TimeDoctor's iGame Squadron #9
Hello, my name is TimeDoctor and I'll be your semi-regular guide through the fun world of the 10,000+ iPhone/iPod Touch games. Each week or so I'll bring you a new article describing and reviewing iPhone games that stand out from the crowd of farting applications. Note that I play all of these games on an iPhone, and though I'll keep an eye out for features which might not work on the iPod touch, may not catch them all. Pricing information is only current as of the review date. Please let me know if you enjoy these articles by e-mailing me, zakk @ timedoctor.org with your feedback and promo codes for reviews. Thanks and please enjoy this ninth set of reviews.
Diner Dash is, as far as I can figure, the original entry in the genre of preparation strategy games. For those unfamiliar, I should explain that the game has you playing the entrepreneur Flo who is also the head waitress of her chain of restaurants.
The real meat in this gameplay pie is her running from station to table and back on station. So: Click, Flo's seating a group of three; Click, they're at the table on the bottom right; Click, take their order; Click, take the order to the counter; Click, take the food back to the customer, and so on.
You do this over and over again with a few changes. Maybe you get a coffee maker to keep them happy -- the customers get upset if you don't seat and serve them fast enough -- or you add some new bench seats. You've got a fiscal goal to achieve and it enables Flo's capitalist dream.
Overall I am shamed to admit that Flo's career is fun. The unfortunate thing about the iPhone port is that you're obscuring the screen for every action. This can really be a pain when the fonts used are too small and all the graphics aren't updated for the platform. Nothing has been touched up, the game still has a 4:3 resolution despite the wide screen on the iPhone.
So the port isn't great, but what are you going to do, Diner Dash is still a fun casual strategy game. Lets clear those tables and rack up some cash.
Your planet being invaded by unfriendly aliens, toxic garbage cans, and a few asteroids? Tap on the screen and watch them blow up.
With Cosmic Nitro you've got more than just incoming ICBMs, there are UFOs, cans of toxic junk (who the heck is dropping those?), asteroids, and what can best be described as "Swirly Things" (Swirly-Thing Alert!)
The graphics are pleasantly retro, you've got more junk to shoot, and the countermeasures are hitscan instead of Missile Command's delayed ballistics. About the only fault I can find is that there isn't any kind of multi-touch going on which would probably make the challenging stages a bit less difficult.
Yes it is Missile Command as rejiggered for 2009's iPhone, but for only $1 when the original version is $5 in the App Store, I don't think you can go wrong shooting Phil's toxic barrels.
StickWars is what happens when someone who hates people designs iPhone games.
Until, and even after, you can afford defenses for your castle wall in this game you are forced to swipe as fast as you possibly can for minutes at a time. Pick up one single guy who is running at your wall and toss him, but wait, there are about 200 more identical stick figures right behind him!
Oh we need some variety? How about purchasing upgrades like a prison, where you can turn captives into suicide bombers to clear out the white-headed and black-robed stickly fellows. Or maybe you want to turn them into invisible and ineffectual archers because the game is bug-ridden junk?
My swiping hand aches from playing Stick Wars, and I am left wanting my buck back. An update is supposed to be on the way which will address some of these issues but I seriously doubt it will make any inroads into fixing the original game play issue of grabbing each individual who is attacking your castle wall and swiping them across the screen.
Monster Trucks are every red-blooded American's idea of a good time. If you don't like this game you are a god-damned communist.
Drive trucks over jumps, through obstacles and pick up pick up nitro boosts to get past the longest of the gaps.
Since it is a side-scrolling racer with physical tricks to get over jumps and whatnot, the game offers you cruise control. I'm not sure how you could get past the one level where you're forced into completing a full loop four or five times without it.
The loops have you spinning the entire phone at precisely the right amount and it works. Everything is easily visible on the screen, so even though you're spinning it around you can still focus on the gameplay rather than the action of tilting.
Most of the time you're just barely spinning the device, only on that one level are you forced into spinning it a full circle.
If you'd told me any of this before playing the game, I'd have said I'm not interested. Most of the racers with tilting are boring affairs because they can't compete with their console counterparts. Monster Trucks isn't anything like them and succeeds on all levels though it only has a few to play on.
Join us next time, for more adventures in... TimeDoctor's iGame Squadron!