GGF#68: My first 6 iPad games

Gamer Girl Friday

I almost didn’t want to write this today because I couldn’t stop playing the new games I just bought for my iPad.

They are all amazing. Playing games on the iPad is amazing. I haven’t been so excited about a handheld gaming console since the DS, even though the iPad isn’t, strictly speaking, a gaming console.

But playing games on a 9.7″ full HD screen with multi-touchscreen capabilities is just ace. I’m all the more awed because I never intended to buy the iPad in the first place. When I finally did buy it, it was because I thought I needed an ebook reader to solve the space problem at home.

Well, so far, I have clocked maybe 60-80 hours on my iPad and I haven’t read a single book on it.

I would have clocked more hours on it had it not been frequently kidnapped by people around me (especially the Goonfather and Nanny Wen). Last I hear, they’re both gonna get their own. Good.

Anyway, people have been asking me (in Twitter/Plurk/Facebook) what games I bought, so I’ll provide a more comprehensive answer here.

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Plants vs Zombies HD (US$9.99)

Plants vs Zombies HD

This was the first game I bought. I wanted something fun to break in my iPad. I’ve already completed the PC version but this is the kind of game that you can play over and over for the rest of your life.

Now, if you haven’t played PvZ on the iPad, you haven’t experienced anything. I urge you to put this on your list of 10 (or 100) things to do before you die. (10 if you’re a gamer, 100 if you’re not.)

The main highlights are the amazing colours on the HD screen and the 11 touch points. (I don’t know who uses all 11 points at once, though. Anyone got a spare finger to lend me?)

But just think about it. You know how you go crazy juggling the need to plant more ammo with the need to collect much-needed suns (or coins) before they disappear? On the iPad, you can collect 10 suns at once with just one touch, leaving plenty of time left to plant a cob cannon to obliterate that annoying gargantuan.

My friends who borrow my iPad to play PvZ tend to use just one finger to play, as if playing on the PC. THIS IS WRONG, GUYS, THIS IS A MORTAL SIN.

If you’re playing PvZ on the iPad, you MUST train yourself to activate all your fingers for the ultimate gameplay experience.

Enough said.

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The Jim and Frank Mysteries – The Blood River Files HD (US$4.99)

The Blood River Files HD

This game is totally like Professor Layton on the DS, although it’s a smaller game, entirely linear, with fewer puzzles. I completed the game within 3-4 hours. But still fun. In fact, I enjoyed this a lot more than I did Professor Layton.

The gameplay is the same. There’s a storyline with small mysteries within a big mystery, which provides the frame for the game. As you go about unfolding the storyline, little puzzles pop out for you to solve before you can advance.

The puzzles are very similar to the Professor Layton ones, although I came across quite a number of unique ones. They’re also easier on the whole, although there were some rather tricky ones.

But I just love puzzles, and I like them not too hard so I can progress faster and play more games. I get bored if I get stuck at the same puzzle for, like, 20 minutes. (Not counting tough sudoku or crossword puzzles. Those are whole games by themselves.)

Anyway, this game makes pleasant use of the iPad’s touchscreen and the hand-drawn graphics are beautiful, so I had a really enjoyable time despite the main storyline being a bit juvenile.

Just enjoy the single puzzles. Don’t place too much hope on the main plot.

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Puzzler World US XL (US$4.99)

Puzzler World US XL

You can tell by now that I really love puzzles. I was playing this till 4:30 am last night. I had to make myself stop.

There are, like, 600 puzzles in this game. After a few hours of playing, I’m only at 5.9% of the Challenge Mode. In this mode, you need to successfully solve 240 + 240 assorted puzzles. (The +240 are mini puzzles. Each main puzzle is paired with a mini one.)

The puzzles get increasingly difficult. I’m now only at #33, so it’s rather easy, but still enough of a challenge to be fun. I don’t know what the later ones will be like!

You can also choose the Quickplay Mode to just play your favourite puzzles. (There are two types of puzzles I don’t enjoy in the Challenge Mode but I still have to play through them just to conquer the challenge, duh.)

List of puzzle types
Wordsearch (never really like this, but the iPad makes it quite pleasant)
Sudoku (fun, but the beginning ones are too easy)
Crossword (luckily, there’s a hint system using points)
Spot The Difference (nice break between tough puzzles)
Link-A-Pix (unique and very fun!)
Fitword (boring)
Codeword (tough, not so fun)
Silhouette (suitable for little kids, but also fun for adults)

Mini puzzles
Hangman (nice)
Picture Quiz (trains memory, ack)
Missing Piece (a bit tough and blah)
Jigsaw (fun)
Equate (simple math equations for now, dunno about later)
Chain Letters (not bad)

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Master of Alchemy HD ($2.99)

Master of Alchemy HD

This reminds me of The Incredible Machine series I played a long time ago. It’s something like that, except you’re an alchemist and you’re working with elements, gases, liquids and solids, transforming them. You’re supposed to manage the flow of precious elements, collecting them and preventing wastage by using the tools provided at each stage.

I’ve only played about 10 minutes’ worth so far. It’s challenging from the start and I can see it getting harder and harder. I wouldn’t say it’s incredibly fun, but I enjoy the brainwork the game exacts.

The graphics, music and philosophical quotes make the experience quite immersive. You feel like a real alchemist!

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Supermarket Mania HD (US$4.99)

Supermarket Mania HD

I caved in and bought this time management game even though time management games have a tendency to drive me crazy. It’s because the product screenshots has a page showing comics and I got curious.

The comics tell the story between missions. You’re a young girl starting work at a supermarket and your boss is supposedly competing against some robotic conglomerate that’s taking over the world by replacing human workers with robots.

But the main game is just like any other time management game. You stock shelves as fast as possible.

The frame of the game is appealing. I mean, I like the comics and the storyline. But the gameplay might need some work. Gets a bit repetitive after a while.

I played another time management game called Are You Alright? on the iPhone where you manage a hospital and patients, and that one seems a bit more fun, although it’s just as irritating.

But 9.7″ HD still beats everything.

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Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials (US$9.99)

Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials

I love this!!! I’ve only played 10 minutes of it and already I think it’s worth every bit of my S$15!

It’s like an adventure game combined with a hidden objects game. I love both genres so this is like, epic.

Mind-blowing, stunning graphics, good music, great special effects, intriguing storyline, fun touchscreen gameplay, etc, etc, etc.

I love how you never know what to expect next as the game unfolds. You could be asked to find 10 hidden objects, or you might need to pick up objects and combine them and use them to interact with other objects in the scene.

Or you might get to talk to ghosts.

Well, okay, since I’ve only played 10 minutes of it, I can’t for sure say the whole thing is going to be great, but it’s got good reviews all over the place so I know it won’t disappoint me!

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Um… that’s all the games for now.

I’m tempted to buy more (shopping in App Store has never been more fun) but I think I should finish up my current ones first. I have so many ongoing games at the moment I can’t decide what to play at any time!

I actually bought all these games without reading full reviews. I just saw the product descriptions, screenshots and user comments in the app store. I guess I just couldn’t resist the beautiful graphics. They really make a difference in gameplay.

Plus I feel that the prices are very affordable. Seriously, I spend a lot more money an evening at the arcade centre and I don’t think that’s as fun as cuddling the iPad. Haha.

Okay, enough talking about the iPad. I need to get back to my gaming. =P

Let me end with some photos I wanted to share last week but couldn’t because I was in China.

From the Rappelz launch party!

My three winners and one guest enjoyed a private gaming room with refreshments. Well, only two winners turned up because the third one couldn’t make it last minute, so I made Nanny Wen come, instead. Yes, it was very last minute so she came 1.5 hours late. Unker Kell was my guest!

Rappelz launch party

Rappelz launch party

Rappelz launch party

Nanny Wen was playing Rappelz and she got a crab for a pet in her newbie gift pack. She named the crab after me. So mean!

Screenshot

So I took a photo of her eating in retaliation. Heheh!

Wen eating

I was guest-of-honour at the event. They made me play the PvP deathmatch against all other veteran players. T_T

But I think everyone had fun. There was quite a big crowd and I got to help draw the winners for the lucky draw at the end of the event.

Rappelz launch party

One of the winners:

Rappelz launch party

Great event! Thanks, Eaglegame, for organising it!