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Iphone Games

Awesome iPhone and iPad apps and updates - August 19, 2010

We're shifting our focus from iOS 4 compatibility updates to any iPhone or iPad app or game, new or updated, that seems especially awesome.   So if you guys see anything you think deserves some special attention, let us know in the comments and we'll look at including it in a future roundup!  Continue on to see what we found this time!

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Kaboom's Paratrooper lands on the iPhone

Kaboom's Paratrooper is simple in theory -- tap the plane to drop the paratrooper, tilt your iPhone or iPod touch to direct them to the landing spot. And right there is where every casual gaming fan knows the addiction starts and the mayhem begins.

You want to hit the X. You need to hit that X. Things get more complicated quickly, of course. Obstacles build up. They're paratroopers after all, not sky divers. So don't be surprised when you start having to leap -- and land -- into the middle of a paper-art war zone. (Yeah, paper-art. Awesome.)

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Plunderland for iPhone- app review

Plunderland is Apple's App of the Week this week. Does it deserve it? Yes and no. Developer JohnnyTwoShoes has made a solid effort to bring pillaging across the sea in the hands of eager gamers.

The premise of Plunderland is you are a ghost with pirates that sail across the sea to attack and sink enemy ships, pillage tribes people and take money from their monuments then make it to the next port. Sounds fun? Well, get used to it because that is what you do over, and over, and over again with little variety. Call me a stinker, but I don't see the allure with this game.

Sure, the water physics are nice. You tilt the iPhone left or right to make your boat move in that direction. When there is a storm, etc, the water behaves in a more erratic manor, making maneuvering more difficult. Once you are on the high seas, you come across your enemy; the British warships. You have a couple ways to take them out. First is to use your ships cannon. You have a nifty way of angling the cannon to shoot your targets, just move your finger along the bottom and you will get a reticule via a line that helps your aiming. Release your finger and you fire your cannonballs. Second, you can use the enemies cannonballs against themselves. Before the enemy launches an attack, the cannon will puff smoke, that is your cue to ready your finger and deflect the cannonball back upon the enemy ship and with luck, split it in two!

I know, I make it sound exhilarating, and it is the first two or three times you do it. Sadly, Plunderland does little to keep your attention. Future attacks add blimps and more, but the fun is gone by that point. The attacking villagers is a simple "tap, tap. tap" on the totems to get money and fling some villagers around in an effort to extract some more dough. Again... zzzz...

There is nice upgrade system though, you can upgrade your ship, cannons and bowsprits by earning said money above. The game has excellent promise. The controls, physics and graphical style all lend them selves to a success. However, the bland  I really, really wanted to like this game, being highlighted on Apple's App Store, but alas, mateys, I just can't bring myself to recommend this lack-luster treasure.

[$2.99- iTunes Link]

UPDATE: I had a delightful Twitter chat with the developers. I explained that I had played 50% thorough the game and became unchallenged with the levels and objectives. They understood and are looking at a way to unlock the more exciting and complex levels earlier for more "hardcore" gamers. I also said that when I find the time to complete the game 100%, I would update this review to include my findings. I am hopeful that by the time I do this, they will have some new content available. You can follow the developer on Twitter here.

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Chain Link Pro for iPhone - App Review

Chain Link is based on the concept of creating as many links as you can and dragging them into the vortex in the middle of the screen without disturbing any other types of links.  The game starts off fairly easy and gets harder pretty quick.  There's also support for OpenFeint to share your scores with your friends and other Chain Link users.  I found the game pretty addicting after a while.  Hit the jump for more screens and a walkthrough.

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NOVA gets Retina Display and Gyroscope support

Gameloft's NOVA has just received one awesome update; high-res retina display support and the ability to use the gyroscope (looks like Gun Range proved useful after all) for iPhone 4. First let's talk graphics...

This game looks absolutely amazing. Color. Crispness. It's all there. No aliasing problems, things just look great. Now for the not so great news, the Gyroscope.

I have been playing with the NOVA update for the last couple of days and for the life of me, I can't seem to feel comfortable using the gyroscope in conjunction with the traditional controls. Sure, the gyroscope is precise. Sure you can pivot in a circle and the game will rotate with you. But when it comes to playing in a firefight with aliens, it is hard to be using the traditional controls to pan while using the gyroscope to aim. Perhaps I just don't have the reflexes of my youth, but I found the experience frustrating. Thankfully you can turn the gyroscope controls off.

This was just my experience, how are you liking the update? Let us know in the comments!

Video after the break.

[$4.99- iTunes link]

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StarDunk for iPhone- app review

Once in a while there is a game that comes out that is simple, fun, addictive and priced for the masses. Ladies and gentleman I give you StarDunk!

StarDunk is brought to us by the fine folks at Gozilab that made iMoki. The premise behind StarDunk is to make baskets (as in basketball) with a ball and complete globally against other players. You have two basic game modes; offline and online. Offline is where you hone your skills and when ready you are ready, compete online.

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Eliminate: GunRange for iPhone 4- app review

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Ngmoco has just brought out the ultimate game/tech-demo (to show your friends) for the iPhone 4 -- Eliminate GunRange. It's a virtual gun range game where you use real weapons to shoot targets. The concept is not entirely engrossing as there are plenty of other top-notch shooting games out there (ngmoco's own Eliminate comes to mind). What makes this game fun and special is that it is the first game to take full use of the new iPhone 4 gyroscope. How does it work? Continue reading to find out!

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Farmville for iPhone now in App Store

Zynga's Farmville has just sprouted its way onto the iPhone and is just waiting for you to harvest it via the iTunes App Store.

You can access your existing Facebook farm or start a new agrarian life from scratch. There's also exclusive iPhone/iPod touch content -- we've already seen snow leopards in honor of Apple's current Mac OS X -- and all of the same seeds, fruits, vegetables, and animals casual gamers have grown to love.

If you try it out, let us know how you like it.

[iTunes]

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Massive EA iPhone games sale - $0.99 for 48 hours

Don't want to pay a lot for those EA (Electronic Arts) iPhone and iPad games? Well, you're in luck - a ton of them are on sale today for just $0.99. Not every game, mind you, but a lot. Here's the list:

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Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney for iPhone- app review

Phoenix Wright is Capcom's latest game for the iPhone. It's a port of a port (GameBoy to Nintendo DS to iOS) that still retains it's fun factor through the years and is a great addition to any iOS gamer. The concept behind Phoenix Wright is simple; you are a new a attorney and you have taken on your first criminal case as a defense attorney for your best friend from high school, Larry Butz, and he is accused of murder!

The main game play takes place in the court room. Just like any court case, you are given evidence that you can reference at any time from the court record. And you WILL need to reference it as your clients future depends on it.

Your first case deals with Larry's girlfriend's murder. The witness pins Larry as the killer... but is he? This is where the fun begins. It is up to you to prove his innocence. In the courtroom you listen to the witness testimony and try to find holes in it based on the evidence you have in your possession. Regretfully, I can't give away too much more without spoiling the story... There are additional levels though and each one gets more and more challenging, you even move out of the courtroom to gather evidence yourself.

As fun as the game is, the writing is geared towards a younger audience. Even though the subject matter is adult, it often uses "childish humor" to get points across at times. Though I shrug this off, it may bother some adult gamers, kids will love it. But I do admit, I chuckled from time to time. It is important to note that this game is not 3D but instead kind of like one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. The game is based primarily on reading and critical thinking skills and lends itself as a quick pick up and play game, but you will be spending some quality time with it. The good news is that you can save anytime and it usually places you right at the spot you were last at in the story.

In the end I found Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney very enjoyable and fun. Was it challenging? Yes. Was the crude humor at times? Yes. Will I play it again? Most definitely.

[$4.99- iTunes Link]

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