Cat Physics is a puzzle game that challenges you to pass a ball from one cat to another past obstacles and items that effect the trajectory of the ball. It has cute cartoon-like graphics and easy touch-screen controls that make this puzzler a fun diversion that's easy to pick-up and play. Though Cat Physics is very easy to understand initially, it gets challenging quickly. It has levels that require you to use a number of tools to get the ball past complex obstacles and land right at the feet of the receiving cat. There are 50 levels to play … Read more
It's widely believed that Steve Jobs will announce the "iPhone 4G" at his keynote speech for Apple's World Wide Developers Conference on June 7. This is exciting for a number of reasons, but for me, it couldn't come soon enough.
My trusty iPhone 3G is still working as well as can be expected, but I'm noticing more and more that it struggles to keep up with some of the resource-heavy games I download. Beyond performance, there's a crack from the base of my iPhone that goes up its back that has definitely … Read more
The game Portal is regarded by many to be one of the best of all time. GameSpot awarded it a 9.0 and an Editors' Choice. IGN called it "quirky, clever, polished, and presented with a spark of a subtly evil humor."
Originally part of Valve's The Orange Box bundle, then later a $20 standalone game, Portal is now available absolutely free. And not just for PCs, but also for Macs. (Speaking of which, be sure to check out Rich Brown's recent hands-on testing of Portal on four different Mac systems.)
The one and only string … Read more
Looking for 5 minutes of fun? Then look elsewhere, because this week's new iPhone/iPod games are likely to consume considerable chunks of your time. You've been warned!
Babylonian Twins -- The Quest for Peace in Ancient Iraq: If you like running, jumping, puzzle-solving platform games (I know, are there any other kind?), you're sure to get a kick out of Babylonian Twins--a gorgeous, charming platformer with one of the most interesting backstories I've ever read. The game's launch price: $2.99. Oh, and don't miss Babylonian Twins HD for iPad ($4.99).Giant Moto: Its name notwithstanding, this is a perfect little motocross game. Choose a track (there are six now; the developer promises more), then a color, and then decide if you want to ride solo or race against three AI riders. Giant Moto is all about jumps, turbo boosts, and scoring the best time. It's reminiscent of the Nintendo classic ExciteBike--but a lot purtier, to be sure. Well worth 99 cents.
N.Y.Zombies: A must-have for fans of Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, and other zombies-run-amok games, this first-person shooter offers an endless onslaught of blood, guts, and gunplay. There's a plot, too, for those who like zombie-whompin' with a purpose. N.Y.Zombies' launch price is $1.99, but there's a free lite version if you want to test the undead waters. … Read more
Knowing I'd have a few hours to waste on a recent cross-country flight, I grabbed a couple of games from the Android Market to use on my phone. One developer in particular, JiuzhangTech Ltd, caught my eye.
Though none of its casual games are necessarily original, JiuzhangTech brings them to Android in a clean, classy way. Among the titles I've played so far are WordSearch Unlimited, Super Flood, WordTwist, and Hangman Classic. I'll tell you more about the first two games here, but I'm confident that all will be on my phone for quite some time. … Read more
Remember Scrabulous, the Facebook-powered Scrabble knockoff that was all the rage a couple years back? I was a serious addict, but lost interest after all the name changes, lawsuits, redesigns, etc.
Thanks to my evil friend Denny, my addiction is reborn--and mobile. Words With Friends is a two-player crossword challenge that offers turn-based, Scrabulous-like competition. It's not perfect, but I'm loving it.
The game lets you complete online against random players and/or friends. (Built-in Facebook/Twitter links let you post an invitation as a status update.) You can have up to 20 matches going at once, with … Read more
Robots--even toy robots--are sometimes frighteningly adept at specific intelligence tasks. A new machine built out of toy parts is nearly as fast as the fastest human at solving Rubik's Cube puzzles.
CubeStormer is a cube-solving device built by British engineer Mike Dobson out of Lego Mindstorms parts hooked up to a computer.
Lego machines have also been programmed to solve sudoku puzzles, but the speed at which CubeStormer takes on a scrambled cube is pretty awesome.
As the video shows, Dobson's device solves a 3x3x3-inch cube in less than 12 seconds with a blinding display of automatic scanning … Read more
Valet Hero is a fast-paced path-drawing game in which you're in charge of a crowded parking lot, parking a steady stream of speedy, color-coded cars into matching colored spots.
Its touch-screen interface is a little more interesting than you'll find with similar games: as you draw the dotted path that you want each car to follow, you can actually twist the patterns so that you're pulling through or even backing into spots. You're scored ("paid" a certain number of dollars) based on how precisely you park each car--anywhere from "perfect" to "… Read more
I'm old enough to remember the heyday of graphic adventures. Space Quest, The Secret of Monkey Island, Full Throttle--these were the inventive, engaging point-and-click pastimes of my youth.
Alas, the genre died out years ago, but every now and then we see a flicker of resurgence--like when Revolution's Broken Sword debuted way back in 1996. Since then, the game has been ported to just about every platform, mostly notably the Nintendo DS last year.
Now, Broken Sword: Director's Cut is available for iPhone and iPod Touch. It's a lush graphic adventure representing the best of the genre, with a compelling plot, challenging puzzles, and welcome doses of humor. Check out the Hollywood-worthy trailer:
If you've never played a game like this (and if you're under the age of 30, you probably haven't), it's like an interactive animated movie.
As the murder-mystery plot unfolds, you explore various globe-spanning locales, looking for clues, talking with other characters, and solving puzzles. The pace is slow, the gameplay linear--players who have itchy trigger fingers or five-minute attention spans should definitely look elsewhere.
Those who enjoy this kind of thing, however, will be in hog heaven.… Read more
Unblock Me Free is the free version of Unblock Me, a simple but stylishly made puzzle game in which you solve spatial challenges involving rectangular wooden blocks.
The gameplay and interface are fittingly simple: you use your touch screen to slide blocks back and forth inside a tight grid (only left and right, or up and down, depending on the block's placement), maneuvering them around in sequence so that you can slide a red block out of the grid. This setup is the same on every level, but each time you have to move a different set of blocks … Read more