How would you like a roundup of a few iPhone games released in the last little while? With all the crud that floods the iTunes App store nowdays it’s nice to know that there are still some really good one’s out there worth playing . Find reviews of Geared, Cross Fingers, bitFLIP & Rope ‘n’ Fly 2 after the break.
Geared is a classic puzzle game by Bryan Mitchell. The object of each level is simple; use the gears at your disposal to get all the blue gears moving. It controls brilliantly, dragging each gear onto the blueprint is a snap and the gears simply turn red when you can’t place them.
Soon levels are introduced where you have to avoid placing the centre of the gears on any of the shaded rectangles. Not to mention the gravity which adds an extra dimension to the puzzles, meaning you have to stack the gears on top of each other. There are 120 levels in total and they do get considerably harder. Fortunately you can always skip ahead 5 levels, so you can leave behind a few of those tricky ones.
Geared is the perfect little game to whip out and give that level one more try. It can get frustrating at times but that’s what you’re in for with a puzzle game. There’s also an inbuilt community that you can access through the Internet if you truly do get stuck.
Cross Fingers is another winner from Mobigame, the people behind the fantastic game Edge. It’s a puzzle game involving a mix of tanagrams and simple push-the-block gameplay. You need to fit all the white blocks into the black shape to complete the level.
The later levels require you to use multiple fingers in order to get pieces past blocks that are stuck in one direction, hence the name Cross Fingers. The variation between levels is nice, some are simple blocks while others are tanagram shapes that need to be arranged.
I’m actually glad they didn’t implement a timer or move limit function. I like the feeling of just playing around with the blocks. It may have made the game more challenging but as it is, it’s a rather peaceful experience. Just in case however, there’s an extra arcade mode at the end promising some frantic action.
Cross Fingers is a real tactile experience, pushing wooden blocks around and usually requiring multiple fingers. Although you still have to think, the 120 puzzles are actually solvable and provides something stress-free to focus on.
bitFLIP is a unique title from Metamoorephosis Games. It’s a little like Bejeweled and those match-3 games with a few differences. You control something that looks like the thing off the top of a soft drink can and you need to match the colours/shapes by dragging ‘bits’, in affect swapping them. But you can also flip the bits over to reveal another colour.
For the most part the flips are a bit of a guess so I tended to avoid using them. Through playing there’s also sections and powerups where you need to pop ‘special bits’. A warning indicator will point towards certain ‘bits’ that you need to match up before it reaches critical levels.
I was a little scared on my first play-through when my name was already up above my score but the developer assured me over Twitter that they simply took the name of the iPhone device. No mind-reading software here I’m afraid. Though a two-player mode promises some psychological warfare over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
bitFLIP is a hard game to explain and it may take a few plays to get the hang of it. The game appears to be coming to the PSP but I think you definitely need the touch experience. There’s a number of modes to tickle your fancy and although my thoughts on the game are mixed, it’s still quite fun to match and flip colours to a techno beat.
Released on 30/10/09. Download for $2.59 here.
I know a lot of people enjoyed the game and the original but personally I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t seem to get over a couple hundred meters before I run out of momentum and end up smashing triumphantly into the ground. If there was a tutorial explaining the correct technique I might’ve got more satisfaction out of the overall game.
I also had some trouble with the Open Feint online service which provides the leaderboards and achievements. If only everything ran on Ngmoco’s Plus+, life would be a heck of a lot easier.
For what is supposed to be a simple game I feel a little stupid. If you enjoyed the original there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate the additional modes on offer. I suggest you try out the demo first to see if you can actually control it with ease.