This one's for the baby boomers: Centipede has returned, and if you played it as a kid you’ll feel right at home with this updated iOS edition. Like the 1980’s Atari arcade classic, the object in Centipede: Origins is to clear the screen of insects and arachnids of various types, which are trying to encroach on your territory by moving in various patterns down the game screen. However, the developers have modernized this version a bit, making it more accessible for casually paced play while adding a basic leveling system for weapons and power-ups.
The design philosophy behind many free-to-play games seems to be latching onto players’ bank accounts and doing as much damage as possible. This is usually achieved by limiting essential resources, or by holding the shiniest, most powerful items behind a fat price sticker. This is all fine and well, so long as the core mechanics remain fair and engaging. That's not the case with Monster Paradise.
A follow-up to the popular Tiny Tower, NimbleBit's Pocket Planes offers a charming, well-presented take on airline management that kept me hooked for hours, ferrying passengers and cargo from one place to another in planes of varying capacity, range, and speed.
Adventure Time’s weird brand of off-beat humor has struck a chord with children and adults alike, so it’s no wonder that Cartoon Network hustled to get an app released on iPhone. Legends of Ooo is one of the simplest point-and-click adventure games ever made, which actually fits the show’s content well, since the duo spends more time helping strangers with menial tasks than they do actually battling monsters. That said, it’s a little too simple for its own good.
Digital representations of pinball machines seem to get better and better with each new passing genre entry, and they've proven particularly well-suited to the iPad and iPhone. Several slick apps are available on both devices that deliver a mix of original and classic tables, including many based on beloved characters and properties, and typically deliver a large array of perspectives and options to satisfy even the most avid pinball nut. Some fantastical options exist, like Frogger Pinball and Undead Attack Pinball, but for those players seeking a real-life experience on their iOS device of choice, these six apps can satisfy that need.
Ever since I was first introduced to the tabletop fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering in high school, I've spent countless hours of my existence tapping mana, flinging spells, and sending hordes of bizarre beasts onto the battlefield. The Duels of the Planeswalkers spinoff series did a great job of reviving the classic wizard dueling strategy on consoles in recent years, but Magic 2013 is the first installment to hit a portable device, and it's absolutely fantastic on iOS.
Originally released in 2008 on the PC, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition offers a complex solo role-playing experience, made all the more engrossing by the rich, dangerous world it takes place in. It tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a gifted warrior who belongs to an order of magic and alchemy-aided monster-hunting mercenaries known as Witchers. While on a mission, Geralt is seriously wounded. He wakes years later in the Witchers’ fortress, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Before his compatriots have time to give him the most basic of information, the fortress is attacked by a group of bandits who steal the secrets to the Witchers’ inhuman powers.
Riding high off of the smashing success of the Temple Run and the theatrical release of Disney/Pixar's Brave, Temple Run: Brave blends the properties for a sharp-looking take on the former's speedy running approach, and aims to attract new players with a family-friendly resin. The beautiful update doesn't come without some issues, though, as the $0.99 price tag raises the barrier to entry ever so slightly over the free-to-play original.
No matter how far technology advances, some things manage to stick around. For Virtua Tennis Challenge, that means doing its best to convince the player that it's not just Pong in a fancy new package. While the graphics are impressive and Sega's modern offering serves up more game modes than the 70's classic, it also falls short in some areas where even the simplest of games have excelled.
Even if you’re suffering from Second World War fatigue after all the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games of the last decade, Company of Heroes can put a fresh slant on the proceedings. It’s not only the most friendly, accessible, and involving of any strategy game we’ve played, but also the closest you can get to taking part in World War II without straying into first-person shooter territory and thus losing the depth that a strategy game can deliver.