Guess what: you can get double the Infinity Blade for half the price this week. That’s more than enough to make this massive, 500MB download the iOS Best Game of the Week. But Infinity Blade’s changes are the only thing that have caught our eyes: there’s also Fight Night Champion, a boxing game with a ton of touch controls to master; super-difficult Pong-inspired Ponx; rhythmic vertical shooter Wave; and Speedball 2, an old-school arcade sports game. They’re all great, and we’ve got all the details below.
Fight Night Champion (iPhone, iPad) $4.99
The iOS port of EA Sports’ console boxing title does a lot of justice to its roots, packing in legends of boxing for you to play as and fight against in the game’s quickplay mode. Much better than that though is to raise your fighter from his humble beginnings and take on the likes of Ali or Tyson later in his career. Fight Night has gone all-out with the touchscreen controls, creating some rather complicated ones, but they become much more intuitive once you know them and use them in a few fights. You’ll swipe and tap in different quadrants of the screen to jab, uppercut, block and lean, and it all works pretty well. Once you’re well-versed in killing the computer player, you can take on other players, like your friends, using a Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi connection.
Infinity Blade update (iPhone, iPad) $2.99
Infinity Blade was a great game before it was updated with The Deathless King, and usually I’d try to avoid putting a game’s update on this weekly list. But that’s just how significant this Infinity Blade update is: it’s 548MB, a monster addition of content that drives Infinity Blade to be twice as big as it was when it first launched in November. New weapons, new loot and items, new enemies, new eras and new game modes adorn Infinity Blade -- you even get a new set of achievements to go with the six new enemies and 10 different new areas the game progresses through. There’s just so much new stuff here, it deserves its own nod. Oh, and more great thing: developer ChAIR has sliced the price by half until Sunday.
Ponx (iPhone) $0.99
Ponx is extremely simple in theory, but in practice, not so much. It’s just pong: one paddle on top of the screen, one paddle on the bottom. But instead of just having one ball, Ponx has as many as 16 at any given time. The whole experience is set to a beat, and music is an important part of the game as is knowing what to expect and when as you try to keep your score from going deep into the negative. Ponx throws in power-ups to help out, like slowing things down for a second, but overall it’s just a big challenge for the kind of people who like big challenges. The game even tries to warn you -- its difficulty modes start on Hard and go to Extreme. But all that tough work can pay off as OpenFeint achievements, giving you a little digital trophy for fighting a Pong paddle for your dignity.
Wave - Against Every BEAT! (iPhone) $0.99
Another game in which music plays a key roll is Wave, a vertical shooter in which you control the human ship by sliding your finger around, trying to take out as many enemies as possible. Things pick up or slow down with the music as you fight off enemy geometric shapes, looking for power-ups that can make your ship tougher and more powerful. The best power-up is Fever Mode, which requires you to change how you’re playing the game and use two thumbs, not just one. The second thumb is to control a second spaceship, which functions as its own unit until it’s destroyed. The soundtrack is fun, as are the minimalist neon graphics, and you get OpenFeint support to go with your three different game modes.
Speedball 2 Evolution (iPhone) $3.99
Before there was NBA Jam or NFL Blitz, there was Speedball 2, a game in which skill with the ball is matched only by violence against the other team. The futuristic sport mixes handball with football, in which players rush toward a goalie while throwing a ball back and forth, attempting to throw it into the goal to score points. Meanwhile, defenders are throwing themselves back at you, trying to knock you down and take the ball from you to start an attack run of their own. Speedball 2 features some really simple controls -- a tilt-based mechanic for controlling your team (plus a virtual stick if tilting bothers you), and tapping the screen to move the ball, shoot or tackle a guy (and sometimes all three). It also packs 10 gameplay modes over six arenas, Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi multiplayer, and Game Center support.