I’ve been playing video games for almost 30 years. I like to think that I’ve developed a certain level of hand-eye coordination and an ability to recognize patterns and learn rules reasonably quickly.
Spirit Run: Fire vs. Ice by Lunagames Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: Free
But Spirit Run: Fire vs. Ice, a new endless runner from developer Lunagames, made me question all of that. Suddenly, I was transforming when I wanted to jump, and jumping when I wanted to slide, and just falling the hell off of things that I normally wouldn’t.
That isn’t to say that it’s a bad game; it’s actually quite good. But be prepared to feel like a monkey trying to do algebra. You know, if that’s a thing that one might call upon monkeys to do.
It definitely gave Apple the warm fuzzies: they chose the game, which looks like a mashup between a Pixar movie and a classic platformer from the Super Mario World era, as their first“game of the month” for iPhone.
Still reeling from the breakout success of the $4.99 game, designer Anders Hejdenberg spoke about the origins of Leo’s Fortune, why passion projects are best, how market research ruins creativity, and the reason the best teams are small ones. He also gave us exclusive access to pictures showing the game’s journey from page to iOS screen.
Want to find out more? In true platformer style, there’s more after the jump…
A lot of apps hope to inspire you to improve yourself and focus by offering you words of wisdom from people whose names you recognize. Like that rather stern one up there, which comes courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Maybe you’ll get something out of this app, which gives you a new quotation every day to make you work harder and feel better. But I’m going to use it to reply back to coworkers who have silly inspirational quotes in their e-mail signatures. It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive office way of saying, “Leave me alone, and get back to work.”
Here’s yet another artsy, minimalist puzzle game you’ll want to check out.
Bicolor by 1Button SARL Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: $0.99
Bicolor gives you some colored blocks with numbers on them, and your job is to swipe them around to make the entire screen a single color. It sounds easy — and it typically is, if I’m honest — but it has moments of beauty and elegance that make you forget that it isn’t challenging you. And it’s fun enough without the head-scratching because, like all minimalist puzzle games, it’s about calm, man.
And as long as you keep that in mind, the two of you will get along just fine.
Hundreds of new games come out every week in the App Store. A select few are the next must-play title that everyone will be talking about (and ripping off) for the foreseeable future. Most of them are perfectly decent but may not receive the attention they deserve. And then you have the third group: games so odd, bizarre, and head-scratching that you’re not sure what to make of or do with them.
They aren’t necessarily bad; they’re just confusing and weird. And worst of all, people may never know that they exist. But that’s why we’re here.
Here are some of the strangest games to drop into the App Store this week, and they’re all about food (mostly desserts, oddly enough). What you do with this information is between you and your iPhone.
Style My Floor is a decorating app that lets you sample an assortment of different hardwood materials and styles. And even cooler, you can request a “Quick Key” that’ll let you see how different floors will look in your house. You just print out a PDF, lay it in a corner, and then point your iPhone or iPad camera at it. Magic does the rest.
When you first start playing Hill Runner, it seems impossible. And then after a few dozen dismal failures, you have a really good run and restore your faith in yourself. And then you’ll mess up the next try immediately.
Hill Runner by Stephen Brown Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: Free
It’s a glass case of emotion, this game.
But it’s very simple, and it’s free, and it’ll offer some distraction and charm for a few minutes if that’s all you’re looking for.
While the hit app Snapchat has had great success at keeping users well connected, the developers behind the app have recently released a major update to add to the mix. Chat with your friends with instant messaging like chat and live video, all in the very same application. Will Snapchat become your favorite app thanks to its new features?
You probably have a few improvements you’d like to make to your home, but it’s possible you have no idea how to do them yourself. Or maybe you do, but you’d like some handy tips on how to store and maintain your paintbrushes or something. This app has you covered either way; it comes from Skil Power Tools, and it contains a wealth of information including tips on removing broken spade handles, tips about proper tool usage, and step-by-step directions on a ridiculous number of projects.
So now I can finally build that deck for my apartment. The landlord will love that.
I like words. I like writing them, I like spelling them, and I like picking the perfect one for the sentence I’m creating. And I like playing with them, too, if you couldn’t tell from all the word games I choose for reviews.
Fiasco by Blinking Pixels Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $0.99 (promotional price; free version available)
But even if you aren’t a Word Nerd like I am, you’ll probably enjoy Fiasco. It’s a moderately paced competitive spelling game in which you create as many words of three or more letters as you can by dropping tiles, Tetris-style, onto a board.
You can get time and point bonuses for longer words, which is basically the only way to win. Because this game is pretty challenging.