of the best graphics seen yet on the iPhone.
Read The Full Review »