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Quick Look: The Train Episode 2 for iPhone

Despite the fact that adventure games seem to work quite well on portable devices, it’s still rather difficult to dig up many for the iOS platform that aren’t either ports of games from other platforms or room escape games. The Train is one such series that is unique to the iOS platform, and the commitment in raising the bar of quality in story and visuals can be seen between parts 1 and 2. I enjoyed the first installment, but this one was even better. Unfortunately, the interface sort of went the other direction a bit. I still think the game is worth trying if you’re an adventure game buff, but you’ll need a bit of patience to get around some of the issues that the controls have.

Review: Dragons Rage for iPhone / iPad

As much fun as it is to run around a fantasy world slaying dragons and other mythical creatures, sometimes it’s just as compelling to visit the other side of the story. For me this is especially true when it comes to dragons. Dragons Rage is rather interesting because instead of flying around terrorizing villages, for the most part you stay in one spot, simply rotating around a focal point to eliminate the enemies. The result is a high octane fire spewing fest that’s quite entertaining, though unbalanced difficulty settings between levels can often lead to frustration. Still, sometimes it’s good to be the dragon.

Review: Alien Hominid PDA Games for iPhone / iPad

I have been hoping for some time that The Behemoth would start developing for the iOS platform, and I got even more excited when I saw that they were releasing an Alien Hominid game. Unfortunately, PDA Games wasn’t quite what I was expecting from them. Thankfully my misgivings were completely unfounded, and this has turned out to be a great addition to the franchise. The graphics aren’t really what I’m used to from a Behemoth game, but the action is quick, crazy and addictive. Plus, the art style really does grow on you rather quickly. The game offers several levels free with IAP purchase for the rest, and it’s definitely worth your time to check out if you’re a platform game fan.

Review: A Christmas Game for iPhone / iPad

Every kid has had their Christmas obsession to which countless authoritative figures have ceremoniously dashed their hopes. None is probably quite as familiar as little Ralphie, however, who simply wanted a Red Ryder BB gun, to which he was constantly told “you’ll shoot your eye out”. A Christmas Game gives you a chance to make up for Ralphie’s Christmas day blunder as you shoot everything in sight with your trusted BB gun in your hands. The game makes a valiant attempt to help you step into the shoes of the boy who would best Black Bart and his band of thugs, but in the end it feels more “generic shooter” than “game inspired by a unique Christmas film”. It’s worth checking out for a few rounds of mindless BB destruction, but don’t expect to walk away singing “Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra” with a mischievous grin on your face.

Review: Ninja Fishing for iPhone

Like slicing and dicing games but getting tired of fruits and vegetables? Do you yearn for something a bit more than the traditional swiping action? Ninja Fishing might be just the diversion you’re looking for. Part object cutting and part deep sea fishing, this interesting mash-up will have you creating virtual sushi in no time. There is a nice selection of upgrades to work for, and you can even earn a trip to the exotic Dinosaur Island if you can earn enough money.

Review: XIII – Lost Identity for iPhone

XIII the game is more mysterious than it’s eponymous star. It’s a hidden object game when clearly it would be served better as a 3rd person action / stealth game. The hidden object engine is a bit flaky, and the mini-games are nothing exciting. Yet from the moment you start playing the story sucks you in and makes you want more. In fact, I’ve enjoyed the story enough that I’ve been willing to look past some of the inconveniences to keep on playing. Read on to see if this quest is worth undertaking…

Review: Happy Hills for iPhone

I thought I’d take a break from my regularly scheduled list of games to review to bring you some thoughts on a new puzzle game called Happy Hills. I started playing it just to see what it was like, and somewhere along the way I got addicted. It feels just a bit different than most other physics based puzzle games I’ve played on the iPhone, which is a good thing, and the hills are just so ridiculously cute that you can’t help but want to save them. If you’re like me then you might be getting just a tad sick of puzzle games at the moment, but this one is still worth checking out.

Quick Look: Cover The Sheep for iPhone

Ever wonder which falls faster – a wolf or a sheep? Well, there might not be completely accurate physics here, but Cover The Sheep could just help you answer that question. If not, at least you’ll have fun along the way. You must guide some poor sheep to safety using balloons, parachutes, and whatever gadgets are laying around on the playing field. Watch out for nasty wolves, collect tasty apples, and all will be well.

Quick Look: Crocodile Crossing for iPhone

Are you ready for the next great pig adventure? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with some foul birds! It’s actually a fun casual game from Crawl Space Games where you help a bunch of pigs cross various bodies of water without getting eaten by a sinister crocodile. It’s simple enough for kids (or you adults who haven’t gotten far beyond solitaire), yet challenging enough for more advanced gamers as well. Crocodile Crossing proves once more that Crawl Space Games has lots of goodness to offer the casual gamer.

Quick Look: Amerzone Part 1 for iPhone

I’ve enjoyed adventure games for a long time, but Amerzone was one of those that just eluded my grasp for many years. I was quite excited that they finally ported it to the iPhone, yet even once I had the game installed on my device it took a while before I finally dug into it. Once I did I was met with a rather hum drum experience. Basic puzzles, little NPC interaction and a very short play time made part 1 of the Amerzone saga a lot less than I’d hoped for.

Sales On The Apple App Store

Looking for a few cheap or free games to play on your iPhone? How about a bundle that collects 5 top quality games in one tidy package for a mere 99 cents? Check out my quick rundown of sale items on the App Store, as well as some info about a new collection called the Corona Indie Bundle. Sure there are more comprehensive lists and lots more on sale, but these were just a few that I wanted to draw your attention to.

Quick Look: Mixzle for iPhone

There are lots of “sliding puzzle” or “15 puzzle” style games on the App Store, but the genre doesn’t personally appeal to me. Every once in a while, however, a developer uses the base mechanic of the sliding puzzle game and makes an interesting mash-up. Mixzle is one such case. While the fact that you’re locked into the sliding mechanic can sometimes get frustrating, the physics twist actually makes it worth playing.

Quick Look: After The Fall for iPhone

Rating 4.00 out of 5 [?]One thing I like about the collection of games under the ArianeSoft label is that it’s hard to look at any of them and say “this is clearly a clone of xxx”. After The Fall Puzzle is no exception to this rule. One might argue that it feels like Dungeon […]

Games I Like on 9/16/11

For this week’s Games I Like I take a look at abused oranges, a bull in a china shop, and a little kid trapped in his crazy uncle’s laboratory. The key here is “puzzles”, and in two cases games that there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of because they are in genres that consistently feature the “same old stuff”. As always there’s some good stuff here, so read on and hopefully you’ll find something new to take home tonight.

Quick Look: Velocispider for iPhone

With a name like Retro Dreamer, one would expect nothing less than quality old school gaming from these guys. One look at Velocispider cements this theory. The audio and visual elements make the game look like a 80s console shooter with a facelift, and the game play should induce quite a bit of nostalgia in older gamers. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain fun.

Quick Look: Monty And The Mugwumps for iPhone

The Corona SDK is a powerful tool that has given people with little programming background the ability to create some interesting iPhone games. One of the more recent efforts that has utilized this tool is Monty And The Mugwumps, a puzzle game about a hero that looks like a yellow asterisk trying to save all his little friends that have been captured by some goofy looking evil creatures. The game is deceptively simple looking, when in fact it is a challenging entry in the ever expanding action / puzzle game genre on the App Store.

Quick Look: Golden Axe III for iPhone

I love playing ports and emulated games, because so much of what is considered “classic gaming” is the stuff I grew up with as a kid. Golden Axe is no exception, as part one of the trilogy was the first game I owned when I bought my first SEGA Genesis. For that reason I enjoyed playing through that game on my iPod Touch. Part two was interesting because I don’t think I had played it before, and while not a revolution, it was certainly a step up from the first part. As I started playing the closer of the trilogy, however, I began to feel underwhelmed. With no prior experience on this game and the fact that it has now aged 15+ years… well, read on to get the whole picture…

Quick Look: Battle Bunny for iPhone

I was hoping Battle Bunny would be the start of a comeback for Pocket Monkey Games. Instead, it ends up being just a ho-hum entry in their growing collection of side scrolling, button mashing games that all start to feel the same after a while. It’s not their worst entry by far, but… well, just read on to find out…

Quick Look: Save Yammi for iPhone

Take one cute little creature, throw in a healthy dose of sweets and rope, and sprinkle with a generous portion of physics, and you end up with… Save Yammi. Of course you knew that because you saw the title of the review, but I bet you expected me to say something else! Anyway, this is certainly one of the most entertaining physics games I’ve played in a while, despite it’s similarities to another top ranking title that shall remain nameless (until you read the review). I would definitely recommend that you try and help Save Yammi…

Quick Look: The Train episode 1 for iPhone

With the newly released episode 2 on the App Store, I decided it was time to take a look at episode 1 of The Train. What I found was an intriguing foundation for a world of magic gone awry, a dictatorship waiting to be overthrown, and odd characters that begged to be explored further. The game is fairly short, and the puzzles are almost too difficult at times, but in the end I still found it to be an adventure worth taking.

Quick Look: Burn It All for iPhone

Rope, wood, and three different colors of flame – ah, the joys of virtual arson. Burn It All is a puzzle game from BulkyPix that challenges you to do just what the name implies. You must completely burn everything on the screen that can be set aflame, and you only have a certain amount of time to do it. Rocks, bats and water drops will try and stand in your way, but three different types of flame with different abilities will help you get the job done. And you’ll love every minute doing it.

Quick Look: Paper Munchers for iPhone

Paper Munchers is proof that the food chain works just fine, as long as it’s aided by a bomb every now and again. The big monsters are hungry, and it’s up to you to feed them as efficiently as you can. This is a different take on the physics puzzle concept that’s both fresh and fun. That is, of course, unless you run out of bombs. But, as a last resort, there are always in-app purchases for that.

Quick Look: Collision Effect for iPhone

My first inclination was to say that Collision Effect is like the Seinfeld of gaming – a whole lot of something about nothing. Then it dawned on me that it’s more like an interactive fireworks display with points. Now I don’t know what it is – except for the fact that it’s a whole lot of fun. The game can get really frantic, and that’s when it is at its best. The game is part action, part puzzle, and completely addictive.

Quick Look: Supermarket Scramble for iPhone

I’ve played many match 3 games before, and I’ve also enjoyed one or two grocery store time management games, but this is the first I’ve dabbled in a combination of the two. It turns out that the mix works quite well! There are a couple of limitations that the random nature of the food drop and the interface place on strategy, but overall the two concepts blend together nicely and actually make for a rather challenging game.

Games I Like on 7/20/11

I didn’t realize it as I was putting these entries together, but this edition of Games I Like contains fuzzy, more fuzzy, and just as fuzzy when it comes to the games’ characters. In Chuzzle you’ll spending your time popping a bunch of fuzzy creatures. Chicks Vs Kittens has you protecting your tree from a bunch of sneaking cats in one of the more original tower defense (if you can even call it that) style games I’ve seen. Finally, Panda Adventure is a puzzle game about a panda bear and its stars. All cool, all fun, and all fuzzy.

Random Reviews: The Crawl Space Games Edition

It’s time for another installment of Random Reviews, and this time I thought I’d take a look at a couple of cool casual games from Crawl Space Games. Globs is an interesting puzzle game where you’re goal is to get all the squares in a grid to contain globs of the same color. Float, on the other hand, lets you relive your childhood joy of bopping balloons to keep them up in the air. Two very different styles of game, but both are lots of fun and should keep you busy for a while.

Quick Look: Treasure Seekers 3 – Follow The Ghosts for iPhone

It seems you can’t keep a good treasure hunter down. Nelly and Tom are back for yet another globetrotting adventure. This one starts out as a quest to recover a missing jewel, but quickly turns into a mission to settle supernatural forces around the world. It’s certainly a worth successor to the Treasure Seekers franchise, with it’s nice blend of puzzle solving, hidden object scavenging and mini puzzle distractions. It would be nice if it weren’t so hard to find your objectives on screen sometimes, but otherwise it provides for quite an enjoyable romp.

Quick Look: Front Runner for iPhone

Scrolling shooters are getting to be a dime a dozen these days on the App Store, so it takes something a little bit special to stand out from the crowd. Front Runner is charming and actually has a pretty decent upgrade system, but it doesn’t really offer anything new in the way of game mechanics. The bigger problem, however, is that there are some nasty bugs that get in the way of truly enjoying the experience. Still, if you can weather the problems and are really in the mood for another shooter, you could certainly do worse than Front Runner.

Games I Like on 6/6/2011

This edition of Games I Like features Rampage gone doodle, a lite version of a cool shooter, and time management for the girls (and guys who are manly enough to admit they play girlie games). These aren’t exactly the best examples of games in their genres, but they certainly kept me entertained long enough for me to write about them!

Quick Look: Turtle Fly for iPhone

In the movie UHF Weird Al posited that turtles were nature’s suction cups, but have you ever seen one fly? Now’s your chance with Turtle Fly for the iPhone. This is another in the growing line of “animals artificially geared up to fly as far as they can” style games, but it has enough going for it to make it worth trying even if you’ve experienced some of the others. There are a significant number of upgrades to work on, and the graphics are pretty cool. How far can you make this turtle fly…

Quick Look: Neon Mania for iPhone

Let’s be honest – did you ever think you’d be playing a game based off the simple concept of tracing pictures? Me either, but that’s the theme behind Neon Mania from Vivid Games. Turns out it makes for a pretty decent casual gaming experience. Anyone looking for some action is probably going to be bored, but if you’ve decided that it’s time to expand your horizons beyond solitaire and Minesweeper, this might be a good place to start.

Quick Look: Desertic for iPhone

You still won’t see pigs flying yet, but there are cows with wings in this crazy action game from the iPhone / iPod Touch. In Desertic your mission is simply to keep up to three plants at a time growing. You’ll have a blistering sun, exploding cactus and more trying to keep you from this goal, however. If you’re looking for something silly and a bit different, Desertic is probably a good choice for you.

Games I Like On 5/7/2011

From line drawing dice to planets and ping pong balls, this edition’s selections cover a wide spectrum of topics. Each of these games takes a slightly different perspective on their genres, and each one is quite enjoyable. And, for all of you who might be concerned, no animals were hurt in the making of the first game. It is just make believe, after all.

Random Reviews: The Underwater Edition

In this second installment of my revitalized Random Reviews column I take a look at two “survive as long as you can” style games. Both of them have another thing in common – they take place under the water. The first is called Squid Drop, and features a little squid that just wants to see the bottom of the ocean. The second is The Fish Dies In The End and, well, you can guess how this story ends. Read on to see how I felt about these aquatic adventures…

Random Reviews: The SEGA Sequels Edition

Random Selections are back (though with a slight name change), and this week’s edition features two of the most recently released games in SEGA’s line of Genesis emulations. Both Streets Of Rage 2 and Golden Axe 2 are classics (as are the series as a whole), but SoR 2 has certainly held up better over the course of time. Still, if you’re looking for a blast from the past these are both fun rides, and it gives the younger gamers a feel for what gaming was like “back in your day”.

Preview: Gears for iPhone

Ball rolling games like Marble Madness are a natural fit for the iPhone (though I’m still waiting for that one), but even the good ones were all starting to feel somewhat the same. Gears is ready to break that mold. A full 3D environment, levels that stretch horizontally and vertically, and difficulty settings to challenge even the most hardcore gamer should give this game a broad range of appeal. I know I’m hooked.

Quick Look: Animal Pop for iPhone

So what do you get when you combine bubbles, cute forest critters, and gadgets that seem like they came out of the ACME offense catalog? Why you get Animal Pop, of course! This fun match 3 style game adds a couple of neat twists to the formula, and despite only having one game play mode does a good job of holding your attention. You probably won’t play it for hours on end, but it makes for a nice filler when you’re not looking for a deep experience. It’s also a good game for kids to play.

Quick Look: Sparkle The Game for iPhone

I like the marble popper genre, though I don’t get overly excited when a new entry arrives. There really hasn’t been one that caught my attention since Aqua Pearls… that is, of course, until I finally tried Sparkle The Game. I have enjoyed this game so much, and it seems like these past few days I’ve ended up playing it no matter what I started out to do on my device. If you haven’t tried it yet, maybe now’s the time!

Quick Look: Ninja, Please! for iPhone

I had high hopes for this game. The idea of insulting deadly assassins alone should have been worth the price of admission. Ironically, the game was pretty much what I had hoped it would be. Sadly, there’s one overriding issue that makes all I had hoped for not worthwhile. Read on to find out what’s got me bummed about Ninja, Please!

Quick Look: Chop Chop Caveman for iPhone

The Chop Chop Universe is back and better than ever with its sixth installment – Chop Chop Caveman. This is the perfect combination of platform and light puzzle solving for the player that’s somewhere between a complete n00b and a hardcore veteran. The graphics are awesome, the music is good, and it’s an all around fun time to be had. Plus the game is universal, so you can enjoy some prehistoric stomping on both your iPhone and iPad.

Quick Look: Tiny Wings for iPhone

If you’ve not heard of Tiny Wings by now then you’re probably the type of person that doesn’t play much more than solitaire or minesweeper on their mobile devices. While it might not have been for long, this little gem managed to dethrone the mighty Angry Birds and make it to a #1 spot in the App Store charts on iTunes. The honor was well deserved, as Tiny Wings took a simple concept and managed to make it into one of the most addictive games I had played in quite a while (and I play a LOT of games on my iPod Touch). Read on to find out why the game hypnotized me so…

Quick Look: Escape Rosecliff Island for iPhone

One thing I’ve enjoyed about more recent hidden object games is their tendency to drift towards traditional adventure games in terms of game play. However, it’s still nice to play a good old fashioned “hidden objects as the focus” style of game, and that’s exactly what Escape Rosecliff Island is. The visuals are very nice, the mini-games are amusing and don’t get in the way, and the item hunting is challenging but not frustrating (for the most part).

Quick Look: Dark Woods for iPhone

Dark Woods is a “reboot” of a game I reviewed in 2009 called Mystical Woods. I really want to like the Woods series, and I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements in Dark Woods over Mystical Woods. Still, the game is lacking that special something it needs to make it to the next level. So what is that “something”? Read on to find out…

Quick Look: Burn The Rope for iPhone

So are you tired of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, and think you’ve extinguished all of your choices? Turns out you’re in luck, because a while back Big Blue Bubble released a little gem called Burn The Rope. Now while you might think by the name that it’s a blatant ripoff of something else, it just so happens that Burn The Rope is quite unlike any other puzzle game I’ve played on my iOS device – I’m sure you’ll find out the same. Keep reading to see what Burn The Rope has in store for you…

Quick Look: Knight’s Rush for iPhone

The folks at MoreGames Entertainment have done a wonderful job of making relatively simple concepts entertaining, and Knight’s Rush is certainly no exception to the rule. This is the third game in the “knights” series, and it is just as fun as the other two. The world is quite fetching, the game play is hectic and fun, and the character customization is surprisingly deep for this style of game play. If you haven’t tried this rush yet, you’re definitely missing out.

Quick Look: Air Supply 1bit Run for iPhone

By now I figured I’d be bored with the whole “run as far as you can” genre of games, but as it turns out some of them are actually improving on the concept. My latest addiction in this arena is Air Supply, and just by looking at it you’d think it took a step backwards in the visual department. However, the graphics are actually pretty slick, the music is awesome, and the game is just plain fun. Now if you need actual details, simply read on…

Quick Look: Clumsy Bob for iPhone

The “distance running” genre has exploded on the App Store, and like so many crowded categories it often gets hard to distinguish one game from another. Clumsy Bob certainly sticks out from the crowd thanks to a few subtle difference like (1) Bob is an elephant, (2) he jumps instead of runs, and (3) there are rats that can eat him whole. These are just a few of the nifty elements to be found in this cute take on the genre. Unfortunately, there’s also one issue that could make Clumsy Bob a bit of a party pooper. Read on to see why not everything is coming up roses in Bob’s world…

Quick Look: Blast Monkeys for iPhone

What do you get when a developer writes a game because they want to, and not because they are concerned about being the “next big thing”? You get Blast Monkeys, of course. The irony of this is that given some spit and polish, I think this could be the “next big thing”. Maybe it’s too short in it’s current incarnation to tell, but personally, this is one of the most enjoyable puzzle games I’ve played in quite a while. And since it’s free, you don’t have to take my word for it – try it yourself and see.

Quick Look: Eggs In Space for iPhone

I’ve tackled a lot of extraterrestrial foes in games, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve had to deal with alien eggs. Turns out they’re a pushover-easy if you know how to handle them just right. Sorry, I crack myself up with these bad puns. Let me just wipe the egg of my face and direct you to the review. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Quick Look: Bubble Pets for iPhone

In my opinion the Whack-A-Mole genre has been pretty stale from day one. There have been a couple of exceptions, however, the latest one being Bubble Pets. This take on the concept is not only fun, but it pays a nice homage to old school computer games and NES era music. Bubble Pets is a must for both forthright and closet casual gamers.

Preview: League Of Evil (lite) for iPhone

One mad scientist is bad enough, but when they get together to form a league, they must be stopped! So it goes in League Of Evil, and it’s up to you to do the stopping. I’d be really surprised if this game wasn’t meant to pay homage to the NES era Mega Man games, but even if it wasn’t Mega Man fans will love it. Other people that like platform games should get a kick out of it as well.

Quick Look: Hysteria Project for iPhone

The Hysteria Project is interactive FMV horror done right. The video looks good, the setting is quite creepy, and the interactive elements are well suited to the small screen of the iPhone. This game has been around for a while, but was pulled temporarily and then resurfaced in anticipation of part 2. If you haven’t partaken of this project yet, now is the perfect time to do so.

Quick Look: Wackylands Boss for iPhone

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be the nasty, feared final boss of a video game, now’s your chance to find out with Wackylands Boss from Chillingo. You’ll take on the role of a fledgling bad guy and work your way up to head boss by taking out all the innocents and stopping the other monsters that get in your way. As you progress you’ll be able to morph your monster and give it equipment to bolster it’s badness. Can you become the ultimate villain? If not, you can at least have fun trying.

Random Selections: The Final Edition

It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for new reviews of games new and old. In this edition of Random Selections I take a look at two war themed games released by Pocket Monkey Games, one of which involves zombies. How can you go wrong with that, right? Just check out my reviews to see.

Quick Look: Super Blast 2 for iPhone

The developers behind Super Blast 2 first wowed me with their inaugural iPhone effort Bloomies. It’s not that Bloomies was an outstanding game, but rather that they managed to keep me engrossed by a fairly basic plant simulator. As a result I had high hopes for Super Blast 2. What I got was a pretty typical shooter with graphical inspirations from Bloomies and some decent but “seen ‘em before” power ups. Consequently, Super Blast 2 ends up not being much of a super blast.

Games I Like on 12/31/2010

There were a lot of good games in 2010, and one genre I’ve really grown to appreciate over the year is the running game. For this edition of Games I Like I took a look at three such games – Pig Rush, Canabalt and Lame Castle. Enjoy, and see you in the new year!

Quick Look: Song Shaker for iPhone

It’s time to shake, rattle and roll with GameGou’s latest iPhone offering, Song Shaker. In this unique game you shake your way to victory as you try to reproduce your favorite songs with rhythmic accuracy. Don’t worry if you don’t know the notes, however, the game takes care of that part for you. I love the concept, but I think the whole shake mechanic could use some tweaking.

Quick Look: Clock Blocks for iPhone

To all those who say Flash is bad for the iPhone, I would direct them to games like this. Clock Blocks is a unique action / puzzle game that’s quick to pick up, hard to put down, and yes, has it’s origin in the world of Flash. I hope we see more quality Flash games like this ported to the iOS platform.

Quick Look: Go Usagi for iPhone

Go Usagi brings us a variation of a nice little puzzle type we haven’t seen in a while: the “redirect to the exit” style puzzle. The game features a bunch of cute little rabbits that are trying to escape, and often a group of mean (but somewhat cute anyway) aliens that are trying to stop them. Everybody is in constant motion, and it’s your job to route the rabbits to the exit on each level while keeping the aliens away. It’ll take keen observation and proper planning, but I’m sure you’re up to the task.

Quick Look: Vikings Row! for iPhone

Apparently their coffers weren’t as tight as they thought, because some poor Vikings have lost a night’s worth of plundering. In Vikings Row! it’s up to you to help them recover their gold by guiding their ship through 48 perilous levels. There’s a lot to like about this game, but the control scheme was enough to put a bad taste in my mouth.

Random Selections: The “No Cute Mascots” Puzzle Edition

Can you believe that there are puzzle games that don’t feature goofy, whacked out creatures? I know, I was shocked too :) Anyway, today’s Random Selections deals with two such puzzle games. One involves slicing up an object into smaller, equal parts, and the other is a new take on the match 3 genre. Both are fun, and there isn’t a mascot to be seen.

Quick Look: mScribble for iPhone

I’m sure that when you were younger, a good number of you used to wave your hands in the air like you were directing the triumphant finale of a master symphony orchestra set. mScribble for your iPhone / iPod Touch does you one better, as it lets you create music with the swipe of a finger. I don’t normally get into apps that aren’t games, but mScribble has a certain something that keeps drawing you in.

Quick Look: Drop Dead for iPhone

I’m sure I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again – match 3 games are a dime a dozen on the App Store (yeah, I know the lowest you can go is 99 cents). Still, I find myself inexplicably drawn to the concept, and feel the need to try every one out that I can get my hands on. Drop Dead heightened the necessity by having a zombie theme. There’s nothing really original about the game, but it does what it does well, and the zombies are just really cool.

Preview: Aqua Pearls for iPhone

Coming soon to an iPhone / iPod Touch near you – Aqua Pearls from G5 Entertainment. At first glance it might seem like just another one of those pearl matching games, but don’t let that fool you. Beyond the cool underwater atmosphere lurks a couple of game play modes that are fairly new to the genre. You may think you’ve had your fill of this type of game, but you might want to think again.

Quick Look: Dice Tower for iPhone

Usually tower building games test your twitch reflex by having you drop sections from above and try and keep an ever leaning structure in balance. Dice Tower takes a more intellectual approach to the subject, using dice and simple rules to govern where the dice can be placed. If you’d like more of a cerebral challenge when it comes to the virtual construction business, Dice Tower is the place to be. I wonder when Donald Trump’s gonna move in?

Quick Look: The Secret Of Grisly Manor for iPhone

I love getting promo codes for no reason, though I rarely take a code if I don’t know what it’s for. In this case it came from a trusted friend, however, so I decided to give it a shot. Turns out the code was for The Secret Of Grisly Manor, and I have no regrets for my greedy claim. The adventure’s a bit short, but it’s loads of fun and looks really sharp. If you like adventure games I’d seriously consider giving it a shot.

Quick Look: Tappi Bear All In 1 for iPhone

I don’t normally look at kids’ games because I don’t let my kids use my iPod Touch and I obviously don’t relate too much to them any more. I’m a big fan of TaPlay, however, so when they sent me a code for Tappi Bear All In 1 I decided to give it a go. I think it would be a great game for younger kids, and it might even keep the parents occupied for a few minutes every now and again after the kids go to sleep.

Random Selections: The eBook Edition

In the latest installment of Random Selections I deviate a bit from my usual ramblings about games and take a look at two eBooks – The Cat In The Hat from Oceanhouse Media and issue 1 of Pocket God Comics. The two stories have very different presentations, and I have quite different thoughts about each of them. Read on to see what I thought…

Quick Look: Dungeon Core for iPhone

Games where you’re descending a pit or jumping higher and higher seem to be pretty popular on the App Store, but after a while they all begin to feel the same. Thankfully Dungeon Core brings something different to the table with some lite RPG elements. On the other hand, a poor save system and iffy control responsiveness tend to diminish the experience a bit.

Quick Look: Vampire Origins for iPhone

For some reason vampires haven’t been nearly as popular on the App Store as zombies, even though in my opinion they are a much cooler undead villain. There have been at least some attempts at dealing with this minion of the night, however, one of the more recent being the game Vampire Origins from Chillingo. As a survival horror game it kind of lags behind the competition like Resident Evil or Zombie Infection, but it still has a lot of promise. If you prefer vampires to zombies, or are just looking for something different, you could certainly do a lot worse than Vampire Origins.

Random Selections: The Fighting Gamebook Sequels Edition

The idea of the Fighting Gamebook, or an eBook with interactive (and sometimes RPG) elements is gaining more ground on the iPhone, but the leaders at this point are still Big Blue Bubble and Tin Man Games. In this edition of Random Selections I take a look at book 2 in each of their series, Deathtrap Dungeon and The Siege Of The Necromancer respectively.

Quick Look: Jewels Maker for iPhone

Look ma, another ball rolling game! Yeah, but there’s something about this one that I like, despite some issues I’ve had with it. Maybe there’s some sort of subliminal message buried in the music. Who knows? What I do know is that despite failing repeated times on some levels, I’m always ready to come back for more. I think you will be too…

Quick Look: Monster Dash for iPhone

There are plenty of run and jump games on the App Store, and most of them involve some mix of involuntary running and voluntary jumping. Unfortunately, too many of them don’t offer much else, save a different look or various obstacles to jump over. Thankfully Monster Dash brings something new to the table, as you get the opportunity to blast away monsters while you’re, well, running and jumping. It’s a small change, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Quick Look: Lorax Garden for iPhone

The world of Dr. Seuss comes alive once again on your iPhone and iPod Touch. This time you get to help the Lorax replant several gardens that have been devastated in the hopes of attracting the local wildlife back. The engine is built around the same one used for Flower Garden with a few embellishments that really make it work well. This really seems more like a simulation than a true game, but it’s still fun and worth your efforts.

Random Selections: The “Really Random” Edition

This edition of Random Selections is a bit odd. The games don’t really relate to each other, which is basically supposed to be the point of the article. However, one of them isn’t actually available any more. Cow Tippin’ is no longer on the U.S. market, and I don’t know if it’s elsewhere or not. I think it might have gone through a name change. You can still get Fortune Panda, however, which is a fun little “collect all the money” game with a cute panda and some nasty lobsters, frogs and trucks.

Random Selections: The “I Like Kuyi Mobile” Edition

What do the Earth being invaded and a jumping robot have in common? They’re both the subject of games developed by Kuyi Mobile, of course. This up and coming casual games developer sure knows their stuff, as they’ve managed to make two entertaining games in completely different genres in a relatively short amount of time. Read on to see what I mean, then go check them out at the App Store…

Quick Look: Pigs Vs. Wolves for iPhone

Looking for a lighthearted strategy game that’s easy to get into but still provides a challenge? Want something with lots of units and little resource management? Need a game that makes you think but doesn’t keep you at your screen for hours at a time? Pigs Vs. Wolves might just be for you. To top it all off you get a Hulk pig. What could be better?

Games I Like on 8/9/2010

I’m back with another round of Games I Like. This time I take a look at a tunnel based shooter, an action-RPG where you fight squares, and the ultimate counting sheep game (sort of). All are great fun and recommended by me.

Quick Look: Chuck Gnome for iPhone

I’m not really sure where to begin with this game. Sure you’ve seen something like it before, but nothing quite like it. It is gnome slinging, target hunting fun that’s addictive and frustrating and captivating all at the same time. The hero is a garden ornament, the villains look like paper cutouts, and the overall feel makes you want to believe it’s a kids’ game. I can assure you that there’s enough challenge for the kid at heart trapped inside an adult’s body, though. If you’re looking for a unique, entertaining experience involving short bearded men and big rubber bands, you need to get this game. The rest of you ought to check it out as well.

Quick Look: Jump-O-Mania 3D for iPhone

The thought of jumping around on big metal stilts with springs actually sounds kind of cool, but with my luck I’d probably break my neck. Thanks to Digital Worlds I don’t even have to risk it, because now I can do the same thing on my iPhone / iPod Touch. Sure it may not provide the same physical thrill, but it won’t send my HSA into a tailspin either. This game is a lot of fun and it’s sure to keep people like me that aren’t so coordinated busy for quite some time.

Random Selections: The “Quirky But Fun” Edition

It’s time for another installment of Random Selections. This time around I take a look at a couple of games that are “Quirky But Fun”. Soccer Stealers is a game where instead of playing soccer you burst onto the field and steal the ball from the players! How long can you survive before one of the professionals gets ahold of you? In Pix’n Love Rush you play some sort of creature that likes plus signs and has an aversion to purple bats. As you score points without getting hit the graphics morph into various retro looks. Kind of weird to think about, but really cool to see.

Quick Look: Golvellius – Valley Of Doom for iPhone

I’m a fan of the retro games movement, regardless of whether it’s a new game made to look and act like an oldie or an old game brought up to speed to work on new systems. You would think, then, that Golvellius would be a natural fit for me. The question is, does it fit like a glove or that nasty pair of spandex that you can’t ever get off? Read on to find out…

Games I Like on 7/15/2010

It’s been a couple of weeks, so I figured I was about due for another installment of Games I Like. This time around – while not really a theme to begin with – I guess you could say all of these games are somehow connected to my past. As a gamer for almost 30 years, I was a Pac-Man fan like everyone else back then. I was also a Terminator fan, so while I’ve heard they butchered the new movie, it was nice to see them do a good job on the game based off of it. And, while I don’t remember exactly where I’ve seen him, I know I used to watch the star of La Linea on some show when I was a kid.

Quick Look: OddBlob for iPhone

OddBlob is a pretty appropriate title for this quirky little game. You play the titular character, a cute purple blob with arms and big buggy eyes. Your job is to get from one end of each level to the other, chomping food along the way and avoiding pits that will cause you to tumble to your doom. I have to confess that I was not a big fan of this game at first. As I played it more for the purpose of writing this review, however, OddBlob really began to endear itself to me. While there’s nothing mind blowing about the game, it has a certain charm that will keep you coming back for more.

Quick Look: Police Range for iPhone

Since Astraware just released the Windows Mobile versions of Police Range and OddBlob I thought it might be nice to finally review the iPhone versions, which I have put off for way too long. First up is Police Range, a decent looking but ultimately average gallery shooter. My guess is they were shooting more for realism, but personally I would have preferred a little bit of flash.

Quick Look: Steamballs for iPhone

Steamballs brings a unique element to match 3 games, as it requires more strategy than brute force tile swapping. You build the playing field one ball at a time, and must keep everything in balance in order to achieve optimal results. A cool steampunk atmosphere and rockin’ music suck you in, and thoughtful, challenging game play keep you coming back for more.

Random Selections: The Cute Casual Game Edition

So what do games about mice stealing cheese and green airborne weird things have in common? They both exist on the iPhone, and I’ve decided to write about both of them. Welcome to the latest edition of Random Selections, where I take a look at the casual games Mice Heist and CataGugl.

Games I Like on 7/1/2010

As always, this edition of Games I Like features three random games that really don’t have much in common. What we do have is a great NES styled game where your character has a skull for a head and bounces on a pogo stick, an update to the classic Moon Patrol style of game play, and a game about bugs that’s good for the kids as well as the young at heart. All of these games receive a Recommended in my book, so here we go…

Quick Look: iSlice Cut It Up! for iPhone

When I first saw the screen shots for iSlice I thought it looked kind of like a bizarre Qix clone. The reality is that iSlice is more like a Qix evolution, and honestly I find the game a lot more fun. It definitely gets frustrating at times, but in the end there’s a great feeling of satisfaction for completing each level, especially if you can solve it in the required number of slices to get a gold medal. Of course, there are times where you’re just happy to complete a level. Either way it’s both challenging and entertaining, and it has a nice audio / visual presence as well.

Quick Look: Babeorella for iPhone

Apparently the temporary ban on Daisy Mae scared off developers, because the only other game of that style staring an “ambitious” action heroine that has really surfaced in the last few months is Babeorella. I decided to see how a robot demolishing seductress would hold up against an alien bashing one, and I do believe there’s enough room in the iDevice world for both to fit comfortably, aerodynamics aside. The only problem is that the Babeorella experience is a bit marred by finicky controls and repetitive… well, everything. Still, it has a few charms that make it worth crushing robots for a while at least.

Random Selections: The Blacksmith Games Edition

Well, it’s time for another edition of the article formerly known as Saturday Specials. I decided to rename the piece since it barely ever actually made it out on Saturday. Anyway, this week I take a look at the first two games published by Blacksmith Games – Plushed and Boostball. I think the folks at Blacksmith are off to a good start.

Quick Look: Fastball 2 for iPhone

Hey, it’s another “rolling ball” game, and a sequel no less. That’s true, and it’s even a bit simplistic feature-wise compared to some of them, but the game is fun. Every time I start a level I can’t get myself to put the game down until I’ve finished the level. The graphics are nice, with two different themes to choose from, and the music is quite enjoyable. Maybe you’ve got room on your device for one more “rolling ball” game after all…

Saturday Specials: The “It’s An Edition” Edition

Yes, it’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another installment of Saturday Specials! This week I take a look at Sorter, a game about sorting colored bombs into like colored bins. What kind of sicko makes a bomb look all nice and pretty? On the flip side we have Buzz2 Chaos, a spot the difference game that’s a little bit more than your average spotter. Read on to see if these titles are worth your time…

Quick Look: Color Swing for iPhone

From the folks that brought you Fly-Flap, the humorous fly swatting game, comes a new twist on match 3 – Color Swing. The game is carried out on a cylindrical playing field, and sports both a quick reaction mode and a laid back strategy mode. This game could easily be the next step in match 3 if they could just get their “tap to select a match” responsiveness a bit more accurate. Still, it’s a fresh new take on the genre that deserves a look-see at least from die hard match 3 fans.

Quick Look: Up With A Fish for iPhone

“Look ma, no hands!” I suppose that’s a lot easier to do when you’ve got the hat of a cat and the balance of… well, I still don’t know how he manages that part. Anyway, the developers of the iPhone sensation Scoops have teamed up with Oceanhouse Media to bring you the officially licensed Cat In The Hat game Up With A Fish, which takes the object stacking genre into a wacky new world.

Saturday Specials: The “It’s That Time Again” Edition

Well, I’m pretty close to publishing this on Saturday this time. For this past week’s Saturday Specials I take a look at an interesting cross between Whack A Mole and “odd man out” called The Fifth Wheel, as well as a physics ball escape game named Backlash.

Games I Like on 6/5/2010

Two editions of Games I Like in a week – I’m going to spoil you guys! This time around I’m playing Parachute from Donut Games, Spinzizzle from Press OK Entertainment, and Killing Zone. A variety of cheap, fun entertainment to suit many gaming needs.

Saturday Specials: The Chopping Block Edition

In this week’s customarily late edition of Saturday Specials I take a look at an iPhone universe in the making – the Chop Chop universe. So far there are three games with the Chop Chop name – Chop Chop Ninja, Chop Chop Runner and Chop Chop Tennis. There is certainly a bit of cohesiveness to the titles, especially the first two, but I think there are a few bumps to iron out before the momentum really gets rolling. I look forward to bringing you updates to this ever expanding universe as time goes on.

Games I Like on 5/30/2010

I’m starting a new irregular segment on TechnoBrains called “Games I Like”, which is a Reader’s Digest sized version of Quick Looks designed to point out some games I’m playing that I like but don’t have time to review. This edition features Ultimate Hangman, Woolly Factory and Pistols At Dawn.

Saturday Specials: The Bottom Line Edition

Well, as Wednesday quickly approaches in my time zone I’m just getting around to posting this past weekend’s Saturday Specials. What else is new? Anyway, this week I bring you two games that take the game of Simon to a new level – specifically, the realm of line drawing. They’re slightly different takes on the same theme, and I think they will each appeal to a slightly different audience, but they’re both decent games for what they offer.

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