Category Archives: Editorials

Thanksgiving 2010: What We’re Thankful For

Thanksgiving was yesterday, we know, but we were so busy stuffing ourselves with turkey and food that we kind of fell into a food coma—not a good state to write in.  But now that we have our minds settled and sparked, we reflect upon what we’re thankful for for the year 2010.

Matt: The games I am most thankful for are the games I keep coming back to over time, those rare titles which exhibit excellent gameplay and incredible staying power in the face of a near constant stream of new releases. While most titles live their life like a candle in the wind, there are a few that continue to burn brightly in my heart. In no particular order, the iPhone games I am most thankful for are …

Space Invaders Infinity Gene, the brilliant evolution of one of the most important titles in video game history. A lengthy main game, unlockable extra levels I still haven’t seen the end of, additional DLC stages, and the ability to create randomized stages from your own library of music amount to an endless supply of fresh content. The way the game deploys its finite enemy types into seemingly infinite combinations of unique challenges is brilliant, and a variety of player-selectable ships allow you to experience played stages in new ways. SIIG is a masterpiece, one of those rare titles that never seems to overstay its welcome, and which constantly surprises and rewards the player with new content and new challenges.

Puzzle Quest has been released many times and on many devices over the years, but received its most definitive version only recently. Puzzle Quest HD for the iPad is this great game at its very best, and a release I am extremely thankful for. The game revolutionized the match-3 genre by incorporating RPG elements such as combat, character progression and skill use, offers a lengthy quest and a plethora of character classes with unique abilities and strategies all their own, and mixes up the match-3 action with plenty of variants and mini games. The amount of content is simply immense and has kept me coming back again and again for years. Now on the iPad, the game benefits all the more from the device’s large display and touch-screen interface.

And finally, I am thankful for the masterful, iPhone exclusive roguelike 100 Rogues. With its multiple character classes each having a unique skill tree, randomized maps, enemies and loot, deceptively strategic gameplay, excellent balance and steep difficulty, the game is never twice the same. Characters may be developed in any number of ways, leaving it up to the player to discover the best approach to any given situation. With the recent release of version 2.0, 100 Rogues has been renewed with a ton of additional content, and there is still more to come, the developers say, including two new character classes. With so much variety, strategy and new content, 100 Rogues is a game I can never put down for long, and one I am truly thankful for its having been made.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone.

Daniel: I’m thankful for any developer that goes out of their way to create a groundbreaking experience on the iPhone. The iPhone’s App Store would not have exploded like it has if it weren’t for people who exploited all of the iPhone’s capabilities. Heck, I doubt NoDPad would even exist if it weren’t for these type of people—the ones willing to create the next big thing, the next Must Have game.

Developers like Gameloft, while they have the capital, create some of the best games the iPhone has ever seen in Modern Combat 2 and NOVA. Firemint is yet another developer that goes all out, evidenced by their gorgeous and still-competing Real Racing and their casual Flight Control. Almost every game made by these two developers are absolutely the best; sure there are faults, but the goods almost always outweigh the bads.

And we’ve got to give some indie devs some love, my first nominee going to Halfbrick Studios (technically not indie, but not large either). Fruit Ninja really kicked things off for this game developer, leading to Monster Dash and Age of Zombies. All three have been solid and quite addictive in my books, and when it comes to casual games, Halfbrick usually provides the best.

Other indie devs include Rocketcat Games, the developers of Hook Champ and Super Quick Hook. Unique, beautiful, and most importantly, fun. I’ve probably got a lot of other devs/companies/people I’m forgetting, but thanks to all the devs out there who shoot high for groundbreaking, good-looking, and enjoyable games.

Travis: There are so many unique and wonderful experiences found on the iDevices to be thankful for. As a retro enthusiast my heart sings every time I boot up Hook Champ by Rocketcat Games. Time and time again I return to this love letter to both the aesthetic and sensibilities of the games of my youth. The brutal level design is as fun and addicting as it is rewarding. Leaderboard integration is some of the best available on the platform. Instant updates to your ranking as well as top scorers for the week can be readily seen when selecting a level. Challenges can also be issued and received with the greatest of ease. Collecting up all the hats is an incredible incentive to completionists such as myself. Did I mention that there are a number of secret hats to find? Hook Champ is simply a masterfully designed game. It’s clear that Rocketcat Games has a full understanding and appreciation for the games of yesteryear.

On the complete opposite end of the scale I also have never been able to get over just how much fun Peggle is. This plinko style game is absolutely addicting and for good reason. The game’s objective is simple enough that everyone can grasp it: clear all the orange pegs with the minimal number of shots taken. Enhance this gameplay mechanic with skill based timing and aiming of shots and a whole lot of luck and you get a game that is every bit worthy of the phenomenon it is.

Finally I’ve become a fan of Solomon’s Keep/Boneyard by Raptisoft. These twin stick shooters diverge from the crowd by mixing up the gameplay a bit. Rather than simply shooting basic guns you are instead given a variety of magic powers to choose from. While the initial magic set is cut from the most basic formats, fireballs, magic missiles, and lightning; they later become combinable and produce much more original feeling powers. These skills are available as you gain levels, another distinctive feature of these games. There are levels to gain, items to find and buy, and even bosses to slay. A significant level of depth can be found in Solomon’s Keep/Boneyard that most of the competition simply does not have.

All of these games have been staples on my iPod since I first downloaded them and they will likely stay with me forever. I simply can’t get enough of these premier examples of iDevice gaming and cannot recommend them enough if you are a newcomer to the iDevices.

Hope: On this day of Thanksgiving, reflecting back on this past year, I find I am very thankful for a few great apps from the App Store.

Angry Birds came in silently and exploded into a huge success. A very simple physics puzzler has created a sensation with You Tube spoof videos (, an upcoming line of plush toys, and even the celebration of Angry Birds Day. But for me the attraction is in the simplicity. Fling a bunch of birds at some pigs and break whatever you can in the process – how tough can that be? Well right away you realize that strategy is definitely needed to get those precious 3 stars. Just when you think you have conquered the game, Rovio Mobile throws a curve at you and releases more levels! And then came more! Then when you think you have seen it all, the hidden golden eggs appear. The content is astounding and the fun is addicting. Definitely a game that you can play for minutes or hours at a time. Thank you Rovio Mobile for creating a game I can go back to time and time again. And for holding the first spot on my first page for the absolute longest time ever!

The appstore had been deplete of original RPG’s for much of its young life. But then along came Chaos Rings. A turn based battle system highlighted this deep game. It was very easy to get sucked into the gameplay and it’s easy interaction and engrossing story brought you in even deeper. A remarkable amount of replay value was built in as the game is to be completed with several pairs of characters. The game raised the bar for the genre on the platform and soon every RPG that was released after it was compared to it. Published by Square Enix, Chaos Rings told every developer that the iOS was a serious platform that could appeal to more than just the casual gamer on the go. Gamers want content and Chaos Rings delivered. Thank you Square Enix and Media Vision for taking a risk and paving the way for the future of the platform. And for giving me such a great original RPG.

The year’s biggest trend has been the freemium model. There have been many approaches to this but Nimblebit released Pocket Frogs and I must say it is the perfect balance to the social gaming world. First of all who doesn’t enjoy frogs? Right, no one. But more to the point who even thought breeding them would be so fun! With a wealth of achievements, an active social system with Plus+ friends, variety of gaming styles, Pocket Frogs is a very well balanced social game that allows you to make purchases of stamps and potions optional. Unlike other freemium games that feel like you are feeding quarters into an arcade machine, Pocket Frogs allows you to play the game without spending a single cent if you so choose. But soon you find that you are having much too much fun for this to be free and you make a purchase of one kind or another. The addictive collecting certainly keeps you coming back for more and more. Thank you Nimblebit for putting a little bit of spark and fun in my day by giving me something to aim for, something to achieve, and something to conquer. Maybe I won’t ever fill my Froggydex, but I will certainly have fun trying, and it sure is fun scheduling a day around my frogs’ growth cycle!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Black Friday: What To and Not To Buy

Black Friday arrives again, the infamous day right after Thanksgiving when retailers decide to chop down prices to some ridiculously low amount (sometimes…).  And it’s that time of year again, and the App Store is not exempt from Black Friday’s reach.

And you’ll obviously be searching for some good deals, so here’s a comprehensive list of what to buy and what not to buy.  If you find any other game on sale that we didn’t include, be sure to let us know in the comments.

What to Buy

Defender Chronicles ($0.99): This is still one of my favorite tower defense games on the App Store, although I haven’t played a tower defense game in a while.  Still, for $0.99, you really can’t go wrong.  It’s filled with content, nice artwork, and overall, it’s a steal at the price.

Cogs HD ($1.99): This is one of the best puzzle games I have played on the iPad, and it’s seriously worth picking up if you’ve got an iPad handy.  You really don’t know what you’re missing out on, as I can’t bring enough praise on Cogs HD.  Get it while it’s cheap.

EA’s Offerings (all $0.99):

Com2us’s offerings (all $0.99):

Castlevania Puzzle ($0.99): While it’s not the real Castlevania, it sure can pack a punch.  This is for anyone out there that remembers Castlevania or just loves puzzles in general; it received a Must Have award here, and as a whole, we really enjoyed it.  $0.99 for a game like this is just too great of a deal to pass.

Ravensword ($0.99): Probably one of the most technologically advanced RPGs on the App Store, featuring great graphics and a great storyline.  Sure, it is a bit short but for $0.99, it’s hard to complain.  Grab it for a buck while it lasts, or I fear you’ll miss out on one of the best RPG experiences on the App Store so far.

Carnivores Dinosaur Hunter ($0.99): One of the best hunting games that I’ve come across, although the graphics could use a bit of work.  It is a port of an old PC game though, and it’s definitely a ton of fun to play.  Throw in universal iPad support and Retina graphics, and you have the perfect makings of a great game.

100 Rogues ($1.99): We’ve given this game a lot of love here, and definitely with a reason.  It’s a great rogue-like that frankly everyone should get.  At it’s current, low price I highly doubt you can find a reason not to get it.  Seriously though, get it now (notice how many times I said get it?)

IUGO’s offerings (all $0.99):

Monkey Island 2 Le Chuck’s Revenge for iPad ($1.99): Whew, that title is a mouthful.  For $1.99, you get a remastered classic that should give atleast 8 hours of gameplay if not more.  It’s a ton of fun for adventure-goers, and I personally loved it.

What not to Buy

Gameloft’s offerings: None of the games put on sale on their part are really “must have experiences”.  You could probably argue buying Hero of Sparta II, but other than that, none of the other games are great.  Some of them may be GOOD, but hey, good just isn’t enough these days.

Namco’s offerings: Namco has continued to make some pretty bad games on the iPhone (Splatterhouse being the most recent one), and none of their sales are really eye-popping.  Despicable Me: Minion Mania and Pool Pro Online 3 are pretty much the only games worthy of buying; everything else just skip over.  Yes, that includes Pac-Man.  And Time Crisis 2nd Strike.  And Ridge Racer Accelerated.

And that’s it folks!  Again, if you believe there’s a game(s) that should be on the list and aren’t, feel free to let us know in the comments.  Hope you enjoy your Black Friday shopping!

October Favorite Games of the Month

October just happened to be yet another busy month for all of us NoDPad writers, and we’ve taken the time to compile our favorite games for the month of October.  While lacking in spooky, it definitely made up for it with many unique games, including Galaxy on Fire 2, Star Battalion, and more.

Matt: Traditionally, October is a month for ghouls, ghosts and flame-faced pumpkins. But to be perfectly honest, this year’s Halloween themed offerings were mostly disappointing. The only game that stood out for me was Age of Zombies, and even that game isn’t all that it should have or could have been, as it fell somewhat short of Monster Dash in refinement. And speaking of Monster Dash, I dig the new Yeti level, but why on earth didn’t we get pumpkinheads for Halloween?! I demand pumpkinheads!

Luckily, October wasn’t all about disappointing Halloween releases. Space was the place, with Gameloft releasing Star Battalion and Fishlabs unleashing the highly anticipated Galaxy on Fire 2. Star Battalion is flawed, but loads of fun and probably the closest thing to Starfox in the app store. Meanwhile, Galaxy on Fire 2 makes space a sandbox and sets you loose to play. Whether you want to focus your efforts on interstellar commerce or running missions for the galaxies various factions, it’s up to you. And outer space has never looked prettier. Galaxy on Fire 2 is everything a good sequel should be, and I reckon it’s the very best game released this October.

I’ve also been enjoying Hexage’s retro arcade masterpiece, EVAC.

Hope: It’s pretty spooky how many great games were released in October compared to September’s dearth. The range of games ran from soup to nuts and fans of any genre could be pleased with a new favorite or two, or three even! Luckily it wasn’t all fly by night, take advantage of the holiday releases either. While there were some Halloween updates, even a potential Halloween classic in the release of Angry Birds Halloween, there were plenty of non-holiday themed hits that shot to the top of the charts.

Cut the Rope is one of those play one level whenever you want types of games. Challenging as it is cute, the game has a lot of polish and charm. What makes the game fun for physics puzzle lovers is the multi solution levels. Solve it quickly just to pass along to the next level, or solve it precisely to get three stars. The way it is set up allows you to come back to the game in your spare moments whether trying new levels or perfecting ones already passed for more stars.

Another game that caught my interest was Phoenix. This was a surprising choice but a testament to the game because I am not a bullet hell kind of gamer. I usually despise the confusion and pretty much avoid the genre. But Phoenix has enough of a pick up and play feel and less of a hardcore bullet hell feel that it is approachable for any gamer. The graphics are outstanding and the gameplay lends itself to just one more round, that quickly becomes 10, or 15 even! Yes it has what is for me the annoying aspect of dodge and shoot and pray you hit your target but this game has taught me that is exactly what a bullet hell is supposed to be – hell. And that fly by the seat of your pants boy do I have to dodge that bullet really does make for a good time!

And then to round out my selections I have to give a shout out to Fire Maple Games for the release of Secret of Grisly Manor. It is a clever Point and Click adventure with some great puzzles. Tricky, intuitive and original clues have you running around the manor trying to find your grandfather. Point and Click adventures are a natural fit for the iDevices and this one does not disappoint. If you have any interest in the genre, you owe it to yourself to give this title a look!

Evan: October was a huge month with two game releases that I just couldn’t put down. Firstly, iTrials strives to bring Trials HD to the iDevice for $.99. And it does a great job! With 27 levels, good physics, a decent control system, and fine graphics (all are currently being updated to be even better), it’s quite easy to recommend the game. I have wished since seeing the appearance of Bike or Die 2 that a Trials game would come to the iPhone, and here it is! One definitely worth picking up.

The other game that has captivated me is Beast Boxing by Goodhustle Studios. The graphics are absolutely insane, and look like they utilize the retina display. I have an iPod Touch 3G. There is no retina display, just incredible animations. The characters are fun, and the length of the game is definitely worth the cheap $2.99. It was about time that someone made a good boxing game for the iDevice, as none so far felt right. This one does. The controls are absolutely spot on. Skip that coffee for one morning and invest in this awesome game before it goes up to $4.99. The developers have also promised updates for this game, which I can’t wait for!

Of course, major releases like Galaxy on Fire 2 and Reckless Racing have been fun as well, but I haven’t enjoyed either as much as the two games above.

Daniel: I honestly haven’t been dialed into the iPhone gaming atmosphere for the first time in two years, but the one game that has consistently brought me back is Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, Gameloft’s version of Activision’s popular Call of Duty franchise.  The online multiplayer continued to impress, and the single player campaign seemed quite secondary to the robust multiplayer mode.  While big name games such as Star Battalion, Reckless Racing, and Age of Zombies have been released, neither of them have caught my attention for more than a few minutes at a time.

And while I haven’t played for long, Beast Boxing looks to be a promising fighter that has a ton of potential, although the current game format could be tweaked a bit.  I’m also enjoying EA’s NBA Elite 11, although hardcore basketball fans may not find the casualty of the game enjoyable.

And that wraps up our October Favorite Games of the Month!  If you believe we’ve missed out on one of your favorite games of the month, be sure to let us know in the comments.

September Favorite Games of the Month

September has finally passed, with a quiet ending but a fiery beginning.  Here are some of our favorite games of the month.

Travis: September is usually the kick-off of the big holiday season for video gaming. However, if you’re just looking at the app store you wouldn’t have known it. Slim pickings this month results in very easy nominations for game of the month. I really enjoyed my playthrough of Rimelands: Hammer of Thor, but the game that really ate up a significant amount of my time this month (and probably the next month or so still to come) despite it not being as high a quality product on a technical level, is Solomon’s Boneyard. I can’t help but to keep coming back for more. The proverbial carrot on a stick (in this case perks) is dangled just far enough out of reach to make you think you’ll have it in just a few more games. I love this perk system and having found an epic ring during one particular game has definitely inspired me to play more. Though the game does suffer from having only the one arena to play in, I am hopeful that perhaps a future update will provide new areas and new enemies to fight. Also I hope the developers take a page from the Minigore team and put in a way to start at a higher level. Always starting completely over gets a little tedious when your shooting for much higher levels. Simply put, I’m simply head over heels in love with Solomon’s Boneyard; it is quickly becoming one of my all-time most played games on my iPod.

Hope: September is synonymous with fall, back to school, and of course, big game releases. That being said it seems to have been a very slow month in the gaming department. But some notable games have struck me as being worthy of the Game of the Month nod.

Pocket Frogs – well what can I say? Being a sucker for frogs and having hoarding tendencies to boot, the game is just terrific. There are elements of time management, virtual pets, luck, strategy and plain old fun on the frog pond. Discoveries abound as the hunt begins for the elusive legendary breeds. With tons of achievements and thousands of frog combinations this game will satisfy just about anyone. Trading frogs with your Plus+ friends is a hoot but I also love figuring out the combinations to make a particular breed on my own. With the addition of the new Chroma patterned frog I find myself staring at the habitat that is home to several of mine, with the same amazement that staring at a lava lamp brings. Ok, ok, maybe that is over the top but yes, I do love watching the new Chroma pattern change like a kaleidoscope. The addition of the Froggydex points out just how many frog combinations there are – and how few I have! Pocket Frogs is free so there is no excuse for you not to give it a try and see what my new obsession is!

While waiting for frogs to hatch or deliveries to mature, I have been wrapped up with some neat puzzlers. Shibuya was an award winning game at PAX and it sure does live up to that billing. The music is astounding and the game play very unique. It has a built in achievement mechanism that encourages playing all the different modes at all the different levels – something that I usually DO need a push to do. The thoughtful planning and strategy will have you on your toes, that is if your toes aren’t tapping to the music.

Though just released this past week, Time Geeks is a great 8 bit retro graphic find them all that is totally addictive. Though there was a bug with older devices, that should be fixed in a day or so, and when that fix is out I am back at it! I was totally hooked up until that point and can easily recommend the title to anyone who loves hidden object, Where’s Waldo books, or just neat graphics. The scenarios are spoofs of famous movie and TV shows and it is great to see the developer’s take on them.

And finally as if that wasn’t enough, Rimelands and Dink Smallwood have scratched the RPG itch. With fewer releases I think I was able to appreciate the top titles all the more, so for that I thank you September!

Matt: September has had its share of gems.

Blue Defense: Second Wave! is hands-down one of the best shooters I’ve ever played on any device or console, and a game that could only exist on the iPhone. Juggling my device has never been so much fun, and the combination of frantic action and strategically managing my guns keeps my mind engaged while the adrenaline rushes. Get it.

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is the app store’s newest role-playing games and also one of its best. I love the way that it throws back to tabletop role-playing games with dice being thrown, but wraps it all up in a cool setting with brilliant artwork and presentation values. The game play is top-notch, and the only complaint I have against the game is its linearity. Still, it’s one not to be missed.

Solomon’s Boneyard is one of my favorite new dual-stick shooters, taking the near perfect leveling system from Solomon’s Keep, enhancing it with perks and throwing the whole thing into a Minigore-esque survival gaming experience. The real kicker, though, is that Solomon’s Boneyard kicks the poo out of Minigore (which is totally overrated) in every conceivable way, dispensing with the empty hype, abject puffery and gimmicky updates of that title in favor of solid, compelling game play that actually rewards you the more you play.

And while I’ve never been interested in collecting Pokemon, Bakugan or otherwise, I’ve always been a sucker for frogs. I simply cannot sum up the month without paying mention to Pocket Frogs, the only game of its kind ever to have appealed to me. What can I say? It’s just fun. And I hope they take it further with more mini-games and content.

Daniel: September, for me personally, has been one of the slowest months in recent memory.  But this month didn’t leave without a few games, with Dodonpachi Resurrection and Rimelands: Hammer of Thor topping my list as the favorite games for this month.  Mirror’s Edge for the iPhone also splashed onto the iPhone gaming scene, adding the much needed iPad game to the iPhone.

While the above games listed have their flaws, all in all, they made up for the lack of games in the month of September.  Rimelands has kept me intrigued with its story and combat, Dodonpachi Resurrection has me marvel at its bullet-hell nature; the first of its kind that I have ever played, and Mirror’s Edge is basically Mirror’s Edge… what more can I say?

August Favorite Games of the Month

August has been a busy month for all of us here at NoDPad, both inside and outside the App Store world.  But we were still able to get our iPhone gaming fix for the month, as August exploded with a slew of new and awesome games.

Daniel: August was just a month that was waiting to happen.  July nothing really ever happened, but the end of summer ended with a bang with releases such as Dodonpachi Resurrection, Monster Dash, Mirror’s Edge for iPhone, and Zombie Highway.  All of the game I mentioned above have stolen my heart from day one, and it’s safe to say that those are the games that I’ve been playing the most.

August did contain some flops though such as MapleStory: Thief Edition and Knight’s Rush, both of which I did not enjoy at all.

Matt:  August slammed the app store with new releases, with several titles making my shortlist of brilliant releases. Monster Dash channeled Canabalt’s excellence and infused it with mummies, zombies, demons, vampires and machine gun jetpacks! How could you go wrong with that?! Quell blew in like a spring shower on a sudden wind, proving itself as one of the app store’s most transcendental and satisfying puzzlers, with a near perfect difficulty curve. Guns’n’Glory managed to put a new spin on tower defense, breathing new life into a tired genre and in great style. With its western theme, irreverent humor, sweet SNES-era graphics and universal iPad support, Guns’n’Glory is a band of outlaws threatening to steal my heart. The long anticipated Knights Rush finally hit, delivering on the promise of More Games’ nearly year-old promotional title A Quest of Knights Onrush. It’s beautiful and tons of fun, and we expected no less. iShoot 2 has also arrived, the sequel to the smash-hit artillery titles that stands as one of the app store’s greatest success stories, and which led to the rise of free “lite” version releases of games. A dutiful sequel, it improves upon its predecessor in nearly every way, featuring improved graphics and sound, an excellent score, a revamped weapon systems, upgradable tanks, a new campaign mode, Bluetooth multiplayer, universal iPad support and more. If you don’t love it, then you don’t deserve to play it. And speaking of the iPad, Square Enix has finally blessed us with Chaos Rings HD, a game so spectacular and so pretty that I almost don’t mind paying another $16 for the exact same content I already own at a lower resolution on my iPhone.

And Chaos Rings isn’t the only title to receive the HD treatment this month. Highborn HD, Heavy Mach. 2 HD, Air Attack HD, Princess Fury: Arcade Adventure and Hero of Sparta 2 HD all played their part this month in making the iPad a drool-worthy gaming platform. Dinosaur hunting adventure Carnivores also received universal iPad support this month, finally graduating the T-Rex to a screen-size worthy of his terrifying stature.

And finally, because I’m a total fan-boy, I simply cannot rest without giving 100 Rogues an honorable shout-out for the month of August. Quabbus the shopkeeper opened for business this month, adding a whole new dimension to the game. And the fine folk at DinoFarm Games have yet more in store for us to come, so don’t for a moment think I’ll cease singing the game’s praises anytime soon.

My only regret is that few of these games actually received coverage here on the site this month. What can I say? The app store isn’t the only thing that’s been busy. In the meantime, have a banana.

Evan: August was a month with lots of good game releases, but only two games really captivated me- Madden NFL 11 by EA Sports, and Solipskier.

Madden has incredibly good graphics and takes the football gameplay standard to the next level by introducing Gameflow. I have always loved playing football games, but gotten annoyed selecting defensive plays (and occasionally offensive ones). Gameflow analyzes the current situation and picks the best play for you, making the game a very continuous experience. Not only this, but stellar controls, audio, and a few game modes really make the game the most realistic sports simulation available on the iDevice.

Solipskier got a “Buy” in our review of it, but it’s another title where I really just can’t help myself from coming back for more. The side-scrolling “go as far as you can” style gameplay has started to be overused, but this one has something original. You draw the hills of snow so your skier well travel to the right height to pass through flags and tunnels, making your speed faster and faster, rather than following the popular format where you just tap the screen to jump until you fail. Along with a killer soundtrack and very fun pick up and play gameplay this really is a fun title.

Travis: After the drought that was July we saw almost a total reversal of fortune in August. I spent a good amount of time playing a great variety of games this month. I couldn’t even begin to pick a single favorite so I’ve decided to just list off my favorites: Monster Dash, Knights Rush, Meow Meow Happy Fight, Solipskier, Guns’n’Glory and Dodonpachi Resurrection. Since my associates have already mentioned some of the above I will focus on the ones not already discussed.

Monster Dash is a side-scroller a-la Canabalt that differentiates itself in a few critical ways. The first obvious difference is the addition of a gun/weapon system to shoot the monster that are scattered all across the field. The incentive to return over and over again is greatly enhanced by the amount of different stats the game keeps track of through its extensive statistics tracker. With its recent addition of a motorcycle to ride (and of course stats to track associated with it), it’s clear that there is a good future ahead for updates for Monster Dash as well.

Meow Meow Happy Fight caught my attention right away with its very colorful art. This twin stick shooter chose an arena style battle system that I found original and quite engaging. The Japanese-culture centric style feels very natural and fresh. It takes a few battles to get the hang of the game, but once you do it becomes very difficult to put down. I found myself coming back to it throughout the month and will continue to do so for quite some time.

Dodonpachi Resurrection is the next big arcade shooter from Cave Co. that, like Espgaluda II, will absolutely dazzle you with some of the most incredible effects you will ever see displayed on your iDevice. Not surprising at all that it requires 3Gs equivalent powered devices to run at all. If you like insane arcade shooters this game is a shining example of the glory that is the original “shooter”.