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iPad Games Hands-On: Flight Control, Touchgrind, and More

I visited the Apple Store today, not to get an iPad, but to test it out and see what it’s made of.  Once one of the demo models were available, I picked it right on up and launched Firemint’s Real Racing, a game that played phenomenally on the iPhone.  To me, racing didn’t seem like a type of game that would do well on the iPad, as the iPad looked a bit clumsy and large to tilt.  Boy, was I wrong.

Real Racing HD

Everyone has been saying this, and I’ll say it again, the resolution on the iPad screen is absolutely phenomenal.  When tilting away on the iPad, the experience was much more immersive than that of the iPhone.  The graphics were also quite amazing, and the cockpit view felt like I was actually driving.  Real Racing on the iPad works much better than on the iPhone, and I was completely blown away by one, the graphics and two, the resolution.

Flight Control HD

Yet another game that benefits from the iPad’s large screen.  The iPad version also adds another 4 iPad-specific maps along with a split-screen mode for multiplayer.  I tested out the split-screen mode and found it to be quite nice, although it seems that that mode can only be played on a flat surface.  As for the single player, new maps, the large screen brought out much of the color.  I wouldn’t say that the iPad version changed the gameplay experience to awesome sauce, but again, the resolution and aesthetics were what blew me away.

Touchgrind HD

This is one game that was screaming, convulsing, and pissing its pants to be on a larger screen.  The concept was absolutely wonderful, and it’s a game that can only be executed on a touchscreen.  So it only made sense for it to be brought to the iPad, and the larger screen made viewing the skate park much easier.  While I had some slight problems with the touch responsiveness, it was definitely a game that benefited from the larger screen.  And like all the games above, the resolution was absolutely amazing.

Madden NFL ’10 Zoomed In

The demo iPad was also loaded up with App Store games, including Madden NFL.  So what the heck, of course I would love to play some ground n’ pound football right on that big screen.  And from my impressions with it, it worked surprisingly well.  The graphics were slightly pixelated but not too bad, and the controls worked okay.  Madden neither benefited or declined on the iPad, and the experience felt the same as the iPhone.  The only thing different I have to point out is this: playing on the iPhone is like playing the PS3 on a 20-inch TV, while playing on the iPad is like playing on a 52-inch screen; whichever one you prefer to play your games on.

I didn’t get to try out anymore games on the iPad due to the large amount of people to lay waste to the device, but from my experience, gaming on the iPad and gaming on the iPhone is like comparing gaming on the PS2 to gaming on the PS3.  Sure, the iPad may be expensive and somewhat awkward to hold at times, but the larger screen and higher resolution fully immerses you in the game, something that the iPhone hasn’t quite been able to do.



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