Price Drop: The Weekend’s Best iOS App Deals

On February 24, 2012, in Industry News, by J Keirn-Swanson

Movies, sports, books, virtual worlds, we’ve got a little bit of everything you want in this weekend’s big round up of app deals you’ll want to get your paws on. So fire up ye olde App Store because a couple of these only last for a little while and then they’re gone.

Discovr Movies

We’re big fans of the Discovr apps interactive maps to find more apps and music, so when their Movies app dropped down to free, we grabbed that up.

MediaBurner – Tube Video Downloader

It’s only free today, so don’t come crying to us if you miss out on this app that lets you download to your iOS device videos for later viewing. 

The Book of the Dragon

Save ten whole dollars on this lushly illustrated partly animated fantastic example of ebooks, because it’s free, so get while the getting’s good.

Oh! Edo Towns

SIMS? Nah, you rock it medieval Japan style, and with $3 sliced from the price, this $0.99 virtual world is yours for the taking.

Bohnanza HD

A cult card game about beans? Sign us up. Now drop the price from $4.99 to $0.99 and we’re so down with that.

Reckless Racing 2

The weekend is all about racing and you’ll be racing to save $4 by getting this one now before the price kicks into high gear and goes up from $0.99.

HOMERUN BATTLE 2

Spring training is upon us. Get yourself psyched for 2012 with this four dollar savings bringing this baseball classic down to just one buck.

GoatUp

Simply put, there aren’t enough goat-oriented gaming options out there, so when GoatUp goes half off then you should be paying attention. 

 

Price Drop: The Weekend’s Best iOS App Deals

On February 24, 2012, in Industry News, by J Keirn-Swanson

Movies, sports, books, virtual worlds, we’ve got a little bit of everything you want in this weekend’s big round up of app deals you’ll want to get your paws on. So fire up ye olde App Store because a couple of these only last for a little while and then they’re gone.

Discovr Movies

We’re big fans of the Discovr apps interactive maps to find more apps and music, so when their Movies app dropped down to free, we grabbed that up.

MediaBurner – Tube Video Downloader

It’s only free today, so don’t come crying to us if you miss out on this app that lets you download to your iOS device videos for later viewing. 

The Book of the Dragon

Save ten whole dollars on this lushly illustrated partly animated fantastic example of ebooks, because it’s free, so get while the getting’s good.

Oh! Edo Towns

SIMS? Nah, you rock it medieval Japan style, and with $3 sliced from the price, this $0.99 virtual world is yours for the taking.

Bohnanza HD

A cult card game about beans? Sign us up. Now drop the price from $4.99 to $0.99 and we’re so down with that.

Reckless Racing 2

The weekend is all about racing and you’ll be racing to save $4 by getting this one now before the price kicks into high gear and goes up from $0.99.

HOMERUN BATTLE 2

Spring training is upon us. Get yourself psyched for 2012 with this four dollar savings bringing this baseball classic down to just one buck.

GoatUp

Simply put, there aren’t enough goat-oriented gaming options out there, so when GoatUp goes half off then you should be paying attention. 

 

The 25 Best iPad Launch Games

On April 5, 2010, in Industry News, by Andrew Hayward


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Whether you waited in line at your local Apple Store or Best Buy or constantly refreshed UPS.com while staring at your front door, take solace new iPad owners: the hard part is over. Now comes the fun of loading your glorious new tablet with tons of sweet and innovative apps. Regardless of whether you’re a hardcore gamer or more the casual sort, the iPad App Store already has tons of great gaming options tailored specifically for the device. We tore into the App Store immediately upon receiving our iPads, and put together a list of 25 launch games worth the time and money of you lucky early adopters.

Plants vs. Zombies HD ($9.99)

PopCap’s casual smash hit is more than a quick port of the iPhone version — it’s arguably the definitive version of the tower defense-style game, which has also appeared on Mac and PC. Pairing the crisp, hand-drawn visuals of the computer versions with the large, multitouch interface of the iPad makes for a brilliant experience, and knocking back waves of cartoon-stylized zombies with all sorts of ridiculous plant attacks has never been better than in this addicting iteration.

Mirror’s Edge ($12.99)

Mirror’s Edge began life as a first-person free running adventure game on consoles in late 2008, but this fresh iteration swaps in a side-scrolling perspective, letting you run, jump, slide, and tackle enemies with touches and flicks of the iPad screen. Like its console counterpart, Mirror’s Edge is a striking, stylish-looking game, and while the iPad iteration drops the thrilling first-person viewpoint, it’s still a lot of fun to scale buildings, run along billboards, and take daring leaps of faith on the iPad.

Words with Friends HD ($4.99)

We love the convenience of the iPhone version of this unofficial Scrabble knockoff, but we’ll definitely be reaching for the iPad version whenever it’s an option. Words with Friends HD uses the iPad’s sharp 9.7-inch display to its advantage, displaying the entire game board and using a stylish popover menu (which seriously resembles the iPhone app) to let you manage multiple matches with ease. We’re surprised even a game as simple as this looks so nice on the iPad.

Flight Control HD ($4.99)

The breakout iPhone hit comes to the iPad on day one, but instead of simply super-sizing everything, developer Firemint opted to give players even more space in which to direct planes towards their rightful destinations. The simplistic visual aesthetic pops on the iPad display, and enhanced multiplayer modes — including a split-screen option and a local wireless mode compatible with both iPad and iPhone (or iPod Touch) — make this a stellar port of the addictive original.

Orbital HD ($2.99)

Even after pouring hours into the awesome iPhone iteration of Orbital, we’re psyched to do it all over again in this super-sized iPad version. Orbital HD finds you firing colored balls onto the screen, and the game lasts as long as you can keep firing balls without any crossing the bottom barrier line. Where the ball lands determines its size on the board, making this a strategic, sometimes heart-pounding little game with a lot of visual flair and bang for the buck. Well, three bucks.

Fieldrunners for iPad ($7.99)

You’ll pay a slight premium ($5 more) for the iPad version of this celebrated iPhone tower defense favorite, but in our eyes, it’s well worth it for the enhanced artwork (which was already excellent) and ability to see the entire game screen without squinting. Fieldrunners looks stunning in motion on the iPad, and includes all of the maps released for the iPhone iteration. Plus, developer Subatomic Studios says both free and paid add-on content is in the works.

Geometry Wars: Touch ($9.99)

We’ve seen numerous Geometry Wars knock-offs on iPhone, but now the real deal has appeared on iPad, and the twin-stick Xbox Live Arcade favorite works pretty well on Apple’s tablet. In place of the real sticks are virtual ones that appear wherever you place your thumbs, with one for maneuvering your ship and the other for firing at enemies. Other than the control swap, this is pure Geometry Wars glory: frantic gameplay, mesmerizing visuals, and several worthwhile play modes.

Metal Gear Solid Touch ($7.99)

This shooting gallery-style spin-off of the immensely popular Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots on PlayStation 3 gets a nice visual boost on iPad, with a high definition protagonist model and mid-mission stills popping right off the screen. It’s not the most essential entry in the beloved action franchise, but it’s a solid diversion, and Metal Gear aficionados won’t want to miss it in its best form.

Real Racing HD ($9.99)

Real Racing is arguably the best racer on iPhone, and the upgraded iPad iteration certainly makes a case as tops on the tablet. On iPad, Real Racing HD offers an excellent and immersive driving simulation, complete with sharp visuals and the ability to customize your vehicle with any photo. With 12 tracks, 48 cars, and a robust career mode with 76 events, Real Racing has plenty to keep you busy, plus it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth multiplayer compatibility with the iPhone version!


Harbor Master HD (Free)

Harbor Master takes some flack for being a fairly transparent Flight Control knock-off, and we certainly won’t try to dispel that. And though we’d rather play the original inspiration for it, Harbor Master HD does hold one huge advantage on iPad: it’s one of the rare launch games that comes without a price tag. Indeed, you can now direct boats in HD without sparring a penny, and Harbor Master’s a darn solid game on its own right, so why not give this one a download?

 


Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition ($9.99)

Super Monkey Ball is fairly synonymous with iPhone gaming, so it’s little surprise to see an enhanced version of the sequel launch alongside the iPad. Still, while it comes pretty much as expected, the Sakura Edition is both nicely equipped and a good fit for the device, arriving with more than 100 total stages and new mini-games for the iPad. Tilting the iPad to roll the titular ball across increasingly elaborate stages feels right, and the game sports a clean, crisp look on the tablet.

We Rule (Free)

Here’s another free game worth your attention on iPad. We Rule arrives on iPad shortly after its initial iPhone launch, and the kingdom-building game is fairly robust and very much social in nature. You must be logged in to play We Rule, but the upside is you’ll be able to visit friends’ kingdoms to interact and purchase items. Like ngmoco’s other recent titles, We Rule is free to download, but you can spend some cash to improve the game by speeding up otherwise sluggish processes (like growing crops).

N.O.V.A. – Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance HD ($9.99)

Gameloft’s sci-fi shooter certainly takes many cues from Microsoft’s Halo franchise, but it’s hard to think of a better first-person shooter on the iPhone. The iPad version offers a smooth visual experience, but some of the coolest upgrades come with the control scheme, which lets you curve grenade throws with a two-finger swipe, as well as target multiple enemies. With a complete campaign and online multiplayer, N.O.V.A. HD is sure to be a hot pick for early iPad action fans.

Tap Tap Radiation (Free)

Rather than bring its established Tap Tap Revenge series directly to the iPad, Tapulous instead opted to rework the rhythm title and unleash it as Tap Tap Radiation for the tablet. From what we’ve played so far, it’s even better in this refreshed iteration, as the larger touch pads make it easier to jam along to the tracks. Radiation is free, but only ships with a few tracks. Luckily, several extra songs can be purchased, like a six-pack of Lady Gaga hits for just $2.99.

X-Plane for iPad ($9.99)

Movements of the iPad are surprisingly suitable substitutes for a proper joystick in this traditional flight simulator, which is unlike anything else on the device at the moment. X-Plane may not be as fully featured as its computer counterparts, but for a $10 handheld app, it nails enough of the sensation of piloting a jet plane to be well worth a look for both on-the-move sim junkies and casual flying fans.

Zen Bound 2 ($7.99)

Secret Exit’s iPhone puzzle hit returns on iPad with a visually upgraded iteration that features 100+ total stages. In Zen Bound 2, you’re tasked with wrapping a set amount of rope around a series of wooden sculptures, with a certain percentage of the sculpture needing to be covered to pass the stage. Between the minimalist soundtrack and at-your-own-pace approach, it’s easy to zone out and get lost in this pleasant puzzler.


Sam & Max: Chapter 1: The Penal Zone ($9.99)

One of the surprise releases on the App Store this weekend was the debut episode of the third season of Telltale Games’ well-received humor/adventure series, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse. Launched two weeks before it arrives on other platforms, The Penal Zone is a hilarious graphic adventure boosted by strong, cartoon-like 3D visuals. Even if you’re a newcomer to Sam & Max, The Penal Zone is a great place to start, and if you love it, four more episodes are planned for the coming months!


Touchgrind HD ($7.99)

If you ever bought a Tech Deck or any other sort of finger-controlled skateboard, you’ll probably love Touchgrind HD. The concept is the same: you use two fingers to manipulate a board around a skate park, shifting your fingers around the board to navigate and pull off tricks. It takes a bit of time to learn how to control the board, but once you do, Touchgrind HD can be an epic time killer. Plus, the iPad version adds a split-screen two-player mode, so bring your skate crew!

Need for Speed: Shift ($14.99)

If you’re seeking a slick iPad racing game with more of an arcade bent, check out Need for Speed: Shift. Like Real Racing HD, Shift features licensed vehicles and realistic visuals, but also lets you trigger nitro boosts, whip around turns using over-the-top drift maneuvers, and bump competitors aside for points. Shift comes at a definite premium, boasting a $15 price point, but includes 18 tracks, 28 cars (eight of which are exclusive to the iPad version), and some very polished aesthetics.


Civilization Revolution for iPad ($12.99)

We had few complaints about the stellar iPhone version of turn-based strategy favorite Civilization Revolution, but the upgraded iPad iteration really shows it up, using the extra screen real estate to display quite a bit more detail than before. The turn-based strategy genre might seem daunting to newcomers, but with multiple difficulty settings and handy advisors, Civilization Revolution’s a bit more accessible than your average genre fare. Plus, the iPad version adds a scenario creator to let you customize your experience.

 



Scrabble for iPad ($9.99)

Even word geek writers like us would typically think it excessive to essentially list two versions of Scrabble (see the aforementioned Words with Friends HD), but we can’t help but spotlight some of the cool features in this official iPad release. Single-player action (against the computer) is a plus, as is the local four-player Party Play mode, but our favorite feature is the accompanying Tile Rack app for iPhone/iPod Touch, which lets you virtually flick tiles onto the iPad game board. Brilliant idea!

Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPad ($12.99)

If the iPad version of Command & Conquer Red Alert is any indication, the real-time strategy genre has a lot of potential on Apple’s tablet. Last year’s iPhone version gets a big visual boost here, with detailed 3D models replacing the slightly cartoonish-looking units from the previous version. It gives the game a needed injection of style and flair, and the stellar touch controls make it a very playable and worthwhile iteration. Plus, this version adds six skirmish maps and an expansion pack!


Angry Birds HD ($4.99)

Angry Birds isn’t the sort of game that requires a large, high definition display, but this stellar physics-based game is well worth playing if you missed it on iPhone (no need to double-dip if you have that version, though). It’s a simple premise — launch birds from a catapult in an effort to down structures housing evil green pigs — but it’s one that holds up well on the large screen. The HD upgrade gives the hand-drawn birds and environments a crisp, clean appearance, to boot.

Labyrinth 2 HD ($7.99)

After a couple successful iterations on iPhone, Illusion Labs’ Labyrinth series gets the HD bump on iPad, and the larger form factor of the device offers the biggest boost, as it feels more like holding an actual, wooden labyrinth puzzle. Guiding a ball through the maze by tilting the iPad feels incredibly natural, and the enhanced visuals make it look even more like the real thing. Custom level support means you have thousands of extra levels to choose from, and unlike most launch games, there’s a free Lite edition available.


Diner Dash: Grilling Green ($4.99)

It’s tough to find a device (especially a mobile one) nowadays that doesn’t have some version of casual smash hit Diner Dash, but we’re glad to see that PlayFirst opted to start off with an exclusive new iPad iteration, Grilling Green. The game hasn’t really changed: you play as waitress Flo, tasked with taking orders, serving meals, and seating patrons before their patience runs thin. However, now you can help cook the meals (in a nod to the Cooking Mama games), and the game can be played in either screen orientation.

 

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