TECH: Best of the App Store: (Part 2: Games)

Written by Ben Wagner on . Posted in Tech

If you missed the first installment of “Best of the App Store,” you can check out part one here.

If you read part one of my “Best of the App Store” series, you will have noticed that this was intended to be a three-part piece. Well, two vacations later I realized that may have been especially ambitious. There was going to be one article about free games and one about paid games. I also discovered that I couldn’t find five free iPhone games that were worth my time and, therefore, yours. So I decided to combine the two into one, so I present to you “Best of the App Store: Games.”

Honorable Mention

  • Space Deadbeef (Free) — For me, this is the best pound-for-pound free iPhone game available. The game is a simple side-scrolling space shooter that boasts impressive graphics and a unique control scheme. Part of what makes this game so addictive is the way the levels are laid out. Essentially you play the same level over and over again. Every time you beat the level it increases the difficulty. Also, you have an unlimited amount of lives so when you die you can keep re-trying the level at the same difficulty. The game displays how many deaths you have and what level you are on so that you can compare your skill level with your friends. If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch and are looking for a free game, this is the one.

Top 5 Games

  • Tiger Woods Golf ($9.99) — I realize this game may not be for everyone. It is a sports game and it’ll cost you $10. However, it is absolutely phenomenal. It is a fantastic mobile version of the console game. The control scheme is great for the iPhone and the graphics are as impressive as I’ve seen. You are presented with a realistic golfing experience right on your phone. I’ve definitely gotten my $10 out of this game; if you like golf, you will too.
  • World Cup Ping-Pong ($0.99) — I love ping-pong. I have spent countless hours in my basement with my brother, destroying all hope in his soul with a barrage of power shots, drop shots and spinning serves — and I have never, ever enjoyed a ping-pong video game. Even the Wii Play version bored me instantly. So I was skeptical of this game, but I figured for $0.99, why not? What makes this game great is that it uses the touchscreen interface just as it should. Its simple: wherever you move your finger, the paddle follows, allowing you to feel like you’re in complete control of the paddle. Therefore, the precision that makes ping-pong a great game is present in a simulated version played on a 3.5 inch screen. There is a free “lite” version available that removes all the different levels of competition and tournaments available in the paid version. So if you want to give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose.
  • Flight Control ($0.99) — This game took the App Store by storm some weeks ago and has become a must-have for iPhone/iPod Touch owners ever since. The game is built upon a simple premise: there is a runway on the screen, various types of aircraft begin to enter the screen and you have to land them on the runway without crashing them by tracing their flight path with your finger. Sounds simple, but once more and more aircraft enter the screen it becomes quite difficult. Definitely give this one a shot. It’ll keep you trying to best your high score for hours.
  • Dropship ($1.99) — This game is a fun space shooter that has a slight learning curve, requiring some mastery of the controls. Once you have them down, you’ll find yourself spending hours and hours steering your spaceship around, trying to rescue fellow space cadets and shoot down alien fighters. This is a very fun space shooter and I highly recommend it. Definitely worth your $1.99.
  • Need for Speed: Underground ($6.99) — One of my favorite genres of games from the App Store is racing games. The steering control system is very fun and intuitive. There are plenty of racing games to choose from, but so far this one has been my favorite. The game features fantastic graphics for a game you are playing on your phone. It also features a surprisingly involved storyline and several types of racing modes. You also get the option of earning money to upgrade and customize your car, even down to the color. While its a bit pricey at $6.99, you get what you pay for here. Nothing less then a console-worthy racing game in the palm of your hand.

Well, that’s that. Enjoy!

Ben Wagner is a tech correspondent for Rhombus. He apparently has nothing better to spend his money on than iPhone games. Follow him on Twitter at @ben_wagner.

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