TimeDoctor's iGame Squadron #6
Hello, my name is TimeDoctor and I'll be your semi-regular guide through the fun world of the 10,000+ iPhone/iPod Touch games. Each week or so I'll bring you a new article describing and reviewing iPhone games that stand out from the crowd of farting applications. Note that I play all of these games on an iPhone, and though I'll keep an eye out for features which might not work on the iPod touch, may not catch them all. Please let me know if you enjoy these articles by e-mailing me, zakk @ timedoctor.org with your feedback and promo codes for reviews. Thanks and please enjoy this sixth set of reviews.
geoDefense is what happens when a truck full of Geometry Wars (XBLA) and a truck full of Tower Defense hit another truck full of iPhones.
First, the police have to come along and clean up the scene of the collision. Most likely there would be a three-to-four alarm fire and the jaws of life would have to be used to rescue the unfortunate driver of the iPhone truck.
Unfortunately, the drivers of the other trucks died at the scene :-(
geoDefense is a fun mix of the standard tower defense and the art style from Geometry Wars. Unlike Field Runners or Desktop Tower Defense you do not design the path creeps take by blocking out rows. You just choose a path created by the designer on various levels. Each one can also have a slightly different selection of towers for you to place.
The lack of freedom in the creep path is not a bad thing. The paths the designers chose are as creative as the art and particle effects. You are left to focus simply on the strategy of picking the right towers to slow and kill the creeps before they reach their goal.
It is nice to have a choice of what kind of Tower Defense you want on the device, and this one won't override your music. It is a shame that this game is essentially an amalgam of two others. However, that is what makes it brilliant. The mix is perfect and provides a better experience than any version of tower defense I've played in the past.
Tap Memory is a game where you tap on a series of numbered circles after being told what they are. There is some difficulty here in that the numbers disappear and appear in a non-logical order on the screen.
Of course you're expected to tap on them in series from lowest to highest, but there isn't really much more to it than that. Occasionally I seem to tap too fast and the device (not the game) misses a tap, so I've lost because I've tapped out of order.
I'm left wondering why I'm playing such a simple game. It is kind of fun, I suppose. Just not my kind. Whenever I lose in this game it only seems to be due to a mis-tap, not a genuine forgetting of the order.
It is quite a shame that the gameplay doesn't match up well with the visuals and audio. Perhaps if the circles exploded in fits of gore when I tapped them? Well I guess I'm just not the audience for Tap Memory then.
Eliss is one of those rarest of games that you go and see and you say "Ah, this is why Roger Ebert was wrong!"
Indeed, you would be right. It's challenging, but not too challenging. In Eliss, sound is absolutely integral to the feel of the game: the bloops as spheres merge, the two notes which introduce you to each sector, and the sound of pain you hear when differing spheres meet.
The whole of this game is multi-touch to draw similar spheres apart or together while various obstacles are presented. It does get challenging at times, and is vaguely simple. Still, I can't help but love it as rather than regurgitate the same theme, Eliss challenges you with something new on each level. While I wouldn't recommend playing this on the bus -- you'll be too engaged and the bumpity-bump of any vehicle would probably throw off your game -- there are certainly plenty of other places to play it. And you should find those and embrace them.
Everything is memorable and grand and sounds like a Commodore 64 with the dry heaves after vomiting up an NES. A bargain at any price, buy Eliss or the owl will eat you.
Bizarre space-craft hover about on the surface of a flat plane. The simplest deathmatch with only some power-ups and tilt control for variety, Wifi Fighters is unfortunate.
It has the potential to be hugely engaging if only it weren't this mismatched collection of features from games, while featuring the polish of none of them.
There is no sound when your ship is struck nor when your cannon fire strikes another craft. Why you're flying in what clearly appear as space craft at about ground level makes no sense either. What ground is there is a simple texture and quite boring. I'm not sure if uneven terrain would make the game more interesting, but it would at least change it up a bit. Maybe some snow or something more Hoth-esque? Optionally, you can fight four bots or other humans over the titular Wifi, locally only.
Toss in some polish, internet play, and VoIP when iPhone OS hits 3.0 and this game could be truly fun. Until then it's hardly worth the space it takes on the phone.
I suppose this game might be entertaining if you're drunk with your pals and want to see who will vomit first from the tilting. However I don't consider that the watershed moment in Wifi Fighters prospects.
Join us next time, for more adventures in... TimeDoctor's iGame Squadron!