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Archive for the ‘new games’ Category

Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition For iPad – Win Promocodes At Apptudes.com

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Genre: Board Game, Family Game
  • Platform: iPad 
  • Price: $9.99 
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4 Stars
  • Pump gives it 4.5 Pump’s Up
  • Recommended Age: 6+
  • To win a PROMOCODE visit my new app and game review site Apptudes and follow the direction on the original post there.

MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, by Electronic Arts has just been released and if the original Monopoly appeals, this is the same game you know and love but, with an international twist, gorgeous animations, and a lot of customizability.

In 2008 Hasbro decided Monopoly, a game about making money by acquiring real estate needed a 21st century international edition and Monopoly – Here & Now was born.

EA has long had classic Monopoly for iPad and released an iPhone version of Here & Now in December ’08, but never adapted it to the big screen – until now. If you have an iPad 2 and love the game it’s a must-have.

Gameplay is the same, but instead of the familiar Pennsylvania Aves and Park Places, an open vote put my very own Montreal in the money spot, along with international capitals and places you might need Google Earth to help you find to fill out the rest of the actual board.

There also a change of currency, which raises salaries and property costs, but maintains the original profit ratios. And, Here & Now has factlets about the various places on the board on the “flip side” of every Chance and Community Chest card.

So, why buy this if you have the classic on iPad or own this version on iPhone? Well, if you have an original iPad, maybe now isn’t the time, but for iPad 2 owners, EA has given the GUI a gorgeous makeover and four distinct gameplay modes.

There is the familiar “Play Now” option, where players go up against one or several human and AI foes and “Teacher Mode”, which is a single payer against an AI opponent with guidance to introduce the game concepts.

There is also a local multiplayer option, which works via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Up to four players can compete, on individual devices.

But the biggest change – and the best selling point – is the “Tabletop Mode.” You can play with up to three friends, exactly as you would with the physical game. Players take turns playing on a board that, like a cardboard one, works in every position and both orientations naturally so there’s no passing and twisting the iPad.

What appeals to me most is the degree of customizability in the game. Almost every household I know has their own rules for “Free Parking”, or what to do if a player lands directly on “Go”. All of these options, and more to increase or decrease both the difficulty and the duration of the game are tweakable.

I tested the game on iPad 2 was impressed by how smooth everything was, and how vibrant and fresh the game looked. When I went to test the local multiplayer features, however, I broke out my original iPad and understood the complaints I was seeing on the App Store. On original iPads the game crashes and the animation is choppy.

But, that brings up an interesting issue. Is a game company’s obligation to make a game that works equally well on all devices, or should they use the latest technology to push the boundaries of what their games can do?

What follows in my opinion, and I invite debate in the comments:

Apple’s mobile devices, unlike, say, PCs, are uniform and there is only a single new model introduced each year. iOS users are spoiled – we have come to expect all products to work on all devices, even two generations old, despite the fact it’s common knowledge that tech toys at all pricing points have intentional built-in obsolescence.

There are so many Android devices that the Market is full of apps and games that only work on some – but we seem not just to expect, but demand and complain vociferously about backward compatibility.

This is neither realistic nor fair. The iPad 2 is into its second quarter in a life span of four, and as someone who paid good money for the faster processor and other advancements I want companies to take advantage of what this puppy can do before the iPad 3 rolls out.

EA should absolutely clarify that the game is iPad 2 optimized, or offer a mode that doesn’t use some of the advanced features if they continue to market to the entire iPad market. And being that they are EA, and deeply invested in iOS, they will likely update and perhaps lower the framerate of the rich animations or something comparable.

But if we don’t let the big players use new technologies to their maximum advantage, across all platforms, gaming and gamers suffer. Does anyone else see the inherent absurdity in asking for a downgrade in an update?

MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad, takes a classic that was already modernized and uses the latest iOS technology to brilliant advantage.

On iPad 2 the fluidity is amazing, the multiple game table environments are rich, the pieces on the board are animated flawlessly and even with humor, and there are enough variations in gameplay from modes and settings, to make this the most replayable Monopoly since Parker Brothers first brought out the game. If you have the latest iPad and love board games, don’t pass Go, don’t collect 200 dollars, just download it and start having fun today.

Or… head over to Apptudes.com and win a promocode! See details here and Good Luck!

Happy App Hunting



Web-Slinging Meets Rope Cutting in Chillingo’s New Spider Jack

Miss me? 

I plan on writing a lengthy post explaining my absence and how iOS devices and apps, as always, got me through a rough time, but for now suffice it to say that The Stay at Home GeekMom has some medical issues, and they flared up rather severely in the last weeks. But I’m back and raring to review so let’s go. I have a great action-puzzler for anyone in your home ages 5-105.

And, to make up for my absence, I am bringing you a special giveaway of a Gift Copy of Spider Jack or Spider Jack HD. Read the review below for details on how YOU can win!

  • By: Maxnick.com / clickgamer.com / Chillingo / EA
  • Genre: puzzle game, casual game, addictive game, family game
  • Platform: iPad & iPhone iPod touch sold seprately
  • Price: $1.99 and $.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Pump gives it 5 Pump’s up!
  • Recommended Age: 5-105

Spider Jack HD by Clickgamer.com iconSpider Jack and Spider Jack HD, by Maxnick, and distributed by clickgamer.com  (AKA Chillingo) is a new physics puzzlers that bears not just a passing resemblance to the same publisher’s hit title Cut the Rope by Zeptolab.

If you are a fan of Cut the Rope style puzzlers, you are going to love Spider Jack. And if you’re not, this action-puzzler may be just the hybrid of genres to change your mind.

The game initially apes Cut the Rope so much, it’s easy to be dismissive and call it derivative. But play a few levels before you leave a snarky App Store comment. Spider Jack actually has more than enough variation in gameplay and even audience, to stand on its own merits.

After a cute opening  intro cartoon, the game begins like Cut the Rope in reverse. You are a spider intent on your next meal. The goal is to cast your web so it leads you up to (and later down and around to) your ensnared fly-feast. Simple enough, right?

But unexpected, clever elements come into play quickly. You have to float in bubbles, dodge electric currents, even use a hairdryer to propel you towards your goal. Some stars are time sensitive adding to the action-component of the game and time-warps come into play in the last of the three included worlds adding unpredictable mayhem.

This game is as much about timing, jumping, swinging and quick reflexes as it is about planning ahead. A straight drop may solve what all the well-planned drifts won’t.

Like other games of this genre, you can earn up to three stars per level. And while successful completion unlocks the next, Spider Jack has a nice “skip level” option if you get stumped.

There are 75 boards included with the promise of more to come, spread across three environments: a barn, a bathroom and a laboratory.

Check out the trailer:

Cute ain’t it?

An interesting, if not totally welcome, twist is that Chillingo or EA (who acquired Chillingo and recently took over their Crystal gaming network) has it set up so there are unlockable “gift levels”. If you invite (read spam) five of your social network contacts to join Crystal or play Spider Jack, (I didn’t check which, just shamefacedly deleted the offending Facebook posts and hoped for forgiveness), you can unlock five bonus levels per environment. That’s 15 invites for 15 extra levels.

I confess, this isn’t the first time I’ve spammed my friends for in-game rewards, but never on iOS, unless it was for Zynga’s Facebook game, Farmville, via the iOS companion apps. And at least those were other players.

I’m not sure it’s fair play for a paid game, but that said, you don’t have to get the gift levels either. Just know they are an option and they are a lot of fun, allowing up to five stars for successful completion. And getting them will annoy your friends.

While we’re playing true confessions, I have to admit, I don’t like Cut the Rope. Pump adores it, and in theory I see it’s a great game, but it’s a pure puzzler and I’m not the biggest fan of the genre. I don’t want to think too hard when I recreate; call me lazy, but I game to unwind. Thinking is for real life…

But, I do love quick-play action-puzzlers and where Cut the Rope often leaves me in knots, no level of Spider Jack is so hard, nor so time consuming, that you need to beat your head against the wall or Google for cheats.

Pump’s Point: “I really like this the best of all my new games better than Cut the Rope and Burn the Rope and Angry Birds. As fun as Burn it All at least! It’s faster and more fun and it’s easier for kids but it still makes you think a lot. I like the bathroom area the best.”

As usual my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer is better than me at the game already, despite my playing for hours while waiting for doctors. And even his younger friend, Kaitlyn, aged five, was able to play through many levels without any assistance.

Spider Jack’s web-slinging ways are zippy, and there are a number of different solutions to each level. It’s a perfect pick-up-and-play game.

If you love Cut the Rope, Spider Jack is a no-brainer. But even if you shy away from traditional puzzlers, this games serves up enough action, with great graphics, replay value and unexpected twists to be well worth the small price. Grab it and start spinning.

Want to win a copy?

All you have to to is tweet this review (and include @sahgeekmom so I can find it) or leave a relevant comment. Don’t forget to let me know which version you want. A winner will be chosen at random,  You can enter once by each method, and check out my contest page to see how you can ern extra entries as well. Because this is a gift app from me to you, not a promo code, it is limited to the US and CND app stores, and US prize may take some time to deliver. The details are on the contest page too. For easy tweeting and sharing click on the “share” button at the bottom of this post.

Contest Closes Sunday May 22, 9:00pm EDT Good Luck!

Here are the screenshots for you:

I have a ton of giveaways for you coming in the next weeks including exclusive previews of a new 10Ton game, a great email notifier and a slew of contests including a chance to win up to $50 in iTunes gift cards, and all new app lists, reviews, and giveaways so don’t forget to subscribe or add my RSS feed to your favourite feed reader.

will make up for lost time, but in the meantime here of some of my more recent reviews and most popular lists to keep you busy. Check out the all new Best Art Apps for iPad on Appadvice.com!

Happy App Hunting


Burn it All – Journey To The Sun is Smoking Hot!

Burn It All  – Journey to the Sun Is Smoking Hot!

Win a Copy With A Tweet or Comment. An Exclusive Stay at Home GeekMom giveaway! – CONTEST CLOSED

  • By: BulkyPix / Pastagames
  • Genre: Puzzle game, casual game, addictive game, family game
  • Platform: Universal
  • Price: $.99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 5 Stars!!
  • Pump gives it 4.75 Pump’s Up
  • Recommended Age: 6+ but not a kid’s game

Burn it All - Journey to the Sun by Bulkypix iconBurn it All – Journey to the Sun is only a day old in its iOS incarnation, and it’s already a hit.

That’s saying a lot because yesterday was a banner day for new games with several highly anticipated titles launching and contending for top spot and press.

Gears is great, I will be covering it tomorrow. I just gave Vampire Rush a glowing review, and Snuggle Truck (formerly Smuggle Truck) has backstory buzz galore. But Burn it All stands out for good reason. This game is smokin’! Just read the user reviews in the App Store.

Bulkypix teamed up with Pastagames, who together brought “retrofied” insta-classic Pix’n Love Rush to the App Store, and this time they offer up a must have action-puzzler.

Before you assume that Burn it All is a copycat of Burn the Rope, know it was released for Windows Phone 7 last August in advance of the tilt-to-control game that shares the theme.

And while both games are puzzlers that involve burning ropes and both are safe bets for kids, that’s where the similarities end. And frankly, Burn it All is by far the better game in every way.

What Burn it All gives you is 100 levels of finger-guided, pyro-powered fun. So much so, you hardly realize you’re thinking a lot too. And if you play for just ten minutes, you will find there is a lot more to burn here than just ropes.

The game starts off simply. Drag a little fireball to a rope-end and set it ablaze. If it burns in time, you clear the level and unlock the next.

Soon the challenges pile on. Your little firebug has to battle vampire bats, dripping icicles and gas leaks. And that’s just in the first 25 “easy” boards.

Further along you meet a blue flame that can ignite from any spot on an object and a green fireball that can singe its way through several objects. And you face all kinds of new elements in need of roasting.

As a final burn, Pastagames has a twist: “time looping”. Did I mention the game is universal and only $.99?

Burn it All requires dexterity and a fast touch, but it also requires thought. Different colored ropes burn at different speeds. Cord length and obstacle-dodging factor in too.

I thought it might be over Pump’s head (he’s my seven-year-old son and co-reviewer, see about me.) But, as usual, he was faster and better than I was in no time.

He wants you to know that: “This game is really really fun. You think you are just burning ropes and bats and stuff and then you have to think about it a lot too to get faster scores. I think it is good for kids and moms too.”

Well, this mom anyway and at least one GeekDad who is a pretty serious gamer too.

Check out the trailer, read the rest of this then go grab it before they realize they could easily charge five times as much and still be offering a great deal:

The learning curve is fantastic. Challenges are revealed gradually, with clear pictorial explanation. But, since you can earn up to three gems for fast completion times, there is a ton of replay value too.

Add Game Center and Open Feint plus email and Facebook bragging and you have a title that will keep gamers, casual and hard-core, coming back for more.

The only flaw I found was a slightly sticky control mechanism. It’s designed to stay out of your field of vision, but it’s also a bit counterintuitive.

By instinct I want to drag the fire right to the rope, but because touching anywhere works too, I found myself losing fireballs to old habits. It’s a small matter, well worth the adaptation.

Burn it All – Journey to the Sun may be the most innovative puzzler of 2011. It’s a gamers delight and poised to be a permanent fixture on App Store charts and your iDevice.

Want to win a free copy? This is NOT an appadvice.com contest, it is EXCLUSIVE to Stay at Home GeekMom readers.

All you have to to is tweet this review (and include @sahgeekmom so I can find it) or leave a relevant comment. Funny is good, but this one will be by random draw since the game is so hot!

You can enter once by each method, and check out my contest page to see how you can ern extra entries as well.

Contest Closes Monday, May 3 2011, 6:00pm EST.

Here is a slideshow of all the screenshots I took and the promo pics.

Check back often for the hotest game reviews and a new Stay and Home GeekMom Weekend Edition: Best Apps for News Junkies.

Developers! Want a review or to run a promotion os SAHGeekMom or appadvice.com? Check out my page just for you!

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Until next time here are some popular recent reviews for you to chceck out:

Happy App Hunting


Hack-N-Slash Meets Tower Defence In Chillingo’s Vampire Rush And Vampire Rush HD

Hack-N-Slash Meets Tower Defence In Chillingo’s Vampire Rush And Vampire Rush HD

  • By: Chillingo / A-steroids
  • Genre:  tower defence game, dungeon crawler game,  hack’n’slash, action game
  • Platform: iPad and iPhone sold separately
  • Price: $.2. 99 and $1.99 
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Recommended Age: 13+ (Warning Extreme Cartoon Violence)

Vampire Rush is part a hack ‘n slash dungeon crawler part tower defense game and the combination works. So do the rich bright graphics, the controls and all the little details that went into this killer new game.

Remember when Vampires weren’t ripped teen-idols wandering the day and hanging out in high school? Well, it may not be the fashion in 2011, but developers at A-steroids clearly haven’t forgotten they are blood-sucking fiends.

In Vampire Rush you play Captain Greg, a swashbuckling hero, whose job it is to protect the gates of the underworld from waves of Nosferatu and other creature of the dark bent on busting them wide.

Use a brilliantly responsive virtual joystick with your left hand to move Captain Greg around in this top-down action game, and tap the slash button with your right to slice your way through hoard after hoard of hell-spawned invaders.

Been there, done that? Well here’s the twist. Greg can place towers on the playing field and buy power-ups like fireballs, and health with money earned by successful kills. It’s ridiculously fun.

Vampire Rush was released for Samsung phones last October to critical acclaim. It was supposed to port to iOS back in January.

But A-steroids teamed up with publishing powerhouse Chillingo to polish off any rough edges.

You can read the backstory elsewhere, I just mention it because the game feels fully tested. I played for well over an hour without encountering any bugs, lags or other technical issues.

And this port of Vampire Rush packs a lot more than the original award-winning version. There are more levels, better graphics; in fact the whole UI was retooled for the App Store launch.

The game features a full 3D engine and gameplay is super smooth. I don’t like virtual joysticks, but this one is as good as they get. Here’s hoping this game is iCade compatible.

Check out the trailer:

The game uses Chillingo’s Crystal network for leaderboards, achievement s and social network interaction, which is great because this game has had some serious buzz.

More towers would be nice, and I’m not in love with the mini-map; I can tell where the fiends are coming from, but it’s hard to use for strategic tower placement.

The game is also little on the content-light side with only seven levels, but at $2.99 for iPad, $1.99 for iPhone you get more than your money’s worth.

And this is a Chillingo title. Updates with new levels, towers and everything else will almost certainly roll out in stages.

If you are a fan of either hack-n-slash action games or tower defense strategy games Vampire Rush is a winner.

Even if neither genre is your favorite, the bold graphics, the well-blended gaming elements, and the amazingly well-crafted controls will make any gamer very happy. Get it!

Check out the screen shots below, and I’ll be back as soon as I can with more reviews, App Stalking reports, and Weekend Edition Round-Ups.

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Until then here are some popular recent reviews for you to chceck out:

Happy App Hunting


The Stay at Home GeekMom Game of the Week: Burning Birds is Hot!

SAHGeekMom Game of the Week: Burning Birds is Hot!

  • By: Kamaji Multimedia

  • Genre:  casual game, puzzle game, family game
  • Platform: HD and iPhone/ iPod Touch each sold separately.
  • Features: Game Center
  • Price: Hd 1.99/iPhone .99
  • SAHGeekMom Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Pump gives it 4 Pump’s up!
  • Ages 7+

Burning Birds is the latest in a line of bird-themes iOS games which is likely to take up permanent residence on your iDevice. This one’s a keeper.

It’s appropriate for gamers as young as seven, but takes quite a bit dexterity and has the most minor of cartoon violence. (Not as gruesome like the Angry Birds backstory) It’s good for kids, but it’s not a kid’s game. I do think it has the making of a hit if thy market it correctly. It’s really cool.

And while I have a concurrent contest ending soon on appadvice.com, here’s a chance to win even more codes with way better odds just for my loyal readers! So let’s get to it.

Burning Birds is part match-three puzzler, part strategy challenge, part fast-paced action game, and all entirely too much frantic fun.

The object is simple: you are a bird on a wire and you have to move across a horizontal axis, dropping appropriately colored eggs to create sets of three. To succeed you have to explode a specificnumber of eggs per level, while avoiding getting burned.

The game starts simply, deceptively so. You get a clean pictorial instruction panel and you’re off to drop your first egg. Within a few levels the challenges, clever and unexpected ones, start to pop up. More colors come into play, as well as blocks and bombs, but those are to be expected in this genre of game.

But surprise! Soon you find yourself with up to five birds to manage at once, and you have to keep them constantly jumping to avoid the fatal electric current that travels across the wire. It can get pretty crazy and almost impossible to put down.

But this is where it got frustrating for Pump, his dexterity and fine motor skills are amazing, but this is challenging even for a seasoned gamer.

Otherwise he was totally engaged by the cute cartoonish birds, and since he a pretty amazing gamer, he was soon earning more stars per level than I was. He wanted to let your kids know that “this game is really good. It’s a bit like Angry Birds but there’s eggs and dropping and bombs, but no pigs. It makes you be smart and have fun. But it’s very fast with two birds.”

The game isn’t really anything like Angry Birds except for the obvious and game setup. You have several environments and multiple levels on each. You need to complete one in order to unlock the next. You can earn up to three stars for each level, if you manage to grab the coins and act fast.

There are five worlds for a total of 75 levels, and each features a different kind of bird. With unlockable achievements, Game Center integration, and trying to perfect past levels. you get a lot replay value.

Kamaji Multimedia’s first foray into iOS gaming is impressive; Burning Birds is surprisingly polished. The graphics are gorgeous in both HD and on a retina display and be forewarned: the theme song will get stuck in your head.Check out the trailer:

This is one of an endless number of games that describes itself as addictive, (which I’ll still take overaddicting any day), but this is the rare case where it’s not just a over-done marketing ploy, But seriously, Burning Birds should come with a warning label for compulsive casual gamers. I’m already hooked. I check out upwards of 10 apps and games a day, hooking me is not easy.

There’s not much to complain about. The only issue I found with Burning Birds (the iPad version) is a slight lag between touch and bird-flight, which can be frustrating when you have several birds and a fast current in play. It’s hard to get the timing right.

Tip: Hold the bird up by keeping your finger on it or drag it to avoid burns. It’s particularly helpful with multiple birds in play.

Additional worlds would be great too, but the developer assures me they, as well as new power-ups and birds species, are in the works for future updates.

In an App Store replete with great bird themed games like Tiny Wings and Angry Birds it’s an unexpected treat to find an original concept, much less one that is so much fun. Burning Birds is a winner.Want to win a free copy? You can leave a comment about why you need another new bird game or new gaming addiction and I’ll pick the ones that make me laugh the hardest.

And/or Tweet this and I’ll also pick winners at random from Twitter. Be sure to copy me one it and that you you are following me @sahgeekmom because I can only deliver the code by DM (direct message) and only if I can find it! You can enter once per method for a total of two entries. I have an undisclosed but henrous number for both versions so enter and Good luck!

Contest Closes Monday, April 25, 9:00pm EST.

Here’s a slideshow with bigger screen shots:

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Have a fantastc holiday weekend and happy Easter to all who celebrate. Don’t forget it’s Earth Day! Please Check out my HUGE list of Green Apps from earlier today and take  moment to be kind to our planet and to teach your kids to love Mother Earth too.

Here are some popular and/or recent reviews for you to chceck out until next time:

Happy App Hunting


Best iOS Games for Smart Teens: Part Two

Wow! it’s Friday, and I’m actually going to get to my own blog? That’s awesome because both Berk and other readers have been responding to the first part of the list (click here to read Part one) and I want to get these out in time for you to enjoy them over the weekend.

To recap how we got here, a friend’s very bright teenage son got an iPad2 last week and he asked me for the best puzzle games. I meant to write a top ten list, but there have been so many great new puzzlers so far this year, the best I could do was a top 20: 10 “bests” and 10 “also-rans.”

The real difference between the two groups? The former are either newer titles or those that need some explanation, while the latter have been reviewed to death and need no additional editorializing from me.

Beyond that there is no real order to this list. Each game has at least  4.5 App Store rating and a similar rating from the Stay at Home GeekMom.

I am including video trailers as always, but I would love to see some comments as to whether you prefer the reviews with or without them. Are screen shots faster to load? Let me know and enter win a surprise gift app!

Ok without further ado, The SAHGeekMom Weekend Edition presents Berk’s List, Part Two.

I don’t mean to pick my favorite for first place, but I guess since I’ve done it twice, I can’t say I like all these games equally. They are all winners, but some are more my style than others.

My favorite of this week’s lot is Land-a Panda HD, available separately for iPhone. (Or maybe not? I just had to add one BRAND NEW Game!)

When I first took Land-A Panda HD for a test drive, I was slightly put off by the cute factor. With three younger sibs, I’m sure you’re as tired of squeaky-voice animated  kid stuff as I am Berk, but don’t be quick to dismiss this new puzzler.

What seems like a super-easy kid’s game, quickly turns into a serious physic puzzler with enough action to make it one of the best and most popular new games of of 2011. And it’s not derivative, a quality that sets it apart from the start.

Here’s the story: “The world’s panda population is in decline, and your help is needed! Assist the lovestruck Yang Guang (male panda) to meet with his dream partner Tian Tian (female panda), in this highly innovative puzzle game.”

The key to the game is careful aim, and exact timing. You launch Yang Guang through a series of cannons, collecting coins and aiming towards his lady-love. But be careful, one wrong move and you’re Panda-mush.

Ah Zenbound 2 HD, you are such a treat for the eyes.

If you want your iPad2 fit for showing off, this game is a gem. This unique universal puzzler will soon have you tied in knots. Or rather wrapped in twine.

The goal of the game is simple: cover a certain percentage of the 3D object on the screen with rope. I know, I didn’t get it eaither, until I gave it a whirl.

There is something actually Zen-like about playing this game. You’re thinking, but there’s no pressure. Small careful movements serve you better than frenetic swipes and swirls.

The interface could use a little refinement, but I keep comigng back to it and so will you. Here is a game that shows a lot better than it tells:

And now for something completely not different.

I thought it might just be me. As soon as I tried the new universal hit puzzler, Drop The Chicken, I thought of Chillingo’s Cut The Rope (see Cut The Rope and the rest of  last week’s picks here) But so it seems did about 3/4 of the folks who left comments in not “on” the App Store

(I don’t care what Steve Jobs or the folks at Apple do; I, personally, can not say  or write “on” the App Store without hurting my own teeth. The last time I checked the OED did not change the definition of store, and apps do not rest on top of anything but their merits and laurels – thank you,  I needed to vent, now back to your regularly scheduled review)

But don’t skip this if you are a fan of the other, cherish it! !The gameplay is really quite different despite the similar look and will surely appeal to the same crowd. Sharp Creative Agency describe the game like this:

In each level you need to plan your journey to the nest collecting the bugs along the way. Use a variety of special tools in your effort to bounce, slide and float yourself around the levels.

This cute game may appeal to kids, but right form the start you have to use your noodle to figure out exactly how to get the chicken, whose naming  has become a contest, (see iTunes description if you have a good one in mind) to his nest.

The game is brand spankin’ new, so here’s the promo trailer:

iSlash HD, (available for iPhone and iPod touch separately) is the closest thing to a classic game I have on this weekend’s list.

But as long as it’s been around, and in spite of it’s critical acclaim, this game often gets overlooked in favor of Fruit Ninja, or one you mentioned you liked, Berk, Slice It!

I don’t get this whole either/or thing in the App Store. If I love a game, I am glad to see new twists on the theme pop up. You don’t have to give up fruit slicing to start shape-slashing, any more than you have to give up pears to like apples.

Apps are not expensive like console games; you can buy them for a small price, and once you find what you like, more is a good thing.

So try this slashing game if you like any of the others, it’s a winner no matter which app came first. They added a ton of new levels recently, so I’m still in love!

I enjoyed the game on my iPhone, but since the object is to shave away ever smaller portions of the game board until you achieve the requisite percentage, it just plays so much better on the larger iPad screen. And it combines elements of both the aforementioned games in one slick and genuinely addictive package:

I saved this award winning puzzle game for the end because it is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Puzzle Agent HD (say it with me, I must write this 20 times a day: available separately for iPhone) is a mash-up of adventure game setting and detail with a variety of puzzles, mazes, riddles, and, Berk I am betting you love these as much as I do, logic puzzles. The App Store needs more logic puzzles.

And these are not for the intellectually timid. By the second puzzle I was fully engaged both in the problem itself and the creepy-cool comic book setting.

Mystery envelopes mystery as you follow Agent Tethers from the U.S. Department of Puzzle Research to the sketchy town of  Scoggins.

I confess I have never made it to the end of the game, and with new apps to review daily, I likely never will so someone please, what is with the gnomes anyway? (see App Store Description.)

Check this video out, once again it’s an AppSpy review that explains the game the best, in the least amount of time, but bear in mind it’s been updated many times since it’s iPhone debut. Many of the bugs have been addressed in updates.

And if you love it, keep your eyes on the App Store for the sequel coming soon:

UPDATE 4/2/11:

WAIT!! I just reviewed this AMAZING new action-puzzler today for appadvice.com and I have a new personal favorite iPad addiction.

It’s part shape sorter, part Tapper, part Food Processing and 100% Original.

I have finished the entire game and I started over, for your sake, please check it out. If you like games that test your mind and your reflexes this is my NO BRAINER PUZZLER OF THE WEEK! CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

So there you have the second five best iPad Puzzlers, and here are my runners up, no less fun or challenging, just more familar to iOS gamers: Beyond Ynth HD, Mummy’s Treasure, Arriving HD, Enigmo 2, and Blokus HD.

That should be enough even for all of Berk’s siblings to play with over the weekend! But if you are still looking for the best content for your ipad, iPhone or iPod touch, don’t forget to read Part one, and  please check my other recent reviews here and follow my daily reviews on appadvice.com.

Happy App Hunting


The Best iPad and iPhone Games for Smart Teens Part One

Part Two Is Now Live: Click Here to Check out the next ten games!

Dedicated to a dear friend who isn’t a Cat but is a Beaver…

Happy Weekend,

A friend of mine got a brand new iPad2 on Friday, which was launch day in Canada, for her altogether too bright teenage son, Berk. He is no stranger to iOS, but it’s his first Pad (lucky duck!) so he asked me for some game suggestions:

Some games I have really enjoyed are Cablink, Euchre, KenKen, LetsTans Dlx , Lux games, PvZ  [Plants vs Zombies], Shady Puzzles, Slice It!, Solitaire City, Trainyard, Depict, Red Remover. Might get Monopoly for iPad for my dad…I do imagine my whole family will be using it seeing as I just pryed it out of camp’s hands. Any fun games I am definitely willing to try.


I have my top 10 picks and another 10 also-rans for Berk and everyone else to enjoy and challenge wits and reflexes

Most of the games are either universal, or have an iPhone/iPod touch version, so if you see something you like and you don’t have an iPad be sure to check the App Store.

And of course I have video demos  so you can see what’s in the box before you buy.

As usual my lists are in NO SPECIAL ORDER. The top ten are just the games I think Berk and others are less likely to know about, or which are well-known but need some explanation but every game on this list is at least a 4.5 star game, including the also-rans so let’s get to it.

First up is a Wii game that was ported to iPad during the holidays.

World of Goo is a gooey messy joy of a puzzler. You know, maybe there is an order, but only for number one. This is a must have game for Berk and all gamers with brains.

The goal is to lead a specific number of goo balls to the pipe exit. To do so you have to use goo balls to build bridges, ladders and any kind of structure, all very much subject to the laws of physics.  Special goo balls and The Sign Painter are friends, gravity is your foe. Sound simple?

All I can say is MWAHAHAHA… Mum get ready for several late nights! The game is perfect for a touch screen and a ton of fun for all ages. iPad only.

There is a fab new Wii-Port, that would also rock for Berk, and your kids, including the so called grown-up ones.

It’s for age 9+, it’s deceptively simple, but endlessly challenging. It’s called Max and the Magic Marker and I just reviewed it here. so I won’t repeat myself, but it’s definitely worth checking out!

Tea with Pump and Jam 😉

Berk, I hope you know that LessTan Dix is LetsTans Premium on the iPad which gets mixed user reviews, and FYI TanZen HDis a much better traditional Tangram puzzle choice for iPad.

But my favorite Tangram game is a little off the beaten path and a ton of fun.The Magic Egg gets rave reviews across the board and will challenge your spacial relations skills.

The game is universal and has a mode great for Berk’s youngest sister Tea who is Pump’s age, and for Cam, and Ash, his brothers in between.

Spirits for iPad (sold separately for iPhone) is an award-winning game that has been wowing critics and popping eyes in 2011. It’s simply stunning.

Your job is to guide spirits to their destination looking for creative ways to get there. It’s a little like World of Goo in that you use spirits to build paths for other spirits, but the elements you battle and mellow gameplay make them very different games.

Goo gets frantic; Spirits is tranquil, and if it reminds me of any game, it’s 1991’s computer game classic Lemmings. Both games will challenge your problem-solvong skills and make your new iPad2 shine.

This is one of very few games I love listening to as well as playing. Enjoy the soundtrack with the trailer:

If you are a puzzler fan you undoubtably know Chllingo’s Cut the Rope (see below) but there is a new rope-themed game that is scoring points with fans of the genre. User reviews so far are great and both Gizmodo and TUAW picked it as a Game of the Day.

Meet Burn the Rope HD.

The object is simple, burn as much of the rope as possible. Since flames rise, you have to shift your iPad (or iPhone, sold separately) to ensure the fire is always heading up the rope or it will extingish and you lose.

Are you a fire-bug? Well then the ant-singeing, should amuse as well as challenge you. I love AppSpy reviews who seem to say the game is a bit more style over substance, you decide:

Osmos for iPad (sold separately for iPhone) is a challenge, but a Zen one. It is also the winner of the Best Game of the year for iPad 2010.

It’s a PC port for the patient. (Sorry, little lapse of alliteration…) Hemisphere Games describes it best: “Osmos is part physics-based eat-’em-up, part ambient, cosmic simulator, and part Darwinistic game of survival”

However you describe it, it’s eye and ear candy and will keep you coming back for more .Here’s the original trailer. Look for Hemisphere’s game channel on Youtube to see much more.

Usually I would stop here and come back with the next 5 and all 10 also-rans, but since I am running late as usual, and that makes one too heavy, here are the first five. They are every bit as good as the top ten, they just have been so well-reviewed for so long I don’t think any additional comment from me is necessary. They are all brain-straining winners.

OK, I just checked the time and there is no way I am getting to dinner, bath and homework and another 5 reviews. CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2

In the mean time, if these ten don’t keep you busy enough (11 with Max and the Magic Marker!) then Berk, shouldn’t you be studying something or sharing your new toy with your mum and dad?

Everyone else, please check out my other reviews  here and follow my daily reviews on appadvice.com.

Happy App Hunting


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