With so many great iPad games coming out nowadays, I feel that I have to choose which games to play more carefully in order to have time to finish them all. Below is a list of what I’m playing nowadays and why each game stands out:
- Real Racing 3 – this game has been taking up most of my time, the first time a racing game has ever managed the feat since the original Gran Turismo. I’ll do a more detailed write-up on this at a later time but for now, three reasons why it’s so addictive: excellent visuals, solid racing mechanics, and a fiendishly executed free-to-play model (arguably the best I’ve ever seen in an iOS game) that exemplifies the concept of “carrot-on-a-stick”.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown – the best AAA title of last year made it to the iPad largely intact. XCOM further distinguishes itself as a great mobile game by the fact that the mechanics have also been tweaked, making the difficulty in this version more forgiving. While this may not go over well for hardcore gamers, the decreased difficulty streamlines the gameplay, making it perfect for brief, 5-minute sessions while on the go.
- Oceanhorn – a highly anticipated title that was in development for almost two years, Oceanhorn is showing itself to have been worth the wait. The game’s production values are almost unmatched anywhere else on the App Store with a soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu, the maestro behind the musical score of the Final Fantasy series. Oceanhorn borrows heavily from the Zelda series and is actually being marketed as a straight up Zelda-clone. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with cloning a classic as long as the imitation is executed well and Oceanhorn certainly delivers.
- Epoch 2 – Epoch 2 is an on-rails shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by rogue machines. Mechanically, the game is almost identical to its predecessor with fluid action that’s well-suited to touch controls and does a good job of making you feel like a badass as you acrobatically dodge out of the way of oncoming gunfire. More significantly though, Epoch 2 expands on the sterile narrative of the original, adding spoken dialogue and a storyline that drives you to progress in the game. The shallow RPG elements and repetitive (though still well-executed) set-pieces hurt the replay value of this game though.
- The Room – I’ll admit that I’m late to the party on this one as this game was released a little over a year ago. The Room is a game where you solve a series of puzzles that are protecting the mysterious contents of a box. The visuals are photorealistic – this is the post-PC version of Myst. While it’s a bit on the short side, The Room makes for an excellent showcase of how the iPad differentiates itself as a top-tier gaming platform.
- The Legend Of Zelda-Like Oceanhorn Finally Launches In The App Store (appadvice.com)
- The Top 15 Best iOS Games of 2013 That You Must Play (usgamer.net)
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown (for iPad) (pcmag.com)
- 15 best free iPad games (reviews.cnet.com)