I’m old, so I remember playing the original Double Dragon on a decrepit arcade cabinet at Showbiz Pizza while the Rock-afire Explosion played and lurched in its creeepy, mechanical way in the next room and I just paid attention to the game because I knew that if I thought about the musical robots coming to life and murdering everyone, they would. And that’s how I predicted The Secret.
Double Dragon Trilogy by Hyperspace Yard Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
Anyway, I was never good at Double Dragon. The enemies punched too fast or too hard, or I couldn’t line up my hits correctly, and I swear that stupid machine was broken because it was impossible. Now, we have Double Dragon Trilogy, an iOS port of the brawler series that includes remixed music and some new modes.
And I know this is a good port because I’m still really bad at it.
Steam Punks likes Mega Man, and hopes you do too. Even the description of the game on the App Store says it was inspired from games like Mega Man X. And, boy, does Steam Punks play like a Mega Man game!
Steam Punks by Monster Robot Studios Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $2.99
You’ll jump, you’ll shoot, and you’ll take out curiously Capcom-like, steam-powered robots in your effort to save kidnapped scientist Professor Clout. You play as Dunns Callahan, an Elite Enforcer assigned to protect Clout. Clearly he doesn’t do a very good job of it as the Bowler Gang easily abducts the professor off a moving train.
Kiwi & Me by Beeline Interactive Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
The new free-to-play, match-three game from developer Beeline Interactive (the mobile arm of Capcom) has all the “swapping two things to form lines of other things” that you’ve seen in every other match-three title, but it’s all centered around an adorable little bird-thing named Kiwi who is looking for her lost mother.
Kiwi watches you solve the game’s puzzles, and every once in a while, you unlock a new accessory for her and dress her up. If you couldn’t tell, Capcom and Beeline are specifically targeting female casuals with this one, but that’s not to say that non-girl types can’t also appreciate it.
An Infinity Bravura Dash – Knights of the King is a very long name for a straight forward side-scrolling shooter. In I Bravura (the app store title for the game) you play as one of three knights that fire endlessly into an ever-flowing wave of slimes and goblins. One hit can kill you, so your goal is to take down as many baddies as you can while collecting potions and coins that fly toward you.
An Infinity Bravura Dash by Jessika Maria Jardim dos Santos Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Beyond walking right and shooting, there’s not a lot to I Bravura, but that isn’t a bad thing. Your character can walk forward and back a little, which makes it much easier to avoid enemies while diving for collectibles. The simplicity behind I Bravura makes it a very relaxing game to play. Once you gain enough gold and unlock the other knights, your objective is really just to make it as far as you can without dying. You can pick the game up any time and just slaughter enemies to your heart’s content.
Baby Lava is on a rampage. He’ll fly as far as he can and burn whatever lies in his path, but won’t give a thought to how water spells his doom. Once you fire the lava blob out of the starting volcano, you must carefully guide him across tropical islands where he can burn up helpless vacationers and pineapples to keep his fire burning. If you run out of energy, or touch the water between the islands, your fire will go out and Baby Lava turns into a blackened hunk of rock.
Baby Lava Bounce by Jared Bailey Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Baby Lava Bounce plays a bit like Angry Birds crossed with endless flight games like Whale Trail. Your objective is to gather enough energy to collect various idols which you offer up to the volcano. The only control you have is tapping to crash the lava down against an island. If you land on a flat surface, tapping again will let you hop a short distance. If the lava lands on a slanted surface, he’ll shoot up into the air. This will give you much needed lift, but can also make it much more difficult to maintain your energy level.
I’m a big fan of Iron Man. I’ll play virtually any game with Iron Man in it, on it, or around it, so naturally I took a swing at Gameloft’s Iron Man 3 tie-in game earlier this year. And it was a bland infinite runner to sit alongside all the other bland infinite runners released for popular film franchises. I wept.
Thor: The Dark World by Gameloft Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
So when I saw that Thor: The Dark World was not an infinite runner, I decided to give it a go. To my surprise, Thor: The Dark World is a top-down dungeon crawler hybrid that allows you to summon Einherjar, or heroes, to help fight alongside you. So you’ll charge through levels tapping every shiny thing and enemy in your path and can strategically call more fighters to the battle to deal with bosses and ranged attacks.
I’ve always loved the Lego suite of licensed games more than most people do. They’ve always been the perfect storm for me: a unique combination of geekiness, humor, and obsessive collection and completion. Every time I pick one up, I don’t stop playing it until I’ve unlocked every character, found every collectible, and beat every secret level.
Lego The Lord of the Rings by TT Games Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $4.99
Needless to say, I am a fan.
The iOS version of developer Traveler’s Tales sweded version of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy is out now; the epic 1.3-gig game contains Lego recaps of all three Lord of the Rings films, over 90 characters, and all the soon-to-be-dead orcs, goblins, and Uruk-Hai you can tap. And while the game is every bit as cute and collectastic as the other ones I’ve played, its easily confused controls bog it down a little.
That’s not to say that it’s unplayable, but you’ll have to muster all of your fandom and patience to really enjoy it.
I’m sad to say that if you clicked on this review hoping that Girl Washing was a soon-to-be-removed “sexy” game for iOS that you’re in for some hot…laundry washing action. Yep. Girl Washing is all about a cute girl doing chores instead of you washing some totally objectified anime chick (thankfully).
Girl Washing by Jiang Bin Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone Price: Free
Anyway, Girl Washing is a weird take on a matching game. Rather than swiping to move clothes into lines, you’re actually assembling the game pieces on a grid, trying to match five items together. When you do, the clothes end up in a washing queue that you then have to drag into the washing machine. Soon, all the laundry starts piling up and matching five pairs gets incredibly difficult. I’ve spent a few hours beating my head against the seemingly automatic fail state Girl Washing pushed on you if you put even a sock out of place.
Developer Gaijin Games’ Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien quickly became one of my favorite games this year when it launched for consoles and PC back in February. It had a lot of personality, precise gameplay, and was just challenging enough to keep you on your toes but not enough to be frustrating.
Bit.Trip Run! by Gaijin Games Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $3.99
The iOS port, Bit.Trip Run!, keeps the original’s levels, fantastic graphics, and entertaining narration from voice actor Charles Martinet (the voice of Nintendo’s Mario). So it’s mostly the same game. But it drops the necessarily accurate button controls in favor of taps and swipes for the mobile platform, and that really cuts the game down a few notches. I’d almost say that it makes it unplayable, but that’s not quite the case.
But it does take a great deal of patience to play well.