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New iPad for Christmas? Download these games first…

by Andrew Koziara

If you find yourself with a brand new iPad this holiday season, you’ll discover it has really proven itself as a gaming platform. There are plenty of great games that makes use of the larger screen and higher resolution. Assuming you already know about titles such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, here are some of the best iPad games to download first.

World of Goo HD ($4.99)

World of Goo is one of those titles that really made people pay more attention to indie gaming, showing just how creative and innovative these games could be. By combining a great soundtrack with strange abstract art, this is a game that really must be played by everyone.

The game is a simple physics-based puzzle game involving the construction of various structures using odd balls of goo. These goo balls come in various shapes and properties, and the game’s five chapters are consistently fresh and challenging. The atmosphere and story punctuate this great game and make it even more memorable. This is one of my favorite games out there, and a must own for every new iPad owner.

Infinity Blade ($2.99)

You’ve probably heard of this series by now. An epic adventure with innovative swipe-based combat with drop dead gorgeous graphics powered by the Unreal Engine. This is the title that made many hardcore gamers realize the potential of iOS gaming.

Slice, dodge and parry your way through an ancient ruined fortress on your quest to slay the God-King and claim the legendary Infinity Blade for yourself. The sequel to this game was recently released which is a far better, but if you aren’t all that sure ,you can pick this one up first at half the price. Both games really show what the hardware of your iPad is capable of.

Peggle HD ($2.99)

If ever in doubt about what game to get, just about everything made by PopCap is a sure bet. These guys might as well be dealing digital crack. Peggle HD is one of their most popular games, and it is so for a reason.

Your goal in this simple puzzle game is to eliminate every orange peg in a level by launching them from the top of the screen. There are a wide variety of power-ups and abilities that help you string together impressive combos and rack-up that high score. The best thing about this game is how over the top and crazy it is. Complete a single level and enjoy the epic sequence of events that follow, and you’re sure to be hooked.

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation ($6.99)

If you’re looking for games with impressive visuals to enjoy on your new HD screen, your best place to look would be the shooter genre. I still feel some shooters just don’t work very well on a touchscreen, but these games are wildly popular regardless of that.

There are many shooters to choose from, but one of the more polished and enjoyable ones I’ve played is this latest entry in the Modern Combat series, an ode to the insanely popular Modern Warfare franchise. With a full campaign packed with epic sequences and a comprehensive online multiplayer, if you don’t like this touch screen shooter, you probably won’t like any of them. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth here though.

Plants vs. Zombies HD ($6.99)

Another PopCap instant classic, this charming and innovative tower defense game has taken the gaming world by storm, and has been released on just about ever platform imaginable. Plant various kinds of defensive vegetation on your lawn to stave off the brain-hungry zombies trying to literally get inside your head.

I never thought zombies could be so cute before playing this game. All the art and music is full of personality and charm, and this is one of the most original games out there. This is really a masterpiece of the tower defense genre, with tons of towers and units, a full campaign and various extra modes, such as puzzle or survival mode. You will not be able to stop playing this one.