Bad Cube

bad Cube CoverThe iPhone App Store is flooded with games, some of them very good, most of them bad, but there's just an oversaturation of everything.  Only the lowest common denominator crap rises to the top (unless it's Plants vs. Zombies, that game is awesome) and tons of gems are drowned by a sea of Sally Spa clones.

One of my close friends, Rory Johnson, is an iPhone game developer, and he just released his second game: Bad Cube.  Early last year he released Circle Challenge, more of a personal challenge than anything else, and I finally got the chance to talk about it at the end of last year.  It's a fun, free time waster where the object is to just draw circles.  A simple concept, but it helped Rory learn the ropes of Objective C and the App Store.

Bad Cube is definitely a game, and a fun, challenging one at that.  It's in 3D, features the shooting of hexahedron objects, and kicked my butt many times.  I had the pleasure of watching the game mature from the "look! a 3D cube!" stage to the "look! a 3D cube that I can shoot!" stage, and it was entertaining to say the least.

Dead Panic

Dead Panic Cover

Zombie games are gaming's latest craze gone wild. With the popularity of zombie shooter Left 4 Dead at its peak, Call of Duty: World at War featuring a Nazi zombie mode, and old classics like Zombies Ate My Neighbors being re-released on the Virtual Console, a zombie outbreak is as ripe of setting as ever. Independent developer Sean Maher has brought the classic hobby of mowing down zombies to the iPhone now with Dead Panic, a tactical zombie shooter. Dead Panic is light on story, but heavy on difficult scenarios for your soldiers to survive. The premise is simple: strategically place your soldiers, and let loose horde.

Dead Panic is our first indie game review of 2010, we'll be featuring five more indie-developed games throughout the month of February. Dead Panic is available on the Apple App Store right now for the very reasonable price of $1.99.

Circle Challenge

Circle Challenge Cover

Many of us grew up playing video games, some of us wanted to make video games, but only a few (very exhausted and worn out folks) ever actually develop a video game that's available to the masses. Apple has been changing all that over the last few years though with their iPhone and iPod Touch platforms: if you've got $100, a Mac, and the creativity, time, and know-how to develop your own game, you can do it. That's exactly what my friend Rory Johnson did last year, who released Circle Challenge in January 2009.

Call it an experiment in Objective C, an attempt at touchscreen controls, or simply the output one man created out of some inner desire to finally do something with his spare time, Circle Challenge was actually released to the world. It is, nonetheless, a video game. A video game in maybe the vaguest sense of the term, but at least it's not a Bejeweled clone or a fart soundboard.

Mass Effect Galaxy

Mass Effect Galaxy Cover

It can be frustrating when your current favorite series releases a spin-off on a platform you don't own; this has happened to me before with Metal Gear Acid on the PSP, and now it happens again with Mass Effect Galaxy on the iPhone. Considering the game only costs three dollars, the barrier to playing is either cough up $200 for an iPod Touch or try to find someone who will give up their Precious for a few hours. I managed to convince someone of the latter, and the portable action RPG is finally in my hands.

Mass Effect Galaxy is an iPhone spin-off of the popular space epic series released in June. It introduces two brand new characters, Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson, who are the new major squad members in Mass Effect 2. The gameplay is top-down action similar to the run-and-gun games of old but features the extensive dialogue system from the console big brother. Much like the novels, Galaxy is meant as a bonus for those of us who are looking for any kind of hit we can get while we wait for the sequel to arrive in January. Here's my review of Mass Effect Galaxy on the iPhone.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition Cover

Back in the day, Lucasarts made good games. They made point-and-click adventures, some of the best ever. One thing their adventures were famous for was an odd sense of humor.

Secret of Monkey Island was Lucasarts' first humor game. I've always wanted to play it, so when they repackaged it with new graphics and voice acting, I jumped on it.

I played the first hour for review, and well, I couldn't stop playing: I beat the whole game in the next couple of days. I think that says enough about the first hour experience. Here's the full review.

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition is a repackaging of Secret of Monkey Island. It follows the story of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who wants nothing more than to sail the high seas, pillaging and plundering, looting and.... well he wants to be a pirate. He starts off on Melee Island to talk to the Pirate Leaders in order to join them. They set him off with three seemingly impossible tasks to accomplish. Along the way he might just fall in love, confront a ghost pirate, and slide down a cable on a rubber-chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle.

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