This is going to be a rather short review because Peggle [App Store Link] is simply amazing and there really isn’t much to complain about. I got started on Peggle somewhat late–I never played the PC version and never got around to buying the iPhone version until a few weeks ago when it went on sale for $1.99 and I must say that I’m sorry I waited: Peggle is simply a must-own game for the iPhone.

Peggle iPhone Review Screenshot 1

Take aim and hit as many orange pegs as possible!

What is Peggle (if you’re one of the 3 people on Earth who doesn’t know about it)? Basically, each level has a certain number of orange and blue pegs in it, and you aim and fire a metal ball that reacts with realistic physics in an attempt to hit all the orange pegs before you run out of balls (10–however you can earn free balls by getting the ball to fall into the moving bucket at the bottom, or by scoring a ton of points in one turn, or by simply failing to hit any pegs on a shot). Amazingly simple, and amazingly fun.

There’s an adventure mode where as you progress you can unlock different special abilities that are enabled for a turn (or a few turns) when you hit special green pegs (of which there are only two on any given level). This is one of the more fun aspects of the game and it really keeps the gameplay from getting stale.

Peggle iPhone Game Review Screenshot 2

The dragon ability lets you unleash something really special after you hit a green peg...

Aiming is done with by touching where you want to fire, or you can use the scroll wheel to fine tune your shot. Overall the iPhone’s touch controls work perfectly for it and it’s fun manipulating the scroll wheel to get that perfect shot.

Peggle iPhone Game Review Screenshot 3

Fire!

The bottom line is that Peggle is amazingly fun and addicting and is, what I consider at least, a must-own game for the iPhone. The only problem for me is that once I finished the adventure mode I wasn’t as addicted to it, but it’ll always be fun to play it whenever I’m in the mood for it. Definitely check it out and don’t miss it–the fanfare that plays once you hit the last orange peg on a level is one of the coolest gaming moments ever.

Panappticon Verdict: 99.9/100 — Addictive and fun gameplay–a dangerous combination if you value your time! Peggle is a must-own game. Fraction of a point knocked off for the tiny potential that it might not be quite as addicting after you finish all the levels so long-term longevity is iffy depending on your preferences.

Peggle

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Some Weekend iPhone Deals

by panappticon on January 30, 2010

in Sales

I’ve got some new reviews coming soon, but in the meantime don’t miss these games which are on sale for FREE before they go back up to normal price!

iBomber [App Store Link] is currently on sale for FREE (reg. $2.99, 3/5 stars) and is a pretty fun tilt-control game where you’re in a bomber and have to drop bombs on enemy ships. I bought this months ago and occasioanlly play it and definitely think it’s worth grabbing while it’s free.

Compression [App Store Link] is also FREE (and for today only, reg. $0.99, 3/5 stars) and looks awesome. I haven’t played it yet, but for free it’s definitely worth the price even if it isn’t very good ;)

As always, we aim to bring you the latest news, reviews, and sales of only the best the App Store has to offer. With over 100,000 Apps currently, we find the ones that are worth your time so you can spend more time with only the ones that are worth your time. Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed to always be up to date!

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Dark Nebula is FREE this weekend!

by panappticon on January 15, 2010

in Sales

If you’re into tilt marble games (like Labyrinth) then you owe it to yourself to check out Dark Nebula [App Store Link], which is FREE this weekend only (normally $0.99). Amazingly positive reviews and a pricetag with no digits on it make this a no-brainer download for some fun gaming action this weekend. I’ve downloaded it and played it, and it’s definitely worth $0.99 and would almost be criminal not to take advantage of it being free right now.

If you’re into Tower Defense-style games and haven’t yet, check out Defender Chronicles- Legend of the Desert King [App Store Link] which is on sale for $2.99 (normally $4.99). Also great reviews and a really fun game. If you’re patient though, it occasionally goes on sale for $0.99 so if you aren’t in the mood for such a game now you can wait a bit to catch it at a couple dollars less.

As always, we aim to bring you the latest news, reviews, and sales of only the best the App Store has to offer. With over 100,000 Apps currently, we find the ones that are worth your time so you can spend more time with only the ones that are worth your time. Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed to always be up to date!

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I’m going to be reviewing I Dig It: Expeditions [App Store Link], the sequel to I Dig It [App Store Link] next, but before I review Expeditions, I thought it would be fitting to play through I Dig It first just so I can compare the two in the review of the sequel. I Dig It had been sitting on my iPhone for a couple months, purchased during one of my random bouts of game purchasing frenzy due to all the positive word of mouth it had received and I just never set aside the time to play through it until now.

Above ground, where you turn in your diggings for cash!

Essentially, I Dig It is all about excavating earth and finding buried treasure to sell to further outfit your digging machine (or to complete various tasks depending on which game mode you’re playing). It’s super simple and amazingly ridiculously positively addicting. Yes, I know most games say they are addicting–but I don’t think I’ve ever been as feverishly addicted to one game so intensely than I have been to I Dig It’s Campaign mode. That 4 hours is one of the most harrowing, frantic, and all-consumingly fun gameplay experiences I think I’ve had in a long time. But that’s also a problem–after that 4 hours of playing (spread over two days) and successfully completing the Campaign–I was completely burned out and did not want to even look at I Dig It anymore.

Underneath the earth, strip mining for diggings to save the farm. Warning: playing I Dig It for 6 hours over 2 days is not recommended but entirely likely to happen...

But then I went back and looked at the various game modes and challenges but I still did not really desire playing it much more. I did one of the challenges and probably will go back occasionally–however the initial main 4 hours campaign to raise $100,000 was so amazingly addicting and stressful it kind of burned me out on the rest of the game entirely. Strange? Perhaps. Should I have paced myself better? Of course, but I really couldn’t think about anything other than completing the campaign. Perhaps the main problem was that I had initially started playing the Campaign mode several weeks ago, and when I went to resume playing the other day to complete it, somehow was under the mistaken impression that the target amount of money to earn from diggings was $50,000 instead of $100,000 (yes, I know, facepalm time). So there I was, merrily digging my way to the center of the earth, wasting extra cash on dynamite and other upgrades that I didn’t really need thinking I just needed to let the time expire–and then it did and FAIL was displayed on the screen. Completely my fault, but that may have been the reason for my complete obsession to complete the Campaign properly the second time around.

On the way back up to the surface with a load of cargo before my fuel runs out!

Overall the game is very technically impressive. I Dig It‘s graphics are amazingly well done, controls are great with the analog-joystick, gauges are nicely themed and well done, and sounds effects are good too (there is no music).

New diggings! Overheating! Full cargo! Must get to the surface!

Gameplay wise, like I said above–I Dig It is completely fun and addicting, however once you beat the campaign mode I’m just not sure how much you’d want to play a similar campaign in the future. Perhaps you might. Better yet, you will enjoy the challenges, of which there are many to choose from. But I just couldn’t get back into the game after strip-mining my way down around 1,600 feet, 10 feet at a time over the course of a couple playing sessions. But that is probably my own fault for playing so much at once. But still, the Campaign mode basically comes down to partially strip mining your way down methodically, using dynamite at key locations, and repeating ad nauseum. It was cool the first time, but I personally wouldn’t and don’t care to repeat the experience. It was one of those things that is amazing once, then I never want to do it again.

Success, finally!

Despite the fact that this review may sound somewhat negative, it’s not. I Dig It is a must-own game, especially at its $0.99 price simply for the exhilaration and addiction you will experience with its Campaign mode your first time through. Whether or not you will want to repeat the derivative campaign modes or play through the challenges will be up to you personally. I most likely will, however after the experience of the Campaign mode I’m somewhat burned out on the game right now but will likely revisit it again. If I had to complain about something other than that, it’s that you can’t save a game that you start in order to play another game-mode. For example, if you start a challenge, you can’t pause that and play through a Campaign or other challenge without quitting the current game–which could be frustrating if you’re 3 hours into the Campaign and just don’t feel like playing it anymore and would rather do a simpler, faster challenge mode instead. Overall though, I Dig It is definitely worth its price as you’ll definitely get your money’s worth at least one play through it and you’ll most likely enjoy the various challenge modes that add even more longevity to this amazing game.

Panappticon Verdict: 92/100 — Addictive the first time around with extra content to please those who remain addicted to it, for others there’s always the sequel to play. Definitely a must-play at least once.

I Dig It

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Another awesome retro game making its way to the iPhone is Sword of Fargoal, originally for the Commodore 64. This is a Roguelike, and if you are anything like I am, know absolutely nothing about them and have never even heard the term before. Basically, you play as a rogue and try to make your way down the 20 floors of the dungeon until you reach the Sword of Fargoal, killing monsters and collecting gold to level up while acquiring potions and spells and avoiding traps, then you must make your way back up to the top in a  limited amount of time without getting it stolen back from you.

The decent down to the Sword of Fargoal! The animations displayed when going up/down stairs are really really well done.

Honestly, the first time I played a game of Sword of Fargoal, I had no idea what I was doing and died–then I learned that once you’re dead, that’s it, you have to start over. At first that was somewhat irritating, then I realized that it added a hugely fun and exciting element to the game. I also threw what I knew about previously played RPGs out the window and did a bit of research–basically, the goal of Sword of Fargoal is to explore the dungeon’s floors without getting killed, making your way down to the Sword itself. Once you find it, you only have a certain amount of time before you have to get it back to the surface. And again, if you die that’s it–you have to start over from square one.

Gulp, ok which way now? Hopefully I don't die and have to start all over again!

One of the cool things about the game is its infinite re-playability–every dungeon floor is randomly generated so it’s literally like a new game every time you play. If there’s one thing I love in a game it’s infinite replayability. And fun. Sword of Fargoal has both of those in spades.

Graphics and sounds/music are retro and very well done. This obviously isn’t the latest 3D FPS’ graphics and it doesn’t need to be. Characters are basically 2d flat objects that kind of jump around with no smooth animation and that’s perfectly fine, it adds to the charm of the game. There is a cool wispy smoke effect when you discover the map as it uncovers the previously hidden parts of the dungeon, in addition to some flashing light effects and well, you get the picture–retro gaming goodness!

Controls are perfect–simply swipe your finger in the direction you want to go. You can also swipe-and-hold and sort of slide your finger around to change direction and speed, somewhat like a virtual analog stick. It all works perfectly and smoothly and I have no complaints with the control scheme–can it be somewhat inaccurate at times? Sure, but 100% precision 100% of the time isn’t really necessary for Sword of Fargoal.

The combat system is very simple--all you do is go up to a creature and swipe at it once and all the combat will take place automatically. If you get low on health you can teleport away or disengage if you initiated combat.

Being that this is the first time I’ve played a roguelike game, I really have to say that at first I was a bit underwhelmed, thinking it would be more like a traditional RPG. But after an initial couple of deaths and starting over, I decided to just enjoy  the exploration and discovery and start killing monsters to level up and then really started to enjoy the game a lot. Then I made it down a few floors after spending time leveling and thinking I was strong enough and…got summarily killed and had to start over again. And you know what? I actually didn’t mind. I started over with a completely new and randomized dungeon and went back to enjoying the game even more. This game will grow on you if you give it the chance to (although if you are familiar with the genre it will probably be love at first play).

Discovering hidden passageways, hoping for a magic sack instead of a trap in a chest, fighting monsters with the fact that if they’re too powerful you could die and have to start over again all add up to make an extremely fun and addicting game. Sword of Fargoal is simple, addicting, and amazingly fun and engrossing. If you aren’t careful you could easily spend hours at a time getting lost in it, or you could simply play it for a few minutes and come back to it later where you left off. It’s immensely accessible and amazingly fun and is incredibly easy to recommend to anyone except the most vehiment rpg/dungeon crawler haters out there. Add in planned “episodes” and continual active support and development from the game’s developers and you have a must-own iPhone game.

Panappticon Verdict: 100/100 — Infinitely re-playable retro dungeon crawling goodness with future updates coming to add even more to an already amazingly fun and addicting game makes this a must-own gem for the iPhone.

Sword of Fargoal

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Holidays 2009 iPhone Game Top 10

by panappticon on December 23, 2009

in News

Ok, here we are near the end of another year and here are my personal favorite Games that are a safe bet if you don’t already have them (some will be reviewed in full later). Here’s looking forward to another great year of new games as well as updates to make these games even better (Doodle Jump’s new snow mode is absolutely amazing). It should also be taken into consideration that several of the games below are on sale for the Holidays, so if any look good now is probably the time to pick them up if they are on sale but they are ALL well worth their full price.

And without further adieu, here’s the list (in no particular order):

1. Doodle Jump. If you don’t have it, you should. It’s amazingly fun and addictive and can keep you occupied for a few minutes or a few hours if you want.

 

2. Orbital. Another simple and addicting pick up and play game that’s perfect for a few minutes of spare time or to fill a longer block of time. This and Doodle Jump are probably my most frequently opened 3rd party Apps.

 

3. Catan. I never heard of this game before receiving a promo code to review it–and that was a lucky happenstance that has paid off well. I really enjoy Catan for when I want a bit more depth in a gaming session and though its graphics and UI are a bit quirky, the developers have recently updated it to make gameplay even faster if desired. Overall a great board game that I’m really hoping gets online multiplayer and expansions to broaden gameplay even more.

 

4. I Dig It: Expeditions. A review is forthcoming but there really isn’t much need for one–this game (as well as the original I Dig It) is just plain fun and addicting. Dig down through the depths to uncover treasure while upgrading your digging machine in the process. Overall very well polished with fantastic graphics, sounds, controls and great gameplay.

 

5. geoDefense Swarm. I loved the original geoDefense, and Swarm lives up to the hype as one of the best Tower Defense games available on the iPhone. A must-own (and get geoDefense also).

 

6. Bloons TD. Another Tower Defense game that’s a bit more ‘traditional’ than Swarm–definitely pick it up for long hours of balloon popping fun!

 

7. Soosiz. If you like platformers even a little bit, just buy this one right now. The fact that it’s on sale for $0.99 should mean that you’ve already clicked to buy it–it’s that good.

 

8. MiniSquadron. Another amazingly fun pick up and play arcade flight shooter game with incredibly smooth gameplay this one is an easy recommendation.

 

9. Sword of Fargoal. Another game with a review upcoming–an easy recommendation for retro gaming fans. This one might not have the broadest appeal, but it’s still definitely worth checking out and is incredibly fun.

 

10. Doom Classic. Call me a sucker for old school FPS games, but Doom Classic is definitely a must-have for anyone into FPS games to see one of the classics in your pocket. With the current sale price of $2.99 I’d say it’s a no brainier (at $6.99 it might be a bit too pricey).

 

11. Hook Champ. What, a #11 on a Top 10 list?! Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. Think of Hook Champ as a substitute for Catan if you absolutely hate board games. This swinging game is just ridiculously fun with quirky retro graphics and great smooth gameplay.

 

12. iBlast Moki. Why not a #12 while we’re at it? iBlast Moki is a great puzzle game with amazingly cute Mokis for you to figure out how to get to the target (somewhat like Ragdoll Blaster). Overall a really fun game with quirky graphics that really is quite fun.

 

Amazing Games I Have NOT Tried Yet! (Yes, I am too honest! Here are the games I’m going to be picking up due to their amazing positive user reviews and critical acclaim)

1. Labyrinth 2. I have Wooden Labyrinth 3D and Labyrinth 2 just looks to be beyond amazing and has received nearly unanimous positive reviews.

 

2. Words with Friends. A word game that I did not get a promo code for? The horror! Overall looks like a cool concept with its online play and again, amazingly well reviewed.

 

3. N.O.V.A. For when I get bored with Doom Classic or Eliminate Pro, this Halo-looking game has received very good reviews and is definitely one to watch.

 

There you have it, my go-to-games for this Holiday Season. I’m sure I left a few off, but the list was getting kind of long! Please check them out and let me know if you enjoy them as much as I do! I hope you all have a very Happy Holidays!

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Santa’s Run Review: Like Paper Toss for Santa

by panappticon on December 21, 2009

in Game Reviews

Santa’s Run [App Store Link] is basically a game similar to Paper Toss, except you play as Santa trying to get presents to people’s houses instead of throwing paper into a garbage can. Overall the mechanics are a bit different–instead of just flicking and releasing like in Paper Toss, you simply drag the present to one of three concentric rings to indicate which building you are going for and adjust for left/right position taking into account the wind speed and then release to see if you make it.

Like Paper Toss, except chimneys and doors instead of garbage cans!

Overall I prefer Paper Toss’ mechanics more and that game is overall better than Santa’s Run. And is free. While Santa’s Run costs $0.99. This game is a lighthearted game to get you in the mood for Christmas, and for that it does a pretty decent job. As an actual game that’s not free like Paper Toss, I’m not sure I can really recommend it–it’s really shallow gameplay that just gets boring after a couple minutes and there’s nothing really appealing to me to keep me coming back–and that’s now, before Christmas is even over. After Christmas is over I doubt I’d ever fire up the game again.

Different colored rings specify which level of distance you want, you just have to aim left or right taking wind speed into account.

I started taking into account value in our previous review of Earth Dragon and I’ll continue that here–if you need to pay for a game to get yourself into the mood for the holidays, check out Doodle Jump (a game that since we reviewed it and mentioned that it should be on every iPhone seems to have landed itself on many of them–selling over a million copies now) with its snowy holiday theme with Santa Sleighs and Reindeer Monsters and snowball shooting.

The entire game is traveling around the world deliveriny gifts--there are more buildings to get presents to the deeper you get into the game as well. But it's the same basic gameplay mechanic that unfortunately just gets boring very fast.

If Santa’s Run were free I’d say give it a shot for getting into the Christmas spirit, but overall it’s a reasonably boring game that’s just missing ‘something’ that would make me want to keep coming back to it.

Panappticon Verdict: 68/100 — A holiday themed Paper Toss-type game that’s less fun than the free Paper Toss yet costs $0.99. You do the math.

Santa's Run

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Earth Dragon [App Store Link] is really difficult for me to review and I’ll get to why in a bit. First off, you control a dragon (and an adorable one at that!) and have to collect coins, destroy castles, and kill archers and wizards by either burning them alive or eating them (typical dragon stuff you know). The controls are relatively simple–you flap your iPhone back and forth to gain altitude and you tilt sideways to the left or right to swoop down and control lateral direction.

The graphics are done in a somewhat old-school style and are cute for what they are and sound effects are decent (and in the same vein as the graphics in terms of style). The controls however can be somewhat frustrating–it’s just hard to feel like you have any kind of precise control over the dragon most of the time (however this may be intentional). In the end, the game basically devolves into pure button mashing madness–whether you clear one of the later levels or not mostly depends on how frantically you mash your attack gestures (you can burn the humans or eat them, and you can rumble the earth to destroy buildings or just pile drive straight down) and how lucky you are in avoiding incoming enemy fire.

Dodge enemy fire while destroying castles, archers, wizards, and princesses! What more could you ask for in a game? Hint: More levels!

Dodge enemy fire while destroying castles, archers, wizards, and princesses! What more could you ask for in a game? Hint: More levels!

Overall on most levels it ‘works’–but again, it can be somewhat frustrating at times due to the lack of precision in control. Overall the game is fun and great–except for one very important issue (and hence why this is a rather difficult review for me to write): it is way too short and way too expensive for what it is.

Collect coins as you fly along--relatively boring 'filler' levels that could have been replaced with much more fun normal levels.

Collect coins as you fly along--relatively boring 'filler' levels that could have been replaced with much more fun normal levels.

I initially sat down to play it and saw 15 levels and started to play through them. About the first 2/3 are either simple tutorial levels teaching you one aspect of the controls at a time or simple coin collecting levels where you just have to control your flight to collect the coins. The actual ‘game’, in my opinion, didn’t even begin until the 11th or 12th level–however then I reached the 15th and last level thinking “Wonderful! I’ve completed stage 15 of the very first world” assuming that there may be 8-10 such worlds to go, I was really disappointed to learn that nope–that was indeed all there was included.

Final Boss Battle! Relatively fun and somewhat challenging if you haven't quite got a firm grasp of the controls by this point...

Final Boss Battle! Relatively fun and somewhat challenging if you haven't quite got a firm grasp of the controls by this point...

Now, Earth Dragon costs $2.99, which in the warped economic reality that is the iPhone App Store, is actually on the mid-to-high side of game pricing (this review will not devolve into a debate about the ‘race to the bottom’ of App Store pricing, that will be saved for a dedicated post) and the amount of gameplay you get is, quite frankly, disappointing. Really disappointing. I received a promo code from the developer to review this game, and even I feel almost cheated by its length. The disappointment comes mainly because the graphics and overall gameplay is so fun and charming that it’s a shame that the game is just so short with no definitive word on when/if new content is coming.

No, hopefully the humans quickly multiply like rabbits so there can be more levels of Earth Dragon please!

No, hopefully the humans quickly multiply like rabbits so there can be more levels of Earth Dragon please!

In its defense, the developer does hint that ‘if you get your friends to buy Earth Dragon more episodes will come out next year’, however compared to several $0.99 games that have content coming out seemingly every week or every other week that adds new and fun gameplay to their games, that really isn’t ‘good enough’ in the current App Store climate. If you’re a perfectionist you can go back and replay the levels in an attempt to beat your previous time/amount of coins collected, but there’s only so much that can entertain you compared to more levels.

In the end, Earth Dragon is incredibly charming and fun–its control scheme is both fun at times and at others can be somewhat frustrating and it often comes down to pure button mashing madness (which again, is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective)–the real and only major downside comes in its length. If you’re used to spending $0.99 on games that you can replay forever, or $1.99-$2.99 on games with 5-10+ hours of gameplay and come into this expecting the same thing, you will be sorely disappointed. Buy Earth Dragon for its uniqueness–but just don’t expect to get more than 20 minutes-1 hour of gameplay out of it depending on how lucky/unlucky you are in avoiding enemy fire in the later levels (and thus having to replay the same level 5-10 times to beat it). In the end the verdict is what it is–when Earth Dragon is updated with more content it is surely to rise a lot higher than it is right now.

Panappticon Verdict: 80/100 — A charming, fun, and unique action game that unfortunately just does not currently deliver enough gameplay.

Earth Dragon

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Thirty One Review: A Fast Paced Card Game of Win

by panappticon on December 7, 2009

in Game Reviews

Thirty One [App Store Link] is a card game for the iPhone & iPod Touch that I’d never even heard of before I received a promo code from its developer. The object of the game is to get the sum of the 3 cards in your hand to 31 (or as close to it as possible) and hope that when you or your opponents knock, you aren’t holding the lowest sum.

The goal is to get as close to 31 as possible and to not be the player with the lowest sum when someone knocks. Oh ya, and only same-suited cards count towards your total.

The goal is to get as close to 31 as possible and to not be the player with the lowest sum when someone knocks. Oh ya, and only same-suited cards count towards your total.

Overall I really enjoy Thirty One. It’s a simple, fast paced, and pretty addictive card game that’s easy to pick up and play whenever you have a spare few minutes. The game’s graphics are clean, if a bit simple, and there are no sounds at all (which is good or bad depending on your perspective–at least there’s nothing to get on your nerves if the sounds were done badly).

15...often times a sign of failiure! Hopefully I can get a higher total before someone knocks...

15...often times a sign of failure! Hopefully I can get a higher total before someone knocks...

There’s OpenFeint integration to share your achievements and to view leaderboards, however what really puzzles me is why the developer has not added real online multiplayer–this is a game that would really benefit it. Playing against the 3 AI opponents, while fine for the most part, would eventually get old and having others to play against would be much more fun.

Success! The player with the lowest sum loses a coin (unless they were the one who knocked, in which case they lose 2 coins if they have the lowest total).

Success! The player with the lowest sum loses a coin (unless they were the one who knocked, in which case they lose 2 coins if they have the lowest total).

Overall Thirty One is deceptively addictive–it’s another one of those ‘gotta play just one more round’ games that I personally love. I often find myself starting the App thinking I’ll just play for a minute or two, and end up playing for 5-15 minutes or more. This is definitely a recommended card game App if you’re looking for one that’s simple, fun, and addictive. If multiplayer gets added it’ll definitely be a must-buy.

Panappticon Verdict: 90/100 — A simple, fun, and addictive card game that’s well put together and features online leaderboards and achievements, but no online play (a feature that would really improve the fun of the game immensely).

Thirty One

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uBoot Review: Das Boot on Your iPhone…

by panappticon on December 6, 2009

in Game Reviews

…ok not really. But still, uBoot [App Store Link] for the iPhone is a simple, fun game with a soundtrack that will remain forever burned into your brain on permanent loop (whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends solely on your perspective!). There are 3 different gameplay modes–Sailor, Captain, and Seawolf. Each mode grants more and more flexibility in terms of your offensive and locomotive capabilities.

Undersea adventures await in uBoot

Undersea adventures await in uBoot

At its core, uBoot is simply a ‘travel through this tunnel and don’t hit or get hit by anything’ game–somewhat similar to Jetman Jack, Boost, and probably 100 others. In uBoot, you pilot a submarine through the depths, avoiding jellyfish, mines, and other enemies as you make your way to the end of a level. Each mode has 30 levels to play through and there are various power-ups to collect along the way to increase your score, shield you from enemies, make you go faster, and more.

Seawolf mode lets you control your speed and attack with torpedoes and mines.

Seawolf mode lets you control your speed and attack with torpedoes and mines.

Overall uBoot is a simple, fun, and pretty looking game. The soundtrack is one of those that will either have you irritated within a minute or whistling it non-stop for the rest of the day–so beware on that front! The controls are pretty good: you simply tilt your phone to control the upward or downward trajectory of your submarine through the hallway. If I had to complain here, it’s that sometimes the bounding box of the sub and the enemies are a bit more coarse than I would expect and collisions sometimes happen when you think you avoided the enemy. Animations of the explosions could also be a bit better as well, but they aren’t too bad.

Direct hit!

Direct hit!

In the end, uBoot is a simple casual friendly game that you can pick up and play whenever you have a spare couple of minutes. There is nothing earth shattering in terms of gameplay or depth here (pun intended)–there is a free version to try if $0.99 is too much for you to spend on what may be a game you only play a few times. I’m going to be pretty honest here and say that there are several casual games I’d pick up and play again before I play uBoot, but that’s just personal preference and not a knock on the game itself.

Panappticon Verdict: 84/100A simple ‘avoid the monsters and walls as you travel down a hallway in a vehicle’ game with pretty graphics, average animations, and good controls. Three play modes keep things fresh and while not an earth shatteringly deep game (compared to others in its price range), it’s definitely a casual game to check out if its theme floats your boat.

uBoot

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