Review by Dave LeClair
There are ton of big releases currently on the iPhone app store, and even more in the pipeline. However, there are a lot of small free games out there that, while I’m sure some of you are playing, you gloss over because they are free. So if they are free they must not be good right? Wrong. Today I would like to do some small reviews, to coinside with some small, free games. (I’ve already done a full review of Tap Tap Revenge, so it will not be included, however it is a MUST download.)
Aurora Feint: A small game that, to be honest with you, I’m not sure what it wants to be. It claims that it will eventually be an MMORPG for the iPhone. I don’t see how this possible, but for now, its a puzzle/adventure game akin to puzzlequest. You have to match up rows of 3 peices to collect their power and uses. You use the peices you collect to learn spells and gain weapons. The catch is you can rotate the phone to rotate the peices. This adds a new element to the game. It’s a pretty fun little game, and if the developer can achieve what he set out to do with updates, it may be a very robust gaming experiance on the iPhone. However, its score will reflect what it is now, not what it’s hoping to become, so for now it gets a respectable 7 out of 10.
21 Pro Blackjack: A very robust Blackjack experience for the iPhone. Offers everything you could ask for from a cell phone Blackjack game and more. You get your standard blackjack game vs. the dealer, with your final goal being getting to 21 or as close as possible without going over, or “busting.” The thing that sepeates this blackjack game from the rest is the stuff outside of the main game. It has lessons that teach you about blackjack basic strategy and even card counting. To aid in card counting it will even give the running count at any time, or you can opt to have to count on the screen as you go. For a free blackjack game, there is really nothing else I can ask for, so that’s why I’m giving it a 9 out of 10.
Tris: Tris is a Tetris clone, right down to the name, it takes every aspect of its game play straight from Tetris. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with ripping off one of the best puzzle games ever made, because Tris also offers a full Tetris experience to the player, and does it with solid controls, and an aesthetically pleasing look to it. There’s not a ton a ton to say, if you like Tetris, download Tris. Tris gets a solid 8 out of 10. (Tris is no longer available at the request of the Tetris Company)
PapiJump: A quick distraction is all PapiJump offers. However, it does it well. In PapiJump, the player’s goal is to tilt the phone as their “Papi” bounces on platforms, and get as high as possible. It’s a score based game, so the fun comes in trying to beat your last high score, or taking turns with a friend to see who can bounce their Papi higher. If a quick and fun experience is what you are looking for, PapiJump is a great option… and for that reason it gets an 8 out of 10.
Jirbo Break: I’m not sure who Jirbo is, but they offer a bunch of mediocre games on the iPhone. Break is only one that I found pretty good. It’s the classic break game, with the “lovable” Jirbo characters. Again, I have never heard of Jirbo, so to me its just break, but I think it is the best adaptation of break on the iPhone. The levels get pretty tough when you get onto level 20+. If you like break this is the version to get, and it gets a respectable 7 out of 10.
Anaconda: This game is a touch screen version of the classic Nokia phone game ‘Snake’. It’s a fairly good version of snake, the best on iPhone so far, but it could be better. It doesn’t offer different speeds or difficulty levels, which is kind of a drag. The snake could stand to move a little faster, but to compensate they make the snake grow bigger a lot faster than most snake games. It’s good for some short bursts of play, but there is room for improvement. It’s still worth playing if you’re like me and LOVED the old school snake, but with its flaws Anaconda gets a 6 out of 10.
That $80 + iPhone bill got you down? A little short on cash, well fear not because there are some great games, that will cost you a whopping $0. So get to downloading, and you can thank me later.