Today was a big day for game releases. If you've missed out on the hugely popular Flight Control, there's finally a free version to try. Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 2, the sequel to its powerful first-person shooter N.O.V.A.: Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance, is also out today, as well as a port of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light -- a downloadable console game that was pretty great with a controller and pretty great on an iPhone too.
Flight Control Free (iPhone, iPad) (Free)
There's a reason Flight Control is very popular -- it's extremely simple and easy, so much so that just about anybody could understand how to play it. And it stays simple and easy for maybe the first 30 seconds.
Then things get challenging.
This new version of Flight Control includes all the mayhem of the paid version, in which you draw paths to guide airplanes to their designated landing strips, without letting them crash into one another. As things ramp up, you'll have faster jets, slower planes and hovering helicopters to deal with, all of which are coming from different directions and all of which need to land. The free version only includes the first map from the full version (which is only a buck, by the way), but it does support online leaderboards through Game Center.
N.O.V.A. 2 (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
The sequel to Gameloft’s highly regarded first-person shooter looks pretty gorgeous graphically, but they’re not the only thing the developer has amped up for this second outing of the Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance. It comes packed with 12 new missions, improved enemy artificial intelligence, new weapons and new abilities.
The single-player campaign isn’t the only thing N.O.V.A. 2 has to offer. Gameloft has also upped the multiplayer content of the game, allowing up to 10 players to do battle on a single map over a Wi-Fi connection. And there’s a bonus for series mainstays -- if you’ve played through the first N.O.V.A., you get bonuses added to your character in the sequel.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (iPhone, iPad) $6.99
As an Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network downloadable title out last summer, Lara Croft was pretty impressive. It’s part two-stick shooter, part puzzle adventure game, and is fast-paced and intelligent. You’ll pound through enemies with a wealth of weapons and items, and the whole thing is outfitted with a ton of challenges, achievements, and collectibles to run down. Lara Croft is a crazily rewarding game.
You’ll get the most use out of this one, however, if you can get a friend with an iPhone to join in with you to play cooperatively over a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll work together to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Lara Croft is fun to play alone, but with a friend, it’s even more interesting.