These iPad Games of the Week go universal

by Tim McLain

This week’s collection of recent entries into the iPad’s growing collection of game titles will have you spreading death from above in a chopper and tank, sprinting from window to window to fend off hungry zombies looking to crack open your skull like a fresh coconut, and crawling through familiar dungeons sporting throwback 2D pixel art. Save a magic missile for me!

Chopper 2 ($2.99)

As a game, Chopper 2 ($2.99 for a limited time) is one of the best side-scrolling flight titles I’ve played on any platform. Boasting 36 unique missions set in 12 stunning environments, along with easy-to-learn (but hard-to-master) controls, you’ll spend hours decimating your foes with a little laser sight-assisted death from above. Using the accelerometer and gyroscope, where available, for increased sensitivity, you’ll swear your little chopper is really hovering in space. The 3D engine is flawless, HD visuals are intense, and the original soundtrack is the crowning touch.As a showcase for what’s possible with Apple hardware, Chopper 2 stands alone. First, attach your iPad to your TV using an available adapter (component or VGA), then fire up the Bluetooth on your iPhone to remotely control your iPad. Take a seat on your couch and enjoy a truly unique gaming experience as you blast away at ground forces and more.

Zombie Wonderland (99 cents)

BRAINS! Take the familiar cry of yet another zombie horde, add plenty of frantic 3D shooter action, along with a single-minded focus on keeping your home sparkling clean, and you’ve got Zombie Wonderland. You play the role of Chuck, a guy just trying to get through the day and keep his home and town clean, when the zombies appear at every window. You’ll dash from pane to pane, firing away to keep the hordes from getting close or (gasp!) into the house. Fend them off – cleanly, of course, no messes please – through four different levels until the zombie rooster crows at exactly 6 a.m. With story and survival modes at the ready, you’ll have to think quickly, keep your mop and broom close at hand, and upgrade your weaponry at every opportunity. (Spoiler alert: The window-mounted machine gun is insanely great.)

Nano Tank (99 cents)

Retro gamers and vector graphic lovers with an iPad or iPhone will find lots to love about Nano Tank (99 cents for a limited time.) As you’d expect, the game play is textbook overhead tank shooter – drive your heavy tank through a maze, avoid the enemy, and take out the bases, which are ringed with several layers of protection. Each shot takes out a small part of its shields; keep firing until you can take out the core. It’s a cheap thrill that took me back to the heyday of vector gaming (1982/Vectrex? I was there. Honest Abe).

100 Rogues ($4.99)

If you’re like me, you’ve been swinging swords, throwing fireballs, and directing magic missiles to take out baddies in virtual dungeons for as long as you can remember. 100 Rogues ($4.99) is a universal app that taps into a familiar genre (2D pixel art dungeon crawler) and will have you praying for critical hits, useful chest loot and the location of the next EXIT as you explore randomly generated dungeons for as long as you can stay alive.

The game is less about beating every level as it is surviving, upgrading the unique abilities of your Rogue, equipping better armor and weapons, fleshing out your skill tree, and unlocking new skills to take on progressively tougher enemies. A satisfying throw-back to a simpler time in the gaming universe.