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July Favorite Games of the Month

July kicked off with the release of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4-specific games and graphics.  Surprisingly, not a lot has been going on other than that, but we were able to dig up some of our favorite games of the month.  Read on to find out more about them!

Daniel: July marked the beginning of a new era in the form of iOS 4: developers scrambled to make their apps iOS 4 compatible, create iPhone 4-specific graphics, and allow for backgrounding and “fast-app switching”. To be quite honest, no game really struck me as amazing or awesome: Infect them All was a quick, casual game that I enjoyed but nothing groundbreaking. I would have to say my favorite PART of July, though, would have to be the update to Zen Bound 2; making the game universal and optimized for the Retina display. Zen Bound 2 easily becomes one of the best-looking games on the iPhone, and there’s so much value in it that it would be ridiculous not to pass up.

With that said, I would have to pick Infect them All as my favorite game for this month, and the update to Zen Bound 2 as my favorite part. Nothing else really screamed wow to me, and hopefully August brings about some new goodies.  Some notable mentions also include Castlevania Puzzle and Xenome Episode 1.

Travis: July was a pretty quiet month for new releases with the bulk of them being updates to existing titles to keep up with iOS 4′s release. However, towards the end of the month we were treated to Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night. I had mixed feelings when the game was first announced (more negative but still hopeful than anything else). To my surprise and delight when I finally got the game in my hot hands I found that this was indeed a full-fledged Castlevania experience. Dungeon exploration feels very traditional and the items/weapons all very reminiscent of the traditional Castlevania experience. Even more delightful was the almost shocking length of the game. I clocked in around 18 hours clearing out all the secrets.

Virtually every aspect of the game was lovingly crafted to feel just like a classic Castlevania game. This has to be one of the most complete gaming experiences on the iDevices to date. Although I would still have preferred a pure Castlevania title, I really can’t complain when the final product still turns out to be as spectacular as this.  I also thoroughly enjoyed EA’s version of Risk and would consider it among the best released this month.

And that’s it for this month!  Have we missed a game?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!



  1. james on Sunday 1, 2010

    seriously ? Where you asleep all month ? Hero of Sparta 2, Lets Golf 2, Plunderland, Helsing fire, Xenome and Air attack ? what about those games ? Infect them All was a good concept but gets boring ultra fast, its no “game of the month” winner thats for sure.
    What about the fact that the “michael jackson” dancing zombie was removed from “Plants Vs Zombies” ? Seemed worth a mention.

  2. Daniel on Sunday 1, 2010

    Let’s Golf 2: Physics were horrible, music was horrendous, and the game wasn’t all that it could be. Check out our review.

    Hero of Sparta 2: I haven’t played it yet.

    Plunderland: Hasn’t really tickled my fancy.

    Helsing’s Fire: Haven’t played it.

    Xenome: Very raw RPG. And if you read the article you would see that I mentioned Xenome as a noteworthy mention.

    Air Attack: I’ve played it, but I’m not a huge fan of top-down shooters. Matt is more of an expert in that field, but he has been busy and wasn’t able to contribute his thoughts this month.

  3. Matt on Sunday 1, 2010

    I’ve been busy indeed. In the past few weeks, I’ve moved from Dallas to Los Angeles, have begun a new job, and have been trying to settle into my new apartment. I have more furniture I need to buy, boxes to unpack, and finally had Internet service hooked up this morning. Today is the first time in three weeks I’ve gotten my Macbook Pro online outside of a Starbucks.

    With so much going on, I’ve unfortunately not been able to contribute much here at NoDpad, and missed the deadline for this article. Had I been able to contribute, Air Attack would have been my top choice for the month; my review has just gone live, so check that out.

    Otherwise, I’ve been enjoying Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night, though I feel they should have done more to differentiate the enemies in the game. Most of the “battles” begin to feel the same after a while, and the opponents aren’t nearly as diverse as in Puzzle Quest.

    I’ve also enjoyed Osmos HD, and have been playing the new universal update to 100 Rogues.

    Plunderland is fair at best, but definitely not GotM material for me, and Chopper 2 is visually impressive, but offers nothing new over the first game in terms of gameplay. And I honestly didn’t enjoy the first Chopper all too much. Helsing’s Fire is an interesting and enjoyable game, but too easy on the whole. Hero of Sparta 2 I haven’t played; my iPhone 3G is just too slow since updating to iOS 4.

  4. james on Sunday 1, 2010

    I’d like to apologies then about my first comment it was unfair to say you’ve been asleep. I see you have played those other games and also been busy this month :D
    I’ve been in and out of hospital this last month and have found my self with tons of spare time and only my iPhone games to entertain me. I followed your excellent “2-years-of-iPhone” game round up and almost bought all the games you recommended.
    I’d also like to say you’re both very fair in your reviews, other iPhone review websites seem dishonest because certain game publishers have all the their games rated high regardless of the quality (lets golf! 2).
    I went for Piyo Blocks 2 instead. Polished but …. yeah its been done before. Now i regret not going for Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night.
    I still like plunderland and helsings fire for game of the month, but thats because I place a lot of value on games that create a unique iPhone experience you cant get on other platforms.
    Keep up the great work guys !

  5. Lana W. on Sunday 1, 2010

    I met some of EA staff at a Games Conference in Seattle. All I have to say is, EA is the most ARROGANT and Pompous people I’ve met in my life.

    It’s obvious they plan on running Indie developers out of the Games Industry. Everything they’ve been doing for the past 2 years will saturate the Indie Games industry. Independent developers will suffer if Greedy FAT pigheaded EA continues to saturate the market with their rehashed Games.

    BOYCOTT EA
    BOYCOTT EA
    BOYCOTT EA

  6. Travis on Sunday 1, 2010

    It’s really not possible to play everything that comes out every month. Our picks of the month are personal preferences of what we have played this month. That’s why we let each editor post their picks of the month. Would you go into your favorite record store and complain if all the employee picks were the one really great cd that came out or a much more diverse selection of the music they personally listen to? You never know when you might find something totally awesome that you would have never expected.

    That’s why I usually choose a small indie title for my pick of the month since their games are usually far more obscure and don’t get the attention they deserve.