June 10 iPhone Picks
Summer's coming and so it's the perfect time to load your iPhone with some new games ready for some outdoor excursions. There's a varied offering this time round with an excellent conversion of a much loved beat 'em up title, two fantastic RPGs from Square Enix, a compelling twist on the classic Snake game, a football management game as addictive as crack, a quirky puzzler and a Zombie fighting Nun hack 'n slasher. The iPhone Roundup has never been so eclectic!
Chaos Rings (7.49 GBP)
Chaos Rings might be one of the most expensive games on the App Store but its production values are clearly obvious. It looks beautiful and sounds like it's pushed the iPhone's acoustic abilities to the limit. Its story is fairly typical of a Square Enix RPG with plenty of dungeon exploration and turn-based combat on offer but it is Chaos Rings' execution that makes it compelling. Difficulty levels can be adjusted depending on how casual a gamer you are and random enemy encounters can be switched off. All the dungeons can be replayed as well, offering an enjoyable, flexible approach to the game. If you're still suspicious of the price, think of it this way: how much would a new release set you back on the DS or PSP? Chaos Rings is a bargain.
Denki Blocks (2.99 GBP)
Denki Blocks is a perfect example of what the iPhone does so well: simple yet ridiculously addictive puzzlers. This time round the aim is to stick blocks together. It's a familiar premise no doubt, but one with a twist as every block moves together and there are numerous obstacles in the way. Like all good puzzle games, Denki Blocks manages to be different enough that it enthuses you all over again even if you're feeling a bit burnt out from the plethora of Match 3 titles available on the iPhone. There's over 100 puzzles to complete as well as numerous Master Challenges which provide secondary objectives to complete, so there's plenty to keep players busy. A perfect title to drop in and out of.
Final Fantasy 2 (5.49 GBP)
Square Enix might be busy at work with Final Fantasy IV but the series had to start somewhere. Final Fantasy 1 and 2 have recently been released on the App Store with the second title being the superior option. It's distinctly retro in appearance but it's excellent fun. Offering 25-30 hours of gameplay along with the addition of bonus dungeons not seen in the original NES version and there's a lot to love here for RPG fans. If you haven't played the earlier Final Fantasys before it's great to see how the series evolved. Final Fantasy 2 marked the introduction of chocobos and Cid amongst other things. Add an appealing story and there's a lot to like here.
Football Manager Handheld 2010 (6.99 GBP)
More addictive than chocolate covered crack is a wholly appropriate way of describing Football Manager 2010. Martin's already covered it and told of its wondrous virtues, but Football Manager Handheld 2010 deserves all the positive words I can think of. It's the ideal game to play on the beach as long as you don't mind the fact that five minutes will turn into five hours before you know it. It might be a little fiddly to control and lacks a few of the more comprehensive options available on the PC version but there's no denying its appeal. Plus you can pursue your dreams and ensure that your team wins the World Cup, what more could you need?
RPG Snake (0.59 GBP)
Back in the dark days when mobile phones had monochrome screens and you could only really use them to make calls, I was hooked on Snake. It was terrifically simple but so much fun. Since then I've been on a constant quest to find a better version. RPG Snake might not be overly faithful but it is fun and combines basic RPG elements surprisingly well with the fast paced arcade game. There's a loose story tied to events but really all you'll be doing is enjoying the simple fun that Snake could always offer. The pixelated graphics are cute and it's a perfect walk down memory lane.
Street Fighter IV (5.99 GBP)
It's amazing to think that street Fighter IV is actually capable of being converted to the iPhone. Impressively, Capcom have done a good job of it with no sign of graphical slowdown and a control system that works very well considering the iPhone's limitations. It's a shame that there are only eight playable characters but it's understandable that something has to give considering the breadth offered on the home consoles. A lot of thought has been put into Street Fighter IV as the focus is rightfully on producing an accurate control system. Plus there's local multiplayer functionality and a survival mode which more than makes up for the all too brief single player mode.
Twin Blades (1.79 GBP)
A Zombie hunting Nun. You can't get much quirkier than that really. That's what Twin Blades is all about and it's bloody good fun, too. Harking back to the side scrolling fighter days of Streets of Rage, you play a Nun who must wipe out the zombie hordes threatening her town. You do this by shooting at them and chopping their heads off with a big scythe. It's simple but oh so much fun. There's an array of different weapons to acquire along with upgradeable skills to make things a little differently. For the most part though you'll be mindlessly slashing up zombies and loving every minute. It's sumptuous to look at and provides ideal stress relief. What more could you need?
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