FREE! Star Wars Pinball by Zen Studios (universal, normally $1.99) — includes one table with two additional tables available as in-app purchases. If you own Zen Pinball, you'll probably want to unlock (purchase) the tables inside it instead, but since Star Wars Pinball is free (for now), why not play around with one of the tables and see if you like the game mechanics?
Light side or dark side?
I love pinball. It's not nearly as visceral and exciting as playing in an arcade in front of a real pinball machine, but playing on the iPad is pretty great — especially with the retina display. Much better than playing on the TV or PC.
Zen Studios has done a great job capturing the frenetic pace and unique physics of pinball in their sims, this app is no different. The Star Wars tables are stylish and well constructed — the sound effects, imagery and storylines feel authentic and will likely satisfy sci-fi fanatics.
Also on the App Store, Terraria!
Terraria by 505 Games (universal, $4.99) I've been waiting for this for a long time! (Still waiting for the Playstation Vita version... hopefully it's out soon!)
I haven't checked it out yet, but I have played desktop/console versions of the game (on Xbox 360 & PS3). It's a different take on survival/crafting, and isn't just a 2D version of Minecraft (iOS link). Terraria has a huge following and much has been written about it, so I won't go into detail.
The iPad has become an interesting games platform for hardcore gamers.
It's very exciting. Hopefully, more indie games and Kickstarter type projects will surface now that people are starting to take iOS seriously. Initially thought of as simply a casual games device, iOS now has games like:
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown (universal)
- Deus Ex: The Fall (universal)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (iPad)
- The Bard's Tale (universal)
- Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (iPad)
- Bastion (universal)
- Anomaly Warzone Earth HD / Anomaly Korea (universal)
- Magic 2014 (iPad)
- Ascension / Shadow Era (universal)
- Ravensword: Shadowlands (universal) — Bethesda, please give us 'The Elder Scrolls' for iPad! It can be done!
- Final Fantasy V (universal) — Square Enix also released FF Tactics, FFIII, FFIV and other games like The World Ends With You (iPad link), but with separate iPhone/iPad versions.
*MAKE SURE to check system requirements before downloading these games. Many of them are ~2GB and require iPad 3 or newer.
I could go on for quite awhile, this list barely scratches the surface — this is just skim off the cream — there are dozens more fantastic games for iOS. If you have an iPad, you can't be bored! Look at that list; look at the App Store, check out all the great stuff available right now — know it's just the beginning. Apple will likely announce new iPads soon, and with next-gen devices come better games and new ways to interact with conventional gaming devices. A current example is Xbox SmartGlass — but I'm really looking forward to Ubisoft's Watch Dogs tablet mode multiplayer.
What games are you most excited about? Did I leave your favorite off of the list? Let me know!
Oh yeah, just in case...
Cut the Rope HD is free right now, too. Whatever.
Currently, I'm enjoying Dragon's Crown for PSVITA. There's been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the game since its North American announcement and early teaser artwork, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a superb side-scrolling action RPG. For an amazing breakdown of Dragon's Crown, check out HokutoAndy's Kinja blog and his site, Art-Eater.
If you want to play, add me at XBLIVE/PSN: rainfault — just include a little note to let me know a bit about you and how you found me. (Thanks!)
So — Terraria isn’t available for Playstation Vita (yet) but I’m thinking that I will wait until it’s out to try and get into the game. Despite many people having issues with the PSVITA, I really like the system and there are a lot of great games for it.
Although Terraria isn’t out yet for it, Atelier Mereru Plus is available now — a decent looking JRPG that I never played. I downloaded (but haven’t finished) Atelier Totori Plus, so I’m going to finish that game before starting a new Atelier game — besides, it will likely go on sale at some point (Totori+ did).
I also completely forgot about Diablo III for consoles! Yes, many PC elitists shun all console games as being inferior, but not everyone can sit in front of the computer for hours on end! I asked a friend about the PS3 version of the game, and he mentioned that it ran well with very little slowdown. So although it may be a less-pretty version, perhaps that’s okay! It can be played offline and offers couch co-op, a huge draw for some gamers and a great way to introduce friends to new games.