Secret Exit’s puzzle hit returns with a visually upgraded iteration that features 100+ total stages, and is both playable and totally gorgeous on both iPhone and iPad. In Zen Bound 2, you’re tasked with wrapping a set amount of rope around a diverse series of wooden sculptures, with a certain percentage of the sculpture needing to be covered to pass the stage. Between the minimalist soundtrack and at-your-own-pace approach, it’s easy to zone out and get lost in this pleasant puzzler on your iDevice of choice.
Chillingo’s Cut the Rope has become an absolute App Store sensation in recent months, due to engaging touchscreen gameplay, fantastic visuals, and a steady stream of free added levels. The primary goal in each stage is to get the candy to the Om Nom creature by slashing ropes and popping bubbles (among other actions, but to truly master the game, you’ll need to collect the three stars scattered around each level. With dozens of levels currently found in the ever-expanding game, it’ll take some time to dominate them all!
Who would’ve guessed that a game about catching falling sushi would be so powerfully fun and exciting? Sushi Boy’s simple approach makes it a perfect fit on both iPhone and iPad, letting you tilt your device to make the titular boy run around the screen, snatching each delicious bit of sushi before it smacks the ground. Along the way, you’ll have to avoid hazards like boots and metal hooks, and as you play more, you’ll be able to unlock higher difficulty levels and numerous customization aspects, like hats and backgrounds.
Looking and feeling like real pinball, Pinball HD is perfectly suited for the iPhone and iPad, with pitch-perfect touch controls that let you tap the left or right side of the screen to activate each respective set of flippers. Pinball wizards can also shake their iDevices for that essential ball-saving nudge. The game includes three tables to choose from: a table modeled after the Wild West, a jungle table with a gorilla named “Big Kong,” and an impressive underwater table. At a rock-bottom price, Pinball HD is a must-have for enthusiasts of the silver ball.
Though a simple, arcade-style gallery shooter at heart, Gun Range uses the iPhone 4’s gyroscope to satisfying effect, letting you quickly and accurately aim your firearm just by moving the device. It’s an impressive effect—and the game looks sharp on the Retina Display—though you’ll need to tap the bottom of the screen to re-center the “G-Scope” with some regularity. Still, with 12 gun types and 144 stages for a buck, it’s a darn good deal, or you can download the free ad-supported version.
Chaos Rings comes from the vaunted publisher behind console role-playing greats Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and this iPhone and iPad exclusive crams the same animation, engrossing storyline, and game mechanics of Square Enix’s hits into a smaller form factor. In Chaos Rings, you’ll choose a two-person team and guide them around the perilous dungeons with the intuitive touch-anywhere joystick controls, and the game is fairly easy for newcomers to the RPG genre, though be sure to save often so you don’t lose your progress after a tough battle!
Your goal in Solipskier is to guide the little skier through yellow gates by drawing the snow beneath his skis by touching and holding the screen, as well as changing his altitude by shifting your finger. Solipskier seems very simple and even sleepy at first, but by the time you’ve sped through several gates and tunnels, you’ll be moving so quickly that hazards like cliffs and barriers will pop up in the blink of an eye. It’s fast and frenetic fun, and does a simple idea right with stylish and smart execution.
Papa Sangre by Somethin’ Else may be about the strangest game you’ll play this year. Built entirely around the concept of sound, with an incredibly simple visual interface (just a directional wheel and two foot icons to use to walk in that direction), the game places you in a series of scenarios where you’ll have to escape from various rooms using only the acoustic information available to you.
That being said, here are some tips, tricks and somewhat-sensible-advice for mastering one of the strangest games yet for the iPad.
Someone must love you very much. How else to explain the fact that you were given an awesome new iPhone or iPod for the holidays? You must have come out well on the "nice" side of the whole naughty/nice continuum. Congrats!
But now what? You've got this highly advanced device that you've heard so much about--how are you ever going to get up to speed? Don't worry, we're here to help, with 10 simple activities designed to get you comfortable with your new acquisition.