This week’s big game day sees the release of an iPad version of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy Tactics port, so players who have been waiting patiently with only the iPhone version can finally enjoy the game on a big screen. We’ve also got three nifty arcade titles on offer as well. First up is Don’t Fry the Frog!, a game in which your thumbs become electrified and you have to zap unhealthy flies before a frog can eat them; then there’s Munch Time, a puzzler in which you’ll move a chameleon around various levels, changing its color to help it get around. Finally, there’s Retro Racing, a top-down racer filled with power-ups that racers need to snag in each run.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (iPad) $17.99
Last year, Square Enix ported the PSP version of its classic turn-based strategy title, Final Fantasy Tactics, to the iPhone. The game original appeared on the Sony PlayStation and it’s a great one, all things considered, although the iPhone version suffered from some weakness in the port and from the fact that the game could stand to be played on a larger field. Enter: the iPad version.
As with the iPhone version, the core game is the same – players move characters around a grid to fight in various battles, each with different abilities and stats. Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and of Square Enix games who don’t mind ponying up a bit for a new game will find a lot to enjoy in War of the Lions, especially with the additional screen real estate the iPad offers.
Don’t Fry the Frog! (iPhone, iPad) Free
An arcade game that requires both thumbs to play, Don’t Fry the Frog! has a simple but interesting premise. Press your thumbs on your iOS device’s screen and a conduit of electricity appears between them. You need to move your thumbs around the screen and use that electricity to kill stuff: specifically, bad flies. And as you might have guessed, you need to avoid using your electricity to cook a frog.
That frog appears on the screen and hops around, attempting to eat flies. Some of the flies are good, but most, not so much. Your electricity is used to kill the bad flies before the frog can eat them, leaving him to eat the good flies. But zap him or let him eat the wrong kinds of flies, and you’ll lose life. The more flies you kill and the longer you leave your fingers on the screen, the more points you earn.
Munch Time (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
Side-scrolling puzzler Munch Time is a bit reminiscent of some of the things you’re asked to do in Cut the Rope. You control a chameleon who’s looking to eat a grub for lunch, located somewhere on each level. But in the meantime, you want the chameleon to snag three stars, so your job is to negotiate him around the stage before bringing him to his meal.
In order to move around, you’ll use his chameleon tongue to swing from flowers. But you can’t get every flower to cooperate unless you change the chameleon’s color by eating special bugs. The only way to get the best score is to see which colors you need and which order you’ll have to swing from the flowers, in order to grab enough height and momentum to get to the places you’re trying to reach.
Retro Racing (iPhone, iPad) $0.99
You probably know what to expect out of Retro Racing from its title, and you’d be spot on. The touch-controlled, top-down racer has players using simplified controls to blast around the track, dodging around opponent cars in an attempt to pick up power-ups along the way to boost your car’s performance.
You get to choose from a number of different cars at the outset of each race, and each one has different pros and cons. Retro Racing also packs Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements, and the iPad version packs head-to-head multiplayer support, so you can play against your friends.