We’re back on form this week with some absolutely brilliant games that all had genuine shouts at being our Pick of the Week. As it is, we made our decision on the basis of quantity – the winner is the only full game on the list.
But don’t let that put you off the others, as each offers a splendid slice of gameplay at absolutely no cost. Well, I say that, but it’ll be tough to resist a full purchase of each of them once you’ve had a taste.
We finish, as ever, with a choice cut of rubbish - this week’s Crap App. If you see this app in the street, walk on by, stopping only to give it a quick kick.
Slice It! Free
This slick little demo provides you with the first world from the main game, which offers up 15 levels of gently taxing line-drawing.
The aim is to slice each shape into equally sized pieces by drawing a limited number of lines through them. It’s not about creating similar shapes - just pieces with the same surface area.
We’ve seen this concept before a couple of times, but not executed as well or with as much depth. Slice It! is a tactile joy to play, and you’ll find it very hard indeed to resist splashing out for the full version once you’ve exhausted this demo.
Knightfall: Death and Taxes
Namco has teamed up with UK developer Megadev to produce this splendid new chapter of puzzle-RPG action.
While we’ve seen those two disparate elements combined before in such games as Puzzle Quest, Knightfall is a pretty unique experience. You have to match blocks and rotate each level in order to manoeuvre your Knight (or Princess) around, attacking enemies and collecting keys.
This is tied in to a brilliantly light-hearted RPG quest, where you can level up and purchase items to assist you in your mission.
This is a freemium title, so once you’ve finished the first section you can purchase additional levels and modes, which you’ll undoubtedly want to do.
Geometry Wars: Touch Lite
The twin-stick shooter genre has made itself at home on iPhone, but it all started with the Xbox 360 game Geometry Wars. Amazingly, it was almost a throw-away project from developer Bizarre Creations.
Things have come almost full circle now that it’s available on iPhone. Very playable it is, too, with a nice responsive dual virtual analogue stick setup. Occasionally your thumbs obstruct the action, but there’s no doubting this is a slick version of the game.
This Lite version offers the chance to rack up the biggest score possible in three minutes – a task that provides a lot of replayability as you attempt to beat your own high scores.
Pick of the week
Galaxy on Fire
Fishlabs has released Galaxy on Fire for free today through the FreeAppADay initiative, in celebration of the upcoming launch of the sequel.
You may question why a game that we gave six out of ten deserves to be our Pick of the Week, but read the review and you’ll see. GoF is a splendidly ambitious space combat and trading game that was released onto the App Store in sub-optimal form.
Today’s GoF is a much-improved game following a number of updates. It offers up a sizeable and technically impressive sci-fi epic that will suck you in for hours at a time (or at least until the sequel is released on October 27th).
Cool! Uchiwa manages to combine two unbelievably crap elements into one crap app. It’s a completely pointless concept tied to a completely useless communication function.
The idea – and I can barely bring myself to write this – is to select a picture of a traditional Japanese fan and then fan yourself with your iPhone. Seriously.
“Why don't you use your iPhone or iPod Touch to cool yourself down during the hot summer days and nights?” asks the developer. Off the top of my head: because I might drop and damage my iPhone; because it really wouldn’t do the job very well; because it would make me look like a complete imbecile.
There’s also the incredibly limited ability to scan for nearby Cool! Uchiwa users via Bluetooth and send them messages of up to a whopping 20 characters in length. According to the developer the app can display up to five users, which is a tad ambitious.