The weather is getting warmer and the calendar has turned to April; that means it’s almost time for spring cleaning. After you get done with your house, maybe you should turn your attention to you iPhone. After all, you need some space to accommodate this week’s Top Five iPhone games.
Tony Hawk himself announced the port of this game was in development last month, but the release of Activision’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 ($9.99) on Thursday was still a pleasant and somewhat surprising way to start the month. The game looks and plays much like the original game, with the most noticeable difference being the controls. There are two options: one accelerometer-based and the other based on a d-pad. You are also given four action buttons: grind, flip, ollie and grab. Pro Skater 2 has 13 skaters (Tony Hawk included), 13 environments and familiar game modes such as career mode and free skate. While there are already some quality skating iPhone games available in the iTunes App Store, I think it’s safe to say Pro Skater 2 will quickly make its way to the top of the pack.
This sequel from Gamevil will look familiar to fans of the original RPG game, even though it boasts plenty of changes. Zenonia 2 ($4.99) offers four characters that are not only customizable, but who also have individual storylines, with the group eventually joining forces later in the storyline. This version also has three modes and an online verses mode, but in general if you picked up the first game, you will be immediately comfortable with this one. The game uses a virtual d-pad, an action button and an auto target system that works well. Zenonia 2’s graphics are very cartoonish and not the most impressive you will find, but they are good enough and definitely fit the RPG genre. The game’s depth is what really makes it stand out, and while there are quite a few more alternatives to Zenonia 2 than there were to the first release, that doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the better iPhone games you will play.
The match three iPhone game has been done so many times already that it’s hard to believe any game could put a unique twist on the genre. But Babo Crash (99 cents) from Playbrains does just that, all the while making the game’s controls special to the iPhone. In this iPhone game, when you match three colors you create a hero; each color creates a different one and they all have different skills. For example, one turns into a ball that you tilt your iPhone to control; it then destroy everything it touches. You can also tilt the device sideways to control the way the gems fall. This leads to a very refreshing match three gaming experience, which is no small feat. Babo Crash has 21 levels and very colorful graphics as well, making it a bargain for only $1.
While Bounce On 2: Drallo’s Demise ($3.99) is the second game in the Bounce On series, it’s probably more helpful to compare it to games such as Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog than the first iPhone game. The 2D platformer from Team Phobic has more than a few qualities that will remind gamers of those two legendary games, such as jumping on top of enemies to defeat them as well as rolling hills and character movement that is very reminiscent of Sonic. Those comparisons should be viewed at as a good thing, though, as despite the iPhone game’s lack of originality it has plenty of things going for it; the controls are simple as well as responsive; and most importantly, the game is fun. Other areas of the Drallo’s Demise – such as sound, graphics and story – aren’t especially great, but the overall package is well above average.
Even though the iPhone’s accelerometer comes in handy as a control method for racing iPhone games, you could argue it is overused. So Bravo Games' decision to go in a completely different direction with Touch Racing Nitro ($3.99) is admirable, but early reviews are mixed. The game has you control RC cars by simply touching a part of the track and having the car move toward that spot. It may sound simple, but it’s very different and leads to a steep learning curve, so it’s not all that surprising that some aren’t thrilled with the controls. Aside from that, the game has 12 cars, 18 tracks and two racing modes – tournament and time trial. The game runs smoothly and I quite enjoy the graphics, though whether or not you enjoy Touch Racing Nitro really comes down to one thing – the controls. A lite version would make things much easier, though there isn’t one yet and that means this game will likely be one of those that you either love or hate, with very few people falling in between. Check out the iPad version, called Touch Racing Nitro XL ($3.99).