Apple enthusiasts, who are also Star Wars fans, will now be able to take the saga with them on the go. Lucas Arts is releasing a version of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the iPhone 3G. Exciting? You bet, because the game will take advantage of the iPhone’s amazing touch screen features and will be one of the first full-length game titles released for the iPhone.
The game will be a scaled down version of its console counterparts, including the Wii and Xbox 360. The iPhone version won’t follow the third-person perspective, but instead players will travel through a series of static environments similar to that of the Resident Evil franchise. The phone’s accelerometer only changes the aspect ratio, while the touch screen will be used to control the main character (an apprentice of Darth Vader’s, set out to rid the galaxy of Jedis), including his lightsaber swings.
Lucas Arts has a trailer up (console versions only) for those interested in the whole plotline. Gizmodo also has some screen-shots of the iPhone in action. Star Wars Unleashed should provide about 2 to 3 ½ hours of gameplay. It’ll be available through the App Store on September 16, 2008.
Missile lock? That sounds like a bad thing, right? Teamwork and online multiplayer spice up this first-person shooter.
Giant walker robots blast rockets at your teammates. Enemy turrets rotate and rattle off machine-gun fire. A Star Wars laser beam—à la Reagan, not Lucas—etches a line toward opposing forces. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a futuristic first-person shooter that shares little with other hits named Quake. Instead of having you run down cramped hallways engaging in solo bouts against demons, Quake Wars requires teamwork and coordination to control objectives and win rounds. It’s a refreshing change, and few Mac shooters give the same sense of collaboration.
For baseball junkies who absolutely need to be on top of the latest scores, standings and stats at all times, the iPhone is a godsend. Second only to ESPN MVP, the iPhone puts every ball and strike into the palm of your hand, thanks to a very decent mobile MLB site that provides a speedy blow-by-blow rundown of every pitch.
But the stakes have been raised with MLB.com At Bat. Through a simple, sleek interface, MLB boils down its stat-intensive WAP site to a quick-reference scoreboard that provides an up-to-the minute rundown of base-runners, pitch count, hits, errors and runs for every game across the league. What’s lost in the box score, however, is gained through in-game video updates, 30- to 60-second clips uploaded from MLB.com within moments of the live highlight.
Portable pinball crams a big-table feel into an iPhone
Light glinting off silver pinballs always pulls us in like crows to a piece of foil. Zen Pinball Rollercoaster taps our flipper lust with an authentic-feeling iPhone and iPod touch game. On an original table, balls cascade off bumpers, up ramps, and otherwise replicate the real-world pinball feel. While some consolations are made—we miss the physical buttons of a real table—iPhone enhancements include an optional, changing camera angle based on your phone position. Because of the great table and physics, Zen Pinball Rollercoaster is a must-have for any pinballer.
Put a monkey in a ball, put the ball in a maze, and put the maze in your iPhone or iPod touch. Very little of that concept makes rational sense, but Super Monkey Ball’s absurd style and simple premise work well together. You’ll gently tilt the iPhone to steer one of four monkey characters around obstacles and through a circular goal. The 110 mazes vary in complexity, but nearly all of them seem fair, even when challenging. The novelty of rolling the character by tilting the phone might wear off quickly, but the surprisingly agile game will hold your interest beyond the fad.
The physics-based iPhone game, like Tiggers, is made for bouncing.
Enigmo salutes those who "fix" ceiling leaks by placing a bucket underneath, making this mechanic into a game. A faucet drips a steady stream, and a vase waits some distance away, often obstructed by walls and other blockades. You’ll have to route the water to its goal by bouncing it off drums and other objects. Originally released on the Mac, Enigmo works well on the iPhone and iPod touch; you just drag parts to reposition them. We usually enjoyed the game’s pace and challenge, but an inconsistent difficulty progression and a lack of a tutorial keep Enigmo from fully riding its wave of potential.
EA has released an iPhone and iPod touch edition of Tetris through the App Store. The company also announced Scrabble and Sudoku, but those are expected to launch later in the day and weren't active as this post was published. All games had previously been published for the iPod, but several gameplay updates take advantage of the iPhone's input abilities.
Tetris is yet another copy of the falling-piece puzzler, where you complete rows to clear them away. In addition to the classic game mode with its original rules, this new version includes a "Magic" mode, with many embellishments. Shaking the iPhone, poking, and flicking blocks allows new ways to solve boards; you can even shrink blocks through a pinch or draw your own shapes. Tetris costs $14.99.
New software company, Publisher X, has targeted the iPhone and iPod touch in launching its first five games through the App Store. A pinball game, a puzzler, and three casino titles are available now at a price range between $4.99 and $9.99.
Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster brings a pinball table to the iPhone. 3D graphics show the action, while finger taps to any of the four corners launch the left or right flippers. An optional tilt mode even lets players nudge the table by twisting the iPod. In our initial experience with the game, the action felt fluid, resembling a physical table. Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster costs $4.99.
Gameloft has announced the release of six iPhone and iPod touch titles, available through the App Store today. You might be familiar with most of them, since each has already been published on the Classic iPod, to web browsers, on general mobile phones, and possibly even advanced refrigerators. (Oh, we kid. Those fridges aren't out yet.) We initially had low expectations for these conversions, but after hearing more, we're excited about some of the iPhone-only tweaks to these titles.
Diamond Twister is a tile-matching game, where you swap two adjacent tiles with a swipe of your finger; match three or more, and the like-tiles disappear. While the game mechanic isn't original--Bejeweled and others use the same scheme--Diamond Twister reads the iPhone's orientation to change the game's direction of gravity. This addition lets you chip away at hard-to-reach bottom tiles with just a twist of the phone. Diamond Twister costs $7.99.