1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Every now and then, I find myself with a backlog of apps to review. I simply don’t have the time to write up a full review of each of them, so I will post a “review blitz”. In the review blitz, I will give some general information about the app, a rating, and a brief description/review of the app. It will not be as comprehensive as a full length review, but hopefully it will tell you a little more about the apps in question. This is for the iPad.

    BaboCrash, by ByteMark Games, Inc. (universal binary)
    $0.99, ***1/2


    • Fun “match the gems” game

    • Genre is getting old

    BaboCrash is a new “match three in a row” game with a slightly new take. When you match certain gems (or tiles, or whatever they are) you create certain heroes, who when used have a special tile/gem destroying ability. The game play is fun, there are three different modes of game play, and the “heroes” thing is a nice little twist on the game. The big problem with this app doesn’t have anything to do with the app itself, actually, it is the genre. There are simply so many “match three in a row” games out there, the whole genre is getting a little tired. I bought this app hoping for something new and fresh. It adds a little something different, but not enough to make it really stand out too much. If you don’t have a “match three” game already, you might want to take a look, but if you already have one you play, I would consider skipping this app.

    Uzu, by Colordodge Labs
    $1.99, ****


    • Fun, physicis manipulation game

    • Instructions

    I don’t know why, but I really like the “particle visualizer” apps out there. They are just fun to play with, and you can end up creating really cool images with little difficulty. Uzu is in this category, and is just as fun to play. In Uzu, you manipulate particles through toughing, swiping, and tapping on the screen – altering the motion of the particles as they move around. With very little difficulty you can get really interesting patterns – it is especially fun to play with kids. The primary drawback was the instructions. There are lots of options you can adjust in the app, but there weren’t really clear instructions about what each one did. I would have a liked a little more of a guided tutorial, showing me how to achieve some of the effects they have in their preset effects. But even without that, it was still a fun app just to fool around with.

    Rock Band Reloaded, HD, by Electronic Arts
    $9.99, ****1/2


    • Fun, music playing game ala Guitar hero!
    • Multiplayer mode

    • Have to buy songs in the app

    I never really got into the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games on the Wii or the Playstation, so it was with some surprise that I found I really enjoyed them on the iPad and iPhone (I have the original Rock Band version on the iPhone). It’s fun to play along with the songs I know, and it is easy enough to pick up that you don’t need very much experience. For people who may be unfamiliar with the game, basically you have to tap various musical bars as they pass down the screen – the more difficult the song or setting, the more bars appear (and fall faster!). It’s lots of fun, because you can hear the song get disrupted when you make a mistake! My biggest gripe for the app is that you have to buy so many songs online – you only get about 10 songs or so. To make matters worse, I can’t import songs I purchased for the iPhone version of Rock Band! Buying two songs for $0.99 might not seem like much, but it can add up quickly. Rock Band reloaded is a fun game on the iPad, with multiplayer modes, quick play, and a “tour” mode where you try to build up your band. This is lots of fun, and I strongly recommend it for just about anyone. There is also an iPhone version available.

    Let’s Golf 2, by Gameloft
    $4.99, ****1/2


    • Fun to play, easy to pick up on the big screen
    • Nice graphics and design

    • Limited players to choose form

    A while back I reviewed Let’s Golf, and Gameloft has come out with a new version, available for the iPhone or iPad. Playing Let’s Gold 2 on the iPad is lots of fun – the controls are easy to use, the game play is fun, and on the big screen the game really comes to life. There are different play options, including a multiplayer mode via wifi, Bluetooth, and online (interestingly enough, there isn’t a “pass the pad” multiplayer mode!). There is a quick play mode, a championship mode, and a career mode for individuals as well. Unfortunately, there are only 8 characters to choose from (6 of which are locked originally). I really wish there would have been more players to choose from, or at least an option to customize a player to your own specifications. But even without that, the game is lots of fun, and picks up right were Let’s Golf left off – easily one of the better golfing games on the iPad.

    Flight Control HD, by Firemint
    $4.99, *****


    • Big screen makes flight control even better!
    • More fields, more airplanes, more fun

    • None

    Flight Control has been out for quite some time for the iPhone, and it launched the whole “design a path” games for the iPhone and iPad. Flight Control has come to the iPad now as Flight Control HD, and the transition works well. In the iPad version, you have more maps – a total of 9 available. There is even a 3D map that you can use to play, although I don’t have the glasses so I can’t tell how well it works. In addition to more maps, there are also more aircraft – different colors, different landing options, and different speeds. And to top it all off, there is a multiplayer mode – two actually. One with a split screen, one via a local connection. In both bases, you each are controlling specific colors (I would like to see a more competitive multiplayer, maybe where you can steal each other’s planes!). Flight Control HD really delivers in terms of new contents and gameplay, so it isn’t just a transfer of the iPad version. Strongly recommended.
    05-19-2011 05:37 PM