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Food Fight iOS Review – A Card Game Done Right

Food Fight iOS is a version of a physical card game by Cryptozoic Entertainment, brought to the iDevices by Playdek, Inc.  The game consists of players building a small army to try and beat the others by having higher numbers—like the card game “War”—but with lots of strategy and humor involved.

A typical game consists of battles for certain meals (these meals have values from 1 to 3 that add up eventually to win a game), and each player selects five cards from his hand to build an army to fight the chosen meal.  The cards have different colors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and most of the troops (from all of the meals) have abilities that will help you if you use a good strategy.  The troop flipped in a serving with the highest number between the players wins one after meal mint.  The player who ends up with the most after meal mints in the five servings wins the meal.  Occasionally another element is introduced, the dog, when one player does not want to fight the same meal as the others.  They then battle the dog for that meal, while the other players fight over the one that they selected.

The iOS implementation includes a few different game modes, including a campaign where you continuously unlock more cards for your initial hand and decks for each meal.  As you progress you fight breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then a boss.  The bosses have special abilities, but once you defeat them you’ll get their card to add to one of your three decks.  There also is a successful and fun asynchronous multiplayer mode, a card gallery (trust me you want to check this out, the cards are hilarious), an offline mode where you can customize your game experience, and, thankfully, a tutorial.  It takes a bit to get the hang of the game, but once you understand what is going on it becomes an absolute blast to play.

Likes:

Cards: The art is unbelievably good, and most of them are uproariously funny.

Interface: Simple, probably better on an iPad but tapping and double tapping enlarge cards so that they can be read.

Modes: The multiplayer is well implemented, and the campaign is a good way to spend your time.

The game: Yes, this isn’t a game created initially for the iDevices, but it’s damn fun.  I have played the physical card game, and can say that the iDevice version has been put together as well as it could be.

Dislikes:

Blurred text: When scaled down on the iPhone and iPod Touch some of the card features are more difficult to read, but double tapping enlarges them.

Tutorial: The tutorial is good, but the way it is written is a bit confusing.  It was creative to write it with a faux-French accent, but it could throw people off.

Food Fight iOS is a perfect example of how to bring a version of a card game to the iDevices, and how to do it well.  The UI is simple and graphically pleasing, while the audio is not obtrusive.  The game itself is a blast both in the physical version and the iOS one, and completely merits a “Must Have” rating.

Food Fight iOS was developed by Playdek, Inc. (and created by Cryptozoic Entertainment), and is available for $3.99 on the appstore.  I played through version 1.0.1 on my iPod Touch 3G.

Beat Hazard Ultra – Play Your Music And Have A Blast Too

Beat Hazard Ultra by Cold Beam Games is an auditory and visually stunning experience.  You fly a ship in a confined area destroying asteroids and ships while gathering powerups to make the music louder and your vessel stronger.  Oh yeah—and all of this is generated by your music, or the music of one of the available Internet radio stations.

Beat Hazard Ultra analyzes the music from your iDevice library to create a playing experience that corresponds to the peaks of your chosen song, and this works incredibly well.  The visualizer in the background gains intensity as your song does.  Then more enemies spawn, and the screen goes crazy!  It’s frantic, hectic fun.  I’ve played music from “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys, to “The Seed (2.0)” by The Roots, and every song has proven to be different in terms of what the game sends your way.  And all of them have been enjoyable to play this way—there rarely is a complete lull in action, the game creates a challenging progression of enemies for each song.

The audio is clearly awesome, but how are the controls?  They’re amazing, because they’re very customizable.  You can play it as a dual-stick shooter, or use one stick, and choose between floating and fixed, as well as change the size.  All you need to do is try a few things and one of the options will work out perfectly.  Honestly, the controls feel as responsive to me as they do when I play the computer version using my gamepad or keyboard and mouse.

The game has a few modes: standard, survival, boss rush, and chill out.  They’re all pretty self-explanatory, and all very fun.  If you play well you are rewarded with points to spend on perks that can alter your game and customize it to fit your needs.  If you die a lot, you can purchase a perk that gives you two extra lives.

Likes:

Graphics: These are fun and exciting.  The visualizations that take place in the background based on your music make the gameplay more exciting, and are just plain cool to watch.  The ships and asteroids are all very well designed.

Controls: Completely customizable to your needs.  What more could you ask for?

Concept: The overall experience of this game is awesome.  Being able to play your music is incredible—because you can choose songs you like and then add another element of fun.

Modes and Perks: The standard mode is enough, but the other modes create more depth, as do the perks.

Dislikes:

Radio Stations Available: This is a stretch, I truly don’t dislike anything about the game, because they have is good, but more customizable experiences here could be nice.

Beat Hazard Ultra has been flawlessly ported to the iDevices.  The core gameplay is still a blast, and the visualizations are phenomenal.  What surprised me are the controls—they work perfectly once you find what works for you.  Definitely a “Must Have,” and I whole-heartedly recommend picking it up.

Beat Hazard Ultra was developed by Cold Beam Games, and I played through version 1.4 on my iPod Touch 3G.  The current price is $1.99.

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New “Inside Infinity Blade II Visuals” Video, Original on Sale for $2.99

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NFL Flick Quarterback HD Review: It’s Just a Rookie

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